Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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SMITH, JOHN -- Born in Virginia, a relative of Henry Smith, Governor of the Provisional Government of Texas, in 1835. He was married to Sarah Gillette who was born in Missouri. (All of the above from page 403, John Henry Brown's Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas). He came to Texas previous to May 2, 1835, as is shown in Headright Certificate No. 678 issued to him July 12, 1838 for a league and labor of land by the Brazoria County Board of Land Commissioners. It is quite evident that he did not reach Texas long before May 2, 1835 for had he done so he would most likely have secured a league of land from Stephen F. Austin or one of the other empresarios.

Mr. Smith was a member of Captain Robert J. Calder's Brazoria Company at San Jacinto and on June 30, 1838 he was issued donation Certificate No. 399 for 640 acres for having participated in the battle. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 1435 for 640 acres of land for having served in the army from February 25 to August 6, 1836. This he assigned July 31, 1838 to David White.

The Deed Records of San Patricio County show that Mr. Smith was living in Montgomery County, June 17, 1841 when he sold Headright Certificate No. 678 and Donation Certificate No. 399 to Joseph F. Smith.

Mr. Smith according to Mr. John Henry Brown, was the first sheriff of, and built the first cotton gin in, Montgomery County. He moved to Grimes County and there died in 1848.

Samuel H. Smith, son of John and Sarah (Gillette) Smith was born in Montgomery County, Texas, May 25, 1839. He grew up in Montgomery, Grimes and Guadalupe Counties. He attained the rank of Major in the Confederate Army in the Civil War. After the War he settled in Bee County where he engaged in stock raising. In 1867 he moved to Rockport, Aransas County, to secure beef cattle for a packing house he had previously established in Rockport. For two terms he was Mayor of the city of Rockport.

Major Smith was married to Clara Hynes who was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, December 29, 1854, a daughter of John Hynes. Major Smith died April 25, 1895. Mrs. Smith was alive at that time.

Children of Major and Mrs. Smith were Tiny, John H., James H., William H., Samuel H., Grace, and Hynes Smith.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Robert J. Calder

Personal Statistics

  • Birthplace: Virginia
  • Came to Texas: 1835
  • Date of Death: 1848
  • Bounty Certificate: 1435
  • Donation Certificate: 399
  • Wife: Sarah Gillette
  • Children: Samuel H. Smith