Single sheet, folded to 32 x 20 cm.  leaves. Separating along fold, additional old fold lines with wear and small holes, still a legible, somewhat tender copy. First page is a manuscript petition, Republic of Texas, County of Fayette, March A.D. 1841, pledging the subscribers to finance the building of a school and meeting house to benefit the neighborhood, and nominating James Stephens, Wm. H. Hodge, and Isaac Killough, as trutees "to have the said house built and to regulate the preaching and to act as trustees for such school or schools as may be necessary for the convenience of the neighbourhood from time to time...." Signed by some 21 subscribers, including Washington Cox, Isaac Killough, Wm. H. Hodge, and James Stephens, who each pledged $30, and Wm. M. Eastland who pledged $5. Also signed by several women, Harriett Lockredge, Salley Stephens, Ruthe Kilugh [Killough?], and Mary Ann Pain, each promising $5. J.S. Lester pleged $10, "and as much pine timber as may be needed for the building." The second page contains one more pledge, but is otherwise blank. The third page shows an ink sketch of the plan for the Meeting House, including the positions of the pulpit, windows and doors, chimney, and seating. An explanation of the construction of the meeting house "to be built of good hewn logs 18 by 28 feet..." is included in a paragraph below the drawing. Docketed on the fourth page, which also has some information on a later case involving the Clearcreek [Clair Creek] Meeting House from 1843. Item #67189
Clear Creek rises in north central Fayette County, flowing south and east to its mouth on Cummins Creek. This meeting and school house was likely located in or near La Grange, Texas. The early settlers of La Grange, approximately eighty to one hundred in number by 1839, included Major James S. Lester and William M. Eastland, both of whom signed this petition. [Thomas] Washington Cox, another signer, was one of the founders of the first Baptist Church in La Grange. According to an article by Caroline Heinsohn, entitled "The Old Union Church, La Grange, Texas," published by the Fayette County Historical Commission in a weekly column called "Footprints of Fayette," the church was organized in 1840 and originally met on Clear Creek.
James Seaton Lester (1799-1879) arrived in Mina, Texas in 1834 and represented the Mina or Bastrop District at the Consultation. He later fought in the battle of San Jacinto. He represented Bastrop and Gonzales as a senator in both the First and Second Congresses, was a representative from Fayette County in the Third Congress, and a senator from Fayette, Bastrop and Gonzales in the Fourth and Fifth Congresses. He was also one of the first trustees of Baylor University. William M. Eastland (1806-1843), one of the land commissioners for Fayette County, later saw service with Gen. Alexander Somervell's Army of the South West, and stayed on in Mexico with William S. Fisher's command when the army was ordered back across the border. He was one of the men taken captive after the Mier Expedition in December 1842, and executed by the Mexican army when he drew one of the black beans determining the prisoners fates. Thomas Washington Cox (1815-1852) who was with Eastland in Mexico was one of only a handful of men to escape capture after the Mier Expedition. [see their brief biographies in the Handbook of Texas online].