On this day in 1850, the state legislature chose a new site for the county seat of Denton County because of a lack of water at the former site, the town of Alton. The legislature had established Alton, less than a mile from the site of present-day Corinth in the east central part of the county, to replace Pinckneyville as county seat in 1848, and for nearly three years the residence of W. C. Baines, the only person living in Alton, served as the legal center of the county. The new site, five miles south of the site of present-day Denton near Hickory Creek, kept the name Alton, and by 1855 boasted at least two stores, a hotel, and a post office. In 1856, however, residents of the county demanded a new county seat. They argued that Alton was not in the center of the county, that the water from the standing pools in Hickory Creek had made a number of families ill, and that the development of the town had been unsatisfactory. As a result of these complaints, in an election held in November 1856, Denton County voters accepted an offer from Hiram Cisco, William Loving, and William Woodruff to provide 100 acres of their property for a new county seat. This new site, near the center of the county, was named Denton. Soon after the establishment of the new county seat Alton disappeared.
On this day in 1930, his wedding anniversary, H. L. Hunt made a deal with "Dad" Joiner that made him owner of Daisy Bradford No. 3 and all Joiner's surrounding leases in the East Texas Oilfield. Hunt had got his start in the oil industry in El Dorado, Arkansas. He used money from an El Dorado clothier, P. G. Lake, to buy out Joiner in 1930. By 1932 Hunt had 900 wells in East Texas. In 1935 he divided his company into trusts for his six acknowledged children. In late 1936 he acquired the Excelsior Refining Company in Rusk County and changed its name to Parade Refining Company. It was residue gas from this company's lines that blew up the New London school on March 18, 1937. In 1937 or 1938 the Hunts moved to Dallas. On April 5, 1948, Fortune magazine labeled Hunt the richest man in the United States. On November 26, 1914, Hunt had married Lyda Bunker in Arkansas. They had the six children mentioned above. But on Armistice Day 1925, under the name Franklin Hunt, Hunt had also married Frania Tye in Florida, and they had four children. "Franny" didn't know about Lyda until 1934. Hunt apparently shipped Franny off to New York and in 1941 provided trusts for the four children. A friend of Hunt's, John Lee, married her and gave his name to the children. Lyda Hunt died in 1955. In November 1957 Hunt married Ruth Ray and adopted her four children--appropriately enough, for Hunt was their real father. After their marriage, H. L. and Ruth Hunt became Baptists. In his later life Hunt promoted "constructive" politics in two radio shows, "Facts Forum" and "Life Line." In 1952 "Facts Forum" endorsed Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1960 Hunt published a romantic utopian novel, Alpaca , and in 1968 he began to process aloe vera cosmetics. He died on November 29, 1974.
On this day in 1821, Austin Colony pioneer Abner Kuykendall and his family crossed the Brazos River into Texas via the La Bahía Road. The Kuykendall party also included Abner's wife Sarah and sons Barzillai, Gibson, Jonathan, and William; his brother Joseph and Joseph's wife Rosanna; his father-in-law William Gates; and his brother-in-law Amos Gates. At Nacogdoches they were joined by another brother, Robert H. Kuykendall Sr. The three brothers were among the first of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists.
On this day in 1835, Texan forces defeated a Mexican column in the so-called Grass Fight. The Texas army besieging San Antonio was informed at mid-morning that Mexican cavalrymen with pack animals were approaching. Thinking that the column might be carrying pay for the Mexican army, the Texans attacked with cavalry and infantry. Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos, commander of the Mexican garrison in San Antonio, sent out infantrymen and an artillery piece. The Texans eventually drove the Mexicans back. Texas losses included four wounded, while Mexican losses numbered three dead and fourteen wounded. The pack train, the Texans discovered, was carrying only grass for the Mexican army animals.