Herman Aiken, soldier, surveyor, and pioneer, was born in 1809 in Deering, New Hampshire, reared in Illinois, and left home at age fourteen to support himself. He arrived in Texas in 1833 and in 1835 was captain of a vessel carrying men and supplies for the revolutionary army from New Orleans to Galveston. After Texas won its independence, he established a general store at Old Nashville and later another at Caldwell. Aiken undertook several exploratory trips to the future area of Bell County in the mid-1840s, and from 1846 to 1848 he served as captain in the Mexican War. In 1851 he moved to his home, Casa Blanca, in Bell County; he moved to Troy in 1857 and to Salado in 1859. When Coryell County was established in 1854, Aiken was hired to survey the new county. In the same year he helped build the Cumberland Baptist Church in Belton. During the 1850s he assisted in the promotion of two Bell County communities-Aiken, which flourished briefly during the 1850s and 1860s, and the more permanent community of Salado. Herman Aiken was a member of the founding board of trustees of Salado College in 1859. He married a German emigrant named Margaret in the 1830s and had at least four children. He died on November 27, 1860, and was the first person buried in the old cemetery at Salado.