Thomas B. Bell, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, received title to a league of land now in Brazoria County from the Baron de Bastrop on August 16, 1824. On October 3, 1825, he headed a committee at Cedar Lake that wrote to Austin about the best means of contending with the Karankawa Indians. The Colorado District census of 1825 listed Bell, and the 1826 Texas census described him as a farmer and stock raiser aged between twenty-five and forty, with a wife and three children. While petitioning for additional land in 1829, Bell gave his wife's name as Prudencio and his residence as Austin Municipality. Noah Smithwick visited him in 1835 at his pole cabin on the San Bernard River. Bell is probably the Thomas Bell who served in Capt. John York's company of volunteers for the revolutionary army from about September 1835 to December 1835, participated in the siege of Bexar, and received donation and bounty land grants for his military service. He received a donation certificate for 640 acres in Archer County and a bounty warrant for 320 acres in the same county in summer 1857. Bell may have been the Thomas Bell who was a bearer of a Lone Star flag in the battle of Concepción in 1835. A Thomas B. Bell served on the committee that printed the Goliad Declaration of Independence, which was distributed in December 1835. A Thomas Bell lived with his family in Austin County in February 1844.
Is history important to you?
We need your support because we are a non-profit organization that relies upon contributions from our community in order to record and preserve the history of our state. Every penny helps.
Please make your contribution today.
Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Adele B. Looscan, "Harris County, 1822–1845," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 18–19 (October 1914-July 1915). Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days (Austin: Gammel, 1900; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983). Telegraph and Texas Register, February 28, 1844. Texas State Gazette, August 28, 1852.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Bell, Thomas B.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 22, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 13, 2018
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: