Betts, Jacob (unknown–1837)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 30, 2018

Jacob Betts, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, came to Texas from Georgia as early as 1822 and voted in an alcalde election in August 1823. As one of the Old Three Hundred he received title to a sitio now in Matagorda County on August 19, 1824. In May 1825 he wrote to Austin stating that he had spent three years "in poverty and misery" in Texas, where he had come looking for better times, and that he was dissatisfied with "soft words and fair promises" and wanted more land. In 1826 he sold half a league to James Grant (possibly Dr. James Grant). Thomas M. Duke wrote Austin from Bay Prairie on January 3, 1827, that the Karankawa Indians had destroyed the Betts homestead, and on May 13, 1827, Betts was among those signing a treaty with the Karankawas at La Bahía. In 1836 Betts was among the men serving in Albert Clinton Horton's company, the Matagorda Volunteers, under James W. Fannin. He died on October 31, 1837, and his daughter Mary Betts Kincheloe was administrator of his estate.

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). Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., Houston: Armstrong, 1986). Harriet Smither, ed., "The Diary of Adolphus Sterne," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 30 (October 1926, January, April 1927). William Barret Travis, Diary, ed. Robert E. Davis (Waco: Texian Press, 1966).

Time Periods:

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Betts, Jacob,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 30, 2018

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: