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Bevil, John (1784–1862)

Robert Wooster Biography Entry

John Bevil, early Jasper County settler and developer, son of John Randolph and Laodicea (Burton) Bevil, was born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, on August 24, 1784. He moved to Jasper County, Georgia, where he married Frances Boynton, a native of New York, then lived in Ohio, Tennessee, and Louisiana before moving to Texas in the mid-1820s. Bevil's Settlement, the region comprising the approximate territory of Bevil Municipality and, later, modern Jasper and Newton counties, was named for him. Most writers credit Bevil with being the first settler in what later became Jasper County. In 1834 he became alcalde of the municipality. He served as a delegate from Bevil to the Consultation in 1835. He was elected chief justice of Jasper County in 1839 and resigned the position the following year. As a land speculator, he developed the townsites of Jasper and Bevilport, as well as the unsuccessful City of the Pass, downstream from Sabine City (now Sabine Pass) in Jefferson County. His propensity for land deals occasionally got him into trouble, and he was reportedly forced to leave Jasper County for a time as a result of disputes over property titles. By 1850 Bevil had amassed over $6,500 in real property. He and his first wife had eight sons. She died in 1855, and he moved to Tyler County and subsequently remarried, this time to Mrs. Clarissa Miles, a native of South Carolina. By 1860 Bevil and his wife were living in Jefferson County. He died on November 10, 1862, in Tyler County and was buried in Jasper County.

Madeleine Martin, More Early Southeast Texas Families (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1978).

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

Robert Wooster, “Bevil, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 13, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994