Fenter, David (ca. 1794–1858)

By: Rachel Jenkins

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: January 1, 1995

David Fenter (Fenton), one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, was born in Pennsylvania, the son of German immigrant Christian Fenter. He was a Methodist and a Whig and fought in the United States Army during the War of 1812. He received title to a sitio of land in what is now Matagorda County on July 29, 1824. The census of March 1826 classified him, under the name Fenton, as a farmer and stock raiser aged between twenty-five and forty. His household included his wife, Martha (Fisher), aged between sixteen and twenty-five, and two sons. The couple eventually had a total of twelve children. A family genealogy claims that Fenter was en route to the Alamo but became ill and dropped out, thus escaping the impending massacre. Muster rolls for 1836 show one "David Fluter (Fenter)" enlisted in Capt. B. F. Ravill's company of Texas volunteers in July of that year. Fenter, a wheelwright as well as a farmer, lived in Texas for about thirteen years before returning to Arkansas, where he settled on a farm. In 1858 he died in Fenter Township, in what later became Grant County, Arkansas.

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). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Time Periods:

  • Mexican Texas

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

Rachel Jenkins, “Fenter, David,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 20, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/fenter-david.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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