Iiams, John (ca. 1781–1827)

By: Robert Wooster

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1995

John Iiams (Ijams, Jiams), early Texas settler, was born in Virginia about 1781. By 1809 he was living with his wife, Mary (Haslett), and their two sons, Richard and John Iiams, Jr., in Ohio. Mary disappeared from records now extant by 1818, and Iiams, his second wife, Tabitha (Kincaid), and his two sons moved to Louisiana. There Richard died and another son was born. The family embarked at Berwick's Bay for Texas in 1822. Iiams landed on Galveston Island on June 3, 1822. He and his family settled at Cedar Point on Galveston Bay, in what is now Chambers County. Three more children were born in Texas. As one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, Iiams received title to a league of land on August 7, 1824. The 1826 census of the Atascosito District listed him as a millwright, farmer, and stock raiser. He encountered difficulty in having his land surveyed to his satisfaction, as did many early Texans. Critical of the efforts of Johnson C. Hunter in this regard, Iiams threatened to "leave the State altho I have the best Improvement that I have seen in the Colony." He died in 1827. Sam Houston later acquired the land from Tabitha Iiams Harris. After extended litigation the courts upheld Houston's title over the claims of Andrew Janeway Yates of Houston.

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). John Jiams and Mary Haslett, Genealogy Collection, Sam Houston Regional Library, Liberty, Texas. Miriam Partlow, Liberty, Liberty County, and the Atascosito District (Austin: Pemberton, 1974).
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

Robert Wooster, “Iiams, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 21, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/iiams-john.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995

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