Isaacks, Samuel (1804–1878)

By: S. J. Isaacks

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: March 6, 2019

Samuel Isaacks, perhaps the earliest Jewish settler in Texas, the son of Esther (Donaho) and Elijah Isaacks, was born in Tennessee on April 21, 1804. He moved to Texas with William Andrews and was somewhere on the Brazos River when Stephen F. Austin arrived with his first colonists. Austin, not having the 300 families provided for in his contract with the Mexican government, drafted Isaacks as one of his Old Three Hundred colonists. Isaacks's grant of a league and a labor of land, made on July 15, 1824, was located in a bend of the Brazos across from the site of present Rosenberg. He was awarded bounty land in Polk County for his services during the Texas Revolution. Isaacks's first wife, Nancy (Allen), whom he married in September 1824, was the mother of William Allen and John Leary Isaacks. After her death about 1828, he married Martha Richardson in 1832, and they had twelve children. About 1855 Isaacks moved to Harris County across from the mouth of Buffalo Bayou, built wharves, and opened a road to Cold Springs, along which he freighted supplies from Galveston by ox wagon. With the building of railroads he disposed of his wagons and teams and bought land on Taylor's Bayou, near Seabrook, where he lived until his death in 1878. Samuel and Martha Isaacks were initially buried on their property, but were reinterred on the west side Taylor Lake at the Hammer McFaddin Harris Cemetery.

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). Houston Chronicle, August 8, 2017. Houston Post, April 28, 1938. Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989). Clarence Wharton, Wharton's History of Fort Bend County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1939).

  • Peoples
  • Jews
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers
Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas

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

S. J. Isaacks, “Isaacks, Samuel,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

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March 6, 2019

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