John McFarlan (McFarlane or McFarland), one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, with his brother Achilles McFarlan, owned a cabin at the Atascosito Crossing of the Brazos River as early as May 1823; he was thus apparently the first settler at the site of San Felipe de Austin. McFarlan was judge of the alcalde election in December 1823 and was issued a life-time license by Stephen F. Austin and the Baron de Bastrop to operate the ferry at San Felipe, with the condition that he render an account every six months. On August 10, 1824, McFarlan received title to 1¼ sitios of land that later became part of Waller County. The census of March 1826 classified him as a single man aged over fifty, a farmer and stock raiser who owned five slaves. He apparently died before December 1826, when Samuel C. Hady wrote Austin that McFarlan`s estate lacked sufficient funds to pay his debts. In March 1827 John Sibley asked Austin to settle his accounts against the John McFarlan estate.
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Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1924–28). Eugene C. Barker, The Life of Stephen F. Austin (Nashville: Cokesbury Press, 1925; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1949; New York: AMS Press, 1970). 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). J. H. Kuykendall, "Reminiscences of Early Texans," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 6–7 (January, April, July 1903).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 11, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 24, 2020
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