James Blair Patrick, early Texas settler and public official, was born about 1800 in Kentucky. On May 29, 1828, he married Polly "Mary" Jane Ponton, sister of Andrew Ponton, in Cooper County, Missouri, and came with the Ponton family to DeWitt's colony in 1829. As a married man with no children, he received on September 3, 1831, a sitio of land, the amount given to families who engaged in stock raising. Patrick also received free, as a "mechanic," two lots in the town of Gonzales. In 1830 he was elected to complete Fielding Porter's unexpired term as comisario of police in the colony, and in December 1830 he was reelected to a full term. In December 1832 Patrick was elected alcalde, and on May 17, 1835, he was selected to a seat on the Gonzales Committee of Safety. After the fall of the Alamo was confirmed, the citizens of Gonzales evacuated the town. At the same time, Sam Houston and his army retreated eastward from Gonzales and set fire to the empty village. Destroyed in the blaze were two houses that Patrick had built, one on each of his two town lots. His wife died in 1838 in San Felipe, and on July 12, 1839, Patrick married Temperance Smith, widow of Stephen Smith. At that time Patrick had a daughter less than two years of age and a six-year-old son; his new wife had four young daughters. In January 1840 Patrick was one of the three Gonzales County commissioners chosen to assist the Traveling Board of Land Commissioners in verifying land claims. That year he owned 2,214 acres, one-third of a town lot, and a saddle horse. In 1840 he also served as a Gonzales alderman. His second wife died in December 1845. Patrick was living on the San Marcos River in Gonzales County in 1850, sharing his home with an eighteen-year-old son and a ten-year-old daughter. He claimed real estate valued at $5,000 and was working as a ferryman. On February 16, 1852, when Gonzales College was chartered, Patrick was listed as a trustee, as well as a stockholder in the Gonzales School Association, which established the college. In 1860 he listed his occupation as farmer and claimed $2,000 worth of real estate and $5,000 in personal property. Patrick was a Mason and was described by one source as a "soldier-surveyor." James B. Patrick died at Gonzales in 1866.
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James David Carter, Masonry in Texas: Background, History and Influence to 1846 (Waco: Grand Lodge of Texas, 1955). Hans Peter Nielsen Gammel, comp., Laws of Texas, 1822–1897 (10 vols., Austin: Gammel, 1898). Gonzales County Historical Commission, History of Gonzales County (Dallas: Curtis, 1986). Virginia H. Taylor Houston, "Surveying in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (October 1961). Edward Albert Lukes, DeWitt Colony of Texas (Austin: Jenkins, 1976). Ethel Zivley Rather, "DeWitt's Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 8 (October 1904). Texas Sentinel, February 5, 1840. Gifford E. White, Amy White of the Old 300 (Austin: Nortex, 1986).
Founders and Pioneers
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Mary M. Standifer
Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell,
“Patrick, James Blair,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 27, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
December 17, 2021
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