George Washington Scarborough, pioneer Southern Baptist minister, son of Irwin and Frances (Cannon) Scarborough, was born in Lawrence County, Mississippi, on April 13, 1831. He received only the rudimentary schooling available in the rural areas of Mississippi and Louisiana, where he was raised and began adulthood as a planter. He married Martha Elizabeth Rutland in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, on June 20, 1850. They had nine children, but only five grew to maturity, including George Adolphus and Lee Rutland Scarborough. George Washington Scarborough served in the Confederate Army as a second lieutenant in Capt. William W. Ferrill's Company, First Regiment of the Arizona Brigade, Mounted Partisan Rangers. After the war he tried to settle with his family in Lampasas County, Texas, but Indian strife forced him to return to Louisiana. In 1873 he again moved to Texas, this time to a farm near Waco. There, on October 3, 1874, he was ordained to the Southern Baptist ministry. Late in 1877 he purchased 500 acres of land on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River near Phantom Hill, and the following year he moved to that area, which became Jones County after organization. Under a brush arbor before an assembly of eight he preached the first sermon ever delivered in Jones County; he later established the first church in the county and, in 1880, built the first school there. During the next two decades Scarborough was the principal figure in the founding of some twenty churches in Texas, including those at Anson, Abilene, Stamford, Haskell, Big Spring, Colorado City, Snyder, and Sweetwater. He died at the home of his son, Lee, in Cameron on June 27, 1899.
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James Cox, Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry (2 vols., St. Louis: Woodward and Tiernan Printing, 1894, 1895; rpt., with an introduction by J. Frank Dobie, New York: Antiquarian, 1959). Laura J. D. Scarborough, Southern Kith and Kin (4 vols., Abilene, Texas, 1951–58). Hooper Shelton and Homer Hutto, The First 100 Years of Jones County (Stamford, Texas: Shelton, 1978).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Robert K. DeArment,
“Scarborough, George Washington,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 30, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
June 1, 1995