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WHETSTONE, PETER (?–1843). In 1838 Peter Whetstone, the founder of Marshall, obtained a grant in Harrison County under a first-class certificate, a fact that signified he was a married man and a resident of Texas at the time of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. In 1841, as an inducement to the commissioners who were to locate a site for the county seat of Harrison County, he offered land for a church and a school and 190 city lots. The offer was accepted, and Whetstone's friend, Isaac Van Zandt, reportedly named the town and its streets. Apparently Whetstone was unable to read or write. He was drawn into the Regulator-Moderator War as a Moderator, and in November 1843 he was killed by a Colonel Boulware on the courthouse square. An obituary describes him as "a noted freebooter who for many years has been an object of terror and hatred on the eastern frontier of Texas." It claims that he had murdered at least twenty people. It also states that his death occurred at his house, twenty miles from Shreveport. His widow, Dicy, was appointed administrator of his estate, which was settled some years later. Whetstone's grave is unmarked, but tradition locates it on Southwest Road off Westend Boulevard, near his homesite west of Marshall.


Students of Marshall High School, Sketches Drawn from Marshall and Vicinity (Marshall, Texas, 1919). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Sallie M. Lentz


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

Sallie M. Lentz, "WHETSTONE, PETER," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.