STEPHEN F. AUSTIN ELEMENTARY
Jones Creek, Texas
A Trail From The Past, A Journey To The Future
Stephen F. Austin Elementary School, named after the Father of Texas, serves the Jones Creek area. Austin Elementary, "The Pride of Jones Creek," is a Pre-K through 6th grade school, the only one in the district.
Stephen Fuller Austin (November 3, 1793 - December 27, 1836) was an American empresario born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. He was known as the Father of Texas, led the second, but first legal and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families to his settlement, the Austin Colony; these 300 are now know in Texas history as the Old Three Hundred. The first U.S. colonist crossed into the granted territory by land and sea, on the Brazos River in present-day Brazoria County Texas.
After winning independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto, the First Republic of Texas Congress convened in Columbia (now known as West Columbia). It was here that Sam Houston took the office as President of Texas and Stephen F. Austin as the first Secretary of State.
In December 1836, Austin was in the new capital of Columbia where he caught a severe cold; his condition worsened. Doctors were called in, but could not help him. Austin died of pneumonia at noon on December 27, 1836, at the home of George B McKinstry right outside of what is now West Columbia, Texas. Austin's last words were "The independence of Texas is recognized! Don't you see it in the paper?..." Upon hearing of Austin death, Houston ordered an official statement proclaiming: "The Father of Texas is no more; the first pioneer of the wilderness has departed."
The Father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin, first settled in Jones Creek. His original grave resides in the Gulf Prairie Cemetery located on Gulf Prairie Road in Jones Creek. Austin's body was moved, however, in 1910 to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.
Emily Austin Perry (Stephen F. Austin's sister) and her second husband, James Franklin Perry settled in Jones Creek too at the now historic Peach Point Plantation. Jones Creek is named for Randal Jones, a military leader of early lower Brazos Anglo colonists. Jones led the June 22, 1824, attack on a group of Karankawa Indians on the banks of a certain small stream of water, a creek, located in the lower Brazos region. Afterwards this particular creek near the San Bernard River became associated with the name "Jones", and the event was noted in history as "The Battle of Jones Creek". Thereafter, the geographic vicinity of this very creek, and not just the creek itself, became described a Jones Creek too.
There are Recorded Historic Texas Landmarks in Jones Creek for each of the following:
- Major Reuben R. Brown
- Battle of Jones Creek
- Major Guy M. Bryan
- William Joel Bryan
- Major James Peckham Caldwell
- Ellerslie Plantation
- Gulf Prairie
- Henry William Munson
- Peach Point
- Little Old House at Peach Point
- Emily Margaret Brown Austin Bryan Perry
- James Franklin Perry