TEXAS STORIES FROM THE PAST


JOSEPH HARBOUR

It is not known exactly when or where Joseph Harbour met up with Stephen F. Austin's second colony into Texas, only that he traveled with them and it is recorded that on Christmas Day 1825, they crossed the Brazos River about two miles south of the present site of Old Washington in an area called New Year's Creek and is where Joseph settled with his family.

Upon satisfying the Mexican government's requirements, Joseph received a grant for a league and a labor of land from Mexico on 30 May 1828. The land equaled seven square miles of land (one league=4,428 acres plus one labor=177 acres, a total of 4,605 acres)which was located in Washington County at New Year's Creek. Joseph lived the remainder of his life here as a farmer and rancher.

A family legend says that Joseph buried or hid money in hollow trees. He died after a man by the name of Greenwood shot him for the purpose of robbery. Greenwood was arrested but it is not known whether justice was done. The occurance was in Washington County, Texas, USA in July 1839, probably at or near Joseph's residence. The family never found any of the hidden money, but many years later some money, a few hundred dollars, was found by some neighbor boys in a hollow tree on land that had been owned by Joseph Harbour.

On his land, high on a hill, where a cool breeze blows, overlooking hills of beautiful hardwood trees is where Joseph chose the spot for his family cemetery, the place where he and many members of his family is buried. Time has taken it's tole as crude cement stones are broken and any that was made of wood have since rotted away over the 161 years since Joseph's death 25 Jul 1839.


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