Friday, October 16, 2009

The Beginning:

Thomas Jefferson Gazley’s life began on August 13, 1798, near the Clinton - LaGrange area of Duchess County, New York. This location was not too unlike LaGrange, Fayette County, Texas, or Smithville, Bastrop County, Texas. Each of these locations had easy access to broad waterways (the Hudson River and the Colorado River respectively); and each contained ample fresh water, abundant wildlife, and rolling country rich in minerals and agricultural resources. Those assets were sufficient to offer opportunities for sustained settlement and trade with the outside world. It was into this type of environment that Thomas Jefferson Gazley began his life, and in which he established his new frontier home upon his arrival in “Tejas”.

(Birth Date Note: Multiple data sources have been studied. Six of those indicate that Gazley was born on January 8, 1801; and, six other sources indicate that he was born in 1798, with two specific as to August 13, 1798. Clarifying information will be both beneficial and appreciated.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Geographic/Historic/Introductory Notes:

An area eighteen-hundred ox-cart miles southwest of New York City, around the year1800, would have been situated in the middle of relatively unsettled Mexican territory during a time of domination by Spain. In less than thirty years, this area would have become the new frontier of Tejas at a time of aggressive settlement, transition in government, and civil unrest. Soon thereafter, and at great effort and sacrifice, it would become part of the Republic of Texas; and still later, it would join the United States of America as part of the State of Texas.

Bastrop County, and more specifically the town of Smithville where Thomas Jefferson Gazley lived his meaningful Texas years, are situated near the heart of this historically significant area.

In some instances, such as Gazley’s birth date, research findings have been inconsistent. In other instances, pertinent details regarding significant events have yet to be found. Accordingly, there is a need for more factual input from knowledgeable sources. Informative or enhancing comments will be appreciated.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Gazley Bridge

This is a cooperative project which is intended to be a developing historical account of the life of a true Texas hero, Doctor Thomas Jefferson Gazley, the first known settler of present day Smithville, Texas, at a time when Texas was still a part of Mexico. Just as his namesake bridge spanned the physical gap between his 1827 settlement, Gazley Prairie, and the ensuing 1895 town named Smithville, The Gazley Bridge is intended to span an informational gap regarding Dr. Gazley’s life, contributions, and achievements in Texas, by bringing a collection of historical facts into focus in a central location for future reference by interested individuals. Your factual additions and enhancement will be appreciated.

Thomas Jefferson Gazley

Medical Doctor

Pioneer Texian

Founding Settler of Smithville, Texas

Clerk to the Mexican ayuntamiento

Member of Committee for Safety and Vigilance

Physician in the Texas Army

Soldier in the War for Texas Independence

Signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence

Legislator for the Republic of Texas

Attorney and Judge

Charter Grand Senior Warden of Masons in Texas

True Texas Hero