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The Old 300

Colonial tales of 

Stephen F Austin.jpg

The Old 300

Living in the midst of a booming suburban real estate bonanza, it is easy to miss the fact that we are but one chapter in an ongoing story.  The history of how Fulshear, Simonton, and Fort Bend County came to exist goes back many centuries.  From the earliest native Indians who first roamed this area thousands of years ago, to Stephen F. Austin, Randolph Foster, Churchill Fulshear, and many others who left their imprint on this territory, we are simply players in a much larger drama.


When Stephen F. Austin and his Old 300 settlers came to our area, Texas was a foreign land that belonged to Spain and, after a 10-year war known as the Mexican Revolution, became a part of Mexico in early 1821.


In 1820, a year before Mexico attained independence from European colonial power, Spain had opened up the land of Texas to Anglo-Americans. In return for helping to deter aggressive Plains Indians, professing the Catholic faith, and increasing economic development in the area, Spain would offer generous, tax-free land grants to Americans. 

By June 1821, Stephen F. Austin acquired the Spanish entrepreneurial title of empresario and assumed the role of bringing hundreds of families to Texas as productive contributors to the Mexican economy.


The Old 300 actually consisted of 297 individuals who came to Texas with Austin from 1821-1824.  Nine received land grants to settle in the Fulshear-Simonton area.  These early settlers were allotted land based on farming and livestock needs.  Each head of a family could claim one league of grazing land (4,428 acres) and one labor of farmland (177 acres).  Some journeyed with Austin; others came by wagons, schooners, and keelboats down the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.  A party that sailed from New Orleans built a two-room cabin on a bluff near a deep bend in the Brazos River.  That cabin became known as Fort Bend. 

For more about the Old 300, visit Fulshear Magazine, 2016, Issue 1, page 48.

The story of Stephen F. Austin and his Old 300 settlers is a saga of intrepid, industrious pioneers who braved turbulent river currents, and uncompromising terrain, to settle what has become today's beautiful Fulshear-Simonton area.


Learn how Randolph Foster, Churchill Fulshear and many others left their imprint on this territory.

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