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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Why was the first marriage in the Ellis County area so important to the City of Waxahachie?

According to Mr Robert F Mayfield whose father settled in Reagor Springs in 1844,
"The first marriage ceremony in what is now Ellis County"
did not take place in Waxahachie but Ovilla, Texas. This is important to Waxahachie because the first groom of the future Ellis County, James Sterrett, indirectly convinced Emory W Rogers to visit the Ellis County area. How? Well getting a marriage license and a JOP in the Texas Frontier of 1844 twern't no easy task. During Stephen F Austin's Old Three Hundred days many times the groom had to draft and sign a contract that stated he would officially get married as soon as a preacher was found. If he didn't he would pay a penalty to the government. Well in this case, James Sterrett had to travel to a town named Franklin in Robertson county. Sterret "procured" the license and a preacher. While there Sterrett sold some folks in Franklin on the opportunity of the Ellis County area. The town sent some "prospectors" a month later to investigate this land of James Sterrett. Among the "prospectors" Emory W. Rogers. The rest is History. It is on Mr. Rogers land that Waxahachie was given it's birth.

-Hanbook of Texas Online
"Waxahachie was established as the seat of the new county in August 1850 on land donated by Emory W. Rogers, a pioneer settler"

The first church building was constructed in 1851 on land owned by Rogers.

Marvin College,
"was built in the northeast part of town on forty acres donated by Emory W. Rogers."

Waxahachie City Cememtery was started by Emory Rogers donation
The original 4.16 acree tract was given in 1858 to trustees of the Methodist Church by Emory W. Rogers (d. 1874), who was Waxahachie's first settler (1846) and donor of land for the townsite.

The Rogers Hotel was
"Named for the founder of Waxahachie, Emory W. Rogers, who built his log cabin home in 1847 on this site and donated land for the Ellis County Courthouse in 1850."

Book Resources:"The History of Ovilla" and "Memorial and Biographical History of Ellis County"


Anonymous said...

So I'm guessing this Starret guy is whom the town of Starret is named?

Creeker said...

Seems like that would make sense that Starret was named after James or his descendants. Not much on the internet about Starrett. Probably in the library.