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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Texas: De Witt County

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Re: Descendants of D. B. Friar, DeWitt
Posted by: Brownie MacKie (ID *****7969) Date: March 05, 2004 at 13:39:01
In Reply to: Re: Descendants of D. B. Friar, DeWitt by Joyce Wells of 327

Hi, Joyce...
My e-mail address is

I have the following on D. B. Friar: [not much, because he was married to the sister of my ancestor]. His wife was Anne McGary. Her sister was Sarah McGary Wright McKisick.

Notes on D. B. Friar from sundry sources:

Marc Wrisley Sun Jun 8 17:49:03 1997
FRIAR, FRIER: Daniel Boone Friar b 7 March 1800 and d 7 Jan. 1858. According to his entry on the 1850 Census in Dewitt Co. TX he was born in Georgia. Records show he married Ann McGUIRY in Landry Parish LA on 16 Oct. 1826, at that time he stated that his parants were Daniel FRIAR and Elizabeth GARROT - a native of Columbus SC. He appeared on the 1830 Hardeman CO TN Census with 2 male children under 5 and a female between 15 and 20. Also, on the 1830 Hardeman CO TN Census, seven entries before Daniel is an entry for Robert C. Frier. Are They related? Daniel was in TX by 1827 and requesting land from Stephen F. Austin. I am not sure if I am dealing with two Daniel Boone Friars or if he just moved around a lot. Information on any of the people mentioned would be appreciated.

Friar Cuero Stage Stand

Year Marker Erected: 1974
Location: from Cuero, take US 183/US 77A north about 4 miles to 'Y' in road (just south of)

Marker Text:
In 1839 or 1840 at the junction of the La Grange - La Bahia and Victoria - Gonzales Roads (.5 miles east), Daniel Boone Friar (1800-58) built a home and store that served as a social, political, transportation, and trade center for early De Witt County. In 1841 the two-story frame structure became an overnight stop on stagecoach lines between San Antonio and coastal towns. It was designed as a temporary courthouse for the short-lived judicial county of De Witt in 1842. When the county was actually organized in 1846, the court met at Friar's place for several months. It was also the county's first post office, established on May 22, 1846, and named Cuero, with Friar as postmaster. In 1849 Friar sold the building to Crockett Cardwell (1812-91), who continued to operate it as a stage stand, store, post office, and community meeting place. The county's first Masonic lodge, Cameron Lodge No. 76, A. F. & A. M., was organized in an upstairs room in Nov. 1850 and met there until Jan. 1853. When the Gulf, Western Texas, and Pacific Railroad located the town of Cuero four miles south of the Cardwell stand in 1873, the post office was moved to that site. As the town along the railroad grew, other activities at the old stage stand ended. It was torn down in 1916.

Capt. Friar recruited from and operated from his base in the current vicinity of Cuero. He first came to Texas in 1828 as part of Austin's Colony at Washington-on-the-Brazos. In Oct 1835, he was appointed by the General Council at San Felipe de Austin to form and command a company of rangers looking after security between the Brazos and Colorado Rivers with headquarters at Ouchaco, current Waco. Although he does not appear in official records records, Capt. Friar commanded a volunteer company at the Battle of San Jacinto as attested by an order by joint resolution of the Congress of the Republic in 1838. Accounts of the Battle of Salado in 1842 refer to Capt. Friar and his 35 men from Cuero. Capt. Friar and presumably some of his men are listed on the muster roll of 23 Nov 1842 of Capt. Clark Owen' Company for the Somervell Expedition

Daniel Boone Friar often called Captain D.B. Friar, was born April 4, 1800. He came to Texas from Carolina with Robertson's Colony, Stephen F. Austin's second colony. Friar was a Mason and a Democrat of Protestant faith. He was an educated man, a real leader of men and played a prominent part in the military history of Texas in 1835-36. D.B. Friar was in command of Rangers between the Brazos and Colorado Rivers in 1835; he was a Scout at the Battle of San Jacinto and was also Captain of one of the volunteer companies. He was active in defending against Indians. In March of 1840 Dan Friar fought in the last battle of the Great Indian Wars, the Battle of Plum Creek, near Lockhart, Texas. He was also a member of the historic Mier Expedition which was formed to retaliate against the capture of Texans during the Santa Fe Expedition. Friar was probably saved from death because he followed Sam Houston's order to turn back at the banks of the Rio Grande River.

After military duties were over, Friar managed a mercantile establishment in Washington County under the name of Daniel B. Friar and Company. His business thrived during the years 1837-8. On September 21, 1839 Friar bought 1261 acres of land of the Sam Lockhart Survey, then Gonzales County, later DeWitt County, for $2500. On the La Grange-La Bahia Road which crossed his land, Friar erected a two story house. For more than a quarter century it was used as a home, store, stage-stop, post office, public hall, tavern and general community center. May 22, 1846 DeWitt County's first U.S. Post Office was established there and he served as the first Postmaster. When the county's first railroad came through Cuero, four miles south of the Friar Stage-stop, the post office was moved to Cuero. Friar had a helpful part in the early organization and progress of the area. He taught school on Cuero Creek for two years (1840-42), In 1842-46 he was appointed Commissioner to select a site for the county seat of DeWitt County. He tried to give one hundred acres from the Sam Lockhart Survey for town site lots. It was not accepted after much bickering. In 1850 the county seat was moved to Clinton, west of the Guadalupe River. Business developed in Concrete and Clinton, causing a decline at Friar's store. In September 1849 he sold 661 acres to Crockett Cardwell. Daniel remained active as a stockman in this area. Some time later he moved to Yorktown, Texas, continued ranching and established another stage-stop.

Daniel Boone Friar's wife was Anne Friar. There are conflicting facts as to her name, birth date and place. One appears on her obituary. It follows:

A Texas Pioneer Dead, Born: March 19, 1802 at Milledgeville, BaldwinCo, Georgia. Died: March 21, 1899 at Cuero, Texas. Mrs. Ann Friar died in this city yesterday at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Aaron White, at the advanced age of 87 years. Mrs. Friar was truly an old Texan, having been a resident of the state for 71 years. She, along with her husband, Daniel B. Friar, were among the first families who came as colonists with Stephen F. Austin. She was well acquainted with all the great men of Texas of early days. Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston were frequent guests at her house while they were in Texas, and it is said that General Lee was there when the news of Virginia's secession first reached him. Hers was, indeed, a life full of honor, and whose character might well be emulated by all.

Another theory concerning their marriage is in their Marriage Bond:

I, Bridget Lamb, widow of Bernard MeGairy, deceased, do hereby give my free consent to my daughter Anne McGairy to marry with Daniel B. Friar of this parish (St. Landry, Louisiana). In witness whereof I have hereunto signed at Opelousas the 5th day of October in the year 1826. Daniel B. Friar, son of Daniel Friar and Elizabeth Garrot, native of Columbia, South Carolina."

Still another place of birth comes from DeWitt County Census of 1850 - "Dan, birth place Georgia, Anne, birth place-South Carolina." Conclusion: one wife bearing all names, or two wives, each named Anne. Anne enjoyed reading Shakespeare. She was a whiz with a rifle. In January 1858 Daniel was ambushed and killed for his coins and gold. He was returning home to Yorktown from San Antonio where he had sold cattle. Dan B. and Anne are buried in Yorktown, Texas.

The Friars became parents of the following children: Sarahann, who married William Miskell, reared a family and passed the greater part of her life in DeWitt County. Alfred L., who was a soldier in General Sam Houston's army, later took part in the Mexican and Civil Wars, and passed the rest of his life as a farmer and stockman in DeWitt County. Stephen, who died unmarried. Fannie, who was the widow of Dr. Aaron C. White. Susan who was the wife of William Weisinger, sheriff of DeWitt County as long as he could be induced to hold that office. Mary, who married George Williams and spent her life in Victoria. William S., who was the father of Sidney Johnston Friar. Jack, who spent his career as a cattleman in DeWitt County and left a family by his marriage to Dordelia Peace. Ella, who was born and died in Yorktown and married John Rutledge, one of the most prominent Texas cattleman, who died in Kenedy. Edward B. who died a minor serving on the Somervell Campaign for the Republic of Texas. Anne Friar Thomas, Margaret A. Thomas, Jean Ann Friar Sheppard (From The History of DeWitt County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Media Company)



I enjoyed reading Frederick Wilkins' "The Texas Rangers: Birth and Legend" in the August 1998 issue of Wild West. Thank you for including this article commemorating the 175th anniversary of the formation of the Texas Rangers. Although Stephen F. Austin should be given the credit for organizing in 1823 or 1824 a body of Texans called rangers, the date of the formal organization of the Texas Rangers given by the author as November 24, 1835, could be questioned.

Wilkins states that "the first formal body of Texas Rangers was formed on November 24, 1835, by the passage of an ordinance and decree to establish and organize a Corps of Rangers." Wilkins is referring to the ordinance approved by the General Council of Texas on November 24, 1835, and signed on November 26 by Henry Smith, governor of Texas. The General Council was the governing body of Texas from November 14, 1835, to March 1, 1836.

Records show that there were at least seven companies of rangers organized beginning in June 1835 and prior to November 24, 1835. There were four companies organized in the summer of 1835 that served in Robertson's Colony. They were captained by Robert Morris Coleman, Robert McAlpin Williamson, Philip Haddox Cox and George Washington Barrett. On August 5, 1835, the four ranger companies met at Fort Parker and elected John Henry Moore commander of the group, with the rank of major.

The Permanent Council, the governing body of Texas from October 11 to November 13, 1835, established three companies of rangers on October 17, 1835, in response to a proposal made by Daniel Parker. The company captains were called superintendents. They were Silas M. Parker, Daniel Boone Friar and Garrison Greenwood. The superintendents were to report to the council or executive every 30 days.

The Congress of the Republic of Texas passed an act on December 10, 1836, "defining the pay of Mounted Riflemen, now and thereafter in the ranging service of the Frontier." The law stated, "That all officers and soldiers who have actually been engaged in the ranging service since July, 1835, shall be included in this act and shall receive pay for the time he is in service." This showed that the government of Texas recognized and made official the ranging companies that had been organized as early as July 1835.

A primary figure in the story of the formation of the Texas Rangers was Robert Morris Coleman. According to his claim for ranging service located in the Texas State Library, he was ordered by the Committee of Safety of (Bastrop?) to serve as "Captain of Mounted Riflemen" on the frontier. He served from June 12 to August 28, 1835. Captain Coleman wrote a letter on July 20, 1835, to Henry Rueg, political chief of the Department of Nacogdoches, giving his recommendations for organizing and financing a permanent corps of Texas Rangers. He stated that to make the frontier safe, four companies of rangers consisting of 50 men each should be organized under one commander. The four companies should be located in four separate garrisons "high up" on the several rivers in Texas. He suggested that the corps be financed with a tax levied on the public. One could argue that Coleman's proposal was the forerunner of Daniel Parker's proposal for organizing a formal corps of rangers by the Permanent Council on October 17, 1835, and later by the General Council on November 24, 1835.

Most of the above information was obtained from Volumes X and XII of Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas, a 19-volume series compiled and edited by Malcolm Dallas McLean.

Edwin G. Pierson, Jr.
Houston, Texas

Author Frederick Wilkins responds: Edwin Pierson has valid points and has done some research. To be honest, he has listed some units I did not know about. The problem here was one of space. Much of what he mentions is covered in my book The Legend Begins: The Texas Rangers 1823-1846, where I had the luxury of ample space. In the article, I had to concentrate on essentials and selected one date and action that can best be classified as the "official" birth of the Rangers. There were certainly other units in service at this time, but without the official status of the three companies authorized on November 24, 1835. We don't know what these others did, if anything, and they were soon out of service. At least one of the three "official" companies was in service for several years....Over the years I have received a lot of good information from other writers and just plain history buffs.

Malcolm Dallas McLean also responds: Mr. Pierson has done a splendid job of summarizing the information on the origin of the Texas Rangers that is contained in the various volumes of my Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas. I found a number of muster rolls that were unknown, either to the Texas State Archives or to the Texas General Land Office, and I laboriously reproduced them all in Papers, together with any correspondence that I could find to, from, or about them, and the name of every Texas Ranger that I found is carefully included in the detailed indexes to each volume. It took me 54 years to compile the 19 volumes, during which time the series won a total of 21 awards, but, by the time I got through, at 80 years of age, I was too exhausted to take on the younger generation of historical writers--who did not have access to my series because the volumes had not been published when they were taking their college courses on Texas history--and point out their errors to them. Those 19 volumes of my Papers are itemized on my Internet homepage (please see,).

1850 census DeWitt County, taken 1st Sept. 1850, page 115B, line 1-11
dwelling 12
Daniel Boone FRIAR, 50,m, farmer, Value of Real estate, 2000, GA (Milledgeville)
Baldwin County,GA
Ann " , 40, f , SC
Alfred, " , 19,m, farmer, Ten b. 1831
Sarah Ann " , 16, f, Texas 1834
William " , 14, m, Texas 1836
Susan " , 12, f, Texas
John " , 10 , m, Texas
Mary " , 8, f, Texas
Frances " , 3, f, Texas
Juliet, " , 6 months, Texas
James C. WRIGHT, 18 ,m , farmer Texas b. 1832

Colonists who held grants now in the county include Byrd Lockhart, José Antonio Valdez, George W. Davis, Valentine Bennet, Churchill Fulshear, Joseph D. Clements, John James Tumlinson, and Green DeWitt. With Charles Lockhart, Clements also served in the government of the Mexican municipality that encompassed the area after 1832 (see MEXICAN GOVERNMENT OF TEXAS). These settlers enjoyed relative peace. A treaty with the Karankawas was negotiated in 1827, Tonkawa raids were only occasional, and boundary disputes with nearby De León's colony to the south were settled without bloodshed. The only towns in the area were Gonzales to the north, Guadalupe Victoria to the south, and Bexar, the seat of government, to the northwest. Between 1826 and 1831 the area was settled by people primarily from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and other Southern states. At the onset of the Texas Revolution, these colonists pledged loyalty to Mexico until late 1835, and although no important battle occurred in the future county, many area colonists, most notably Daniel Boone Friar, Thomas R. Miller, David Murphree, John York, Bennet, Clements, and Davis were involved in the battle of Gonzales, the siege of Bexar, the battle of the Alamo, the Goliad Massacre, and the battle of San Jacinto.

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