The Mexicans

The area around Smithville was part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Texas as it remained between the defeat of Spain by Mexico in 1821 until the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 which established the Republic of Texas. In the battle of San Jacinto, General Sam Houston's troops defeated the Mexican troops near what is now Houston. Central Texas was a long way from the capital of Mexico City and Mexico found it very difficult to maintain control. Bastrop was the closest town to the Smithville area during the period of time. In fact the town of Bastrop was founded in 1832 and was the only town in the county (Kesselus, 1986, p. 102). The town never took on a Mexican character, since "there were no Mexican authorities present to force the issue (the development of a Mexican style town square) and extremely few, if any, Mexican natives to promote a Mexican character" (Kesselus, 1986, p. 103).

There is a story told that "according to an old tradition believed and repeated by travelers in the 1820's, fabulous mines of silver were worked by the Mexicans in this immediate vicinity. The Mexicans grew afraid of the roving bands of plundering Indians and buried a large amount of their metal near the banks of the little creek East of Smithville, now known as Gazely. Later prospectors searched vainly for the location of this silver, and their tales induced Dr. Thomas G. Gazley to come here and make the fortune his own." (Smithville Times, 1995, p. 23)

Personal histories as told by the residents themselves:

  • Phil Mounger (1996)-"Segregation in Railroad Jobs"

    Kesselus, Kenneth (1986). History of Bastrop County, Texas before statehood .Austin, TX: Jenkins Publishing Co.

    History of Smithville 1827-1895. (1995, October 19) The Smithville Times Special Centennial Edition, p. 23.

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