Stephen F Austin Death Site Oak - West Columbia, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member WayBetterFinder
N 29° 09.330 W 095° 39.222
15R E 241868 N 3228127
Stephen F. Austin was the "Father of Texas." He died in the house built beside this oak tree on property owned by his friend, George B. McKinstry, who lived here at that time.
Waymark Code: WM10MAT
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 05/27/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 1

The history of Texas, and more immediately the history of the Republic of Texas, was written and shaped by Stephen F. Austin. Known as "The Father of Texas" Stephen F Austin worked with his father, Moses Austin, to get land grants from the Mexican government to use to attract settlers into what is now know as Texas. The negotiations with Mexico were close to closing favorably when Moses Austin died. His son, Stephen F Austin continued the negotiations and succeeded in obtaining the land rights. Austin then recruited what is now called the Original 300, the group of people who signed on to colonize his land grant. As the right man at the right time, Stephen F Austin, helped to council the settlers and politicians who were feeling the oppression of the Mexican government under the dictatorial leadership of a military President, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. As the conflicts grew, Austin and the leaders of the settlements drafted a Constitution and declared independence from Mexico. During the battles that were fought during 1835 to 1836, Austin was the diplomat who tried to broker negotiations between the Texians and Mexicans. When Santa Anna finally surrendered and the Republic of Texas was officially a new nation, Stephen F Austin was elected the Republic of Texas' Secretary of State.
Stephen F Austin was only two months into his newly elected role as Secretary of State of the Republic of Texas when he was traveling through what is now West Columbia and stopped to visit his friend George B, McKinstry at this location. McKinstry's house was built near a group of oak trees, with this one being the beside the house. Unfortunately, he was suffering with pneumonia and died on 27 December 1836 at 43 years old in McKinstry's house. Originally, Stephen F. Austin was buried at the Gulf Prairie Cemetery in Jones Creek, TX but in 1910 his remains were moved to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, TX.

This live oak tree has survived both Stephen Fuller Austin and his friend George B. McKinstry and is a living reminder of the events related to the formation of the Republic of Texas, and the State of Texas, whether Confederate or US. In 1936, the centennial year of the creation of Texas, a large grey granite marker about George B McKinstry, his house, and the death of Stephen F Austin was placed under this tree. The property was neglected in subsequent years until it was purchased by Billy F. Price, a Houston businessman. Mr. Price repaired the property and added the tall flag pole so the Texas flag could fly continuously. There is a concrete slab poured about 50 feet in front of this famous tree and at one end of the concrete is a small granite marker stating, "Stephen F Austin Died Here." while the other end had a concrete bench on which guests may sit. The oak tree stands sentry over both markers.

To get to this famous tree and to see the markers, if traveling on TX-36 from the direction from Needville toward Brazoria, then as you enter the city of West Columbia look for the junction of TX-36 with Hogg Ranch Road/Oil Field Road/CR467. (I know! Its confusing. I missed it the first time too!) There is a sign near the road name sign saying this is a Dead End road. If you see that you are turning at the correct place. The road do dead end but miles farther down the road, well beyond where the Stephan F Austin Death Oak is located. Stay on the roadway for Oil Field Road where the road divides (stay to the right). You will see a black iron fence surrounding a well manicured yard with giant oak trees in the yard and an even taller flag pole. You have arrived.

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Historic Event:
Part of the history of the formation of the Republic of Texas Stephen F Austin's death site, where he died 27 Dec 1836 of pneumonia. Austin was then the elected Secretary of State for the Republic of Texas

Year: December 27, 1836

Species: Live Oak

Approximate Age: 203

Location: Oil Field Road in West Columbia, TX

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