By Betsy Dolan
When Danny and Barbara Clark moved to the River’s Edge subdivision in Richmond six months ago they had no idea that their family tree had come full circle. Turns out, part of the subdivision used to be land owned by one of Danny Clark’s ancestors, Randall Jones, who was a member of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred and an important figure in Texas history in the mid 1800’s. Now the Clark’s are hoping a new LCISD elementary school in Long Meadow Farms, which also sits on land once owned by Randall Jones, can be named in his honor.
“This entire thing is just very coincidental,” said Barbara Clark who has spent several years researching her husband’s family. “We aren’t from Texas but we have lived here for years and we had no idea that part of my husband’s family actually settled here.”
According to Clark’s research, Randall Jones joined the Long expedition from Louisiana to Texas and later helped build a house for Long on San Jacinto Bay. He became an advisor to Stephen F. Austin and is credited with bringing the first large herd of cattle to Richmond. Jones was also instrumental in the push to trademark and register brands and proposed legislation for the prevention of prairie fires. Jones fought in the War of 1812, was captain of the Texas Militia where he commanded the battle of Jones Creek in 1824 and served in the Texas Army during the second Mexican invasion. He is buried at the State Cemetery in Austin.
“When I started digging, I discovered that Randall Jones’ father-in-law, William Andrews, actually owned the land that Foster High School is on today. We didn’t know that when they were deciding on a name for the new high school.” Barbara said. “But that made us want to pursue this link to Randall Jones and call attention to his contributions in this area.”
Calling the Jones connection “exciting and surprising”, the Clarks have applied to have the new elementary school, which is not yet under construction, named after Jones. They have filled out the paperwork, submitted the necessary historical information and are encouraging people to write letters of support. LCISD will make their recommendation in the coming months, but in the meantime the Clarks are enjoying their famous branch in the family tree.
“I just can’t get over the coincidence of it”, Barbara said. “We’ve lived in the area for over 20-years and had no idea we had such a history here.”
Randall Jones married Polly Andrews, daughter of William Andrews, another of the Old 300 who owned the land down FM 723 where Foster High School is located. Randall and Polly were buried on their labor of land on the west side of the bridge in Richmond, but their remains were removed to the State Cemetery in Austin in 1934 as a veteran of the war of 1812, Delegate of the Consultation of 1835, and veteran of the Republic of Texas ( www.cemetery.state.tx.us). See attached resources.