By Betsy Dolan
Jane Long. Deaf Smith. Carrie Nation. Mirabeau Lamar. All prominent figures in Texas lore and all early residents of Richmond. The City of Richmond will come together to celebrate its famous residents, its history and its prominent place as the county seat of Fort Bend County during their 175th anniversary celebration on September 15.
“It’s a big deal for the town,” said Rebecca Maitland, President, Historic Richmond Association. “This is a great time for us to introduce the history of Richmond to people who may not realize our important role in the founding of this area.”
It all began in 1822 when a group of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred went up the Brazos River and built a fort called Fort Bend or Fort Settlement. Fifteen years later, in 1837, Richmond was among 19 cities incorporated by the short-lived Republic of Texas. In 1889, the town was the site of the Battle of Richmond, an armed fight culminating the Jaybird-Woodpecker War, a violent feud over post-Reconstruction political control of Fort Bend County. The town’s early residents included some of the best known Texans of the period including Erastus (Deaf) Smith, Jane Long, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Mamie E. and Albert P. George and the John Moore family, whose grandson, Hilmar G. Moore is Richmond’s mayor.
The anniversary celebration which Maitland calls “an old fashioned small town celebration” is a joint effort between the city and the Historic Richmond Association, and will include a parade, trolley rides, historical walking tours, food and craft vendors, entertainment and a ceremony honoring the town’s milestone in the early evening. Richmond will also use their anniversary celebration to showcase a new park in the downtown area.
“We want to draw attention throughout the county to the interesting and important history of the county seat which is Richmond,” Maitland said. “We want to spark enough interest that people will come to Richmond, visit our downtown area and learn about the history.”