Nov 18 2014
A month and a half after the arrival of Mr. Polley, James Peacock and his brother, Leander, established themselves on the west side of the creek opposite Patton’s Bend and twelve miles below Mr. Polley. They were Tennesseans and bachelors. Mr. James Peacock, however, marrying in 1853. He had been a soldier under General Zachary Taylor in Mexico. His brother, Leander, was known as “Cap” and will be readily recalled by many people in San Antonio, whither, after the death of James Peacock, a few years after the war he went with his sister-in-law and her children.
This closed the immigration for that year. Counting adult males, the settlement, if we may so dignify it, consisted of nine Americans, three Mexicans, and five negroes. Cato, or Cato Morgan as he came to be known after emancipation, being the only darkey among the blacks who had the courage and the knowledge of firearms necessary to fight Indians. Living as they did, however, twelve miles apart, each of the settlers had perforce, to depend largely on himself and his immediate employees for defense against the savages. To go armed practically all the time, was the rule and necessity. But as there were then no breech loading repeaters and six shooters and pepper box revolvers had not appeared as per now, if then invented, a man on horseback who wished to be well armed, usually carried along with him a small arsenal: that is a long-barreled rifle in his hand, as many single-barreled pistols as he could find room for in a belt around his waist, a pair of large pistol holsters attached to his saddle, and a bowie knife. There was need to go thus protected, for while no attack was ever made on the settlement, in 1848, 1849, and 1850, the Indians came around on thieving excursions and drove off many horses. Each time they were pursued, and each time Cato Morgan volunteered and accompanied the pursuing party. But they were never overtaken.
In the spring of 1848 Creed Taylor and his brother-in-law Martin West settled on the creek three miles below the Sulphur Springs. Creed Taylor was even then a noted scout and Indian fighter. He had served in the army of the Texas Revolutionists of 1836, been constantly on the frontier up to the beginning of the War with Mexico and had then served with “Jack Hayes” under “Old Rough and Ready.” That he was a valuable acquisition to the settlement may be easily supposed. He is yet living hale and hardy at the age of 96 in Kimble County, Texas. The populations of the Cibolo Valley was further increased by the coming, that summer, of the Lansing family, who took possession of the old Mission building and made their home in it. It was too far west for them, though and they stayed but a couple of years.
In the fall Claiborne Rector, the widowed brother-in-law of Mr. Polley, who had assisted him to move from Brazoria County and had since resided with him, built a house a quarter of a mile above Mr. Polley’s and into this his brother, Pendleton Rector moved, coming from the San Marcos. Claiborne Rector had been one of the most trusted members of Deaf Smith’s Spy Company, and had performed valuable services in the revolution of 1836. Pendleton Rector had also been a soldier in the Texas army, and, at San Jacinto had been so wounded as to remain slightly cripple all his life. Both were gentlemen of nerve and high moral character, and did much toward giving tone to the community in which they lived.
The next arrival in the valley was in March 1849. Then Dr. John Sutherland came and settled on a league of land owned by him opposite the Sulphur Springs. He had been in the Alamo with Travis and Crockett and their compatriots at the time it was first learned that Santa Anna and his army were approaching the fortress, but luckily for himself and his family was sent to Gonzales and the country in touch with it for reinforcements. While on his way back he was met at the Cibolo by Mexican troops and learned of the massacre. He was a gentleman of most admirable character, and because of that and his knowledge of medicine, was greatly received as a member of the little community. He died in 1867. Two of his sons, Jack Sutherland and W.T. Sutherland, still live within twelve miles of the Springs.