In 1846, the new state of Texas was irresistible to Gideon Lee, Jr., his New York family connections, experience and resources immediately established him as a financial giant in Bexar County. He invested in land at strategic points between San Antonio and the port of Indianola along the new southern transcontinental route to San Diego. He purchased the Sulphur Springs League where the road crossed the Cibolo, he purchased over one thousand acres where the road crossed the Salado. Midway between those points, he purchased 159 acres that would become the stage stop called Cottage Hill.
Gideon Lee, Jr. was born March 24, 1824 in Putnam County, New York. His father, Gideon Lee, Sr., was a successful leather merchant, who was elected the 60th mayor of New York City, a U.S. representative from New York, a New York City alderman, and a member of the New York State Assembly. Below, Gideon Lee Senior's in his official mayoral portrait.
His mother, Isabella Williamson, was born in England and was the daughter of a Scottish minister.
Gideon Lee, Jr. served as a 1st Lieutenant in Baylor’s Company of Chevallie’s Battalion of Mounted Volunteers in the Mexican War.
In August of 1848, Gideon Lee made his first purchase: 675 acres of land in Survey 20 near the Salado Crossing on the San Antonio to Gonzales Road from W.D. Mays. Located near what is now Comanche Park and the site where Stephen F. Austin and his troops camped in 1835 before the Seige of Bexar.
In January of 1850, Gideon registered his Bexar County brand, stating he was residing on the Salado. In 1850, he was residing on the Salado in Bexar County near the Young P. Alsburys.