The Marriage of Charles Bellinger Stewart
Where Did You Go for Your Honeymoon?
Kameron K. Searle
County is very proud to have been the home of Charles
Bellinger Stewart and the birthplace of the Lone Star Flag.
As we will see in the coming weeks, Charles B. Stewart would
play an active role in the early history of Montgomery County
and in the establishment of the Town of Montgomery as the
first county seat. Later, historians would credit him with
designing the Lone Star Flag and the Seal of Texas in the Town
of Montgomery in 1839.
On March 1, 1836, at Washington (Washington-on-the Brazos),
the Texian independence convention began. The convention
lasted from March 1 to March 17, 1836. The delegates to the
convention declared Texas independent from Mexico on March 2,
1836. One of these delegates was Charles B. Stewart.
Stewart, who had already served as the first Secretary of
State of Texas, was an active member of the convention where
he signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and was a
member of the committee that drafted the Constitution of the
Republic of Texas.
On March 6, 1836, the Alamo fell. As the Texas
Revolution raged on, an interesting and little known fact
about C. B. Stewart occurred. C. B. Stewart, one of the most
active members of the Convention at Washington, left the
convention for several days and got married! On March 8,
1836, James Hall, Judge of the Municipality of Washington,
authorized “W.W. Shepperd of Lake Creek to celebrate a
contract of marriage between C B Stewart & Julia Shepperd.”
Stewart left Washington and traveled to the house of W. W.
Shepperd in Lake Creek where he married Julia Shepperd (W. W.
Shepperd's daughter) on March 11, 1836. Stewart then
returned to the Convention at Washington by March 16 where he
signed the Constitution of the Republic of Texas on March 17,
reason, probably a photograph taken later in his life, Texas
founding father, Charles B. Stewart, is always thought of and
portrayed as an older man. According to a number of sources,
Charles B. Stewart was born on February 6, 1806. Other sources
provide a date of February 18, 1806. So, Stewart would have
just turned 30 the month before he signed the Declaration of
Independence and married his first wife, Julia Shepperd.
to the marriage of Charles B. Stewart and Julia Shepperd were
John Marshal Wade, Charles Garrett and William C. Clark. Just
over a month after witnessing the Stewart/Shepperd wedding in
Lake Creek, John Marshal Wade would be detailed to fire one of
the cannons known as the “Twin Sisters” during the Battle of
San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. Wade would later found the
Montgomery Patriot newspaper. Charles Garrett was one of
Stephen F. Austin’s original “Old Three Hundred.” Garrett was
the son-in-law of Owen Shannon and Margaret Shannon. William
C. Clark was one of the original settlers of the Lake Creek
Settlement. He received his Mexican land grant from
Empresario Stephen F. Austin in 1831. Each of these gentlemen
will appear regularly in many of the records that will be
featured in future articles regarding the Lake Creek
Where was the
house of W. W. Shepperd located in Lake Creek? In March 1836,
W.W. Shepperd lived on the land that would later become the
Town of Montgomery in July of 1837. This marriage record is
the earliest known record of someone getting married on the
lands that would become Montgomery, Texas. This wedding was
also held during the Texas Revolution just nine days after
Texas declared its independence from Mexico and five days
after the Alamo fell. Most men were either fighting in the
Texas army or assisting in the “Runaway Scrape.” As such, C.
B. Stewart’s wedding has to be one of the earliest recorded
weddings in Republic of Texas history.
Montgomery County was created on December 14, 1837, the Lake
Creek Settlement was part of Washington County. Note that the
Stewart/Shepperd marriage record was filed following the Texas
Revolution. It was filed in the deed records of Washington
County, Texas (Washington County Clerk) in Deed Book A-1,
Kameron K. Searle is an attorney in Houston, Texas who has
thoroughly researched the history of the Lake Creek Settlement
and the early history of Montgomery County for the last eight
years. Click here for more information about the
Lake Creek Settlement.
This article originally appeared in the December 31, 2008
edition of the
Montgomery County News.