Pioneers - Thomas Ingles Smith

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Pioneers of Ellis County

Texas Ranger, Thomas Ingles Smith

Contributed by Granville D. Edwards


Text of the Texas Historical Marker on the North Lawn of the County Courthouse in Corsicana, Texas


Thomas Ingles Smith was born in 1800 in Virginia and was a soldier in the war of 1812 in a company commanded by his father, general Bird B. Smith. Smith arrived in Texas late in 1836, and soon enlisted in the republic of Texas army under General Felix Huston. He was wounded in (the) battle of the Salado (Creek) in September 1842. In December of that year President Sam Houston sent a small group of rangers under the command of Smith and Eli Chandler to move the archives of the republic to Washingto-on –the-Brazos. The citizens of Austin, in a show of force, prevented the move in what became known as the Archive War. By 1843 Smith was living along Chambers Creek in present Ellis County, and in 1844 was a Texas Ranger and Indian Scout. He Commanded the Robertson County Rangers along the frontier in 1845. As (Indian) Commissioner (appointed by Sam Houston) to negotiate with the Indians, he signed the last treaty made by the Republic of Texas.

Fort Smith, one of a line of fortifications from the Colorado to Red River, was established in 1846 and named for Thomas I. Smith. Along with two partners, he gave land (100 acres) for the town site of Corsicana, and was a member of the commission to locate Navarro County seat in 1848. He died in Austin in March 1848.

The Rest of the Story

Thomas Ingles Smith was my third great grandfather. He was appointed the first United States Postmaster of Chambers Creek in Ellis County by President James K. Polk Thomas was a confidant of Sam Houston and was awarded land in Ellis County for his services to Sam Houston and the Republic of Texas. Tom often rode into battle together with fellow Texas Rangers and kinfolk, the legendary brothers Ben and Henry McCullough.


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This page was last modified: Monday, 10-Sep-2018 10:23:10 MDT