Marshall and Lucadia Pease: Connecticut-born Texans

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Elizabeth Whitlow of Texas History Research Services has compiled a brief history of Enfield in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of the original plat of the neighborhood.

At age 22 in 1834, Marshall Pease left his “unprosperous” life at home in Enfield, CT to look for opportunity.   He found it in Texas.  He arrived in time to participate in the first battle of the Texas Revolution at Gonzales.  He read law at Mina (Bastrop) and participated in government in the new Republic, writing part of the Constitution and later, part of the criminal code.  He was a successful lawyer in Brazoria, elected to the legislature, and then as governor in 1853.  Before and during his two terms he was widely respected for his intelligence, hard work, and sound judgment. Gov. Pease’s most outstanding accomplishment was settlement of state debt from the Revolution, finally putting Texas in sound financial condition.  He established the permanent school fund and worked to bring vital railroads to Texas.  He supervised a campaign that lead to completion of the Governor’s Mansion, General Land Office, and a new Capitol.

Marshall Pease married his second cousin Lucadia Niles of Poquonock, CT.  Their children were Carrie, Julia (Julie) and Anne (who died as a child).  The family moved from the new Governor’s Mansion to the nearly identical Woodlawn, where they lived through Civil War years that were hard on both sides in the conflict.  As a Union sympathizer, his life was sometimes threatened and his property would have been confiscated if he left town.  After another period as Governor following the War and later work as an Austin lawyer, Marshall Pease died in 1883.

Lucadia Pease courtesy Austin History Center

Lucadia Pease courtesy Austin History Center

Governor Pease, photo courtesy Austin History Center

Governor Pease, photo courtesy Austin History Center

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From Wilderness to Woodlawn

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Elizabeth Whitlow of Texas History Research Services has compiled a brief history of Enfield in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of the original plat of the neighborhood.

The Republic of Texas granted George W. Spear a league (Spanish land measure of 4,428 acres) in 1838, from the east bank of the Colorado River to Shoal Creek.  (Austin was founded between Shoal and Waller Creeks, the Colorado, and what is now 15th St.)  James B. Shaw, Comptroller in Gov. E. M. Pease’s administration, bought part of the surveyed Spear grant in 1846.   Shaw had Austin “Master Builder” Abner Cook construct a neoclassical two-story brick home with Ionic columns for the woman he wanted to marry, but she wed someone else.

Woodlawn with members of the Pease family. Courtesy Austin History Center.

Woodlawn with members of the Pease family. Courtesy Austin History Center.

He found another bride.  Their daughter died at age two, and Mrs. Shaw died shortly afterward.  He sold the property in 1859 for $17,000 (at a loss) to his friend Gov. Pease.  (The Shaw’s child was buried on the property, but the Peases had her remains reinterred in the City Cemetery once they owned the home.)  Gov. and Mrs. Pease named their home “Wood Lawn.”  The family is said to have owned 365 acres.  Their property was used in part for growing food and grazing, but it was never a plantation.  Much of the natural tree cover was never touched as long as Miss Julie Pease lived.  City streets were laid out so that Woodlawn centers on 3.844 acres bounded by Niles Rd. on the south, Pease Rd. on the east, and Northumberland Rd. on the north.  The house faces east but the address is 6 Niles Road.

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Austin City Council Minutes Archive

Austin has grown and changed so much. It’s fascinating to look back and see how the city developed and grew. For example, a quick glance at the minutes of the meeting of the Austin City Council from December of 1896 shows “aldermen” with names like Zilker and Miller, and Mayor Hancock.

Did you ever think what the City Council did in response to the Whitman Tower shooting? You can read about it here.

Or what business they conducted at the last meeting of the millenium? Check it out.

The city has an online archive of council meeting minutes going back to 1869. You can find it here.

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