William Smothers

Texas Historical Marker - William Smothers

Texas Historical Marker

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A Veteran of the Texas Revolution.

A native of Virginia, William Smothers was orphaned at 12 when Indians killed his father, and his mother died of shock. In the American Revolution, he fought at King's Mountain, Guilford Courthouse, Camden, and Eutaw Springs. He moved to Kentucky in 1781, built two forts near present Hartford, originally called "Smothers Station," and in 1798 founded an Ohio river port that later became Owensboro. He was a leader in civil affairs in early Kentucky, was a militia captain, and commanded troops in the War of 1812. Smothers Park in Owensboro is named in his honor.

Smothers scouted in Texas before 1820, returned in 1821 with the exploring party of Stephen F. Austin, and helped build Fort Bend for the safety of the "Old 300" settlers. In 1824 Mexico gave him a land grant; in 1826, he and two sons helped settle DeWitt's Colony, receiving land grants in the vicinity of this marker. Fearless and a skillful guide, he often hunted with his friend Jim Bowie. Reputedly he tomahawked bears in hand combat. Married twice, he was ancestor of many leading Texans. He died in 1837, after seeing a son and three grandsons help to win the Texas War for Independence. (1977)

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