Genealogy Trails History Group



Brown County, Texas

First Tax Rolls


Source: "The Promised Land - A History of Brown County, Texas"
Publisher of the Brownwood Banner
Secretary and Historian of Brown County Pioneers Association
Published by BROWNWOOD BANNER, Brownwood, Texas

Transcribed for Genealogy Trails by K. Torp

WHEREVER civilization goes  and stays  there inevitably is that bane of life, the white man's burden  taxes. The first settlers of Brown county, however, were not especially burdened by taxation, the total collections for the first year being only $66.90 on a tax rate of about two cents per $100. The first levy and assessment of taxes in the new county was in 1859, the year following organization and election of officers. Due to the small population, it is likely that this assessment was complete, for it was comparatively easy to enroll all the tax payers at that time. Curiously enough, negro slaves comprised a property that was twice as valuable as all the land rendered for taxation that year, and it is noted that the Brown countians went right ahead assessing taxes against slaves through the the year 1862, in spite of the war and emancipation.

Tax payers listed for the year 1859, a list comparable to a complete census of the county, were:

Ichabod Adams, W. M. Bennett, Abel Bowser, W. F. Brown, David Baugh, F. A. Baugh, P. C. Brewer, Levi Roberts, James Vaughn, G. W. Williams, J. J. Cox, Welcome W. Chandler, William Carver. S. R. Coggin, M. J. Coggin, James H. Fowler, Thompson Fowler, Henry Skinner, Jasper Willis, W. L. Williams, Cyrus Ford, D. S. Hanna, Jesse P. Hanna, T. D. Harriss, Jesse S. Harriss, W. B. Hamilton, George Isaacks, George Tankersley, Gideon Willis, John Williams, John Jones, Brooks W. Lee, B. J. Marshall, J. B. McReynolds, R. Potter, Thomas J. Priddy, George Robbins, A. Roberts, Frank Tankersley, Rupel Williams.

Properly valuations for that year included:
2,978 acres of land at $1 per acre (evidently 100% valuation);
10 negro slaves at $580 each;
41 horses at $59.15 each;
3,952 cattle at $6 each:
Cash, $235;
Miscellaneous property, $3,641.

There is no record, according to Professor T. R. Havins, of an assessment of taxes in 1860, although no reason can be discovered for omitting it.

In 1861 there was a levy and assessment, and 109 names appear on the rolls for that year, showing the speed with which the new county was being settled. The acreage of land rendered for taxation had increased to 2,081, and an additional 156,245 acres of unrendered land was shown on the tax rolls.

The value of negro slaves had in-creased to $773 each, and 23 were rendered for taxation. There were 216 horses, valued at $47 per head, and 18,450 cattle at $5 per head. Sheep had made their appearance in the county, and 265 were taxed at $3 per head.
The tax rate for this year was 16 2-3 cents per $100 valuation, and the tax total was $799.48.

Names appearing on the tax rolls for 1861 were:

Ichabod Adams, A. E. Adams. M. G. Anderson, David Q. Anderson, J. J. Anderson, W. Aldredge, Peter Alba, Charles Arnett, David Baugh, P. W. Brewer, W. F. Brown, Abel Bowser, W. W. Beaumont, Fred Brookerson, Wm. Bevens, William Bennett. Wm. E. Burks, J. N. Beasley, John Beasley, Welcome W. Chandler, William Chancellor, N. J. Clark, Israel Clements, W. R. Carver, J. J. Callen, S. R. Coggin, M. J. Coggin. John W. Cox, John Connell, H. M. Childers Sr., H. M. Childers Jr., Elisha Childers, Samuel Crimer, A. J. Davis, J. J. Daniel, W. C. Dunn, Richard Fitzpatrick, Thomas Fowler, James H. Fowler, Levi Fowler, Greenleaf Fisk, Thomas Forsythe, Benjamin Goates, L. D. Greaves, Isaac Griffin, Harry Gilliland, David S. Hanna, Jesse P. Hanna, Thomas D. Harriss, Jesse S. Harriss, R. Hill, W. A. Holloway, F. Marion Hodges, W. S. Houge, Malcom Hunter, H. H. Hunter, James M. Hunter, John James, A. J. Jones, Thomas J. Keesee, O.H.P. Keesee, James E. Keesee, Brooks W. Lee, Gresham Lee, James Lindsey, W. Manuel, John Mullins, William Mullins, A.K. McKean, E. B. McReynolds, Harvey McPeters, John Nichols, W.C. Parks, J. L. Poplin, Isaac Pettitt, Thomas J. Priddy, John Rhodes, James Richardson, Thomas Rogers, George Robins, James Robins, Arch Roberts, Levi Roberts, J.R. Austin, D. D. Sallee, T. C. Small, Benjamin Skinner, John Sheen, Elizabeth St. Clair, G. W. Tankersley, R. F. Tankersley, P. Turner, James W. Vaughn, R. W. Vaughn, R. A. Vaughn, Elizabeth Watts, W.P.B. Wilbern, F. M. Wilbern, Benjamin Smith.

Tax rolls for 1862 contain the following additional names:
M. W. Baugh, J. S. Byers, J. D. Barcroft, Elias Bridges, R. D. Beauford, Jepsee Bond, W. Baker, J. F. Blackwell, F. A. Baugh, Samuel Bailey, J. J. Cox, Wm. Connell, James P. Chancellor, Isaac Christmas, Geo. H. Cherry, W. H. Cox, Duncan Bros., Wm. Edmundson, John Gilliland, K. L. Gossett, Bap Howell,L. J. Harriss, Jas. Hanna, D. Hollingsworth, W. K. Hamblin, J. Hamblin, Dudley Johnston, J. Kirkpatrick, L. B. Ledbetter, W. P. Mills, Isaac Mullins, W.A. Moreton, D. J. Marshall, D. C. Morgan, Joel Parks, L. D. St. Clair, James E. Stiles, F. M. Stiles, Taylor Smith, Anthony Smith, R. J. Towns, John Williams, Thomas Williams, W. L. Williams, Allen Williams, Isaac West, A. L. Watts, Celia Watts, W. J. Wilkerson, Lacey Webb.

Properties listed on the tax rolls for 1862 included:
29,799 acres of land valued at $1 per acre;
26 negroes valued at $17,900:
33,425 head of cattle valued at $205,355;
697 head of horses valued at $15,360;
575 head of sheep valued at $2,300;
Miscellaneous property valued at $7,625.

Here were listed taxable properties of a total value of $295,349 - a remarkable evidence of the development that had been made in half a dozen years.

Property assessments for 1863 are not available, but new names appearing on the tax rolls for that year included:

J. Adams, John A. Adams, F. M. Anderson, W. C. Anderson, J. N. Baugh, Howell Bass, Wm. Barfoot, John Barfoot, B. J. Burford, Mary Bevin, J. J. Collins, I. Christian, G. Cherryhomes, E. O. Chafee, S. R. Camgle, J. M. Coffelt, Joel Counts, Henry Counts, S. L. Doran, Henry Griffin, W. R. Hough, W. F. Hudson, J. Johnson, J. W. Lewis. D.H. Moseley, W. J. Morton, John Montgomery, W. McGlear, Thomas McClear, Lewis Roberts, J. M. Rallins, G. M. Rallins, Willis Roberts, W. Robertson, I. Scogg, W. Stowell, G. N. Taksler, James Winters, James Ward and Ida Watts.

A certificate attached to the 1863 tax rolls by M. G. Anderson, county clerk, recited that O. H. P. Keesee, county assessor and collector of taxes, had gone before the commissioners court October 24, 1863, with the desire and intention of settling with the court, having been ready to settle for some time past, but that due to the "deranged condition of the county, Indians and other causes, we can not get the court all together at one time." The "other causes" included the War of the Confederacy, which at that time was claiming the attention of a great many Brown county men.

That Brown county citizens were confident of the success of the Confederate cause is indicated, according to Professor Havins, by the record of a transaction August 26, 1861, in which Ambrose Bull of Lampasas county, living between Lometa and San Saba, sold to Greenleaf Fisk of Brown county one negro woman and her child, for $1,800. The woman was "of dark complexion, 26 years old, and the child was six years old."




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