Welcome to Fort Tumbleweed's
Texas History Series
GAUSE AREA BULLETIN BOARD
We welcome emails from our webpage readers.
Received the following email Heath Jones:
Hi Len. My name is Heath Jones and my great grand parents are buried in Gause. My grandfather's name was Jeese Jones. They lived in New Baden but were in Gause a lot and he was a preacher at point pleasant church in Franklin. My Grandfather was a postman for 40 years in the area and a farmer. Your web site is cool and informative.
Received the following email from David Goode, born and raised in Gause (email@example.com):
I lived in Gause from birth until I was nearly 12 years of age. My Dad was A.B. Goode. For many years he ran a service station there. As a child I worked helping my Dad clean windshields and sweep out the insides of automobiles. I also helped fill gas tanks when gas was around 20 cents a gallon.
Concerning some of the founders of Gause, Dr. John Porter was my Grandma Goode's Dad. My Grandma's maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Porter. She was born in 1874.
It is interesting seeing the History of Gause. Thanks. David Goode - Lubbock, Texas.
HISTORY OF GAUSE, AND NASHVILLE ON THE BRAZOS
For millions of years, the central Texas region that was to become Gause was part of a shallow sea. Around 12,000 years ago, the Paleo people crossed over the land bridge from Asia across the Bering Sea. With a massive amount of water frozen at the poles, the Bering sea became a land
bridge for perhaps a thousand years. These ancient settlers followed the herds of wooly mammoths as they
crossed the land bridge near present-day Alaska and headed southward.
For thousands of years, tribes of Lipan Apache, Tonkawa, Yeagues, Huecos,
caddos, Kiowas, Comanches, and other Indian tribes established villages along the banks of the Brazos River and all area creeks using the land away from the water sources as hunting grounds.
By the 1500's, the region was discovered by Spanish explorers and claimed by the government of Spain. Fr. Isidro Felix de Espinosa and Domingo Ramón crossed the San Gabriel and Little rivers in
1716, when the Spanish sent expeditions to hold Texas against the possibility of French settlement.
THE SETTLEMENTS OF NASHVILLE AND PORT SULLIVAN ON THE BRAZOS (1820's)
In the 1820's and 1830's, transportation in the rugged Texas terrain was very difficult forcing all major shipments by Steamboat up the Brazos river. A small
settlement called Nashville, founded by Sterling C. Robertson and named in honor of Rebertson's birthplace, Nashville, Tennessee was established in the heart of Indian country on the southeast bank of the Brazos River two miles below the mouth of Little River and five miles northeast of Gause in what is now Milam County.(Sterling C. Robertson was later buried in the Nashville cemetery before his body was exhumed and moved to the Texas State Cemetery).
Nashville served as headquarters for Robertson's colony in the early 1830s.Then in 1836, with the defeat of Sanat Anna at San Jacinto, Nashville was seriously considered by the Texas Congress as a possible site for the capital of the Republic of Texas.
Among the early business and supply centers were Bryant's Station, which was located on the Marlin-to-Austin stage line, and Nashville and Port Sullivan, which were located on the Brazos River.
Life along the Brazos in the 1820's was risky at best. The land was directly in the areas claimed by various Indian tribes who knew nothing about land surveying and Spanish land grants and only saw the white settlers as intruders.
In January of 1836, Indian warparties attacked the Nashville settlement killing and scalping Thomas Riley and a man named Neal which led to the formation of Sterling Clack Robinson's Ranger company.
The Rangers constructed a blockhouse at the falls of the Brazos in 1836 and called it Fort Milam. Later, another fort was garrisoned at the three forks of Little River. In the meantime, almost every community had built its own blockhouse. one each at Nashville, Tenoxtitlan and Milam, as well as the one A.W. Sullivan built on the Brazos north of Nashville in the late 1830's.
In October 1844, at the falls of the Brazos, a treaty was signed with the Indians which fixed a line of demarcation between them and the settlers. It helped somewhat, but as late as January 1845, Indians continued to hunt on Brushy Creek and Little River in violation of the treaty.
THE SETTLEMENT OF NASHVILLE DECLINES (1868)
From the time that Cameron was selected as the county seat of Milam County, the little settlement entered a period of decline.
The post office at Nashville was discontinued in 1868. Then with the routing of the train from Hearne to Rockdale, the citizens of Nashville were absorbed by the new towns of Gause, Milano and Rockdale causing Nashville to become a ghost town and leaving only the Nashville Cemetery as an indication of the town's once glorious past.
In 1927 a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, aided by Milam County, bought seven acres of the Nashville site and deeded the land to the state for a memorial park. In 1936, the State of Texas errected the following historical marker approximately five miles northeast of Gause:
SITE OF THE TOWN OF NASHVILLE
Surveyed in the fall of 1835 as the capital of Robertson's colony. Named for Nashville, Tennessee where Sterling C. Robertson and many of his colonists had formerly lived. Seat of justice Milam municipality, 1836; Milam County, 1837. First home in Texas of George C. Childress, chairman of the committee who drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence.
THE SETTLEMENT OF GAUSE (1873)
In the 1820's through the 1870's, small numbers of hearty settlers found their way to the region that was to
become Gause. However, until the coming of the railroad in 1873, population in the area was very sparce.
FLOOD OF SETTLERS FLEE THE CIVIL WAR AREAS OF THE SOUTH
After the end of the Civil War, a flood of white settlers reached central Texas anxious to escape the war-torn lands of the south and start a new life.
One of these settlers was William J. Gause after whom the town of Gause was named.
William J. Gause (1829-1914) was born in Alabama and moved to Texas in 1849. Gause settled along the Brazos river bottom in 1856, and moved to the Gause area in 1872. He then purchased lumber in
Montgomery and gave his friend Dan Fowler half in return for hauling it here.
The two friends built the first homes in the Gause settlement.
In 1873, William Gause gave right of
way and donated 100 acres of land to the International & Great Northern Railroad to platt the settlement of Gause. The Gause Post Office opened in 1874, with James S.
Reynolds as the first postmaster.
The I. G. N. railroad freighted out cotton bales from Gause and the town thrived. Cotton gins, stores, blacksmith shops, a lumber yard, a
bank, hotels, livery stables, a newspaper and other businesses were
Besides W. J. Gause, civic leaders included Dr. J. E. Brown, Richard
Cox, Dr. James dollar, Lafayette Ely, Bill Faubian, Dan Fowler, J. C. Lister, C. C.
Moore, Dr. John Porter, Frank Thomas, and T. L. Watts. Churches were
organized and a Masonic Lodge chartered.
The county's first independent school was established in Gause. Good highways, mechanized farming, and
decline of railroading halted commerce in the town of Guase. It survives, however, as a residential site chosen by descendants of the pioneers and by
commuters of industrial plants and businesses in this vicinity.
GAUSE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT- FIRST IN MILAM COUNTY
In 1876, a school and church was built in Gause and in 1905, the Gause Independent School District was established, the first such district in Milam County.
GAUSE PROSPERS WITH KING COTTON
By 1884, Gause had 2 steam-powered cotton gins, grist and saw mills, two churches, and 300 residents. Area farmers shipped cotton, cottonseed oil, and corn.
The town reached its peak of prosperity around 1915 with an estimated population of 1,000.
Then like many central Texas towns, Gause began to decline in the 1920s. Its bank, which had been in operation since 1910, was discontinued in 1927. The number of businesses dropped from twenty in the early 1940s to four in the 1960s. Mechanized farming, improved highways, and the declining importance of the railroad contributed to a decrease in commercial activity in Gause.
The town's population fell from 750 in the 1940s to 278 by the late 1960s and 210 by the early 1970s. This downward trend was reversed in the late 1980s as more people chose to live in Gause and commute to jobs in nearby industrial plants. In the early 1990s Gause reported 400 residents and eight businesses.
Also see our history links near the bottom of this webpage. I spend a great deal of time researching Texas history and adding topics of interest to our website for our internet viewers.
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