Map of Grimes County, 1858

Featuring land grants of early Tejas settlers, Jared and Leonard Groce

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This map of Grimes County shows two original land grants of Jared Groce II and his son Leonard Groce.

One of the earliest families to move to Tejas with Stephen F. Austin was the Groce family led by patriarch Jared Groce II (1782–1836). Accompanying Jared Groce to Tejas in 1822 was his son Leonard Groce (1806–1873), 90 enslaved men, women, and children, and 50 wagon loads of supplies to build a plantation on the Brazos River. Jared Groce was the largest owner of enslaved persons in Tejas, and as such received title in July 1824 to 44,280 acres (10 leagues) in what became Brazoria, Waller, and Grimes counties. Later that year, after finishing his education in Georgia, Leonard returned to Tejas where he took over managing the family's Bernardo Plantation in Waller County. Within a few years, the Groce's had a thriving cotton plantation that lead Texas in cotton production for the next 40 years.

Three leagues (13,014 acres) belonging to Jared Groce are visible in the southwest corner of the map directly along the eastern bank of the Brazos. That land was known as Groce's Retreat. Jared Groce moved there in 1833 after handing over the management of the Bernardo Plantation to his son. Groce's Retreat played a prominent role in the Texas Revolution. The Texas Declaration of Independence was drafted there by George Childress before being presented to the Convention at Washington in March 1836. Members of the ad interim government stayed at Groce's Retreat from March 18 to March 21, 1836, as they retreated from the advancing Mexican Army. Groce died there on November 20, 1836.

Leonard Groce's land grant appears in the center of the map near the town of Anderson, though he lived primarily at Bernardo and his neighboring Liendo Plantation for the majority of his life in Texas.

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Map of Grimes County, 1858 Artifact from Grimes County
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