The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Boxes and boxes of Boxes…

Artistic interpretation of the Battle of San J...

Battle of San Jacinto painting

brought us to an interesting article on the Box brothers who went to Texas and their story. Are any Boxes in the area related to these Box brothers’ ancestors? They were once in Alabama.

   In 1834 ten heads of household named Box arrived in Nacogdoches, Cohiulia y Tejas, Republica de Mexico and applied for Mexican land grants in the Burnet grant. The group consisted of two brothers, John Morris and Stephan Box, and their sons. All were Methodists from Tennessee who had been in Blount County, Alabama for about a decade. In order to qualify for Mexican land they had to pledge allegiance to Mexico and embrace the Roman Catholic Church. Preaching, or even practicing, a protestant religion was a crime.

    Most of the Boxes received title to their land in 1835. In 1836 most of the men were in either the Army of the Republic of Texas or the Texas Militia. Four of the boys were in the Battle of San Jacinto where Texas won its independence.

   By 1838 Box’s Fort had been constructed on John Morris Box’s land in what is now Cherokee County, Texas.  John Asbury Box, a nephew of John Morris, is credited as preaching the first sermon, a funeral service for a man killed by Indians. The Rev. Littleton Fowler, Methodist Missionary to the Republic of Texas ordained and licensed the first Texas Methodist pastor, Henderson D. Palmer at Box’s Fort on 7 July 1838.

   During the time Texas was a Republic, 1836-1846, members of the original Box immigrants established numerous Methodist churches in what is now Houston, Anderson and Cherokee Counties. Many of the Box men became local pastors and established new churches as they moved west after the Civil War.


 Vernon, W.N., Sledge, R. W., Monk, R. C. and Spellman, N. W. 1986. The Methodist Excitement in Texas, A History. The Texas United Methodist Historical Society, SMU, Dallas, Texas.

 Houston County Historical Commission. 1987. History of Houston County, Texas 1687-1979. Heritage Publishing Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

5 responses

  1. Randy Box

    This is my great-great-grandfather:

    The Southern Democrat, 12 May 1932

    Stephen R. Box, one of Blount’s oldest citizens, died last Friday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W.M. Reynolds, on Route 4, Oneonta. His death was due to heart trouble. Mr. Box was about 78 years of age and for 60 years had been a member of the Methodist Church. The deceased is survived by two sons, Pinkney Box, of Town Creek, and Comilus Box, of Rosa; one daughter, Mrs. W.M. [Rebecca Lucretia] Reynolds; one sister, Mrs. Viola Perkins, of Arab; 35 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren. The funeral services were held at Daily’s Chapel, Rosa, and conducted by Rev. W.N. Bowman and Rev. H.E. Whited.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm

  2. Thanks, Randy.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:54 pm

  3. Randy Box

    Didn’t mean to imply that Stephen was the Stephan mentioned above. I posted this just as a FYI

    January 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    • Randy, I believe he was. Do you have a photo of your ancester, Stephan R Box?

      January 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm

      • Randy Box

        I posted it to Remembering Sheffield Facebook page…

        January 16, 2011 at 2:41 am

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