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.