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Mount Vernon, Texas

Mount Vernon, the second county seat of Washington County, was on or near New Year's Creek six miles northwest of the site of present Brenham and ten miles from the town of Independence.

History

Mount Vernon. Judge John Stamps, a prominent citizen of the county, built an imposing home, named for George Washington's residence, at the future townsite. A school existed there as early as 1835; David Ayres, his wife, and Lydia Ann McHenry taught at this location, until the school closed during the Runaway Scrape. Ayers never reopened his school, but by 1840 John Cummings had begun another short-lived educational establishment at Mount Vernon. As more settlers moved into the area, Judge Stamps named the resulting settlement for his own residence. Stamps laid out streets and lots for a town in 1841. When much of Washington County was lost to new counties, county residents desired a more centrally located county seat. In the fall of 1841 Judge Stamps utilized his political influence and this dissatisfaction with the location of the county courts at Washington in far northeastern Washington County to make Mount Vernon temporarily the county seat. In the 1840s Mount Vernon was a stop on the stagecoach route from Washington to Houston. The community once had a post office. Although a log courthouse was erected there, uncertainty over the town's approval as the permanent county seat prevented construction of more permanent buildings. Brenham, Independence, and Turkey Creek competed with Mount Vernon in the county seat election in 1843. Despite the natural advantages of its high elevation, healthful climate, and plentiful water and timber supply, Mount Vernon failed to obtain sufficient votes in the runoff election. After Brenham became the county seat, Mount Vernon rapidly lost residents to that growing community. On December 20, 1846, the New Year's Baptist Church was founded at Mount Vernon. This church, of which Robert E. B. Baylor was a charter member, moved to Brenham in 1851. Eventually Mount Vernon became a ghost town. No trace of the town remains today; crops are now cultivated on the former townsite. During the Civil War Washington County commissioners started a training camp for Confederate soldiers at Mount Vernon. Source: Handbook of Texas Online

Mount Vernon, the second county seat of Washington County, was named by Judge John Stamps in honor of George Washington's home — which is so beautifully situated on the classic Potomac River — when he laid out the town in 1841. A log courthouse was built, and at the suggestion of Judge R. E. B. Baylor, was dedicated to justice. Under a spreading live oak tree about one hundred yards from the courthouse the learned judges often retired to deliberate over their verdicts. In 1844, in an election for the county seat between Turkey Creek, Independence, Mount Vernon and Brenham, Mount Vernon dropped out of the contest. After the removal of the county seat to Brenham the town went rapidly to decay, and its beautiful site, upon a high knoll, about six miles west of Brenham, is likely unknown to the folks who cultivate the land above its grave. - The History of Brenham and Washington County, 1915 by Mrs. R. E. Pennington

Mount Vernon. The rural settlement of Mount Vernon, named for the Virginia home of President George Washington, served as county seat of Washington County from 1841 to 1844. John Stamps (1798-1867), an early area settler, is credited with founding and naming the Mount Vernon community. Stamps, who owned vast acreage in this vicinity, represented Washington County in the Eighth Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1843-44. At its height, Mount Vernon included a log courthouse and jail, homes, businesses, churches, and a school. An estimated twenty families lived in the community. An election held in 1844 resulted in the relocation of the county seat to Brenham. The loss of county seat status, coupled with the improvement of transportation as new roads were built enabling easy travel to Brenham, resulted in the demise of the Mount Vernon township by the 1880s. Families gradually moved away, and by 1900 all that remained of the community were a few building foundations. Eventually, the town site reverted to farmland. Although no physical remnants of Mount Vernon exist, it remains a significant part of Washington County history. - Historical MarkerText. Marker erected 1992. Location: From Brenham, take US 290 about 2 1/2 mi. W to FM 2679, go NW about 1 mi. to CR 48 (Mount Vernon Rd.). Go NE about 2 mi. to marker on S side of road (5759 Mt. Vernon Rd.).

Location

30° 12' 49.176" N, 96° 27' 43.272" W