Stephen F. Austin State University

Thomas Stuart McFarland -why should he be remembered? (December 2011)

Thomas Stuart McFarland-why should he be remembered?
By Jonnie Miller

Thomas Stuart McFarland, mentioned in a previous article, was born on June 13, 1810 at Lexington, Indiana and moved to Louisiana in 1817. On May 4, 1830, he moved to Texas and two years later he joined his father in the fight against Colonel Piedras in Texas war for independence from Mexico. He served as an aide to Major James W. Bullock and in the company of Captain John English from October 3 to November 14, 1835. On July 4, 1836, he joined the company of Captain William Scurlock and remained until October 4, 1836.

In the election held February 25, 1837, he was chosen Lieutenant-Colonel of the Militia of San Augustine. He represented Jasper and Jefferson Counties in the Senate in the 6th Congress at Austin from November 1, 1840 to February 5, 1842. This was before Newton County became separated from Jasper County. He served three terms as Chief Justice of San Augustine County. When he moved to Newton County, he settled in Belgrade which had been surveyed and laid out by him and his father, William McFarland, in 1837.

In 1833 he laid out the present town of San Augustine. In 1837-38 he and his father surveyed Belgrade on the west bank of the Sabine River and in March of 1838, he moved there. In November 1871 he was living in Bleakwood where he died and was buried in 1880. From 1837 to 1840 he kept a journal of the day-to-day events in the community where he lived. This journal is on display at the Newton County History Center.

Thomas McFarland was a man of many talents. He was a farmer, a surveyor, a ranking military man and a judge of some standing; a man worth remembering.