A little history and a lot of honor!
Woods Edge Estates is located in the Samuel Isaacs League. Samuel J. Isaacks (later spelled Isaacs) was born in Tennessee. His father’s family crossed the Sabine River in 1822 and stopped in East Texas. Along with William Andrews, young 17 year old Samuel continued on to the Brazos River and made application for land. Both men were granted a league and labor of land on July 15, 1824. A “league” was 4,428 acres of grazing land and a “labor” was 177 acres of farm land. Samuel married Nancy Allen in September 1824. Isaacks and Andrews were among the forty-one men in what was then known as Fort Settlement to receive land grants as part of Moses/Stephen F. Austin’s contract with the Mexican government. They were known as the “Old 300” colonists. Both Isaacks and Andrews sold their leagues and moved to other parts of Texas before the Revolution. One of William Andrews’s sons, Walter, remained behind and later changed his name to Andrus. He lived in Fort Bend County for at least seventy years.
The Battle of the Alamo occurred in March of 1836. On April 12, 1836 General Antonio López de Santa Anna captured the ferry at Thompson’s Ferry. At that time Thompson’s Ferry was located on the Brazos River on the Knight/White League, next to our Samuel Isaacs League & near what is now River Forest. They completed crossing the river by April 14, 1836 and headed between the Isaacs League & the Knight/White League and crossed Jones Creek. They rested at a plantation on the 15th, headed towards Harrisburg and ultimately ended up at San Jacinto where they were defeated by Sam Houston on April 21, 1836 in the famous Battle of San Jacinto.
Samuel Isaacks League was later home to Thomas Burton, a young man from North Carolina who was son of their Governor Hutchins Gordon Burton. Thomas Burton had no lack of money. In 1858 he came here with many slaves and purchased several farms and opened the Burton plantation in the Isaacks League near Jones Creek. Thomas Burton taught one of his slaves, Walter, how to read and write and sold him several large pieces of land for $1900 each. Walter took on Thomas Burton’s last name. As a freedman. Walter Moses Burton became one of the wealthiest and most influential black people in Fort Bend County. Thomas Burton died in 1861. In 1869 Walter Burton became Sheriff & Tax Collector of Fort Bend County, as well as serving as the president of the Fort Bend County Union League. Not only was he the first black Sheriff of Fort Bend County, he has the distinguished honor of being the first elected black sheriff in the United States. Monthly he sent money to Thomas Burton’s indigent widow, until her death in 1878. Burton served as a Texas Senator from 1874 to 1875 and 1876 to 1882. He was influential in pushing through the bill that established Prairie View Normal School (Prairie View A & M University). Walter Burton was involved in local and state politics until his death in 1913. He served our community, county, & state well. He was the first African American buried in Morton Cemetery.
Bibliography: Lester G. Bugbee, “The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin’s First Colony,” Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). Houston Chronicle, August 8, 2017. Houston Post, April 28, 1938. Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989). Clarence Wharton, Wharton’s History of Fort Bend County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1939). The History of Fort Bend County, https://www.sugarlandtx.gov/1695/History-of-Fort-Bend-County.