Person:William Becknell (1)

Capt. William Alexander Becknell
m. 23 Oct 1782
  1. Capt. William Alexander Becknellabt 1787 - 1856
  • HCapt. William Alexander Becknellabt 1787 - 1856
  • WJane Truslerbef 1790 - bef 1817
m. 1807
  • HCapt. William Alexander Becknellabt 1787 - 1856
  • WMary Cribbsabt 1792 - abt 1862
m. abt 1814
  1. Mary Jane Becknellabt 1815 - 1851
  2. William Alexander Becknell, Jr.abt 1817 - 1858
  3. John Calhoun Becknellabt 1818 - 1893
  4. Lucy Becknellabt 1819 - abt 1850
  5. Amelia Cornelia Becknellabt 1827 - abt 1868
  6. Mary Becknellabt 1829 -
Facts and Events
Name[1] Capt. William Alexander Becknell
Gender Male
Birth[2] abt 1787 Amherst County, Virginia
Marriage 1807 Amherst County, Virginia(his 1st wife)
to Jane Trusler
Marriage abt 1814 Missouri(his 2nd wife)
to Mary Cribbs
Census[6] 1850 Titus County, Texas
Death[2] 25 Apr 1856 near Clarksville, Red River County, Texas
Burial? on Becknell's Prairie, near Bagwell, Red River County, Texas

Titus County, Texas, 1850 census:[6]

Becknell, William 62 yrs Farmer (real estate = $3,000) b. Virginia
      Mary 58 yrs b. Pennsylvania


From the will of his widow, Mary, written 7 Oct 1862: "I wish a monument put over Mr. Becknell's grave worth fifty dollars with this inscription, 'Capt. Wm. Becknell, born in the State of Virginia, Amhurst Co. died in the State of Texas Red River County, on the 30th day of April A. D. 1856, aged sixty-eight years'. He whose merit deserves a Temple can scarce find a tomb."

  1. Clark, Pat B. The History of Clarksville and Old Red River County. (Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort & Co., 1937), p. 17.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Handbook of Texas Online, "Becknell, William".

    He was living in St. Louis by 1810. In May 1813, he joined Daniel Morgan Boone's company of United States Mounted Rangers as 1st Sergeant. In July 1814, he was promoted to ensign. In Sept 1814, he participated in Maj. Zachary Taylor's campaign against British-backed Indians that culminated in the battle of Credit Island, at the site of present-day Davenport, Iowa. In Mar 1815, he commanded the defense of Fort Clemson, Missouri, when his commanding officer, Captain James Callaway (Daniel Morgan Boone's nephew) was killed by Indians. In 1820, he was an unsuccessful candidate for Missouri House of Representatives.

    In 1821, motivated by financial problems, he organized a trading party that crossed the Great Plains to New Mexico in 1821. His party was welcomed to the previously forbidden province, and he returned to Missouri with encouraging profits. Known thereafter as "Father of the Santa Fe Trade." The following year, he took the first wagons across the Santa Fe Trail on his second journey to New Mexico. In 1824-25, he led a party of trappers from Missouri into New Mexico and Colorado, and in 1825-26, he participated in the federal grading and marking project of the Santa Fe Trail.

    In 1827, he was appointed justice of the peace in Saline County, Missouri. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives as a Jacksonian Democrat, 1828-32. In 1832, he commanded a company of Missouri militia in the Black Hawk War.

    He moved to Red River County in 1835 and soon amassed a sizable estate in land and livestock in Red River and Lamar Counties; he also owned a bridge spanning the Sulphur River. In 1845, he was appointed to supervise the first Texas U.S. congressional elections.

  3.   Texas. General Land Office. Abstracts of All Original Texas Land Titles Comprising Grants and Locations. (Austin, Texas: Texas General Land Office), Patent #256 (Abstract # 58).

    On 16 Aug 1853, he received 1st Class headright certificate #167 for a league & a labor (3,536.5 acres), which he located just west & southwest of Bagwell.

  4.   Clarksville, Red River, Texas, United States. Northern Standard (Clarksville, Texas), 6 January 1849.

    Appears on a list of unclaimed letters at the Clarksville post office.

  5.   Clarksville, Red River, Texas, United States. Northern Standard (Clarksville, Texas), 6 January 1850.

    Appears on a list of unclaimed letters at the Clarksville post office.

  6. 6.0 6.1 Titus, Texas, United States. 1850 U.S. Census Population Schedule, p. 116B, dwelling/family 324/324.