Hidalgo, one of the earliest settlements in Washington County, was on the high sandstone Hidalgo Bluffs overlooking the Brazos River near its intersection with Mill Creek in northeastern Washington County. It had moved near the site of present William Penn by 1832, when Nestor Clay represented the settlement at the San Felipe Convention. Hidalgo residents in 1835 included Ezekiel Clampitt, Capt. Allen C. Reynolds, and J. B. Chance. In 1836 promoters of this settlement between Washington-on-the-Brazos and Cole's Settlement (later Independence) promised to lay out town lots if Hidalgo became the seat of government of the Republic of Texas, but Washington-on-the-Brazos became the capital instead. By 1837 Hidalgo was a precinct capital; in the same year Shubael Marsh was elected its justice of the peace. The settlement's economy was stimulated by intermittent steamboat traffic, which facilitated shipment of small amounts of cotton from Hidalgo's landing at the division point between the middle and upper Brazos River, six miles above Washington-on-the-Brazos. Normally the water level was too low to support steamboats at Hidalgo. A ferry on the Washington-Boonville Road operated from the landing. The settlement disappeared with the rise of other population centers in Washington County. Dr. W. T. Le Grand, Gideon Lincecum's correspondent, collected fossils at Hidalgo.
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