Independence is at the intersection of Farm roads 390 and 50, twelve miles northeast of Brenham in northeast Washington County. It was founded in 1835 by J. G. W. Pierson, Robert Stevenson, Colbert Baker, and Amasa F. Burchard on seventy-eight acres in Austin's colony on a part of the league of land granted by the Mexican government to Thomas S. Saul, who in turn granted it to Pierson and Baker. The community prospered and became a significant religious and educational center for the Republic of Texas. Frances Trask (see THOMPSON, FRANCES JUDITH SOMES TRASK) of Gloucester, Massachusetts, opened a boarding school for girls in 1835. In 1839 elders Thomas W. Cox and Thomas Spraggins organized the Independence Baptist Church, the fourth Missionary Baptist church formed in Texas; Cox was the first pastor. In the 1990s the church remained an active congregation, the second-oldest church affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Sam Houston was a member of the church and was baptized in 1854 in Little Rocky Creek, two miles to the southeast.
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