Ephraim Merrill Daggett
Canadian born Ephraim Merrill Daggett was reared on a farm in Indiana. He traded with the Indians at Fort Dearborn (Chicago) in the early 1830s then moved to Shelby County, Republic of Texas, in 1838. There he and his family became involved in the East Texas Regulator-Moderator feud (1839-1844). He later served as a Captain in the Mexican War of 1846.
While serving as State Legislator from Shelby County (1851-53), he established a mercantile business and a hotel in the frontier town of Fort Worth. In 1854 he moved his family here and soon thereafter began purchasing large tracts of Tarrant County real estate.
Daggett used his influence as a former legislator to help secure Fort Worth’s selection as County Seat in 1860. After serving as Brigadier General during the Civil War, he engaged in the mercantile and cattle business in Fort Worth.
In 1873 Daggett’s likeness was chosen to adorn the City’s first seal. His role in bringing the Texas & Pacific Railroad here in 1876, developing a downtown district, and in helping transform Fort Worth from an abandoned military post to a center of commerce earned Daggett renown as “The Father of Fort Worth”. He is buried in the City’s Pioneer’s Rest Cemetery.
History: The Sons Of The Republic Of Texas
The first Sons of the Republic of Texas was formed on April 21, 1893, in Richmond, Texas, by several sons and grandsons of veterans of the Texas Revolution. Their main purpose was to accompany the Texas Veterans Association members to their annual reunions. The Texas Veterans Association ceased to exist when its last member, Alphonso Steele, died in 1911. With the demise of the Texas Veterans Association, the Sons of the Republic of Texas slowly became inactive.
On March 2, 1922, the ideals of the Texas Veterans Association adopted by the first Sons of the Republic of Texas once again inspired the formation of a new organization. Its revitalization was due in a large part by the realization that Texas heritage would not be remembered without constant reminders to the community. Membership requirements for the SRT were broadened to include any male being a direct descendant of a resident of the Republic of Texas. The San Jacinto Chapter, located in Houston, Texas, received the first charter.
On October 20, 1934, the SRT was incorporated under the laws of Texas as a non-profit corporation. The SRT has been an active leader in preserving Texas’ rich heritage. In 1936, the SRT was instrumental in the design and construction of the San Jacinto Monument and the founding of the Museum. In 1957, the SRT influenced the Texas legislature to appropriate funds for the construction of the Texas State Library and Archive Building. In 2003, the SRT and other historical organizations worked with the Texas legislature to designate March as Texas History Month. In 2005, the SRT led the movement for the Texas legislature to designate the third Saturday in September of each year as Texian Navy Day.
The purpose of the SRT shall be to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved the independence of Texas, set the young Republic upon its high course among the nations of the world, and finally secured its admission as a state of the United States of America.
The mission of the SRT shall be to: (a)Encourage research and publication of historical records and documents prior to and during the Republic of Texas; (b)Foster the preservation of historic sites, documents, and artifacts, prior to February 19, 1846; (c)Participate in community activities, which remind the public of its Republic of Texas heritage; and (d)Organize, promote, publicize and commemorate the observance of the following historical dates of the Republic of Texas.
Texas Independence Day March 2
Fall of the Alamo March 6
Goliad Massacre March 27 (Palm Sunday - 1836)
San Jacinto Day April 21
Texas Ranger Day August 5
Texian Navy Day 3rd Saturday in September
Battle of Gonzales October 2
Stephen F. Austin's Birthday November 3
The SRT shall organize and promote public recognition of dates and places of historical significance to the Republic of Texas with monuments and other appropriate signage or events.
Work independently or in cooperation with state agencies and with other patriotic organizations in activities designed to obtain proper recognition, preservation and/or marking of places of historical significance.
Advocate the study of Texas history in schools through its annual Texas History Essay Contest for scholarship awards, to high school seniors, totaling $6,000
Sponsor the annual $2,500 Summerfield G. Roberts Award in literature based on history of people and events in the Republic of Texas.
Administer the annual Presidio La Bahia Award of $2,000 for research or other work in connection with Texas' Spanish Colonial period
Maintain the Spanish-Texas Microfilm Center and the O'Connor Collection of historical materials.