DEMOSS, PETER (1796-?). Peter DeMoss, pioneer settler, was born in St. Charles, Missouri, in 1796. He married Susanah Bays, the daughter of Joseph L. Bays.qv As one of Stephen F. Austin’sqv Old Three Hundredqv settlers, DeMoss was granted a league of land now in Matagorda County on August 3, 1824. In 1824 he sold a labor of land to Silas Dinsmoreqv and A. J. Dalton. The 1825 census of the District of Colorado reported DeMoss as a farmer and stock raiser with a wife, a five-year-old son, and a three-year-old daughter, but the 1826 census of Austin’s colony, which identified DeMoss as being between the ages of twenty-five and forty, stated that he had two male children between the ages of one and seven. A daughter named Susanah was born on November 4, 1830. In July of that year DeMoss had been named administrator of the estate of Charles DeMoss.qv DeMoss served in the company of George Morse Collinsworthqv at the capture of Goliad and during the siege of Bexar.qv He was ill with scarlet fever and did not participate in the San Jacinto campaign. Lewis and William DeMoss, who had also received headrights in Matagorda County and were presumably Peter DeMoss’s kinsmen, served with Captain Albert Clinton Horton’sqv cavalry company during the Texas Revolution.qv DeMoss served as justice of the peace for Matagorda County’s Third District in 1839 and was elected justice of the peace of Precinct 4 on February 6, 1843, and reelected on February 3, 1845. In 1860 he was living near the Goliad County community of Middleton with his wife and four dependent children, whose ages ranged from two to seventeen years; one or more of them may have been adopted. DeMoss’s assets were $1,000 in real estate and $1,000 in personal property.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924-28). 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). Compiled Index to Elected and Appointed Officials of the Republic of Texas, 1835-1846 (Austin: State Archives, Texas State Library, 1981). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas (Austin, 1963-). Texas State Gazette, July 22, 1830. Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Gifford E. White, 1830 Citizens of Texas (Austin: Eakin, 1983).
Thomas W. Cutrer