Egypt Plantation Museum is a non-profit
study and research museum of Texas History.
Housed in both the 1900 Egypt Railroad Depot
and the 1849 Heard Northington Home
It's rich history also still lives as the private home of six, generations
of Heard Northington descendents whose family built the plantation
in the early days of Mexico's Sovereignty Texas soil.
HEARD NORTHINGTON TEXAS FAMILY HISTORY
When Moses and son, Stephen F. Austin called for American Colonist
to move to Texas in the 1820's, husband and wife, Stephen Rhoades
and Jemima Menefee Heard and their ten children signed up with the
Second Colonization Group. They had known the Austin's for many
generations from Virginia and strove for more fertile land than
their central Tennessee and later, northern Alabama farms.
In 1830, Cpt. W.J.E. Heard, son of Stephen and Jemima, purchased
2,200 acres from John. C. Clark in 1830 for $ 111.00 in gold coins.
Arriving first in Jackson County where other family members had
already settled, Heard sought more fertile lands in then Colorado
County (now Wharton County.) He brought with him, his parents, nine
siblings and slaves. It was in the Egypt settlement that Heard constructed
a double pen, log home for his family, slave housing, sugar cane,
corn and cotton mills.
Cpt. W.J.E. Heard
The property fronts the east bank of the Colorado River and contains
portions of the original Atascosita Trail that ran from Texana (Jackson
County, Texas) to Richmond (Ft. Bend County) crossing the Colorado
River at Mercer's Ferry. The significance of the location placed
the Heards at the crossroad of commerce both by river and road in
rich River bottom land. Maj. Andrew Northington maintained a Stage
Coach from Houston to Texana with a stop overs in Richmond and Egypt,
across these trails in the 1830's - 50's. The Heard and Northington
families became good friends through hard times resulting the marriage
of Cpt. and American Morton Heard's eldest daughter, Elizabeth,
to Mentor Northington, son of Andrew and Pricilla Dawson Northington.
Our family thrived even under the ravages of droughts, fevers and
invasions by Mexican Soldiers as they moved eastward to the final
battleground at San Jacinto. The Heards held to their Christian
faith as leaders and as a church home in the formation of the earliest
Methodist Church in the Stephen F. Austin Colony. As community builders
our home was the frequent site of strategic military planning to
protect the colonial families and defend the liberties of democracy
during unsettled times. After the establishment of Republic of Texas
and later statehood, the Heard Northington's continued to support
the economic development of the region and state not only their
own enterprises but political systems that support free enterprise.
EGYPT PLANTATION SETTING, OUTBUILDINGS and RANCHING
Situated on a high point on Peach Creek above the east bank of the
Colorado River, Egypt Plantation remain nestled among mossy oaks,
red cedars and pecan trees. It fronts a slow highway but is set
back, deep into the shade taking advantage of the nearly constant
FARMING and RANCHING
The Plantation homestead contains many of the outbuildings
necessary for the operations of farming and ranching. Over the years
the Plantation acreage grew from the original 2,500 to over 50,000
acres which various members of the family still remain a large part
of today. Producers of Sugar Cane, Cotton, Corn, Pecans and later
Rice, the farming operations changed over time with market.
The Heard Northington's ventured into both the cattle and horse
business even as early as the 1840's along with cousins, Joel and
Rachel Dawson Northington Hudgins of Hungerford, who later introduced
Registered Beef-type Brahman cattle to the United States and who's
family still operates one of the world's largest Brahman herds.
Working the cattle by horse, they also bred and trained Registered
Quarter Horses for herding the cattle (called a Cutting Horse) and
racing in Mentor Northington's nearby Horse Race Track (maintained
until the 1950's). Many of the Northington children grew up caring
for, riding, showing and even racing their fine livestock in regional
races and shows including the Houston Fat Stock Show.