A Guide to the Jesse Sumpter Reminiscences, 1902-1906
Jesse Sumpter (1827-1910), born in Owen County, Indiana, originally a farmer, volunteered for service in the Mexican War in 1847, and served on Captain Seth Eastman’s Company D, First Infantry regiment. His unit marched from Port Lavaca to Salado Creek, near San Antonio, established a camp at Eagle Pass, near the Rio Grande, and joined Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Johnston’s party at the march to El Paso. In 1852, Sumpter was discharged at the rank of sergeants and settled in Eagle Pass, where he worked as a bartender, bar owner, and cattle rancher. He served in an unofficial capacity as deputy sheriff before being elected to the actual position, which he held from 1871 to 1876. In 1876 Sumpter moved to Uvalde, but returned to Eagle Pass in the 1880s to serve as commissary manager for the railroad construction company that extended the line into Mexico. He once again worked as a bartender and bar operator, owning King Fisher’s Sunset Saloon, before being appointed United States customs inspector at Eagle Pass, 1894-1910. One of the first life members of the Texas State Historical Association, Sumpter dictated his reminiscences to teacher Harry Warren from 1906 to 1907. The memoirs were published in 1969. Up until his death in 1910, Sumpter was widely known as the oldest citizen of Eagle Pass.
Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Sumpter, Jesse," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/fsu5.html (accessed July 28, 2010).
The Jesse Sumpter Reminiscences, 1902-1906, contain Sumpter’s recollections of Eagle Pass in the 1850s and relate to military and social affairs.
The collection is open for research.
Jesse Sumpter Reminiscences, 1902-1906, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers