Sometime in the late 1860’s, there was trouble in Hogeye! The White people of “Hogeye” did not like the prosperity of the former slaves. They began to enforce stringent “Jim Crow” laws and threatened the freedmen and their families. Rev. Calvin Allen shepherded the congregation of believers in Hogeye who travelled to Webberville to hear the Rev. John Henry Winn, Sr. preach at the Webberville Baptist Church. Rev. Allen shared their plight with his friend and Vice-Moderator of the newly formed Travis County Association. Surely, there was something he could do to help.
Rev. John Winn was troubled by the harsh treatment of the flock and sought to find a new resting place for the industrious people he of his pasture. As he travelled to-and-fro, sharing the word about the Travis County Association and its vision, he ran across acres of forest near Lytton Creek. Living near this acreage were Bob Haynes and Squire Harrison who often provided hospitality to the well-known preacher during his travels. During their talks, the freedmen shared with Vice-Moderator Rev. John Winn, Sr that there was land for sale in the area.
Rev. John Winn returned to Hogeye and shared with his brother in Christ and friend that he may have found the “Promised Land”! They talked and they prayed and they laid a plan to move the Hogeye families to a new place that they could call their own. By the early 1870’s, Rev. John Winn and Calvin Allen had negotiated with the owners of over 2,000 acres to sell the land to a group of Freedmen families. With their belongings packed and ready to go, they prepared to make the journey to possess the land and settle Winn’s Colony in 1872.
The Trailblazers are identified as those families who travelled from Hogeye to the Lytton Creek area with the Rev. John Henry Winn. They are as follows:
As the word of the community spread, many others followed. These pioneers were integral to establishing Winn’s Colony as a self-sustaining community.
Pioneer families who joined the Trailblazers are as follows:
At the Freedmen’s community height, its boundaries traversed both Bastrop and Caldwell Counties and included more than 2,200 of acreages owned and farmed by the members of the community. In 1873, the community established the St. Joh Regular Baptist Church in homage to the Rev. John Henry Winn, Sr. It was during this time, that the Rev. John Winn also become Moderator of the Travis County Association (TCA). Because he had done such a mammoth job in spreading the word of the TCA across the central Texas region, the term “Travis County” no longer applied.
We continue to research and learn about our history.
Do you have something to contribute? Please submit your contact information with attention to History Committee.