Stephen Fuller Austin (1793-1836) was a statesman, entrepreneur, colonizer and led the first American families known as the Old Three Hundred to Texas, forming his first colony. He created the Texas land system, commanded military forces in the Texas Revolution, and was commissioner from the Republic of Texas to the United States. He died in 1836, only 3 months after being appointed the first secretary of state for the Republic of Texas. His efforts led to the annexation of Texas which added 1/3 to the size of the United States.
He was born in Lead Mines, Virginia, son of Moses and Mary (Maria) Brown, on November 3, 1793. His father and uncle Stephen Austin operated the lead mines here from about 1789 to 1798. The family and numerous members of the community moved to the lead mines in Missouri, when Stephen was five years old. Following his father’s death, Stephen became a colonizer and political leader. For his help in assisting Texas settlers gain their independence he became known as “Father of Texas.”