Grigsby Pecan R.I.P.

Historical Period: Republic of Texas (1836-1845)
Historical Topic: Frontier Settlements, Pecan-Our State Tree
Species: Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
County: Jefferson
Public Access: No longer applicable; tree is dead

This majestic pecan tree once marked the homesite and grave of the founder of a pioneer settlement known as Grigsby’s Bluff. The tree also was the point of origin from which the townsite of Port Neches was surveyed, in 1902.

On November 1, 1834, Joseph Grigsby received from Empresario Lorenzo de Zavala a grant of 17 labors of land (3,009 acres) on the Neches River. After the Battle of San Jacinto, he moved most of his family to this bluff on the Neches and built a lovely home in the shade of this giant pecan tree.

Joseph Grigsby’s deep and active interest in the development of Jefferson County is evidenced by his partnership with four other landowners, one of whom was Captain Henry Millard. Each gave fifty acres of land out of which the town of Beaumont was surveyed, in 1837.

Before his death in 1841, Grigsby served as a Representative in the second, third and fifth Congresses of the Republic of Texas. He and four of his children were buried beneath this pecan tree.

Grigsby’s homesite and other adjoining property was acquired in 1902 by the Central Asphalt and Refining Company, which laid out and named the town of Port Neches. Their main office is believed to have been at the location of the Grigsby home. It was about this time that the five Grigsby graves were moved to another location, one which to this day remains a mystery.

A storm destroyed this tree after the first edition of Famous Trees of Texas went to press in 1969.

Site of the historic Grigsby Pecan is near the southeast end of Grigsby Avenue in Port Neches, on a high bluff overlooking the Neches River.