Gonzales County, Texas
29 30.045' N 97 27.185' W
Text: Born in Virginia to William and Isabella (Mooreland) Ponton, Andrew Ponton came to Texas in December 1829 and settled in Green DeWitt's Colony, receiving a land grant near Hallettsville. He became active in area politics, and in 1834 he was named alcalde, or mayor, of the municipality of Gonzales. The following year, after the community began to experience political unrest as a result of differences with the Mexican government, the community formed a Committee on Safety and appointed Ponton as a member. As the local leader, he was actively involved in what became known as the Battle of Gonzales, or the "Come and Take It" incident. His reluctance to turn over a cannon to Mexican forces, while the community gathered reinforcements, led to the incident, considered an opening event in the Texas Revolution. Ponton was also responsible for gathering Gonzales soldiers to answer the call by Col. William B. Travis for help in defending the Alamo. The men, known as the Immortal 32, went to aid Texan forces in San Antonio and lost their lives in the 1836 battle. After the revolution, Ponton served as the county's Chief Justice and was later elected to the Republic of Texas Congress. He wed Mary Berry in 1841 and in 1846 became Chief Justice for newly formed Lavaca County. The couple lived near Hallettsville, where they reared four sons: William, briefly assigned to Whitfield's Legion during the Civil War; Andrew, who served in Terry's Texas Rangers; Thomas, an attorney for many years in Gonzales; and Samuel, who died as a child. Ponton died in 1850 and is though to be buried on a farm north of Hallettsville. A Centennial marker in Gonzales' Masonic Cemetery honors his contributions to the Republic of Texas.