Part 1, Note 8

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The Reminiscences of T. J. Williams, The Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin. Colorado County Deed Records, Book J, pp. 626-629 contains a deed dated December 19, 1833 that refers to an "old school-house" that was in the Elizabeth Tumlinson Survey at a site that seems to be very near the original southern boundary of Columbus. This probably was the school that Williams remembered. The teacher's name is given in the Williams manuscript as "Nick Gillard." The manuscript, however, is typewritten, and is certainly a transcription of an earlier, now apparently lost, handwritten copy. That the transcriber had difficulty with the handwriting is borne out by the number of times that he or she inserted the word "illegible" in the manuscript. While no "Nick Gillard" has been found in Austin's colony, Nicholas Dillard was one of the Old Three Hundred. He is referred to in two documents as "Captain Dillard," a title often accorded school teachers in the nineteenth century (see The Austin Papers, vol. 1, pp. 1598, 1635). He can be associated with the area in which the school stood by a debt he owed to Elizabeth Tumlinson, which he settled by trading a horse to the holder of the note, Stephen F. Austin, in 1829 (see Winkler, ed., Manuscript Letters and Documents of Early Texians, 1821-1845, p. 92). If one were so inclined, one might speculate that the debt was in some way associated with the construction of the school, which was on land that eventually would be granted to Tumlinson.