John Duncan left lasting mark on county
A 1936 granite state historical marker stands at the former John Duncan homesite on Caney Creek in north Matagorda County. Below, a cistern is among the few reminders of the once great Duncan plantation.

   In many ways, Stephen F. Austin’s “Old Three Hundred” colonists can be likened in Texas history to the Pilgrims in the history of the United States. 
   John Duncan was one of these historic settlers. 
   Born in Pennsylvania in 1788, he first moved to Alabama and lived there until he was 45 years old. 
   He married Julia Coan of Gilford, Connecticut, born Dec. 7, 1807. 
   They were the parents of five children. 
   For some unknown reason, John Duncan, who operated a successful line of steamships on the Alabama River between Catawbe, Mobile and Selma, abandoned his business, his plantation, and his family, and immigrated to Texas. 
   He left Alabama in 1835 and upon arriving in Matagorda, enlisted in the Matagorda and Bay Prairie Company of Volunteers participating in the Oct. 9, 1835, capture of Goliad under Captain George M. Collinsworth. 
   Ten miles north of Bay City, bordering the meandering Caney Creek, in 1936, the state of Texas erected a marker commemorating John Duncan as an outstanding settler of early Texas.

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