Sarah's Flag LbNA # 28931
|Owner||Lone Star Quilter|
|Placed Date||Feb 23 2007|
|Last Update||May 18 2013|
Texans, in 1835, were unhappy with Mexican rule. In September of that year, when war with Mexico became inevitable and a call went out for volunteer companies to be formed, Harrisburg settlers quickly went into action. An infantry company was organized with Andrew Robinson as Captain and Archelaus Dodson, 1st Lt. The women of Harrisburg went into action too, making knapsacks, cartridge belts, and molding bullets, and to Sarah Dodson, the wife of Archelaus, came the idea of making an appropriate flag for the company. Silk or bunting not being available, she designed the flag of alternate squares of blue, white and red calico, with the blue square adjoining the staff. In the middle of the blue square she affixed a single white star. This flag has been recognized as the first “Lone Star” flag. The flag flew with the Harrisburg Company of Texas troops at Gonzales alongside the “Come and Get It” flag. After that battle, the company marched under Sarah’s flag to San Antonio to lay siege to the Alamo. It was one of two flags that flew over Independence Hall at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, when Texas declared its independence.
Sarah Randolph Bradley Dodson was born in 1812 and moved to Texas from Kentucky with her family in 1822 or 1823 as part of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old Three Hundred”. Sarah and her husband took part in the Runaway Scrape. After the revolution, they moved to Fort Bend County, and in 1844 they settled in the area of present Grimes County five miles northeast of Bedias. There they helped organize a Presbyterian congregation and donated land for the Bethel Church and cemetery. Sarah died on October 9, 1848, and was buried in Bethel Cemetery. In September 1935, 100 years after she made her flag, her descendants placed a granite marker at her gravesite. A Texas flag also flies above her grave.
Although Bethel Cemetery is in Grimes County, you can only get to it from Madison County. From the Courthouse in Madisonville, go west on Highway 21 for 4.6 miles to FM 1372. Turn left (south) and drive 4.4 miles to Bethel Cemetery Road. The sign is a green street sign on your left and is easy to miss. Turn left and go 2.3 miles down the dirt road directly into the cemetery. Be careful if it has rained recently.
To the box:
Park at the covered pavilion and look for the Texas flag which flies over the grave of Sarah Bradley Dodson. While reading the marker, look past it to a short stone wall surrounding a grave plot for seven children. At the near corner of the wall, you’ll find the letterbox covered with rocks. Remove them carefully and take care to replace them so that the box can’t be seen.