About Richard Robert Peebles
Dr. Richard Rodgers Peebles was the son of John and Margaret Peebles. He received a medical degree from Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, arrived in Texas in 1835, and settled in Washington-on-the-Brazos in November 1835. There he established a medical practice that covered the areas of present day Lee, Washington, and Brazoria counties. Peebles helped rent Independence Hall for the Convention of 1836. Working under the leadership of General Sam Houston, Peebles cared for the sick and wounded in the rear guard at Harrisburg (Houston) during the battle of San Jacinto April 21, 1836. In1841 he moved to Austin County opening a general store and pharmacy. After his marriage on March 8, 1843, to Groce's widow, Mary Ann Calvit Groce, he resided at his wife's plantation named Pleasant Hill. The couple had nine children, and Peebles continued his medical practice, which included caring for slaves in the area's many plantations. In1846 he was elected an Austin County justice of the peace. In 1856 Peebles helped organize the Washington County Railroad and was elected a director. In 1859 he was one of the petitioners for a separate county government for what became Waller County. With James W. McDade, Peebles organized Waller County and the town of Hempstead on the projected railroad line The doctor named the new community for his brother-in-law, Dr. G. S. B. Hempstead. He returned to his home at the family plantation of Pleasant Hill In September 1891. His failing health prevented Peebles from resuming his medical practice. His stepson and later son-in-law managed his business affairs. Dr. Peebles died on August 8, 1893, at the home of his daughter and was buried in Hempstead Cemetery.