Gravesite of John Kirby Allen. (1810-1838) Co-founder of Houston) Houston in 1836 was a humid swamp overgrown with sweet gum trees and coffee bean weeds. In this spot, however, two brothers from New York recognized the future "commercial emporium of Texas." John Kirby Allen was born and lived in New York until moving to Texas in 1832 with his older brother Augustus Chapman Allen, a professor of mathematics. A natural leader with a magnetic personality, J. K. Allen was an astute businessman as well. He and his brother soon saw that the area around Buffalo Bayou could readily become a major seaport. Immediately after the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836), J. K. Allen carefully chose the site of future Huston. On August 24 and 26, the brothers paid $9,428 for 6,642 acres of land originally granted by Mexico to John Austin, a pioneer colonist. Fittingly, they named the town for Sam Houston, leader of the Texas Army. In glowing words, the brothers advertised their infant town all over the United States; and J. K. Allen, who was soon elected representative to the Texas Congress, worked unceasingly to make Houston the capital of Texas, as it became-- 1837 to 1839. At 28, J. K. Allen died of congestive fever, but the town he founded has since become Texas' largest city. #10593