PONTON, JOEL (1802–1875). Joel Ponton, early "Reformed Baptist" preacher, was born on July 3, 1802, in Virginia, the son of William and Isabella (Moreland) Ponton. The family moved to Missouri. Six years after his marriage to Sarrah Reavis in 1827, Joel followed his brother Andrew Ponton and his father to Texas. William and a companion, John Hays, were killed by Indians in 1834.
Ponton was versed in both religion and medicine and spent his entire life in the two professions; he confined his activity mostly to Lavaca County. He narrowly escaped an Indian attack in 1840 in which his companion Tucker Foley was killed. The same Indians were engaged by settlers in the battle of Plum Creek in 1840.
Ponton was probably the earliest of the "Reformed Baptists" preachers, as Alexander Campbell's movement was called, to preach in Texas. His association with these churches is first documented in 1842. His ministry continued until his death in 1875. A report by Henry Thomas, an Austin minister who visited Ponton's home on the bank of the Lavaca River in 1859, describes Ponton as "estimable and talented . . . a chaste, logical and eloquent speaker, and the only proclaimer, in the Christian Church, within sixty miles of this place." Forced to practice medicine to support a large family at this time Ponton preached very little. The Church of Christ at Ezzell was established by Ponton. He was married four times and had seventeen children. He was county judge of Lavaca County from 1866 to 1867. He died in 1875.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, R. L. Roberts, "Ponton, Joel," accessed May 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpo57.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles