Jess Stuart

History of the Bend with Jess Stuart

This week, we’re joined by Jess Stuart, Community Development Executive at YMCA and descendant of the “Old Three Hundred”, to discuss his extensive family history in texas, passion for historical preservation, and the goals the YMCA has for our community moving forward.

In this episode, Aimee, Emily, and Jess cover:

  • Almost 200 years of family history in Texas
  • History of the Old Three Hundred
  • How Jess developed his own interest in family history and Texas history 
  • Work Jess has done with numerous groups, nonprofits, and organizations
  • YMCA’s journey in Fort Bend and what to look forward to at the TW Davis location

Important highlights:

Diving deep into ancestry 

Jess can trace his family tree back almost 200 years in Texas, starting with the legacy of the Old Three Hundred. While this may be a familiar topic for our Texas listeners that attended school here, there’s so much rich history that can be missed when we’re sharing our past with the world outside of Texas. For Jess, being able to cherish the connection he has to Texas history is a vital part of everything he does for our community. 

“To know the history of my family…you have to go all the way back to the 1820s.”

Preserving hometown history 

Although he is an expert in it now, Jess wasn’t very interested in his own ancestry until he moved back to Fort Bend and specifically back to George Ranch. Spending more time close to home, seeing and hearing about old artifacts and family history awakened an interest in Jess that has guided him to becoming a part of numerous historical societies and groups within Fort Bend and Texas, all aimed at preservation and education. 

“If you stay closer to home, you have so much more of a chance to stay more involved here.”

Keeping it in the family

Between the family-and-volunteer-run Foster Museum and the dedicated historical room in his home, Jess keeps history alive in everything he does. With an extensive knowledge to share and an even more extensive collection of artifacts (including numerous old bibles, tools, and firearms), he aims to continue this passion of his throughout his life and to pass on that passion for Texas history to future generations as well. 

“Everything has been handed down now…so now, I’m training my kids too.”

Collaborating whenever possible 

Jess’ work with local groups and organizations is incredibly extensive and extremely impactful. If it has anything to do with Texas history, Jess will be there, ready to lend a hand to help in whatever way possible. This same passion extends to his work with the YMCA as well, where he brings as much assistance and opportunities to our community as possible, including aiding in the remodelling of the TW Davis YMCA location. 

“That’s such a big thing in Fort Bend county; we are huge on partnerships and collaborations.”

Get in contact with Jess by shooting him an email:

Find out more about the YMCA on the YMCA Houston website and the TW Davis location page.

Additional resources to check out: Fort Bend Museum, Jones Creek Ranch Park, Texas General Land Office, Rotary Club of Richmond, The Log Cabin (1875), Family Land Heritage Program, Richmond Historical Commission, Fort Bend Historical Commission, Sons of the Republic of Texas

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