Ashbel Smith was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1805. Recieved his M.D. degree from Yale in 1828, and came to Texas from South Carolina in 1837. He established a plantation called Headquarters on Goose Creek in 1840 and in 1847 purchased property adjoining his and a plantation home named Evergreen on Tabbs Bay, part of the San Jacinto Estuary. Dr. Smith kept the name Evergreen for the combined estates. This **** acre estate remained his home until his death in 1886. Dr. Smith's active life as physician, statesman, soldier and educator often took him away, but he always returned to Evergreen and his life as a farmer, rancher, scientist and writer.
Dr. Ashbel Smith served the Republic of Texas as Surgeon General 1837—39, Minister to England and France 1842—44, and Secretary of State 1845: worked to establish the Texas Medical Association 1853 and the Texas State Agricultural Society 1853: represented Harris County in the sixth, eleventh, and sixteenth Legislatures of Texas: formed the Bayland Guards 1861; was Colonel 2nd Texas Infantry Confederate Army; led the way in founding Prairie View State Normal School 1879, the University of Texas in Austin 1881, and the medical branch in Galveston. Served as first president of the University of Texas Board of Regents 1881—1886.