Benjamin W. Wightman was born in Norwich, Connecticut on August 31, 1755, and served with the Tyron County Rangers of New York in the American Revolution. He married Esther Randall and became a Baptist minister. Benjamin and Esther had nine daughters, Jerusha, Lydia, Eunice, Lucy, Susan, Esther, Margaret, Amy and Clarissa, and two sons, Elias and Dimmis. In 1828 Elias, a surveyor for Stephen F. Austin, brought a group of colonists from New York to Matagorda - including his parents, Benjamin and Esther, and his sisters, Jerusha and Margaret. They traveled down the Mississippi River by flatboat to New Orleans. From New Orleans they sailed on the schooner Little Zoe to Matagorda, where they landed on January 1, 1829. Little Zoe was the first sailing ship to enter the port. The first year they lived in a small stockade built by Stephen F. Austin, and Esther Randall Wightman died of typhoid fever on June 20, 1830 becoming the first person buried in the Matagorda Cemetery. Six weeks later, on August 1, 1830, Benjamin Wightman followed her.