John Jordan in Texas
John Jordan and his wife, Eliza Jane had one child, only a few months old when they moved to Texas. They soon were in what later would be Van Zandt County. Their house was built of logs hewn to a thickness of four or five inches and ten to sixteen inches broad. Most of the heavy labor lay in getting the logs hewn and ready on the ground. Friends and relatives helped them raise the structure.
Their first furnishings were very scant and of the crudest kind. Their furniture consisted of blocks, goods boxes or rough benches for chairs, a long shelf made to the wall for a dining table with a long straight pole run across the house with the ends resting in the house cracks for a bedstead. At that time, the nearest market where furniture could be purchased was in New Orleans.
John Jordan was involved in the Mexican War and was a Texas Ranger.
Indians had produced the first salt in the area by boiling the salty water in iron kettles until the water evaporated leaving the salt. In 1845, John Jordan and Alney McGee acquired title to the land and called the place Jordan's Saline. By 1850,they leased their interests in the salt works to Frederick Hamm and 1n 1857, Hamm bought all remaining interests. Eventually, this salt operation was acquired by Morton Salt and proved to be a tremendous deposit and very valuable.
Jordan's Saline was designated as the county's capital for a period of two years. The first District Court in Van Zandt County was held here. A log court house was erected and covered with boards making a very crude structure. The first electon was held in the county, on August 7, 1848, when 87 votes were polled in the entire county. At this election, John Jordan was elected County Commissioner. Jordan's Saline had its' own post office, with Alney McGee as the first postmaster of Van Zandt County.
In 1872, the Texas and Pacific Railroad was extended from Marshall to Dallas, passing through Joran's Saline. A depot was erected and the name was changed to Grand Saline as it remains today.
The John Jordan family had arrived in Texas in 1833 and left for California in 1850. During this time, Texas had existed under three national and two state contitutions. John and Eliza added seven sons following the only daughter, Mary Ann, who born in Illinois.