History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families

HISTRY F TEAS.:32

health that it was thought best for him to
seek a change of climate. The family, therefore
removed to Travis county, Texas, where
his life was prolonged for nearly thirty years.
The first few years of this Texas life was discouraging
in the extreme. It was just after the
close of the war and so new and wild that the
whoop of the Comanche Indian had scarcely
died away. Outlaws and horse-thieves infested
the country in large numbers, so much
so that the farmers could hardly keep teams
enough to cultivate their land. Mr. Bird and
his sons took an active part in putting these
highwaymen to rout and bringing then to
justice, until the country became in a few
years as greatly civilized as any in the world.
The rest of his life was passed in peace and
happiness in a neighborhood of as good people
as is to be found on the globe. He here
enjoyed a fair degree of health until his
death, April 2, 1892, when he passed to his
reward amidst the universal mourning of his
family and friends.
September 9, 1847, Mr. Bird was married
to the lady who still survives him. Her
maiden name was Polly Ann Ayres, and, like
her husband, she was born and reared in
Washington county, Illinois, to which her
parents had removed from Tennessee in an
early day. To this union were born six children:
John, deceased; William, residing
on the home farm; Booker, at Watters;
Rhoda, deceased; Sallie, wife of James Holman,
of Hutto, Texas; and Polly Ann, wife
of Higgins Holman, brother of Jamnes, and
resides near her brother.
William R. Bird, the eldest of the surviving
sons, was born in Washington county,
Illinois, March 2, 1851. The original purchase
of the father consisted of 800 acres,
which was evenly divided between timber and
and black prairie land. A part of this tract

was given to William, to wlich lie lias since
added until he now owns 485 acres, 175 of
which is under a good state of cultivation.
He takes great pride in handling fine stock
and raises Percheron horses for carriage use.
William was married in Travis county, December
6, 1886, to Mary E., daughter of
Charles and Elizabeth Barnes, and they have
two children: William R., Jr., and Thomas.
I. B., or Booker, as he is familiarly called,
was born in Hunt county, Texas, May 18,
1853. He is now a prominent merchant and
farmer of the little town of Watters, near his
mother's farm. He was married in this
county, December 12, 1875, to Laura KI., a
daughter of Rev. Thomas H. and Martha
(Harrel) Bacon, and they have three children:
Floyd, Ira and Ora.
YRUS R. SMITH, for a number of
years a leading member of the Canieron
bar, was born in Cherokee county,
Alabama, in 1836. His parents were Sanford
V. and Mariam (McGregor) Smith, natives
of South Carolina, who were reared in
Alabama, where they spent the greater part
of their lives. The father was a farmer, and
it was on the farm that the earlier years of
the subject of this notice were passed. He
received a classical education and would have
graduated at the university at Oxford, Alabamna,
had not the war interfered. He engaged
in teaching for some years after he
grew up. He entered the Confederate army
in 1861, enlisting in the First Alabama Regiment,
with which hie served until 1862, when
he re-enlisted in the cavalry service and was
attached to Ford's command, rising through
successive promotions to the Colonelcy of his
regiment. After the war lie read law, and in

x:23

HISTOY OF EXAS

Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed April 1, 2015.