The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 524
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
State of Tennessee On this 16th day of July, 1852, personally
Gibson County appeared before me, W. A. Allison, an
acting justice of the peace for said county, Mary A. Bell, wife of
Thomas W. Bell, who being sworn according to law declares upon
her oath, that she was formerly the wife of O. R. Willis, and was
his wife at his death, that she married him on the 3rd day of Feb-
ruary 1842; that said O. R. Willis was the illegitimate son of Thomas
Scurry; that said Willis had no brother or sister of the whole
blood; that his mother is dead; that she, declarant, had by said
Willis an only child named Cordelia Owen, who survived its
father (the said Willis) about twelve months, and which died about
15th day of September 1844, aged about eighteen months, that
O. R. Willis was a volunteer private in Captain William Ryon's
Company in Col. Fisher's Regiment Texas Volunteers, all of which
will more fully appear from a letter addressed to declarant by
A. S. Thurmond and William Ryon dated "Castle of Perote in
Mexico, July the 7th, 1844"-and by another letter addressed to
declarant by A. S. Thurmond dated at "Castle of Perote, Oct 18th,
1843" which two letters are marked as "Exhibits A and B" and
made a part of this declaration. She further states that said O. R.
Willis, her late husband, was mustered into the service of the State
of Texas about the 17th day of October 1842 at the town of San
Antonio, Texas; that he continued in said service up to the date
of his capture as a prisoner of war by the Mexican forces, as a
private in said company, and was taken prisoner with the balance
of said company by the Mexican troops at the town of Mier in the
Republic of Mexico on the 26th day of December 1842, and was
afterwards actually imprisoned by said Republic and remained in
said imprisonment from the date of his capture to the date of his
death which took place about the loth day of October 1843, in
said imprisonment. All of which will more fully appear by refer-
ence to the proofs herewith accompanying.
Affiant makes this declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of
the provisions made by the act of the Legislature of the State
of Texas, passed 8 approved on the .9th day of February 1850,
entitled "An act for the relief of certain persons, formerly Prisoners
of war in Mexico." All erasures and interlineations were made be-
fore this Declaration was signed. Sworn to and subscribed before me.
This 16th day of July 1852. Mary A. Bell34
W. A. Allison, J. P.
for Gibson County
"Mary Asletha Willis married Thomas W. Bell in 1848. After his death she
moved to Texas and died in Gonzales County in February, 1897. See Llerena B.
Friend (ed.), "Thomas W. Bell Letters," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LXIII,
99-109, 299-310, 457-468, 589-599.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/602/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.