Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998 Page: 74
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
In 1876, Angus McNeill experienced the worst personal losses in his life
since the death of Rebecca in 1856. His daughter, Mary, and his son Henry, died within
days of each other. Henry was suffering from congestion of the lungs at the Knotts House
in Columbus. Mary went to take care of him, and according to a notice in the Colorado
Citizen, she died on November 26, 1876 of pneumonia "superinduced by sitting up with
her brother." Several days later Henry died. While the Colorado Citizen and the Galveston
News gave only a brief mention of the deaths with condolences to the father, and the
Houston Daily Telegraph gave only notice of their deaths, the San Antonio Herald carried
lengthy obituaries. Mary was described as a "most estimable and accomplished lady" who
was "the cynosure of a large social circle that gave life and delight to society at Austin
during the administration of Gov. Runnells." Henry was labeled as "brave and generous
to a fault." As an officer who "served actively throughout the war ... Harry McNeill was
a noble fellow, beloved by his comrades and admired by his men. He had all the dash
requisite for the cavalry officer, and the steady courage necessary to surmount the great-
Angus McNeill attempted to gain control of affairs after the deaths of his
son and daughter. On February 27, 1878, he applied to be her administrator. Her estate
was indebted to the H. H. Williams Estate, and its attorney, P. DeCordova, also applied
for administration papers. Her father was selected by the court to be the administrator
provided that he supply a $14,000 bond within twenty days. When he failed to give the
bond by April 24, 1878, DeCordova, who provided his bond on May 13, was made the
administrator. William Dunovant, James Alston Harbert, and Daniel W. Stockbridge
were appointed appraisers of the estate. By October 31, 1878, the inventory was pre-
sented and recorded, and on the first Tuesday in April 1879, Mary's part of the land, 1200
acres in the James Ross Survey, was sold to Rebecca A. Williams of Baltimore, Mary-
land, the widow of H. H. Williams, for $3025, the highest price bid. The final record of
the estate was made on April 28, 1879.'06
There was one piece of land that had not been at question in the probate of
Mary's estate and that was her homestead in the Patrick Reels Survey, one mile below the
town on the "east margin of Eagle Lake." Angus McNeill, as the sole surviving family
member of Mary Anderson, sold this ten acres of land on August 20, 1879 to Henry S.
Tracy for $750.107
105 Galveston News, December 2, 1876; Colorado Citizen, November 30, 1876; Houston Daily
Telegraph, December 7, 1876; Colorado Citizen, December 21, 1876, quoting the San Antonio Herald.
106 Probate Records of Colorado County, Texas, Minute Book F, pp. 611-612, 633-634, 640, 643,
659, 679, 684-685, Final Minute Book J, pp, 423-428.
107 Deed Records of Colorado County, Texas, Book V, p. 51.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 2, May, 1998, periodical, May 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151403/m1/26/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.