The Dallas Journal, Volume 48, 2002 Page: 3
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Dr. Samuel B. Pryor, Early Prominent Dallas County Resident
he was born months before the first Samuel's death. Other children of Philip and Susan include Maria
A., Mary A. E., Susan C., Philip W. B., John, and Charles R. Philip Pryor died 17 June 1825 and Susan
C. Pryor died 22 May 1842.10 Susan was the daughter of Burwell Bassett and Susanna (Cordle)
Samuel attended the Virginia Military Institution as a member of "Class of 1843" in 1839 and resigned
in 1841. The Class of 1843 roster for the Virginia Military Institute read: "Samuel Burwell Pryor -
Class of 1843: Born - ca. 1820 in Brunswick Co., VA; Father - Philip Pryor; Guardian - Burwell B.
Wilkes; Entered VMI - Nov. 13, 1839; Resigned March 9, 1841; Married - wife's name unknown,
unknown if there were children; Career - doctor; Died - ca. 1860 in Texas."'2 Perhaps he left to attend
a medical college. He graduated from Hampden Sydney College in 1844 then moved to Paraclifta,
Sevier Co., Arkansas.13 Paraclifta is a township on the Cossatot River.
Charles Pettigrew, Justice of Peace, performed Samuel's marriage to Anna Mariah Powell on 26 March
1846 in Paraclifta.14 Anna was born 29 November 1827 in Liverpool, England.'5
Shortly after their marriage, the young couple moved to Dallas, a new town, in 1846 and he quickly
became one of the area's prominent men. He was not only a physician but also was involved in business
and civic affairs. The reason why men like Dr. Pryor who was involved in almost every step of the
city's development is because of two reasons. First, they were among the few educated people who were
learned in all affairs, personal and public. Secondly, they also needed money. Many settlers did not
have much money to pay the doctor enough for his services so doctors usually had other professions for
Dr. Samuel B. Pryor was appointed as a District Clerk in December 1846 to finish the term of July 1846
to August 1848 after the resignation of John McCoy. He served again as a District Clerk from 1848 to
On 29 October 1847 their first child, Ashton Gates, was born.'8
Samuel was issued a land certificate, Robertson Third Class No. 1245, in 1850 and patented 640 acres in
the county.19 Shortly before the 1850 census they had another son, born circa January 1850, who was
not named by the time the census was taken. The 1850 Dallas Co., Texas census listed: S. B. Pryor (age
30 male) as a physician, Anna M. (21 f), Ashton G. (2 m) and an unnamed son (4/12 m), with the adults
born in Virginia and the children in Texas.20 The last son was soon given the name, Edward (or Edwin)
Most of the Dallas County residents in 1850 were early settlers of the Peters Colony who came to the
area to make land claims of 640 acres according to an agreement between the Texas Republic and Peters
Colony in 1841. During the early years there were very few "agents available to make clear the proper
boundaries," eventually causing disputes among the settlers. In 1852 the Texas legislature enacted a law
to carry out their obligation regarding the land claims but their plan upset the settlers because it "granted
the company owners 1.08 million acres of land in choice locations." The settlers' frustration resulted in
an incident known as the "Hedgcoxe War" (or the "Peters Colony Rebellion"). Henry Oliver Hedgcoxe
was a Peters Colony agent since 1845 and not a favorite among the settlers because of his "officious"
manner. A committee of citizens representing Dallas County led by B. Warren Stone, J. W. Crockett,
James H. Smith, Alexander Harwood, Samuel B. Pryor, and A. Bledsoe, forced its way into Hedgcoxe's
office in Collin County to investigate his records on July 12 and 13. They reported back to the meeting
in Dallas on July 15 that "fraud and corruption was evident, and that Hedgcoxe himself had evil
The Dallas Journal 2002 3
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 48, 2002, periodical, June 2002; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186861/m1/7/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.