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 Page: 302
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HISTORY OF TEXAS.
A meager education was all that Mr.
Pearce could secure, and at the age of fifteen
years he was forced from the shelter of his
own home by a stepfather. In search of
work he went to Murfreesborough, Tennessee,
but the scourge of cholera which swept the
land compelled him to return to his home.
A month later he went to west Tennessee,
and secured employment near Paris, where
he remained until 1875. Having accumulaed
a small sum of money he came to Texas
and located in Travis county; he first worked
for a Mr. Vance in a dairy, and afterward
was in the employ of W. D. Miller. Realizing
the advantages of cultivating land for
himself he rented a tract, and kept "bachelor's
hall." In 1887 he removed to his
present home, his wife having inherited a
fine farm of 416i acres; he subsequently
purchased 200 acres. For the past fifteen
years he has made a specialty of feeding cattle
for market, and annually sends some excellent
specimens to the city trade.
He was married December 24, 1877, to
Mattie A., a daughter of Robert Jones; she
was born November 6, 1851. They are the
parents of seven children: Mary Iola, L.
Ernest, A. D., Lulu Belle, R. J., J. W., and
i ILL I S AVER Y, deceased, was a
brother of V. R. C. Avery, and was
another one of the substantial yeomen
of Williamson county, Texas, residing
in the same precinct with his brother. He
was born in Bastrop county, Texas, April 8,
1840. Like other boys of those early days,
much of his time was spent in working with
cattle and farming, rather than in the schdolroom,
schools at that time being few arl far
The tocsin of war found him on the
threshold of manhood, and willing to "do
and to dare" for the fair Southland. He accordingly
enlisted in the service and reported
with the rest of his company for duty.
"The spirit was willing, but the flesh was
weak." Willis Avery had never been a
strong boy, and now that a duty presented
itself that needed none but strong men, he
found himself not equal to the task. Taking
advantage of a detail, therefore, he returned
home, and was not again asked to go to the
Much of his early manhood was given to
the business of freighting, the Williams boys
being his employers. He finally concluded
to begin farming, and, buying a tract of land
near that of his brother, V. R. C., at $6 per
acre, he built him a home. After experience
proving the location a poor one on account of
its sickly character, he invested in the tract
now owned by his widow, and built the home
she occupies. The farm consists of some 415
acres, traversed by Brushy creek, well timbered,
and furnishing 235 acres of tillable
soil of the rich, black variety peculiar to this
section. The county line dividing Williamson
and Travis crosses it, the nearest trading
point being the flourishing little town of
Hutto, about six miles distant. In 1892
sixty-eight bales of cotton were made on the
place, requiring six men to work the crop.
Mr. Avery married the lady who now survives
him, January 22, 1862. Mrs. Avery's
maiden name was Sallie Reid, she being the
daughter of Hutchinson and Elizabeth (Curtis)
Reid. She was born and reared in Texas,
together with the following family: James,
who enlisted in the Confederate service, and
was killed in battle; Bartlett, living in Gonzales
county, Texas; Sarah, born October 11,
1840, is the widow of our subject; John,
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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, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/317/?rotate=90: accessed February 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .