Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 451 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TE XAS.
Influenced by an early attachment, he returned
to Kentucky in 1850, and married Miss Mattie J.
Crow, a daughter of Mr. A. D. Crow, of Floydsburg,
in that State,
a most beautiful lady and
distinguished for many lovable qualities. She
voluntarily left the "old Kentucky home" with
her husband to brave the hardships of a frontier
life in Texas, and has ever been a faithful helpmate
as well as a loving and devoted wife. They have
two sons: Royal A. Ferris, born August 8th, 1851,
in Jefferson, Texas, who was educated at the Kentucky
Military Institute, near Frankfort, Ky., and
is now a successful capitalist and banker in Dallas,
Texas, and Thomas A. Ferris, born February 10,
1861, in Waxahachie, Texas, who was also educated
at the Kentucky Military Institute, and is now
cashier and one of the board of directors of the
Citizens National Bank, of Waxahachie.
Judge Ferris has been a consistent member of
the Methodist Episcopal Church South for many
years. Though not a demonstrative chuich worker
he has ever exerted a strong, steady influence in
favor of Christianity. His daily walk and conversation
have been exemplary and have indicated
at all times with certainty his position on all moral
and religious subjects. He and Mrs. Ferris by
industry and economy have acquired a handsome
estate and are heavy taxpayers, owning a goodly
share of city and country realty. They have a
beautiful home, in the suburbs of Waxahachie,
supplied with a large library and every comfort-a
home blessed with pure domestic happiness.
Honored and beloved by all who knowthem,
they are in. their old age deservedly enjoying
the fruits of a consistent and well-ordered
R. S. WILLIS,
Richard Short Willis was born October 17, 1821,
in Caroline County, Md., where his father, Short
A. Willis, settled early in the present century.
The latter was a native of Scotland and was brought
by his parents to this country previous to the
Revolution, in which several members of the family
took part on the side of the Colonies, two uncles
of the subject of this sketch yielding up their lives
at the battle of Brandywine for the cause of freedom
and against the tyranny of the British Crown.
Four of the five sons of Short A. Willis, namely,
Peter J., William H., Richard S., and Thomas A.,
came to Texas in youth or early manhood and have
spent their subsequent lives. The first to come
was Peter J., who made his advent into the new
Republic soon after the battle of San Jacinto, in
1836. After a brief tour of inspection he became
satisfied with the country and returned to Maryland
for his brothers, William H. and Richard S., who,
accompanying him, came back and settled on Buffalo
bayou near Houston. Peter J. had then just
attained his twenty-first year, William H. was
eighteen, and Richard S. sixteen. In the limited
industries of the new country the lives of the
Willis brothers was by no means an easy one, but
they bravely performed all the labors that fell to
their lot, emerging from the trials to which they
were subjected stronger in purpose and better prepared
for the responsibilities of the future. By
their industry and good management they saved
sufficient means to purchase the property then
known as the " Ringold Farm " on the road from
Navasota to Washington, and there, as the reward
of their good husbandry, they laid the foundation
of the splendid fortune which later came into their
hands. It was while living on this place that the
death of William H. occurred. Early in the
forties Peter J. Willis bought a stock of goods and
began the mercantile business at Washington,
Richard S. remaining on the farm. Later Richard
S. left the farm and joined his brother and they
opened an establishment at Montgomery. This
proving successful they started a branch store at
Anderson, in Grimes County, in partnership with
E. W. Cawthon, under the firm name of Cawthou,
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/451/: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .