Monthly Archives: March 2019

Dr. Junius William Mottley, namesake of Motley County

Dr. Junius Mottley was born in Virginia in 1812 to John P. and Mary Williams Elmore Mottley.  His ancestors came to Virginia from England in the 1600s.  Dr. Mottley received his medical education at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.  Transylvania was founded in 1780, was the first university in Kentucky and is still operating.  A number of early Texans have ties to Transylvania.  After completing his studies, he studied with a practicing physician in Kentucky by the name of Dr. Charles Hay.  Shortly after leaving Kentucky, Mottley moved to Texas in 1835.  He joined the Texas Army and served as Post Surgeon at Goliad.  Mottley was serving in that capacity in early 1836 when he was appointed as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Washington County.  Accordingly, he was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

At age 24, Dr. Mottley was the youngest man to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence in his capacity as delegate from Goliad.  Motley County in the Texas Panhandle is named for him, despite the dropping of one “t” from his name.  On the Declaration, his name was spelled with the “t” doubled and a line connecting them.

He was serving as aide-de-camp to T. J. Rusk and was one of the individuals who died from wounds suffered on the battlefield at the Battle of San Jacinto.  He died the night of the battle and was buried on the battlefield.  Although his actual burial location is likely lost to history, his name appears on the San Jacinto Battlefield Memorial in the San Jacinto Cemetery, along with eight other individuals including Benjamin Rice Brigham (the only fatality whose burial location was believed to be known with any certainty).


(Image credit: Findagrave)

Motley County was formed in 1876.  It is now sparcely populated.  Its county seat is Matador, after the old Matador Ranch.  Dr. Mottley is believed to be the only one of his family in Texas at the time of his death.  According to traditional genealogy records, he never married.  He was survived by a number of siblings and half half siblings back in Virginia.  His mother passed away when he was young.

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Posted by on March 21, 2019 in biography


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Billie Sol Estes

Billie Solomon Estes was born January 10, 1925 to John Levi, Sr., a farmer, and Lillian Alice Coffman Estes in a rural area near Clyde, Callahan County, Texas.  It may be a legend, but the story was told of the thirteen year old Billie’s “parlaying” of a single lamb that he was given into what became the sum of $38,000.  He is said to have raised a flock of sheep with his one lamb, selling them two years later and investing the proceeds into a sow and piglets which, along with some dealings in feed, he turned into the final sum of $38,000 by the time he was eighteen.

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Posted by on March 14, 2019 in biography, unsolved mystery


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Minnie Lou Bradley

Minnie Lou Ottinger Bradley was born December 15, 1931 to Thomas and Zulema Young Ottinger in western Oklahoma.  At an early age, she showed a strong interest in livestock as she grew up on the family wheat farm.  She joined the 4-H Club and actively participated, although the Future Farmers of America (FFA) was then limited to male members.  While in 4-H, she exhibited Angus cattle, sheep and swine.  At age ten, she won a blue ribbon at the Oklahoma State Fair for sheep raised on her ranch.  After graduating from high school in Hydro, Oklahoma she enrolled at Oklahoma State University, first chartered as Oklahoma Territorial Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1890 and then commonly known as Oklahoma A&M.  She was the first female student to enroll in animal science, graduating in 1953 and minoring in agricultural journalism.

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Posted by on March 7, 2019 in biography, cattle breeds, texas women


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