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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).

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(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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Clinton McKamy Winkler

Clinton McKamy Winkler was a lawyer, judge and a member of the Texas Court of Appeals for many years.  He was born in North Carolina in 1821 to David Tate and Lavinia Cates Owen Winkler.  He moved with his family first to Indiana in 1835 for a few years before relocating to Texas in the early 1840s.  They settled in what is now Robertson County to be near other Winkler relatives.  The family was said to be descended from German immigrants, but his grandfather was born in North Carolina according to traditional genealogical sources.  McKamy was also an old family name and many of these McKamy relatives were also residents of North Carolina.

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Posted by on February 28, 2019 in biography, civil war, county names, town names

 

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Thomas Jefferson Rusk

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(Image credit: Findagrave)

Thomas Jefferson Rusk is considered to be one of the fathers of Texas.  He was born in South Carolina on December 5, 1803 to Irish immigrant John Rusk and his wife Mary Sterritt Rusk, and was one of seven children.  He had a modest upbringing as his father was a stone mason.  The family lived on the estate of John C. Calhoun who was his mentor.  Rusk studied the law and was admitted to the South Carolina bar.

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Posted by on February 14, 2019 in biography, county names, republic of texas, town names

 

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Teresa Urrea, Known as Santa Teresa

In the Roman Catholic tradition, Santa Teresa is a saint.  Briefly, she was born Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada in 1515 in Ávila, Spain.  She is known as St. Teresa of Ávila, and is considered to be one of the most devout women of the Roman Catholic Church.  She was known for her devotion to God through prayer and contemplation.  Santa Teresa died in 1582 and was canonized as a saint in 1622.

Not to be confused with the Roman Catholic saint, another woman born Niña Garcia Noña Maria Rebecca Chávez and known as Teresa Urrea, also Saint Teresa of Jesus, Saint Teresita Of Cabora or simply Santa Teresa in northern Mexico in 1873, had an interesting history as well and was connected to Texas and Mexico.  Her father is believed to have been Don Tomás Urrea and her mother was a Yaqui Indian by the name of Cayetana Chávez who was fourteen years old when Teresa was born.

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Posted by on February 7, 2019 in biography, texas women

 

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Robert McAlpin “Three Legged Willie” Williamson

Robert McAlpin “Three Legged Willie” Williamson

Robert McAlpin Williamson was born September 9, 1804 in Georgia to Judge William Peter Ballantine and Rebecca Ann McAlpin Williamson.  His mother Rebecca died when he was a baby.  He was well educated.  His legal career began in Georgia and he was admitted to the Georgia bar.  A family legend says that he left Georgia after a duel over the virtue of a woman.  His opponent was killed, but the woman did not want to have a relationship with him.  Williamson then moved to Texas in the mid 1820s and he settled in San Felipe de Austin where he is said to have become acquainted with William B. Travis.  After moving to Texas and settling in San Felipe, he served as city attorney and also as mayor.

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Posted by on January 31, 2019 in biography, county names, republic of texas

 

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