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Milam County, Texas

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Thomas Washington Harrell


SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 452 & 453.

Thomas W. Harrell, a farmer of Milam county, was born in Martin county, North Carolina, December 10, 1827. His paternal grandfather, Jesse Harrell, was probably a pioneer of North Carolina. He married Miss Chance, and they had seven children, of whom Theophilus Harrell, the father of our subject was the eldest child. The latter was born in Martin county, North Carolina, about 1797, was a farmer and mechanic by occupation, and died when the subject of this notice was in his fourth year, at the age of thirty-three years. He married Mary Ann Weatherbee, a daughter of Batson Weatherbee, a farmer of North Carolina. They had five children, namely: Nancy Jane Harrell, who married Simmons Burnett both of whom are now deceased; William D. Harrell, a resident of North Carolina; Thomas W. Harrell, our subject; Martha Harrell, wife of H. Y. Hyman, of North Carolina. The mother died in 1849.

Thomas W. Harrell began life independently at the age of twenty-one years. He learned the carpenterís trade and followed it continuously ten years, and then began agricultural pursuits. In February 1849, he came by rail and water to Grandico, Texas, later to Milam county, and thence to Walker county, where he followed carpentering about a year and a half. In the fall of 1850 he concluded to try his fortune in the State of his birth; accordingly took stage for Houston and boat to Galveston, thence by boat to New Orleans, up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to Wheling, West Virginia, by stage to Cumberland, Maryland, and thence by rail home.

In October 1862, Mr. Harrell enlisted in Company E, Seventeenth North Carolina Infantry, under Col. W. F. Martin, for service in the Confederate army. They took part in the battles of New Berne, Cedar Creek, Cold Harbor, siege of Fort Fisher and in the operations about Kingston, North Carolina. It was in hearing distance the bombardment of Fort fisher, and participated in a number of engagements, in one of which, March 10, 1865, Mr. Harrell received a scalp wound in the head by which he was disabled for further duty during the remainder of the war. He was taken to a hospital at Raleigh, after the Bentonville fight to Charlotte, and when sufficiently recovered started to join his company, but heard of the surrender before reaching it and returned home.

In 1870 he came to Milam county, Texas, for permanent settlement, and paid $12.50 in gold per acre for 200 acres of land. He has since added to his original purchase until he now owns 600 acres, 290 acres of which is under a fine state of cultivation, and where he raises about fifty bales of cotton annually. Politically, Mr. Harrell affiliates with the Democratic party, and in 1886 he was elected County Commissioner of Milam county and served one term.

Our subject was married in 1852, to Louisa T. Martin, a daughter of Benjamin and Amy (Price) Martin. Mrs. Harrell was born and reared in Martin county, North Carolina, where her family were early settlers, her maternal grandfather, Thomas Price, being a soldier in the war of the Revolution.

To this union there were born seven children: Viola S.Harrell, now the wife of R. G. Vaughn of Milam county; Della F. Harrell, wife of W. D. Tyson of Boone county, Arkansas; William T. Harrell, who died in infancy; Benjamin L. Harrell, living in Milam county; William Thomas Harrell, who lives in Falls county, this State; Mary Louisa Harrell, wife of B. F. Stidham of Milam county; and Annie B. Harrell, wife of D. I. Roberts of Milam county.

The wife and mother died in November 1872, and in 1875 Mr. Harrell married Mrs. Joanna Davis, widow of O. K. Davis and daughter of A. M. Massengale, and the children of this union are Emma T. Harrell and Willie May Harrell, both now deceased, and Jessie L. Harrell, Florence A. Harrell, Dora E. Harrell, and Samuel M. Harrell.

Mr. Harrell is a member of St. Paulís Lodge, No. 177, A.F. & A.M. of Maysfield.



We must say a special thank you to Lyndal Fisher of San Angelo, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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Created on 12 Aug 2004 and last revised on ____________