Attempted Pryor Murder in Mississippi Swamp

An Attempt to Assassinate W. L. Pryor.
(Special to the Picayune.)
Mico., Miss., via Laurel, Miss. Jan. 30.–An attempt to assassinate Mr. W. L. Pryor was made last night near here. He was coming from Laurel about 11 o’clock, and while passing through Tallahoma swamp, was fired on at close range by some parties concealed behind a fallen treetop. The ball knocked a cigarette out of his mouth. It is not known what the object of the attempted assassination is, as it is not known that Mr. Pryor had an enemy in the county. Mr. Pryor is the correspondent of the Picayune at this place.
The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). 31 Jan 1896.

The Laurel Ledger reported in 1909 that W. L. Pryor was appointed as a “special agent for the United States government” for the purpose of collection of crop statistics. He was recorded on census records as a cotton specialist.

W. L. Pryor born 1875 is on the 1910 Census in Jones County, MS. His place of birth, as well as his parents, was recorded as MS. His full name is recorded as William L. Pryor on the 1940 Census.

I haven’t been able to pin down his place of birth or parents as there are no records before 1896. One lead is Eliza Jane Brady Pryor b. 1838 who is buried in the same cemetery as W. L. Pryor. Perhaps she was his mother. She had a son recorded as William J. Pryor on the 1880 Census in East Feliciana Parish, LA.  However Eliza was born in NY and she was the widow of William K Pryor who’s place of birth was stated as Ireland when queried on his children’s census records. The parents places of birth don’t jive with Mississippi which W. L. stated on all census records.

Category: Mississippi Pryors

Connecting Members of Lincoln County, TN Pryor Line

We can ID another Tennessee Pryor marriage. The Nashville City death record for Mary Abbey Gill born 1839 states her parents were William Pryor born in NC and Jane Hopkins also born in NC. I found the Gill family on the 1910 Census in Nashville; at that time her mother’s place of birth was recorded as AL.

I agree with online researchers who’ve matched her as the daughter of William and Jane C Pryor who were counted on the 1850 US Census in Lincoln county, TN. This was further confirmed by looking at the 1870 Census — Mary and her husband Charles W. Gill were counted below Jane Pryor’s household in Lincoln county.

I’ve updated Mary Abbey Pryor Gill’s memorial on Find A Grave.

Kentucky Pryor Signatures on Mercer County KY Marriage Bonds

Comparing signatures can feel like figuring out if you’ve got the right name for any of John and Kate’s sextuplets… after a while they all look the same! The samples below are of 4 John Pryor signatures from Mercer County. They range from 1793 to 1833.

I think #1 and #3 were written by the same hand. The “J” in John has a bottom loop that floats to the left. The “P” has a straight back and the “y” has a bottom loop that points almost to the same angle as the bottom of the “J” in both signatures.

The second and fourth signatures are up for good guesses. I think the fourth is the most interesting because it’s signed by John Pryor and witnessed by people who signed their names “Prior”.

1793 Marriage Bond from Mercer County, KY – John PRYOR and William Robertson, for marriage of William Robertson and Sally PRYOR. Witness Thomas Allen.


1795 Marriage Bond in Mercer County, KY – William Crawford and John PRYOR for marriage of William Crawford to John Pryor’s daughter Mary PRYOR. Signed 12 May 1795


1795 Marriage Bond in Mercer County, KY – William Crawford and John PRYOR, for marriage of John Pryor to Mary Crawford signed 18 May 1795.


1811 Marriage Bond in Mercer County, KY – Rebecca PRYOR, daughter of John Pryor to William Martin. Witnesses John PRIOR and Agnes PRIOR. Signed 23 September 1811.




Judge William H Pryor Jr. – Possible Trump Appointee

I recently read that a Pryor is being considered for an appointment in the Trump administration. I wondered which Pryor line he could trace his ancestry to. From his photo he doesn’t look to be one of the red-headed Pryors.

Judge William H Pryor Jr (photo from Wikipedia)

Judge William H Pryor Jr (photo from Wikipedia)


Wikipedia states he is the son of William Holcombe Pryor Sr. and Laura Louise Bowles. William H. Pryor was born in Mobile, AL. I located his parents marriage announcement in the newspaper. It states his grandfather was William F. Pryor of Mobile.

Monroe Morning World, 28 August 1960

Monroe Morning World, 28 August 1960

William Frank Pryor was born about 1889 in AL, but is one of the Pryors who were in Florida at the turn of the century. .

The Pensacola journal., July 24, 1906, Page PAGE [THREE], Image 3
Frank Pryor, formerly of this city, but now of Mobile, spent Sunday here and was cordially greeted by his many friends. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. M. Pryor are now located in Mobile.

The 1906 announcement (above) helps to ID his parents as Obed Pryor and Susie Nord (the judge’s great grandparents).

1900 Census Escambia Co., FL
Pensacola Pct 13, ED#22, sheet 19a, house 723 Obed M PRYOR July 1861 AL GA GA furniture dealer, Sallie C. wife Mar 1870 30 AL AL Al, William F son Jan 1889 11 AL, DeWitt M. son May 1890 10 AL, Lillian L. dau Oct 1891 AL, Leana dau May 1893 7 FL, Rothmeyer dau Nov 1894 5 FL, Fannie Mae dau Apr 1896 4 FL.

Obed Pryor was the son of Francis Pryor and wife Caroline who were on the 1860 Census in Butler County, AL  I did some digging on Francis a couple years ago and the post can viewed online. (read more). The Pryors were slave owners, possessing one female black around age 22 in 1860. Francis’ personal estate was recorded as $1500 on the 1860 Census.

Category: Alabama Pryors | Tags: ,