Tag Archives: Dallas

Jackson Co., TX Estate for Virginia Pryor of Hempstead Co., AR

My last post mentioned Richard Pryor and wife Virginia Pryor (nee Boyd) in Petersburg, VA records (see post). The June 1869 Petition filed in Jackson Co., TX includes a transcript of Virginia Pryor‘s will signed about 8 Nov 1865, she was deceased by the 21st when the will was filed with the court in Hempstead County, AR.  The petition states Charles R. Pryor “of Dallas” was her executor. He filed the petition because Virginia owned property in TX and he was seeking permission to sell the land.

I bequeath to Dr. Chas. R. Pryor my —- and dividend interest in Texas. And I make the said Chas R. Pryor my Executor. I bequeath to Virginia Finley all my silver ware marked “E. P.” and to Chas R. Pryor all my Silver marked R. P. and V. P. I bequeath to my servant Marion all my own wearing apparel. One bed and clothing. Five Hundred dollars in money and one hundred acres in land and to Thomas Boyd my own homestead. A codicil instructed that any other money be applied to bringing her husband and daughters remains to the family graveyard for burial and a marble monument erected.

Unfortunately neither the will, the probate, nor the petition reveals the relationship between Virginia Pryor and Charles R. Pryor. Virginia was married to Richard Pryor, the postmaster in Hempstead Co., AR. Charles R. was born 1832 and is reported to be a brother of Samuel B. Pryor (b. 1820) who was mayor of Dallas. I tried to tie up Charles’ loose ends last month, but they just unravel. [http://texas-pryors/charles-r-pryor-b-1832-in-brunswick-county-va/].

I’ve used the TSHA article on Charles R. Pryor [https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpr16] to connect him as the brother of Samuel B. Pryor. But what is their source? They may be right because Samuel’s first born son was also named Charles R. (b. 1854).

Even taking the leap to say that Samuel and Charles were brothers, what’s their relationship to Richard Pryor in Hempstead County? Edward L. Pryor in Hempstead County was also a postmaster, born in VA, and definitely the son Samuel Pryor who lived in Montgomery County, TN (there’s a lawsuit that proves this). Are Richard and Edward L. brothers? After seeing the Jackson County petition, I now think that Edward and Richard don’t share a close relationship and that researchers should look for a closer relationship between Richard, Samuel B. of Dallas, and Dr. Charles R.

An Old West Pryor Family: The Miner And The School Marm

Sometimes exploring a Pryor history has nothing to do with genealogy, and everything to do with the story. And this one is a fun story!

Harry Pryor appears to have come to Arizona as a miner. It was reported on January 25, 1901 in the Graham Guardian (Safford, AZ)

Chris Gish, Enoch Wooworth, Harry Pryor and W. B. Bond started Wednesday last on a prospecting trip.  They will go into Old Mexico by way of Bisbee. We wish them success.

He must have found something sometime after their prospecting trip because on April 7, 1905 the newspaper reported Harry Pryor filed for a $20,000 bond for a deed on “S mines.” Could that be silver mines? Good grief, how much was $20k worth in 1905? Boodles!

Things sometimes got a little out of control for Harry who was in his early twenties:

A shooting was narrowly averted at Safford last week. Harry Pryor, drunk and disorderly, rode through the streets in Rough Rider style against the repeated protests of the local officers: and finally ran over the little son of Marshal A. A. McKenzie.  The boy was severely bruised, but not fatally injured.  The father trailed the rider to a saloon and drew a sixshooter, but was prevented from discharging the weapon.  He finally succeeded in knocking Pryor down with the weapon, cutting his head severely.  Pryor swore out a warrant for the arrest of the marshal on a charge of assault wiht a deadly weapon.
Arizona Silver Belt (Globe, AZ). February 7, 1901

And in 1905 poor Harry was in trouble again:

The case of Harry Pryor charged with assault with intent to kill, was continued until next term of court. Pryor is the man who stabbed J. E. Carpenter with a miner’s candlestick, in September.
Arizona Republican (Phoenix, AZ). October 18, 1905

harry-pryor-azIn 1913 Harry B Prior (sic) is listed in a Phoenix city directory as a lino operator (linotype), so perhaps he had given up prospecting at this point and maybe given up the whooping it up through town and given up whacking other miners. At about the same time a new school marm had come to town and her back story is right out of central casting!

Oehlese Williamson was born Hillsboro, NC (I found that on her DAR file) and attended Converse College in Spartanburg, SC.


Converse College 1905 Yearbook

By 1911 she was in Arizona. Her employment as a teacher is hardly “P.C.” by our standards a hundred years later. Can you imagine a school board hiring teachers based on their good looks?


The faculty of the Osborn school for next year was completed at a meeting of the board of trustees on Saturday night and is now as follows:… Miss Oehlese Williamson, English and physiology… The new teachers are Miss Williamson, Miss Ellingson, and Miss Wiberg. It was stated sometime ago by The Republican and widely published that the trustees of the district, grown wise by the embarassment which had been regularly caused them by the marriage of the lady teachers, had decided to adopt the policy of employing teachers who, though possessing all necessary qualifications as teachers would be less personally attractive and who therefore, could be retained year after year. The board weakened however and that proposed policy was discarded with the result that the standard of beauty has been raised rather than lowered.
The Arizona Republican (Phoenix, AZ). April 24, 1911

After Miss Williamson came to town there were no further reports of Harry Pryor on the rampage. They married in May 19, 1913 in Maricopa County, AZ (she didn’t last long as a single teacher!). A birth record for their son Harry Williamson Pryor identified his father as Harry Browning Pryor. Miss Oehlese was referred to as Mrs. Harry B. Pryor in news articles that stated she was a music teacher and discussed her students accomplishments.

I’ve given it my best shot to figure out which Pryor line can claim Harry B Pryor. Census records state he was born 1879-1880 in Texas. I found a Harry B. Pryor on the 1910 Census in Dallas, TX. I’m wondering if Harry was drifting back and forth between AZ and Texas in the early years.

Justice Precinct 1, Dallas, Texas. Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0020
Annie P Wiley 25 head AR TX TX married 1
Inez Wiley 4 daughter TX TX AR single
Louise Wiley 2 daughter TX TX AR single
Harry B Pryor 31 brother TX TX TX widowed
Edwin R Pryor 22 brother TX TX TX single
Edwin R Pryor 4 nephew TX TX TX single
Rodger A Pryor 19 brother TX TX TX single

Annie, Edwin R., Harry B. and Roger A. are children of E. R. Pryor a son of the Samuel Pryor who was the first mayor of Dallas.

Category: Texas Pryors | Tags: , ,