Pioneers of Ellis County
Jefferson M. Dunaway
[From scrapbook of Mrs. Joe Anna Dunaway, wife of Jefferson Richard Dunaway II]
He was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, February 14, 1825, son of Samuel and Polly Dunaway, natives of South Carolina and Virginia, early Tennessee settlers. He was one of a family of eleven children, most of whom came to Texas before the War Between the States. Dunaway came to Texas in 1850, first locating in Dallas, where he worked at the tailor's trade. In 1851, he moved to the neighborhood of Farmer's Branch where he worked as a farm hand. A year later he bought a small tract of land and some four years later traded for 640 acres in the Bethel Community of Ellis County. He soon added to the land holdings, at times owning several thousand acres. He also had interesti n industrial plants in Waxahachie. In 1856 J. M. Dunaway married Sarah A.Brack, daughter of Judge E. M. Brack of Tennessee, who had moved to Texas in 1851. There were eight children: Willie, Eugene, Foster, Jeff, James, John, Ote B. and Samuel. The last named died at the age of 17 years, but the others are still living. Sarah Dunaway died June 16, 1887. Dunaway was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was a devoted Christian all his life. His last years were spend at the old homestead with his son, Jeff, in the Bethel Community. He died May 25, 1918, following a long illness,and the news of the death of this pioneer citizen brings sorrow to the homes of thousands throughout Ellis County. He had been a citizen of Texas for 68 years, living 63 years in the Bethel Community.
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