Pioneers of Ellis County
Major Thomas Coleman Edwards
Contributed by Jean Caddel
Source: An Addition to Memorial and Biographical History of Ellis County, Lewis Pub. Chicago, 1892; Ellis County Historical Museum & Art Gallery, Inc.
John Edwards was born in 1788 in Nashville, Tennessee, and married Julia Coleman, also a a native of Tennessee. The family moved to Texas in 1837, settling in Shelby County. Thomas Coleman. Edwards was their fifth child, born in Nashville October 7, 1827.
T. C. Edwards was educated at McKinzie Institute, a military college in Clarksville, Texas, where. he was president of the Philamathean Debating Society. He later became a Mason, receiving his First, Second, and Third Degrees in Sam Houston Lodge Number 32 in January, February, and March of 1858. In August, 1858 he married Victoria Marie Wilson in San Augustine, Texas, the ceremony being performed by Methodist minister, Rev. Samuel Williams..
T. C. Edwards served during the CSA, enlisting as a Captain in Col. W. P. Lane's Texas Partisan Rangers, and was later promoted to the rank of Major. At the end of the conflict he surrendered to Gen. E. Kirby Smith.
In 1865 Major Edwards and his wife moved to Ellis County, settling near Milford on the county line between Ellis and Hill Counties. He became a large land owner and stockman and lived in the same house on the home place the remainder of his life. Eight children were born to Major Edwards and his wife: Launa, Wilson, Tom, Matthew, Ran, Grace, and twin boys. Launa and Wilson lived to maturity, married, and had families, (Launa married J. R. Morrel), but the other children died at an early age.
His first wife, Victoria, died In December, 1877 and two years later, Major Edwards married Nancy Adams, a widow from Oscela . Her daughter, Milly, married Bob Morrel. Wilna was the only child of the second marriage.
Major Edwards died June 18, 1888 at his home at Milford and is buried in the Milford Cemetery as is his first wife.
Thanks to John Morrel for corrections to this sketch.
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