Pioneers - Lafayette S. Nelson

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Pioneers of Ellis County

Lafayette S. Nelson

Contributed by Jean Caddel


Source: An Addition to The Memorial & Biographical History of Ellis County Lewis Pub. Co., 1892; Ellis Co. Historical Museum & Art Gallery, Inc., Waxahachie, Texas

Lafayette S. Nelson, a dentist, practiced in the Nash, Italy and Forreston areas of Ellis County. He also enjoyed playing the violin not only for his own pleasure but for the entertainment of others as well.

Dr Nelson was born in 1830 at Prospect, Giles County, Tennessee, near Pulaski. His parents were John Nelson  (born June 21, 1771), and Elizabeth Scruggs, (born 1801;died July 26, 1876). Both are buried in Nelson Cemetery near Prospect.

He came to Ellis County before 1856 and bought land southwest of Forreston Chambers Creek and Forrests' Store and Post Office. Many picnics and barbecues were held under his beautiful Oak Grove on Mill Branch near Chambers Creek. Some community gatherings were political campaign speakings - about 1200 people attended the barbecue in 1884 and enjoyed a bounteous supply of provisions in baskets as well as barbecued meat.

His father, John Nelson, and his brother, Lewis of Virginia and North Carolina came to Tennessee in 1809 not too long after the Treaty of 1806 with the Indians was signed and settled a few miles northeast of Prospect, Giles County, Tennessee, near Pulaski. John Nelson, his grandfather, was a Revolutionary soldier and fought in the Virginia Continental Line for three years as Captain.

Children of John and Elizabeth Scruggs Nelson: Isaac (Ike), Andrew, Tennessee, Mollie, John, James P., Virgie and Lafayette.

On May 7, 1857, Dr. L. S. Nelson married Eliza Jane Hines (1838  - 1859 of typhoid fever), daughter of Captain Thomas J. Hines, Sr., and Mary E. Moores 1801 in Kentucky; died August 6, 1858, buried in Bethel Cemetery near Chambers Creek, Ellis County, Texas. Mary R. Moores was the daughter of John Moores (1777-1844) and Jean Conger (1777-1840). Both died near Fayetteville, Lincoln County, Tennessee.

The one child of Dr. Nelson and Eliza Jane Hines was Mollie Vestal Nelson born in 1859 near Chambers Creek, Ellis County, Texas. She married Charles Wesley Hampton March 7, 1878, near Waxahachie, Texas. Their children: Charles Nelson Hampton  (b. Jan. 24, 1879); Nova Zembia, (b. 1880 di 1884; William Wade (b. Oct. 19, 1882); Ruel Edwington (b. Oct. 27, 1885;) (Dr.) John Weston  (b. Sept. 1888); Clifford Hines (b. Dec. 30, 1892); Manton Milton (b. July 31, 1896.)

John Nelson, John Conger, Henry Moores, and Captain Isaac Ross fought in the American Revolutionary War. The early ancestors of the Congers, Rosses and Moores were Scottish Presbyterian who settled in Newbury, Massachusetts, and Woodville and Woodbridge, New Jersey, thence to North Carolina and Fayetteville, Tennessee.


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