Ernest Powell

  • Powell, Ernest Malapert - Ozona, not yet placed, not sure of final location
    • A native of Illinois, E. M. Powell was a surveyor and railroad engineer in Kentucky before moving to Texas in 1874. He worked as a surveyor during the railroad construction boom in Texas in the 1870s, taking parcels of land in payment for his services. By 1878 Powell and a partner, E. L. Gage, opened a real estate and land surveying company in Dallas. Powell soon began promoting his land holdings in West Texas and placed newspaper advertisements to encourage settlement in this area. To the first families who purchased homesteads out of his 185,000-acre tract of land in present Crockett County, he offered forty acres of free land as well as reduced prices for additional acreage. The city of Ozona was founded on Powell's property. He provided a public well and windmill, as well as lots for public buildings, churches, and a school. As a result of his settlement efforts, the county of Crockett was organized in 1891 with Ozona as the county seat. Married to the former Mary Almyra Durrell, Powell was the father of one son, Durrell, who died at age seven. Powell was a major contributor to the Dallas Congregational Church and to other charities.

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