Joseph Pybus

Family of Joseph Pybus


Pybus-Koerber House


Joseph Pybus

Joseph Pybus was one of the pioneer Texans who came from England and spent a long and useful life in Matagorda County. He married the daughter of one of the oldest settlers of Texas, William D. Lacy, who had an active part in the events leading up to the establishment of the Republic and was a sailor of the revolution.

Joseph Pybus was born March 12, 1838, in England, and died November 20, 1920, at his home in Palacios. In 1861 he came to the United States landing at Indianola in the month of March, just before the outbreak of the Civil War. He was a cabinet maker by trade and for a number of years carried on a general contracting and building business at Indianola. Later he lived in Matagorda County and was county commissioner in 1878-79, and served four years on the City Council and was a director of the Palacios State Bank and in the Blessing State.

He married, Sept. 5, 1866, Sarah Jane Lacy and they lived in Palacios. She was the mother of five children: John L., born in 1867; Nannie L., born in 1870; and Joseph E., born in 1883.


The son, John, a contractor at Palacios, married Mattie Anderson of Lockhart, Texas and they had a daughter, Mary L., who was the wife of Carlton Crawford who operated a packing plant at Palacios. Mr. and Mrs. Crawford had a daughter, Mary C., who was born in 1927.


The daughter, Nannie L. lived with Mrs. Pybus at Palacios.


Agnes J. married Joseph E. Lothridge, a farmer of Palacios, and had one child, Joseph Fulton Lothridge.


Fred was in the interior decorating business at Houston. He married Laura Harris and had four children, Fred R., Jr., Joseph H., Laurin and Jane Elizabeth.


Joseph, a contractor at Palacios married Mabel Nelson and had a son, Joseph.

William D. Lacy, father of Mrs. Pybus, was born in Virginia on Sept. 15, 1808 and was reared in Logan, Kentucky. After the death of his parents he and his two older brothers moved to Christian County, Kentucky, and when a young man of nineteen he started with several other young Kentuckians on horseback for Texas, arriving in what was then a province of Mexico in 1827. He acquired a tanyard near Columbus and employed a number of men in this growing industry. In 1832 William D. Lacy married Mrs. Sally McCrosky.

William D. Lacy in the election of Feb. 1, 1836, was chosen as a delegate from the Colorado District to the general convention which met at Washington on the Brazos March 1. He was in favor of an absolute Declaration of Independence. He had previously enlisted in the Texas army. When Houston decided to fall back from his position on the Colorado to the Brazos River, William D. Lacy secured permission to move his family to Harrisburg, and from there they went with other refugees to Galveston Island. In the meantime William D. Lacy had rejoined the army and took part in the battle of San Jacinto. After that battle he established his family at Matagorda and then revisited his old home at Columbus, where the invaders had left everything in ruins. He was on a fair way to building up a fortune, and the total destruction of his property was a property sacrifice such as few other Texans suffered as a result of the war for independence. He started rebuilding his fortune on a labor of land on the Tres Palacios River and remained there until 1848, when he removed with his family to Paducah, Kentucky, and died  there Oct 14. 1848. His widow subsequently returned to Texas and lived for many years, passing away June 4, 1880, at the age of seventy-one. Their only son, Richard, died in 1855. Of these six children the only survivor at the writing at of this book was Mrs. Sarah J. Pybus.

William D. Lacy bought at auction the old rifle which Colonel Milam had used in the siege of San Antonio, and the rifle in 1866 was given to Mrs. Sarah Jane Lacy, and she retained this historic weapon until some years ago when she presented it to the Texas State Historical Association.


Texas Under Many Flags, Clarence W. Wharton, American Historical Society, 1930

Matagorda County Genealogical Society Publication, Oak Leaves, Vol. 8 #4, August 1989



Has Farmed on the Trespalacios for 50 years.

Words are Worthy of Consideration.


The following interview with Mr. Joseph Pybus, Sr., Palacios' oldest citizen, and one who is the peer of any other in the esteem and confidence of the people of not only the city but of the entire county, and who has been a resident of this particular section of the country for the past fifty years, is one of the most conclusive and convincing evidences that has ever appeared in print of the productiveness and versatility of the coast country soil. This interview appeared in this week's issue of the Collegeport Chronicle:

While in Palacios on business last week, an hour of leisure before boat time we hunted up Mr. Joseph Pybus the original owner of the famous Pybus ranch up the Trespalacios river, where the Leaman and Hartwell farms and the Pybus pear orchard are located.

Mr. Pybus, whose standing is unquestioned by all who know him, speaks with authority when he has anything to say and what he said to us was certainly reassuring.

Mr. Pybus raised cattle as a business, but did some farming on a smaller scale both for feed for his stock during the dull season and for food for the table. "I always raised my own feed," he said. "In addition, I made my own bacon, mutton, and kept my table supplied with nearly all kinds of vegetables and fruit."

"I have no great stories of 100 bushels of corn to the acre, but I am free to say that our corn averaged 25 to 40 bushels for the fifty years. We have gone up to 80 bushels and have fallen below 40. Only once in forty years did we fail to get a crop of corn, however. That year a Kansas hot wind came down and burned it up. Cotton, one of our sure crops, averaged three-quarters of a bale per acre year in and year out, while I have raised as high as one and a half bales on prairie land. We planted our cotton early as a rule, but our bale and a half crop was planted in June. Oats planted in November made fine sheep and calf pasture for the winter after which they were cut and have then yielded as high as 60 bushels per acre. Truck, turnips and all root crops we raised for feed with the best results. Sweet potatoes, celery, onions, in fact, anything reasonable gave good returns."

One thing Mr. Pybus emphasized, and that was that he worked his land. Men cannot expect crops without ample tillage. Many have said discouraging things about this country just because they could not get results without work. As to fruit, he pointed to the pear orchard up the river as telling its own story. He raised peaches for years, and the only reason he did not put in larger orchards was that there was no demand in those days. Many peach orchards ran out because new ones were not put in to replace the old each years. Mr. Pybus' rule was to plant three rows of new trees every year, taking out the same number of old trees. The Spanish strains of peaches were recommended. Not so fine but more prolific. "Forty years ago we shipped peaches out of here by schooner loads," he said. "All had orchards then, but the cattle paid better and were more easily handled and the orchards died out."

The gentleman expressed much disgust at people asking "Can you raise corn here? Can you raise oats?" etc. "Why, the question never was considered by residents here who really farmed," he said. "We sowed our fields and expected to reap a harvest with never a suggestion of a question, any more than the Illinois or Iowa farmer had. All men have to do is to go to work and work and plant and keep on working."

One bit of advice he gave which we count valuable to our farmers. It was this--"Live at home." Do not buy a ton of feed if you can raise it, and you can. Every load of feed you haul from town is so much that should go on the payment or improvements on your farms. Get a cow or two, keep plenty of hens, plant a strawberry patch, keep a succession of truck crops for home use and live on them largely until you can afford luxury.

As to present prospects Mr. Pybus stated that this season had the promise of being the best possible year for crops. The heavy rains and showers following have put the land in fine shape. "Corn will make now," he said, "without another drop of rain."

There are other farmers who gladly vouch for such experiences, and our farmers who are doubtful, should interview these men whose energy and intelligence has given them this measure of success in this resourceful section.

The Palacios Beacon, May 26, 1911

Joseph Pybus Dies At Palacios Home
Farmed in Matagorda County For 60 Years--82 Years Old

Joseph Pybus, at the advanced age of 82 years, 60 of which he had spent as a resident of Matagorda county, died peacefully at his Palacios home last Sunday afternoon.

Born in Thornton La Beans [Thornton-le-Beans] county of York, England, March 12, 1838, he was a cabinet maker by trade. He sailed from England with a pioneering instinct, and landed at old Indianola, then an ocean port near the present site of Port Lavaca in March 1861.

He was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Jane Lacy in September, 1866, and to the union five children were born.

On his Matagorda County farm, he experimented with, and made a success of stock raising, general farming, fruit growing, and gardening. On his farm he, with his sons, planted one of the first pear orchards in the county. He was also one of the first to demonstrate that a farmer in this county can grow all his own vegetables.

In his early life he united with the Episcopal church, holding to that faith until death. Living monuments to his Christian teachings and example are his five children, J. L. Pybus, Miss Nannie Pybus, Mrs. Agnes Lothridge and F. R. Pybus, all of Palacios, and J. E. Pybus of McAllen. These, together with his wife survive him.

Mr. Pybus joined the Free Masons in the early seventies and until the past few years has been an active member of the order.

For the past six years he has suffered great pain, but bore his afflictions with patience and passed to the great beyond quietly and peacefully, sitting in his chair Sunday afternoon, November 28, 1920 at the age of 82 years, 9 months and 16 days.

Services were held at the family home, where Mr. Echols read the Episcopal service for the dead and prayer was offered by Rev. Gillespie, after which the Masons took charge and with their impressive ceremonies laid the body to rest in the Palacios cemetery. The pall bearers were M. Lipscomb, H. B. Farwell, C. A. Tatum, D. Ruthven, J. F. Barnett, Dr. A. B. Cairnes.

To show their respect for the departed and his family, all places of business in Palacios were closed during the funeral hour.

Palacios Beacon, December 3, 1920


Sarah Jane Pybus

Sarah Jane Lacy, the daughter of William D. Lacy, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence of Texas, and Sarah Lacy, one of the three hundred of Austin’s first colony, was born in Matagorda County, under the flag of the Republic of Texas, July 4, 1842, and died in Palacios, Texas, Oct. 16, 1932, at the age of 90 years, 3 months and 12 days.

She lived a true Christian life in the membership of the Episcopal Church, to which faith she was a consecrated member. She was reared in Matagorda County and lived all her life here with the exception of seven years she spent in Kentucky between the age of six and fourteen and as far as is known, was the oldest native-born white person in this county. She was married to Joseph Pybus, September 5, 1866, who preceeded her in death November 28, 1920. To this union five children were born: J. L. Pybus, Miss Nannie L. Pybus and Mrs. Agnes J. Lotheridge of Palacios; Fred R. Pybus, of Conroe, Texas; and Joseph E. Pybus of Velasco, Texas, who passed away September 30, 1931. Also left to mourn her loss are seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Pybus had made her home in Palacios for the last twenty-five years and in her declining years has depended on her two daughters, Nannie L. and Agnes J., to care for her and their devotion to their mother has been unsurpassable.

Her friends were numbered by those who had the honor to know her. She was a courageous and loving wife, always meeting the hardships and trials of the pioneer days with a smile. As a mother, her love of her children and their interests was an inspiration.

Her going leaves a great vacant spot but we know her life was not spent in vain for she has gone on to receive the reward that will be her portion set aside by our Heavenly Father for those who love Him and do His will.

Funeral services were held at the home Tuesday at 2:30 p. m., with Rev. P. E. Engle of the Episcopal Church officiating. Active pall bearers were: J. L. Pybus, Fred Pybus, J. E. Pybus, J. E. Lotheridge, Fulton Lotheridge, and C. W. Crawford. Honorary pallbearers were: George Harrison, J. J. Burke, Jno. D. Bowden, A. G. Skinner, Dr. T. H. Hood and Dr. J. R. Wagner. Burial was in the Palacios cemetery, under the direction of the Palacios Funeral Home.

Palacios Beacon, October 20, 1932


Final Rites Held For John Lacy Pybus, Palacios Pioneer


Funeral services were held for John Lacy Pybus, 88 at the Palacios Funeral Home Monday at 4 p. m., with Rev. Logan Cockrum pastor of the First Presbyterian Church officiating.


Mr. Pybus died Sunday afternoon following a lengthy illness.


Mr. Pybus, who was born on a ranch on the banks of the Tres-Palacios River near what is now Palacios on August 5, 1867, was believed to have been one of the oldest natives of Palacios still living here.


Mr. Pybus, who established a planning mill here shortly after the turn of the century, was instrumental in the construction of the original Palacios Hotel in 1910.


He was a long time member of the school board, and a member of the city Council.


Long active in the Masonic Lodge, Mr. Pybus had served several terms as a Worthy Patron of the Eastern Star. He had been awarded life membership by the local Masonic Lodge.


Graveside services were conducted by members of the lodge Monday.


For years he actively took part in construction work in and around Palacios, but recently, because of ill health, he had been in semi-retirement. Mr. Pybus was also a vice-president of Crawford Packing Company.


A guiding hand behind the founding, and the eventual development of the Palacios Cemetery Association, Mr. Pybus served as president of that organization for many years.


He is survived by one brother, Fred R. Pybus, a daughter, Mrs. Carlton Crawford all of Palacios and Mrs. Mary Crawford Simpson, of Clarksville and two great-grandchildren.


Interment was in Palacios cemetery.


Palacios Beacon, September 8, 1955

Mrs. Pybus Passes Away in Galveston Hospital Saturday – Mattie E. Pybus


Our city and community were shocked and grieved Saturday morning when the news came that Mrs. Lacy Pybus was dead. We all knew she was very ill in the hospital at Galveston, but could not believe but what she would recover, and soon be able to be at home again.


The remains were brought to Palacios Saturday afternoon and taken to the home, where funeral services were held Sunday afternoon conducted by Rev. G. F. Gillespie, pastor of the Presbyterian church, assisted by Rev. N. G. Ozmont, of the Methodist church and Mrs. R. J. Sisson and Mrs. O. C. Arnold who sang a duet.


The flower laden casket was then taken to the city cemetery, and with the beautiful service of the Eastern Star placed in the bosom of Mother Earth to await the Resurrection Morn. Relatives and friends were here from Houston, Bay City and Galveston and the procession to the cemetery was one of the longest ever in our city. The many beautiful floral offerings attested to the love and high esteem held for the deceased.


The following tribute is by a near neighbor and dear friend:--.


Mrs. Mattie E. Pybus


Mattie Eleanor Anderson was born in Burleson County, Texas near Sommerville, June 24th, 1878.


She died at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas, May 30th, 1931 at 4:45 A. M.


Was one of two children born to her parents, John and Lula Anderson.


At a very early age she was taken to Lockhart in Caldwell County, Texas, where she was reared to the age of eighteen years. Her mother died while she was very young, she and her brother being left to the care of an aunt, Mrs. S. T. White, with whom she moved to Matagorda County, Texas in 1896, where she has since resided.


Mattie Eleanor was married to John Lacy Pybus in 1900, at the age of 22 years, the marriage taking place at the old Deming Bridge Church now known as Hawley.


To this union was born one child, Mary Louise, now Mrs. Carlton Crawford, of Galveston, Texas.


She is survived by her husband John Lacy Pybus, her daughter, Mary Louise and one grandchild. Mary Carlton Crawford and one brother, Mark Anderson of Houston, Texas.


Reared a Presbyterian she united with the Palacios Presbyterian Church about eighteen years ago, living daily a true Christian life, faithful to her Church and to her associates.


Mrs. Pybus was a charter member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Palacios Chapter No. 125, in which she served as Secretary and Treasurer for a long time and was at the last election of officers of the chapter selected to be Worthy Matron for the ensuing year to act with her husband as Worthy Patron. She was ever faithful to the order as was her custom and habit in everything she was connected with.


She was known to her many friends who are numbered by her acquaintances as “Little Mother,” being always faithful to her Church, her Chapter, her friends and the community, being true, consistent, untiring, energetic and thoughtful in and of all that were ‘round about her and afar.


As a neighbor and friend none surpassed this ever smiling woman. She lived a life which stood for the best of everything. Of devotion to her family her daily life suggested that it was what she had accepted of God as her blessing.


As a mother she exemplified exactly what a mother should stand for, her every effort was to “lead kindly light” opening the pathway for pure womanhood and standing by to help others on their way.


As a Christian she lived daily for others, unselfish, dutiful, careful and enduring—in all she said and did.


As a builder her every step was toward a higher goal, first of character, the Church, the Chapter, the community and as the Star would point her way so would she act, in first consideration of what would happen to my neighbor and friend should I do this or that, thinking of others as she went about doing good and when their interest seemed about to be trespassed upon, then she would change her course.


Truly it can be said of her, she had for every one the touch of human kindness, sharing the sorrows, enjoying the laughs, dividing the burdens, living daily as if she should be called.


“Tis the human touch in this world that counts,
The touch of your hand and mine,
Which means far more to the fainting heart
Than shelter and bread and wine.


For shelter is gone when the night is o’er,
And bread lasts only a day,
But the touch of the hand and the sound of the voice
Sing on in the soul always.


She had the touch, she had the voice—she leaves us to abide in faith.


A Live Lived For Others.


Palacios Beacon, June 4, 1931



Funeral Services Are Held Monday For Miss Pybus, 85


Funeral services were held Monday for Miss Nannie Pybus, 85, of Palacios, who died in her home Sunday.


Services were held at 2 o’clock Monday afternoon in the Palacios Funeral Home with the Rev. A. C. Maxted officiating. Burial was in the Palacios Cemetery.


Survivors include two brothers, Lacy Pybus of Palacios and Fred R. Pybus of Conroe.


Miss Pybus was a member of the Episcopal Church.


Palacios Beacon, July 7, 1955


Joseph Eugene Pybus


Joseph E. Pybus was the youngest of five children born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pybus on the banks of old Tres-Palacios River on September 10, 1883, and died in Palacios on September 30th, 1931, at the age of 48 years and 20 days old.


He worked on his father’s Ranch until he was at the age of 18 years, when he started out in life for himself. He and his brother, Fred, built the first store building in Palacios, of which building and store he had charge for about three years. They then sold the business and he went to work for the B. & M. Railroad. Tiring of this he came back to Palacios and again went into the Dry Goods Business.


He was married to Miss Mabel Nelson, March 24th, 1907, to which union one son, Joseph E. Pybus, Jr., was born. He, with his family, moved to Freeport, Texas, where he entered the service of the Freeport Sulphur Company as a carpenter in the year of 1916. He worked for this company until about five years ago. He worked at his trade in Freeport and Velasco up until he was taken sick in February, 1930.


He has suffered greatly since that time, which suffering he bore with wonderful patience, being always thoughtful of those waiting on him. He was not complaining even in the midst of great suffering and was cheerful at all times, tho’ knowing his pain was awful.


He joined the Knights of Pythias in 1916, of which he was a faithful member at all times. He was a loving man, true husband and father, loved by his neighbors and counted his friends by those with whom he was acquainted.


He leaves to mourn his untimely departure, his wife, Mabel Pybus, and son, Joseph E. Pybus of Velasco, Tex., his mother, Mrs. S. J. Pybus, brother, J. L. Pybus, and sisters, Miss Nannie Pybus and Mrs. J. E. Lothridge, of Palacios; and brother Fred E. Pybus, of Houston, Texas.


Palacios Beacon, October 8, 1931


Mabel Nelson Pybus


Funeral services for Mrs. Mabel Ruth Nelson Pybus were held at the Palacios Funeral Home Thursday, May 3, at 2 p. m. with the Rev. R. E. Bishoff of the Velasco Methodist Church officiating. Interment was in the Palacios Cemetery.


Born June 20, 1888 in McPherson, Kansas she passed away at the Sunset Nursing Home in Clute on May 1.


Survivors include son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Pybus of Freeport; three grandchildren, Mrs. Jack Patterson of West Columbia, Joe Pybus, Jr. of Brega, Libya and Jack Lacy Pybus of Houston, three great grandchildren of Houston, three great-granddaughters and seven great-grandsons.


Palacios Beacon, May 1, 1973


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Apr. 11, 2007
Apr. 11, 2007