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MURPHREE Nell Lulu “Nellie”

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A History of DeWitt County by Nellie MURPHREE,

Edited by Robert W. Shook, Published 1962

is credited as Source "53. A History of DeWitt County"

and as "Book: History of DeWitt County, A" in HISTORIES

in the Family Tree Database.

It references our family names EDGAR and MURPHREE

From the Foward of "A History of DeWitt County"

... As a teacher and writer of local history Miss Murphree has devoted her energies to inspiring students, researching family

genealogies, and preserving materials which would otherwise have been lost.  Her works include "A History of Cuero

Presbyterian Church," contributing to the "Handbook of Texas," and numerous newspaper articles.

The materials organized in this work were taken from standard and primary sources from the University of Texas and other

libraries.  DeWitt County records were also thoroughly researched by Miss Murphree.  Much of the data assembled over the

last three decades had its inception in conversation, personal reminiscences, both written and oral, family records, and old

settlers' tales.  The editor, in addition to organizing and editing the materials, supplied chapter introductions and special

sections, eg. Civil War and Reconstruction, Political Statistics, etc.

The purpose of this work was not to compile a definitive, formally documented history from Miss Murphree's essays and notes,

but simply to arrange these writings in a form readily accessible to those friends and relatives of Miss Murphree who recognize

and appreciate her long and arduous labors dedicated to preserving, in a literary fashion, the deeds which have gone into the

making of DeWitt County.

In keeping with the nature of the materials and the purpose of the task a non-scholarly style seemed not only appropriate but

mandatory.  In place of orthodox documentary format the editor felt it adequate to enumerate, in an acknowledgment section,

those persons who are deserving of thanks for their contributions. Errors in dates, family relationships, etc. are very likely the

editor's and for these apology is made in advance.

Robert W. Shook

Victoria, Texas


In his 1983, The Victoria Advocate review of "A History of DeWitt County," Roy Grimes continues, " 'A History of DeWitt

County,' represents the life's work of a devoted teacher and dedicated local historian who has spent some 30 years in

assembling the first-hand materials for this little volume.  She is Miss Nellie Murphree, whose family has been in DeWitt County

ever since Judge David Murphree bough a tract of land on Price's Creek in 1845." [6]

Short Biography

"Miss Nell's paternal grandfather, David Murphree, rode into Texas about 1830 while he was still in his early 20's. As a youthful

lieutenant in the Texas revolutionary army, he fought at San Jacinto... On her mother's side Miss Nell's great-grandfather,

James Norman Smith, was DeWitt County clerk from 1846 until 1865." [7]

"Judge David Murphree bought, at public auction at Victoria in 1845, lot No. 1 of the Amadore League.  In 1848 he built a

home near the bank of Prices Creek.  This was the first home in the farming and stock-raising area that came to be called the

Prices Creek and later Thomaston Community.  Since 1848 Murphrees have lived on that land in the bend of the Guadalupe

River.  Miss Nellie Murphree, granddaughter of David Murphree, has resided on this tract since her birth." [1]

Nell Lulu "Nellie" MURPHREE was born 19 Jun 1882 in Thomaston, DeWitt Co., TEXAS to James Owen "Jim" MURPHREE (b.

1847, TEXAS) and Lulu SMITH (b. 1853, TENNESSEE). Nellie had eight brothers, three of whom died in infancy, and three

sisters, two of whom died in infancy. [2]

A 1961 article titled "Historical Hobby" in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports the following. [7]

"I got this bug in the centennial year [1936]," the alert 79-year-old schoolmarm explains. "My superintendent, Mr. Montgomery

B. [?] Montgomery, long-time DeWitt County school superintendent wanted his teachers to look up local history."

"I hated history with a passion when I was in school. I got much more out of history as a teacher."

Besides her work on old homes in the county, Miss Nell, as she is affectionately known, has traced the antecedents of virtually

all the old DeWitt families: followed her own genealogy back past the American Revolution: and in the process collected a

staggering amount of material on county memorabilia.

She retired from teaching in 1940 because of her health.  Her doctor advised her to get a hobby, so Miss Nell just expanded

her historical work... Miss Nell, because of failing eyesight, has curtailed her historical research considerably.  But she still is

recognized as historian emeritus of DeWitt County

In addition to teacher, Miss Nellie was the "superintendent of Thomaston schools." [5]

Just after she turned 100, Nellie died on 05 December 1982 in DeWitt Co., TEXAS and was buried in DeWitt Co., TX.  [2,4]


1. A History of DeWitt County  by MURPHREE, Nellie, 1962

Edited and Forward by Robert W. Shook, Victoria College, Victoria, Victoria County, TEXAS

(Out of Print)

Original pages posted in the Family Tree Database.

2. Descendants of Daniel Murphree at Freepages RootsWeb

3. Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas

4. Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 and Social Security Death Index, posted at and in Family Tree Database.

5. "… the following "Biography Of James Hill Pridgen", original author was Nellie Murphree, superintendent of Thomaston


6. Newspaper Article of MURPHREE Nell Lulu “Nellie," The Victoria Advocate, 03Nov1983, posted in Family Tree


7. Newspaper Article of MURPHREE Nell Lulu “Nellie," Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 15Nov1961, posted in DOCUMENTS