Nancy Morton


Nancy was named Nancy Pettigrew at birth. She married Mr. Edwards and they had a daughter they named Jane Edwards. Jane Edwards married William Little, an original 300 and they settled it Texas. Mr. Edwards died so Nancy married William Morton before they arrived in Texas. This makes Jane Edwards Little a half sister to the children of  Nancy and William Morton.

William P. Morton and his wife Nancy were of the original 300, having arrived in Austin's colony in 1822. William Morton, his wife, two daughters and a son John, who was 17, left Mobile, Alabama, in a small boat and had made the trip safely until they reached Galveston Island. It was here that their boat was capsized, but they were able to reach shore safely. William and John left the women folk and rowed to the Brazos where they received help. They went back and got the women and then continued their journey up the Brazos. On July 15, 1824 William Morton patented one Labor of  land where the City of Richmond now stands and a League and a half across the river on the east side. He was originally from Georgia and was a Mason. Robert Gillespe, a stranger who was traveling through the country and died at William Morton's house while staying there, has a fine monument at his grave which William Morton erected. [Morton Cemetery in Richmond, Texas] William Morton drowned during the big flood of 1833 and his body was never recovered. It was said that there was a solid body of water from the Brazos River across to Oyster Creek.

On July 7, 1824, William Morton obtained a Mexican Land Grant of 1 1/2 Leagues of  Land on the east bank of the Brazos River and a Labor of  Land [177.1 acres] directly across the river on the high west bank. Built on the Labor, the Morton home was a log cabin. William Morton lived here with his family until his untimely death in 1833, when he drowned in a flood of  the Brazos River. In early 1824, David Fitzgerald and his son, John, started building their home on property the wished to claim. When David went to San Felipe to apply for a title to land he was building on, Steven F. Austin informed him the land was part of  William Morton’s 1 1/2 Leagues of land. William Morton agreed to trade with David Fitzgerald a quarter of a League of  land when David claimed his league. David Fitzgerald and his son lived across the river from the Morton’s until David ‘s death shortly after he returned from the Battle of Anahuac in 1832. [The quarter of a League of land David Fitzgerald traded contains theDuke Cemetery.] 

By early 1836, the estate of  William Morton had been partitioned, and the family was living on the Morton League east of the river. During the Texas Revolution, on February 21, 1836, Mrs. Nancy Morton, the widow of  William Morton, sold the Morton Labor on the west bank of the Brazos River to Robert Eden Handy and William Lusk. On November  8, 1837, the earliest sales of  lots in the City of  Richmond were made. The first purchaser was Mrs. Mary Huff, a daughter of  William and Nancy Morton; her purchase was Lot #12, Block  #96 for the purchase price 'unknown' and deed record 'C-64'. 

Nancy Morton lived with her husband, William, on the future site of   Richmond from 1824 until he drowned in 1833. The Texas Revolution had just begun in 1833 so before the Runaway Scrape   in 1836 records indicate Nancy sold the property on the west side of the Brazos River and  moved to the east side of  the river. Nancy's daughter, Louisa Ann Morton, married Daniel Perry in 1833 and they resided at Duke on the quarter League aquired from David Fitzgerald. The Runaway Scrape was in March and April of 1836 with the home of  Eli and Sarah Fenn, on the land aquired from Morton, being destroyed by Santa Anna. Nancy's home on the Morton League was destroyed too. Eli and Sarah moved in with Moses and Mary Shipman at Duke after the Runaway Scrape until they could build on the Fitzgerald League. Nancy and her son, John V. moved to Duke and lived with Nancy's daughter, Louisa Ann. This would have been in late April of 1836 and in December of 1836 John V. married Moses and Mary Shipman's daughter, Elizabeth. Remember that the Fenn's were living at the Shipman’s. All the members of the Morton, Perry and Fenn families are living at Duke close to the Shipman’s except Mary Morton Huff. Mary purchased the first lot in the new Richmond and lived out her life on her dad's land grant.Nancy would have four grandchildren by Daniel and Louisa Ann, and three grandchildren by John V.[These are also Moses and Mary Shipman’s grandchildren.] Moses Shipman died in 1838. Grandmother Nancy was needed at Duke, especially after 1843 when John V. was killed and Louisa Ann died.

The only Morton to survive Duke was Daniel and Louisa Ann’s daughter, Laura Ann Perry.


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