Gone to Texas

By , May 26, 2016 10:00 pm

I received my copy of “Historic Eagle Lake” yesterday. Eagle Lake, TX is where Robert Norris’ grandmother, Mary Ann Sewell Norris and her children went after the Civil War. Although I knew that they went to Texas I didn’t know when they left Alabama and why they settled in Eagle Lake where they became prominent citizens. Now I know that between 1873-1875 they joined Robert’s uncles Dr. Frank O. Norris and Dr. John K. Davidson who had established medical practices there. One of the more interesting discoveries was that in 1903 Dr. F.O. Norris built the only three-story structure in town for the kingly sum of $12,500. The Norris Building was described as “the finest office building between Houston and San Antonio.” Dr. Norris was also an alderman and Dr. Davidson served 4 consecutive terms as mayor. Another uncle, Samuel W. Norris, was postmaster and his wife Lucy succeeded him when he died in 1882 and served as postmistress for another 20 years. Their son, John Alexander Norris, was an engineer and, according to an entry in the Handbook of Texas Online, one of those responsible for establishing the Brazos River Conservation and Reclamation District in 1929, “the first such state agency in the United States to control and develop waters of an entire river basin.” I stopped in Eagle Lake about 5 years years ago on my way home from San Antonio and paid respects to our ancestors buried in the Masonic Cemetery but didn’t get a chance to go into town. The Prairie Edge Museum there has a lot of Norris history.


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