Willis Thomas Avery

Portrait of Willis Thomas Avery Headstone Photograph

Willis Avery

A member of
Captain Jesse Billingsley's
Company at San Jacinto
Born in North Carolina
October 15, 1809
Died in Williamson County, Texas
July 17, 1889

His Wife

Elzina (Weeks) Avery

Born in Missouri
November 10, 1812
Died in Williamson County, Texas
March 1, 1870

Erected by the State of Texas
Full Name: Willis Thomas Avery
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 1 (C1)
Row:U  Number:13
Reason for Eligibility: Republic of Texas Veteran; Texas Ranger 
Birth Date: October 15, 1809 
Died: July 17, 1889 
Burial Date: Reinterred July 3, 1938 
AVERY, WILLIS THOMAS (1809~1889) Willis Thomas Avery, Republic of Texas Veteran and Texas Ranger, was born in North Carolina on October 15, 1809, to Vincent and Catherine Overton Avery. After the death of his father, Avery's mother married William McCutcheon, Sr. and moved to Lincoln County, Missouri. The McCutcheons had one son, William.

While in Missouri, Avery met and married, Elzina Weeks, who was born on November 10, 1812. Together, they had nine children, Nancy, Malinda, Vincent, Willis, Lucinda, Henry, Calvin, Harriet, and W. T. On November 12, 1832, the Avery's arrived in what is now Bastrop County. In 1836, Avery's mother and her third husband, Gordon, or Joseph, Jennings, and their family joined the rest of the family in Texas.

During Texas' fight for independence, Avery's step-father, Jennings, was said to have perished at the siege of the Alamo, while Avery joined Captain Jesse Billingsley's Company of Mina (Bastrop) Volunteers on February 28, 1836. The Mina Volunteers eventually became Company C of General Edward Burleson's regiment, fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. Company C was made up of settlers who lived in and around Bastrop County.

Because of his service for Texas, Avery was issued, on May 22, 1838, 640 acres of land. On March 20, 1840, he also received another 320 acres for serving in the army from February 28 to June 1, 1836.

Ultimately, the Avery's moved to Williamson County and settled on Brushy Creek, near Rice's Crossing, where Elzina died on March 1, 1870. Willis died on July 17, 1889, and both were buried in the family cemetery on their property. On July 3, 1938, the Avery's remains were moved to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

Information taken from biography compiled by Louis W. Kemp and the San Jacinto Monument website, http://www.sanjacinto-museum.org/kemp/v20.html.
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