Lemuel M. and Elizabeth C. (Hardegree) Pryor
of Smith Co., TX
(updated 19 Jun 2013)
Lemuel M. PRYOR was born circa 1826 in TN to Philip Pryor and a Miss Reeter. [See article on Pryors of McNairy Co., TN.] Lemuel may have went with his married brother, William Jackson PRYOR (born 1818 in TN), to Texas around 1846-47 or joined him later in 1848-49. Lemuel was on the 1849 Rusk Co., TX tax list with a gun valued at $15 as his miscellaneous property. For some reason he and William J. Pryor were not on the 1850 census or tax list of Rusk Co., TX. They were also not on the 1850 TX and TN state-wide census indexes. It is possible that they were overlooked by the census taker. The next record on Lemuel in Rusk Co. when he and John Martin purchased a town lot in New Danville, Rusk Co. from S. Slade Barnett on 7 Dec 1853 [H:501]. He was the 1854 tax list with 100 acres valued at $300 of the M. Chisum grant. He was also listed with the same number of acres on the 1855 and 1856 tax lists. His wife Elizabeth made a list of separate property on 18 May 1854 in which she mentioned her half of the house and lot in town of New Danville among other things as a gift from her husband [I:142]. He must have sold his property after 1856 for he no longer appeared on Rusk Co. records. Further research is needed to find out what happened to the properties, both the town lot and the 100 acres. Perhaps John Martin handled the taxes and sale of the town lot. And that the 100 acres might have belonged to William J. Pryor who let Lemuel live on it. Elizabeth C. HARDEGREE was born circa 1829 in Clarke Co., Georgia to John and Mary (Whitaker) Hardegree. Her family migrated from Georgia to Rusk Co., TX around 1849 then moved to Smith Co. around 1852 after being on the 1851 Rusk Co. tax list. Lemuel and Elizabeth were married on 19 Jan 1854 in Smith Co., TX and settled in the Starrville Beat area where they were on 1860 and 1870 censuses. There is a gap of 9 years in between the birth of sons George (circa 1859-60) and Hiram (1869), which indicates that there may have been other children who died before the 1870 census. It might also be due to the Civil War which might have taken Lemuel away from his family for a short while. A record is found for L. M. Pryor who served in Co. H, 35 TX Cavalry (Likens' Regiment) [formed Oct 1863 from other companies with many of the men from the counties of Jefferson, Hopkins, Upshur and Smith]. The brief record noted that he deserted without leave in Dec 1863. No further information is provided. The National Archives and TX State Archives did not find any other records for Lemuel. Lemuel M. Pryor died in 1878 and a probate case was filed for him in December 1878 with E. C. Pryor as surviving widow who filed petition for appointment of appraisal of the property. There are no records of this probate file and only a very brief mention was made of it as case #579, Probate Docket Book H, p. 248. Elizabeth C. (Hardegree) Pryor died circa 1879 (before the 1880 census) in Smith Co. Burial locations for Lemuel and Elizabeth have not been found. A deed dated 2 Jan 1886 named the heirs of Lemuel and Elizabeth with the death dates for the deceased heirs [Smith Co. Deed Book 34, pp. 360-361]. The deed mentioned Philip J. Pryor, Mary E. Hardigree, John B. Pryor, George W. Pryor and Beulah Pryor as children. No mention was made of Hiram and Gulliver who were living with P. J. on the 1880 census as his brothers.
Children of Lemuel M. and Elizabeth (HARDEGREE) PRYOR:
1) Philip Jackson PRYOR - born 5 Nov 1854 Smith Co., TX and died 9 Feb 1936 Elk City, Beckham
Co., OK; buried at Poarch Cemetery, Beckham Co., OK; married first to Elizabeth Ann EASTEP on 16 Jun 1878 in Smith Co., TX; married second to Nancy Catherine "Kitty" (THORNE) CHANNELL on 22 Aug 1887. An article will be done on this family later.
2) Mary E. PRYOR - born 1856 and died 5 Sep 1884 (Smith Co., TX); married her first cousin, Thomas
Gadile HARDEGREE, on 2 Aug 1877 in Smith Co., TX. Burial location unknown. Only child, Bertha E., died 2 Oct 1885.
3) John Buchanon "Buck" PRYOR - born 12 Sep 1857 Smith Co., TX and died 17 Mar 1914
Beckham Co., OK; buried at Ural Cemetery near Elk City, OK; married Emma Jane TERRY on 28 May 1879 in Van Zandt Co., TX. Children: John Montgomery, Thomas Jefferson "Cooney," Mary Jane GRAY, Lillie Mae RICHARDSON and Henry Clay.
4) George W. PRYOR - born circa 1859-60 Smith Co., TX and died Nov 1881 (Smith Co. or Van Zandt
Co.), TX; apparently never married. Lived with brother P. J. on 1880 Smith Co., TX census. Burial location unknown.
5) Hiram PRYOR - born 1869 Smith Co., TX; died after 1880 Smith Co., TX census.
6) Gulliver PRYOR - born 1871 Smith Co., TX; died after 1880 Smith Co., TX census.
7) Beulah PRYOR - born 1873 Smith Co., TX and died 13 Oct 1885 (Smith Co. or Van Zandt Co.) TX;
lived with her sister Mary E. HARDEGREE on 1880 Smith Co., TX census.
Rusk Co., TX tax lists and deeds.
Smith Co., TX censuses - 1860 (p. 106), 1870 (p. 43) and 1880.
Probate record of L. M. Pryor (very brief mention) on p. 163 of Abstracts of the Smith County Probate Records, Smith County,
Texas 1846-1880 abstracted by Andrew L. Leath (1984).
Smith Co., TX deed record.
Military records of L. M. Pryor from National Archives, Washington, DC.
Pryor and Hardegree family research by Nova A. Lemons.