Both Thomas Edward Nix and Virginia Peak were born in South Carolina. Thomas was born in Barnwell County in 1829, while Virginia was born on 17 October 1837 in Lancaster County to John H. Peak and Mary Sylvester. On 20 August 1854, they were married by a Baptist preacher at the home of Virginia’s mother and stepfather, Mary Sylvester and Jonathan D. Johnston, in Eufaula, Alabama. While in Alabama, the couple had four of their six children: Paul Delacy, William Harrison, Thomas Edward (Jr.), and Mary Emma.
Thomas E. Nix served in Love’s organization of the Alabama Calvary (C.S.A.) during the Civil War. In 1872, they moved to Louisiana, where they had their last two children, Morris George and Demarcus Sylvester. A story of that time in Louisiana, which M. George Nix told his children, was that someone had to stand guard at night to prevent rodents biting the sleeping infants. Later the family moved north in Louisiana and the father, Thomas E. Nix, found employment building cotton gins and wagon wheels.
The Nix family moved to Dallas in 1886 and the father, Thomas Nix, died within the year. While little is known about the ancestry of Thomas (except that his father was born in South Carolina), the grandfather of Virginia Peak is known to be Asbury Sylvester, who had come to South Carolina from France. Asbury married Martha Watkins about 1793 and he died in 1808 in South Coralina.
A family story relates that Virginia Peak Nix served meals to the workers building the famous Dallas County Courthouse. She lived until May 5, 1920, becoming “Granny” Nix to her grandchildren.
Paul “Dock” Delacy married and lived in Dallas for many years but died in Austin in 1936. William “Buck” Harrison married Jenny Lynn Darbin and
had 5 children. He died on 10 June 1899 and is buried in Buffalo, Texas. Mary Emma married George Hooper and had 7 children. They resided near her mother in Jim Town (now Dallas). Thomas Edward and Rose Nix moved to Hoban, Oklahoma, where he died in the summer of 1924. They had 10 children. Demarcus Sylvester (Mark) married very late in life to Ella Preuscher, had two children and died 20 May 1950 in Cleburne, Texas.
Another family story is that M. George Nix worked on ranches in the Dallas area, using some of the earnings to buy a horse and buggy with rubber wheels to court Sallie Merrifield, who lived in Jim Town (a section of Oak Cliff). In Sallie’s autograph book of 1890, there are two entries from M. George Nix. One dated 11 July 1897, to Miss Sallie Merrifield from, “Your friend G. M. Nix.” A later entry dated 1 January 1898 is to Mrs. Sallie Nix-George and Sallie were married 10 October 1897, at the home of Sallie’s grandmother, Zibbey Ann Jackson McHenry Winters in Oak Cliff. It is said that their first children were born in a log cabin in Dallas. In 1907, the Nix family moved to the Knox County area north of Abilene, where other related families from Dallas County-namely the families of Robert E. Lee Myers and Ulysses S. Rogers-had also settled there. This family returned many times to Dallas to visit relatives and go to the fair. Sallie died in August, 1924
and M. George Nix died in December, 1957. Both are buried in Gillespie Cemetery near Munday, Texas.
Courtesy Morris A. Hicks for Dallas County Pioneer Association’s Proud Heritage, Volume II.