Will arrived at Richardson, Texas by train in the fall of 1891, a complete stranger, with 75 cents in his pocket. He walked to a barber shop, for a ten cent bath and twenty five cent hair cut. Jack Lane the barber (dug Richardson’s first sewer line), introduced Will to his brother-in-law, John Jackson. John hired Will to work his Audelia farm.During the two years Will worked for John he saved his money and bought equipment. Now he was ready to rent his own farm. He rented land belonging to the Floyd family, now located between Abrams Road and Greenville Road. His brother, John Morton Sharp came to help. After a year of “batching”, they sent for their sister, Julia Catherine, to cook for them. Later John moved to Chickasha, Oklahoma and Julia married John Lesley (Butch) Floyd in 1900.A grand wedding was held 28 November, 1895, at the home of Jeff and Dora Jackson, when Will and Eva Lane, (b. 1876, d. 1962), were married. Families for miles around came, bringing food and fiddles for an all night dinner/dance.(Two of Samuel Lane’s daughters married the Jackson brothers. Sophia married John, Will Sharp’s employer; Jeff married Dora; a third sister, Eva Lane, roomed with a Jackson school teacher, Mary Coyle, at Jeff and Dora’s home. Jack Lane, the barber, became Will’s brother-in-law.)Will and Eva left the wedding party to go home to Spring Creek farm, rented from the Routh sisters. Eva taught Will to read and write. She joined and was baptized at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Richardson, where Will was a member. Their first son, James Alvin was born in 1897 (d. 1974) and John Williams, born in 1900, a few days before Will signed his first deed, (d. 1973); daughters Mary Velma born in 1902, (d. 1961) and Anna Mae, born 1915.On 7 August, 1900, Will Sharp took 500 dollars he and Eva had saved, along with 200 he borrowed from Joseph Evert (Joe) Prigmore to make a down payment on 245 acres. In December, 1901 he added 75 acres adjoining the Jim and Eddie Prigmore Lawler farm on the east and the Jim and Bea Rippy Jackson farm on the south. Will’s land was east of Plano road, south of Lawler Road.
Just before World War I he bought two more farms on both sides of Plano Road, south of Forest Lane. In 1923 he deeded these farms to his sons. James Alvin farmed his east side until 1951. He
Will was an expert at “witching” for water. He felt that water was a gift from God, so he never charged for hauling water from the well in his pasture to farmers whose wells had gone dry. He piped water to this house and barn before electric pumps.
He learned to draw blueprints and built seven farm buildings, including one to house his Delco System for electricity. This system gave electricity to the house, barn and chicken house. He brought people to see this because it was the first in the area.
As a cotton seed breeder, Will sold “Sharp’s Early Prolific” cotton seed. When schools began teaching agriculture the FFA classes at Garland High School would make field trips to Will’s farm.
The farm was a business enterprise with cattle chutes for loading sheep, beef cattle, hogs and milk cows for the market. They had concrete walks, a drive-on scale in the barn and a smokehouse for curing beef and pork. Will and Eva raised garden vegetables and canned them. They owned a Case automobile before 1915 and traded for Buicks after 1924.
On 28 November, 1945, Will and “Evie” celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in Garland. One year later Will died of a stroke. Eva and the heirs sold the farm to developers 14 May, 1959. Eva and Velma moved to Richardson, where they died shortly after moving. All of the family is buried in Restland Cemetery, except the youngest daughter.
Alvin born 13 October 1897, died 9 October 1974; married Dewey Rippey and had one son, Billy Jack, who married Marietta Wiseman and had one child, Jeri Beth. b) John William born 28 July 1900, died 10 March 1973; married Zela Ballard, Their children were: Norma Willene married Truman Sea bourn and Thomas Lewis who married Mildred Allen and lives in Quincy, Missouri. c) Mary Velma born September 1902, died 14 July 1961, unmarried. d) Anna Mae born 19 September 1915, married Cecil Taber and divorced in 1950. They had two children: Cecilia Ann born 26 March 1940 who married Duane Evans and whose children are Kevin, Keith Allan and Kyle Barton (twins); Timothy Neil born 19 September 1944 who married Patricia Aums and has two children: Tim, Jr. and Tonya.
By Anna Mae Sharp Taber for Dallas County Pioneer Association’s Proud Heritage, Volume III.