When Willis Lapsley Wolford, wife Prudence, and family arrived in Texas on March 1, 1856 from Jamestown, Russell County, Kentucky, they first stopped in the Wetsel community, Collin County, to visit his Uncle Salathiel (Sales) Coffey, brother of his mother, Elizabeth (Betsy) Coffey Wolford. Willis was the oldest child of Jacob and Elizabeth Wolford and grandson of John and first wife, Jane (Jinny) Lapsley Wolford. He was born 15 September 1827 in Russell County, Kentucky. Prudence, the daughter of William and Rachel Brown Chamberlain, was born 27 January 1833, also in Russell County.
Willis and Prudence had the following children at the time: William Willis born 5 December 1849; Mary Ann Elizabeth born 29 December 1851; and Marticha Missouri (Tish) born 7 February 1854. They later had Margaret Maria (Maggie) born 3 August 1856; Charles Washington born 2 September 1862; 1860 U.S. Census the area was called Breckenridge. This may have been the same site which they purchased after the Civil War when Willis was paroled from the Confederate Army.
Willis volunteered for Confederate Militia service in the Fall of 1861. His formal enlistment, May 18, 1862, was in Company K, 19th Cavalry Regiment, Cols. Nat M. Burford and B. W. Watson commanding. He served almost four years, part of the time as a blacksmith. He was at home twice during that time while injuries healed. Most of his battle experiences were in Arkansas and southern Missouri. While he was away fighting, Prudence and her children worked the land, raising oats, corn, wheat, cotton, and of course vegetables and cattle for their food.
Willis, fighting for the Southern cause, was opposing brothers, cousins and uncles in the Northern Army who were still living in Kentucky. His uncle, Colonel Frank Lane Wolford, a son of John Wolford by his second wife, Mahala Lane, organized the first Union regiment in Kentucky. He became famous for publi cly opposing President Abraham Lincoln’s use of black soldiers.
After the War Willis purchased 72 acres on Bobtown Road near Barnes Bridge Road, between Lyons Road and the present western shore of Lake Ray Hubbard. He continued farming and stock raising. All of his brothers eventually followed him to Texas. He died 7 August 1869 at his home near Rose Hill from typhoid fever and complications from his war injuries and illnesses. His widowed mother left Kentucky and came to Texas to be with her family in the early 1870’s. She lived with his youngest brother, Dr. William Franklin (Frank) Wolford, in Allen, Collin County until her death and is buried there in the family plot in the Allen Cemetery. Prudence died 3 December 1926, lacking a month reaching her 94th year. Both are buried in the Lyons Cemetery on Barnes Bridge Road.
William Willis Wolford married (1) Elizabeth (Lizzie) Brandenburg. They had one child, Emma. He married (2) Eliza Kilgore. Their children were: Oscar Cham berlain; Laura Ellen; Edward; Jesse Eugene; twins – William Bert and Bertha; Guy; Charles Clint; Midney Clifton; and Ina.
Mary Ann Elizabeth married William Bourland Loving. Their children were: Ola, married Rufus Didlake Wilson; Cora, married George Washington Shipley; Walter and Eugene, both died young; Minnie, married William Henry Anderson; Gilbert, died young; Marvin, married (1) Ella Mae Conine (2) Florence Obitha Anderson; Sula, married Tom Clark.
Tish Wolford married Judson Clark Jones. Their children were: General Jackson, Lenora, Ida May, Grover Cleveland, Judson Burton, William Francis, Adlai, June Florence, Clarkie Alta.
Maggie Wolford married Andrew Jackson Bryant. Their children were: Laura Ann, Mary Ann, Erma Margaret, John William.
Charles Washington married (1st) Minta Fogge, (2nd) Ada Windom. Charles and Ada had: Frank and Prudence.
Belle died at age 2.
Frank married Addie Elizabeth Laird Gholson. Their children were: Violet, Vera, Vada, Quincy Eugene.
Descendants of Mary and W. B. Loving were: Ola Wilson’s children: Gertrude, Buren, Mary Dean, Dannie, Pauline, and Addis. Cora Shipley’s children: Lewis, Dewey, Hubert, Orpha, Georgia, Marvin, Preston, Lester and Luther. Minnie Anderson’s children: Clelia Mayes married Thaddeus Franklin Wheeless; Clessie Inez married Clifford Buckland; Willis Clytes married James Wesley Cullar; Mary Des married Edgar Merldean Hartsfield. Marvin Loving and Ella Mae had Onieda and Marvin Leon. Sula Clark had one daughter, Mary Ann.
Clelia Wheeless had T. F. Jr., Narieda (Rita). Clytes Cullar had James Wesley Cullar, Jr. (Jim); his son is James Wesley, Ill (Jay). Mary Hartsfield had Duane Dean.
Photo, Front Row: William Willis Wolford, Prudence Chamberlain Wolford and Charles Woldord. Back: Mary Ann Elizabeth Wolford Loving, Frank Wolford and Marticha (Tish) Missouri Wolford Jones.
By W. Clytes Anderson Cullar for Proud Heritage, Volume I by Dallas County Pioneer Association.