October 28, 2016

Willis Avery

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. 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.

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 Averys 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 Averys' remains were moved to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.923, -097° 43.649

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

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