Smith County, Texas

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COLONEL ELISHA EVERETT LOTT OF STARRVILLE

Submitted by: Craig Attaway, Descendant

 

Over a century ago, Elisha Everett LOTT of Starrville, Texas was one of the most familiar names in East Texas. His activities in state politics and local affairs won him the admiration and friendship of a host of Texans. Smith County can be proud to claim a legislator from both the Republic of Texas and of the early statehood period who worked diligently to build our state's firm foundation. 

Elisha Everett Lott was born in Mississippi, February 24, 1820; the son of John LOTT. He was educated in that state, and married Mary Ann LOTT, the daughter of Arthur and Elizabeth LOTT, in 1840. That same year, he moved with other members of the Lott family to Harrison County, Republic of Texas.

 

In 1842, when barely of Constitutional age, he won a seat in the Texas Congress to fill a vacancy. He served as the representative from the district composed of Harrison and Panola counties through 1844. It was in 1844 that the celebrated "Cherokee Land Bill" was passed; with Colonel Lott taking a leading part in carrying out that measure. It opened up a large territory that had been reserved for the Indians; with the present boundary of Smith County lying in the very center. After his term ended, Lott moved to this new territory in 1845 and settled in the northeast section of what was to be Smith County. He received a patent for 640 acres north of present day Starrville and began farming. The early deed records of Smith County indicate Lott also carried on quite a business of buying, selling and locating land certificates.

His absence from public life was short-lived. The Texas Legislature appointed Lott with four others, in 1846, as Commissioners to make the boundaries of the newly created County of Smith and to locate the county seat in Tyler. This same year he was appointed the first postmaster of Tyler; a position he held until 1850. He also took a strong part in the annexation of Texas to the United States.

Though his time was divided between Austin and Smith County, Lott never lost his interest in local affairs. He was a member of St. John's Masonic Lodge in Tyler from 1849 until his death. His name is listed with those who incorporated the Texas Western Railroad Company in 1853. His name was also on an 1848 list of Smith County citizens eager to promote steamboat navigation on the Sabine River. He served as a member of the stock company organized to start the "Tyler Telegraph."

In 1852, Lott was elected as a delegate to the National Convention of the Democratic Party at Baltimore. That same year his wife, Mary Ann Lott, died leaving five children. She was buried in Lott Cemetery on her father's home place about two miles south of present-day Winona.

Lott sold his farm in 1853. He ran for the Tenth District senate seat, composed of Smith and Van Zandt counties, and defeated the incumbent, Stephen Reaves. This was one of the most populous and influential areas of the state. Lott won election for a second term in 1855, defeating Thomas J. Hayes.

Lott married a second time on April 11, 1856 in Hannibal, Missouri, Miss Anna Cook, a native of that state. No children were born to this union. That same year, he bought a large farm several miles north of Starrville near the Sabine River and, again, began farrning. He also bought two lots in Starrville where he lived. In the late 1850's he served as one of the trustees of the Male School in Starrville.

Lott was nominated as a candidate for governor in 1857, but reflised to run because of his close friendship with Sam Houston, and so retained his post in the Senate. After the Civil War erupted in 1861, Lott resigned his Senate seat and returned to Smith County to help raise men for the Confederacy. He enlisted March 8, 1862, as a private in Richard B. Hubbard's battalion and was appointed as Major in May of that year. In June 1862, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel of the 22nd Regiment, Texas Volunteer Infantry.

Lott became ill while in the service and returned to his home in Starrville where he died January 17, 1864, in his forty-fourth year.

Lott and other family members owned much of the land that now surrounds Winona and Starrville. He and his first wife are buried in this vicinity in the Lott family cemetery.

Children of Elisha Everett Lott and Mary Ann Lott were as follows:

  • 1. WILLIAM M, born 1841, Harrison Co, TX; married Malissa A PITTMAN, daughter of James W PITTMAN and Matilda (--?--), 11 Feb 1861, Smith Co, TX.
  • 2. MARY ANN, born 1842, Harrison Co, TX; died before 1900, Arlington, TX; married Jesse BUTLER, son of Col William Booker BUTLER and Elizabeth D HEMPHILL, in 1860 at Smith Co, TX.
    • 1. WILLIAM EVERETTE was County Clerk between 1898 and 1902 at Tarrant Co, TX.
    • 2. JESSIE L; married George W FINGER.
    • 3. ALFONSO L; married L C HARRISON.
  • 3. ARTHUR L; born 1844 at Harrison Co, TX
  • 4. ELISHA EVERETT JR; born 1847 at Smith Co, TX.
  • 5. JOHN A, born 1850 at Smith Co, TX; died 4 Mar 1916, Moore, OK; married Lucy HOLLEMAN, 1880, Arlington, TX. He was County Clerk of Smith County between 1894 and 1906 at Smith Co, TX.

 

 

Sources of Information

Chronicles of Smith Co, TX, Vol 12, No 2, pp 26-27; Vol 23, No 2, p 26-27. Published by the Smith County Historical Society.

Marriage Records of Smith County, Texas 1846-1899, 1979, p 104, B-168, Published by the East Texas Genealgoical Society.

E. E. Lott - The Texas Album of the Eighth Legislature, 1860, A Texas Enterprise, By Wm. DeRyee & R. E. Moore, Austin, Texas, Printed by Miner, Lambert & Perry, 1860

Everette Elisha Lott - Some Biographies of Old Settlers - Historical, Personal and Reminiscent, By Sid S. Johnson, Vol I, 1900: Sid S. Johnson, Publisher, Tyler, Texas

Everett E. LOTT - TEXANS WHO WORE THE GRAY - By Sid S. Johnson. Self published

TRIBUTE OF RESPECT

1850 Smith County Federal Census - Image 51B

1860 Smith County Federal Census - Image 69A

 

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