Col. Nat Terry biography

Of COLONEL NAT TERRY, who came to Fort Worth in 1854, and was one of the best known of the families figures of the past, Captain J. C. Terrell has written as follows: He had been the Democratic nominee for governor in Alabama, and was defeated by Governor Jones, his brother-in-law, in a three-cornered race. At that time lieutenant-governors in Alabama, were elected by the state senate. He was twice defeated for governor, by an independent candidate, probably made him the strict partisan that he was. His wife, nee Jones, was a refined, educated and lovely woman. Two daughters and two sons, with some thirty-six Negroes, constituted the family. These slaves were given to Mrs. Terry by her brother, for the Colonel had failed in business, and eighty of his slaves were sold by the sheriff under execution at one sale. The Colonel had been one of the highest flyers in the Union. Among his assets was Uncle Daniel, his body servant, keeper and rider of Ringgold, a famous horse costing him $3,000. Daniel, with Ringgold, won a great race at Saratoga, when it was safe for a southern man to travel with his slaves through the north without John Brown’s interference.

Colonel Terry settled the H. C. Holloway place northeast of and adjoining this city, in 1854. He bought this land from M. T. Johnson. He was a pronounced secessionist, and in 1862 sold his farm to David Snow, an anti-secessionist, for $10,000 in gold coin, which he resurrected in 1866.

The Colonel’s house consisted of several rooms snow-white and well furnished, facing the south, fronted with a porch with floors of stone. There were separate apartments for the aged couple. He kept the most hospitable home I ever knew. When Governor Houston, Jack Hamilton, M. P. Wall, A. W. Terrell and other noted men visited the village, no one dreamed that the day would go to the hotel. Colonel Terry entertained them, as matter of course, and their friends also.

Utterly ruined by the result of the war, this aged couple died about the same time. Like Cicero, the Colonel loved and served his country, and lost all by espousing a lost cause.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 206-207.