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Home: Surnames: Duty Family Genealogy Forum

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DUTY Family /Noah Smithwick
Posted by: Sheryl Williams (ID *****7003) Date: April 15, 2009 at 18:57:41
In Reply to: DUTY Family in Early Texas History by Sheryl Williams of 872

Richard Duty, Solomon's youngest son married Thurza N. Blakey, who after Richard's death married Noah Smithwick.
Thursa N. Blakey b 8 may 1808 m Noah Smithwick. Thursa was the daughter of Thomas Blakey son of William son of Churchill Blakey
SEE A Blakey Book 1686-1977 by Bernard Buckner Blakey

The Evolution of a State by Noah Smithwick

From THE EVOLUTION OF A STATE by Noah Smithwick:
"In the latter part of 1839 I took unto myself a helpmeet (Note: He
married Richard Duty's widow.) and established a home on a farm in the lower
end of Webber's prairie, whither had preceded me my old time partner,
"Dr." John F. Webber. He having retired from the practice of medicine,
built the first house, a fort in the prairie, which bears his name. Other
settlers collected around the pioneer cabin, among whom were the Dutys, the next
to locate. There were five brothers of them, Joseph, the only one who had a
family, William, Matthew, George and Richard.

"Joseph and George Duty were among Austin's first three hundred, and
located their headrights lower down on the Colorado, but, like many others, sold
out to later arrivals and pushed out into the Indian country.

"They, also, had built a fort into which were gathered all the families in
the vicinity, the men going out in companies to work their farms and kill their
meat, and incidentally Indians.

"Heroes there were then whose names and deeds history so far has failed to
record, and among them Matthew Duty deserves a prominent place. I don't
remember at just what date it occurred that a small party of white men,
including Matthew Duty and Billy Hornsby, were surprised by a large body of
Indians. All the men except Billy were well mounted, and all, with the noble
exception of Matthew, ran away and left him to his fate. Not so with Matthew
Duty. Dropping in behind Billy, he turned on their pursuers, presenting his gun,
at which the Indians fell back, and Billy put a gap between himself and them.
Wheeling his horse, Duty then ran away from the Indians, still keeping between
them and Billy, and, when they began to crowd him, again turned, and, with gun
presented, kept them back, till they reached Hornsby's fort in safety.

"Mrs. Hornsby, Billy's mother, told me how she stood at the gate of
the fort, looking on helplessly at the life and death race across the prairie,
momentarily expecting to see both her son and his heroic defender killed.
Matthew Duty was afterward killed in Webber's prairie by an Indian in
ambush. He fell from his horse, the same one on which he saved Billy Hornsby,
and the horse, being frightened thereby, broke for home, the Indians not being
able to catch him. Some little time after Matthew's death, his brother Joe
was out riding the same horse, when he was also ambushed, but it was after night
and the bullet struck the horse, causing him to fall, when Joe bounded off and
made good his escape into a thicket. The Indians would not pursue even one man
into cover nor were they rash about charging on a small party so long as they
stood with guns presented."

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