Chris Godbold 2017-12-16 01:40:59
The Peareson Family The Peareson family, which maintained a place of prominence in Fort Bend County for at least 100 years, wandered into the county’s story not long after the Civil War. Philip E. Peareson enlisted in his father, Edward’s company. He stayed in Co. D of the 6th Texas of Granbury’s Brigade. Initially he was a second lieutenant but by the end of the war he informally attained the rank of Captain. His father, Dr. Edward Peareson, soon resigned due to ill health and much of the leadership of the group fell to Philip. He was captured twice during the war and paroled from Johnson’s Island in June 1865. Peareson returned home to Matagorda County where his father Edward had settled in 1848 after a short time in Victoria. Edward was born in South Carolina to Philip Edward and Rachel Peareson. After receiving his medical degree he settled down in Talladega, Alabama where he married Margaret Shortridge. Dr. Peareson and his family, including his parents, relocated to Texas in 1846. By then, Edward’s son Philip and daughter Margaret had been born. Four more children were born after Dr. Peareson moved to Texas. Philip E. Peareson studied at the University of Virginia and the University of Alabama. After the Civil War, he soon left Matagorda County to find a place to settle down and practice law. He chose Richmond and there he moved with his wife Helen and young son Edward. Philip became close friends with the leading citizens of Richmond of that day and established his office on the second floor of the Frost Building at 2nd and Morton Streets where Henry Frost ran his mercantile business and saloon on the first floor. He was given the honorary title of Colonel and founded the Rosebud Club in 1885. The Club was a social and political gathering of the young men of Richmond that would become the Young Men’s Democratic Club first of Richmond and eventually countywide. The Young Men’s Democratic Club became the Jay Bird Club, though Col. Peareson didn’t approve of the name. He ran on the Jay Bird ticket for County Judge in 1888 but lost to Dr. John Weston who ran on the Woodpecker ticket. Philip’s sons Edward (or E. A.) and De Rugeley (or D. R.) were both members of the Jay Birds and were among the young people who had gone to the beach and returned on August 16, 1889. Philip and D. R. were among the contingent of Jay Birds that amassed on Morton Street that day during the battle while E. A. and his cousin Sid joined Earle McFarlane upstairs in the McFarlane House to shoot down upon the Woodpecker combatants at the Courthouse. None of them was wounded. Philip Peareson continued as a leader of the Jaybird Democratic Association and in his law practice until his death in 1895. Philip and his wife Helen had six children: four sons and two daughters. E. A. Peareson was commissioned a Major in the 1st Texas Cavalry during the Spanish-American War and was county sheriff when he died in 1904. He married Josie Stansbury in 1889 and they had two children: De Rugeley and Helen Hare. D. R. Peareson graduated from Texas A&M University and practiced law for 60 years in Fort Bend County following in his father’s footsteps. He was a longtime leader in the Jaybird Association and the Richmond school board. He served as County Surveyor from 1891 to 1892 and County Judge from 1905 to 1908. He died in 1950. Their brother Thomas also practiced law. He was elected Fort Bend County Attorney, 1913 to 1915, and was a member of the State Legislature from March 26, 1906 to January 8, 1907. Thomas B. Peareson died in 1915. Historical facts and photos courtesy of the Fort Bend County Museum Association, Richmond, TX
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