W. S. Petty, father of Ed Petty, was born in the state of North Carolina in the year 1804. He immigrated to the state of Texas in the year 1854. He married Mary Carlos in his native state.
It is said that father Petty was the first man who conducted and controlled a railroad car in the United States. This car was propelled by horsepower. As soon as the engine was supplanted by the use of steam he became the engineer, the first in the United States. W. S. Petty reared a family of five children Robert E., James L., William Pitt, Martha E., Edward C., who is the subject of this sketch. He now lives upon part of his father’s old homestead. He married Miss Alice Welts of the state of Mississippi, when he was thirty years of age. They have had eleven children, nine of whom are living. They are all good citizens of the county. There are four boys and seven girls in this family.
Mr. Petty has been engaged in agricultural pursuits as a business of life, and has had reasonable success as a planter. He believes that the young should be educated and has encouraged it in his family. His children are bright, intelligent and are all well born. He descended from a religious family and favors the cause of Christianity; believing that preachers should be paid for there services as well as other professional men. His family are Methodists, and give that church their support and encouragement. In politics he is a Democrat, and has no patience with any of the isms that is not consistent with Democracy.
He is steadfast and firm in his opinions, has been favored with the confidence and esteem of his friends and acted in the capactiy of county commissioner and gave entire satisfaction. to all his constituents. He has been a great hunter and has always kept a large pack of trail dogs on hand and enjoys a chase as well as any man. He has been a successful marksman and has killed as many as thirteen deer in the course of one day. During a week’s constant deer hunting he has shot and killed as many as sixty head of deer. His mother preserved the hams, which amounted to one hundred and twenty in number.
Mr. Petty is equally fond of fishing and is said to be the most successful angler in Hopkins County. Mr. Petty gives ary account of the migrating of the fox squirrels, which event took place in the year 1856. These squirrels came into the county from the direction of the northwest, in such large gangs as to attract attention and to alarm the citizens. This occurred in the fall of the year, and the planter was forced to stop everything he was engaged in and begin at once to gather his corn crop. The a squirrels were traveling east toward the great Mississippi River. The ladies who were engaged in washing for the families were forced, in order to rid their washing places of the squirrels, to use their battling sticks. Many of the pestiferous things were destroyed in this way. They were extremely fat-almost a burden to themselves. This strange phenomenon was a great mystery to the populace at that time and is spoken of as one of the remarkable events of that day by the old-time settlers.