Published in The Garland Daily News in 1980 as part of a series by Betty Roberts



Thomas Jefferson Nash was born in Virginia in 1808.  His parents were Thomas and Lucy Bailey Nash.  Thomas moved his family to Kentucky in 1815 where he farmed.  Thomas Jefferson also farmed and married Eliza Floed, the daughter of a farmer.

Thomas J. was elected to several offices of minor importance in the county.  During the war with Mexico, he raised a regiment of men, but they were not accepted because more men volunteered than were needed.  When Thomas was 40, he was elected State Representative from his area.

In 1854, Thomas moved his large family to Texas, first settling a few miles north of Dallas.  In 1857, he permanently settled in the vicinity of Garland.  He bought 320 acres, and within a few years he had turned the wild land into a very profitable farm.

Thomas immediately became active in local politics.  In 1858, he was elected County Commissioner.  In 1861, he was chosen to attend the Secession Convention.  He was considered by many to be an authority on states’ rights.

Thomas could not fight in the Civil War because of his age.  But as a civilian, he did all he could to aid and encourage the Confederate cause.

When Thomas was 68, he was again elected County Commissioner in 1876.  This was the last time he held public office.

Thomas died at 78 on March 3, 1886.  His wife, Eliza, had died July 7, 1873.

They had been the parents of 15 children; 12 had lived to adulthood.  Only the two youngest children had been born in Texas.

The oldest of the seven daughters, Lucy Jane, was born in 1833.  She married Jerry Brown, who was sheriff of Dallas County at one time.  Their one son had been a lawyer and a city judge.  Mrs. Brown died in Anaheim, Calif., in 1911.

Marietta Nash, born in 1835, died 20 years later.  She had married Fred Brown.  Isabella Louise was born in 1836.  She married James Jones, and they moved to Indian Territory, where she died in 1906.

Adelia was born in 1846 and died in 1862.  Mary Eliza was born in 1846, married Tom Jackson and died in 1902.  Anna was born in Texas in 1856 and died in 1914.  She was married to John Jackson.

Emma, the youngest child, was born in 1858 and died in 1891.  She had married William West.

Thomas and Eliza had seven sons.  Two had died as infants.  The oldest son, George Washington, was born 1838.  He made his home in Sherman.

Josephus Jefferson was born in 1844 and died in 1879.  Albert Radford was born in 1852.  He became a Methodist minister and lived in Kaufman County for many years.  He died in 1944.

Two sons stayed in Garland.  Charles Layfette was born in 1842.  He died at the age of 86 in 1906.  He had lived on the same farm over 50 years.

The best-known son was Thomas Fletcher.  He was born in 1850 and died in 1908.  He had been a merchant, lawyer and judge.

Thomas Jefferson Nash has made a contribution to Dallas County’s farming, politics and population.  The descendants of the first Nash number in the hundreds.