The Kemp Sketch
SCURRY, RICHARDSON A. -- Born in Gallatin, Sumer County, Tennessee, November 11, 1811. He was educated by private tutors; studied law and was admitted to the bar in about 1830. He commenced practice in Covington, Tipton County, Tennessee. He came to Texas early in the year 1836 and promptly joined the army. In Comptroller's Military Service Record No. 9038, it is certified that he enlisted in the army as a private March 10, 1836; elected first sergeant March 20; transferred to Captain Isaac N. Moreland's Company of artillery April 14; elected first lieutenant May 6th and resigned October 4, 1836. He received Donation Certificate No. 830 for 640 acres of land March 19, 1839 for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto. In Headright certificate No. 43 issued in 1838 to Mr. Scurry for one third of a league of land by the Board of Land Commissioners for San Augustine County it is merely stated that he came to Texas previous to March 2, 1836.
Mr. Scurry was secretary of the senate of the first congress of the Republic from October 3 to October 21, 1836. He was elected district attorney of the First Judicial District December 16, 1836. Congress elected him Judge of the Sixth Judicial District, January 30, 1840, which automatically made him a member of the Supreme Court. He resigned to become, on February 5, 1841, district attorney of the Fifth Judicial District. At that time he was a law partner at San Augustine of his younger brother William R. Scurry, who later became a famous Confederate officer. He was a member of the House of Representatives of the Seventh and Eighth Congress and was Speaker of the House of the Eight.
Judge Scurry was elected a member of the Thirty-second United States Congress, August 4, 1851, to succeed David Spangler Kaufman, who died January 31, 1851, defeating Oran M. Robert. At the expiration of his term, March 3, 1853, he resumed the practice of law. He moved to Austin County, in that part embraced in the present county of Waller, and built a home about one-half miles east of Hempstead.
The following item appeared in Central Texian, Anderson, Texas, August 19, 1854:
"We learn from Gen. Cuney, of Austin County, that the Hon. Richardson Scurry accidentally shot himself through the foot a few days since, while out hunting, and that the wound was so severe as to require an immediate amputation of about half of that member. The Judge he informs us has suffered greatly since the operation."
The wound never healed. In 1861 he offered his services to Albert Sidney Johnston and was appointed to the position of Adjutant General on his staff. Upon the advice of a friend he consented to an operation on his foot. Blood poisoning evidently set in and it was found necessary to amputate his leg. He never regained his health and died near Hempstead April 9, 1862.
The following appeared in The Tri-Weekly Telegraph, Houston, April 25, 1862.
"We are deeply pained to hear of the death of Judge Dick Scurry of Austin County. Judge Scurry was for years a prominent citizen of Eastern Texas; having sat on the bench, and in Congress. Lately he has been but the wreck of his former self, by reason of a painful wound by which he lost the larger part of one of his feet. The wound shattered his nervous system; and we doubt not, though we have not heard it was the primary cause of his death. He was a generous and noble Texan and his memory will not soon be lost by those who knew him."
Judge Scurry was married to Evantha Foster, daughter of James and Pamelia (Waller) Foster, who came to Texas in 1832 and settled near the site of the present town of Hempstead. Miss Foster met her future husband in 1836, while he was in the army and she was in a camp in the famous "Runaway Scrape." She next met him in Washington, Texas while he was a member of the Texas Congress and she was visiting the town under the chaperonage of her cousin, Mrs. Sarah Wharton. Mrs. Scurry was born in 1823 and died in Dallas in 1895, and is buried in the Hempstead Cemetery.
Children of Judge and Mrs. Scurry were (1) Kate, (2) Richardson A., Jr., (3) Tony, (4) Thomas, and five children who died in infancy.
Following is the inscription on the headstone of Judge Scurry in the cemetery in Hempstead:
"Sacred to the memory of
R. A. Scurry
Nov. 11, 1811
April 3, 1862"
Buried nearby are "Evantha, Beloved wife of Richard A. Scurry, 1823-1895." "Richard A. Scurry, Jr., Died May 7, 1905."
Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: First Sergeant
- Company: Capt. Isaac N. Moreland
- Alternate Names: Dick
- Date of Birth: 1811 Nov 11
- Birthplace: Tennessee, Gallatin
- Origin: Tennessee
- Came to Texas: 1836
- Date of Death: 1862 Apr 3
- Burial Place: Hempstead, Texas
- Comments: Civil War, Confederate Army
- Donation Certificate: 830
- Profession: Lawyer, judge, politician
- Wife: Evantha Foster
- Children: Kate Scurry Terrell; Richardson A. Scurry; Tony Scurry; Thomas Scurry, 5 who died in infancy