Lamb's Mill

William Robert Lamb, Texas Populist leader, was born on October 21, 1850, in McNair County, Tennessee, one of seven children of John Madison and Parmelia A. (Thomason) Lamb. His father was from Missouri. While he was a boy his family moved to Claibourne Parish, Louisiana, where William's mother died. When his father moved to Arkansas, William was bound out for eighteen months to a local Claibourne Parish man, and when his contract was up he worked for two other men in the parish. In 1869, the year his father died in Bowie County, Texas, William moved to Collinsville, Grayson County, Texas, where he worked as a stationary engineer. In 1871 he moved to Denton County and worked first as a rail splitter and then as a hired hand for area farmers. On October 12, 1873, Lamb married eighteen-year-old Drusilla E. Wilson of Jackson Parish, Louisiana, and began farming on rented land. In July 1876 he took a preemption on land in Montague County adjoining the block on which the town of Bowie was later laid out. He built a log cabin on the land and in 1883 moved his family to it. By March 12, 1891, when his wife died, Lamb had five children. On April 24, 1892, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Mary Greenwood Pepperell.

In Denton County, Lamb had worked in a cotton mill and gin, and in 1886, with thirteen other members of the Farmers' Alliance, he opened a cooperative gin and mill that, according to one historian, collapsed because of lack of access to credit. Lamb apparently was involved in another gin in Salona at about the same time, and in 1898 in Bowie with a third gin and mill and cooperative warehouse. The last subsequently burned. Throughout the period he speculated in land; he sold town lots to help finance the third Bowie gin, mill, and warehouse. As of 1905 he still owned sixty acres of land adjoining Bowie.

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Bruce Palmer | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Lamb's Mill is classified as a Town

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  • (Salona)

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