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John Rupert Elliott Family



John Rupert Elliott Family
By Rupert Ayres Elliott


James Franklin Ayres was born January 8, 1843, in Tippah County, Mississippi. He grew up in Alcorn County where he enlisted as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. In 1868 he came to Texas and lived in Fayette County where he married Mary Elizabeth Criswell in 1871. She was the granddaughter of John Yancey Criswell who came to Texas in 1831, after having received a Spanish land grant just south of the present site of the South Texas Nuclear Energy Project in Matagorda County.


About 1891, James F. Ayres moved his family, which then included five sons and daughters, to a farm in Matagorda County on the west side of Caney Creek. The oldest son, John, taught the first school in that location. They established a business which made syrup from sugar cane. The syrup was sold by the barrel to customers who came in small boats and barges to the location on Caney Creek. An accident caused by runaway horses left James badly injured, and he died in 1901. He was buried in a small cemetery near the home of the Phillips family.


In the fall of 1903, Mrs. Ayres moved to Bay City where she was living when her daughter Mary Emma “Mamie” married. Mamie had taught the first school in Palacios, and lived there after she married Doctor John Rupert Elliott on March 21, 1906.


Drug Store, office and residence of Dr. J. R. Elliott built in February before his marriage to Mary Ayers on March 21, 1906. The yard gate on the side was the private entrance to their residence which consisted of three rooms and a side porch built in the rear of the building. Rupert Elliott was born in this building Feb. 10, 1908.

Palacios Beacon, January 21, 1921

John Rupert Elliott was born in Ireland on July 29, 1877 [to John Clark Elliott and Madge Ellen Lloyd Elliott], and was about fifteen years old when his family moved to Abilene, Texas. During the Spanish-American War he enlisted and served as a medical corpsman. Later, he attended The University of Texas Medical School, and after graduating, he interned at St. Mary’s Hospital in Galveston. In 1904 he began practicing medicine in Markham, Texas, and the next year moved to Palacios where he bought a drug store and became the first doctor in Palacios. Except for the period when he served as a medical officer in the United States Army during World War I, Dr. Elliott continued to practice medicine in Palacios until his death on February 10, 1934. Mamie Elliott died on June 22, 1941. She was active in the First Baptist Church in Palacios where Dr. Elliott was a charter member, and for many years, a deacon.


Their son, Rupert Ayres Elliott, was born on February 10, 1908. He taught school in Palacios after graduating from Baylor University, and then continued to teach and attend school until he earned his Master’s Degree from Baylor. He taught in Midfield and Wadsworth before moving from Matagorda County. In 1963 he retired from the Air Force as a Colonel.


Mary Alleen Elliott, who married Galen Westwick of Corpus Christi, was born August 21, 1912. She was also a graduate of Baylor University, and taught school in Matagorda County before moving to Corpus Christi, where she continued to teach until she retired.


Nannette Irene Elliott, born April 25, 1923, married Francis Lauren Mickle, and lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 143


Dr. J. R. Elliott Was First Physician Here

Dr. J. R. Elliott was the first physician in Palacios. He graduated from the Medical Branch of the Texas University at Galveston in June of 1902 and located first in Markham forming a partnership with Dr. Clay Moore in both his practice and drug business, but two years later he was invited to move to Palacios. He sold out his business interest to Dr. Moore and located in Palacios in the autumn of 1904.

He opened an office and drug store in a small building between the Bakery, owned by Charles Axburg and the grocery store owned by Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Montgomery. A dry goods store owned by Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Hill was also in that group of stores all located on the south side of the block directly back of the home now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ben Ehlers.

In the spring of 1906 Dr. Elliott built a new store building up the street two blocks west and moved his office and drug establishment there and called it Palacios Pharmacy.

In 1911 he sold out his drug business in order to give all his time to his private practice. the stock of drugs was sold to Jim Pridgen of Cuero, who moved the stock into a building several doors to the west, this being the building Jno. Bowden just vacated.

Mr. Pridgen did a very profitable business until he sold out in 1916 to Mr. McKinnon, who later sold to Mr. C. W. Nester.

The Pharmacy building was sold to Mr. J. R. Wylie who moved it to the eastern part of town and turned it into a residence. It is now a part of the John Partain and Arnold Burton home.

Dr. Elliott moved his office up stairs in the Ruthven building and continued his practice here in Palacios until his death February 10, 1934, excepting for eighteen months that he served his country in the World War, and was located in New York City and six months he spent with his family in Europe.

People of Palacios and surrounding country suffered a great loss at his passing. His kindliness sympathy and understanding as their family physician was trusted and honored both for his integrity and also for his scientific skill.

Palacios Beacon, October 19, 1939

Rupert & Mamie Elliott

In 1919, Dr. Elliott and his family planned a trip to Ireland to visit his mother. They applied for passports and the application included more family information. He states that he emigrated to the United States in February, 1892 and sailed from Queenstown, Ireland. He became a naturalized United States citizen in June 1918 in Matagorda County. They planned to sail from New York City on January 3, 1920 on the ship Adriatic. Dr. Elliott was described on the passport as being 42 years old, 5 feet 11 ˝ inches, medium forehead, blue eyes, long nose, medium mouth, round chin, black hair, dark complexion and a spare face. On the application, Dr. Elliott asked to have the passport mailed to 542 W 124th Street, New York, NY.

Dr. John Rupert Elliott

Rupert Ayres Elliott


Dr. J. R. Elliott


The funeral of Dr. J. R. Elliott, prominent Palacios physician, was conducted from the First Baptist Church February 12. Rev. George D. McClelland, pastor of the First Baptist Church officiated, assisted by Rev. Odis Rainer of Bay City. An enormous crowd of friends from every walk of life came to pay their last tribute of respect to this man who had stood by them and their families in times of sickness and distress.

John Rupert Elliott was born July 29, 1878, at Rath Kurby, County of Kilkenny, Waterford, Ireland. He went to be with his Heavenly Father, February 10, 1934, at the age of 56 years.


He came to America with his parents when 15 years of age. They located in Abilene where he was graduated from Simmons University. He attended Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College for two years, after which he entered the medical branch of Texas University at Galveston, where he was graduated with highest honors winning the internship at St. Mary’s Hospital in Galveston for two years.


Having become a naturalized citizen of the United States, he answered the call of his country in 1898 and served in the hospital corps in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. After his discharge from the army he entered private practice at Markham, two years later he came to Palacios as the pioneer physician and druggist, where he ministered to the needs of the community until the time of his death.


In 1918, he again volunteered his services to his country, he enlisted in the United States army, and was commissioned first lieutenant in the medical corps. He was stationed for almost two years in New York City. After the Armistice he with his family came back to Palacios. He became a member of the American Legion.


In 1906 he was married to Miss Mary Emma Ayres of Bay City, who survives him. Three children were born to this union: Rupert, Mary Alene and Nannette, all of whom are active members of the First Baptist Church. He is also survived by one sister who lives in Ireland and three brothers living in America.


When seventeen years of age he was born again; he accepted Christ as his Savior and took up the cross to follow Him as Lord. He was a charter member and one of the first deacons of the First Baptist Church. He was named one of the trustees of the church upon its incorporation. Having fought a good fight, having finished his course, and having kept the faith, he has now entered into the haven of rest.


The pallbearers were Mr. Oscar Barber, Mr. Lee Davidson, Dr. B. Simons and Dr. J. W. Simons of Bay City; Dr. Richard Elliott of San Diego; and Mr. C. M. Duggers of Edna. Music for the occasion was furnished by the First Baptist quartet composed of Messrs. Arnold Burton, John Richards, T. S. Forehand, and A. M. Stadig, accompanied by Miss Claire Partain.


Originally published in the Palacios Beacon and reprinted in the Matagorda County Tribune, February 22, 1934

Mrs. J. R. Elliott
[Mary Emma "Mamie" Ayres Elliott]

Word was received here this morning of the death of one of the Palacios pioneers, Mrs. J. R. Elliott who passed away in the Wharton Hospital Sunday at 1:00 p. m. of injuries sustained in an automobile wreck in that city last Friday.

The late Dr. and Mrs. Elliott had lived in Palacios for many years where Dr. Elliott followed his chosen profession of medicine. After his death some five or six years ago. Mrs. Elliott continued to make her home in Palacios where she was quite prominent in local club activities, particularly the Red Cross and the County Federation. For the past several years Mrs. Elliott has headed various committees on work at the Wharton annual fair. She was also a very active member in the Bay City Business and Professional Women’s Club.

Mrs. Elliott is survived by two daughters, Miss Mary Aileen Elliott of Corpus Christi, and Miss Nanette Elliott of New Mexico and one son, Lt. Rupert Elliott, U. S. Army.

Funeral services were in Palacios this afternoon at 3:30 with interment in the Palacios cemetery.

The Daily Tribune, June 23, 1941

Pioneer Civic Worker Hurt In Auto Crash Dies

Mrs. J. R. Elliott, 58, pioneer resident of Palacios and an active civic worker for many years died Sunday at the Caney Valley Hospital in Wharton as a result of injuries received Friday when the car in which she was riding with Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Salsbury was struck by a truck at a highway intersection near Wharton Friday morning as they were on their way to Newgulf. Mrs. Salsbury is still confined to the hospital with a cracked hip bone. Mr. Salsbury's injuries consisted largely of shock and bruises.

Mr. Salsbury, who is president of the City State Bank of Palacios, was taking the party to Newgulf on business connected with the Library Association here when the accident occurred. Just how it happened has not been ascertained except that it is presumed neither driver saw the other vehicle until it was too late to avoid the collision.

Palacios Beacon, June 26, 1941

Mary Emma Elliott

Mrs. Mary Emma Elliott was born October 20, 1883, and answered the call of the Father on June 22, 1941. She was married to Dr. J. R. Elliott in 1906, and had made her home in Palacios since that time. Early in her life she became a Christian and was one of the first members of the local Baptist Church. She lived a very full and fruitful life, giving herself unreservedly and unselfishly for high and noble causes. She has always been one of the leaders of her Church, and served efficiently in many positions in the church; such as Church Clerk, WMU Secretary and President, YWA leader, and on numerous special committees. Her home was the hub around which, and in which, many of the Church activities centered. She was vitally interested in Civic progress having lead in the Garden Club, Public Library, Wednesday Club, Public Library, Wednesday Club, Parent-Teachers Association, and many others. She was an ideal hostess having entertained in her home some of the world's leading personages, including several from foreign lands. She delighted to serve her fellowmen, going often with her husband as he ministered to the sick and doing those thoughtful and necessary things that only a christian mother can do. She was always interested in youth, having personally assisted many to go to schools and to get a new start and vision in the world. She was vitally interested in education being one of the first teachers of this city. Joyfully it can be said, "She did not live in Vain."

She is survived by her three children, Miss Mary Alleen who teaches in the schools of Corpus Christi, Lieut. Rupert Elliott who is stationed in Albuquerque, N. M., and Miss Nannett who make her home with hr mother when not in college, and one grandson. Also there remain. Also there remain three sisters, Mrs. W. F. Simms, of Hillsboro; Mrs. A. M. Matthews, of Livingston; and Mrs. W. S. Napier, of Houston; and three brothers, Mr. J. M. Ayers of Memphis, Tenn., Mr. W. E. Ayers of Port Bolivar, Texas, and Mr. I. H. Ayers of New York City. Besides these there are legions of friends and acquaintances scattered over this state and others who mourn her untimely going.

Funeral services were conducted by the Palacios Funeral Home, with burial in Palacios Cemetery.

Palacios Beacon, June 26, 1941

Mary Westwick


Funeral services for Mary Elliott Simon Westwick, 73, were held May 5 at 1 p. m. at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi with Rev. Fred Martin of Corpus Christi officiating. Graveside services were held at 4:30 p. m. at the Palacios Cemetery.


Mrs. Westwick, the daughter of Dr. J. R. and Mary Ayres Elliott, was born September 21, 1912 in Palacios and died April 30, 1986 in Corpus Christi.


She was a graduate of Baylor University and taught school in Corpus Christi until her retirement in 1977. She was affiliated with St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi and a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority.


Survivors include her husband, Galen Westwick of Corpus Christi; one sister, Mrs. Nannette Elliott Mickle of Colorado Springs, Colorado; one brother, Rupert A. Elliott of San Antonio; and several nieces and nephews.


In lieu of usual remembrances, donations may be made to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church of Corpus Christi.


Palacios Beacon, May 8, 1986

Rupert Elliott Will Receive M. A. Degree


Waco, Texas, August 10.—Rupert A. Elliott, principal of the Wadsworth, Texas, schools for the past three years, will receive his Master of Arts degree at the summer commencement exercises at Baylor University, August 17.


Elliott’s major subject was education. He took his bachelor of arts degree from Baylor in 1930.


Palacios Beacon, August 11, 1938

Photos courtesy of Matagorda County Museum


Copyright 2011 - Present by the Elliott Family
All rights reserved

Jun. 27, 2011
Jan. 13, 2017