BIOGRAPHY OF EGBERT G. SESSIONS
This biographical sketch of Egbert G. Sessions
appeared in A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro,
Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon
Counties, Texas (1893).* Bracketed matter has been added.
EGBERT G. SESSIONS, the oldest living settler of Navarro county [Texas], is a son of Isaac B. Sessions, who was born in Sampson county, North Carolina, in 1817. He afterward removed to Alabama, thence to Chickasaw county, Mississippi, and in the spring of 1846 to Navarro county, or what was then Robertson county. He was one of the organizers of the county, served as foreman of the first Grand Jury in the county, as Justice of the Peace at Porter’s Bluff a number of years, and while in this capacity, persons frequently came thirty miles to have him perform the marriage ceremony. He also served as County Commissioner several years, and was a Democrat in his political views. Socially, he was a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the I. O. O. F., and at the time of his death was a member of Rice Lodge, No. 577. He was a member and liberal supporter of the Methodist Church, was always obedient to the promptings of his conscience, and it can truly be said of him that his left was a success. Mr. Sessions was a son of William and Margaret (Portevent) Sessions, natives of Sampson county, North Carolina. After a residence for some time in Alabama and Mississippi, they came to Cherokee county, Texas, in 1848. William Sessions was an extensive planter, was an active member in the Methodist Church, and was commonly known as “Uncle Billy.” His wife having died, he, at the age of seventy-two years, married Miss Luney, a lady of thirty-five years, by whom he had two children, twins, both now deceased. At the age of seventy-eight years he had born to him a third child, a son, Robert Lee, now in the employ of the Saxit Medicine Company, of Dallas. William was a son of Richard, Jr., and Esther (Boone) Sessions, the latter being a niece of Daniel Boone. The father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and served as courier for one of the generals of the army. Richard was a son of Richard, Sr., who assisted in unloading the tea in the Boston harbor, and also served in the Revolutionary war. In acting as one of the Boston Tea Party, he refused to be painted as an Indian. Richard, Sr., was a son of John Sessions, who was one of three brothers, John, Nathaniel, and Jesse. They came to America as early as 1694. John Sessions was Provisional Governor of Connecticut, under King James. The name Sessions was originally Sass, but was changed to its present form by John Sessions. Our subject’s mother, nee Emma Spurlin, was born in Georgia, a daughter of William and Ellen (Carter) Spurlin, natives of that State. Mr. and Mrs. Sessions were married in 1836, in Chickasaw county, Mississippi, and were the parents of seven children, viz.: Thomas J., who died at Richmond, Virginia, in the Confederate service; Egbert, our subject; Margarette, deceased; Viola, wife of W. D. Haynie, a sketch of whom is given in this work; Phillip and Adelia, deceased; Amanda, deceased, was the wife of F. A. Adams; she left two children—Lena and Viola.
Mrs. Sessions died in 1850, and Mr. Sessions was married the second time, to Mrs. Permilia (Spurlin) Gordan [sic], in 1851, by whom he had one child, Ellen P. the second wife died soon after the birth of her child, in 1852, and Mr. Sessions was married to his third wife, Minerva Hammond, by whom he had seven children: Maud, now Mrs. B. Gatewood of Ennis, Texas; Laura, wife of Dr. J. A. McGee of Rice, (see sketch); Roxy, wife of Rev. J. A. Lackey, of Rice; Elvie, wife of H. Barckley [sic], of Ennis; Boone, now wife of Rev. W. J. Lackey, of East Texas; Isaac P., a graduate of the Bellevue Institute, New York, and now located at Austin; and Charles M.
Egbert G. Sessions was born in Mississippi, November 10, 1840, and when five years of age came with his parents to Texas. He remained at home until June, 1861, when he enlisted in the Confederate service, in Company I, under Captain Winkler, of the Fourth Texas Infantry, Hood’s brigade. He was wounded at the battle of Gaines’ Mills, and was discharged in 1864, on account of disability. He was in all the engagements south of the Potomac, under Lee, up to the time of his discharge. After his return from the army, Mr. Sessions bought the farm he now owns, in Navarro county, near Rice, on which he lived until 1881. In that year he moved to his present home. Our subject was thrown upon his own resources when seventeen years of age, and prior to the war had succeeded in accumulating some property, but after his return he found only a few straggling cattle left of his shattered fortune. He bought wild land on credit, which he improved, and has been adding to his original purchase until he now owns 630 acres, with 195 acres under cultivation. He also owns 100 head of stock. In his political views he affiliates with the Democratic party; and socially, is a member of the K. of H., the Alliance and is a Master Mason. Mr. Sessions is recognized as one of the most reliable, substantial and honorable men of Navarro county, which has been evinced by the solicitations he has received to accept the nomination of various important county and State offices.
In 1864, he was married to Miss Mary Graham, a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of Nicholas and Malinda (Dixon) Graham, natives also of that State. Mrs. Sessions came with her parents to Texas in 1855, locating in Anderson county, then in Ellis county, and next at Chatfield, Navarro county, where she was married. Our subject and wife have had nine children, six now living: Scott S., engaged in the mercantile business at Rice; Albert G., Don E., Egbert M. and Mary L., twins, and Hope. Mr. and Mrs. Sessions are active members of the Methodist Church, in which the former has been Steward many years.
*A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas (Chicago, Ill.: Lewis Pub. Co., 1893, pp. 585-87.