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Dr William Dixon Lair

Dr William Dixon Lair

Russell County, Kentucky, USA
Death 3 Jun 1887 (aged 73)
Burial Anna, Collin County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 6622436 · View Source
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The Daily Courier Gazette May 1929
The Daily Courier Gazette 1936
A noted character in the early settlement of North Collin and a most important factor as a citizen, pioneer physician and a supporter of every uplifting movement for society was Dr. W.D. Lair, who came to the county in 1857 and died in 1887. He practiced medicine in the old Mantua and Anna sections traveling horseback over a wide area of territory. In addition to his practice he preached some and twice served his district in the State Senate as law maker in the upper chamber of the Texas law making body.

Born in Kentucky
William Dixon Lair was born May 12, 1814 in Russell County, Kentucky, where he was reared and educated. He professed religion at the early age of 12 and was united with the Baptist Church. He was licensed to preach in 1840. When the church called for his ordination, he refused to submit on account of lung affection and continued in his chosen profession in the practice of medicine. He organized the first Sunday School at Mount Vernon Church in Kentucky, and was elected its superintendent. In order to attend he rode five miles every Sunday to its services.

Also in Kentucky Legislature
He was a man of pronounced convictions, and natural leadership. These qualities led to his election as a member of the State Legislature of his native state. However in 1857 he decided to leave Kentucky and emigrated to Texas. He settled near old Mantua between that pioneer town and where the town of Van Alstyne now stands. The next year in 1858 he moved to a farm one mile west of where the town of Anna now stands and established his homestead and reared his family and where he later died. He immediately united with the Friendship Church, that was later called Old Highland. He was chosen moderator of the Sister Grove Baptist Association in which important capacity he served the association for a number of years. He was also chosen moderator and presided at the organization of the Collin County Baptist Association which met in the Baptist Church in McKinney in 1876. He continued to serve the Collin County Baptist Association thereafter as long as he lived.

As Practitioner
Dr. Lair in the meantime pursued the practice of medicine in an active way with such success that his practice grew and he was called to serve patients throughout North Collin, Southern Grayson and in a portion of Fannin County. He went about doing good, healing the sick, restoring the broken health, cheering the discouraged and despondent, supporting the spirit of the gospel and encouraging the people among whom he practiced to turn to the support of the church and respond to the call of spiritual salvation and redemption. His influence was manifest in every good work and in many helpful needs professionally and otherwise throughout a wide scope of territory during his busy lifetime of practice and professional service.

Elected to Senate
He was twice elected to the upper house of the Texas Legislature and served as State Senator with distinction to himself and credit to his district and state. His first term was from 1863 to 1865 during Governor Murray's administration. His second term was served almost twenty years later from 1881 to 1883 under Governor Roberts' administration. He made a conscientious public servant and a capable law maker. In personal appearance he was dignified and commanding in physique and personality. In this position he was affable, genial and of a winning social turn. To see him and to come within the circle of his acquaintance was to admire him. To know him, was to love him. He loved the truth and right, as was fearless in expressing his convictions and was a valiant champion for every uplifting influence. He was a lion in courage for the right, and yet amiable as a lamb among his associates and the general public. He was every ready to hear the call of distress and to lend a sympathizing heart and a helping hand to a needy brother.

A Hospitable Home
Dr. Lair was a gentleman of the old Southern type, who was born and reared a courteous considerate gentleman whose hospitality knew no bounds in his home. He never turned away the hungry, the needy and the stranger from his gate, but took them in, fed and housed them, ministered to their needs and sent them away happy and always more inspirited and inspired to pursue with renewed energy their wearied footsteps along life's journey.

The following is from contributor, Richard Hollis:
Married Three Times.
Dr. W.D. Lair was thrice married as follows: to Maria D. Haynes. Married Sept 29, 1836. She died in 1845.

His second marriage was to Narissus B. Barger. Married July 23, 1845. She died December 18, 1858.

Third marriage was to Sallie Jane McWhorter. She was born in Casey County, Kentucky, in 1837. They were married April 17, 1860, and she died April 10, 1910.

His Children.
Dr. Lair was the father of the following children:
By his first wife: G.H. (Gallon) Lair, born September 29, 1840 and died June 15, 1896.
T.C. Lair, born October 9, 1838 and died November 18, 1920.

Children by his second wife: Theodosia Nipp, born May 24, 1846, died April 15 1894; L.C. Lair, born March 24, 1848, died in 1913; Maria Slaughter, born October 12, 1852. She is the wife of Osburn Slaughter and resides with her husband two and one half miles southwest of Anna; John B. Lair, born November 13, 1858, died June 212, 1916; W.P. Lair, born October 15, 1850; died April 27, 1929.

Many Descendants
Dr. Lair lived a useful honored life of service to his fellow man - as a physician, citizen, law-maker and public servant. He left numerous descendants and many of them are still living in North Collin and other portions of the state. These descendants have followed his example on living honored, worthy lives.

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  • Maintained by: SLGMSD
  • Originally Created by: William
  • Added: 20 Jul 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6622436
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr William Dixon Lair (12 May 1814–3 Jun 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6622436, citing Lair Cemetery, Anna, Collin County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by SLGMSD (contributor 46825959) .