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November 25, 1834 - September 20, 1909

James Thomas Pollard was the son of Rosston Whatley Pollard and Eveline Barton Pollard born November 25, 1834 in Rome, Georgia. He was married to Nancy Hart and they had 10 children before they divorced in September of 1884.

Tom Pollard was an engineer, and went to school at Centenary College in Louisiana. In family tradition he is referred to as a surveyor. He did many land surveys in parts of Texas and Oklahoma. In an application for a pension for his service in the Indian Wars he lists his occupation as a Farmer and Stock Raiser. Also in the pension application he lists his places of residence in Texas as: "Hopkins County for 5 years, Johnson County 4 years, Palo Pinto County 5 years, Johnson County 7 years, Montague County 6 years, Palo Pinto County 12 years, Greer County Texas 13 years, and the balance in Gray County Texas".

In the late 1850s and into the 1860s he resided in Palo Pinto County and was involved in the defense of the area from the Indians during this period with the local Texas Ranger organization and then in the Frontier Regiment during the Civil War.

He was with the local group of citizens from Palo Pinto and bordering counties that participated with Texas State Troops under Sul Ross in the battle near the Pease River that resulted in the recovery of Cynthia Ann Parker in December 1860. Charles Goodnight was also a participant in this battle and became a long time friend.

During the Civil War, citizens drew straws to determine who would join the Confederate army and who would stay and protect the frontier. He drew the frontier and was active in many Indian battles and skirmishes.

Tom Pollard is mentioned in several anecdotes in J. Evetts Haley's book CHARLES GOODNIGHT, COWMAN & PLAINSMAN.

From the Dallas Morning News Obituaries September 22, 1909



      Amarillo, Tex., Sept. 21 - After suffering for forty-eight years effects of a poisoned arrow shot from the bow of a savage Indian, Col. J. T. Pollard died last night at his home in Mclean Tex. Col. Pollard who was a close personal friend of Gen. Sam Houston and Col. Charles Goodnight and other notable Texans from the early days, had resided in the state for sixty-four years. He was one of the foremost frontiersman during the Civil War and rendered much valuable assistance to Texas through protection of her early settlers. In addition to the wound to which the death of the pioneer was due, he bore eight other distinct scars inflicted by dangerous arrow thrusts. In addition to the arrow wounds, there were a number inflicted by gunshot. The unfinished history of unrecorded events of interest, including those grouping about the life of this grand old man was found in his own handwriting. The document will likely be completed by members of his family.

Note: Neither James Thomas Pollard nor Charles Goodnight actually gained the rank of Colonel in their military service and I have not been able to confirm Tom Pollard's friendship with Sam Houston.



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