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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Capt R. D. ApRice

Read about an interesting Character, CAPT. R.D. ApRice, in the History of Telico, Tx book. A nice lady who was project director of the book let me borrow it. I was hoping to purchase a copy but don't know if there are more available.

Telico was known as Trinity City before the civil War. It was generally in the same area. Trinity city was formed in 1849 (technically in Navarro County but not for long. December 29,1849 it would be in Ellis County)with 118 blocks laid out. The Telico Manufacturing company was formed here with assests of $200,000. They manufactured wool, cotton, and lumber. Trade was back and forth with Galveston. The Trinity River was not known for being the best navigable river. Light draft steamboats would be the most common water craft for business. The largest was the "Welshman" and owned by Captain R.D. ApRice whos was originally from Wales. It was a double-decker steamboat. The Welshman was known to travel as far up as Dallas. Captain ApRice saw the Trinity as a practical transportation route for people and commerce. He surveyed the Trinity all the way to Trinity City where he made a port. When Dallas grew he made Dallas his last stop to trade with the Gulf. Then the Civil War came and ended the business with all the blockades. The Captain moved to Italy, Tx. He was involved with supplying ammunition for the Confederates from Ellis County. ApRice also became a Justice of the Peace. He had the contract for the third Ellis County Courthouse in 1870 under the Reconstruction's Police Court. They needed offices badly during the Reconstruction. The Stone for the Courthouse was to be local and ApRice found a quarry at S.A. Clifton's place two miles east of Waxahachie, Tx. It was a hard native yellow limestone and ApRice was to be responsible for quarrying the limestone and building the foundation. If you go to the basement of the current Courthouse you can still see the third courthouse foundation. John Solon was given the duty of cutting the stones. ApRice is said to be buried north west of Italy about 4 miles. He also had the abilities of a mechanic and had written poetry.

I have recently found the burial spot of R. D. ApRice in Italy.  He is buried in the Clay- Bell cemetery on the back of private property off of R L Campbell Rd. I would advise asking permission before venturing down there so not to surprise anybody. By coincidence I met some of R D's descendants.  They don't own the property around the cemetery they just happen to be there to find relatives.  I was told by a Mr. Bell  that ApRice was a Welsh way of saying the son of Rice or some version of that.  In documents you will see his name written"R. D. Ap Rice." I also would like to note that in the 1870 census he is documented as "Richard" for his first name. Mr Bell told me R D's mother is buried their with a large Obelisk grave stone.  It is very well kept graveyard down a hill.  I asked the relative if he knew why ApRice sank his steamboat.  He said that an old family story was that a wife had drilled holes in the boat and sank it.  I don't know if he had more than one wife.  But it makes a good story.

Regarding the Welsh patronymics, I found this on ancestry "A number of Welsh names being with P which come form the Welsh way of patronymics. That is, they said, "David ap Morgan ap Griffith ap Hugh ap Tudor ap Rhice" — ap meaning "son of." The "a" in ap was often dropped, and that accounts for the frequency of the surname starting with P. This how Hugh became Pugh; Powell is from ap Howell, Pritchard from ap Richard, and Price from ap Rhys."

Capt R D AP Rice grave