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One Strong Woman

Rose Anne (Rosa) Thurman was born October 29, 1872, on the family farm near Teck (Travis Co.), Texas. The “Reserve” on Lake Travis now at the end of Thurman Bend Road was part of the farm. The first child of Henry G. Thurman Jr, and Caroline Maxey had 14 siblings that called her Rosa.


She married Walter Hatton Puryear they had 10 children: Della, Harvey, Bertha,

George, Earl, Irvin, Vina, Henry, Johnny, and Alma. Her husband died leaving the

young widow with 10 children to feed and a farm to tend. She assumed Walter’s rural

mail route, delivering her fresh eggs and milk with the daily mail. She married Samuel

Pearson, and they had three children, twins Albie and Elba and a girl Willie Mae.


During the 1918 flu epidemic; her oldest son Harvey Puryear lost his first wife and a

child to influenza. Harvey and a week-old baby named Alta Mae Puryear survived. Rosa

raised Alta and a Grandson, Hardin Puryear.


After Samuel Pearson died, she wed Mr. Arnold. Outliving him she married Mr. Cox.

Thrice widowed birthed 13 children and raised 2 grandchildren. She died in Travis

County, July 16, 1941, buried on private property. Rosa was exhumed by the LCRA for

the filling of Lake Travis; then reinterned at White Rock Cemetery in Bee Cave, Texas.


Her marker says, “Wife of O. Cox.” Descendants placed a marker at the foot of her

grave. It identifies Rosa for future generations as Rosa Anne Thurman, wife of Walter

Puryear and Sam Pearson before marriage to O. Cox.

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