Thomas Jefferson Walling (1811-1902) was born in White County, Tennessee to John Walling, Sr and Ann Chisum. In 1832, he married his first wife, Nancy Ann Price, they had nine children. TJ and Nancy migrated through Mississippi and Arkansas before settling in Nacogdoches, Texas near his brothers, John and Jesse, in 1836. It was there that T J took the Oath of Allegiance to the Texas Republic and took part in the Texas Revolution with Captain Peck’s regiment.
In 1841 TJ claimed land near Henderson, Texas in Rusk County and he and Nancy built a one room log cabin measuring 20 by 19 feet, about 10 miles Northeast of Henderson, Texas. The cabin was built from hand-hewn pine timber joined at the corners by square notches and typical of many pioneer farm homes in the area. It is the only such structure known to survive from the era of the Republic of Texas in Rusk County.
When Nancy passed away in 1854, TJ married Eleanor Stone Hardy in 1855. They continued to live in the little cabin until 1859 when they moved to Hill County, Texas to the Walling Bend Community near his brother, Colonel Jesse Walling, who had fought with General Sam Houston at the Battle of San Jacinto.
TJ and Eleanor had four children including my great-grandmother, Nancy Ella who was born at Prairie Valley. The family migrated across Texas, Eleanor died in 1899 at Edna Hill in Erath County and Thomas Jefferson dying in Merkel, Northwest of Abilene, in 1902.
The house and 307 acres surrounding it were sold in 1859 to John Henderson. A contract made by Harrison’s widow in 1867 states that the house is the home built by TJ Walling and the entire contents of the house are listed in an inventory.
In 1982, the little cabin was discovered in the woods near Henderson and thankfully it was rescued. The Rusk County Historical had it dismantled and it was reconstructed at the Depot Museum in Henderson, Texas. Today the cabin stands furnished as it was during the life of Thomas Jefferson Walling and his family. The dedication ceremony and erection of a historical marker were attended by many of the descendants of T J Walling.
T.J. Walling Log Cabin
“In 1841 Thomas Jefferson Walling I811-1902) and his wife Nancy (Price) erected this one-room log cabin. Typical of many pioneer farm homes in this area, it was built of hand-hewn timbers joined at the corners by square notches.
Walling was a veteran of the Cordova Rebellion and Indian Wars, 1838-1839, and lived here with his family until 1859. The Walling log cabin was moved from its original site (10 Mi. N E) to this location in 1982.”
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1983