In a letter written between two of his sons (Martin and John) in 1854, Martin described his father by writing:
"Father minds me of the little boy that went in the field to move stones and notwithstanding the ground was covered with as such he could easily move he went to a rock which mite be a spur of some neighboring mountain there heaved and set till exhausted all his energies without being able to afffect anything [.] In like manner father suffers his mind to be troubled about things he cannot help and had consequently better let alone...." 10 July 1854
Possibly the pragmatic words of a son about a dreamer father too often frustrated by the elusiveness of personal vision. As such it may be taken with a grain of salt but might also provide a clear and thought provoking epitaph to the life of a man who always seemed to be headed toward the next hill and the new horizon.
Chronology of the Life of William Terry:
1785- born in Hawkins Co. area of Old Sullivan Co., TN (area then known as the State of Franklin by many and covered several nearby state lands); parents John and Esther Brown Terry
1795 - 10 year of age
1805 - 20 years of age and possibly living in Kentucky
1807 - Marries Barbara Ennis, probably in Kentucky ; she has a brother John Ennis and her sister Nancy marries a brother of William's, John Terry and they settle in Indiana
1808 - first born child
1812 - start the move to Indiana
1814- son Martin (some think Francis Martin Terry) born in Gibson Co., Ind
1819 - William listed on land entries for Gibson Co.
1830 - William and John Terry listed with a John Ennis on census in Gibson Co.
1832 - Arrives in Arkansas
1840 - Wm Terry listed in Madison Co., Ark
1850 - Wm Terry on Madison Co., Ark census
1854 - Moved to 12 miles west of Fayettevile, Ark
1860 - Visits son John Terry in Red River Co., TX is enumerated on census there
1861 - Visting in SW Missouri, move to Barry Co., Mo
1863 - Visiting with married children in Mo.
1869 - Visiting with children in Greene Co., Mo; dies and is buried on that land; location unknown.