The Heart of Texas Chapter of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas were pleased to present a Certificate and monetary award to Sarah Lynn Walston, a seventh grade student at the Brady Middle School. Coach Bean is her seventh grade teacher who encouraged her. Helping to congratulate her, she is shown with Principal Hawkins and Coach Bean of Brady Middle School. Sarah is the winner of the DRT Annual Essay contest. She is the daughter of Jullya Walston, and the granddaughter of Bill and Sharon Purcell, also of Brady.
The subject of Sarah’s essay was John Salmon "Rip" Ford, 1815 – 1897 — an early settler in Texas during the years of the Republic, 1836 – 1845. He served in the Army of the Republic, and later became a doctor, a lawyer and a newspaper publisher. He served in the Republic of Texas Congress and also in the Senate of the State of Texas. He was a charter member of the Texas State Historical Association. He is buried in San Antonio, Texas.
Of local interest, in 1849, "Rip" joined Robert Neighbors, a Texas Indian Agent, and the two of them conducted the Neighbors Expedition. The objective of this expedition was to discover and map an ‘upper route’ from San Antonio to El Paso which would also pass through Austin and Waco, Texas. Leaving Waco in March, the route passed along the Colorado River, which follows the northern boundary of McCulloch County, Brady Creek and the Brady Mountains. This route was considered safer than the ‘lower route’ that went generally along the path of modern day I-10.