Joseph Fuqua, Son of Ralph Fuqua and Priscilla Owen. The settler who gave the town of Liberty his land, and Texas his sons. Born on May 4, 1756 and dying May 4 seventy-three years later, Joseph Fuqua ... show more
Joseph Fuqua, Son of Ralph Fuqua and Priscilla Owen. The settler who gave the town of Liberty his land, and Texas his sons. Born on May 4, 1756 and dying May 4 seventy-three years later, Joseph Fuqua led a generally quiet life as a farmer and family man. He is remembered in Bedford today for an outstanding act of generosity he shared with another man who went on to obscurity. Joseph Fuqua and William Downing donated the 100 acres that became the site of the town established in 1782 as Liberty. He had fought in the Revolutionary War before settling in this area, enlisting Feb.22, 1776 and fighting in the battles of Cowpens and Brandywine. He was discharged in 1778. His father Ralph Fuqua had also been a Revolutionary War soldier. In 1782, the same year he donated the land for Liberty, he married the former Celia Bondurant, and they had six sons and five daughters, most of whom eventually moved to Texas.
The Fuqua's were Baptist (Joseph Fuqua was the first deacon at Lowry Meeting House, now Timber Ridge Baptist Church). The family was renowned for its hospitality. The cemetery off Orange Street in Bedford, where Joseph Fuqua is buried, was uncovered a few years ago by Mrs. R. N. Krebs, who was curator of the Bedford City/County Museum. When it was found Joseph's will provided the cemetery should never be sold , the company that had purchased it, deeded the site to the city, which maintains it today. Joseph Fuqua is also appreciated in Texas, where so many of his descendants settled. A grandson of his, 16-year old Galba Fuqua, was the youngest soldier to die at the battle of the Alamo.
Coincidentally, another one of Joseph's descendants was instrumental in providing one of Bedford's best - known landmarks. Fred Fuqua of Lynchburg, Virginia, a direct descendant of Joseph's son Abraham Fuqua, who stayed in Bedford County, was the contractor who built the present courthouse in 1930. It was Fred Fuqua who formally presented the Fuqua Cemetery to the city in the dedication ceremony, that took place in 1975.