Reverend George Washington Prather
Born July 23, 1806, George Prather was the son of Benjamin Franklin Prater who was an early settler in Tennesee. Growing up on the Prater farm in Roane County was filled with memories that George held dear later in life and perhaps because he eventually made his own way to Texas, chief among them were the frequent visits by Sam Houston. Benjamin Prater’s reputation for raising the finest horses caused Houston to establish a friendship and so it must have piqued Prather’s curiosity when he heard the heroic stories of Houston’s leadership in Texas in the 1830s. In 1847, Prather was ordained in the Methodist Church. Shortly after the death of his father, George Prather made his way to Texas where he settled near Waco in 1854.
Immediately, he purchased and began farming 3,000 acres along the Bosque River and preaching at the local Methodist Church. George was one of the primary investors that made the Suspension Bridge possible and also played a key role in the Waco 92 project that established a new school which eventually evolved into TCU, now in Fort Worth. His son, William, was only six when they moved to Texas but he quickly adapted to the lifestyle in Waco and eventually became one of its most celebrated sons as he served as president of the University of Texas and led the adoption of the “Eyes of Texas” as the school song. Evidence in local newspapers suggest that William Lambdin Prather was likely a member of Waco 92 like his father.