Walter Jerome (Ed) Lott, rancher and cattle driver, was born on October 17, 1850, in Goliad County, Texas. His parents, Thomas Peter Carnes Lott (1809–1855) from Alabama and Christian Susan (Stuart) Lott (1818–1861), a native of Mississippi, were married in Columbus, Mississippi, on October 31, 1833. They came to Texas in 1841, lived first in Marshall, Harrison County, and later in Jackson County. In 1845 they settled on land nine miles from Goliad on a high point overlooking the San Antonio River and were among the first farming and cattle ranching families in the county.
One of eight children, Ed Lott attended Concrete College in Dewitt County until about 1872, when he returned home to begin his career of cattle ranching and, eventually, cattle driving. On November 15, 1873, Lott married Mary Elizabeth Stephens (1853–1919), and later they built their Queen Anne Victorian-style home east of his parents’ ranch on acreage originally part of the grazing lands of Mission Nuestra Señora del Rosario. Mary Elizabeth Lott was the daughter of Narcissa Steen and John Henry Stephens of DeWitt County, a well-known cattleman and commission man who managed many sales for the King Ranch and was an administrator of the XIT Ranch.
Ed Lott bought and drove cattle to the Kansas markets and made a total of eight trips up the trail from the late 1870s to the early 1880s. His original herd of 400 to 500 head remained on the range in Goliad County, and in 1882 (the year of his last drive to Kansas) it had increased to 1,500 head. Lott drove his cattle, on at least one or more drives, with James Edward Pettus, who became a partner in the drive with money secured from his brother W. A. Pettus, Lott’s brother-in-law. W. A. Pettus participated as an investor in the trail drives and, with Lott, owned and operated the Wilson Ranch, which was in Bee, Karnes, and Live Oak counties. Lott also owned more than 300 acres of cultivated land, as part of the 23,000 acres he owned in Goliad County in 1895.
Ed Lott served as a county commissioner for Goliad County for several years beginning in 1875 and was a member of the Republican Party. In 1888 Mary Elizabeth Lott and her sister-in-law Amanda (Clip) Lott Pettus established Comanche Peak School (named for a nearby hill) on Schoolhouse Creek, one mile west of the Lott home. The school served both their children and the neighboring children. At different periods, the teachers were boarded in the Lott and Pettus homes. Mrs. Lott was an active member of the Goliad Baptist Church, which for many years was named the Mary E. Lott Memorial Baptist Church. Ed and Mary Lott had seven children; three survived to adulthood— Walter Henry, Mary Myrtle, and Ophelia. They also raised five children of his wife’s deceased sister. Ed Lott died on February 17, 1903, and was buried in the Lott-Pettus family cemetery near the site of his parents’ home.