Eller Chronicles May 92 p-1

The Eller Chronicles


Page 73


A Possible New Eller Immigrant to Rowan County, North Carolina and New Eller-Biffle Connections

Winnie Mae Eller Green
2302 Crosby Park Blvd., Lawton, Oklahoma 73505

This account has some unique aspects. First, undocumented stories handed down in my Eller family say our Gr. Gr. Grandfather Eller who lived in Germany was a swordsmith and father of eight sons. One son, George was a gunsmith, so the story goes, and was forced to flee from Germany after killing a German warlord. He escaped into Holland and then rode a cattle boat to America. Records show he was in Rowan County, NC on 29 Dec 1842 when he married Rosena Goodman (See Marriage Bond below).

An unrelated but persistent part of my family's German stories said Kaiser Wilhelm's wife was an Eller. This is not to claim she was of our line but the story has been told and retold many times in my family. Can someone verify or debunk this?

Bible records show my George Eller was born in 1820. If he were born in Germany as family tradition says, he was the first known 19th century Eller immigrant to Rowan County, NC. Ancestors of other Rowan County Ellers arrived in the previous century. That my great grandfather was in Rowan County suggests he may have been related to the Ellers already there.

Third, this story documents two Eller-Biffle marriages not previously known by the Eller Family Association. The only known prior Eller-Biffle marriage involved the daughter of the German immigrant, Adam Biffle, who m. Jacob Eller, Jr. of Rowan Co., NC.

(Eds. See Eller Chronicles, Vol. V, No. 4, p. 255; also, the editorial note at the end of this article.)


(b. 28 Jan. 1820, Germany?; d. 26 Jan. 1870, Illinois)

1850 census for Rowan Co., NC:
George Eller b . 28 Jan. 1820 [Other records show his parents
were born in Germany]
Rose A.* b. 31 Oct. 1821
1.John Adam Eller b. 28 Feb. 1843 NC
2.**Marhan Sarah Ellerb. 6 Jun. 1848 NC
3.George H.M. Ellerb. 11 May 1848 NC
4.Michael David b.b. 24 Mar. 1850NC
* Rosena in marriage record.
**Later records show her name as Mary Ann Sarah

ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 74

[Eds. Insert ] BIBLE RECORDS - Submitted by Ethiel Bernice Johnson, 15834 Drysdale, Southgate, MI 48195

From Rose Ann Eller Eddleman's Bible:
George Eller b. 28 Dec. 1820 d. 26 Feb. 1870, Union Co., IL; m. 29 Dec. 1842, Rowan Co., NC, Rocena (Rosena) Goodman, b. 31 Oct. 1921, Rowan Co. , NC, d. 9 Feb. 1869, Union Co. IL. ( Both are buried in Missenheimer Cemetery, Perks, IL)

Additional information on some of the children of George and Rosena Goodman Eller - from Ltr. dated 23 Jun. 1991 to Winnie Green from Mrs. Rose Mary Orr, Genealogist, Box 601, Vienna, IL 62995:

John Adam Eller, b. 28 Feb. 1843 Rowan Co., NC. Muster and Descriptive Role of "Company K", 11th Infantry Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, Civil War Records, Union Co, Illinois; John Adam Eller 18 years old, 5 ft. 6 in. tall, brown hair, blue eyes, dark skin, a farmer, single, born in Rowan Co., NC; joined the service in Union Co. August 14, 1862, enrolled by Captain Hurley for 3 years; mustered at Camp Anna September 11, 1862 by Lieut. Brown; transferred from Ill. 9 infantry. Died March 1864 of wounds received at Zag---- (can't read). The family story is that he served with the Union Army at Island # 10 an the Mississippi Rivet,. He was shot, crawled under a house and died.

Marhan Sarah (Mary Ann Sarah) Eller b. 6 June 1846 Rowan Co. NC; m. Abraham Lance 20 June 1875, Union Co., IL. 3 children (Henry C. and two daughters).

Census 1880 Pulaski Co., IL Wetaug. Pct.
David Eddleman 31 farmer b. IL
Eva Rose Ann (Rosie) 28 b. NC
George M. Eller 32
William Frank Eller 3

ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 75

Census 1880 Pulaski Co. IL Wetaug. Pct.:
Michael David Eller* 30 farmer NC NC NC
Mary (Ann Seals) 24 IL IN NC
George David 2 IL NC TN
* brother, to George M. Eller who also went to Texas

[Eds. Insert] From Bible of Eva Rose Ann Eller's Bible in the possession of Mrs. Lulu Spendler, dau. of Thomas Eddleman of Karnak, IL - Submitted by Ethiel Bernice Johnson (address above):

*David Eddleman b. 4 Jul. 1849, Union Co., IL; d. 7 May 1902, Grand Chain, Pulaski Co., IL; s/o Jacob and Susannah (Sowers) Eddleman; m. 5 Jan. 1871, Union Co., IL, Eva Rose Ann Eller b. 6 Jun 1852, Rowan Co., NC; d. 28 Jan. 1927, Grand Chain, Pulaski Co., IL; d/o George and Rocena (Goodman) Eller.

[*=See pictures of David Eddleman and Eva Rose Ann Eller below]

Winnie Green's story continues


(See Picture on Front Cover and Below)

George M. Eller ( did not use the name Henry after he went to Texas) was born 11 May 1848 in Rowan Co. North Carolina to George and Rocena Goodman Eller. The approaching Civil War upset the family, to what extent I do not know, so they went to Union Co., Illinois. His mother died there 9 Feb. 1869 and his father died on 26 Jan. 1870; both were buried in the Missenheimer Cemetery, Perks, Illinois. His first wife Lucinda Penrod died 4 Sep. 1879. Their youngest son, Charles David, died earlier that year, on 1 Jan. 1879. The 1860 Pulaski Co., IL census (see above) found George M. Eller, his son William Frank, living in the household of his sister Eva Rose Ann Eddleman.

ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 76

His father bought 40 acres of land in l864 and 5 acres from Sheriff J.H. McElhandy on 5 Aug. 1867; later an additional 160 acre tract was purchased. All were sold to George M. Eller an 14 July 1869. (Ltr. from Rose Mary Orr, dated 23 Jun. 1991.)

In the early 1880's George Henry M. Eller with his son William Frank Eller, the Penrods and his brother, Michael David Eller and his wife Mary, with their son George David Eller went to Texas. George M. Eller and the Penrods settled in Parker County near Poolville, TX. On 20 Dec. 1887 he married his 2nd wife, Laura Elen Eugene (Shaw) McClendon who was the widow of B. Shaw whom she had married 12 Jul. 1877 and with whom she had one son, Arthur Henry Shaw b. 5 Jun. 1878 in Pennsylvania. Arthur became a step-son of George M. Eller.

George M. Eller remained in Poolville, Texas about twenty years during which time two more sons were born, George Joseph Eller on 19 Sep. 1890 and Jewell Earnest Eller on 12 Dec. 1895. In 1902 he sold his land in Texas and moved to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma which had just been opened for settlement. His trip across the Red River was quite a Journey but he had a new red wagon and team of mules; Old Beck was grey and Bunt was a bay. George J. and Arthur, his stepson, drove the horses and cows. They were old enough to ride the horses across the river, but my Dad, Jewell, complained that he had to ride in the wagon.

They settled in the Red Top Community, Greer Co., OK, where there was a school by the same name which the boys attended. It was one room and offered only the first 8 grades. George, a carpenter, was called upon to make the wooden boxes and coffins; he would always haul the corpse to the cemetery. He was a leader in his community and was loved by all. He was of the Lutheran faith and was a devout Christian who was a strong advocate of devine healing which he practiced in the community. He was a 32nd degree Mason and attended Lodge in Willow, OK. He served on the first Grand Jury ever held in Greer County at Mangum, OK. He asked that the following inscription be placed on his tomb stone:, "I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." He died 6 Dec. 1910 and was buried in the Plainview Cemetery, Greer Co., OK.

[ Winnie Green: "I would give one eye tooth to know if the "M." in my grandfather's name is for Michael, Mikel, Milken, Melchair, or Milton. I have been told there were more than one George Michael Eller."]

ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 77


1.  George Eller who m. Rosena Goodman Rowan Co., NC, 1842.
2.  George Henry M. Eller b. 11 May 1848, Rowan Co., NC; m.(lst) Lucinda Penrod, b. I Apr. 1858; d. 4 Sep. 1879
3.  William Frank b 14 Mar. 1877 Union Co., IL; d. 7 Mar. 1884, Poolville, TX.
3. Charles David b. 31 Dec. 1878; d. I Jan. 1879. (one day old.)
"George M. Eller m.(2nd) 20 Dec. 1887, Laura Elen Eugene (Shaw) McClendon, b. 21 Nov. 1859, Georgia, m. 12 Jul. 1877, H.B. Shaw; one known child Arthur Henry Shaw, b. 5 Jun. 1878, Pennsylvania.
3. George Joseph Eller b. 19 Sep. 1890, Poolville, TX; d. 5 Nov. 1943, bur. Leveland, TX; m. LoCarrie Louise Biffle, b. 25 Oct. 1894, Throckmorton, TX; d. 21 Jan. 1984, Whitharral, TX. She was the dau. of John Wesley and Rennie Louise Biffle [SEE PICTURES BELOW]
4.  Cynthia Mae Eller b. 15 May 1916. A High School Math teacher at Carlsbad, NM.
4. George Milton Eller b. 30 Aug. 1918. U.S.A. Air force WW2; m. 10 Aug. 1946 Willie Muckelroy, b. 14 Jul. 1921.
4. Pearl J. Eller b. 19 Oct. 1920. U.S.A. WAC in WW2; m. Earl W. Bowman, b. 6 Nov. 1924; d. 23 Sep. 1972; m. 19 Apr. 1947
4. Myrtie Eller b: 14 Apr. 1923. Registered Nurse- Anaesthesiologist.
4. Jack Eller b. 23 Nov. 1925, U.S.A. Airforce WW2; m. 7 Oct. 1949, Marjorie M. Mixon, b. 1929.
5. Michael Glenn Eller b. 30 Jan. 1951
5. Beverly Ann Eller b. 30 Apr. 1952; m. Terry L. Campbell, b. 19 Sep. 1950.
4. Charlie Glen Eller b. 31 Mar. 1931. U.S.N. WW2; m. 20 Jun. 1954, Rose Marie Zerussi, b. 29 Jan. 1934.
5. Carrie Marie Eller b. 23 Mar. 1958.
5. David Glen Eller b. 18 Mar. 1960
4. Robert Daniel Eller b. 13 Nov. 1926. U.S.A. WW2; Executive Baskin Robins Ice Cream; m. 21 Oct. 1950, Gloria Jean Wilson, b. 12 Aug. 1930.
5. Alan Duane Eller b. 12 Mar. 1952; m. Terri Linda Sharp, b. 8 Sep - -----
6. Ryan Chase Eller b. 17 Mar. 1981
6.Kami B. Eller b. 31 May l984
5. Randy Gail Eller b. 16 Mar. 1955; m. 26 Nov. 1977, Susan Cheri Guykemper.
6. Mather Gourden Eller, b. 5 Jan. 1983.
6. Scott Michael Eller, b. 30 Mar. 1987.
5. Robert Mark Eller, b. 2 Feb. 1957; m. 6 Dec. 1974, Teresse Lynn Weston.
6. Terry Grant Eller b. 26 Jun. 1976.
5. Charles Brent Eller b. 6 Jan. 1959, m. 6 Jun. 1980, Sylvai Lynn Hoelher, b. 1 Jun.----
6. Crystal Lee Eller b. 19 Oct. 1982.
6. Daniel Lee Eller b. 6 Dec. 1983.
4. J. E. Eller b. 5 Aug. 1933, Lalia Lake, TX; U.S.N. WW2; m. 23 May 1655, Ruby Colone McNeely, b. 22 Feb. 1937
5. Stanley Lynn Eller b. 12 Sep. 1956; m.(1st) 22 may 1977, Cynthia Lynn McGee, b. 9 Aug. 1956.
6. Jennifer Renee Eller, b. 2 Aug. 1979 m.(2nd) 21 May 1983, De An Parker,, b. 3 Nov. 1963
6. Megan Leslie Eller b. 10 Jan. 1885
6. Latham Brock Eller b. 21 Apr. 1989.
5. Debra Kay Eller b. 16 Jan. 1958; m. 13 Apr. 1985, Charles Harding, b. 16 May 1955.
6. Stephen Alexander Harding b. 2 Jul. 1987.
6. Eric Christopher Harding b. 30 Aug. 1989.
5. Cynthia Diane Eller b. 27 Jul. 1959; m.(1st) 27 May 1978, Eddie Madison, b. 27 Aug. 1957; d. 26 May 1980.
6. Amy Lynn Madison b. 3 Feb. 1980. m.(2nd) 9 Jun. 1985, Terry Wayne Tharp, b. 13 Jan. 1953.
6. Terry Wayne Tharp, Jr. b. 17 Man 1986.
5. Karen Sue Eller b. 17 Apr. 1962; m. 1 May 1990, John Melski, b. 4 Dec. 1946.


(See Family Pictures Below)

My father, Jewell Eller, was the strict (Old German) type. He was very kind, loving, caring, a good provider but without the patience of Job. He always said, "I never chew my tobacco twice so you had better be listening."

He was proud of his German heritage. We were taught to count to ten in German and when company came, we were to be seen and not heard. We sat quietly with our dresses covering our knees.

My father played games with us and always read our lessons and made sure that we did them well. He had a baby picture of himself in a dress. We girls would tease him for wearing a dress. I found this poem which fit him to a "T".

All children wore dresses,
The ones that wiggled, squirmed and jumped ditches, they put
them in britches, gave them toys, and called them boys.
The ones who sat still with their tresses
Were left in dresses, combed their pretty curls
and called them girls.

He taught us another little song:

Mine Moder loves kraut,
Mind Fader loves kraut,
and I love sauerkraut too
Also with the beer, Gramen and Dutchman.

ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 79

He was a scholar of the Bible and a 32rd Degree Mason. We lived on the 160 acre farm where my Grandfather homesteaded in 1902. We raised wheat, cane, maize, cotton, big gardens and cattle. We were taught to work and take pride in whatever we did. " If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right," we were often reminded. Often when I asked questions he would say, "let sleeping dogs lie."

But, with the "curiosity of a cat" and the hard head of a German, I need to know, and need lots of help in researching the Eller line. My mother was a Biffle, also a German, but with much more patience and a very hard worker who was always at my father's side.


3.  Jewell Earnest Eller b. 12 Dec. 1895 Poolville, TX: d. 26 Nov. 1964, Mangum, OK; m. 29 Nov. 1914, Olive Etta Biffle, b. 20 Oct. 1897, Seymour, TX, d. 21 Jan. 1964, Lawton, OK. Both are buried in the Plainview Cemetery, Greer County, Willow, OK. Oliva Etta Biffle was the dau. of John Wesley and Rennie Louise Biffle of Throckmorton, TX. [More on the Biffles below]
4.  Edith Lucy Eller b. 4 Nov. 1915, Greer Co., OK. Taught school 37 years in Baldwin Park, CA.
4. Winnie Mae Eller b. b. 21 Dec. 1917, Greer Co., OK. Auditor and book keeper, taught school (EI) 31 years, LaHabra, CA; m. Los Vegas, NM, Barney Green, b. 29 Aug. 1912, Ft. Worth, TX, Heavy Duty Construction Co., Downey, CA, served U.S. Navy SeaBees Const. Battalion attached to the U.S. Marine Corp., South Pacific, WW2.
5. Bonnie Yvonne Green b. 6 May 1947. BA Degree, Whittier College, Whittier, CA; MEd. Degree, Univ. of Texas, San Antonio; Kgn. Teacher.
4. Leona Virginia Eller b. 12 Jul. 1919, Beckman Co., OK. Secretary & Clerk of Const. Dept., S-W. Bell Telephone Co. for 27 yrs.; m- Nov. 1945, Norva Bradley b. 23 May 1918. U.S. Army- WW2; optician.
5. Vona Lee Bradley b. 28 Feb. 1947, Lawton, OK. Worked for the telephone company; m. 10 Oct. 1946, Jerry Deaon who worked fot, the Haliburton Corp.
6. Terry Wayne Deaton, b. 15 Oct. 1974
6. Billy and Tami Deaton (twins) b. 15 Aug. 1976 (Only known twins in our family)
5. Gary Lynn Bradley b. 1 Dec. 1948; works for, S.W. Bell Telephone Co.; m. 7 Dec. 1952,(sic. Maybe '72) Mary Ray, a school teacher.
6. Kirsten Bradley b. 1 Mar. 1977.
6. Amber Nichole Bradley b. 17 Mar. 1981.
4. Earnest Vernon Eller b. 2 Dec. 1921, Greer- Co., OK; d. 17 Sep. 1927 of scarlet fever.
4. Lloyd John Eller b. 13 Jul. 1926; d. 13 Sep. 1976; Foreman of Phelph Dodge Corp., Cowboy-Foreman of Baker Ranch, Vivi, OK, farming and ranching raising wheat and cattle on Eller Homestead, OK. Served 2 hitches in the U.S.Marine Corp., M.Sgt. WW2 in South Pacific, CID duty in Korean War; attended Cameron College, Lawton, OK.
4. Bonnie Elaine Eller, b. 26 May 1929, Greer Co., OK; worked for S.W. Bell Telephone Co. 27 years in Snyder, TX; m.(1st) 1-11-46, Hall Nowell; d. 1952; U.S. Army WW2
5: William Earnest Nowell (Sneed) b. 29 Nov. 1948 worked for Texas Highway Dept., Texas Law; m. Betty Barrow, b. 22 Jul. 1947, Vice-Pres. Texas Bank.
6. Billy Wayne Nowell b. 29 Jul. 1969.
5. LaDonna Kay Nowell (Sneed) b. 8 Oct. 1948; school teacher; m.(lst) 1966, David Talmage, Band Directot-, Music Teacher.
6. John Jeffrey Talmadge b. 12 Sep. 1967; m. 16 Jun. 1990, Lee Davis.
7. Zachary Talmadge b. 22 Apr. 1991.
6. David Douglas Talmage b. 9 Jun. 1970; m.(2nd) 17 Dec. 1977, Tom Yeager, b. 17 Jan. 1946; Systems Engineer.
6. Kimberly Yeager b. 12 Dec. 1979
4. Bonnie Elaine Eller m.(2nd) 1853, Norman (Slick) Sneed, b. 9 Sep. 1923; Cowboy, U.S. Army WW2. Sheriff of Borden Co., TX 27 yrs., Farming (wheat and cattle)- Eller Homestead, OK.
5. Saundra Sue Sneed b. 20 Sep. 1952; accountant, Tax Consultant, Big Springs, TX; m. Ricky Evans, b. 9 Sep. 1948; Farmer-Rancher.
6. Angela Evans b. 21 Oct. 1973.
6. Jim Evans b. 6 Oct. 1975.
6. Bradley Sneed b. 18 Aug 1980.
4. Darrell Gene Eller b. 8 Oct. 1939; d. 7 Oct. 1953.

ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 81


(b. 24 Mar. 1650, Rowan County, NC; d. 22 Mar. 1940, Illinois)

Michael David Eller was born 24 Mar. 1850, Rowan County, NC, the son of George and Rocena Goodman Eller. He died 22 March 1940 and was buried with his wife in Missenheimer Cemetery, Perks, IL. He was married 31 April 1874, Pulaski Co., IL, to Mary Ann Seals, b. 28 March 1856; d. lB93.

He was a fat,mer and in the early 1880's he and his family, with his brother George M. and the Eddleman's went to Texas. He did not like Texas so he soon returned alone to Illinois. Something happened to his horses so he sold some land, bought new horses, and returned to Texas in order to bring his family back to Illinois. Later he returned to Texas but did not stay.


2. Michael David Eller m. Mary Ann Seals
3.  Mary Ann Eller b. 5 Aug. 1876
3. George David Eller b. 12 Sep. 18781 d. 27 Jul. 19591 m. 6 May 1699, Mary Ann Dey, b. 12 Apr. 1679, d. 22 Jan. 1965; both buried Missenheimer, Cemetery, Perks, IL. He was a blacksmith.
4. Arthur Eller b. 12 Jan. 1901; d. 14 Mar. 1901
4. Essie and Bessie Eller (twins) b. and d. 5 Jan. 1903.
4. Jesse Adam Eller b. 1904; d. 1931-
4. Eva Delores Eller b. 31 Aug. 1906; m.(lst) Earnest Robinson, d. 12 May 1960; m.(2nd) Elzie Price, d. 25 Jun. 1965.
4. Mable Rosie Eller b. 25 Nov. 1909; d. 2 Nov. 1977; m.(lst) 6 May 1926, Wm. Robinson; m.(2nd) 6 Oct. 1960, Curtis Cummings.
4. George David Eller b. 9 Apr. 1917; m. 20 Jun. 1940, Virginia Farmer.
4. Opal Catherine Eller b. 17 Aug. 1921; m. Loren East wood, d. Jul. 1978.
3. Mary Elizabeth Eller b. 20 Dec. 1880; d. 6 Mar. 1899; m. ? Watson b. 12 Dec. 1899, d. 30 May 1981.
3. John Henry Eller b. 30 Aug. 1883; d. 28 Dec. 1925.
4. Cleo
4. Lea
4. Evelyn b. 28 May 1922.
3. Liza Babe Eller b. 14 Dec. 1885; d. 24 Dec. 1964.
4. Adolph
4. Pauline
3. Sarah Ann Eller b. 15 Sep. 1886; d. 27 Dec. 1974; Children: Lester, Eldie, Ralph, Ray, Jewel, Mary Helen, Violet.



(See Pictures Below)

Eva Rose Ann Eller b. 18 Jun. 1852, Salisbury, Rowan Co., NC; d. 1927, buried Ohio Chapel Cemetery, Grandchair, IL; m. 5 Jan. 1871, David Eddleman, b. 4 Jul. 1849, d. 7 May 1902.

Amanda Isabelle     b. 1874; d. 1927
Susan Della May b. 1877; d. 1913
Cora Jane b. 1678; d. 1957
Thomas b. 1682; d.1935
David Monroe b. 1880; d. 1938
Ola b. 1885; d. 1943
Fannie b. 1891; d. 1951
Effie b. 1895;d. 1956

ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 82

[Eds.- Winnie has provided consider-able data on her Biffle line which include Biffle ancestors common to her and the Jacob Eller, Jr.(2) (Jacob(1) line. Rather than give here all of her Biffle data, we will show only a skeletal outline of her and our common Biffle lineage:

Johannes Paulus Biffle: came to America 1738
  Adam Biffle/Catherine Henckel ..dau. Mary m. Jacob Eller Jr.
    Jacob Biffle/ Mary Polly Deaver
      Valentine Biffle/ Margaret Payton/Elizabeth Koonce
    * Henderson Porter Biffle/Mary Winnie Brewer
  * * John Wesley Biffle/Rennie Louise Buchan
          Oliva Etta Biffle/ Jewell Earnest Eller

      Parents of Winnie Eller Green
  *= ( News story & pictures below)
  * *= ( See Pictures Below)
Progenitors of the Ellers of Buncombe, Madison, & Graham Counties, NC; also the Eller,s of North GA. and many in TN, TX, MO, OK, ID, OR and other states.

INTERESTING SPECULATION! Winnie and the Jacob Eller, Jr-. descendants share common Eller ancestors if subsequent research on Winnie's Gr. Grandfather- George Eller reveals he was indeed related to the immigrant Jacob Eller of Rowan County, NC. Such are the unexpected connections that are revealed by research. I hope Winnie, Ethiel or others can provide documentation on the flight of George Eller to Rowan Co., NC from Germany.

We are delighted to publish the results of Winnie's extensive research efforts. We have exchanged letters for the past two or three years and had the happy privilege of meeting her- at the Eller Family Conference in Estes Park, CO last summer. We are especially pleased that she has sent so many excellent photographs for publication along with her story. We are also most grateful for the contributions of Ethiel Bernice Johnson.

An apology: The material inserted above from Ethiel Bernice Johnson was received back in 1989. Because she included picture, which we hoped to publish and because at that time we were not equipped to publish pictures her material was filed away and forgotten until we began to work on Winnie's story. Winnie and Ethiel, together, have provided new Eller information which we suspect will provoke interest and many questions.


ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 83

Page 4R DeLeon Free Press DeLeon, Texas 76444 Thursday July 2, 1981

The Henderson Porter Biffle Family

Henderson Porter Biffle was an early settler in the De Leon area, coming to Comanche County in 1875. He cast the first vote for prohibition in De Leon. He and his -wife Mary were charter members of the First Methodist Church.

Henderson P. Biffle died on March 27, 1912; Mary W. Biffle died on November 5, 1928. Both are buried in the De Leon Cemetery near three other Biffle family members, the oldest burial date being October 4, 1884 - an infant son of John Biffle. The infant daughter of Will Biffle was buried there on October 10, 1891.

The following family history is taken from "The History of Texas" published in 1896 by the Lewis Publishing Co. of Chicago:

"Comanche has many well-to-do and successful farmers, who have accumulated what they have of this world's goods through individual effort. Among this class the name of the subject of this notice is entitled to a place. His desirable farm joins the corporation limits of De Leon, where he is industriously engaged In the prosecution of his noble calling, and Is meeting with far more than ordinary success.

Mr. Biffle was born in Wayne County, Tennessee, February 19, 1835, upon a farm where he was reared, and was educated in the district schools of the neighborhood. His parents were Valentine and Margaret (Payton) Biffle, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Kentucky. They were married in the former state and to them were born ten children. Willie, the oldest, became a prominent and wealthy planter, owning a large number of slaves, but was a Union man, and on the breaking out of the Civil War moved north and freed all his slaves. On the close of that struggle he returned to his Tennessee home and died there. Maria is the widow of T. T. Christian, who was a captain in the Confederate army. Mary wedded John Nichols, a merchant of Tennessee. Catherine married R. A. Nichols, also a merchant. Susan is the wife of Samuel Gressno. Johnson died leaving a number of children, three of his sons being Methodist ministers. Wilson resides in Missouri. Nathan is a Methodist minister of Jack County, Texas. Ursula first wedded William Wilson, and after his death, James Stockard; she also is now deceased. Margaret died at the age of sixteen years. Henderson P., of this review, is next in order of birth. John came to Texas in 1865, and was assassinated in Titus County. The entire family held their religious membership in the Methodist Church, in which the father was a most active worker and served as class-leader for many years. He was a prominent slave-owner, and was well and favorably known throughout the community where he made his home. His death occurred in 1855. Jacob Biffle, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Germany, and after his emigration to the New World, aided the colonies in their struggle for independence. Later he became one of the pioneer settlers of Maury County, Tennessee, but previous to that time lived upon rented land in South Carolina. He became a wealthy farmer and large slaveowner of Maury County, and one of the leading members of the Methodist Church. He passed away in Tennessee in 1847. In his family were eight children, namely Valentine, John, Elizabeth, Millie, Katie, William, Jacob, and one that died in infancy.

On attaining his majority, Henderson P. Biffle went to Missouri, locating first In Newton County, but later moved to McDonald county, where he was married and began his domestic life upon a farm which he owned there. In 1866 he became a resident of Kimball, Bosque County, Texas, where he rented land for three years and then purchased a tract of wild land, which he continued to improve and cultivate until 1875, when he sold out and came to Comanche County. Here he bought one hundred and sixty acres of timber land, which has all been fenced, and now one hundred and ten acres are under cultivation and yield a steady return for the care and labor expended them. All of the buildings and improvements are such as can be found under the model farms of the state.

In 1862 Mr. Biffle enlisted in the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, under General Joe Shelby and in the regiment commanded by Colonel Coffee, and took part in many hotly contested engagements. At the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, he was captured with many others and taken to Springfield, Missouri, where after a short time he was paroled but was never exchanged. When the war was over, he resumed farming and came to Texas, as before stated. Mr. Biffle led to the marriage altar Miss Mary Brower, a lady of a most excellent family, who was born in Tennessee, September 12, 1841, and is the daughter of George and Eliza (Sims) Brewer, also natives of Tennessee, where their deaths occurred when Mrs. Biffle was very small. She was reared by her grandparents', George and Martha Brewer, who took her to Arkansas. They were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

To our subject and his wife were born ten children: John W., a farmer of Baylor County, Texas; Mary, wife of Wilson Allen, a Methodist minister of the same county; William, an agriculturist of Comanche County; Emily, wife of H. Huffman, a blacksmith of De Lon; George II, who obtained a good common-school education through his own perseverance, and is now engaged in school-teaching and the work of the Methodist ministry; Charles, a farmer; Frances and Marvin, both at home; and Elizabeth and Margaret Lee, who are still attending school.

For three or four generations the Biffle family have been prominently identifed with the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and our subject devotedly adheres to that faith. He has for many years served as a steward of the church, and has also been ---

ELLER CHRONICLES  May. 1992 Page 84

Pictures from pages 85 through 89

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