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Biography of

Samuel Robert Windham

Samuel Robert Windham was born in Nacogdoches, TX September 10, 1842 and died in Brown County, TX on December 1, 1927. He was the son of Dr. John Darby Windham and Frances Monteith.

Samuel R. Windham, age 19, enrolled in the Confederate Army on October 22, 1861, in Crockett, near San Antonio, Texas. He served in Company D, 7th Texas Calvary as a Private. He was listed as serving in Company I, of the 4th Texas Calvary, Sibley's Brigade. The troop was also known as 4th Calvary Mounted Volunteers.

Records of the Confederate Soldiers who served in organizations from the State of Texas remark that: ......on 29 September 1861, Sam's horse was killed at Valverde, and Sam was left sick at a hospital in Santa Fe. Records show he left the Santa Fe hospital nearly one year later, on September 17th, 1862. While hospitalized, he became a Prisoner of War when his Troops were captured in New Mexico, and he was held from May 1862 through September 1862.

Family tradition recalls Sam Windham and Sam McInnis became friends during their service in the Civil War. Census records of 1860 confirmed the Windhams lived in Angelina County prior to their move to Brown County. Sam McInnis noted his place of residence as Angelina County when he enlisted in the service. It is possible the two were acquainted prior to the Civil War. Brown County Tax Roll for 1867, recorded Sam R. Windham as owner of 2,093.5 acres of land. The value of his land was $4580; approximately $2.18 per acre. He was assessed 0.15 for state tax and 0.15 for county tax.

In the early 1870's by the act of Congress, land grants of 160 acres were given to men if they would settle in the western frontiers of Texas. Brown County was included in what became known as pre-empted land grants. Settlers were required to file their claim, live on the land for three years, and then the property became theirs. The Windhams came to Brown County during this period.

It is said that J. D. Windham and his son, Sam Windham, had followed cattle thieves through the north west part of Brown County. The story is told that the Windham's caught the thieves, hanged them, recovered their stolen stock, and decided to stay. They became one of the largest land owners in the area.

The 1870 Brown County Census, recorded S. R. Windham, age 24, and single. He was living with his parents in household #69-69; with a San Saba post office. Samuel reported his occupation as raising cattle. His personal holdings were valued at $1000.

The 1880 Brown County, Texas Census, Byrds Store precinct, recorded household #284-285 as S. R. Windham (age 37) with wife, A. S. [Amazon Savannah Baugh Cox ](age 33). Both adults were born in Texas. The children in the household included: M. A., son (age 14); J. D., son (age 9); T. M., son (age 7); J. L., son (age 4); and A. J. Windham, son (age 1). The 1880 Brown County Agricultural Census, Byrds Store precinct, reported Sam R. Windham as owner of 160 acres. He had 30 acres tilled, 20 acres were improved meadows or pastures, and the remaining 110 acres were reported as unimproved old fields. The value of his land was $1000, with farm equipment valued at $50. He owned a variety of livestock valued at $2000. His livestock included seven horses, two mules, forty swine, thirty milk cows, and 25 calves were born during the year. Thirty cows died or strayed. He owned two oxen used for plowing and hauling. Windham planted 17 acres of Indian corn, yielding 250 bushels. Fifteen acres of wheat planted, with a yield of 65 bushels. He estimated income of farm products sold during 1880 to be $325.

The June of 1900 Brown County Census revealed additional information about the Windham household. Listed as household #198-200 of Byrds Store precinct, Samuel R. Windham was age 57. He had been married 28 years to Amazon, age 53. They have had 9 children born, and 9 children were still living. Children listed in the household included: Leven B. (age 20); Samuel H. (age 24); Mary M. (age 12); William O. (age 10); Amazon E. (age 8).

The adjacent household in the 1900 Census is household #199-201 belonged to Sam Windham's step-son, Marion McDonald Cox with wife, Ruth H. Cox. Marion and Ruth Cox had been married 8 years. They had four children born, only one living: George W. Cox, age 5/12, born in December 1899.

The Windham family became large land owners. They donated land for a school, church, and cemetery. The Windham School was organized about 1877 to be one of the first schools in the northern part of the county. The small school had one teacher assigned to teach all levels. The Byrds school district was formed 1928 by consolidation of the Windham, Paint Creek (Byrds), and Red River schools.

Oil discoveries in the area during 1928, resulted in increased revenue for the small country school to build a new brick building and to provide bus service. By 1932, Byrds school was merged with Williams, and eventually consolidated with the May school district in 1954.

Amazon S. Baugh Cox-Windham died at age 67 on 27 February 1914. She preceeded her husband, Sam, by three years. Samuel R. Windham died December 1917, at age 74. Both Sam and Amazon Windham are buried in the Windham Cemetery located at Byrds, Brown County.

END NOTESThe Baughs of Brown County, TX, a family history written and published by Barbara Cox, Lafayette, CA. [email protected] The Baugh Families, unpublished manuscript by Winifred Baugh Strait, written 1938. Early Communities of Lake Brownwood by Pattie Weedon; 1980. Cemetery Inscriptions of Rural Brown Co.; 1980. Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray b y Mamie Yeary McGregor, 1912; pages 156-157. Northwest Brown County, by Lorene Bishop, article in the Brownwood BulletinSomething About Brown, by Dr. T. R. Havins; Banner Printing Company, Brownwood, 1958 Submitted by Barbara Cox