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
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.
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
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 NOTES: The 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 Bulletin. Something About Brown, by Dr. T.
R. Havins; Banner Printing Company, Brownwood, 1958 Submitted by Barbara