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Joseph Henry Carter arrived with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jones Carter, in Hamilton County from Tennessee on 15 September, 1856, and became the first settlers on the Cowhouse Creek. Indian raids caused Mr. Carter to leave his family in the new town of Hamilton, while he and the older boys lived in a log cabin at Blue Ridge. With oxen they sodded the largest farm in Hamilton County because Mr. Carter had acquired more than a league of land. A double log house was built and as soon as conditions were deemed safe all of the family moved to the farm, and helped to organize and to built the Blue Ridge School. In 1872 Henry Carter built a large two-story house at Blue Ridge, hauling lumber from Waco on ox-drawn wagons. In October, 1907, this house was sold to Thomas Edwin Stribling and his wife Martha Mariah "Mattie" Kirkland Stribling. This house, which burned in 1977, was later known as the Jack Stribling house. I retrieved from the ashes some of the square nails which held this house together.

In the mid 1870's many early settlers built small houses on public school land at Blue Ridge with the hope that land would be placed on the market at affordable prices. In 1876 public school land at Blue Ridge was sold at prices from 25 cents to $2.50 an acre.

Other pioneers began settling at Blue Ridge in the 1870's. Marion Andrew Whittenton and his wife Mary Elizabeth Bullard Whittenton arrived at Blue Ridge on December 23, 1871, and camped by a spring and lived in their covered wagon and a dugout until a house could be built. In 1876 Marion Andrew Whittenton donated land to establish a public cemetery--the Whittenton Cemetery at Blue Ridge. Mr. Whittenton made splints, set bones and made caskets for neighbors. Mr. Whittenton helped establish the first school at Blue Ridge and was one of the first trustees. Mrs. Whittenton’s sister, Miralda and her husband Tom Wesley arrived at Blue Ridge shortly after the Whittentons.

George Knoll met Nancy Ann Ruth Koen at a singing in the home of a friend at Blue Ridge and they were married 21 December, 1876. George Knoll helped establish schools, churches, and post offices at both Blue Ridge and Aleman where they later lived. The Koens came to Hamilton County in 1876 with their sister Ozilee Pierson and family. On July 20, 1880, A. P. Koen married Eunice Ann West

and Lizzie Bullard came to Blue Ridge from Brundedge, AL. They were joined in 1877 by William Hilliard Bullard and his mother Amanda M. Spence (Bullard) Davis and younger siblings Sara "Babe" and Alfred Davis. The trip from AL to Waco was by train. From Waco to Blue Ridge two longhorn steers pulled their wagon over snow-covered trails. William Hilliard Bullard returned to AL for his wife, Cora Allen Bullard, and their baby son John


James Lemuel Grisham, Sr. with his wife Margaret Amanda (Jones) Grisham arrived at Blue Ridge from Fannin County, TX before July, 1880, with four young children--William Richard, James Lemuel "Lem" Jr., Ida Rose Anna, and Charles Ephraim. James Lemuel and Margaret Amanda Grisham were charter members of the Blue Ridge Baptist Church of Christ. For many years they made semi-annual trade trips to Lampasas in their ox drawn wagon to buy staples. The trip took days of travel each way.


William Henry Jarius "Billy" Fergusson and his wife, Sarah Alexander "Sallie" (Adcock) Fergusson moved from Bell County, TX, to a Cowhouse farm of John Dillard Hunt in 1890 with their children--Robert Jeff, Charles Johnson, Callie Mae, Luther Guy and Maggie Roberta.


In October, 1907, Thomas Edwin Stribling purchased the Henry Jones Carter farm and two-story house. He and his family arrived in Hamilton County from Coryell County, TX on 31 October and 1 November, 1907. His family included his wife, Martha Mariah "Mattie" (Kirkland) Stribling and their children, Anna Jane Stribling, Amanda Elizabeth "Mandy" (Stribling) Crain, William Joseph "Joe", John Thaddeus "Jack", Neil Augustus, and Eugene Perry "Pet." Also moving were Mandy’s husband, James Wesley "Jim" Crain and their children-- James Edwin, Robert Verne, Ruby Pearl, and Lura Bernice; and Joe’s wife, Lillian "Lilly" Dooley Stribling and their children--Willie Eunice, Jessie Laura, and Thomas Edgar.


In 1928 Verge (Claudie Virgus) Grisham built a store/filling station with an attached rock ice house. A feed mill was added. The store/filling station which had attached living quarters was later operated by Elmo and Mildred (Williams) Newsom, Bill and Lorene (Williams) Jones, and Elzie and Mildred (Raibourn) Kemp. The REA brought electricity to Blue Ridge in 1939.



People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress