Loderick Matthews –The Name That Binds
William A. Matthews, Jr.Compiler706 Beacon HillIrving, Texas 75061
Copyright ã 1963, 1994,1999,2001By William A. Matthews, Jr.Published in the United States of America
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may reproduced in any form without written permission from the author, except for brief passages included in a review appearing in a newspaper or magazine.
Table of Contents
Loderick Matthews –The Name That Binds*
Table of Contents*
The Loderick Story*
The Story Begins*
The First Generation in the New World*
Hugh Matthews and Martha Johnson*
Children of Hugh Matthews & Martha Johnson*
Benjamin Matthews, son of Hugh – 2nd Generation*
Benjamin, son of Benjamin, and His Two Wives*
The Sauls Family*
The Trice Family*
Loderick and Mary Sauls*
Gone to Texas*
Jackson County – City of Texana - 1850s*
The Home Place*
Benjamin Rush and Sarah Wright*
Loderick William and Sarah Goodwin*
Mary Sauls and Jessie Pumphrey*
Erastus Allen and Ophelia Emily Matthews*
Dade Lewis and Felicia Chivers*
Bible – E.A. Matthews*
Lorena Ophelia and Joseph Lawson Jordan*
E.A. Matthews, Civil War Soldier, and Ophelia Emily Garrett*
Civil War Information*
John Garrett Matthews, an Autobiography*
The Cowboy Paper*
The Early Cattle Drive in South Texas*
The School Teacher*
Hurley-Matthews Family Bible – Published 1864*
The Wooden Bowl*
William Clement Matthews*
Jessie Marian Matthews Lewis- March 25, 1963*
Chips off the Old Block by Mamie Cornelia Matthews Lambert*
Mildred Alice Matthews Steele - April 24, 1963*
The Bolling Family*
I. John Alexander Bolling*
A. Samuel Edward Bolling*
B. Thomas Elliott Bolling*
C. John Alexander Bolling, Jr.*
1. Alfred Bolling*
D. Robert Randolph Bolling*
F. Margaret Ann Bolling*
II. Richard Elliott Bolling*
The Laughter Family*
The Garrett Family*
The Garrett Family of St. Mary Parish*
Friend or Foe? Religious Exiles at the Opelousas Post in the American Revolution*
The Sur-Name Garrett*
State of Louisiana Parish of St. Mary*
Obituary of John J. Garrett*
Will of John Joshua Garrett*
Obituary of Mary Elizabeth (Garrett) Dennett Sister of Martin A. Garrett*
Obituary of Colonel Danniel Dennet*
I can never repay the legacy provided by my English 329 class taken in thespring of 1963 and taught by Professor John Q. Anderson. Because of this class, I had to learn more about my family history and my grandfather in particular. One story lead to another and within a very short time I met three cousins who provided a wealth of information. Thus, this work is dedicated to these individuals:
Professor John Q. Anderson
My Aunts, Mildred Steele and Mamie Lambert
Mrs. T.J. (Enid) Bolling, of Edna, Jackson Co. Texas, who introduced me to Loderick's picture, Mary's Bible and opened the way to:
Mrs. Carl Moore of Baytown, Texas, who opened her home, shared her information and introduced me to Mrs. Maynard H. Simmons of El Dorado, Arkansas, a descendent of Loderick Matthews and who did the major part of the research available at that time.
In particular, I was pleased to find that Mrs. Moore still remembered a young Texas Aggie, almost 30 years after the fact. It is also with sadness, that these are no longer here to share stories about this man with the unique name.
William Allen Matthews, Jr.
December 30, 1992
The information for this book was gathered from many sources, including:
The children of John Garrett Matthews and his autobiography
Plus the following cousins:
Publications and books as listed
Several "cousins" who are also researching the descendants of Hugh and Martha Matthews.
This collection of information began as a result of a class assignment in the spring of 1963. I was taking a course in Folk Music and Literature at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. We had to do a research paper that spring on some topic related to the course. At some time previous I had read a copy of my Grandfather's life story.
Since he had been a cowboy in his younger days, I was given permission to do a report on him. The professor required that additional materials be added to the existing record by interviewing my Aunts and Uncles. It was during one of these interviews that I heard about a distant cousin that had some family materials, including a painting that would be of interest. During the spring break of 1963, I went to Edna Texas and then to Baytown. By the end of three days, almost all of the information used in this document was given to me.
Additional material and information has been added as a result of newer books, additional research and finding more cousins via the Internet.
The Loderick Story
The best way to see the story of Loderick unfold, is to read the first part of a letter from Mrs. M. H. Simmons to Mrs. Carl Moore, written on Sunday night, March 18th, 1962 as well as additional letters furnished by Mrs. Carl Moore.
"Your interesting letter came the first of the week - and when I looked at your name on the envelope and the Baytown postmark I couldn't imagine who you could be. Of course I was delighted to hear from you. My father, who died in 1945, had told me of meeting a number of people in his hardware store business, who at different times had told him of some of our relations in Jackson Co., Texas. I had hoped through the years that I would have the privilege of knowing some of my Texas family at some time or other.
I have spent a good deal of time, effort and money on this puzzle. I started in the early 30's, or even earlier, to work out the family record. I've visited the Georgia Archives in Atlanta twice and spent several days each time trying to get all the information I could. Since so many records were burned during the War Between the States it is difficult. I visited cousin Mattie Brooks in Thomaston in Upson County last year (the same day I also drove to Dalton to visit cousin Emmie M. Higgins) and Cousin Mattie allowed me to bring home her old Upson Co. History, which was most interesting. It gave me a lot of dates and bits of history of the family but the family did not live in that county very many years. They had formerly lived in Twiggs Co."
The letter continued with some information about Benjamin and Mary Matthews plus some more personal information.
Before the letter from Mrs. Simmons, initial information came to Mrs. Moore from other sources, sometimes in a round about way. One letter begins by stating that there was not a Loderick in their direct line, but that there was a half-brother with that name. That writer also provided another contact. The second contact, while providing quite a bit of information, would also tie one side of the family to a "half-brother named Loderick" and prompted Mrs. Moore to write to Mrs. Simmons.
As of 1999, there are more than ten generations of Matthews represented in this story, starting in the late 1600s. The name Loderick appears in at least five of these generations.
While Mrs. Simmons believed that the family might be related to Samuel Matthews, the last governor of Virginia prior to the American Revolution, other researchers have shown the lineage of Governor Matthews that removes this possibility.
The Story Begins
This story of this part of the Matthews family begins in Virginia and follows the generations as the family migrates through North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and ends up in Texana (Jackson County), Texas. Different members remained behind in various locations. As additional information was gathered about this particular Matthews clan, it is evident that their descendants are scattered across the United States. For many years, based on copies of correspondence between researchers in the early 1960s, it was believed that the first generation was John and Ann of Culpepper Co., VA. However, access to "old" information has changed that belief. Thus the start of the story has changed. With this change in historical perspective, a change also is made in the number of wives had by the 3rd generation Benjamin from three to two.
The First Generation in the New World
Strong evidence provided by James Matthews Liptrap (a descendant of Allen Matthews) in the summer of 1999 has lead to these changes in the story of Loderick Matthews. In effect this has added two generations (Hugh and Martha as well as another Benjamin) to the family tree, going back into the 1600s. In turn, this led to the formation of a mailing list for descendants of Hugh and Martha Matthews with a membership of over 80 cousins, including a cousin, Mark Valsame, a Research Archivist for the sate of North Carolina. While he has extensive information about the early Matthews and associated families, it is not included here since it is already copyrighted and published by Mark. It is also worth noting that the Daughters of the American Revolution have classified Hugh’s grandson, Benjamin, as a Patriot. Documentation for this came from two sources: National Number 312533 of Mrs. Francis Liptrap (mother of James)- Supplemental Nov 28, 1983 verified and approved; and National Number 624531 of Mildred Anne Simmons Lassiter (daughter of Mrs. M. H. Simmons)– Supplemental Oct 28, 1987 verified and approved.
Hugh Matthews and Martha Johnson
Hugh was granted 100 acres for himself on March 23, 1715 for importing other persons, and purchased another 20 acres on March 24, 1725. His land was in the Isle of Wight County, on the south side of the Nottoway River, on both sides of Angelica Swamp, beginning at the line of the Nottoway Indians’ land. As counties formed, this land fell into Southampton Co., VA.
Martha Johnson, daughter of John Johnson, the Elder, and first wife Mary, was born in Isle of Wight County, VA about 1688.
Her father, in his will made in Isle of Wight County on Jan 7, 1703/04, and probated on August 9, 1707, bequeathed "to my daughter Martha, 50 acres of land, half the household goods at Blackwater, and one shilling in lieu of any part in her stepmother's estate".
By 1715, she had married Hugh Matthews. It is possible, but not proven, that he was a son of Ralph and Alice Matthews. If so, Hugh Mathews was probably one of three unnamed children mentioned in the nuncupative will of Ralph Mathews on August 13, 1687, proved by Boaz Gwin and Robert Brock, and requesting Colonel Arthur Smith to serve as Overseer of said children. On October 21, 1687, the widow Alice Mathews qualified as executrix.
"On March 18, 1715/16, Hugh (HM) Mathis and Martha (M) Mathis of the Upper Parish deeded to John Johnson of the Lower Parish for 500 pounds of tobacco, 50 acres on the branch of Blackwater adjoining said John Johnson that had been left to said Martha in her father John Johnson's will dated Jan 7, 1703; witnessed by Henry Sanders, Arthur Smith, and John Watts.".
Martha predeceased her husband, Hugh, after which he married Ann.
Hugh Matthews, in his will in Nottoway Parish of Southampton County on Nov 7, 1747, and proved on September 12, 1751, bequeathed:
Witnesses: Daniel Sebree, Thomas Pursell, and George (X) Stephens[on].
On October 12, 1751, the estate of Hugh Matthews was appraised at 72115 pounds by Newit (X) Drew, Timothy Thorp, and James Jones, and consisted of the following items: 2 chests, 3 beds with furniture, table, 5 chairs, couch, pair of steelyards, 2 guns, 2 iron pots, coat and hat, coat, some old clothes, Bible, lanthorn, box iron, some old stuff, more old stuff, pair of money scales, pint pot, stoneware, earthenware, basket, 15 bottles, chaffing dish, wheel and cards, frying pan, woodenware, 2 caps, 2 shirts, cart and wheels, old brass, hand saw, 2 saddles, 2 axes, frow, pair of wedges, plow, 2 plowhoes, old iron, steel pray, howel, crosscut saw, 30 pounds of pewter, grindstone, 2 harrow hoes, 6 barrels, horse harness, currying knife, 2 hides, 13 barrels of corn, warp of 11 yards of cloth, 4 sides of leather, chain, pair of hinges, 25 pounds of wool, 4 cattle, sundry cattle, 2 horses, 9 geese, 13 ducks, 4 shoats, 11 sheep, 6 beehives, negro Jack, 4 sows, 16 shoats, and 24 hogs.
On February 3, 1753, the account of the estate was examined by James Ridley, Timothy Thorp, and James Jones, and showed expenses of 3994 pounds, including 350 pounds paid to the Church Wardens of Nottoway Parish On March 8, 1753, the final accounting was recorded.
Children of Hugh Matthews & Martha Johnson
Benjamin Matthews, son of Hugh – 2nd Generation
Benjamin was only given one shilling by his father’s will. However, in 1739 he was granted land in Edgecombe Co, North Carolina He also purchased additional land in 1746 and 1760 on the North bank of Swift Creek where it joined the mouth of the Rocky River. This land became part of Nash County in 1777. His children were:
Also owning land in this area were two of his brothers, William and Joseph, as well as another – not yet related – the family of Abraham Sauls.
Benjamin, son of Hugh, died shortly before September 4, 1762. The administration of his estate was granted to his daughter Phebe Matthews since his widow was unable to serve. An inventory was made in September, sold in October, and reported in January 1763. On October 25, 1763 William Matthews was appointed guardian to the orphan Benjamin Matthews indicating that his mother had died and that Benjamin was under the age of 21 and also likely the youngest child. However, Benjamin witnessed a deed on October 16, 1774 showing that he was at least 21 years old by that date. This is consistent with other information described later on that shows a birth date of 1748.
Benjamin, son of Benjamin, and His Two Wives
Benjamin had two wives: Mary Sauls (granddaughter of Abraham Sauls) and Rebecca Pierson. He had several children with each wife. The Goodspeed History of Southern Ark. (1890) identifies Benjamin and wife as natives of Virginia and North Carolina respectively.
The Sauls Family
Abraham had at least two sons, Abraham and Absolom. The son Abraham served as a Corporal in the Continental Regiment of Artillery from 1778 to 1782, receiving his payment from the State of South Carolina. Of more importance to this story is his Granddaughter Mary who married Benjamin’s son Benjamin around 1780 to 1788. Abraham (senior) died about 1771.
Benjamin and his family migrated from Virginia to North Carolina, leaving there around the turn of the eighteenth - nineteenth centuries. The 1790 census records for Nash County at the State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina listed only one Benjamin Matthews in North Carolina with the right number of family members. Listed was:
"1 free while male 16 and up including head of family; 3 free white males under 16; 4 free white females including head of family and one slave."
Benjamin’s brother Joel (with 2 daughters in 1790 census) lived nearby, and witnessed the deed of the sale of a Negro boy from James Blackwell to Benjamin Matthews on March 30, 1797 in Nash Co.
There is also a record of a Bounty Warrant of 4 lbs. and 15 shillings that had been issued to Benjamin in 1782, in Halifax district, Virginia. In addition to the Bounty Warrant, in 1783 Captain David Mason and James Mason signed a statement certifying that Benjamin Matthews enlisted for three years in the 15 Virginia Regiment on the first day of January, 1777. Note that is cannot be proven that the Benjamin of the Bounty Warrant and the Benjamin of the military service are the same Benjamin. Bounty Warrants were paid for both military services as well as for furnishing supplies to the army.
Benjamin Rush (grandson of Benjamin), who was given recognition for having worked on the Goodspeed History, stated that "a number of the relatives on the father's side fought in the Revolutionary War."
On November 13, 1797 Benjamin and wife Mary sold their land in Nash Co. The next spring, May 1798, Joel also sold his land.
Families tended to migrate together during this period of time. Many of the descendants of Hugh Matthews, including the Thorp, Johnson, and Newsom families, joined the migration to Georgia. They settled in the Wilkson, Wilkes, and Warren Counties. An Arthur Matthews held land in Warren Co. Adjoining lands owned by Thorp and Newsom. Benjamin Matthews witnessed the deed when Joel bought land in Warren Co. On December 3, 1800. Benjamin drew land in Warren Co. In the 1805 Land Lottery (probably based on the Bounty Warrant, listed as #1934) and again in 1814. This land appears to have fallen into Twiggs Co., as he is listed as owning 153 acres on Pine Creek in the Tax Digest of 1818. A new family, Simon Harrell, to this story also appears as owning land in Warren Co about this time. Since he is the only Harrell listed in the county, it is possible that he is the father of Mary Harrell, wife of Loderick.
In 1806, Mary Sauls Matthews died in Warren County. Benjamin then married Rebecca Pierson Brown (born Dec 12, 1772) on December 6, 1806. She was the daughter of Jeremiah Pierson, born about 1735 in New Jersey, died after October 1829, in Munroe Co., GA. According to a letter from Mrs. Maynard Simmons in 1963, a cousin Emmie Matthews Higgins of Dalton GA stated that she had copied the birth (1748) and death (October 17, 1818) from a family bible in her possession. From The Georgia Journal, April 14, 1818 there is mention of Benjamin being alive on March 18. On November 17, there is notice of sale of his estate, on November 25, Lodowick Matthews was granted letters of administration and named guardian of Sister Sarah Matthews. On August 10, 1824 Lodowick was released as guardian. In 1821, "Rebecca Matthews, widow" drew land in the Land Lottery that year. This portion of land in Monroe Co. fell into Upson Co. when it was formed in 1824. Rebecca died on December 13, 1846.
Benjamin Matthews and Mary Sauls had nine children:
Benjamin Matthews and Rebecca Pierson had two sons who married two of the Trice sisters. They lived in Upson Co., GA and are buried in the Trice Family Cemetery in that county.
The Trice Family
William Trice: (July 20, 1789, GA, - June 26, 1858), married on January 17, 1809 to Jane Tamplin. William was the son of Benjamin Trice. Jane Tamplin (February 28, 1794 – October 5, 1856), Both are buried in the Trice Family Cemetery, Upson Co., GA. William Trice migrated in 1813 to Upson County from Jones County, GA. The Trice family was a prominent Upson County family. All of their children were born, married and died in Upson Co. Their children were:
Allen was born March 25, 1789 in Nash Co., NC. He moved with his father Benjamin to Warren Co., GA, about 1800. About 1812, he married Sity Vious Riley (November 22, 1789 – August 25, 1854), daughter of Edward Riley (1747-1855) and Mary Elizabeth Wood (1769-1853). Allen volunteered in Chamber’s First Regiment of Georgia Militia, in the war of 1812. He signed up on October 7, 1812 at Point Petre, GA for six months; but as of November 30, 1812, he had not joined the company. He obtained land in Lawrence Co, MS in 1827. He later purchased land in both Copiah and Simpson Counties. He donated the land for the Hopewell MeetingHouse (Church) in Copiah Co. After his wife’s death, he gave his land to his children in a series of deeds dated November 20, 1855. He then moved in with his oldest son Harmon in Harrisville, Simpson Co. He donated the land for the Palestine Baptist Church there, and died after 1870. His children were:
Sity Vious Riley
Sity Vious (Cityvius and other spellings) Riley was born November 22, 1789 and may have died on August 25, 1854. She was the daughter of Edward Riley (1747 – 1855) who married Mary Elizabeth Wood (1769 – June 20, 1853) on November 21, 1784. In Edward Riley’s 1833 Pension application, he stated that he was born in Lancaster Co., PN and lived in 96th District, South Carolina during the Revolution. That he volunteered in 1778 served as an Indian Fighter, Dragoon, and spy. He received a mini ball in his neck, which he carried for the rest of his life. He also lost two fingers from a sword wound. He was a wanderer, and would disappear for periods of time to live among the Indians or other adventures. He died at the age of 108 while living with his son in Scott, Smith of Jasper Co., MS. Edward and Elizabeth had five children:
Loderick and Mary Sauls
Note:References to the "current time" in the following narrative refers to 1962, when the letters were written from Mrs. Simmons to Mrs. Moore.
Loderick, the second child of Benjamin and Mary, was a native of North Carolina. His wife, Mary Harrell, was a native of Twiggs Co., Georgia. They were the parents of ten children, all but one were born in Georgia before moving to Arkansas in 1844.
Loderick is listed in the 1820 Georgia land Lottery as having drawn lot 375 section 20 in Twiggs County and that he drew early. Sometime after 1820, he moved his family to Upson County. In the Historical Collections of Georgia, page 665, he is listed as one of the first settlers of Upson County (founded 1824).
One of Loderick's sons, Benjamin Rush, was sent to Arkansas in 1843 to begin the farm. A year later (1844), Loderick and his brother Arthur brought their families to El Dorado, Arkansas from Russell Co, Alabama. A steam-vessel was boarded at Mobile, Alabama and then routed by New Orleans and up the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Red River. They then went up the Ouachita to what was then called the Hill place (and in 1962-called Calion -- about twelve miles NE of El Dorado). The families landed there with the choice of only one road in the county at that time to follow, which led from Champagnelle (near Calion) to Camden. With pioneer and frontier purpose and strength of character, the families traveled to Union Co and El Dorado. There they settled and cleared 1,200 acres three miles north of El Dorado. John Reeves, the husband of Martha (and later Mary) Matthews, both daughters of Arthur, also settled close to this place.
In a history published by Goodspeed Co. of Chicago in 1890, entitled Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas, Benjamin Rush stated about Loderick that:
"The mother's parents were wealthy and influential citizens of Twiggs Co., Georgia. The parents of our subject left Georgia in 1833 immigrated to Alabama and settled in Russell Co, where the father cultivated the soil for eleven years. They then moved to Arkansas, settled in Union Co and became owners of 1,200 acres of land situated three miles north of El Dorado. Mr. Matthews cleared 1,000 acres of this land and was one of the most extensive planters of that time. He was deeply interested in religious matters and was a generous contributor to all public worship. In politics he was an able advisor and counselor in his party and held the patronage of the Democratic Party. In 1851 he went to the Lone Star State and there died in 1855."
In another place in this history, it states:
"Immediately after 1840 the tide of new arrivals to Union County was the strongest; it was about this time that some of the most influential and substantial citizens of which the county can boast arrived."
Among the names listed were Loderick Matthews and his sons Benjamin Rush and Loderick William.
Loderick was considered a large slave owner and had his slaves erect ample quarters for the family and slaves. The virgin forests were rich in beautiful hardwoods and pine trees -- therefore the houses were constructed of logs. With the assistance of his slaves Loderick also built a log cabin for worship in the Missionary Baptist faith. Loderick and Mary, along with Benjamin Rush Matthews were among the seven charter members of the First Baptist Church of El Dorado in the winter of 1845.
When Loderick and Mary were living in El Dorado, an artist, who was taking hot baths at Hot Springs, requested permission to paint a large portrait of Loderick. After Loderick had died, Mary wrote to the artist and asked to buy the picture. The artist would not sell the painting, but did send it as a gift to Mary. It is highly possible that the artist was Peter Byrd (or Bird) who painted many citizens of Union Co. during that period.
Gone to Texas
During the early 1850s, around 1851 to 1852, four families made their way to the town of Texana, located in Jackson County, Texas. These families came from several parts of the United States. The Matthews and Pumphrey clans led by Loderick and Mary Matthews came from El Dorado, Arkansas. The Garretts, led by John and Teresa, came from St Mary's Parish, Louisiana. The Brackenridge family, led by John Adams and Isabella Helena, came from Indiana. The Bollings were also in the area at this time.
In 1851 or 1852, all of Loderick's family living in El Dorado, except Benjamin Rush and Loderick William, left for Texas. Three of the older daughters also remained behind. Lucinda and Stephen Weathers had remained in Tolbert County, Georgia. Missouri Elizabeth and Dudley M. Cochran had returned to Mineral Springs. Louisiana Suphrena Lesueur’s death in 1847 was recorded in Loderick’s Bible. Her husband remained in Arkansas. Mary Sauls Pumphrey and her family also went to Jackson Co, Texas.
Loderick and his family settled in Texana, Jackson Co. where Loderick purchased a league of land. Three short years later Loderick died in Texana and was buried in the Pumphrey family cemetery. This cemetery is located on the land purchased by Loderick. When Mary divided the section of land into quarters, the quarter containing the cemetery went to Mary Sauls and Jessie Pumphrey. Not much is known concerning the three years that Loderick lived in Texana.
It is known that he and Mary owned a league of land in Jackson County near the city. The 1860 census shows Mary (age 61) alone and running the farm with the help of John Harrell (age 22), probably a relative, as well as four additional hired hands (ages 29 to 34). The census records for Mary list the value of the farm at $33,000 and her personal value at $31,400. While information such as this was most likely based on the estimation of the census taker, it does indicate that Mary was fairly wealthy at that time.
Jackson County – City of Texana - 1850s
Established in 1832 by Dr, Francis F. Wells and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Pamelia Porter, it was first named Santa Anna in the vain hope of attracting attention and favors from the president of Mexico. Samuel Addison White laid out the town-site. He also founded the town of Indianola in 1846. In 1835, the name of Santa Anna was changed to Texana.
Texana adjoined the Navidad River and had a bright future as an inland port. The 16-foot deep Navidad enabled seagoing vessels to reach the landing with ease. Because of this access, the area was used for multiple army camps during and after the Texas Revolution. Although abandoned and burned during the Runaway Scrape, it was being rebuilt when the Allen brothers who were looking for a site for their planned town of Houston approached the owners. After being rebuffed, the two brothers finally settled on the current site, their third choice, of Houston.
Incorporated on January 14, 1840, it became a thriving town and in 1853, the Texas Legislature allocated $3,000 to maintain the Navidad as a waterway. Regular riverboat service was maintained with Indianola, Port Lavaca, Matagorda and other towns. Texana was also a stop on the United States Stage Line route from Victoria via Richmond to Houston.
During the War Between the States, Texana was a focal point for Confederate forces responsible for protecting the interior of Texas as well as access to Houston from the Federal forces that had captured Indianola.
When the hurricane of 1875 and the resulting havoc throughout Central destroyed Indianola and Southeastern Texas, the economy of the area was severely depressed for several years. In 1880, with business on the upgrade, the town was approached by the New York, Texas, and Mexican Railroad Company for a pledge of support for the building cost of the line. After being rebuffed by the town, the NYT&M by-passed the site by eight miles. A new town, named Edna, sprang up and in 1883, the citizens of Jackson County voted to move the county seat from Texana to Edna. Within two years, Texana had ceased to exist.
Today, Lake Texana covers all but the Northeast corner of the original townsite. A monument to Texana is located next to the offices of the Lavica-Navidad River Authority Headquarters on Highway 3131. In addition to the federally owned lake, there is also a State Park north of the lake. Part of the land owned by the Brackenridge family, including the site of the original home (where John Garrett Matthews grew up) and the Brackenridge Cemetery adjoins the lake. The last child of E.A. Matthews, who died as a baby is also buried there. His small marker simply has "E.A.M."
The Home Place
About five miles west of Edna on Hwy 59 is the El Toro exit. Going south for about 300 yards, there is a gate on the East Side of the road. The property now belongs to Charles Slavik of Edna. Mr. Slavik also owns a Funeral Home and a furniture store in Edna. On this property is the Old Pumphrey Cemetery. His property is across the railroad tracks, south of highway 59. The owners of the El Toro Grocery Store (located at the corner) know how to find the cemetery. There is a gate and a dirt road that runs through a pasture, past a fence and into a wooded area. After about 300 yards, you take a 45-degree turn to the left, through the woods another 100 yards and you should find the overgrown cemetery. The graves of Loderick and Mary are located between two dead trees on the right. Mrs. Carl Moore of Baytown recorded the following gravestones in November 1961:
Jessie N. Pumphrey
Jan 14, 1827
Dec 18, 1909
Mary S. Pumphrey
Mar 13, 1832
May 2, 1883
Jan 28, 1857
Jan 8, 1875
Dec 3, 1798
Feb 26, 1874
Dec 31, 1798
Feb 26, 1874
Nov 1, 1794
Apr 25, 185
John A. Matthews
Nov 5, 1834
Sept 11, 1854
Oct 30, 1862
Nov 11, 1863
Feb 20, 1855
Sept 17, 1865
Allen P. Saunders
Aug 4, 1887
May 2, 1888
Sept 18, 1868
Sept 25, 1868
Note that Mary (Churchill) Matthews has two adjacent gravestones about twelve feet apart. Her Churchill stone is between the Matthews and Loderick stones. John is to the right of Loderick. The stones have similar shapes and are in good condition. For the Mary Churchill marker, the stone reads:
Dec 31, 1798
Feb 26, 1874
This stone is located about nine feet to the left of Loderick’s marker. Another twelve feet to the left is Mary’s second marker. The Family Bible recorded the time of death as 5:50pm. For the Mary Matthews marker, the stone reads:
Dec 3, 1798
Feb 26, 1874
The date on this stone is incorrect. The family Bible shows December 31, 1798.
The full list of the markers can be found in the Texana Museum (in Edna) included in a census made of the old private cemeteries in Jackson, Co.
During the war (July 30, 1863), Mary married Arthur Churchill for protection. He was too old to go to war. By 1870, Mary (who had been widowed a second time) had left the farm and was living with Mary Sauls Pumphrey. When she died in 1874, she left items such as her chair, the family bible and the painting of Loderick to Mary Sauls Pumphrey.
The children of Loderick and Mary Matthews who were also living in the area during the 1860 census included:
After Loderick's death, each of the married children sold their share of the estate back to Mary for $10.00. This included:
In December of 1856, Mary used the land obtained from her children to repay a debt of $1,250 to Mr. E. M. Glenn.
Mary recorded the following in her family Bible:
"Loderick Matthews was born the 1st day of November, 1794. Loderick departed this life on the 25th day of April at about 9 1/2 of the clock AM, AD 1855. He had been a member of the Baptist Church about 28 years and was an active Deacon for 26 years of that time."
The Bible also recorded about Mary:
"Mary Matthews, wife of Loderick, was born the 31st day of December, 1798. Died Feb 26, 1874 at 5:50. She had been a Baptist for 47 years."
At the time Loderick and family moved to Texas, the older married children remained behind. The two sons Benjamin Rush and Loderick William made significant contributions to El Dorado and Arkansas.
Benjamin Rush and Sarah Wright
In the summer of 1844, Benjamin Rush was given a contract for $25.00 to clear the county square as well as the townsite. Originally, there was a round-basin pond that had to be filled in with the help of slaves using a two-wheel cart drawn by a mule and wheelbarrows. The pond was a favorite hunting place since game such as bear, deer, squirrel could usually be found in the area. In 1846, Benjamin was elected clerk of Union County and held the office for seven years. He married Sarah E. Wright, daughter of Major Edward W. Wright, in 1852. They had eight children. In 1854, Benjamin was elected to the General Assembly from Union County and in 1861 he was appointed County Judge to fill a vacancy.
From 1855 until the outbreak of the war, Benjamin along with E. W. Wright and Colonel Asa I. Morgan engaged in merchandising at El Dorado under the firm name of Matthews, Morgan & Co, where (in 1963) B. W. Reeves & Co. now stands. Colonel Morgan and Benjamin raised the first company of soldiers from Union County for the Confederate Army. At the urging of his partners, Benjamin remained behind to close down the business and care for the slaves that belonged to the members of the partnership. He then enlisted as a private in Company I, 19th Arkansas Infantry and was elected as Captain when the company was organized. He was stationed at Fort Pillow, then at Farmington when be became so ill that he had to be carried from the field and taken to a hospital in Mississippi. During a reorganization of his company, he was reported as dead and his office filled. When he returned he was assigned to the quartermaster department and then the Trans-Mississippi department, where he served for some time.
In 1864 he went to Texas in charge of cattle and remained there until the surrender. After his return to El Dorado, he took a great interest in schools and was one of the first directors of El Dorado. In 1883 he started a livery and feed stable and owned all the land from where the First National Bank now (1963) stands to Hillsboro Street south. He was one of the charter members of the El Dorado Lodge No. 13 of A.F.&A.M., and was R.A.C. of this organization in 1890. In April of 1890, he was elected Mayor of El Dorado and was said to enforce the law and made a good officer. He was also said to be a worthy citizen and a much-esteemed one, being one of the old time gentlemen of the County.
Loderick William and Sarah Goodwin
Loderick William was born in Georgia and moved with his parents to El Dorado in 1844. He married Sarah Moore Goodwin on June 7th, 1850. The minister, and a fine medical doctor as well, was Dr. Franklin Courtney. They had nine children. Loderick William and Sarah settled on a place twelve miles west of El Dorado on the lower Magnolia road (called the Harris place in 1963). In 1855 he also decided to go to Texas. He went and stayed one year. After a severe drought he returned to Union County with his stock and slaves and again lived at the first settled place. All of the children, except the last two, were born there.
When the first company of soldiers was organized in Union County he was elected Second Lieutenant. In 1862 he was elected Captain and in 1863 was promoted to Major of the 3rd Consolidated Regiment. He, with his comrades in Grey, went to Virginia where they served during most of the war. Once he was captured by Union forces and was imprisoned on Johnson Island, Sandusky, Ohio, in Sandusky Bay. He was honorably discharged from the Confederate Army in June 1865.
When Loderick William returned home his family still lived at the same home place twelve miles west of El Dorado. In the fall of 1868 plans were made to leave Union Co. and move to either California or South America. The family started to Newport Landing on the Ouachita River to take a boat. During an all-night conversation with his brother-in-law, Captain Joel C. Goodwin, the plans were changed. Joel and Loderick decided to buy Newport Landing and go into commercial business together. The principal business was to be the shipping and receiving of cotton. With a Mr. Tiffen, they built a toll bridge across Smackover Creek at a cost of $8,000.00. As a result of the toll business went instead to El Dorado Landing and Champagnelle. This prompted the partners to reopen the bridge as a free bridge in hope of attracting business to their landing. However, the business failed and was a great financial loss to the partners at a time when money was scarce.
In 1871 Loderick William sold his interest in the business to two uncles-in-law, Theophilus and J. C. Goodwin. He then bought what was known as Beech Hills (a landing on the Ouachita) from Mr. Andrew Norris. After staying there several years he then bought a farm near Elliott in Ouachita County, known as the old McAnullty place. It was a lovely old story and a half colonial home surrounded by beautiful trees. The family remained here until all the children were grown. After Sarah died Loderick William lived with his children the remainder of his life. He died at the home of his son, John Tyler Matthews, in 1915 and was buried at the old Mt. Horeb Cemetery close by.
In 1877 Loderick William was elected representative to the legislature from Ouachita County. He was made a Mason in the El Dorado Lodge in 1852 and in 1863 was made a Royal Arch and Council Mason and was deputy grand master for the district in 1890. He served this organization in several roles over the next several years. In 1848 (three years after its organization) he united with the Missionary Baptist Church. It was said of him that "since that time, he has lived a devoted Christian life, priding himself upon the fact that he was never engaged in a lawsuit, never swore an oath, and was never intoxicated."
Mary Sauls and Jessie Pumphrey
Mary Sauls and Jessie N. Pumphrey married in Arkansas and immigrated with the Matthews clan to Texas. The children listed in the 1860 census were:
By the 1870 census, two additional children were listed. They were:
The census also shows Mary Churchill living with them.
By 1880 the older children were gone but one additional child had joined the family. He was Norris D., age 5. The daughters, Jessie and Lee, were listed as being "at school". The 1880 census also listed Ada G. Matthews, a half-niece, age 19. Jackson Co. marriage records show that she and W. B. Garrett married Oct 13, 1880 (four months after the census). Ada Garrett Matthews was the daughter of Dale Lewis and Felicia Chivers.
Erastus Allen and Ophelia Emily Matthews
Information about Erastus Allen (E.A.) is later in this story. E.A. and Ophelia Emily Garrett had two sons and two daughters. The story of the eldest is in its own chapter. The two brothers, John and Willie were very close. No details on Willie are available other than he died young (1886). The two youngest children were daughters, Lorena Ophelia and Lelia Grace. Lelia died at 14 months of age (described in John's story). Her Grandfather Garrett raised Lorena after the death of Emily Ophelia.
Dade Lewis and Felicia Chivers
Mary recorded in her family Bible that Dade Lewis, her youngest child, had been a Baptist for seven and one-half years. He married Felicia H. Chivers, age 18, in Jackson Co. on Feb 2, 1859. Mary gave him 1/8 of a league of land on December 20, 1860. There were no children listed on the 1860 census. However, there was a daughter, Ada Garrett Matthews born in 1861. In the 1880 census, Ada G. Matthews, age 19, is listed as a "1/2 niece" [sic] living with Jessie and Mary Pumphrey. Dade was wounded at Holly Springs, Mississippi during the War Between the States and stayed in a hospital there for a long time. He later died from his wounds.
Little is known about either John Arthur. John Arthur was born November 15, 1837 and died September 11, 1854 at 3 a.m. as recorded by Mary in her family Bible. According to the Jackson Co. records, on June 12, 1854 at 4 p.m., Loderick gave slaves to his sons John, Dade and Erastus. To John he gave two male and two female slaves. To Dade he gave four male slaves including a one year-old boy. To Erastus he gave two males, one young female and one young male. On Oct 23, 1854, the county records show that the slaves that had been given to John Arthur were then given to his Mother, Mary, as he had requested.
Bible – E.A. Matthews
Erastus Allen Matthews' Bible was given to his daughter Lorena Ophelia Matthews Jordan and then to Mary Estelle Jordan Queen. It is now in the possession of his descendant James Sexton who has been generous in providing copies of the pages (in April 2001). The Bible is apx. 11 x 15 in size.
The inside front page is inscribed:
"That merry shout as none I hear
No laughing child I see
No little arms caress my neck
No feet upon my knee
No kisses drop upon my cheek
Those lips are sealed to me
Dear Lord! how could I give my darling up
To any but to Thee."
"Why should we weep for thee,
Since thou art gone,
Unsullied back to Heaven,
No stain upon thy Spirit's purity,
No sins to be forgiven."
These are the children of Erastus Allen and Emily Ophelia Matthews.
Lorena Ophelia and Joseph Lawson Jordan
Lorena Ophelia Matthews married Joseph Lawson Jordan, born January 22, 1861 on March 3, 1882. They reared their family on a farm near Demings Bridge in Matagorda County, Texas. Their children were:
Darrell Pelton Jordan (1883 - 1956) married Katie Izetta Garnett (1891 - 1959). Their children were:
Ruth Lorena Jordan (1908) first married Harley Viets and had two children. She then married Benjamin Blackburn and had five children.
Rosie Jordan married L.S. Reid and had one child.
Susie Marie Jordan married Edwin L. Simmons and had five children.
Annie Francis Jordan married Earl H. Thompson, who died in March 16, 1945 in Germany. They had two sons:
Earl Henry Thompson, Jr.
Michael Lee Thompson
She then married L.C. Jerrie.
Cecil Jordan (1883) married Dessie Fitzgerals
Alice Jordan married Willie K. Keller
Viola Jordan married James S. Williams
Theresa Jordan married Ed Robertson
Joseph Lennox Jordan, Jr. never married.
Estelle Jordan first married Arthur Queen and then married Henry Royal
Elmer Leroy Jordan who died at the age of two.
The parents of Joseph Lawson Jordan were Joseph Jordan (July 27, 1818 - August 17, 1867) and Violet Danzey Logan (July 10, 1840 - February 15, 1862). Joseph came to Texas from South Carolina in 1840. They were married on May 5, 1858. Both were buried in the Texana City Cemetery, which is now beneath Lake Texana. Two of their four sons died young. The second two sons, John Henderson Jordan and Joseph Lawson Jordan, were reared by a maternal Uncle Robert Logan.
E.A. Matthews, Civil War Soldier, and Ophelia Emily Garrett
Erastus Allen Matthews was born in Alabama. He was the son of Loderick and Mary Harrell Matthews. Loderick was of French-Scotch ancestry. Mary was German. He was educated at Baylor University when it was located at Independence, Washington County.
The 1860 census lists E.A. Matthews, age 23 and "O.E.", his wife, age 16. Ophelia Emily Garrett was born in St. Mary's Parish, LA. She and E.A. were married on October 8, 1857 in Jackson Co. Texas, a scant 12 days after her fourteenth birthday. There were four children born to this marriage: John Garrett, Willie Allen, Lorena Ophelia, and Leila Grace who died in babyhood and was followed shortly afterward by Ophelia Emily on July 1, 1867. In the 1860 census, Willie was listed as "1/2 year old." The page containing the entry for E.A. Matthews was dated July 16, 1860. The value of real estate was listed as $3,000 and personal at $6,900 in that census.
The War Between the States took Allen away from his home for four years. He was a member of the "Texana Guards" - Company K, 2nd Texas Infantry, Confederate States of America. He was in many of the hottest battles. He was captured while in a military hospital and held for several months. He almost died of typhoid fever. For a while, he was thought to be dead, as he had been so very ill. While engaged in the battle of Vicksburg, he as well as his comrades was hungry and sick. Allen declared horsemeat good after Vicksburg.
After the war was over he came back to find everything gone - slaves had been a real asset for the southern people but they were gone. Many men had no resources left. Allen found very little to give him financial support, his wife and baby daughter sickened and died. Life had dealt him many low blows, it seemed.
His wife had requested that her father's family rear the youngest daughter Lorena, but Allen kept the two boys John and Willie with him for most of the time. He opened a store at Texana. For a while this business did very well. Then bad credit, given to men who had no money to pay debts, forced him out of the merchandising business. Around 1868, E.A. remarried. His second wife was Lenora Helena Brackenridge. The Brackenridge family was very wealthy and had a lot of political influence. Their marriage is not recorded in the Jackson Co. records nor in his Bible, so a specific date is not known. There were five children born to this marriage. The first four are listed in the 1880 census. The oldest was Tom, most likely named after Lenora's brother. Mary and Erastus A., Jr, followed Tom. The 1910 census lists two additional girls: Eleanor N., and the youngest, and possibly the only one to survive Isabella H. who was to marry a Mr. McIntyre.
The 1880 census for Bexar Co. lists E.A. Matthews and family. They were living outside of San Antonio. Also, the Jackson Co. census lists John Garrett Matthews and William Matthews. John, age 22, was listed as a boarder at the home of Maria York, age 50. She was a "stock raiser" and a widow. Several young men were listed as working on her ranch. John's story also talks about working for the York cousins, as well as when he went to work for the Widow York. William, age 20 and single, was listed as a hired hand working for Newton Mitchell, age 33, a farmer.
E.A. ran for Sheriff of Jackson County and was the successful candidate. During this time, he took a trip back to El Dorado, Ark along with his son William. There were many desperate characters in those days in the area and the sheriff's office was certainly not a safe job. In fact the sheriff before Allen had been killed and his house burned. The theory was robbery as the sheriff was also the tax collector.
While E.A. was sheriff, the family lived in the (Texana) Brackenridge home. Mrs. Matthews was quite uneasy when Allen was away from home performing the duties of his office. This, of course, caused the children of the family to be nervous over their father's absences. Tax monies collected were taken overland to Austin, as there were no train routes there.
As the Brackenridge family resided in San Antonio, Mrs. Matthews wanted to be near them. E.A. took his wife and the second family of children to live in the (San Antonio) Brackenridge home.
After a few years, "incompatibilities" caused E.A. and Mrs. Matthews to separate. She took the younger children and moved to San Marcos and he took Tom, the first son of the second family and went to live with John, his oldest son. Mrs. Matthews, after a while, urged E.A. to allow Tom to come to San Marcos for educational advantages. Reluctantly, E.A. let him go. Later the boy died of yellow fever contracted at Marti Gras in New Orleans. This almost broke E.A.'s heart, as he was not notified that the boy was ill and had died until after his funeral.
Too many low blows had broken his spirit completely. The balance of his life was lived, for the most part, with his son Johnny.
He was an honorable man, a mason, and a devout Baptist. He died at Lytle, Texas on December 25, 1910 and was buried in the Community Cemetery there.
As a side note, Lenora was described as a "widow" in the book on George Brackenridge. In the 1910 census, she listed herself as a widow. However, E.A. did not die until December 25, 1910. It is also interesting to note that she listed her age as 52 in that census, when she was actually 68. Lenora and several of her children are buried in the San Marcos City Cemetery.
Civil War Information
Additional information concerning E.A. and Leander Garrett was obtained from the National Civil War Archives. Items of interest are included here. Most of the documents obtained from the National Archives were items such as attendance records. These records also show when he was ill and the period of time when he was held captive by Union forces.
As shown in the attendance records, 4th Sergeant E.A. Matthews was sick in the hospital starting on April 29, 1862. In August of 1862, he was supposed dead since he had not been heard from. However, in October, his name appeared on a list of those taken prisoner at the hospital at Holly Springs on July 2nd. The records do not indicate how or when he was released. However, on December 27, 1862, although still absent, he was promoted from 4th to 3rd Sergeant. Then on January 20, 1862, being present, he was promoted to 2nd Lt. and assigned to duty.
Prisoners taken at Vicksburg were allowed to sign a parole and return home. The terms of the parole did not allow them to serve in the military until formally exchanged. A copy of the parole was obtained from the archives.
Note. In the National Park at Vicksburg, among the many monuments, is one for Company K. E.A. is listed there.
For the two-month period of June and July 1863, E.A. received a total of $160.00. At this time he was listed as a 2nd Lt. of Company K. on the pay record, it also indicates that the Federal Authorities paroled him at Vicksburg, Mississippi on the 7th day of July 1863. He was paid on the 15th of August.
One of the attendance records shows that E.A. had been given twenty-five days leave by General Hebert in September 1864. In addition to this record, a copy of a hand-written letter to Captain Turner in March 1864 is among the information. He was a 2nd Lt. at the time and had a very flowing writing style.
The name of Erastus A. Matthews, 2nd Lt. Company K, 2nd Regiment Texas Infantry "appears on the list of soldiers to whom the Oath of Amnesty has been administered at Victoria, Texas, by Capt. John Scott, 25th Ill's Vol. Inf. and Provost Marshal, Central District of Texas, during the month of August, 1865."
1890 - Confederate Pension Law
The Confederate Pension Law of 1890 allowed for veterans and widows of veterans to receive financial assistance. The book Index to Applications for Texas Confederate Pensions, Kinney, John M., Revised Edition, 1977 Archives Division Texas State Library shows that E.A. Matthews, of Atascosa Co. filed application number 00111.
Company K, 2nd Texas Infantry
Also known as the Texana Guards, this company was one of two to be made up of men from Texana. Clark L. Owen, a resident of Jackson Co., prior to the 1850 census, organized it. Owen had been involved in the War of Independence and had considerable influence in the State of Texas. He had also served in the Texas Senate. Although Owen was considered to be "a strong Union man", at the age of 53 he once again prepared to protect his family and friends by going to war for the South. Captain Owen was killed during the first day of the Battle of Shiloh.
The original 1st Lt. of Company K was Maurice Kavanaugh Simmons. He had also served in the Mexican War where he lost his right leg. A doctor using nothing other than a butcher knife and saw amputated it. With less than one chance in a hundred, Simmons survived. Simmons was a member of the Texana Guards when they went to Galveston to be mustered into the Army. When he was refused permission to serve, the other members of the Guard refused to take the oath. In the face of superior odds, the officer in charge relented and all were sworn in.
After a period of training in March of 1862, the 2nd Texas left Houston by railroad heading for the small settlement of Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee, more commonly known as Shiloh. During this first battle, Captain Owen along with many men – including General Albert Sidney Johnston -- lost their lives. Both sides would claim victory. From Shiloh, they moved down the road about eight miles to Corinth, leaving the severely wounded behind to be helped by the Federals. After the Battle of Corinth, and other conflicts, they moved on to join the Vicksburg Campaign. At the end of that terrible period (July 1863), Confederate forces surrendered. Rather than stay in a camp for paroled Confederate prisoners, all of Company K found transportation across the river between the camp and Texas and headed for home, over three hundred miles away. They were not alone, for many felt like going home until they could be formally exchanged. The commanding officer, General Pemberton reluctantly agreed to provide a formal furlough of forty days, rather than have everyone classified as a deserter.
Formally exchanged in October, the next spring the 2nd Texas was formally reorganized. After three months, there were still less than 200 men present for service. The regiment was never to leave Texas again. After service in and around the southern part of the State, it was finally assigned garrison duty in Galveston. Yellow fever, hunger and inflation struck the city. After the surrender at Appomattox in April 1865, on May 21st, the commanding General at Galveston sent his troops home.
The Yankees Came
Along the coast of Texas was the town of Indianola. Although it was to be later destroyed by a hurricane, during the war it was occupied several times by Union forces. Since it was near Texana, the citizens of Jackson County were very much affected.
On May 9, 1861, Federal forces from Indianola were captured at San Lucas Spring, located between Castroville and San Antonio. One of the Confederate companies involved was the Texana Guards. By late 1863, the area was again under the control of Union forces. In a diary, started in October of 1862, Mrs. Maurice K. Simmons of Texana described the battles between the Blue and Grey that took place in the area. Early in March 1863, citizens of Texana were preparing to flee inland to escape attack by the Union forces located in Indianola. However, by the end of March, those forces had been transferred out of Indianola and sent to Northwestern Louisiana. The city of Indianola was left behind, looted and almost destroyed. The area was once again in the hands of Confederate forces, where it remained until the end of the conflict.
The Newspaper Article
The following is from a newspaper article written sometime after 1910.
Original Membership of Company K, 2nd Texas Infantry, C.S.A.
Capt. C.L. Owen, killed at Shiloh
1st Lieut. A. B. Dodd, resigned at Galveston
2nd Lieut. M. K. Simmons
3rd Lieut. J. M. Haynie, killed at Corinth
1st Sergeant Henry McDowell
2nd Sergeant L. Garrett
3rd Sergeant W. B. McDowell - died in hospital
4th Sergeant E. A. Matthews
1st Corporal F. W. Armstrong
2nd Corporal Geo. F. Simons
3rd Corporal E. P. Clary
4th Corporal S. D. Dutart
Andrews, Chas. French, Jim O'Berry, 4th
Ainsworth, Thos. Futhey, J. M. O'Berry, 5t
Allen, J. W. Gisler, Abe Openhimer, Zack
Brook, Wm G. Gorman, A. Payne, Richard
Batey, Hogan Green, Michall Probst, Louis
Beetley, S. Z. Jr. Harlan, Thos. Rogers, John
Brook, Jesse Hicks, John Robb, Samuel
Beaumont, Frank Harper, Geo. Smith, Ralph
Baylor, Geo. Harter, Frank Simons, Henry
Bankhead, Zack Jordan, Amos Stulting, John
Bolling, J. A. Kirk, W. H. Sanford, John
Brandt, Max Logan, John L. Stayton, Wm.
Burnett, David Laconey, Sam Stayton, 2nd
Bourke, John Menefee, Thos. Sims, Wm.
Bourke, James Menefee, Judge Sheppard, Wm.
Coleman, Wm. McDowell, Eugene Sheppard, George
Coleman, Wiley Merchant, Mack Wells, L. F.
Ewing, Thos. Myers, Henry Wilkins, Richard
Ferrell, Wm. Mills, Henry Whaley, Chas.
Flare, George O'Berry, 1st Wiseman, Wm.
Fluery, Robt. O'Berry, 2nd Wiseman, Wright
Last week we promised to give, as complete as possible, a list of members of Co. "K", the first military company organized in Texana during the Civil War. At that time we did not realize that any member of this famous band resided in Edna, and we were relying on "Uncle" Martin Vincent to furnish us with the names, as he was able to call off from memory many of the names. Maj. L. Garrett, a prominent and life long citizen of this county and city, saw the list of officers published last week and naturally was deeply interested in it, as he was a charter member of the company and served in it throughout the entire struggle. Another old veteran, who was likewise a charter member and served the full time, happened to be visiting in Edna at this time. He is W. G. Brook, now of Logan Point, La., and is visiting his brother-in-law, W. J. Evans, of this city. For four years Major Garrett, who was sergeant, called the roll for Co "K", and Mr. Brook said that he never used a list, but called every man's name from memory. With the aid of Maj. Garrett, Mr. Brook and "Uncle" Martin Vincent, the Herald is able to give this week 79 of the original 82 men who composed Co "K".
There are only four known living members of this company. They are Maj. Garrett, Edna; W. G. Brook, Logans Point, La.; Jim Fluery, Blessing; Bob Fluery, Palacios; and perhaps Wiley Coleman.
Company "K" was in some of the most famous battles of the Civil War. All told they were in fourteen battles and skirmishes. The hottest contests these old Jackson County citizens participated in were Shiloh, two battles at Corinth, Farmington, Iuka, Holly Springs, Talahatchie, Green Wood, Chicashaw Bayou and Vicksburg.
The following is the text of the letter written by E.A. requesting a short leave.
Camp Sydney Johnson, Texas,
March 29th 1864
Capt E. F. Turner
A. A. Genl
I have the honor to respectfully represent that there are two officers of my Company present for duty, the Capt. And myself, the First Lieutenant being detailed as A.A. 2nd master for the Regt., there being only three officers in my company. I have been in the service of the Confederate States since the 12th day of Oct. 1861 and was elected a Lieutenant of my Co. on the 7th day of Jan 1863; and since I have been an Officer have not had a Leave of Absence; have never been on detached duty from my company, nor have I ever been reported absent without leave; neither have I been absent on sick leave. I would therefore respectfully ask that a Leave of Absence be granted to me for Thirty days that I may have an opportunity of visiting my family as my services and attention are much needed by my affairs at home for a short time. I would not ask for leave at this time were it not that the order for furloughing the men of my Regt. is again in force.
Respectfully your obdt Servt.
E. A. Matthews
2nd Lt. Co K, 2nd Tex. Vol Infty
John Garrett Matthews, an Autobiography
This is the story of John Garrett Matthews as recorded by his wife Mary. Myrtle Matthews recorded the latter chapters, wife of Clarence Garrett Matthews.
Early memories of my happy childhood days. Most of my early life was spent in my grandfather's (Garrett) home. My father went into the long struggle between the North and South in 1861, and he moved my mother, brother, sister and me to grandfather's. We were very small and our mother could not stay alone after father left.
My earliest recollections in this home were the happy times I spent with my dear brother Willie and sister. Brother was one and one-half years younger and sister three years younger than I. We were sad to have father leave us, but Oh! So happy when he could get a furlough and come home for a few days, and so sorry for the time for him to go back to his regiment.
In my grandfather's home were he, grandmother, Aunt Nellie, Aunt Adelia, Uncle Major (who had also enlisted in the Army), and a maiden cousin. We children called her Aunt Sallie. She always cared for the dairy and chickens.
I was very young at this time; so have very faint memories of the things that happened. But I can remember the grave memories endured by our mother. My father had typhoid fever during this long four years, and also was wounded once. These and other hardships caused him to return very much broken in health; and he was never as well as before he went into the Service. He served as Lieutenant during the War.
Once when his regiment came to Houston, we found out that they would be there. Our grandmother, mother and grandfather planned to go and see them. We three children were to go also. My! What excitement reigned in that house. We were to go on the train. There was a basket of good things to eat on the trip; and we children were very much interested in all this procedure. We stayed in a hotel while in Houston. There were many people also there to see their loved ones. A son of my father's Colonel was there, a boy full of mischief. He dressed himself up in a hideous, false face, and when I went downstairs, put in his appearance which scared the wits out of me; so I was afraid to come down alone anymore. This visit over, it was a long time before we saw father again. We went home and soon forgot our troubles in merry play.
My brother was full of mischief. One day he put a rope around the neck of our old black mammy’s little girl and was pulling her up to a limb of a tree. When discovered, he turned the rope loose and the child dropped to the ground, without any serious consequences to her. But my brother's punishment was probably more painful. Another prank of his; he decided to pull the buggy out of the carriage house, and this was built on a decline. When it started, brother tried to out run the buggy, but it gained on him so fast he was caught between the shafts and a tree. So, as he was punished enough by the jam, do not think he received any more punishment at this time.
We children always loved to go to our old black mammy’s cabin. She would take good care of us. If we went to sleep, she put us on her bed, which was always white and clean. Once I was sick and fretful. My mother got Uncle's violin out to please me, but told me not to turn the keys, as the bridge would fall. This I did of course, then she took the beloved violin from me. That should have taught me to remember that I should not do those things I was told not to do, but we always want the forbidden things. My Uncle Major gave me this old violin thirty years ago and I enjoyed using it a long while. (My granddaughter, Mary Blanton Lewis, has it now.)
Many things took place while at our grandfather's, that were very enjoyable to us children. Some of these were going fishing and trapping quail. We boys had a trap each and we caught many birds. Our grandfather made these traps of barrel staves and fixed them with a trigger. We would put corn under the trap. When the birds went in to eat the grain, if they touched the trigger the trap would fall so we had a quail dinner. I decided to build a trap, if could be, even better than grandfather's. So I got nails and put the staves together with them; but when grandfather saw my effort, he made me take all the nails out and put them back where they belonged, which I did.
I was so fond of our Grandpa I couldn't stand to displease him. He had a gentle horse for me and I soon learned to ride with him after the horses as he had a great number of those on all open range. No fences or pastures were used in those days. We would bring in horses that he wanted broken to ride, and one of his Negroes would gentle it and keep it up awhile. Then it was turned out on the range again. Sometimes we would find a motherless colt and bring it in. Once we got a mule colt. Aunt Sallie fed it milk, and we had a pet. We would tie it to a tree in the yard and get on its back, ride it around the tree until it wound up almost to the tree, then turn it around and ride it around the other way. Those were happy days for us.
After the war was over, our father came home and soon we went back to our own home to try to gather up the shattered threads of life that the terrible war had so rudely broken for us. After a few years another sweet little sister, Lela Grace, came to our home, but she was spared to us only about one and one-half years when she went to Heaven. After this my brother had a very hard spell of fever. He was sick a long while. Once, after he was slowly regaining his strength, a wasp flew into the room. He jumped up to strike the wasp and was so weak, he fell. I was greatly amused by this incident, not understanding the grave nature of his condition.
Then, very soon, our dear mother was taken very ill. Our father took her to our grandfathers thinking that a rest was what she needed. Also Grandpa was a very good doctor and in those times doctors were not easy to reach. But she didn't respond to careful treatment given her. She soon went to be with our little sister; and left a heart broken little family. I have felt that loss all of my life. We three children were again left at our grandfathers for several years. Our grandmother died also and Aunt Nellie took care of us. She soon married Uncle Bob Bolling; then Uncle Major married. The Negroes were freed and only just a few stayed with Grandpa. Aunt Sallie and Aunt Odilia were also with us.
Our Aunts played the piano and Uncle the violin; so when they were gone it was very quiet. When they were at home they would play games with us. While sitting around the fire and knitting, they allowed us to play hide and seek, and we would sometimes hide behind their spacious skirts. We would pop corn and eat nuts and make candy. Grandfather bought his groceries in New Orleans, La., so there was sugar by the barrel, also syrup. We were very happy. Then, in spring, there was a flock of sheep to shear and lambs to work. We boys each had ropes to rope the lambs, and I had a small pair of shears. Grandpa would tie a sheep down, and I could shear one too.
One-day brother had a sheep roped. He became entangled in the rope and was thrown to the ground. I laughed. He said, "Brother John, you'll get yours directly." And I did, which was more serious, as a sheep Grandpa was shearing kicked the shears out of his hand. They flew up and came down and stuck in my back. This necessitated a trip to the house to treat the cut. This was soon over, and I was busy as ever shearing and roping.
Grandpa had a Mexican sheepherder who spent all his time with the sheep. This old sheepherder had a sweetheart, and another Mexican woman was trying to keep the girl from marrying the man. I expected she wanted him herself. When Grandpa got the man and girl together, he asked the man if he wanted the girl for his wife. He said he did. Then he asked the girl if she wanted the man for her husband. She said, "Yes." He then told them to go, as they were married. This was custom then with ranchmen. And the old woman had to look else where for her a man.
Another accident befell me when at play. There was a plank set up against the barn. We children were using it to slide down on. I struck a big splinter, which entered my breast. Our old black mammy came to my aid and tried to pull it out, but it broke off down in the flesh. This caused a trip to see a doctor and have the splinter cut out. Well, I didn't use that slide any more.
I always enjoyed riding over the range with Grandpa. No fences with very few houses (these near the river) to break the view of vast prairie. All open and no trees, except a few mots of timber here and there. Nothing except horses and cattle. Now and then a wild animal, twice a year the roundups. I wasn't large enough to take part in the branding; but could ride all day looking after stock.
When winter set in, Grandpa would take Negroes and an ox wagon and go out on his range to find and kill a fat beef. This was dressed, and he would put the beef in pickle for winter use. He also raised many hogs. These he would kill on the range when it was cold and bring them in to dress and cure a bountiful supply of meat and lard to have for his Negroes as well as his own family. He always kept just one cow to give us sweet milk and cream through the cold weather.
Grandpa had a horse powered gin and mill on his farm. One day while helping around the gin a Negro boy, Pete, became entangled in the belts, and one leg had to be amputated as the result. He always kept the boy around the house after this until he was grown up. We boys became good friends with Pete and took him on our fishing trips, which we always made in the summer time.
We went to Matagorda Bay to fish. Some Negroes went on a wagon to carry all camping outfits the day before; then we would follow in a buggy, and how we would enjoy these camping out trips! Always got all the fish we could eat. The only "fly in the ointment" was the numerous mosquitoes. We had to have bars and stretch them over our beds. One-night mosquitoes were very bad, and Pete, our playmate, had no bar for his bed; so, Grandpa had him come under our bar. We would do most anything for Pete. I forgot to say when I was trying to ride the red mule, I put my saddle on it. Needless to say, the saddle was too large and I couldn't tighten the girth; so, when I tried to get up in the saddle it turned off, and saddle and I both came to the ground. My uncle traded me two mares for the mule later, which I kept until I went off to school, some years later.
About this time Grandpa planned to move to Matagorda Bay; so built a house and moved there. We all liked the change very much until a storm came and blew the salty tide over our crops and destroyed them. We, rather Grandpa, decided to go back to his farm near Edna. (This farm is now (1940) the home of Marion and Larrie O'Brien.) While we were still on the bay, Aunt Nellie called to me to get the gun and shoot, with fine shot, some cows which had waded around the edge of the bay and were destroying the corn. I did. Some one had put bullets in one barrel instead of birdshot. Well, I rode up near enough to an old bull and fired at him. Imagine my dismay when he ran a few steps and fell over dead. Well, cattle were not very valuable, especially old bulls. They were often killed to let young ones take their place. I had no trouble about this except to get the carcass removed. I went to a neighbor to get him to help me do this. To have some fun at my expense, he said, "Johnnie, maybe this was someone's fine bull. What would you do?" I was scared about it and when the joke as gone far enough he said, "I am sure it wasn't of any service." So, I felt much better, although I was very sure how my gun was loaded after that.
We had great pleasure fishing while living on the bay; also hunting as there was much game and no law-restricting killing when we liked to do so. Once our aunts had a young lady visiting them. We all went to our favorite fishing place. This young lady tied the line to her wrist and got my brother to throw her line far out in the water. Soon a fish took her hook and was dragging her into the water. My aunt ran and caught the girl. My brother came and caught the line over his shoulder, started in the opposite direction and soon dragged the fish to land. It proved to be an immense red fish, weighing forty or more pounds. By this time we had all the fish we wanted, so went home heavily laden with our catch.
Sometimes our aunts would go hunting bird eggs in the mots of timber near the bay. One day Aunt Odelia had a heavy basket of eggs we had gathered; the tide was coming in so we started home. She stepped in a cow trail, which was full of water, and couldn't be seen -- just sat down with the eggs and they began to float off in the water. I helped her up and we hurriedly gathered up the eggs again; but could hardly do so for laughing at our aunt's comical appearance.
Another sport was running down fish in the shallow water where they came to feed. We had sharp nails driven into boards and would spear them as you do flounders. We used to catch numbers of fish in this way, and it never hurt us running in the water, as it was so salty that when our clothes dried they would be stiff with salt. This was great fun. We also liked to catch crabs in the same manner. These we had to use at once, as they were not good if kept any length of time after being caught. We had many trips of this kind, which were filled with pleasure while we lived on the bay. When we moved back to the farm near Edna we soon became accustomed to the old routine, but often went back to the bay fishing and always caught all the fish we could use and often dried a lot of them.
During this time of our happy carefree days, our father married again. Our stepmother was Miss Lenora Brackenridge,. Sister of Colonel George Brackenridge and Miss Eleanor Brackenridge of San Antonio. Our father took his wife to live in Texana as he was in mercantile business there. He soon decided to take us to live with him; our happy days of fishing and hunting came to an end, and we missed the old carefree days now as life began in earnest in town. We missed our sister so much as our mother had requested grandfather to raise her. We almost counted the days until we could go visit her, as we had never been separated before.
On one of my visits to see sister, grandfather and aunts, my father let me ride out, the distance being about six miles, on the weekend. Sunday afternoon, my grandfather told me what time to start back to town, as he had to ride out to see some of his stock. Well, I just watched the clock dreading for the time to come to start and making myself miserable as well as the others of the family. I saddled my horse and started. After going part of the distance, the horse flies were bad, and they annoyed my horse so terribly he began to try to lay down and began to roll. This was all the excuse I needed, so I went back to Grandpas and led the horse. When Grandpa came in, he asked why I had not gone home as he had told me to, and I told him about the horse flies. He said, "Well, my son, you must get up early in the morning and go as your father won't like it."
When I got home, Pa spoke to me and asked if I had had breakfast. I said, "No." He told me to go tell the cook to fix me some breakfast. I felt good as I thought I wasn't in trouble, as I expected, but when I had finished he called me into his room. When he was through with me -- well, I decided to always come home when he said.
About this time my youngest aunt was married to Mr. Thomas O'Brien. Aunt Sallie died and Grandpa went to live with our dear Aunt Nellie who was married also. So ended our happy times at the old home of our Grandfather. As we were old enough to go to school, we began to enjoy the association of boys of our age.
We were placed in school under a very dear old lady, Mrs. Chivers; we called her "Aunt Jane." This school was taught in a vacant residence, as Texana had no school building at this time. "Aunt Jane" taught us reading and writing and arithmetic, but "not by the rule of a hickory stick" as she was always gentle and kind to us and we all loved her. When we finished our first reader (M.C. Guffys), our teacher clapped her hands and said, "Now for the new second reader." Needless to say, we were elated. We had to send to Indianola. (The town that was washed away, I believe, in 1879.) This took one or two weeks to make the trip, as it had to be made in a sailboat. It was only thirty miles but sometimes the wind was in the wrong direction, then it was a tiresome trip indeed. Just imagine our joy when the books came to us. Our next teachers were Mrs. Coleman, Aunt Lizzie Jordan, Miss Texana Davis, and Mrs. Dr. Morton. After these lady teachers, men were employed: Mr. Wells and Mr. Staples. All the above teachers taught in vacant residences, except Mr. Staples who taught in a church and the courthouse. These were all very kind to us. Mr. Staples was rather strict and he was my only teacher to ever punish me for imperfect lessons. This was in "Old" Smiths grammar.
We had many sports. No ball except town ball, (no new sports) hot ball and antie over. We amused ourselves by pulling the front wheels from an old wagon to the top of a near by hill. Then we would all get on that could possibly do so, start it rolling down the hill, and by the time we reached bottom we were going at a terrific pace. One day the tongue of our wagon ran into the ground, and we were all thrown off in several directions. We were none of us hurt this time, however, another time a boy did fall off, and the wheel ran over his arm. Our teacher who was our dear "Aunt Jane" took him up to the house. She gave some first aid remedies and some pity. He was soon all right and no damages done really. He was soon ready to ride again. We also played hot ball. This was an exciting game. We had a hard rubber ball and would chose sides. The ball was thrown from one to the other side with all force, each side trying to get the ball; and when it was caught it was instantly thrown to the opposite side. Then, there was a great scramble to obtain possession of the ball. When caught the opposite side would be peppered as hard as was possible. There couldn't be any winner, as there was so much confusion after the game started. "Bull pen" was another game and "antie over". These were enjoyed as all youngsters would.
After this we were sent to "Mustang" school. A distance of fifteen miles from Texana. This was named for the creek or small river near it. This stream ran all the time and was clear. Here we had a box house, and for desks there were long planks nailed to the wall on each side; the boys on one side, and the girls on the opposite side with backs to each other; so, not many sheep eyes could be exchanged. We boarded in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ethridge. There were seven girls in this family and five boarder girls and five boys. Our first teacher was Mr. Vicory. We boys were very anxious to talk to those pretty girls but were not allowed to do so. Once we had a young lady visitor in the home. Our dinner was served, and we had plates of stew. Well, I couldn't watch those pretty girls and my plate too, so I met with dire consequences. I kept moving my plate nearer the edge of the table until it came too near the edge and slid into my lap. I was greatly embarrassed, but our housemother came to my rescue and said, "Never mind, Johnnie, I'll fix that."
We also had church services in the schoolhouse. Once when going to Church, the girls walking ahead of the boys, the boys began to dare each other to walk up and go with the girls. Well, it was impossible to take such a dare, as this was what I wanted to do anyhow. We started and all the boys fell back. I went on and in walking along with my eyes on those pretty girls, I failed to see a washed out place at the edge of the road, stepped into it, and fell down and was again embarrassed; but, not as much as to make me stay away from those pretty girls, if I could get a chance to walk with them. Soon, another opportunity was afforded me to go with them again, and it was very dark. Well, a gentleman always walks on the outside. There was a gully, which couldn't be seen, so I got another fall. But my ardor wasn't dampened by all those happenings for girls company.
Our next teacher was Mr. Luscomb. While he was teaching we had a scare which almost proved too much for one of our members. There was a visitor boy at the house and some of the girls fixed him up with a red mask over his face, and he had on a long coat which covered him completely up as he walked just squatting down. He came into the room where we boys were. One was playing a violin, and I was keeping time with an improved instrument. Others were busy with schoolwork. This grotesque figure began hopping about in time to the music. The boy that was playing was paralyzed with fright, and there was a general stampede for the outside. We collided with each other and fell on the slick ground (which was caused by throwing out wastewater). We could all feel the hideous creature at our heels. We ran around the house and intended going in where the family was but were so scared we couldn't open the door. Finally someone opened the door, and we got in where the teacher was, as he was boarding in the same house. They began to tell us it was a neighbor boy. We all accepted the fact except the little fiddler. He was so overcome with fright he couldn't understand anything and almost went into convulsions. The teacher had to give him brandy to help him revive and be able to accept explanations, but he was afraid to sleep in our room that night; nor for sometime after unless his two brothers would sleep with him one on each side.
We boys had all been raised where there were Negro slaves in the homes, and they were full of superstition and fear of ghosts; so, were always telling us such things. Naturally we were afraid of I don't know what. Just expected something to reach out and grab us in the dark and we loved to hear the old Negroes tell these ghost stories. They held a certain charm over us in some way. They believed also in warnings. This shows the superstition prevalent at this time.
I will tell here of an episode in my earlier life. While in bathing with our black playmate, Pete, some doves came and lighted near us and would fly up and away, only to come and light again near us. They did this several times. Pete said, "We got to git out-o-dis water, dem doves are warning us." So out we came after the doves had lighted three times. Well, the truth was the doves wanted to drink unmolested and our splashing in the water would scare them away. Well, it was almost a warning to me for I almost got a spanking for staying in the water so long. When grandfather came in I was asleep. He knew at once I had been in the water too long. This took place in the Lavaca river at the old home of my grandfather. I was about ten years old. Such beliefs were about all the Negro slaves knew.
Now to go back to the school days at Mustang. Nothing more of much interest took place there, and when vacation came, we went back to our home in Texana.
About this time my father moved to the old Brackenridge home four miles from town.
This was a very large home. There were two rooms, several porches, and the building was two-and-one-half stories high. We lived here some time and worked the fields of heavy black land. We used to plow oxen, also horses. Our ox team was very hard to manage and as I was oldest, I had this team. Brother drove the horses. Sometimes it took both of us to drive my team, one to hold the plow and one to drive the oxen. Once brother was trying to hold the plow in the ground, and I, while attempting to make the ox stay in the furrow, he ran around on the other side to get the ox straightened out. The ox threw his horns around and struck me in the chest and knocked me over backwards. When I got up, father came and helped us get started. We didn't know much about farming or teams at that time. Later, we put the horse team ahead of the oxen to drag heavy treetops and logs. The oxen, one of them especially, would lick and scare the horses. This caused them to tear down the gatepost as I drove through. Once when I was driving the team to water, the ox team kept running up on the horses and kept them scared. This was trying work and not much gain either. Sometime later we gave up the venture of farming and moved back to Texana.
As we were going along, the wagon jolted down into a drain ditch. This threw my father off the wagon and onto one of the horse's hips. This scared the team and they ran away, and the fall caused my father to lose his hold on the lines. I jumped off the wagon and called to my brother to jump off also; but he was afraid to jump and sat there holding on to a nest of tubs, which was on the load of household goods. The horses circled and ran back to us. My father ran in front of them and got them stopped. Nothing was hurt except the coupling pole, it was broken. We had an ax so we soon had another one cut out of the woods. We put it in and were soon on our way again. We moved to a place in the edge of town, here we did some more farming.
Later, our father went back to the Brackenridge home to do fence building and took our stepmother with him, leaving us to school. We had a Negro woman cook and a Negro man to work in the field. One night the Negroes had a dance in town, and our Negroes went. In the night, we were wakened by angry voices and in a few minutes a shot rang out, then all the Negroes ran off except the one that was shot. We were afraid to open our door to see what had happened, so he lay there till daylight. An old trusty Negro, who worked for a neighbor, was sent after us, as the neighbor knew we were alone. You may be sure we were glad to get out of that room and go somewhere else. Our father was sent for and came and got things settled again. The Negro that was shot had a brother who came after him. He placed the wounded man across the horse and rode off with him in that position. He soon died.
About this time, the Brackenridge family moved to San Antonio and we went again to live in that home.
Soon my father was elected to the Sheriff's Office. Now he was away a great deal of the time for there was much lawlessness at this time and the sheriff who served before my father was elected to the office, was killed on a collecting trip in the home of some old bachelor friend. Both men were killed and the house burned. There was an old Negro cook who lived in a cabin near the dwelling who said that a man guarded her so she couldn't give an alarm. She thought there were six men and no clue of the murders was ever found. This caused us much uneasiness when our father was gone, especially when collecting taxes. He was not safe when he was at home, lest robbers might come in on us.
Once while Pa was gone, stepmother called us in and told us the keys to the attic were gone and asked if we had used them. We had not. She said "There may be robbers up there and they may have locked themselves in, and when we go to sleep they will come out and rob and may kill us." Well, we were badly scared. She said to make no noise but to call our dogs as if we planned a hunt. Brother was to catch a horse and ride and carry our baby brother, and we would go to a neighbor's and spend the night. We started, and after leaving the house, one of us remembered a little Negro boy my father was keeping (as his mammy couldn't feed all of her children). This child was asleep upstairs. My stepmother said if he waked he might fall and kill himself. Well, it fell to my lot to go after him and I was scared! After I got the child, I had a gun and was carrying both. In going over the fence (there were steps over this) I fell down. This waked the boy and he began to cry. I told him to hush or I'd break his neck. The others had gone and left me. It was now dark. There was something that fell at the house like some heavy object being thrown down. This stampeded all of us. Before going, stepmother got all of her jewelry, she had quite a lot of this. After I got over the steps, I began to call softly for them, and they answered not far from me. I can say we were glad to get together again. We spent the night with this neighbor who lived about one mile away. Next morning when we went back home, stepmother found the key where she had put it and forgot it. After our intense excitement, there was no robber. Our great uneasiness was caused by the murder I told of above, and we were always uneasy when Pa was out collecting. There were no banks in which to place the money for safe keeping, and Pa had to go to Austin to carry this money. He had to go over land as far as San Antonio.
We all went with Pa on one of these trips as far as Seguin, as stepmother had relatives living there. Also her mother, brother and sister lived in San Antonio, and she wanted to visit all of them. The first evening of our trip we stopped to camp at an old Church where my father had at one time been a member. When we started on this trip we were each of us armed. Brother and I each had shotguns. My father had two pistols, also stepmother was armed. And we were told to use these if anyone attempted to hold us up and to shoot to kill, not to scare, for if robbers came on us it would mean murder. After stopping at this Church to camp, brother and I went to hunt dry wood to make a fire to cook our supper with. While away from the wagon and our guns as well, three or four men rode up to a wagon and hurriedly dismounted. We came back to see what this meant, but when we got near, we saw the men and Pa shaking hands. My! What a relief to see friends instead of robbers as we thought they might be. These men proved to be old acquaintances and had come to attend services in the Church. All our fears were dispelled for the time at least. The next day we hastened on our road, camping out nights. After several days we reached the home of Judge Thornton near Seguin, these were stepmother's relatives. We spent the time here very pleasantly while our father took the stage at Gonzales for Austin to take the money collected for taxes. I don't know how much, but there were a lot of greenbacks.
We started to Gonzales to meet Pa on his return from Austin. We traveled all day but couldn't reach our destination, so we camped. We boys fed our team and tied the horses to the wagon wheel. The next morning when we got up, our horses were gone. We hunted but could not find them. I walked on to town. When I reached town I found Pa at a hotel waiting for us. I was so happy as now I was relieved of the responsibility, which was really too great for youthful shoulders. Pa went to a livery stable and hired a man to hunt our horses for us. The man found our team in a very short time. We always thought someone turned the horses loose for we both knew how to tie horses, and it seemed queer that all got loose. Pa paid the man $4.00 for bringing the horses in. Pa and we two boys went on home camping at night along the road; but had no eventful happenings on this road home. Stepmother went on to San Antonio with our baby brother for a visit to her family. We were glad when this trip was over and we were at home again, having been away for three weeks.
While we lived in the Brackenridge home, we hunted a lot. Deer, turkeys, ducks, geese, and wild hogs were plentiful. Then, small game such as prairie chickens, quail, and squirrels could be killed at most any time, and we loved to hunt. Sometimes Pa would go deer hunting with us. Once, while out, Pa told us where to station ourselves. Soon, a dozen or more deer came running up almost to me. I delayed shooting because my gun kicked so hard. I had a splendid opportunity, but let it slip. The deer saw me, wheeled and ran back to where Pa was stationed. He shot, and he knew he had hit one, but all ran off. Pa said we would go home and get our horses and come back and hunt again. We did, but still couldn't find it, so gave it up; and next day while we were out, we saw buzzards flying around. We went to see what they were after and it was our deer. It had swum the river and attempted to climb the back on the other side but fell there and died.
Our next hunt was for turkeys. We were near the place where we found the deer. Pa placed me in a good position to get a turkey and I didn't have long to wait until a big gobbler came out right near me. I fired but missed again because I was so afraid of the gun. I didn't hold my aim steady, so lost again. Pa, however, killed one of the bunch and the rest flew up into a tree. On another hunting trip, a boy friend went with brother and me. We rode out to where we thought we might find some deer. Brother wanted to go alone so the other boy and I stationed ourselves. Some deer came up. This time I was afraid to shoot off my horse lest he would throw me. While I was getting down the deer ran off, so I missed again. In a little while we saw two fawns. I told this boy I was going to shoot if the horse threw me, and I did and killed a fawn. I took it home. Neither of the other boys got anything. These hunting trips were made on the Navidad River. On one of our trips, (we were really out to get up a team), our Pa had gone into town and told us to get the team up, but we took the gun along without Pa's permission. We were sure we could get some ducks. We had only one gun this trip and were to shoot time about. There were some sloughs, one of, which was dry. I had the first shot, so killed several ducks and crippled another one. I let brother have the gun for he wanted to shoot the crippled duck. I said, thoughtlessly, "I'll go on the other side and scare it back to you." After I did this I thought of the danger I might be in of being shot, and I called to brother and told him not to shoot, and I then got behind some brush. I decided he wasn't going to shoot since I had told him not to. I peeped out of my hiding place just in time to receive a shot in my left eyebrow. When the shot struck me, it felt cold. I put my hand up on the place and it was bleeding profusely. When I found out what had happened, I called to him that he had shot me. He threw the gun down and came running saying, "Oh brother John, did I kill you?" I said, "No, go back and get the gun." We went on then and got our horses as they were near where we were hunting. We then went home and took the ducks. There was company at our house, and I told brother to go in and call our stepmother. She came, and I showed her the nice ducks and then showed her where I had received the shot. She was very much excited and had me to lie down till Pa came home. When he came, he looked at my eyebrow and said, "Brother shot at a goose and killed a crane", but he took me to the doctor the next day and found nothing serious. He said the shot was just barley in the skull and would never hurt me, and it never has. Guess I was thick headed.
Our family was out walking one evening and the dogs were with us, they got after a big wild cat, and after chasing him some distance ran him up a tree. I went back to the house to get a gun. When I got back, brother wanted to shoot the cat. Father let him do so, and he shot the cat in the mouth. It jumped out of the tree and ran; the dogs were crowding it so closely it again ran up a tree. This time father shot and killed it. These cats were bad about killing young pigs and depredated on our poultry yard so we always killed them when possible. One day we had been hunting on our horses when we saw a young dog acting strangely. We knew the dog as it belonged to a neighbor and we knew it was very cowardly, but now it was chasing our dogs, and they ran from it. We were sure it was a rabid dog. By this time we had reached home and turned our horses loose. The dog again made an appearance. My brother ran and climbed on a high fence and I ran into the house in an unoccupied room that had some windowpanes out. I got a slab off a bedstead which was in the room, and while I was fixing the slab in the window the dog came around the house and looked up at the broken window. I felt like it might try to jump in. I was surely scared, as I couldn't get to my gun. The dog ran around the house several times, chasing the chickens. We had raised a wild turkey and it chased it too but it rose and flew to the top of this high house. Our stepmother didn't want us to shoot the dog as it belonged to a neighbor. She said maybe it didn't have rabies. When the dog went back of the house, I got a chance and ran upstairs to get my gun. Brother had come down off the fence, and he also got his gun. Step-mother had decided it was mad, as she had thrown water on it as it passed under her window, and it snapped at the water, and fell over, I suppose, in a fit. She said shoot it. My brother tried to do so but was afraid to let it come close enough, so fired at too great a distance. The shot knocked it down but it ran off. We saw it no more, but it went home and took after its owner. He too shot at it, and it again ran off. We never heard of it any more, and none of our dogs took rabies from it. Well, they ran from it, and never really came in direct contact with it, but our neighbor lost all his dogs and cats. One, that was a general favorite of the family, bit the man's wife and she had to be treated by using the, I suppose, Mad Stone. This was before the Pasteur treatment for rabies, but this lady had no appearance of the dread disease, and no one else reported any more rabid dogs that we ever knew of.
Later there was another dog that belonged to a Negro near us that left home and became half-wild. She stayed on an old raft on the river, and raised a bunch of pups there. They were vicious and got to killing calves and yearlings. Once our father was going to town on horseback. He rode up on this bunch of dogs where they had killed a yearling and then attacked him. They bit his horse's heels and got the horse's tail. I think it almost a miracle the horse didn't throw my father. Pa rode back home and got his pistol and came back armed for them. They met him to take him down, but he fired at them killing one, and the others ran off.
Brother and I had the permission to take hides off fallen cattle, so while searching for these, I found a calf, and started to skin it. I saw the carcass had been so torn the hide would not be salable. We went home and were told of our father's encounter with the dogs. We were lucky that no dogs came while we were there, as being on foot we might not have been able to drive them off and might have been bitten by them.
Father, brother, and I got our horses and rode out again to see if we could find the bunch of dogs but could find no trace of them except the old mom. My dog and she ran off. They seemed to sense trouble and left that place. My brother and I made quite a lot of money that winner, skinning cattle. We had a list of about 40 brands of cattle that we were allowed to skin. We got half the value of the hides. It took both of us to skin a green cow, as we were too small to handle them. So, we always went together. A terrible tale was told about three boys being killed while skinning cattle. It was supposed that they were killing the cows for the hides. Whether this tale was true or not we never stayed out after dark alone. When I started home, it had been raining, the ground was very slick and my horse began to slip and fell turning over. I fell out of the way, but he struck me and hurt my back. He got up and ran off, leaving me to walk about a mile. He would keep just ahead of me and wouldn't let me catch him. I was beginning to get really scared having to walk so far after dark, and to add to my misery I had to pass a cemetery. I have told you of the superstitions of our Negroes, and I didn't fail to remember all these while passing the cemetery, but I got home very tired but safe. Another time while out skinning cattle, the large butcher knife I was using slipped and I still carry the scar on my left thumb where it came in contact with the knife.
The Cowboy Paper
Before continuing with John's story, to introduce this time in his life, the following is a paper written, May 1963, for an English class at Texas A&M. It was the research done for this paper that brought me together with the ladies that supplied much of the additional material contained in this account.
The Early Cattle Drive in South Texas
In the early months of 1866 rumors began to drift into Texas of new markets for cattle. A cow worth five dollars in useless Confederate money would bring forty dollars in United States currency at the northern markets. Men and cattle began to "go up the trail" to Kansas, Nebraska and other new railheads. So began the exciting period of the wild and reckless Texan and his Longhorn steers. Many stories, both true and false, have been written about this era in the history of the West.
Less well known are the cattle drives that took place in Texas to gather cattle for the long trip "up the trail." During the early years of the cattle drive it was a relative easy job to round up the cattle. However, soon the cattle were all branded and were not roaming free on the open range. The cattlemen were forced to gather their cattle from a larger area. Thus the short drives to form the huge herds for the northern markets came about. Another type of Trans-Texas cattle drive was the drives made from West to East. The cattle would be rounded-up and driven either to Louisiana or to a Texas port for shipment.
Many cowboys began their work as early as fifteen or sixteen years old despite the dangers of the trail on which a single mistake made by a horse or rider in a stampede could mean instant death under the pounding hooves of cattle.
Among these extremely young Texas cowboys was my grandfather, John Garrett Matthews, who began his work with cattle in 1874 at the age of sixteen. At that time he worked for his father, Erastus Allen Matthews on his grandfather Garrett's ranch about four miles from Texana, in Jackson County.
In 1875, at the age of seventeen he went to work for Allen and Pool on their ranch the "Rancho Grande" which was located on Trespalacios Creek about twenty-five miles northwest of Matagorda, Matagorda County, Texas. The ranch was originally owned by Abel and Jonathan Pierce. Abel, who became famous as a cattleman under the name "Shanghi", always referred to his cattle as "sea lions". He built a bronze statue of himself for $10,000 that now guards his grave near Blessing, Matagorda County, Texas. About 1873, Allen and Pool, who had been partners with the Pierce brothers for several years, bought their share for $110,000. When seventeen-year-old John Garrett Matthews worked on the "Rancho Grande", it consisted of over 100,000 head of longhorn cattle scattered over several hundred miles of grassy range, including land past the Navidad River in Jackson County. During the fall of 1873, the headquarters of the ranch was moved by the general manager, John Moore, to his ranch at the mouth of the Trespalacious Creek.
On one of John Garrett Matthews' trips with the Allen and Pool outfit, they drove a herd of cattle to Harrisburg (now Houston), and after returning to the ranch headquarters he left for home and ended his work with that firm.
John Matthews then worked for Jim Heard on the Mustang Creek, a tributary of the Navidad River in Jackson County. He worked as a cook and was responsible for keeping the pots and pans clean, doing the cooking, and driving the wagon with the grub box. They worked between the East and West branches of the Mustang Creek and also areas to the west of the creek. During this time he experienced heavy rains, cold, and a stampede while on the round up.
His last experience with "cow-driving" was with the York cousins, who drove a group of horses and cattle Eastward across the Colorado River at the Allen and Pool ranch, up to Richmond on the Brazos, and across the Brazos. Their destination was Hardin County. On this trip they were forced to cross many rivers and creeks, including the Trinity River.
While working for the various cattle companies he encountered everything from bitter cold, rain, and stampedes to parties and weddings.
The remainder of this chapter is the section of John's story that deals with his "cowboy" years and was written in 1940 when he was eighty-two years old.
After the period from 1878 till 1889 when he worked at various ranches and farms in South-Central Texas, in 1889 he married Mary Agnes Hurley. He continued to farm until 1892 when at the age of 34 he returned to school to prepare for teaching. Two years later he obtained a second grade certificate. He began teaching at the Springs School, in the area south of San Antonio, in 1893 and continued to teach in South Texas schools until 1923 when he retired at the age of 65 years. Out of his eight children, two of the girls made a career of teaching, another taught until she died, one son taught most of his adult life, and another son taught until the Second World War.
John Garrett Matthews was always a strict grammarian and would correct his children when they made mistakes in their conversation.
About this time we started to school again in Texana. We walked four miles from the old Brackenridge home to town. Our father sold the hides we had saved and we boys both bought fiddles. Well, we had great enjoyment with them (except at the expense of others around us who had to listen to our efforts), but we soon could play some. Nothing of much importance took place here, and when our vacation came we both got work for our Aunt Josephine Garrett, Grandfather's widow. She had a large stock of cattle. We enjoyed this work and the camping, especially branding small calves. The large yearlings were too hard to handle for boys. There was a cook who drove the wagon. The boss would tell him where to go as to meet the cow crowd. We would round up and drive to the pens near where the wagon was sent. This work would take about four weeks in the spring, and the same length of time in the fall. The boss would have about a thousand head rounded up, and then the cutting would begin. A man would ride into the herd and drive out those that were to be branded. These would be driven into a smaller herd, which was being held near the branding area. Those to be branded were driven to a pen near. This took some time and several hands to do the branding. We generally had nice weather for these rounding ups. Sometimes we had some cows that would fight, and these were hard to handle, but we boys enjoyed it all, just being out of school and free to be out in the woods or I should say prairie. Some of the cows would begin fighting, and others would run out of the herd. Bulls were mean to fight too. On one occasion two bulls were fighting. First one then the other pushing each other backwards for some distance, then a third bull came into the fight. The kept milling around trying to reach the side of one of the bulls. Two of them got the advantage of the other one and threw him clear off the ground. This made him run, and as far as we could see, he was still running and the other two after him, this was really a race for life. This was open prairie and one could see great distances. These fellows were dangerous, as they would attack anything that came in the way. This was very exciting to us boys even if we had been raised in a stock country.
After the summer work was over our father sent us to Concrete College, which was in DeWitt County. This college had been organized by Mr. J.V.E. Gavery, a Baptist preacher. This was a stone building of three large rooms, and a dormitory for boys, also one for girls. He had a number of students. Many of the boys worked for their board and tuition. One half-day of work and half of study. Here I did all the work possible for a 16 year old (1874) boy to do, butchering, milking, taking care of nursery stock, cutting timber for fences, and general farm work. We had chapel service every day and were not allowed any association with the girls, only on special occasions. We were then allowed to send complements to the girls asking to accompany them to church, or other entertainment, and the girls returned their answers. All this had to go through the president’s hands. He was very strict, no smoking allowed nor any rowdiness on the campus. There was a fine swimming place and we were allowed to go there once a week that is the boys were. We enjoyed this very much as I had been brought up on, or I should say in, the Lavaca river and the bay, and I missed the water very much. This school was divided into five-month periods. I attended three of these sessions, and would have gone on longer, but brother had gone home and I had never been separated from him so I soon went home too. He had work too, and I thought I could do better at work for myself. I didn't realize the opportunity I was letting slip by me for getting an education, but I did understand what I missed when I later began to prepare for teaching.
When I got back to where I had lived, our father had moved to San Antonio. I got work for Allen and Pool who were extensive cattle raisers and buyers. We worked through several counties for this firm and down on the Colorado River, to their ranch. We would gather a lot of cattle and swim them across the river to New Philadelphia; it was called at that time. On one trip the train was late, and the boss had us let the cattle graze. When the train came, it scared the cattle, so we had a stampede, but got them quieted and rounded up again. One old cow made up her mind that she didn't intend to go train riding. Every time we would get her down to the chute she would break away. Our boss told us we must get old Sis, so when we got her back to the chute again, three or four of us got hold of her and dragged her in, so were able to get her on the train.
On one of our trips, we were near the Gulf of Mexico. We made an early start to get to some pens. It was raining and kept it up all day—just a deluge of rain. We got to the Trespalacios Creek or river, on the side opposite the pens. The creek was very high, and the boss came to me, and said he would go see if we could cross over. When he came back he said it was impossible to cross, and that we would have to herd all night. We had about one hundred head. The boss said if I would herd until he and a Negro that was helping could go to camp and get supper, then they would come and herd while I went to supper and sleep the rest of the night, which I readily agreed to. The came back about one o'clock. I then went to camp, got supper and hunted for a dry place to spread my bed. I finally scrapped the fire away and put my bedding down where the fire had been. I was wet, my blankets were wet, but I went to sleep. We again started early to get to the Ranch on the Colorado River. There was water everywhere, some creeks overflowing, we could only tell by the cattle that went in first going out of sight that it was a creek. While crossing these we could get very wet. The rain had lessened but the high water would wet us again. My horse wouldn't swim until he had to, so would keep me wet to the neck all the time. We reached our destination on the second day late in the afternoon. All of us were tired, horses tired, and being continually wet, had scaled their backs until they were skinned badly. When we reached the Colorado River, we had to swim the cattle across. The ranch had swimming pens. These pens were one large corral with one small pen called the Jam pen. From this Jam pen there was a chute into the water. By the time cattle reached the fence they were in swimming water. They were driven from the large pen into the Jam pen, as many as could be forced into it -- they were closed into the Jam pen -- then the gate to the chute, which was about 4 feet wide, was opened and the cattle forced through into the water. This might take as much as half-a-day as the current would take them down stream and they would sometimes get out on the same side they had started from. On one occasion, while crossing the herd, they swam back to the side they had been started from. We were trying to put them back. The bank was high, wet, and slick. One of the boys dressed in cowboy suit (heavy boots, leggings, and a big hat) attempted to push them back. When he struck a slick place, he just went down into the river. He caught a limb and pulled himself out. He had to takes his boots off and pour the water out of them and also took his leather leggings off and then went to help with the cattle.
Another time, this same boy took his clothes off and got into the river to keep the herd from going around the chute and back to the same side they had been driven from. But some got by and went back (the river was high this time also). While attempting to force the cattle back one cow was crowded so she jumped right over this boy putting him down under the water. Luckily he wasn't hurt and when he came up, he went on working to put the cattle back. After some time we got them across. Another time when we were putting a herd across, I went in with this same boy – one of us above the chute and the other below. While attempting to make one cow turn back, I went too far and went into the water. Since we were stripped and the weather was warm, this was fun for at least a while. Another time our boss tried out another crossing about two miles above the old crossing. I got them over very well except one yearling was drowned by getting under an old ferryboat. The Negro and I had been sent from the ranch to take charge of the herd when they came back across. I had to put the pack on our pack mule alone, which was a two-man job. We drove the extra horses and pack mule to the place where we were to wait. I noticed our pack mule was looking at his pack, with one ear dropped down. I soon saw that the pack was slipping down his side. When the pack got on his side, he stampeded and kicked. We had our food, bread, tin cups, coffee pots all in this pack. The pots rattling caused the cattle to run some. We caught the mule and gathered up our biscuits and bedding. With the Negro's help we tied the pack on to stay this time. This trip was made to Harrisburg. We drove instead of shipping them. When we got the cattle to this place, the boss put our horses on the train and sent the Negro and me back with them to the ranch where we were working. This firm was Allen and Pool. From this place, I went home and so ended my work with that firm.
My next work was with a Mr. Jim Herd on the Mustang, so you see I was back where I had formally gone to school. I was here a limited time rounding up cattle for the trail, which was early spring work. I was the cook for the crowd. The man who had hired me grew uneasy that I might not come to work. Mr. Herd asked if I had promised to be there. The man said that I had, and Mr. Herd said, "You need not be uneasy, he will be here." But the man started after me anyway, and we met on the road. I was going to the place where I had been employed. Now my first work was to take the grub box to the Mustang Creek (you remember, I told you it was a beautiful clear creek.) Here, I was to roll up my trousers and take all the cooking implements out and wash them thoroughly so as to be ready to go with the crowd the next day. These implements consisted of skillets with lids, frying pan, coffeepot, tin cups, and plates. I had to drive the wagon with our box of cooking vessels and bedding. My salary was fifty cents per day. The cowhands were all mounted on their ponies. Each man had about three horses. These extra horses were driven along, and I followed with the camp outfit.
We went first to Devil Pocket, between the West Mustang and East Sandy. When we came to the crossing of the Mustang, the banks were steep and narrow. The boss told some of the hands to wait and see if I needed help in getting across. When we started up this steep back, the old balky horse stopped gutting the wagon so that he was pushed up against the bank where he fell down over the tongue of the wagon. The other horse stepped on the neck of the balky horse, and we had a hard time getting him off. We boys had to take time to laugh -- all at the expense of the poor old balky horse, but he wasn't taught any lesson by his experience. He still wouldn't pull a pound. The boys then took ropes and tied them to the end of the wagon tongue, and with the help of the one that would pull, got us out of the creek. After getting on a level road, the balky horse decided to go along. Our camping place was on the West Mustang, Devils Pocket. This was a place between the two Mustangs, East and West, which was covered with timber. The woods were so dense that the cattle were hard to drive out. Many of them were four or five years old and still unbranded. We camped there two nights. The boys would saddle fresh horses, and when the wild cattle came out to feed at night, they would try to get around them to keep them out of the woods. We never succeeded in getting any of them. We then left this location and went west of the Mustang where the cattle were not so wild. We rounded up these by the thousands of head, then the boys would cut out those that were wanted for market. We worked here several days. This place was full of wild animals--deer, turkeys, wolves, wild cats, and some bear--it was said that there were Mexican lions, and worse of all, mosquitoes. It was very warm here too. We had no nets or any other way of fighting off these pests.
After we crossed over the creek, the boss wanted to reach a farm, Morgans, nearby. While we were going, we saw cattle grazing on the prairie. We rode out to these, and a young cow, on seeing the men, broke to run to the timber. About three of the boys took after her to beat her to the brush and had to rope her to turn her back. All three roped her and held her until the others could drive the herd around her. This was repeated about four times. All the ropes would be taken off except one, and she would make a break. Some one would catch the rope and hold her. She finally gave up and stayed with the herd. She wasn't branded or marked, so she went in with the other marketable cattle. The first night we were at this ranch, there came a heavy cloud with thunder, lightening, and rain in torrents. I got up from our blankets on the ground and started to the ranch house. It was so dark we could only see when a flash of lightening came. We finally got to the house and they let us come in out of the storm. We sat around the fireplace, and as most of us had had no sleep, some of the boys lay down on the floor and slept. We went back to our camp when daylight came, and the rain was over. After working this place out, we left for the East Mustang. Here there was no one living and nothing but the wilds of the land. We had no pens here, and had to herd all the time--had three shifts of four hours each all night. The weather was clear, and we spread our blankets all looked forward to a good nights rest. Sometime in the night, a heavy rain came up and a cold norther with it. Our boss had some Negro boys helping to herd the cattle and it wasn't long before these came to camp. They were nearly frozen. Also a white man and boy came. They all got under the wagon to try to keep dry, rolled up in their blankets and went to sleep. The next morning they had to be dragged out, simply stiff from the cold. The white boy called me to unroll his blanket. He was so nearly frozen he couldn't get up. The rain was so heavy it caused the creek to rise and flood the area under the wagon. The men sleeping there were so wet, they were nearly frozen. I was cold also since I had loaned my slicker, overcoat and suit coat. I was about to freeze also, when I remembered seeing some Negroes put their bedding under a cowhide, which covered our barrel of flour. I went there and got the bedding and wrapped up in it and started walking to keep warm, or rather to keep from freezing. All of our matches were wet, but after daylight, one of the men came in who had some dry matches. He built us a fire and we began to thaw out.
When we started on this trip, I had bought a suit of oilcloth and I had a heavy overcoat and coat. The boss came to me soon after starting and wanted to buy my oil suit, but I didn't want to sell it. He said, "You had just as well sell it to me for I'll have it borrowed all the time." So I sold it to him. Then a man borrowed my overcoat. The boss came later in the night and said that he wanted my coat for a Negro who was freezing to death (they had to stay with the herd and I could stay in camp) so I let my coat go also. I was in my shirtsleeves. Just as we finished eating our breakfast, a Negro came up on the opposite side of the creek from us and asked if we would throw him a chunk of fire for he was very cold. One of the men picked up a chunk of file and, for mischief, threw it straight at him. In attempting to get out of the way, he caught his foot on a root and fell almost into the creek. The boss said, "That Negro is freezing. Someone of you will have to go get him and bring him to the fire." The only one that volunteered to go was a small white boy. He got his horse and rode into the creek, which was almost swimming for his horse. When he got to the Negro, he told him to put his foot in the stirrup so he could help him up. The Negro was so stiff he couldn't raise his foot. The boy then got down and put the Negro's foot in the stirrup, pushed him up on the horse and then got on himself. The then brought him across to the fire. The Negro said, "This is the best thing that I have found." I poured him some hot coffee and gave him some food. He said that he couldn't eat for he was so cold. We were ready to leave and left him by the fire. Later we heard that he got home, but took pneumonia and died. The poor fellow had said that when the clouds had come up it became so dark that he unsaddled his horse and tied him out, and lay down covered with his blanket. The rain was so heavy that it came up where he was. He lay there until he was so stiff he couldn't saddle his horse so came on foot to our camp. There was so little timber there that the wind had a clean sweep and it grew so cold that one could not keep warm when dry.
After a few days, we reached the place from which we had started, but had another heavy rain on the last day. I left the group when we got back to the little old schoolhouse, where a few years before I had gone to school. I had my own horse so went to a friend's home nearby. I was worn out, being in the rain so long and thoroughly tired of cooking cornbread and bacon and making coffee three times a day in the rain. Later, I engaged to work for the same man, and at the same place, in a spring roundup gathering cattle for an early drive over the trail. This meant driving cattle to Kansas and Nebraska. I never had gone "up the trail" as it was called. Our boss had me and another man to herd young cattle and yearlings. This was active work and kept us on the run to keep them together. At one time the other man had run his horse down and asked if I would keep the herd so that he could get a fresh horse.
The horses were grazing near, so I agreed to try to hold them and he went to get the horse. That kept me on the run all the time as the yearlings would try to break away to go back to their mothers. We would pen these cattle in the home pen at night so we had no night herding to do. That was a great help to us as we were very tired when night came. We slept under the stars. In gathering up the cattle the boys found an old gentle milk cow. We drove her along with the herd intending to milk her, as was the custom of cowmen. She was so gentle she didn't have to be driven. One of the boys tried to hurry her along and his horse fell, striking her with his knees, which checked his fall and perhaps saved the rider from being hurt, as it seemed they might all fall together. No harm was done however and she was finally put in the pen with the rest of the herd. However, in the night the cattle stampeded. Many had horns broken off and the old cow was killed. She was the only one killed but many were skinned up. On another night we all spread out blankets and laid down, except for a few of the boys. There was one long gangling fellow that let the others put a saddle on him while he was down on all fours. They also tied tin cups and coffeepots on the saddle. When we had all gone to sleep, he stampeded through the camp, bucking like a horse with all of those cups and coffeepots making a terrific noise. He began calling to the cattle as though the herd had broken out. We all jumped up. I got in the wagon. One man ran out through the prairie with his blanket over his head, streaming out behind. We soon found out what the trouble was and we all got settled again for the night. This trip wound up my work for Mr. Herd.
My last experience with cow driving was with the York Brothers (rather cousins). I worked for these men for three months. They bought a lot of horses for a cowdriver. When all was in readiness, we started out with the two York cousins and a Mr. Babcock. We first went to the Allen and Poole ranch to ferry our horses across the Colorado River. We reached the river, but it was high and unsafe to cross. We camped there two days waiting for the river to go down. Mr. Babcock got sick, but went on with us. In crossing our horses, about twenty-five head (about half of them) got scared and jumped over the side of the ferry boat and swam back to the side they started from. We were afraid to put them back on the boat, so we put them in the river and tied them so they could be seen by those in the boat and made them swim across. When they saw the cattle on the opposite side of the river, they swap across to them. We then drove to Richmond on the Brazos and had that river to cross. The river was deep and wide. Mr. Babcock said he would go across on the ferry and take care of the horses when we put them across. This took several hours work. One was skittish and got away from us. The horse, in attempting to go out up a steep bank, fell back onto a knoll and couldn't get off. We had to pull him off. The crossing was done by putting them in a swimming pen or chute. When all had been put over, we went to the ferry about a mile below the swimming pens to cross. When we got across we found Mr. Babcock down on the ground sick with a fever so high he did not know anything, and the horses were gone. We started hunting them and found them scattered all over the river bottom. The two Yorks took Mr. Babcock back to Richmond and sent him home. Once he got home he recovered and was well by the time our trip had ended and we had returned home.
We went on with the horses and had several more rivers to cross. Where we couldn't ford them we went on a ferry. One of these rivers was the Trinity. Hardin County was our destination. We stopped with a Mr. Hooks who fixed us a pen to receive cattle in for we were looking for cattle to sell. Our boss wanted to look out for good cattle. After inspecting the herds in the locality we arranged to have some delivered later. We went on to Polk County to see about cattle in that district.
While there we divided our crowd. I was sent to a little village called Spurgoville. It was arranged for me to get board and lodging at this place with Mr. Mayo and wife. One of the bossmen went into another district, and the other boss stayed with the camp. Before we divided our work, we had lost ten head of our horses. I hunted all day for them but could find no trace of the horses. There had been a man coming to our camp, and he came again asking if we had found our horses. When told no, he asked about a reward for finding them. The boss told him we would give ten dollars to have them brought to us. It was not long before he came back driving our horses. The boss gave him some pretty strong hints about his finding them so quickly after he found a reward was offered. He paid the reward though.
One day while all were away except the Negro cook, he came again. The cook had to go to get water and left the man there. The cook kept looking back as he was suspicious of the man. He saw him go to the wagon and then go to a log nearby. When the cook got back the man had gone. He went to the log to see what the man had been looking at and saw a pistol that belonged to the boss, hidden in the hollow of the log. The man never came back any more.
This ended our unpleasant part of our trip. From this camping place we moved to Spurgoville.
Here we had a good time. While there I met people who had stock for sale which I received since we had rented a small pasture. One day the merchant said to me, "You western cowboys create a sensation when you come." I asked why and he said that there was to be a big wedding out at Uncle Jim Hooks' (this being a man where we first went to buy cattle) on a certain day.
The boss had told us to get more hands and bring the cattle bought from Mr. Hooks. I went to see if he was ready to deliver the cows. He had them penned but said to wait until the next day, and he would have his son help us, as the cattle would be hard to drive. We went the next day, getting there about ten a.m. We saw a crowd of people there. Mr. Hooks met us at the gate and said, "Get down. We are going to have dinner soon, and will turn out the cattle after dinner." Pretty soon the young expected bridegroom came all dressed up in his black broadcloth, and the minister appeared. Also the bride, all dressed nicely, and the marriage ceremony was performed at once. Then we were invited out to a long table as honored guests. It was very nice. Loads of sweets and meats. After dinner we, with the help of this old man and his sons, got the cattle out and drove them back to our pasture at Spurgoville. Uncle Jimmy Hooks said to me, "You are getting a bad lot of cattle from Uncle Billie Rainer. If you don't watch them, they will break out of the pasture." And the day before, Uncle Billie had warned me that the Hooks' cattle were bad, and said I'd have to watch them. But, luckily none of the cattle broke out, neither bunches.
However, both bunches of cattle were really bad. Uncle Billie Rainer's cattle were cane-broke cattle, and said to be the worst in the country to handle. They used dogs to bring these cattle out of the brake. This had been made by the river changing its bed and forming a lagoon that was covered with the cane. A horse could hardly go through it. The day Uncle Billie was to bring his cattle up, I went to meet him and help. It was surprising how those dogs could manage the cattle. If one started to leave the herd a dog would bring him back. These were the best cattle we got in our whole roundup. The day came for us to move from this place back to Hardin. Our bosses had hired several men on horses to help us the first day. Our worst trouble was to get the cattle out of the pasture. When we would get them near a gate they would break away and scatter. Then we would have to go after them again. I broke my rope when I caught a beef. I turned him over, though, and got him out. It took most of the day to get the cattle out and start on the trip.
On the second day out, we were planning to reach a pen that was also owned by Mr. Hooks. The boss had had to take in a number of bulls. We decided to dehorn these, as they were so bad to gore the beeves. We penned early. We had one that was bad to fight. As soon as he was roped he put us all on the fence. The boss made fun of us running. A Negro who thought he was brave got down to catch the rope, which the bull still had on. When he caught the rope he was near a tree. The Negro tried to wrap the rope around the tree. As the bull pass it, he saw the Negro and made for him. The man turned to run but got his feet tangled in the rope and fell down. The wrap on the tree held and threw the bull. When the bull fell, we all jumped down and caught him. The some of the boys cut his horns off with an axe. The next day we went on our road. There was a stream to cross that was deep. We expected serious trouble here, but had been told of a man who lived near who owned a yoke of oxen that could be hired to put in the stream ahead of the herd. They would lead them across the stream. One of the men went ahead and hired the oxen. When they were put in the lead, the cattle followed right along after them.
From this place on to Hardin, it rained, and we had to cross several small streams. We reached our next stopping place late at night with tired cattle, horses, and worn out men. We penned the cattle and went into camp. The Negro cook had supper ready for us. We had good fare with these men. This was our established penning and camping place. We spent some time here taking in cattle that had been promised when we went through here several weeks before on our way to Polk County.
People here were nice and friendly. The news of our arrival was passed around, and several young men came to invite us to the dances in the neighborhood. The also came to go with us so we would find the way.
They came early one afternoon. Four boys came, as there were four of us, to escort us on the road. The first dance was eight miles out (quite a distance for tired cowboys, and we had to ride horseback). Just before we got there, the boy that was my escort said to me, "You must not be surprised is we ride up on some women and girls sitting down putting on their shoes and stockings, as this is the custom to carry their shoes until near the place." They came in oxcart and wagons. The house was a room, shed room, and porch on the front. But these people were so very hospitable, and the men took it on themselves to see that we were entertained. They also saw to it that we had an opportunity to dance. I was sitting on the porch when a man recognized me as a stranger. He asked me to go in and dance. I tried to excuse myself, as I had not worn a coat. At once he took his coat off and wanted me to wear it. I had had a sick spell and did not want to dance, but he would not accept my excuses. So, I put on his coat and went with him. He took me in and asked a girl to dance with me. He introduced us and we were soon "tripping the light fantastic"! She was timid and so was I, so we didn't do much talking. But I enjoyed the dance. Some of the boys told that I played the violin then I was asked to come in and play for them. I played for a while. I had other offers to dance, but I didn't feel well, so begged off.
Later, supper was announced and we cowboys were invited first as the honored guests. Supper was really a substantial affair: coffee, some cakes and dishes of pork (plenty for everyone). This was served on two long tables in the yard, on the order of a barbecue; I would call it, although the meat was not barbecued. We were introduced when we first arrived but we didn't know who was giving the entertainment. We left to get back to camp before morning. We spent about half of our time on the road, as horseback riding doesn't compare with cars in 1940.
As long as we were at this place, if there was a party we were invited to attend. We generally did since our nights were free because the herds were penned. We spent about two months here. There was quite an improvement in the dress of the girls while we were there. The local doctor had a daughter that had been off to school. She dressed in style and had a visitor that also dressed nicely. The home girls adopted the style of these two girls, which made quite an improvement in their appearance. We supposed it must have been this, as there was so much difference in their dress. It must have been due to the fact that these girls knew how to dress.
As you might expect, each of us found a girl while we were there. One of the bossmen selected the doctor's daughter, and the other boss selected her friend. One of the men was very much in earnest, and when we left he bought a nice box of candy and mailed it back to her. Unfortunately, I did not know that I had made an impression until we were leaving. But, all good things have to end some time, so our romances soon were over.
After all these good times we had some that were not so pleasant. A poor young man had cut his foot with an axe. When we met him, seeing that he was on crutches, we asked what had happened. He said that he was helping to clear a new road. He and another man were cutting on the same tree. They both hit the tree at the same time, but his axe bounced back from the blow and split his foot from the toe to the ankle. He was in very serious condition when we saw him. He probably lost his foot or possibly his life. We never heard how it turned out. The man and a girl had a romance and were about to run off and get married when her father heard about it and broke their match up.
Now I will tell you about road branding and preparations for our homeward trip. These preparations consisted of pens, which were built near Hardin, in Hardin County. They were built especially for us by Mr. Hooks. The pens covered about one acre. There was a large pen connected to a small pen by a chute. We put the cattle, in bunches, into the jam pen and then into the chute. Our branding irons were heated just outside the chute. Men would stand on a board nailed along the chute and put the road brand on the hip of the cattle. It was a small letter so the cattle could be identified in they should stray from the herd on the trip home. There were about 600 head to put this brand on, which took most of one day. There was a gate to open into the larger pen. As the cattle were branded, they were released from from the chute out into this larger space, and more cattle were driven into the chute to be branded. This process kept all of the men very busy.
A large crowd came out from town to witness the branding. Several wanted to help. As the cattle got warm, they started fighting. One horned cow charged a Negro. The cow was poor so the man grabbed her by the horn and jerked her down. Then a young beef made at another Negro. He had a good stick, part of the bar from the pen gate. With this, he struck the beef on the horn and broke it off. However, this did not stop the beef. After a few more well directed licks, the man broke the stick. But the beef became scared and ran at the same time that the man took to his heels. It turned out to be a draw fight and the crowd was very much amused.
There was another hard fight between a bull and a Negro. When the bull made at the man, the boss told him to kill the bull. He had an axe in his hands. But, when the bull charged, his courage failed him. He turned to run and the bull struck him and threw him into the air. Except for a rake on his back, he was not hurt. When he came down to the ground, he hit it running and beat the bull to the fence. He thus saved himself from being killed.
After the branding was finished, we were ready to drive the cattle on to Sour Lake. After driving several miles, we stopped to let the cattle graze and also to eat out lunch. While the cook was getting dinner ready, our two boss men rode to a store about a half-mile away. At the store there was a bear chained to a tree. The men became interested in the bear, as they had two bear dogs for which they had given a horse. After talking to the merchant, and finding that it belonged to him, they asked permission to see if the dogs would attack the bear. The boss men came back to get the dogs, and when they got near the store the dogs gave chase. This proved that they were really bear dogs.
The owner agreed to sell the bear to them for twelve dollars. They brought the bear to our camp. It was gentle, and we kept it chained to the back of the wagon. It was quite a pet and one evening furnished the crowd with a lot of amusement. While we were eating our supper the bear rose on his hind feet and started toward the young Negro cook. He started to run, but one of the boss men persuaded him to stand and see what the bear would do. The bear caught the cook around the waist. Some said that he wants to wrestle with you, George. The hitched it up for a wrestle. George threw the bear down and fell on top of it. George and the bear got back on their feet and continued to wrestle until both were tired. After this, we had these performances every night much to the amusement of the crowd.
We went on to Liberty. We had several days of travel without anything of importance happening. When we reached Liberty, our bossmen found a kinsman there. He let us have a small field to pen the cattle in. We spent one night at this place while our bosses visited with their kinsmen. As planned, we got up at 3 a.m. the next morning and started on to the Trinity (about two miles). There we swam the herd across the river using swimming pens. We had some trouble as it was getting to be the fall season and the cattle were getting thin and weak. This took us till 3:00 p.m. as the river was boggy and we had to work slowly and carefully. Our road ran through the bottoms, and we had to drive the cattle ten miles before we could get to prairie country. It was 10 p.m. before we could reach a pen for the night. In order to reach the pens, we had to cross several lagoons where several of our herd were bogged and had to be drug out. This took quite a bit of time and resulted in the loss of several head of cattle. The next day we went back to pull more cattle out of the bogs.
It was on this drive that some of the boys saw a fine sugar cane patch. They decided to go back and get a lot of it. The owner of the sugar cane discovered them in the patch and rather than disturb them, he just helped himself to the best saddle in the bunch. Imagine the surprise, and anger, when the owner discovered his loss. He wanted to go and recover the saddle, but the bosses offered to give him another saddle. They did not wish it to get out that their boys had raided a sugar cane patch. This boy was an extra hand, employed to help until they could get through the Colorado River bottom. They told him that they would let him go back and try to recover his saddle when they were through with him. I want to say here that I was not in the raiding party. I was tired and had gone to bed (rather a pallet) under the stars and went to sleep. I fell sure that I ate some of the cane the next day though.
After the trip to San Antonio and back to Texana I went to work for the widowed mother of one of the York cousins.
While on a cattle buying trip, I heard that Pa was losing his sight. Brother and I went to San Antonio to see our Father. We found that he had a cataract on one eye, which the doctor said would have to be removed. When Father failed to have the eye attended to, he ended up losing his sight in that eye.
When I was about twenty years old we went to San Antonio where my Father had been living in the home of the Brackenridge family. They had bought a home out where Somerset is now. Here we met many young people. The day after we arrived, two young men came to the house and invited us to a party in the neighborhood. There was to be a quilt raffled off so, of course, we wanted to go. They said that they would come and get us if we did not know the road. We went to the party and my Brother won the quilt. We met all of the young people and enjoyed ourselves very much. This was just the beginning of our good times here, as we enjoyed many other parties in this place.
There was a Mr. Gregory, who was interested in music and organized a band of twelve pieces. We met regularly for practice and enjoyed it very much. I have always loved music. The band was made up mostly of boys from near the river. This band broke up but Mr. Gregory organized another band at Bexar, near Somerset. We bought the instruments from the old band. We also bought a lot and built a small house for practice. We had plans to enlarge it in three years. After a while, Mr. Gregory became dissatisfied, sold out his gin and other property, and moved away. This left us without a leader, I filled this place as best I could, but could not do the part like he did.
A friend and I had decided to back to my old home and get work on a cattle ranch. Maybe even "go up the trail." We got our luggage together, at least what we could carry on horseback. The trip from San Antonio to Edna was to be on horseback all the way. The first day out, it rained. It was November and the weather was cool. Before long, we were tired and so were our horses. We stopped at a house to see if we could get lodging. We had brought food and had already eaten some supper. The place proved to be a Negro home. "Well", he said when we asked if we could step out of the rain, "I never turns a man off." His wife was preparing supper. When it was ready, he called us to come and eat. We told him that we had already eaten and just wanted to sit by the fire and dry out. After they had finished eating, the old woman came in and fixed us a nice, clean bed. We slept soundly all night.
Early the next morning, we resumed our trip. We intended to stop at the next town and buy breakfast, but there was no cafe. Also, it was Sunday, so we had to ride on with nothing to eat. About noon, we stopped at another house. It was also a Negro's home. We asked if they could bake us some bread. He said that he did not have any flour, but that he could bake some cornbread. We paid twenty-five cents for a pone of skillet bread, which was good. We also had bacon and coffee, so this was our breakfast, sinner, and supper for that day. We rode on till night and the stopped, spread our blankets and slept under the stars. We started out early again the next morning to make it to the next town for breakfast. This time we made it and enjoyed the breakfast also.
We were on the trip several days, but the last was the hardest. My friend's horse began to play out. We had planned on reaching my Uncle's house by night, but the horse was so played out, he could not travel. We got off and drove our horses until we were about fifteen miles of my Uncle's house. Here we staked our horses out, hung our saddles up on a tree, and walked on. Before we reached my Uncle's, my friend was suffering with blisters rubbed on his heels. He could hardly walk. Finally, he just fell down on the ground and said, "I just have to rest". I urged him on amidst many groans of misery. We finally reached Uncle Pumphrey's house about 10:00 p.m. Aunt Mary, Father's sister, fixed us some supper. We ate this with relish. After visiting with the family a while we went to bed and rested well through the night. I got up early and went back after our horses on a borrowed horse. My Uncle's family had heard that I had married a rich widow in San Antonio. When they asked if this was true, I humored the joke and told them yes. I later told them better though.
We then went to see some cow men about "driving up the trail." They told us that they had all that they needed, but took my friend on as an extra. Told told me that I was too heavy and that it was hard for a horse to carry a heavy man. My friend stayed with the group until they reached Austin, then he returned home.
I visited my sister who lived with our Aunt Nellie. I worked in the neighborhood of my old home until in the fall, when I again started out for San Antonio alone. I stopped by to see my Aunt Mary and Uncle Jesse Pumphrey. Uncle said that if I would stay over another day he would get some ammunition and I could hunt ducks. I did so and was able to get several. I enjoyed helping to eat them also.
I continued on my journey the next day and was in water nearly all the day. My horse broke down that first day out. I stopped at a nice looking house to ask for lodging for the night. The man said that he had a very sick child and could not possibly take anyone in. He was sure that the next neighbor would take me in, so I tried there. The lady said that the last man that stayed with them had a fit in the night, so they were afraid to take anyone else in. I promised not to have a fit or at least that I had never had one. The man was not in, so the lady told me to wait until he came. When he came home he said, "I never turn anyone off". After we had eaten supper, I found out that he knew my Father and all my family. When I started to leave the next morning, he would have nothing for my night's lodging. He did let me pay for the horse feed, as he had to buy that himself.
The next day I went on to Terryville. I had decided to trade my horse for a fresh one as he was worn out. Horse traders were common in those days. They were usually well up on the job and knew "all the tricks of the trade". They would take almost any kind of horse, brush him up and feed him for a few days. Then they were ready to trade him off for some "boot". They would then take the new horse and treat him the same way and trade again. This way they could make a sorry horse look like a good one and fool a man. I soon found a man that would trade with me and made a trade. I knew a family in this place and hunted them up. They asked me to stay for dinner and insisted that I spend the night. As I was tired of riding in so much water and mud, I accepted their offer and spent the night. The lady's sister was one of my brother's old sweethearts, and a fine girl she was too. They had had a misunderstanding before he had left that area and she had married another man. Brother had also found a girl where we lived near San Antonio.
The next day I started on to Cuero. I stopped at a house to inquire about roads. After giving me directions, the man inquired, "What might your name be?" I told him and he asked if I was any kin to Allen Matthews. I said, "Yes, I am his son." Well, he had me get down and go in to meet his wife, who he said was kin to us. The had me eat dinner with them, and as it was still such bad weather, had me spend the night. I could hardly get away from them the next day. I managed to arrive in Cuero in time to catch the train. I met a boy I was acquainted with who agreed to take care of my hose and saddle until I could come and get them. The horse had become lame and I was concerned that he could not make the rest of the trip to San Antonio. When I got to San Antonio, I spent the night in a rooming house. It was still twenty-five miles out to my Father's home. The next day I found some friends who had come to town to trade, and went out with them.
After all of these hard trips, I decided to farm. My Brother Willie, who was now married, and I rented some land from a very fine man, Ed Winans. I stayed on this farm for four years.
My father and stepmother had separated. He came to live with me and left her the house. He kept the eldest boy for some time. She had decided to move to San Marcos to send the children to school, and my Father let her take the boy, Tom, with her. He thought it best that the children not be separated. After a short time, Tom took sick and died. This was quite a shock to us, as we did not know of his illness. By now, Father's health was very bad and often he was not able to care for himself.
My brother bought a home near Pleasanton and moved there. He became acquainted with Gus Clark and both found that they loved music. He told Gus about me having been a leader of the band at Somerset (Bexar). He wanted me to come and join a band, which he was trying to organize. He proposed to buy the instruments and let us use them. We had thirteen pieces in the band and held our practices in the upstairs of the store where Gus worked. After some months of this pleasant association, my Brother took measles and pneumonia and died. This broke up our band as no one could be found to take his place. He had played the B flat coronet. I never played in any other musical organization again.
I left the farm and for a while was employed on a stock ranch below Pleasanton. After this work was over, I went to work for some friends at Amphion. Hunt and Chapman was the name of the firm for which I was working. They had built a store and a gin there. They also organized a Sunday School in the gin rooms. The community began to feel a need for a school, so a building was erected and two teachers employed. I stayed here two years and then received an offer to go to work for Mr. J. S. McKinnon on the Tobey Ranch. The ranch had ten thousand acres and was fully stocked. He also had a large farm which I had charge of. My employer wanted his men to be married men. One night he took me out for a heart to heart talk. He told me that I should get married. I told him that I was planning to marry and was engaged to a girl at Aqua Springs. He said that he would build me a house near his, so our wives could be neighbors, which suited me fine. We made our plans for the next year, and on the 22nd of September 1889 I was married to Mollie Hurley at her parent's home. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Hurley, who lived near Aqua Negro Springs. His father and brother (C. C. Hurley) were running a general mercantile store.
We went to the Tobey Ranch on the 8th of November to set up house keeping. We had had to wait this long for our house to be completed. After living here several months, Mr. McKinnon wanted to change our contract, in what I thought was an unreasonable way. I told him that if he would pay me for my work, I would turn the farm over to him. He did so, and we moved to a farm near Mollie's old home. Here I made a good crop and had enough money to make a payment on a home of our own. This place was unimproved, so I rented a house and farmed my father-in-law's land for two years. I put every spare moment improving our own place. Soon we moved to our own home, but not until I had put in a field, built a one-room house, and dug out an old well. The well was said to be very fine water and was only twenty-seven feet deep. I ran some risk in fixing up this caved in well, but got it fixed up. The water was fine, but a very weak vein. It furnished plenty of water for the stock and our household needs though.
The School Teacher
When we moved to this home we were very proud of it, but crops were so uncertain that I began to think of preparing to teach. In 1892, Prof. Rowe came into our community to organize a Review school for young people who were preparing to teach. I talked to him, and he encouraged me to attend the school. He said I was what he wanted. So, when school opened I was there to try to rub up my rusty brain, which had been idle for sixteen years.
After attending the term, I took the examination and procured a third grade certificate. These were graded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, but I only merited a 3rd grade. I was disappointed in not getting the school, which was promised me. When I went to sign the contract, the board told me that they had given the place to a girl. Well, so much for a promise unless written down in black and white. I did not stop however, but the next year attended the same school. This time I got a second grade certificate and was employed to teach the Springs School. This was our home place and was the year 1892. Our second girl baby, Mamie Cornelia, was born this year. She was a pretty baby and grew rapidly. She was born July 15, 1892. We were very proud of our two daughters. I taught at this school for two years and enjoyed it very much. We had improved our home enough now to move there. I farmed, made a garden, and had nice cows and horses. We were kept busy all of the time. In 1894 our son, Clement, was born. Now, I was very proud of a son. He was a fine boy and grew very fast. When he was four and one-half month old we almost lost him from a spell of pneumonia. Before taking sick he weighed twenty-four pounds.
My third year of teaching was at McCaughn. I only taught there one year. It was a long ride from our home and there was no nearer house available. I then took a school near Amphion and we took a little house in the town. The next year I taught in Amphion. We now had our fourth baby, Jessie, born Dec. 2, 1896. She was a little doll-baby. Everyone said that she looked just like a doll. Of course, we thought her very sweet and pretty. We lived in Amphion for five years. I taught at the school for four of these years. They had a good school there. The first year, Miss. Minnie Rogers was my assistant and she boarded in our home. The next two years, Miss. Janie Seed taught as my assistant. The last year, Miss. Beulah Barrow helped me in the school. She had been a pupil of mine and was a lovely girl. While here we enjoyed the association of fine people. It was here that I united with the Methodist Church under the preaching of Rev. J.E. Buck. He was a real Christian man and had been pastor here several years. I was placed in charge of the Sunday School and served as long as we lived here. After my fourth year I resigned and taught in a school near Amphion. We continued to live in Amphion. After that year, we went back to our home and I again taught in the Springs School.
In the meantime, my brother-in-law, E.M. Johnson, died and left his wife along with three little ones. She had a large ranch stocked with horses and cattle. She also had a large farm. She needed someone to take charge of this and so we moved there for two years. I still had the urge to teach though. On March 7, 1899, Mildred Alice, a darling baby was born to us. On the 7th of January 1901 we lost our dear little Annie of typhoid fever. This was an awful shock to us. Our baby Clarence Garrett was born on April 25, 1901. He was such a joy to us coming as he did three months after our darling Annie left us. We were so lonely, but this baby brightened our lives through these dark days. This all occurred before we moved to the ranch.
While living at the Ranch, our little Johnnie Mae was born on May 20, 1904. She was a dear little babe. This year I went back to teaching. I moved to the school where I had previously taught. We were here one year. Then we moved to Benton and taught there two years. We had a fine school of twenty-five grown-ups or near grown-up folks. This was the best school I have ever had. I was here two years. We enjoyed school, church and Sunday School very much. We then moved to the Tinsley School (Pottery). We were here one year. Our youngest boy, Willie A. was born here. He was a fine boy and I wanted to call him Willie after my dear brother. We all enjoyed living here very much but the next year moved to the Mines School, two miles south of Lytle. I taught here four years. We bought a home near and lived here for thirty years.
During this time we lived in La Coste for two years and I taught school. I also taught one year a Bexar. Our school at Lytle had been consolidated with adjoining schools. As several of our children were of high school age, we sent them to school there. Four of the children graduated from that high school. I also taught two more years in the Benton school building, as the buildings at Lytle were not adequate to house all of the students. I was employed by the Lytle School District during these two years. This ended my teaching career after thirty years of service. I always enjoyed this work. I taught under a first grade certificate most of these years. Mamie, our oldest daughter, began teaching in 1907. She was very young, but taught in various schools until February 28, 1938 when she was married to Sam D. Lambert, a Methodist Minister. They are located near Houston. She is very helpful to him in his work, as she always was at home. She was always very studious in her work.
John's narrative ended at this point. Mollie finished the story, sometime around 1943.
Our son, Clement, enlisted in World War I. He served from April 17, 1917 until July 3, 1919. He was mustered out of the service after having served about one year in France. He came back home and was married to Gertrude Lewis the following year. The date of the wedding was June 9, 1920. They now have a very dear, sweet daughter who is 18 years of age. She is a student in Trinty University in San Antonio at this time. Clement is working in Duncan field as assistant supervisor. He has been there since World War II began.
Our next child, Jessie, after graduating from Lytle High School, married Ernest Lewis on the 9th of September 1917. In September, 1918 Mildred, our next girl began teaching near Hondo. She taught a total of fifteen years. She then married A. E. Hester, a Lytle lumberman. She gave up teaching for a few years, but when his health became bad, she began teaching in Lytle again. She has now taught there for three additional years.
Clarence was the next one to take up this work. He began when he was nineteen years old at Charlotte, and is still in this work. He has taught in Devine, Plainview, and then Marathon for twelve years as superintendent. He is now at Ft. Davis as superintendent. During his second year at Marathon, he married one of the teachers, Myrtle Ing. They have a fine son, (John William (Bill) Matthews) ten years old; who is the prize and joy of his doting parents. They are both teaching at Ft. Davis, and have a beautiful home there.
Our next daughter, Johnnie Mae, began teaching about 1921. She taught for ten years, then she too was called Home to a Brighter Home than this, Eternal in the Heaven above. After intense suffering of seventy-one days (eight weeks of which was spent in the hospital) she had to leave her "family" as she called the ones remaining at home. These consisted of Dad, Mamie, Bill and me. Mamie's health had been bad, so we depended heavily on "Jackie". She and Bill (Willie) taught two years in the same schools (one year at Nell, Live oak Co. and one year at McDonna, Bexar Co.). Jack went back for another year with Mamie to teach at Nell. They were teaching their second year there together when she took sick. We carried her to San Antonio for treatment, but all to no avail.
At the time of Jackie's death, Bill was teaching at Fant City (Live Oak Co.). Dad and I went with him there, as we were now alone. These schools were near Three Rivers, and as we had two married children living there, we were all situated near together. Bill fell in love with his assistant, Rachel Johnston, and they were married on March 12, 1937. He taught here for four years and then went to Sanderson where he taught for two years. He then moved to Pecos and went into Government work for several years. They have a beautiful little girl (Mary Virginia (Marijin) Matthews) who came to them on December 6, 1937. She is now near school age, and is sweet and full of life. On November 8, 1941 a boy (William Allen (Bill) Matthews, Jr) was born to them. He is a big, husky fellow, as is as lively as a boy can be.
This is the last of our family of which we were very proud. All of them became Christians at an early age, and have been serving our Lord faithfully most of their lives.
After our children all married we sold our home, where we had lived so long, and bought a lot in Lytle where we built a comfortable house. We moved to this new home on July 28, 1938 and were very happy until Dad took sick. His heart had been troubling him some for a long time. It got worse, and for six months we knew he would not be with us for long. This started about July 1, 1940, but he did not give up until about three weeks before the end. His spells came so often that he would have to lie down. The summons came February 6, 1941 at 6:25 a.m. His summons to come up Higher and his spirit left him to go to the God that gave it. This left me alone. On March 13, 1941 Mrs. Ing came to live with me, and is still here. We make our home together. She is the dearest woman I ever knew. She is Myrtle's mother, and is a dear mother of nine living children. These last lines were written after Dad was called Home.
Hurley-Matthews Family Bible – Published 1864
F.G. Hurley was born February 17th, 1831
M.A. Hurley was born March 10th, 1830
A.J. Hurley was born January 21st, 1851
Wm M. Hurley was born February 5th, 1857
C. C. Hurley was born August 29th, 1858
M.E.J. Hurley was born September 1st, 1865
Matthew B. Hurley was born Oct 31st, 1875
The baby was born September 1st, 1865
Mary Louvenia Matthews was born April 21, 1926
Mary A. Hurley was born September 23rd, 1867
John G. Matthews was born July 29th, 1858
W.A. Matthews was born Jan 31, 1860
E.A. Matthews was born April 13, 18
Clement M. Lewis was born August 4, 1918
Orion N. Lewis was born February 5, 1920
Mary Blanton Lewis was born November 2, 1921
John Matthews Lewis was born October 11, 1928
Clarence Earle Lewis was born April, 1938
Annie O. Matthews was born Aug 17, 1890
Mamie B. Matthews was born July 15, 1892
William Clement Matthews was born October 4, 1894
Jessie M. Matthews was born December 2, 1896
Mildred A. Matthews was born March 7, 1899
Clarence G. Matthews was born April 25, 1901
Johnnie Mae Matthews was born May 20, 1904
Willie A. Matthews was born April 7, 1909
Children born to JG and MA Matthews
F.G. Hurley and his wife Mary Ann … (rest unreadable)
C.C. Hurley and Matilda Stroud married April 30, 1879
C.C. Hurley and Annie Neal married September 10, 1883
C.C. Hurley and Jeanette Landrum married January 10, 1889 – listed on the side: Felix Matthews was born to this union April 21st, 1880
W.C. Matthews to Gertrude Dasey Lewis June 1920
William M. Hurley and Jennie Sillars abroad about 1878
John G. Matthews and Mary A. Hurley were joined in Holy Wedlock, September 22, 1889
Eli M. Johnson and M.E.J. Hurley were joined in Holy Wedlock, June 1892
E.M. Lewis and Jessie Matthews were married September 9, 1917
Matthew B. Hurley departed this life Dec 25, 1860
The baby departed this life September 4, 1865
William M. Hurley departed this life 1905
W.A. Matthews departed this life March 19, 1886
Eli M. Johnson departed this life June 30, 1900
F.G. Hurley departed this life July 3, 1911
Annie O. Matthews departed this life January 7, 1901
E.A. Matthews departed this life December 25, 1910
Mary Ann Hurley departed this life October 11, 1926
Johnnie Mae departed this life November 24, 1936
John Garrett Matthews departed this life February 6, 1941
William Clement Matthews departed this life July 12, 1977
Both John Garrett Matthews and Mary Agnes Hurley were in Texas. The following are additional notes recorded in other sections of the Bible
John Garrett b. Jan 9, 1813 d. Jan 30, 1879 at age 66 years in Carancahua, Tx married Dec 5, 1839. To Theresa E. Guidry d. May 15, 1865 at 47 years age.
Sextus Garrett and Julia B. White were married Oct 13, 1858 (the recorder notes this was Uncle Walter’s father – great uncle Sextus the handwriting is similar to Aunt Jackies).
Leander Garrett and Catherine McDowel married May 14, 1856,
Sextus Garrett was born Dec 21, 1836.
R.R. Bolling and Cornelia M. Garrett were married Nov 15 AD 1866.
Opehelia E. Garrett was born Sept 27, 1842
Cornelia M. Garrett was born Mar 5, 1844
Odelia T. Garrett was born Aug 15, 1896
It is believed that the Pates (Mary Ann Pate Hurley) came to Texas from Tenn. about 1840.
The Wooden Bowl
It’s just a wooden bowl, not very fancy or smart. In fact, if you were to see it at a flea market, you might pick it up, for just a moment ... In size, it’s about 12 inches wide, 20 inches long and 3 inches deep. It might serve as a fruit bowl or maybe even to hold a shallow flower arrangement, but not much more. It’s not very regular in shape and has burn marks on the bottom, possibly from a hot stove. But there is not much unique to hold your attention so you would probably pass on by.
But if that bowl could only talk then it could tell its story.
Located on the bottom of the bowl, unnoticed by almost everyone in the family is faintly written a date, September 23, 1889. It was on this date that the bowl was given to John Garrett Matthews and Mary Agnes Hurley on the day after their marriage. John, at the age of 31, had decided to settle down and had been smitten by a neighbor girl Mary, age 22. Initially a cowboy, then a farmer, John was to spend most of his adult life as a father and teacher. They raised five girls and three boys. Every morning, Mary would prepare biscuits in the bowl for her family. Her children would always remember the sound of fingers scratching the wood as she kneaded the dough. After almost sixty years of faithful service, the old wooden bowl was retired to a place of honor in the family kitchen. John passed away in 1941 and Mary had asked her youngest surviving daughter and son-in-law to move in and take care of the house.
After Mary's passing in 1957, the remaining three girls and three boys gathered to decide how to divide the few material possessions. While there was not much of material value left behind, there was a great wealth of personal and moral values that had been imparted by John and Mary and shared by all. Numbers were put into a pot, and the first round was started. The youngest son, William (Bill), did not take part in the first round since he had already been given a violin that had belonged first to an Uncle (Leander Garrett) and then to John. The old wooden bowl was quickly taken by Clarence Garrett (C.G.) Matthews. Since Rachel Matthews (Bill's wife) had also expressed an interest in the bowl, C.G. promised the bowl to her "in his will". Some twenty-five years later, when C.G. and Myrtle were closing their house and moving to a retirement home, C.G. remembered his promise and gave the bowl to Rachel.
In addition to the wooden bowl, Bill and Rachel also had a picture of John and Mary taken on their wedding day as well as a very pretty cut glass bowl, also a wedding present. In the summer of 1991, these were passed on to Bill, Jr. It was not till then, that the inscription of the date on the bottom of the bowl was discovered. Since the printing is very clear and smooth, it is believed to have been written by Mary (John's writing was not very good).
So, this is the story of the old wooden bowl, not fancy or smart, but certainly dearly loved by the family ... and it will never be anywhere near a flea market or garage sale.
The remainders are the letters from the Children of John Garrett Matthews written to a young college student in the spring of 1963. These are a treasure trove of information preserved for later generations.
William Clement Matthews
William Clement was the oldest of the children of John and Mary. Of his generation, he was the only one to see military service, having served in World War I (in France). That was one part of his life that he would never discuss. He always went by a nickname or initials. To his siblings, he was usually "WC" or "Big Boy". To the nieces and nephews, he was "Uncle Bud". The other brothers were either too young for World War I or too old for World War II. One of the reasons that W.C. signed up to join was a request from his Grandfather, E.A. not to be conscripted. He was never one to worry about the less important things in life. This included letter writing and the mundane things called spelling, syntax, and so on. To preserve this, as much as possible, the following is his letter about himself, as it was written. The only omissions are the character overstrikes. Note that the letter contains one paragraph, spanning two pages. This is in loving memory of my Uncle Bud.
Billie you asked me to tell you about some of the most important things in my life,or a history of some of the events that it takes to make up a life like mine,I will now try to tell a few of them and might be you will be interested in some of them.I was like most folks born very young,born in bed and grew up around the house and in growing up I got into many scrapes,as all gentlemen of my disposition and stature,being rather wide and not too high,I think caused most of the things that happened to me.I started school at the old age of six years,and was so tired out of the things you have to put up with in school that at the age of,just barley,fifteen years,being fully qualified to do other things in my big way I set out to make my first million,I was all hepped up and did not get a bit discouraged in the effort(dont mind this dadblamed thing making mistales,just dont blame me)I had worked for a long time before I quit school and knew pretty well how to handle a team of horses and to plow,so that was my first job,I mean real job,I had done day work for several days before that for a meager salary,when we lived at the little place called Atascosa about three miles from Lytle,I worked for some of the farmers in the vicinty as they had need,I spent my some of my money for a 22 cal.rifle to kill rabbits with,we all seemed to likethe animals and consumed a lot of that kind of meat, your Daddy was quite young at that time,it being several months before he put in for his meal ticket,boy when he did,he was the most hoggish of all the children and that is the truth,he never got tired of eating,one time whe he was about two years,this us a part of his life,he had ear ache and no one including his mother could do hime any good,just bud,I was the only one that could help him, I was working at that time in a store in Lytle,Secrest' store,I came home about seven in the evening and had to take him,I put his ear down on my left arm and he immediately got quiet,I got out of milking the cows that way,he stayed there until yje next morning at four,every time I would try to get him down he wouldwake up and cry,so I just held him until his ear got easy.we had a lot of trials and troubles as we went along,I was six,going back a little,I took measles and was in bed when uncle C.G.fell into thefireplace and burned himself very badley,you have seen the bald place on the back of his head,that is what did it,we kids began to squeal and holler for Mama,she had gone to feed the hogs as Dady did not get in until very late,he was teaching school about three miles from home and ahd to walk home,or rather back and forth to his school so of course it was late before he got in,Mother came as fast as she could and when she got near the poarch she smelled the burning flesh and said she just nearly went put,she could barely make it in,she fely sure one of her desperadoes was burned up,well we or rather she and the neighbors found someoil and bound the burned place up and got him quieted down a bit,in the wildest part of the scramble I flounced around and fell off the bed very unin-tential like,well all I had to do was get back and make dick some more,well after a very short time he took the measles on top of his burn,he was then pretty well cooked up,I was up by that time and he wanted me to take him,I was then the only one could quiet him,so held him for a long spell,I was too young to remember just how long I didhold him,well in time the Dr. came and fixed him all up and he recivered very well.I also think every once in a while just how very good the dirt was up at Amphion,a very fine place where we lived and where the foregoing experiences took place,that is relating to measles and ### hogs ETC.I would take Dady's hatchet and ### cut up a good mess of it and did I enjoy eating.I have often wondered how it is fellows like some of us ever get grown,just by the graces of the Lord,Iam sure that is the only answer. After all the t rials of childhood and such I got big enough to get a real job so went to work in a garage,my first regular job was in 1914,I had worked with cars for several years before that but no regular job until that time, it was in Lytle,I guit the garage for a short time and worked for the MVICo. driving a car,the war came along and forced me to quit that and go to the army,I volunteered,i was not drafted,my Grandady Matthews on one occasion as he and I were talking of such asked me not to be conscripted,that was the term used at that time for enforced army service,it was changed to draft in the first world war,so in love and respect for him I volunteered for service I quit my jon on the afternoon of April sixth and walked home,I went in the house and my Mother was sewing on the machine in the front room of the house we lived in at what was known to us as coal mines,I told her I had quit my job and was going to join the army,she looked the worse I believe I ever saw her look,I felt very sorry that I had to tell her but it had to be done and she was the first one that I told,I caught the old bollweavil train thattook me to San Antonio and I was in the army almost before my breakfast had settled,we went to the valley,Mcallen,in May and stayed there until the following October, we then went to Ft Worth,I was in the second Texas National Guard infantry machine gun unit,the First,second,third and fourth Texas units combined there and made the thirty sixth division,in that unit we went to France in the spring of 1918,we landed in Brest,one of the largest harbors in France,we camped in the old Napoleonic gardens for three days and it was there I git my forst taste of horse meat,it was sweeter than beef but a lot coarser,did very well impressed with France,I dont mean it just that way,I mean not favorably impressed,the people have a very different view of what life is from ours,I suppose that is their preference and they like it that way,so if so they may have it for my part,I wouldnt give one foot in Texas for the whole dadblamed country. I got out of the army the third of July 1919,My Girl, known to you as aunt Gertrude,was in Hondo when I got home and she didnt know the day I would get in so I had to work ashenagan with her mother as Punkie had just called her mother that she would not come home for the fourth of July celebration,well I got her to call Punkie and tell her tocome home,I went with her father to meet her at Lacoste and lo and behold there was three girls came rolling off the train and I didnt know which one was mine,the old man was right there looking on and I could show no affection whatever even after I found out which was the one,well there was a very fine trip home,I was getting acquainted with my very fine sweetheart,God bless her she has been the most wonderful person all these years she is true blue in every way,I was pretty much all to pieces from my experience she took hold of me on June 2 1920 and with a loving hands and very sterling character I began to recuperate,i got my nerves pretty well settled down and am still alive,you know of a lot of the events for the last several years so will not relate them.we were married in Beeville Texas at he uncle John Sprouse's home,I was at the time working for Fred's garage,I got raised to $30.00 per week as soon as I got married,a very nice raise as I was getting only $25.00 per week,we lived in beeville in a furnished house that cost us $8.00 per month,think of that those prices will never come back I am sure,we moved from Beeville to Three Rivers five years later,we lived there until April 1941,we then went to San Antonio,in Three Rivers a very blessed event took place,the good Lord saw fit to give us a very fine baby girl to love and take care of,we were very thankful for her,in S.A.I worked for the Govt.at kelly field,I built airplane engines,in 1941 we came to finish our little girl up for a M.D.Now I believe you can guess a lot more or know all the latest of it,if there is anything else I can do for you let me know.I do not know of a lot of the history of my grandady Matthews,his army talk as always limited to certain things that did not pertain to any action,that is the way I feel about all that and do not even discuss certain things with my wife. I truly hope this will do you some good and if there are any questions you want to ask just write them to me and I will be very glad to do all I can to tell you the answers,we are syrely proud of your grades,keep them up.Mary's little fellows that are in school are doing fine.We have both been under the weather but are recovering very well now.with love to you.Trudy & bud.
Jessie Marian Matthews Lewis- March 25, 1963
I was born Jessie Marian Matthews at or near Amphion, Texas on December 2, 1896. I was a tiny baby - weight 5 lbs. but grew as normally as any child. I have always been very musical and since my earliest memories I wanted a piano. My parents bought a secondhand one from Groggen Brothers in San Antonio when I was about 15 years old I believe. I know I did cherish it and practiced every available moment thou in our large family there were many chores and I came in for a goodly share.
However, after three months of music I was able to go it alone. No, not alone, for my Dad was a very fine musician and his knowledge of time and rhythm was almost perfect.
I began to sense that boys were kind of nice when I was sixteen and at seventeen I had had several "friends". I met my wonderful husband, Ernest Monore Lewis, at a garden party in Lytle, Texas in the summer of 1916. The following May we were engaged to be married and did so the following September 9th at the old Methodist church at Lytle. My husband was not drafted into military service during the First World War because of defective hearing. (At the age of 66 - 1963 – he is very deaf.)
Our first child, a boy, was born at Lytle, Aug 4, 1918. He was named Clement Ernest. Orion Neeley was the second. He was born Feb. 5, 1920, at Beeville, Texas. I must mention here that Clement married Dorothy Miller of Robstown. They have a daughter and two sons - all adopted. Orion married Dorothy Reynolds of McAllen and three girls and one boy have been born to this union. Their oldest little girl was drowned accidentally when she was about three years old.
Mary Blanton, our only daughter, was also born at Lytle on Nov 2, 1921. She married Robert Bost of Robstown Jan 1, 1941. They have three sons.
John Matthews Lewis was our next son. Born at Three Rivers, Tex Oct 11th, 1928. He married Patricia Kay Salyer at Georgetown. They have three sons.
Our youngest was Clarence Earle born at Kingsville April 8th, 1938. He has not married thou will soon be twenty-five.
All our sons are in the ministry. Clem is pastor of First Methodist at Jal, New Mexico. Orion at First Methodist in Boerne, Texas. John, North Houston Church of Christ, Houston and Earle three churches known as the Valente circuit. These are near Austin and he lives in Austin.
Mary B. is a teacher in the school system at Leander, Texas. Her husband is the elementary principal there.
I have had a very uneventful life as far as fame is concerned, but it has been a very busy life. I hope it may be said of me as in Proverbs 10 C, 7th verse: "The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot."
We used to parse a sentence, which said: "The good that men do lives after them; the evil dies with them."
My father was a teacher for thirty years and so very thorough. He was a good man and a man of high principles. His mother died when he was eight years old and he grieved for her as long as he lived. He was born in Texas, near Houston, in 1858. Mother was born in Tennessee, I believe in 1876 (I'm not sure of this date). She was Mary Agnes Hurley. She joined the Methodist church to be with her family as there was no Church of Christ anywhere near. She lived a wonderful Christian all her life and was the most devoted wife and mother.
This is my story, Billie dear. Not one of fame or glory but one of love and devotion, of which a goodly share is for you.
Chips off the Old Block by Mamie Cornelia Matthews Lambert
Written in 1963
To the union of my maternal grandparents, Mary Ann Pate and Felix Grundy Hurley, were born Alice, Elizabeth Jane, Willie, Charles, and Mary Agnes. Elizabeth had a twin who died very early.
Mary Agnes, better known as "Mollie", or to her brother Charles, as "Dick" because she loved the outside activities, was my mother and fortunate was I to have such a one as she. This Hurley family were Tennessee-ans. Grandfather was a teacher. Most of what he learned came to him through earnest study of available books. He knew much of mathematics, astronomy, surveying, and various other things.
Grandmother was the baby of a very large family. An older brother carried her to school "piggy-back" for a several mile trip but her education was limited. She was a beautiful, sparkling eyed young miss and Felix Grundy thought so, too – he, with large blue eyes and curly hair and of quiet, thinking disposition. He was very friendly – always spoke to all he contacted.
The "Civil" War brought many hardships as he was away teaching much of the time. Grandmother never forgot how she spun, wove and sewed by hand her husband’s shirts -–all six of them, then laundered them and proudly hung them on the line to really pep them up. Upon hearing an unusual noise outside, she looked out and to her consternation, there were some "Yankee" soldiers walking away with all of them. These men raided their smokehouse taking their cured meat. The climax to this was reached when several men, including an officer, came and demanded the money she had – this was grandpa’s salary. She insisted she had none and at last, the officer jerked her about and they left with the threat that they would come back and she would be sorry. She gathered her children up and went out in the show there spending the night. She removed her petticoats to wrap the little ones. War is terrible!
Grandpa and Elizabeth – really named "Mildred Elizabeth Jane" both grew ill with malaria. They had heard good reports of Texas, so decided Grandpa and one child (which one, I can not recall) would come and see about a move. When it was decided they would, their old Black "Auntie" was very distressed, and plead "Oh, Miss Ma-an" (Mary Ann), "don’t go to that Texas. One of ‘dem’ norflins’ (northers) will get you." They came and lived first at or near Floresville and he was county surveyor and teacher. Afterward he had a general merchandise store at Ditto, now extinct, but was located near Poteet. After a while Grandpa retired and his son Charles took the store. About that time, the "White Caps" caused some anxiety. I can remember hearing Grandmother talking about them. I was very young but was uneasy about their activity. It seemed that these "White Caps" opposed the hiring of people not ‘white’. I later learned that Uncle Charley had received a threatening note about what would happen if he hired help other than white. He was both merchant and farmer and used other help. He went to S.A. and bought arms and armed several men but no attack was ever made. Both of these grandparents died at our home and their resting places are in the Lytle Cemetery. They are marked by neat stones.
Aunt Alice, adored big sister of the other girls, was married in Tenn. And, of course, remained in Covington, Tenn. After some years, she came to visit the family. She failed to tell them when she would arrive so when she got to San Antonio, she tried to get transportation out to Ditto. When she was asked where she wanted to go she said "Ditto", which was in "A-tãs’-Cõsã" county. No one knew such a place, which delayed her arrival. I was too young to remember her visit but it meant so much to the Hurley family. I wish I could have known her. She died long before our Mother went home.
Now, we shall look at the other side of the present family – that is the Matthews forebears. E.A. Matthews was born in Alabama, the son of Loderick and Mary Harrell Matthews. E. A. went to Arkansas – later coming to Edna, Texas. He spent some time as a student in Baylor University when it was located at Independence. He married Ophelia Emily Garrett. To this union, John Garrett Matthews, Willie and Lorena were born in the order mentioned. Then came the war between the states and Grandfather went into the service for the four years. He was in a number of battles serving as a lieutenant during these years. He was very ill with typhoid and complications and word reached his young family that he was dead but they learned better to their great joy. His regiment came to Houston once and all of the family and other relatives met him there for a short time. It was a joyful time when the time came that the soldiers could return home but our Dad, John Garrett, tho very young, remembered the tears that were shed at the re-union – tears of joy for having their beloved ones home again but this was intermixed with tears of sorrow over their loss of the cause they had defended and the chaos and destruction they faced in the homes they had left. Little Lela Grace came to brighten the home of Grandfather Allen and grandmother Ophelia but only for a brief time. After her death grandmother became very ill and she and the children went to her father’s home as he was a doctor, of those days, but she worsened and soon went to her heavenly Father’s home. At last the children were kept again in their grandfather’s home for a time.
Later on Grandfather remarried but they could never forget their earlier, carefree lives in their Grandfather’s home where they had spent most of their time. The realities of life, caring for their own needs and the absence of their own mother depressed them – that is John and his brother Willie. Their mother had requested that their sister. Lorena, be kept in the Grandfather’s home where her Aunts remained for a while. She was later sent to a Convent when the Aunts married. [This is incorrect, in 1880 she was living with her Aunt Nellie and Uncle Robert Bolling, and in 1882 married Joseph Jordan.] The brothers missed her – after they were much older our Dad seemed to think of her as a precious jewel – so to speak.
At about the age of sixteen, the boys were sent to "college" at Concrete. Uncle Willie did not stay long but Dad went back for a second term, I think. He had to work for his board, etc and this was hard work such as cutting down trees which he did in the mornings then to dinner bell he answered the call for noon and to studies and classes in the afternoon. For a youngster that was, day after day, a hard life. I remember he said that he failed to hear the bell occasionally and when he got back – after information from his tummy, dinner was over and he had very little to eat. He grew discouraged and went home. I heard him say in later life, that he wished he had gone on any way.
Some time after that and when his father had left that area to come to what is now Somerset, he decided to come out to Somerset – his method of travel was, mostly, horseback. He made some horse trades on the way thereby keeping fresh horses for the trip. Later on he went up the trail driving cattle but I think he never went all the way to Kansas. Those were surly adventures full of muddy experiences, swimming cattle thru swollen streams, getting them out of bogs, etc. He gave up the project after some experiences.
At Somerset he became a member of the brass band and that, music of any kind, as surely a "first love" of his. He played the Cornet, B, I believe. He said his lips were too thick for some of the wind instruments. He was in charge of this band for some time during the absence of his regular bandmaster, who he admired very much. He also "fiddled" he said. He did not know the technique of that instrument but in his later days, he practiced the wrist movement, which he observed other violinists using, and learned to do that but he siad he could not use the full length of the bow. He had music in his soul. Even after days of hard work, he would come in after the evening meal and sit down and play, sometimes patting his feet and if the music was real lively, his dark eyes would get a little wider open and about the time he got to the end of the piece, he would break out in a big laugh and say, "Oh, pshaw".
When radios were rather an uncommon thing in the home, we bought one for him and mother. How he enjoyed that! If the family was home and wanted to visit, he put on earphones and listened to the music – some of it would have tired me but he loved it all. He would, after days of real hard work, sit up when all the others were asleep, just enjoying it to the limit and then was awake and up listening very early in the morning. I think we children could never have added more to his pleasure, in any way, than that gift. While he was thus engaged, Mother sat near by the warm glow of coals in the old fireplace and read a good book or magazine or crocheted.
The family when at home gathered about the piano with Jessie as pianist and Dad playing the violin, part of the time, and enjoyed singing. Ours was a happy home. We all worked – yes – but that’s the only way to be truly happy in the home or elsewhere, that I know of.
Well, here I am telling about things that occurred in the family later in life – guess I had better back up and get them married before I go any farther.
Dad finally began to look around for a fair young damsel to his liking and he was working on the McKinnon ranch at Toby in Aatascosa Co. He found this young lady in Aqua Negro or later Ditto. His old pony soon learned the way over to the F. G. Hurley home and after overcoming some competition there, he grew very bold and made love to her but she was rather a quiet, timid young lady, so these overtures had to be repeated several times until she, at last, said ‘yes’. Soon came the wedding band ring and he studied out the speech he planned to make and the plan he had was to have a kiss to "seal this promise" when he put the ring on her finger. Well, it all went over except the last, he did not ask to kiss her. The date was set, the plans made, the preacher dated and much cooking was done, and all things were made ready but no preacher, so the "Justice of Peace" was called to do the knot tying. When Dad went in to speak to Mother just before the ceremony, Dad went up to her and said he wanted to kiss her which he proceeded to do and that mischievous Uncle Charlie had followed Dad. He just swung around on his heels and gave a loud laugh. How’s that compared with today’s customs?
The next morning at breakfast, Dad’s ‘boss’ told him that he had a cow and calf for ‘his wife’ but he was not going to give him one for he would not stop smoking. Incidentally, Dad said later to us, that he smoked very little in Mother’s presence but that he "had a cigarette at the end of his nose" all the time after leaving Mother’s for that fourteen mile ride back to his home. In reply to the bosses remark about withholding his "wedding gift", Dad asked him if he could smoke the new bag of tabacco bought especially for that time. The answer was "No, you stop right now if you get the cow and calf" so Dad passed his smoking equipment across the table to young Dr. McGirk, who boarded with the Hurleys. Dad said that he dreamed of lying under a tree with smoke curling upward towards the heavens and oh! What a good time he was having. He lost all desire for smoking afterward. I often heard him say he thought he would not be alive had he kept on smoking for it "had damaged his throat and bothered his heart also", he thought.
To this union were born five daughters and three sons. Annie, the oldest was a dear sweet little girl – a little mother to the younger ones, very studious and all parents could wish. She was, at the age of ten, stricken with typhoid and died, although Dad and Mother had two good doctors tending her. Scientific knowledge has developed such wonderful things since that time!!
I, Mamie, came next, then Clement better known as "Bud", then Jessie, called by Grandpa Matthews Jesamine, then Mildred, Clarence, Johnnie Mae and William Allen or "Bill" for Dad’s beloved brother. Since I am to write about me, particularly, I had better get at that hard task now, I suppose --- a poor subject will perhaps become a dull article but please try to endure.
I was born at Ditto – there were no telephones so Dad rode "Old Pete" fourteen miles each way to get the doctor. I had already made my arrival by the time he and the doctor got there. I suppose I was just another little addition to the family, July 15, 1892.
It was not ‘til after I was born, Mother said that Dad decided to become a schoolteacher. He taught first at Ditto and had some of his classmates in the "Summer Normal" schools as students. He sat ‘till far in the night working on problems in arithmetic so he could keep ahead of his pupils. Mother said often at one or two a.m. she would awake and he was still working. She often said, "Why don’t you go to bed and rest; then you can solve it easier" and it worked out easily when his mind was clear. I was put in school at the age of five in order that Dad would have an average attendance of forty-eight pupils and thereby have an assistant. I remember how pleased I was to have a young lady as my teacher but I soon fell out with her because she kept me on the first assignment in the reader which was the first six letters ‘till I was tired of it and especially so, because she let my pal, who was older than I, advance to another group of letters. I insisted I knew them – that I did not ‘even have to look at them to say them’ – well, as time went on, I did learn them. Schools were not classified, as to grades so I was in "classes", later on with larger children in reading and spelling. I just loved "spelling matches". But that arithmetic – those awful multiplication tables.
When I was eight years of age, Mother became gravely ill and this lasted several years. I learned some of the realities of life; how to do a bit of cooking, bed making and even made clothes for the younger children – these I did from ten to twelve years of age. Dad would do the breakfast then he went out to work., Bud cried when Mother told him to dry dishes – he said that was a "girls work" and Jessie did the churning with the old earthen churn and dasher. I know she grew tired nut no complaint. Mildred and C.G. were too short for such. Mother would raise up partly in bed and block out little dresses, etc and I sewed them for the little sisters. I got a "reputation" for sewing and was asked to do sewing for little Mexican children on the ranch and I did several little dresses for them.
Early in my life, I had a desire to be a teacher. At the age of thirteen, I went to Pleasanton to "sit in" on a "Teachers Institute" with Dad. When I was sixteen, two of my classmates, both older than I, went from Tinsley school where Dad had taught, to San Antonio to attend the ‘Summer Normal’ and I wanted so much to go. They both took state ‘exams’ for teachers and passed. Dad said he was afraid I would fail and become discouraged = no danger of that latter effect on me but the family finances would have been depleted worse than ever, if possible. The next year we were out at the Coal Mine school where we later bought the home and spent a good part of out time with that as the "home campfire". When school opened there Dad had me working with the littlest fellows, there were many. Our County School Supt. Came in a few weeks and he inquired of Dad what my ambition was then told us he as going out to Devine to plan the beginning of a new school and he would recommend me to them. He said I could take the next examination and try for a certificate. The trustee came up and talked with me and I was to begin school right away and take Teachers exam in about three weeks for a certificate. I took tests, if I remember correctly, in seventeen studies in two days time. I was happy when that ordeal came to a close. My salary of $45 with board at $8 per month, had the appearance of a huge mountain to me. I was now seventeen. I taught twenty-six years. I liked to teach tho going to school so much in summer gave little time for rest. Nell was my last school and before that I had always taught, with a few exceptions, somewhere in the primary department; however when I was called to Nell to finish an unexpired term, the School Board urged me to take the Principal’s place and Jackie said she would take the primary and we had an intermediate teacher. This was a very satisfying type of work to me. The places I was in the longest were Atascosa, five years, Lytle for five and Natalea for four and Nell for a little over three years. Our dear little Jackie grew very ill and we lost her during that time. We were teaching together. During two summers I worked as assistant to the Assistant Cashier in the Lytle State bank. I suppose my position there would be called "flunky" but I did post the ledger and such as that after a few days of coaching. I offered to work without pay just to learn. The Assistant Cashier was going to marry and the boss man, Mr. Gidley, asked me to succeed her but I decided to stay with teaching.
I was teaching at Nell when a certain preacher came into the picture and on Feb 28, 1938 we were married. I am proud to have had the opportunity to be, I hope, some small help in promoting the work of the "Kingdom". My only lament is that I could see less and less and had too much pain to read and study and be the help I so wanted to be. We both do work in the church as much as we can – in fact, he does some of mine in my stead. I am sure I would never have found anyone that would be more understanding and considerate of my inability than he. We have a comfortable home and shall continue doing as long as possible.
I have no words to express my love and gratitude to my parents for what their lives and examples were to me. No children ever had better parents than we.
Mildred Alice Matthews Steele - April 24, 1963
The Bible says that I was born Mildred Alice March 7, 1899 at Amphion, Atascosa Co., Texas to John Garrett Matthews and Mary Agnes Hurley Matthews. Beside my parents there were Annie Ophilia, Mamie Cornelia, William Clement, and Jessie Marrian to welcome me. They did not send me back and here I still am and sixty-three!
As Dad was a country schoolteacher, we were constantly on the move it seemed. Certainly not more than any other teacher but "turn over" in those days was extensive. One of the moves evidently took us to Plesanton, Texas where I became a little "new starter" in school, so mother told me. I did not go very long, Mother also said, and that was one of life' experiences that psychologists would say I did not enjoy for I have no recollection of Miss Maud Brown, the teacher! (Could have been I was somebody's dumb child!) After Pleasonton, came Benton school where Dad was principal for two years of one of the best schools in the area. There were many grown young people who attended this school. Since I was a little child I was in the "little room." Mr. Allen Taylor and Mr. Walter Jones (later Representative Jones - Atascosa Co.) were my teachers. My brother Clarence Garrett Matthews was also in the "little room." Much of his studying was done flat on his stomach on the floor with a kerosene lantern for his light. He evidently absorbed much information for he has been a very successful teacher for many years. My next school attended was at Atascosa, Bexar Co., Texas. Miss Nora Edwards, now Mrs. Winfred Bush, was my teacher. Again, I do not remember any factual information she gave us but she was kind and honorable and often those lessons were of more value than book knowledge.
After Atascosa, Dad moved his family to the Coal Mines (Aug 1909) school area two miles from Lytle. Then I was in the "big" room and Dad was my teacher. We other children were joined in the school by another little sister, Johnnie Mae.
After Coal Mines Dad taught at La Coste for two years. The first year Jessie and I stayed with him in the teacherage as we were high school timber. The second year Dad moved his family to La Coste. La Coste was a German town with no Protestant church and as Dad was a devout Methodist he and Mother decided to move us back to our own home as they, with Aunt Nellie Bolling's help, had bought the little house that Mr. Frank Riley had provided for the "teacher's folk." It was not big enough to dance a jig in as there was another newcomer - the last one - William Allen Matthews. And what a baby he was! We all petted him greatly. He was ten years and one month to the day my junior. I used to leave off the ten years and tell him I was one month older than he. Of course that puzzled the little "youngun." I was his official diaper washer but I did not mind! He was the baby!
Now in that little three room house there was nine of us and much of the time Grandpa Allen Matthews was with us. (Our oldest sister had died when I was the baby so there were seven children).
That was a happy home. We all could "carry tunes", Dad played the fiddle, Brother (William Clement) also played a little, and Jessie played the piano. Later, Mamie and Johnnie Mae both played and so there was always music. Hog killing time was a big event - there was much hard work for Mother was a champion lard maker but we all had a licking good time and after the day's work was done nothing was nicer than sitting around the fireplace and singing or hearing Dad tell tales of his early life, nature's beauty and a happy home life was certainly ours.
The last of my school years was spent in Lytle High School. Prof. J.J. Johnson was our supt. He was a "Yankee" but a mighty fine one and he had made a real school out of a sorry beginning. From Lytle High I took the State Board Examinations (1918) and passed. This was only made possible by the splendid tutoring of my Dad. Mamie went with me to Hondo, the county seat of Medina County, where a very grilling set of examinations were finally dispensed with by a very frightened girl: me. Mr. Soathoff, Co. Supt. Insisted that I let my papers be graded by the County Board as he had a great need for teachers and he offered me a school. This school was Kincheloe Prairie and Miss Hulda Langfeld and I were the teachers. I was employed to teach the Mexicans but one morning Mr. Braden, head of the household where I boarded and main trustee, told me after much giggling that he had told "them kids" that I was sick and would not be back and that I was to go to the other school and help Miss Langfeld. Poor little Mexican children! Perhaps they were no worse off for in thinking back I realize I knew how to do only one thing well: keep them quiet! The first day I drew pay from the state of Texas for teaching at the magnanimous salary of $55.00 was Nov. 11, 1918, Armistice Day. Brother was "over there" and our family was irreconcilable; it was a great rejoicing for us all.
After Kincheloe, I taught at La Coste three years, then one year at Dunlay, another little Medina Co. community. It was while teaching at Dunlay that I took my first horseback ride. The little one room county schoolhouse had, at one time, been in the small town but constant complaining by those parents who thought it was not centered in the district had caused friction among the patrons. One morning daylight showed the amazed residents of the town the schoolhouse jacked up from its foundation and all ready to ride out nearer the center of the district. It was deposited on a blue bonnet hill just one mile from town. Since this was an unhoused school the teacher, of course, had to stay in town. This I did. This particular winter of 1922-1923 was a bad one with much rain and freezing weather. The heaviest snow I ever saw in this part of Texas fell that winter too. Much of the time the teacher and eight little youngsters hogged to school. One particular day the creek was running when "the teacher" waded through, alone that morning. At about evening recess time one of the big boys looked out the window and said, "Miss Matthews, here comes Uncle John riding old Grey and leading old Brown" (Uncle John was a seventy-six oldster who lived with the family where I roomed and out of the kindness of his heart he had come to take me home.) I was almost petrified for I knew I could never ride old Brown. The children began clamoring to stay and see us take off but I said "no" in my most authoritative tones and hustled them out o their various conveyances. Mow another problem arose. It was the days of tight skirts and how in the world to get me on old Grey. (I had positively refused to ride Brown.) Finally, Uncle John pulled old Grey to the tiny poach and while I pulled, he pushed from the posterior and I landed on the saddle! I took a rein in either hand and hoped Grey would understand. He didn't! Poor thing, he did not know how to proceed that way anymore than I did. Uncle John tried to get me to kick him; I wouldn't; then finally, in desperation as it was raining in sluices, he took the reins over the head of old Grey and let off for town on old Brown in a high gallop.
My problems increased with every jump for it seemed to me I would hit the sky one jump and land somewhere on the saddle with the next. It must have been a hilarious sight to the patrons with their faces framed in every window as we careen by for I had an umbrella under one arm, my brother's watch in one hand, and I clung desperately to the saddle horn with the other hand! When we got home I said weakly, "How will I get down?" Uncle John answered, "Well, I guess you will just have to fall down." I did.
From Dunlay I taught at Atascosa one year. Dad had taught successfully at La Caste and Atascosa and I was happy to follow him, though much later. I was asked to apply at Lytle. Then followed seven good years. From Lytle I went to Devine. Then to Macdona where I was paid fifteen dollars more a month - which was $100 salary. We, Mamie, Clarence, Johnnie Mae, Bill, and I were all teaching and struggling to go to school in the summer in order to work on degrees. This was surely up-hill business - College was no fun to us as we had so little money to go on. Every summer of the world it was necessary to borrow money to go to school then the next year we worked to pay that back.
On June 22, 1933 I was married to Mr. A.E. Hester who was the lumberyard owner. Mr. Hester had one daughter, Kathleen. She later married D.D Walker and they had one child John Earl. Mr. Walker had a daughter by a former marriage, Martha. Mr. Hester was a good and honorable man and a thoughtful husband. He passed away on May 16, 1946.
In this interim, Bill had married Rachel Johnston, Mamie had married Rev S.D. Lambert, Johnnie Mae had died in 1937 and Dad followed her in 1941. This left Mother alone in her little home, which had been built for her and Dad in 1938. Here they had celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary Sept 22, 1939.
Mrs. Ing, a wonderful woman and Clarence's Mother-in-law, came to live with Mother. This was a happy alliance for six years. After Mr. Hester's death the whole family insisted that I move down with Mother. This I did after making additions and improvements to mother's place.
I went to work keeping books in the Walker store - and as Mrs. Walker had hired the lumber yard this was quite a job as the business not only was the store and lumber yard, but a locker and market were included. At first my biggest headache was keeping a balance in sugar credit at the bank as this was still rationed after World War II. After two years, business had slowed so much that I insisted that Mr. Walker cut his force and I thought that I was the logical one to quit. This I did. After three weeks I started keeping books for Lytle Radio and Electronics Co. I held this job for five months when I found myself in love with a wonderful man, Howard Lee Steele. We were married Aug 15, 1949. Howard had one daughter Doris Hellen who married Bill L. Stratton. They have three children: Lee Richard, Cheri Gay, and Leslie Ann and they are my children and could not be more dear to me. They seem to love "Grandmother" also.
This autobiography, if it can be so designated, is not very lengthy nor is it cleverly done but it does represent some of my thinking of the yesteryears. Certainly I can lay no claim to fame or beauty and wealth has consistently eluded me but I have tried to live by the words of Michah when he said "What does the Lord require of thee but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God."
The Bolling Family
In John Garrett Matthews’ story are several mentions of Aunt Nellie and Uncle Bob Bolling. The painting of Loderick Matthews and his family Bible were in the possession of Enid Bolling in 1964. In 1959, Ruth J. Bolling wrote a book called "Tales of a Texas Ranch". It was published by the Taylor Company of San Antonio, TX and is now out of print but can be found from rare book dealers over the internet. The book describes several generations of the Bollings and their migrations from Virginia to Mississippi to Louisiana to California and finally to Texas.
The story begins in the summer of 1807 near the Norway River in Virginia where Samuel Pryor Bolling and Nancy Willis Elliott (age 13) are married on Aug 12, 1807. Samuel was the son of Alexander and Mary Pryor Bolling. Their children were John Alexander, Richard Elliott, Harriett, and Mildred.
I. John Alexander Bolling
The oldest son, John’s marriage to Lucy Burwell Turnbull Randolph on Aug 12, 1888 was recorded at the local church where an additional note stated that they moved to Mississippi. The marriage was at the home of Mrs. Peggy Randolph (Brunswick Co) VA. John and Lucy lived in Warren Co, MS, near Vicksburg. They had five sons, Samuel Edwards, Thomas Elliott, John Alexander, Robert Randolph, and William Elliott, and then one daughter, Margaret Ann. In 1846, they move to Tensas parish, LA where three more boys are born. Of these, only one (Frederick) survived. Lucy died in childbirth with the last child on Aug 16, 1848. One of Lucy’s brothers took five year old Margaret Ann and Fredrick and moved into the home of Robert Randolph. After the death of his wife, John took the five older boys and moved to California. There he used his skills to hunt and sold the meat to miners, often making more money than the gold miners. After outbreaks of yellow fever in New Orleans, he returned to assist the family. The oldest son, Samuel remained to take care of the business. On July 23, 1853 Fredrick died of yellow fever. John and his sons again returned to California. This time, he stopped in Texas and bought a heard of Cattle, which they drove back to California.
After remaining in California to take care of the family business, on July 22, 1856 Samuel Edward died at the age of 26.
Thomas fought in the Civil War and was badly injured in the right arm. He never fully recovered. He lived for a while in Mississippi where he married Susan Eugenia Scott on March 4, 1869. Their first son, Robert Scott Bolling was born in Mississippi. Thomas and Sue, along with Sue’s father move to Fannin Co, TX near the Red River. While there five more boys are born, but only three survive. After outbreaks of malaria, they move to Comanche Co, TX.
Census Place: Precinct 6, Fannin, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255303 National Archives Film T9-1303 Page 497A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Thos. E. BOLLING Self M M W 47 MS
Occ: Farmer Fa: VA Mo: VA
Susan E. BOLLING Wife F M W 34 MS
Occ: Teacher Fa: VA Mo: MS
Robt. S. BOLLING Son M S W 9 MS
Fa: MS Mo: MS
John W. BOLLING Son M S W 7 TX
Fa: MS Mo: MS
Richard E. BOLLING Son M S W 4 TX
Fa: MS Mo: MS
At the time of the Civil War, John Alexander, Jr. married a young widow, Mrs. Jane A. Clary in Jackson Co, TX. John enlisted in Company K, 2nd Texas Infantry and was killed at the battle of Corinth, MS on Oct 3, 1862 at the age of 28. There were two children: Alfred and Lucy Randolph (b: May 1, 1862 – d: April 8, 1887). Based on the 1880 census, Mrs. Jane A Clary had one son, William H. Clary, prior to her marriage to John A. Bolling. After John’s death, she married Mr. Biorses (who died prior to the census) and had one son, B. Byram Biorses.
Census Place: Precinct 2, Jackson, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255313 National Archives Film T9-1313 Page 86C
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Jane A. BIORSES Self F W W 50 NY
Occ: Farmer Fa: NY Mo: NY
B. Byram BIORSES Son M S W 9 TX
Fa: KY Mo: NY
William H. CLARY Son M S W 27 TX
Occ: Farmer Fa: AR Mo: NY
J. Alfred BOLLING Son M S W 20 TX
Occ: At School Fa: MS Mo: NY
Lucy R. BOLLING Dau F S W 18 TX
Occ: At Home Fa: MS Mo: NY
W. Barney SAMS Other M S W 29 SC
Occ: Works On Farm Fa: GA Mo: SC
Alfred Bolling married Amelia Louise Hensley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hensley. They had eight children. The oldest, Thomas Jones Bolling married Annie Enid Laughter. This is Aunt Enid who had the painting of Loderick Matthews.
It is not known if the Henry Hensley in the following 1880 census is the correct family.
Census Place: Precinct 1, Calhoun, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255294 National Archives Film T9-1294 Page 319C
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Henry HENSLEY Self M M W 39 SAXONY
Occ: Stockman Fa: SAXONY Mo: SAXONY
Martha HENSLEY Wife F M W 36 S.C.
Occ: Keeping House Fa: S.C. Mo: S.C.
Mary HENSLEY Dau F S W 13 TX.
Occ: At School Fa: SAXONY Mo: S.C.
Emelia HENSLEY Dau F S W 11 TX.
Occ: At School Fa: SAXONY Mo: S.C.
Laval HENSLEY Son M S W 9 TX.
Occ: At School Fa: SAXONY Mo: S.C.
Henry HENSLEY Son M S W 6 TX.
Occ: At School Fa: SAXONY Mo: S.C.
Tips HENSLEY Son M S W 4 TX.
Occ: At School Fa: SAXONY Mo: S.C.
Mattie HENSLEY Dau F S W 2 TX.
Fa: SAXONY Mo: S.C.
Mary THOMPSON Other F M B 42 MD.
Occ: Servant Fa: MD. Mo: MD.
Charles DUTART Other M S W 33 S.C.
Robert served in Company B, Waller’s Battalion, Green Brigade, Confederate Army. The Texanna girls made a flag to give to the boys. The girls voted to determine who would present the flag and Miss Cornelia Mary Garrett won. As a result of her speech, she and Robert began writing. As a result, they were married on Nov 18, 1869. Everyone knew her as Aunt Nettie and Robert as Uncle Bob. Robert died June 5, 1894 and was buried a few miles south of Edna in a Garrett family cemetery. Aunt Nettie lived out the remainder of her life with John and Ruth Bolling, the author of the book.
In the 1880 census, their name was recorded as Balling rather than Bolling. Also, Lorena Ophelia Matthews is now living with her Aunt Nellie since her grandfather Garrett died Jan 30, 1879.
Census Place: Precinct 2, Jackson, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255313 National Archives Film T9-1313 Page 85A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Robert R. BALLING Self M M W 44 MS
Occ: Farmer Fa: VA Mo: VA
Cornelia M. BALLING Wife F M W 36 LA
Occ: Keeping House Fa: LA Mo: LA
Lorna O. MATTHEWS Niece F S W 18 TX
Occ: At Home Fa: AR Mo: LA
Charles WHITNEY Other M S W 21 TX
F. Margaret Ann Bolling
In 1858 Margaret Ann married at the home of Robert Randolph with her Aunt Harriett Feilds near by. Robert Randolph decided to try ranching and moved to Jackson Co, TX where he had relatives. He found land in-between the forks of Matagorda Bay and Carancahua Bay. There the Randolphs made many friends, including Uncle "Maj" (Leander) Garrett. Also, in Sep. 1859 John Alexander Bolling marries a window, Mrs. Harriett E. McDowell and they end up in Jackson Co, TX near Robert Randolph.
II. Richard Elliott Bolling
The second child, Richard Elliott is described as an outdoorsman. He migrated to Mississippi and the returned to Virginia during the Civil War. In 1875 he moved to North Texas to live with a nephew who’s home was near the Red River, possibly Fannin Co. He died in May 1876. He never married.
Alexander and Mary Pryor Bolling
Samuel Pryor Bolling (b: - d: Before Aug 1833) and Nancy Willis Elliott (b: 1794 – d:),
married Aug 12, 1807.
John Alexander Bolling ( b: - d: Sep 18, 1900)– married: 1st. Lucy Burwell Turnbull Randolph (b: - d: Aug 16, 1848) on Aug 12, 1888; 2nd. Mrs. H. E. McDowell in Sep 1859
Samuel Edwards Bolling (b: 1829 – d: July 22, 1856)
Thomas Elliott Bolling (b: 1832) married Susan Eugenia Scott on Mar 4, 1869
Robert Scott Bolling
John William Bolling
Roscoe Randolph Bolling
John Alexander Bolling (b: 1834 – d: Oct 3, 1862) – married Mrs. Jane A. Clary
Alfred Bolling married Amelia Louise Hensley
Thomas Jones Bolling – married Annie Enid Laughter
John A. Bolling, Jr.
Robert Elliott Bolling
Mattie Louise Bolling
Margaret Amelia Bolling
Level Hensley Bolling
Henry Randolph Bolling
Lucy Randolph Bolling (b: May 1, 1862 – d: April 8, 1887)
Robert Randolph Bolling (b: 1836 – d: Jun 5, 1894) married Cornelia Mary Garrett on Nov 18, 1869.
William Elliott Bolling (b: 1838
Margaret Ann Bolling (b: 1843)
Frederick Bolling (b: - d: July 23, 1853)
Richard Elliott Bolling (b: - d: May 1876)
Harriett Bolling – married 1st: Dr. Feilds;
2nd. Thomas Thweatt Jones
The Laughter Family
From "Texas Family Land Heritage Registry First Edition 1974", published by the Texas Department of Agriculture, John C. White, Commissioner, page 74-75.
Laughter Farm – 1864, six and one-half miles north of Edna.
Founder: William Pearson Laughter of Mississippi
1974 Owners: John Gordon Laughter, Jr. and Mrs. Hubert Ratliff, Edna.
William P. Laughter, a lawyer who studied at Salem and Oxford Colleges and the University of Mississippi, came to Texas with other families in 1858-1859. Their three boats landed at Indianola, and they unloaded families, slaves and enough lumber to build a two-story house near Morales. William P. Laughter and Sarah Kerr married September 14, 1864, while he was on furlough from the Confederate Army. They built a home on two leagues of Kerr land and raised cotton, corn, sugar cane, and cattle. Mrs. Laughter died in 1868 and Mr. Laughter married Lavonia Pumphrey in 1871. Their son, John Gordon Laughter, inherited 118 acres of the land, and the present owners, John Gordon Laughter and Mrs. Hubert Ratliff (Anna Lee Laughter), were born on the farm. Today they raise cattle and improved grasses on the farm.
Census Place: Precinct 1, Jackson, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255313 National Archives Film T9-1313 Page 77B
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
George MENEFEE Self M M W 64 TN
Occ: Farmer Fa: TN Mo: TN
Letetia D. MENEFEE Wife F M W 52 MS
Occ: Keeping House Fa: GA Mo: NC
George MENEFEE Son M M W 33 TX
Occ: Farming Fa: TN Mo: MS
Mollie V. MENEFEE DauL F M W 21 TX
Occ: Keeping House Fa: TN Mo: AR
Thomas C. MENEFEE GSon M S W 8M TX
Fa: TN Mo: TX
George H. LAUGHTER GSon M S W 6 TX
Fa: MS Mo: TX
Sarah INGRAM Other F S B 12 TX
Occ: Cook Fa: MO Mo: MO
Census Place: Precinct 3, Jackson, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255313 National Archives Film T9-1313 Page 95A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
M. N. LAUGHTER Self M W W 64 NC
Fa: NC Mo: NC
Robt. F. LAUGHTER Son M S W 22 MS
Occ: Farmer Fa: NC Mo: NC
T. E. LAUGHTER Dau F S W 17 TX
Occ: Keeping House Fa: NC Mo: NC
E. G. LAUGHTER Dau F S W 14 TX
Occ: At Home Fa: NC Mo: NC
Census Place: Precinct 3, Jackson, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255313 National Archives Film T9-1313 Page 95A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
G. H. LAUGHTER Self M M W 25 MS
Occ: Farmer Fa: NC Mo: NC
C. E. LAUGHTER Wife F M W 20 TX
Occ: Keeping House Fa: KY Mo: MO
A. H. LAUGHTER Son M S W 6M TX
Occ: At Home Fa: MS Mo: TX
Census Place: Precinct 3, Jackson, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255313 National Archives Film T9-1313 Page 95A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
T. L. LAUGHTER Self M M W 32 MS
Occ: Farmer Fa: NC Mo: NC
Clara E. D. LAUGHTER Wife F M W 24 TX
Occ: Keeping House Fa: --- Mo: ---
Mabel Lee LAUGHTER Dau F S W 5 TX
Occ: At Home Fa: MS Mo: TX
James THOMAS Other M S B 17 TX
Occ: Hired Farm Laborer Fa: MS Mo: VA
Census Place: Precinct 4, Jackson, Texas
Source: FHL Film 1255313 National Archives Film T9-1313 Page 104A
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
W. P. LAUGHTER Self M M W 40 MS
Occ: Farmer Fa: NC Mo: MS
Lavonia LAUGHTER Wife F M W 27 TX
Occ: Keeping House Fa: AL Mo: GA
Sallie LAUGHTER Dau F S W 12 TX
Occ: At Home Fa: MS Mo: TX
P. M. LAUGHTER Son M S W 7 TX
Occ: At Home Fa: MS Mo: TX
Alma LAUGHTER Dau F S W 5 TX
Occ: At Home Fa: MS Mo: TX
W. P. LAUGHTER Son M S W 2 TX
Occ: At Home Fa: MS Mo: TX
R. P. LAUGHTER Son M S W 5M TX
Occ: At Home Fa: MS Mo: TX
The Garrett Family
This section was provided by Bob McBride, of Corpus Christi, TX.
The earliest found record in the search for Garrett ancestors exists in Hebert's(?) early volume. Noted is the death of Jean Garot in 1801. Jean was born in Ireland, and married to Elizabeth. They had at least one child -- Joshua Garrett and possibly another child named Jacob.
Joshua Garrett was a first-year volunteer in the Continental Army -- enlisting as one of seventeen gunners in the 4th Artillery Regiment of South Carolina on February 8, 1776. He was promoted to mattress on November 26, 1776. Their first battle -- against Earl Cornwallis's polished troops -- ended in a bloody defeat. After his one-year's service, he temporarily returned to his father's business. In 1778 he refused to join the state militia and was imprisoned for six months due to that refusal.
Upon his release, Joshua Garrett joined General Prevost, but finding it impossible to stay at home, he fled to North Carolina until Charleston's conquest by the British in 1780. He then joined the British army under Lord Cornwallis, and marched with him to Yorktown. Garrett was often employed on secret service. In 1782 he became an ensign in the King's Florida Rangers.
After the Revolutionary War, Joshua Garrett settled in Preston, Nova Scotia. British Court was set up in Nova Scotia to accept claims from the Loyalists. Garrett claimed a loss of 1,498 Sterling and was awarded 180 Sterling.
Sometime between 1782 and 1790, Joshua Garrett moved to the Spanish-French Louisiana Territory (Attakapas Post). Because the Original Acts of that area hold record of his father's death in 1801, Joshua's parents probably came to Louisiana with him. While there, Joshua married Rachelle Melon (Rachel Meloncan), originally from Maryland and widow of Irish-born Patrick Frank (Francois) Clark of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Garrett family then moved south to the Bayou Salee (later becoming known as St. Mary [or Martin?] Parish), where he established the Garrett Plantation.
The Garretts owned cattle in Louisiana, as evidenced by cattle brands registered by Joshua and his two children in 1798.
In 1812, Joshua Garrett, with his sons and relatives, joined the Baker's Louisiana Militia to aid in the Battle of New Orleans under Andrew Jackson. In that same year, Joshua died.
According to the old records of the St. Mary Parish area, the Garretts and neighboring Nicholsons were leaders in community affairs. In 1801, Catherine Garrett married the Nicholson's only son Rufus.
The Garrett Family of St. Mary Parish
by Mary Elizabeth Sanders
Usually it comes as a shock to the average person to realize that here, in Acadiana, the very heart of the Evangeline country, very early were Anglo-Saxons, or non-Latins. There were at least two Anglo enclaves in the area-one near Opelousas and another in what later came to be St. Mary Parish in Attakapas. Who were they? Where did they come from; why did they come; and how did they get here?
It is possible that some of these English-speaking souls were Loyalists who fled from the coming conflict in the eastern colonies when the handwriting became apparent on the proverbial wall. It will be remembered that Great Britain came into possession of all the territory in the eastern Mississippi. Valley, except the Isle d'Orleans, in 1763 at the termination of the Seven Years' War. It is known that many Tory-leaning colonists did receive land grants in the Natchez area. Bayou Sara, on the Mississippi just below the hill on which is located St. Francisville, was also the locale for such grant recipients. It was just a hop, skip, and a jump across the big river to Pointe Coupee Parish. And then, not too much farther west was Opelousas, with Attakapas a few miles southward. This theory is as of now unproved. But these areas were settled in those early days, and it does seem a likely route.
Joshua Garrett was one of the early English-speaking settlers in this area. Not too much is known about him; but there is definite documentation, which gives some information about him. If it is true that he and his family were Tory- leaning Virginians who fled to the "Southwest" in order to escape the trauma of fighting against the English king and/or relatives and neighbors, it is indeed ironic, for young Joshua did get caught up in the war against England.
It should be made clear that this discussion of Joshua Garrett is by no means a completed family history. A survey of the family of Joshua Garrett shows how interlinked the early Anglo-Saxon families in the area. It also shows how many of these families were in the area in these early years. The lack of mixed marriages, that is, marriages between Anglo family members and those of French-Spanish descent indicates that the Anglos stayed to themselves at first. The earliest "mixed marriage" in the Garrett family was in 1802, when Joshua's son, William, married Agatha Derouen. Anglo families intermarried into or related to the, Garretts were Clark, Comstock, Hayes, Andrus/Andrews, Moore, Stein, Armstrong, Nickelson, Berwick, Sanders, Carson, Curtis,.Allen, Mixer, and Johnson.
The earliest bit of documentation on Joshua Garrett is that recording his participation as a member of the Opelousas militia against the English. On June 8, 1777, he was a fusilier, or rifleman, with the Opelousas militia. We do not know his birth date, but judging from the foregoing date, it can be assumed that he was born about 20 years earlier-or about 1757, most likely a few years before that. Catholic Church records tell that he was born in the colony of Virginia and that his parents were John and Elizabeth Garrett. Neither is it known exactly when he arrived in the Opelousas area. However, evidence shows that he was here by June of 1777.
Another piece of evidence not available at this point in time is the date of his marriage. But it is known that the marriage must have occurred no later than the fall of 1782. He married as her second husband Rachel Malone or Maloney, widow of Francis Clark. From the DAR paper we learn that Rachel was born in 1752 [which may be an educated guess] in Baltimore, Maryland.
Rachel and her first husband, Francis Clark, became the parents of at least 5 surviving children, 2 sons and 3 daughters, according to Catholic Church records. It is not known when Francis died or the birth dates of the children, but according to the same source they were all born in Maryland. Since some confusion may have arisen about one of these children, they are identified below:
Elizabeth Clark: This is the child about whom there may have arisen confusion, for on January 15, 1792, under the name of Elizabeth Garrett, this child married John Stein. Her parents were listed as Joshua Garrett and Rachel Malony. Apparently she was the youngest of the Clark children and was quite young when her mother married her second husband. Being reared in the Garrett home along with the younger Garrett children she probably used the Garrett name. However, there is much documentary evidence clearing up Elizabeth's identity, both Catholic Church records and civil courthouse records. For example, when her husband's succession was opened in June of 1829 in both St. Martin and St. Mary parishes, his widow was identified as Elizabeth Clark.
Joshua and Rachel had 3 surviving children of their marriage:
From his obituary in the Planters' Banner [of August 30, 1849] we know that John Joshua Garrett was born September 3, 1783 in Opelousas. He was married to Phoebe Armstrong in St. Mary Parish March 13, 1812. She was a daughter of John and Margaret Armstrong. His age then was 29 years. His brother William Garrett was married a full decade earlier, on April 27, 1802 to Agatha DeRouen, daughter of Joseph DeRouen and his wife, Genevieve Hebert. William must have been at least 20 years of age at the time of his marriage, which would place his birth the year before that of John Joshua, in 1782. So perhaps William was the older and the first of Rachel's second family.
Another of the unknown items in Joshua Garrett's life is exactly when Joshua Garrett moved to Attakapas, or St. Martin Parish, from Opelousas, or St. Landry Parish. However, a good clue is the fact. That in 1798 all members of this family-Joshua and the three children-registered cattle brands in their names in Attakapas.
Although the Bayou Sale cemetery of the Garrett-Berwick families contains two graves thought to be of Joshua Garrett and his wife Rachel, the dates of the deaths are not known. While some of the earliest successions of St. Mary Parish (the part of Attakapas in which Joshua Garrett settled) are lost, the complete index for all estates opened in the parish is extant. Unfortunately, the index compiler used initials instead of given names. Thus we know that two estates were opened, one in 1812 and the other in 1813, in the name of"J. Garrett." Probably they were segments of the same succession, that of Joshua Garrett. So we may assume that he died in 1812. We know it was prior to October 9, 1812, for on that date Claim No. A1574 before the governmental board considering the validity of land claims after the Louisiana Purchase decided the Spanish grant in the name of Joshua Garrett in favor of his sons William and John Garrett.
William and Agatha Garrett had at least five surviving children, according to records of the Roman Catholic Church:
It is possible that Agatha was deceased by 1820 and that William married several more times. Details of his later life or his death date are not available.
John Joshua Garrett and his wife Phoebe Armstrong had at least eight surviving children:
John Joshua Garrett died August 25, 1849-from the aforementioned obituary in the Planters' Banner. Phoebe's succession was opened three years earlier, in St. Mary Parish.
Catherine Garrett, the youngest child of Joshua and Rachel Garrett, was born in 1786 (Catholic Church records), married 1801 in Attakapas Rufus Nickelson, son of Thomas Nickelson and his first wife, Rebecca Castleberry of Boston, Mass. The succession of Rufus Nickelson was opened in St. Mary Parish June 5, 1834. His wife and six children survived him. From Catholic Church records we know that this couple had at least ten children, seven of whom apparently survived their early years.
Thomas Nickelson, born December 20, 1802. Thomas was a twin. John, the other twin, did not survive.
Of interest in the succession of Rufus Nickelson is a document testifying to the fact that Joshua Garrett had three children: decedent's widow, Catherine Garrett- Nickelson, William Garrett, and John Joshua Garrett.
An alternate title or subtitle for this article might have been "Documenting the Life and Family of Joshua Garrett," for the primary sources, which have documented this family, will serve as a guide to documentation of other such settlers and their families.
First and foremost are the Catholic Church records in the area, in this instance the churches at Opelousas and St. Martinville. Without these, descendants of all early settlers to South Louisiana would be "'dead ducks". The Spanish militia record from the Archives of the Indies, compiled by Robert Churchill under the sponsorship of the Sons of the American Revolution, marriage records, deeds, estate records and the brand books from the offices of the clerks of court of St. Martin and St. Mary parishes, obituaries and marriage notices from the Planters' Banner; tombstone inscriptions in St. Mary Parish furnished dates of births and deaths of some of the grandchildren of Joshua and Rachel and their spouses. Also family bible records; and American State Papers, public land claims, furnished the date in 1812 by which we know Joshua Garrett was deceased.
Note: Joshua Garret (Garrett) is listed as one of the foreigners in the District of Opelousas and Attakapas and in New Iberia, May 15, 1781. For this story see Glenn R. Conrad, "Friend or Foe? Religious Exiles in the Opelousas Post in the American Revolution,". Attakapas Gazette, Vol. XII, No. 3 (1977), p. 137.
Friend or Foe? Religious Exiles at the Opelousas Post in the American Revolution
By Glenn R. Conrad
Fort Panmur, the English installation at Natchez, together with the Anglo-American civilian population of the area, fell under Spanish control shortly after Spain declared war on Britain in the summer of 1779. For sometime thereafter, however, the allegiance of the inhabitants of Natchez was cause for Spanish concern. Were these colonists now unqualified subjects, of Carlos III? Did some residents secretly sympathize with the American independence movement? How many were covertly loyal to George III? Over the next two years a series of events would provide some answers to these questions.
About six months after the Spanish capture of Natchez (February 26, 1780), Alexandre DeClouet, commandant of the Opelousas and Attakapas posts, reported almost casually to Governor Bernardo de Galvez that two English families, those of Richard and John Ellis (father and son), had abandoned their homes near Natchez and had moved to the Attakapas with about 100 slaves.
Galvez responded that he was pleased that the Ellises had chosen to live in the Attakapas, for he knew them to be an upstanding family.
The next incident in a seemingly unrelated series of events occurred within a few months. On June 24, DeClouet notified the governor that sixty Irish and German refugees from Fort Pitt had arrived at the Opelousas Post and were requesting permission to settle there. They claimed to have fled their homes in, Pennsylvania because of English suppression of Catholicism. DeClouet noted that their initial request was to be allowed to baptize their children. While willing to receive the new settlers, the commandant informed the ,governor that he could provide them very little in the way of food, clothing and shelter. Therefore, he asked Galvez, to send emergency supplies as well as orders regarding the disposition of the refugees.
In the meantime, DeClouet and other established settlers would care for the newcomers until their fate was determined. Acting Governor Pedro Piernas (Governor Galvez being away on the Mobile campaign) responded that the Spanish intendant of Louisiana, Martin Navarre, would contact DeClouet concerning the future, of the refugees. For unknown reasons, however, Navarre apparently ignored the problem of the immigrants. Indeed, little more is heard from DeClouet on the subject, except an occasional reminder to Piernas that he was still awaiting Navarre's instructions.
Over the next year, then, one can assume that the English, Irish and German refugees went about the task of establishing themselves in the Opelousas and Attakapas districts, including the newly established community of New Iberia. Even though the new settlers had caused no problems, their presence did, nevertheless, cause DeClouet, and others to ponder certain questions. Why had these people suddenly appeared on DeClouet's doorstep? Was religion their real motive for leaving 'Pennsylvania? Were they British Loyalists deliberately sent into enemy territory to subvert the heretofore successful, Spanish war effort on the Gulf Coast? Were they American sympathizers who sought to use Spanish territory as a base of operations against the British in the old Southwest? Their presence must have been a bit disconcerting; still, they gave every indication of - being what they claimed to be, religious refugees simply seeking to start life anew. Thus, the new arrivals were largely dismissed from official attention until the spring of 1781.
In early March 1781, Galvez launched his campaign to capture the British naval base at Pensacola. As part of his defensive strategy for that British installation, Colonel John Campbell called upon the Loyalists at Natchez to rise in rebellion against Spanish domination. Through this diversionary tactic, the Englishman hoped, Galvez would abandon the siege of Pensacola and return to the Mississippi to put down the rebellion. Moreover, if the Spaniards withdrew from the Pensacola area, even for a brief period of time, Campbell might be able to receive long overdue reinforcements.
Campbell's plan was only partially successful. The English settlers of the Natchez District did strike against Spanish control, and, led by John Blommart, they succeeded in recapturing Fort Panmur in late April. Campbell's tactic was unsuccessful, however, for it failed to lure Galvez back to the Mississippi.
Learning of the rebellion at Natchez, Acting Governor Piernas ordered DeClouet and Carlos de Grand Pre' commandant at Pointe Coupee to assemble their respective militia units to retake Natchez and crush the rebellion. DeClouet was told to supply forty militiamen. This small military force was placed under the command of Etienne Robert de la Morandiere who would join Grand Pre's contingent en route to Natchez. It was at this juncture that Spanish officials apparently remembered the English, Irish and German settlers who had recently arrived in the Opelousas and Attakapa's district and about whose politics so little was known. The sudden removal of forty militiamen from the area could give the "foreigners" an opportunity to implement any ulterior motives which they might harbor.
On May 14, therefore, Piernas dispatched a courier to DeClouet. The Acting Governor ordered the commandant to "watch closely the English and Americans in your district." Moreover, Piernas authorized DeClouet to disarm any Englishman or American whom he suspected of perpetrating anti-Spanish activities.
Apparently alarmed by Piernas' words, DeClouet decided to take no chances with his English-speaking neighbors-he would disarm all of them. Idle next day, May 15, the Attakapas and Opelousas militia moved through the district collecting the arms of the "foreigners." When the collection of these weapons was completed, DeClouet discovered that the district's French and Spanish settlers had only twenty weapons more than the refugees.
The arms gathered by DeClouet were placed under guard in the home of Donnato, and although the English-speaking families complained about their treatment, there were no further incidents connected with their disarmament. La Morandiere and his militiamen could now leave the district assured that there would be no surprises from their Irish, German and American neighbors.
The list which follows gives the names of the "foreigners" who were to surrender their weapons.
LIST OF FOREIGNERS IN THE
DISTRICT OF OPELOUSAS AND
ATTAKAPAS AND IN NEW
IBERIA, MAY 15,1781
?, Cameron Abshire, John Allen, Samuel
Anderson, Benjamin Anderson, James Anderson, Joseph
Anderson, Solomon Archinard, Cesar Askeaiter, Henry
Barbus?, Phillip Beard, Thomas Bell, Samuel
Bennet, Anthony Bernard, Solomon Berwick, Thomas
Bihm, Jacob Bowels, John Bowker, Raphael
Bradley, Henry Brandon, Gerard Brandon, John
Bridges, Adam Brown, James Brown, William
Bundick, William Carlin, James Carr, Joseph
Caslow?, Edward Clark, James Clark, John
Clark, Patrick Clayton, James Cole, James
Collingwood, Robert Collins, John Collins, Theophilus
Collins, William Collins, Jr., Luke Coskain?, Anthony
Cotes, John Cotes, Mark Cotes, Stephen
Cotter, Moise Crene, Ebenazer Crook, Jack
Daniel, Francis Dickson, William Ellis, John
Ellis, Richard Fairbanks, William Fairchild, Amos
Fitz, Benjamin Fitzpatrick, John Folse, John
Folse, Luke Foreman, George Garrett, Joshua
Green, John Hair, John Hanchey, Seth
Hanchey, William Harcourt, Garret Haufpauir, Michael
Hayes, Matiquis? Herman, Jacob Holst, Francis
Hormelle, Ephraim Howard, Phillip Hunter, Michael
Huxley, Robert Ingrahm, Joseph Kennedy, John
Kennison, Nathaniel King, George Leger (Ledger?), John
Lewis, Isaac Little, Francis Liver, John
Malveau, Benjamin Malveau, William Martin, Athanase
Martin, Gabriel Martin, Zachery McCarty, Patrick
McCullogh, William McDonald, John McIntyre, Peter
Meyer, Frederick Mill, Evan Miller, George
Miller, Jacob Murdock, Thomas Murphy, Edward
Nugent, Edmund Nugent, Sr., Matthew Odom, Abraham
Odom, David Orrey, John Parr, Thomas
Percy, Charles Priestman, Thomas Rhodes, Stephen
Rider, John Roberts, Abraham Rodney, Richard
Roth, Benjamin Roth, Francis Roth, Zachen?
Ryan, John Ryder, Michael Schnell, Jacob
Smith, Charles Smith, Nicholas Stelly, Francis
Stuart, Abraham Tear, Edward Tyson, John
Vaughan, John Wallace, Joshua Wells, Samuel
West, Roger Wikoff, William Wyble, Joseph
Yarborough, James Yarborough, Maxwell?
The Sur-Name Garrett
Note: From: Some Garrett History, by Sunie Garrett Talbert and Elliot Fisher.
The name Garrett appears in the records of Colonial Virginia as early as 1610, when "Thomas Garrett came to the colony on the SWAN, under the head right of Captain W'm Powell."
The Garretts descended from the Fitzgeralds of Ireland and England Normans. The Fitzgeralds Earls of Ireland were called Gheralatines or Garretts. An official of the Virginia colony won a case in court by proving the relationship of certain Garretts with the Fitzgeralds in or near Accomac Co., Virginia, which was created in 1634.
The older name is Gerrard OR Gerard.
In his 1598 survey of London, John Stow refers to the Lord Mayor of London as Sir William Gerrard and Garrett, using both spelling of the name to refer to the same man. A brass inscription on the 1555 tomb of Sir William's father, John Garrett, uses the Garrett spelling".
Courtesy of Ann Lynch Boyer, 1995
State of Louisiana Parish of St. Mary
[No. 111,063 Recorded in Book 11 R of Conveyances Page 290 - April 4, 1961]
Judicial Sale of the property and, effects belonging to the Succession of John Joshua Garrett, late of this Parish of St. Mary, deceased, made by me, John Garrett testamentary executor of said succession pursuant to and order issued out of the honorable, the District Court of the 14th Judicial District of the State of Louisiana holding Court in and for the Parish of St. Mary, bearing date of the 29th day of January last part after publication for more than thirty days, exclusive of the days or advertising and sale by insertion in the Planters Banner, a weekly newspaper published in the Town of Franklin in this said Parish and by advertisements posted at the usual places in French and English languages to the following terms and moveable property, all sums of twenty five dollars and under cash, all sums over that amount on a credit of one year from the date of Sale. The immovables and Slaves, on a credit of one, two and three years in three equal annual installments from the day of Sale, purchases in all cases of credits to give their notes, with good and sufficient personal security in Solido made payable to the order of John Garrett, testamentary Executor of the said succession and conditioned to bear Eight "Per cent per annum interest from time due until paid in full. The immovable property -and slaves to be and remain special mortgaged hypothecated in favor of said succession until full and entire payment of the purchase money in principal and interest as aforesaid.
When after the said terms and conditions had been made known to the bystanders by proclaiming the same in French and English languages the following adjudication were made to wit:
No. 1 That tract of land or sugar plantation and lying on-Bayou Sale in the Parish of St. Mary measuring twenty five arpents front on the each side of the said Bayou, the lower ten arpents of which tract have a depth of forty arpents on the side of said Bayou and the other fifteen arpents on side of said Bayou, the whole tract being bounded above and below on each side of said Bayou by the lands of David Berwick together with all the building and improvements thereon, rights of ways, privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging [Except however the burying ground on said plantation in herein especially reserved] adjudicated to David Berwick, John Garrett and William Garrett, purchasers herein each of one un-divided third part of the same at the price of Thirty Five Thousand Dollars ($35,000.00).
No. 2 On other tract of land situated and lying in the rear of said plantation, on the west side of said Bayou, designate as the east half of Section No.30 or Township 15, South Range 10 East containing One Hundred and eighty seven and 90/100 Acres superficial measure as per entry made by the same at the land office at Opelousas under State Warrant No. 97, bounded East by preemption right of William Garrett South of lands conceded to Dominique Provost, to either with all privileges and appurtenances, thereunto belonging adjudicated to William Garrett at Fifteen Hundred Dollars.
No. 3 Sam, a Negro man, aged 32 years, Betsy his wife 28 yrs and her five children Delia 8, Herim 1, Davis 4, Riley and Violet twins 2, adjudicated to John Garrett $2700.00
No. 4 Guilhbert, a Negro boy aged 11 years adjudicated to same. $680.00
No. 6 Henry, a Negro man aged 40 years, Lucy his wife 37 and his four children Peter 9,Harriet4, Amanda 3 and infant adjudicated to Ethan Allen. $2,200.00
No. 7 Sarah, a Negro girl, age 11 to Martha, wife of Daniel Edward Crossland. $670.00
No. 8 Washington, a Negro boy, 14 years, adjudicated to James Garrett. $890.00
No 9 Tom, a mulatto, aged 27 years, Lavenia, his wife 36 and Maria, his child, 3 years, adjudicated to William S. Cary. $1,840.00
No. 10 Peter, a Negro man - - - - -
Note: Lucy Lynch Vaughn states at this point that she did not copy the rest of the list of slaves. No amount was written for No. 10.
Whole Amount $88,657.12 Moneys paid out 13,070.02
Error in Process Verbal $511.50
Whole after corrected error: $76,104.60
We the undersigned heirs at law of John J. Garrett have executed the act rendered by John Garrett and find same correct and agree that it be homologated by the court.
Sara Ann Allen
David Berwick (for self and as tutor for:
S.A. Garrett)James A. Garrett
William Garrett for self and as Tutor for
Martin A. Garrett
Mary E. Dennett
Martha A. Crossland
D. Edward Crossland
And there being no other property belonging to the said Estate to dispose of, I the said Executor have closed this sale AMOUNTING TO aforesaid.
Thus begun on the first day and continued and closed on the 2nd day of March 1850 at the late residence of the said deceased on Bayou Sale in this Parish of St. Mary in the presence of John A. Dumartraux and Thomas F. Johnson, both competent witnesses, who have signed these present with Louisa Garrett, wife of full age of David Berwick, herein authorized and assisted by her husband, Sarah Ann Garrett, wife of Ethan Allen herein authorized and assisted by her husband, Mary E. Garrett, wife of Daniel Dennett, herein authorized and assisted by her said husband, Martha A. Garrett wife of full age of Daniel E. Crossland herein and assisted by her said husband, the said John Garrett herein acting as Executor aforesaid in his right, as well as tutor to Lucinda and Reuben Curtis, minor children of Matilda Garrett, deceased, wife of Bennet A. Curtis, also deceased, William Garrett, James Garrett, the said David Berwick also his acting as tutor to Sylvester Garrett, a minor, and the said William Garrett, a tutor to Martin Garrett, another minor, they the said Louisa, Sarah Ann, Mary E., Mathilda, John, William James, Silvester and Martin Garrett and Lucinda and Reuben Curtis, herein being interested in representation of their said deceased mother being the only heirs and representatives of the said deceased John Joshua Garrett. Eight words in the first page erased the words names "John Garrett testamentary Executor of said Succession intestined on same page the name "John Yaney and Samuel Cary intestine and also erased on ninth page. Approved before signing
Jo. A. Dumartraux Louisa Berwick
Thos. F. Johnson David Berwick
Sarah A. Allen
Mary E. Dennet
Martha A. Crossland
D. Edward Crosland
James A. Garrett
Obituary of John J. Garrett
Note:From The Planter's Banner, Volume XIV August 30, 1849, No. 35, Franklin, St. Mary's Parish, La.
Died on Saturday, the 25th inst. At his late residence on Bayou Sale John J. Garrett, aged 66 years.
The deceased was born In Opelousas an the 3rd of September 1783. When he was about 12 years of age his father moved with his family to a place now owned by Mr. Chas. Grevemberg of this parish. After remaining there a few Years he moved farther down the Teche, and below Centreville. Seven or eight years afterwards he moved on Bayou Sale and lived on the place now owned by Mr. Jesse Lacy, and about twelve years since he moved five miles farther down the bayou, and opened the plantation on which he lived up to the time of his decease.
For fifty-four years lived in this parish and no man had more friends than he -enemies he had none. He was one of nature's children, a stranger to polished duplicity and fashionable deceit, his thoughts and feelings were all honest, and his lips were always a true index to his heart. His children will always bear testimony that he was one of the tenderest and most Indulgent of fathers, and If the voice of his departed companion could brook the silence of the tomb Its gentle tones would bear witness to the kindness of his heart, and the purity of his affection as a husband; and the Public Will long remember his rank countenance and friendly deportment.
Possessing an Iron constitution and a restless mind, he now felt that time dragged heavily, or that life was a mere blank. In the fore part of his life he engaged In the most laborious foils, and In various hunting excursions in prairie and woodland, and whether following the plough In the field or plying the axe to the oaks of the forest, or scouring the bayous, forests or prairies in pursuit of the bounding dew or fierce panther, his courage, his sprits, his energies and his perseverance were always the same. There is not a prairie in the parish with which he was not familiar, not a bayou. Nor a lake, not a forest nor a marsh that he has not scoured with his unerring gun in the pursuit of the pleasure of the chase.
By his Industry and economy he succeeded in amassing a handsome property which he has left to his children, whose interests were always near his heart, and whose happiness was always to him a source of high satisfaction.
Like other man he erred but his were errors of the head – his heart was always: right. He was an honest. Man not honest from interest or from any motive that could be questioned he possessed. No calculating, conventional honesty, it was all the natural fruits of an honest heart. His character, feelings, thoughts, affections and deportment were thaw of a genuine Creole - a better specimen of a noble Creole never trod upon the soil of St Mary, and never will. The original Creole character Is fast passing away another race is springing up to fill the places vacated by the Creole fathers - like the subject of this notice, their names and their peculiar custom will only be known by the traditions In the memory of their children. The few of them that remain linger on the last verge of time like other revolutionary fathers - they we as frail links connecting the past with the future, those links will soon be struck from the chain, and breach will be formed which time can never close up.
John Garrett (January 9, 1813 in St Mary’s Parish, LA – January 30, 1879 in Jackson Co., TX) was the son of John Joshua Garrett and Phoebe Armstrong, grandson of Joshua Garrett and Rachel Melon, brother of Martin A. Garrett. He married (1) Lucretia Rochel on 25 May 1833 at Franklin, St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana. She was born 4 September 1814 and died 22 February 1837 in St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana. After her death he married (2) on 5 December 1839 at Franklin, St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana, to Theresa Emily Guidry who was born 4 February 1818 at St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana and who died 15 May 1884 in Jackson County, Texas. She was the daughter of Joseph Guidry and Magdeleine Emelie Bonvillain.
While still a resident of Louisiana, John Garrett served in the Army of the Republic of Texas as a Captain of Infantry attached to Colonel Karnes Regiment from 21 July 1836 to 31 May 1837. He served as Assistant Secretary of State, Republic of Texas, for six days in December 1838. From 31 May 1837 to 7 November 1837 he served as a Private in Captain Owens Company A, First Regiment, Permanent Volunteers, Republic of Texas. After the war he returned to Louisiana and circa 1850 migrated to Jackson County Texas, where he was a planter.
There were two children of his first marriage, namely:
By his marriage to Theresa Emily Guidry there were four children:
By: Nona O'Brien Pigott - Courtesy of Ann Boyer of Jacksonville, FL
Will of John Joshua Garrett
State of Louisiana
Parish of St. Mary
February the 4th, 1843
My name in John Joshua Garrett. I was born in Opelousas. I wish that all this property and estate that I may have at my decease say remain undivided in the hands of my executrix and executor hereinafter named until my youngest son Martin Alonzo may get married or arrive at the age of majority, and in case of his death before either of the said events then until my next, youngest son Sylvester Alexander say be legally married at the age of majority, and as I have given to each of my children now married and intend to give to each of the others that may get married before my death the sum of $1,000.00 or the value there-of with a good bed and bedding worth $100.00. I therefore wish that my plantation maybe carried on and that the revenue there-from and the revenue from my estate generally that the like sum or value of $1,000.00 with a bed and bedding worth $100.00 may be given to each of my children who may not have previously received the same as they respectfully may get legally married, or attain the age of majority to be collated on a final petition of my estate on the same condition as my elder children.
I nominate my beloved wife Phoeby Armstrong and my son John Garrett jointly, and either of then separately, the same executor and executrix of this my last will and testament. And in case of the death of my said wife and of my son John Garrett, I nominate and appoint my son William Garrett. In came of his death, Daniel Dennet, executor of this my last Will and Testament, to________ ________of my estate I wish that after my death my children then remaining minors may be educated as my former now of age and married have been. The cost and charges to be paid out of the mass of my estate, and an extra portion to such of my said children that may be minors over and above their legitimate share.
J. V. Fourmey Clerk
Written in his hand on the reverse of the will: To Mrs. Phoebe Armstrong my last Otographic Will At home
Obituary of Mary Elizabeth (Garrett) Dennett Sister of Martin A. Garrett
From the Southwestern Presbyterian (N ?) July 27, 1876.
"Died on Sunday, July 23, 1876, at Crystal Springs, Mississippi, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth, wife of Daniel Dennett aged 54 years."
The deceased was daughter of John Joshua Garrett, of the Parish of St. Mary, La. She was one of the first members of the Centerville Presbyterian Church organized in Parish of St. Mary in the year 1858, and was a member of the Crystal Springs Presbyterian Church at the time of her death. She was one of the most exemplary and devoted of Christians--a devoted wife, mother and friend. She died in the triumphs of a Christian faith. Her devoted husband and loving children are, by this event, plunged into sorrows and afflictions which Heaven alone can heal.
The death of this excellent lady inflicts a bereavement, which many will share. Her refined character, gentle, manners and sterling piety made her an ornament to the community and a valued member of the church. She will be missed, and her loss will be lamented. The pleasant home whose hospitalities she dispensed with such cheerful courtesy, the prayer meeting and the public service of God's house will know her no more. But the good influence she exerted in so many different forms will long live after her, and make her memory blessed. The good name she won by a life of un-ostentatious but genuine piety; the efficient aid she lent to every thing that was honorable and of good report, will constitute a legacy more precious than wealth. She rests from her labors; and it is with a feeling of satisfaction that those who knew her can add: Her works do follow her."
Obituary of Colonel Danniel Dennet
Danniel Dennett formerly of this Parish died at his residence, Brookhaven Mississippi, on Tuesday last at the age of 72 years.
Col. Dennett was a native of the State of Maine, having been born in 1818--came to this Parish in 1841 and soon after married a daughter of J.J. Garrett, a wealthy sugar planter on Bayou Sale; about that date he purchased the "Planters' Banner of Franklin, which he conducted for many years, and made it the organ of the agriculture to which department he devoted his pen; after establishing and conducting the "Planter's Banner" for many years, he removed to New Orleans and for a short time was editor-in-chief of the "Picayune", and subsequently for many years the agriculture editor of that important journal. To Col. Dennett in conjunction with Hon. Don Caffery is due the honor or being the first to propose the Central Factory system of the sugar industry, contending that the planter should not be the manufacturer, but that the two should be separate and distinct, and that this separation would greatly increase the acreage in cane, as the central factory had just now demonstrated.
The character of the man is thus described by the "Picayune" of the 6th instant, in which description we concur and add our testimony, having enjoyed his personal acquaintance and friendship during his residence of many years in St. Mary and subsequently.
Daniel Dennett has all his life been a good man. Casting his fortunes with the South. He became a Southern man with all his heart, soul and energy, and constantly, in season and out of season, he has labored for Southern improvements in the methods of farming. Farming was his hobby, and he was a pioneer in advance of those in the same pursuit. He was a patient teacher and an industrious man. He possessed strong convictions and likes and dislikes. He was a zealous advocate of temperance, a logical reasoner and an interesting writer, whose contributions to the "Picayune" on agricultural topics have been widely quoted and whose opinions have always been respected.
The death of such a man is always a serious loss to a community, and Daniel Dennett will be greatly missed from among us and his death regretted.
Col. Dennett leaves one son and three married daughters, and a large circle of relatives and friends in this Parish where he was known and held in high estimation and respect for his many rugged virtues and unswerving integrity, who will sincerely mourn his death."