Merle Pharr and Debs M. Falcone
Husband Merle Pharr
Born: 1912 Died: Buried:
Father: Milford Callahan Pharr Mother: Etta Lowry (Lowey)
Wife Debs M. Falcone
Born: Died: Buried:
Jesse James Gooch and Bessie Fannin
Husband Jesse James Gooch 6
AKA: Jess Gooch, Jesse Gooch, Jesse C. Gooch, Jessie Gooch Born: 18 Jan 1874 - MS 7 Died: 31 Jan 1935 - Brownwood, Brown Co., TX 8,9 Cause of Death: Cancer of the tongue and mouth Buried: 1935 - White Point Cem., Comanche County, TX
Father: William Elijah Gooch 10,11,12,13 Mother: S. Jane Elizabeth Davis
Marriage: 26 Dec 1901 - Paris, Lamar Co., TX 14
Other Spouse: Sally *UNKNOWN - 1917 - Brown Co., TX 4
Wife Bessie Fannin
Born: Abt 1874 - TX 14 Died: Abt 1961 - Wichita Falls TX 14 Cause of Death: Complications from old age Buried:
1 F Bessie Ann Gooch
Born: 29 Jul 1903 - Deport, Lamar Co., Texas Died: 3 Aug 1903 - Deport, Lamar Co., Texas Buried:
2 M Unnamed Son Gooch
Born: 10 Jul 1903 - Deport, Lamar Co., Texas Died: 13 Jul 1903 - Deport, Lamar Co., Texas Buried:
3 F Mava Opal Gooch
Born: 3 Jan 1909 - Lawton or Ada, OK 43 Died: 23 Dec 1976 - Sweetwater, Nolan Co., TX 44,45,46 Cause of Death: Heart disease//Pulmonary embollism Buried: 1976 - White Point Cem., Comanche County, TXSpouse: Estauce Houston Price Marr: 1925 - Coleman, TX 4Spouse: Merle Reid Marr: Abt 1928 - Brownwood, TX 35Spouse: Walter Lee Phillips Marr: Abt 1932 - Brownwood, Brown Co., TX 35Spouse: Joe Stanley Howard Marr: 1962 - Rotan, Fisher Co., TX 42
General Notes: Husband - Jesse James Gooch
Jesse James Gooch (1874 - 1935)
The man who went by the name Jesse James Gooch was a man of mystery in many ways. Not much is known about Jesse James Gooch until about 1914, when my mother, Mava, was old enough to have memories of him. Official records show "Jesse Gooch" or "Jess Gooch"; never "Jesse James Gooch". My mother recorded his name as "Jesse James Gooch" in Bible entries. A census record from 1880 lists his name as "Jesse C. Gooch".
The scenario follows, as I remember my mother talking about it, : Mother was living with an unknown family somewhere in Oklahoma when her father came to get her when she was five years old, in 1914. Mother mentioned the towns of Lawton, Ada, and Snyder when talking about Oklahoma, but I don't know where those places fit in. He took my mother to Mullin, Mills County, Texas, where he ran a blacksmith shop in partnership with a man named Dave Hutchins (Hutchinson). Mother called that man "Uncle Dave", although I do not think there was any blood relation. The blacksmith shop was already well established and it provided Jesse with a stable income. Mother was always well provided for as a girl. In her early childhood, mother remembered her father as being very happy and loving, always teasing her, and spoiling her by buying her gifts. There was an old photograph (long since lost) which showed Mother as a little girl of five or ssix , sitting on a sofa beside a large stuffed bear that was bigger than she was. For the first few years, Mother was left in the care of a woman who lived near them during the day, while Jesse went to work in his shop. Jesse would take time away from his work to come there several times each day, to check on his little girl. It seems that he was a doting father. Around 1917, Jesse married a widow lady named Sally Waters. Mother always said there was no real love between them and it was a marriage of convenience, on both sides. Jesse needed a care-giver for his little girl, then about 8. Sally was a widow woman with three daughters. Sally needed a provider for herself and her young daughters, Laura, about 15, Nettie, about 13, and Ada, about 10. It was not a warm and loving relationship, but still, Mother and the other girls were always well cared for. Sally was quiet and rather distant, but she was a good woman, always kind to Mother. Mother got along well with her step sisters, especially Ada, who was near her age. Laura married young and moved out of the home within a year or two after the marriage. Nettie married and moved out a year or two later. Ada remained in the home until about 1925, when she married an older man and moved away to southeast Texas. I remember Ada visiting my mother in the 1970's, when they were both in their sixties. From listening to their stories, I formed these conclusions.
As Mother entered puberty, her father became very strict, and he was sometimes unreasonable and overbearing with her. He set very strict rules for both Mother and Ada. It seems that their lifestyle was very regimented, and everything was done by a schedule. They were well cared for, but Mother seemed to be scarred for life by the lack of love and affection during that critical period of her development. Her father was a basically a silent and serious minded man. He showed little warmth and affection. He was given to bouts of drinking. When he drank, he sometimes got mean with his wife; usually not to the point of physical abuse, but there was sometimes verbal abuse. He would sometimes do things to embarrass the family when he was drunk. Mother talked about a few times when he came home so drunk that he had to crawl from the street, where a car would drop him off, to their front door. She also talked about times when he would go out to their back yard and start preaching, although there would be no one there to hear him - except maybe the family dog. She said that when he preached, it was in the "fire and brimstone" spirit of a Baptist minister, and he would quote scriptures from the Bible from memory. Mother was perplexed by that, since he was not a Church going man. He often used profanity in his day to day conversation, and he rarely talked about religion. Still, when those moods hit him, under the influence of liquer, those feelings would come out , and he would become a preacher. His standards of lady-like conduct were those of the 1800's, and he was unbending in enforcing those standards on the girls living under his roof, especially with Mother.
There are events that make Jesse Gooch stand out as a strong willed and independent minded person, whose attitudes were ahead of his time. He was not a friendly man, and he did not try to be popular. He had few friends. He seemed to believe in minding his own business, and letting the other man mind his. He was straight forward, and he did not hesitate to speak his mind - even when it was not the popular thing to do.The following story came from Seburn Price.
During the World War I years, there was a secret group operating in that part of Texas in the "nightrider" tradition, to persecute the many German settlers who lived on outlying farms. Jesse took a stand against these vigilantes. In his outspoken way, he made it clear that would take no part in their activities, and he thought they were cowards. He was branded by some as being a "German lover". One night when he was drinking, a group of several men beat him savagely, and left him in a ditch beside a country road several miles from town, bleeding and unconscious. A passerby saw him there the next morning, and brought him to town, where he was given medical attention. No one ever found out who did it.
As a girl in her teens, Mother talked about a feeble old white haired black man who would come to their home every Sunday for dinner. The old man would not come into their home to eat at the table with the family. They had a wide screened in front porch at their home. Jesse would have his wife prepare a nice table there for the old man to dine at, complete with a white table cloth. Jesse would sometimes sit there with the old man while he ate. Mother said that her father always had kind words for the old man, and engaged in pleasant conversation with him. She never knew why he did it, or how he met the old man, or what the old man meant to him. This may seem like a small thing by today's standards, but in those times, the revived Ku Klux Klan was very active throughout the south, including that region of Texas. Texas was still a segregated society, with deep racial hatreds. Jesse was very outspoken against the Klan, also calling them cowards, who hid themselves behind hoods and robes.
Seburn Price also told this story:
In his boyhood years (1910's) the Price family lived on a farm several miles from the town of Mullin. There were several children, most of them boys. The boys would take turns riding an old plow horse to town to go to school, while the others walked. When going into town, which was built along one main street, they had to pass old Jess Gooch's blackmith shop. Jess would usually be working at an anvil in front of his shop when they came by. The boys were afraid of Jess, because he was always so mean looking. He rarely spoke to them, or even looked up to awknowledge their presence. One day it was Seeburn's turn to ride the old horse. As he passed Jesse's shop, he was startled when Jess hollered out at him, "Hey boy, get down off that horse!" He stopped the horse, and did as he was told, as old Jess walked over. Old Jess picked up one of the horse's front legs and started examining the hoof. He then told the boy that the horse was foot-sore, and not fit to be be rode. He told Seeburn to go on to school and stop back by there that afternoon. When Seeburn came back later that day, the old horse had been fitted with new shoes.
My mother told this story about an incident that happened one day when she was in her father's shop as a girl.
An old man that was known as a "gossiper" came into her father's shop. The old man was trying to be friendly by making casual conversation, but her father was busy with his work, and he did not want to be bothered with it. The old man asked her father what he had been doing. In his blunt spoken way, her father replied, "Well, I have been very busy. I have spent part of my time minding my own business, and the other part of the time keeping my nose out of everbody else's business." The old man took the hint and left.
I think Mother had a "love-hate" relationship with her father, which was to stay with her for the rest of her life. In talking with others that knew him, I get mixed signals about what he was like. Almost all of them agree that he was a powerfully built man with a proud bearing and a strong physical presence. They talked about his hard, piercing blue eyes and gruff manner. Most remember him as being somber and silent. Some thought he was aloof and arrogant. A few thought he was mean, and they were afraid of him. All of them talked about his drinking binges, and a few classified him as a drunkard.
In the early 1920's the family moved to nearby Brownwood, Brown County, Texas, where Jesse also operated a blacksmith shop, adjacent to their home. They lived in a comfortable home, not far from the County Court House and the town's central business district. The home and the building that he used as a shop were still there as late as 1985, when I last visited the site.
Jesse Gooch does not show up in census records until 1920, when he is shown living in Mullin, Mills County, Texas. The 1920 census showed his place of birth as Arkansas.
I can only guess about Jesse Gooch's life before about 1914. (See the notes under Lige Gooch for a description of his boyhood years.)
Based on what I have been able to find out, it is believed that Jesse Gooch came to Texas around 1890. He would have been about sixteen years old. If he was connected to the Gooch line in northeastern Mississippi, he may have came to Texas with others in the family. Most of that line came to Texas in the late 1880's and early 1890's. It is known that Jesse had connections with George Gooch, and he seemed to be close to him in his younger years. It is known that George Gooch came to Texas around 1890, settling in Hunt County. He lived there for several years, before moving west to Abilene, Taylor County, Texas, probably in the early 1900's. I doing research, I note that an older brother of George named Luther Martin Gooch also came to Texas around that time, and he had connections to Mills County, Texas in the early 1890's. It seems that Luther Martin was a freight hauler. From about 1890 until the middle 1910's, records show that Luther Martin lived in several areas of Texas. He owned one or more wagons, and probably hauled freight from towns near the railroad to the outlying towns. Records show that Luther Martin Gooch's first child, a son, was born in Mills County, Texas in 1891. While no connections have been made, this forms an early connection to Mills County. While I have not proven any connections yet, I believe that Jesse would have been attracted to the lifestyle Luther Martin Gooch led, and he may have worked with him on the wagons. Jesse would have been a good hand for Luther Martin to have around. He was strong, handy at working with his hands as a blacksmith, and he had a way with animals.
Jesse James Gooch died January 31, 1935 in Brownwood, Brown County, Texas. His death was caused by cancer of the tongue and mouth. He is buried in the White Point Cemetery in Comanche County, Texas.
TEXAS STATE ARCHIVES, RECORDS OF DEATHS, 1903-1940, FILE # 696: GOOCH, JESS, BROWN COUNTY, 1-31-1935.
Census information received from Connie Bird, Houston, TX:
1920 TX Census:
Gooch, Jesse age 45 born in Ark. (Did you have this?)
Mullin, Mills Co., TX
vol. 125 E.D. 170 sheet 2 Line 12
Gooch, Sallie wife age 38 b. Ark.
, Ada B. dau. " 13 TX
, Mava O. dau. " 10 OK
Bessie A. Gooch b. 29 July 1903 d. 3 August 1903
Interment Record for Bessie Ann Gooch
Name: Bessie Ann Gooch
Born: 29 Jul 1903
Died: 3 Aug 1903
Buried: Not Stated
Location: NOT PLOTTED
Notes: Lamar County Death Records Bk.#1, p.6, #52, white female, 6 da., resided & died in near Deport, of congestive fever & premature birth, by T.E. Oliver, Deport. Birth is calculated.
Infant Boy Gooch b. 10 July 1903 d. 13 July 1903
Interment Record for Infant Son Gooch
Name: Infant Son Gooch
Born: 10 Jul 1903
Died: 13 Jul 1903
Buried: Not Stated
Location: NOT PLOTTED
Notes: Lamar County Death Records Bk.#1, p.2, #15, white male, 3 days old, residence & died near Deport, of premature birth, by T.E. Oliver, M.D., of Deport.
Marriage license - Jesse Gooch & Bessie Fannin/Fannen
Paris, Lamar Co., TX
26 Dec. 1901 (this would go along with how long they said that they were
married in the 1910 Ok Census)(9 years)
Dee Thompson - clerk
Edwin Moore - deputy
They married on Dec 27th 1901.
By : T. Giles
Returned and filed 3 Feb. 190_
Census records from Crockett County, Tennessee from 1880: MICROFILM#: T9-1249 DISTRICT: 1st Civil District SUPV/DISTR: 5 ENUM/DISTR: 1 ENUMERATOR: Thos. N. Humphreys
Gooch Wm. E. W M age 30 (HEAD)
Gooch S. E. J. W F 36 Wife
Gooch Jesse C. W M 6 Son
Gooch Mary E. W F 4 Daughter
Gooch Wm. T. W M 1 Son
Link to the Jesse James Gooch memorial page on Find A Grave:
1931 City Directory Brownwood Texas- 701 Sharp Street
General Notes: Wife - Bessie Fannin
Bessie Fannin (Fannen/Fanning) (abt 1874- abt 1961)
Not much is known about Bessie Fannin. She married to Jesse Gooch in the early 1900's, and was the mother of Mava Opal Gooch.
There is proof of their marrage in 1901. They had a set of twins (boy and girl) in 1903 but they both died as young infants. They were still together in 1910, living in Ada, Oklahoma, with a 1 year old daughter, listed as "Mary" (should be "Mava").
After than, things become muddled. This what I have peiced together. (Source: My mother's visits with George & Hattie Gooch in the early 1950's, stories from my half sister, stories from my father, stories from Seburn Price.)
It seems that something happened in their marriage soon after Mava was born. It may have been violent: Jesse Gooch may have shot a man that he thought his wife was having an affair with. It seems that he took their infant daughter, Mava, and fled with her. He tried to cover his tracks, and he did a pretty good job of it. He left Mava with a family he knew in Oklahoma, possibly in the town of Snyder. It is not known if this family was related to him. He came to pick up my mother in about 1914, when she was five years old. He then took her to the town of Mullin, in Mills County, Texas, where he already had a blacksmith shop. Mullin is an out of the way little town, off the beaten path, in central Texas. It is a good place to "get lost", if that is what you want to do. In the twenties, the family moved to nearby Brownwood, Texas, where Jesse also had a blacksmith shop.They alternated between living in those two towns while my mother was growing up.
There is a great deal of mystery about what happened between Jess Gooch and Bessie. It is believed that she was a performer with an Opera Company or other traveling show that traveled around the country, putting on shows. She may have been a musician, possibly a pianist.
Mother's childhood years were sad, in many ways. She was always well cared for, as far as material things goes. But her father was a distant and cold man, by nature. When she was six or seven years old, he married a lady named Sally. It was basically a marriage of convenience: he needed a housekeeper and care-giver for his young daughter, and Sally needed a provider for herself and two young daughters, still living with her. It was not a warm and loving relationship. Mother was brought up in a very regimented and mechanical life style. Her father became very strict with her when she entered her teens, to the point of being overbearing and unreasonable
In the early 1950's, my mother got in contact with George Gooch. George Gooch was not much older than her father, Jesse, and he told stories about spending time with him, when they were boys and young men. George talked about Lige Gooch, and I believe he showed us a portrait of him. I have assumed for all these years that Lige Gooch was an older brother of George, although I am having a hard time making that connection. George seemed to know about Bessie Fannin. Through him, mother found out that Bessie was still alive, living in Wichita Falls, Texas. Ira would have been in her seventies or eighties by then. George and Hattie Gooch contacted Bessie. She was apparently in poor health, and unable to travel. She sent an older man and woman to meet with my mother at the home of George Gooch. Their meeting was held behind closed doors, and I don't know what was said. I do know that it was very upsetting for my mother. She never talked with me about what was said at that meeting to me. My older sister indicated that mother had talked about it with her: it seems that the old man who met with my mother was a relative of Bessie. He had been a detective as a young man, and for several years he had attempted to locate Jesse Gooch and the child, at Bessie's request. He apparently had some unflattering things to say about Jesse Gooch, and my mother was very upset by it all. There was apparently an offer to do some kind of cash stellement, which infuriated my mother. To the best of my knowledge, Mother never tried to contact Bessie after that.
The name Scarborough came up in my mother's stories when she talked about her mother. From what George & Hattie said, Bessie had married again after she gave up on locating Jesse and the young girl. She supposedly had several children in that marriage. I am wondering in the man Bessie married may have been named Scarborough. I find a Jack Scarborough, a cattle buyer, in Ada, Oklahoma in 1917 but there is very little information about him.
William Gooch and Mary Fanning
Husband William Gooch
Born: Abt 1776 - Caswell Co., NC Died: Abt 1860 Buried:
Father: William Gooch Jr. Mother: Sarah (Sally) Kerr
Marriage: 5 Dec 1798 - Caswell Co., NC
Wife Mary Fanning
Born: Abt 1780 Died: Abt 1860 Buried:
Derward Singleton and Sallie Farmer
Husband Derward Singleton
Born: Abt 1891 Died: Abt 1960 Buried:
Father: Isaac Singleton Mother: Sarah Gooch
Marriage: Abt 1915
Wife Sallie Farmer
Born: Abt 1895 Died: Abt 1970 Buried:
Charles E. Gooch and Clara Fawcett
Husband Charles E. Gooch
Born: 12 Sep 1868 Died: Buried:
Father: William Greenup Gooch Mother: Sarah Grimmett
Wife Clara Fawcett
Born: Died: Buried:
Benjamin Gooch and Catherine Fears
Husband Benjamin Gooch
Born: 21 Jan 1821 - Ste. Genevieve, Mo Died: 8 May 1894 - Lampasas, Lampasas Co., TX Buried:
Father: John Gooch Mother: Mary (Polly) Tong
Marriage: 16 Jul 1866 - Austin, Travis Co., TX
Wife Catherine Fears
Born: Abt 1825 Died: 28 Sep 1901 - Lampasas, Lampasas Co., TX Buried:
General Notes: Husband - Benjamin Gooch
Notes for Benjamin Gooch:
!1821 BIRTH: MO, Ste. Genevieve Co; National Archives Mexican War (1 846-1848) pension file #WC-9252 & #SC-13377 document dated 1887.
Declaration of Survivor for a Pension given to Travis Co, TX clerk o n 25 Oct
1887 states: "...I am 65 years of age, having been born near Ste. Gen vieve, MO on the 21st day of January, 1821."
1846 MILITARY: TX, Travis Co, Austin; Enrolled in Army; National Arc hives Mexican War (1846-1848) Pension file for Benjamin Gooch #WC-925 2 & #SC-13377
Enrolled in Cpt. Grumble's Co. G, Bell's Regiment, Maj. Tom L. Smith' s Battalion, Texas Mounted Volunteers for 1 year.
Affidavit of Witness given to Travis Co, TX clerk, Frank Brown, by W illiam M. Wilson on 25 Oct 1887 states: "I have known Ben. Gooch fo r the space of over 40 years, and ...I saw him whilst he was in the s ervice Capt. Grumbles Co. I saw him and knew him whilst he was in ca mp. I was in quartermaster department at the time Gooch was a soldie r in the Mex. War...I swear to these facts from knowledge obtained a s follows: from my acquaintance with him and from family record of G ooch family which I have in my possession. signed Wm M. Wilson.
Affidavit of Witness by James F. Johnson states: "I have known Ben Go och for the space of 40 years..."
Other affidavits signed by D.C. Thomas and W.E. Adkins in Lampasas, L ampasas Co, TX on 21 Jan 1893.
1847 MILITARY: TX, Bexar Co, San Antonio; discharged 23 Sep 1847; se e pension file above.
1848 MILITARY: TX, Red River Co, Clarkesville; Enrolled 5 May 1848 ; see pension file above
Enrolled in Cpt. John H. Conner's Co. (3d serv), Bell's Regiment, Tex as Mounted Volunteers.
1848 MILITARY: TX, Travis Co, Austin; Discharged 31 Dec 1848; see pen sion file above
LAND: see pension file source above; Military Bounty Land claim #6057 3-160-47.
There are no details mentioned as to where the land was, but Ben stat es that he received 160 acres.
1850 MILITARY: Virgil D. White, Index to Volunteer Soldiers in India n Wars and Disturbances; 1815-1858; v 1; p 525; FHL book ?.
Gooch, Ben, Lt. srv in Grumble's Co of TX Mtd Vols in an Indian War i n 1850 for 6 mths. NOTE: Also serving in same company at same tim e was Thomas Gooch.
1850 CENSUS: TX, Travis Co; p ?
Ben Gooch, age 27, male, occupation clerk [maybe grocery clerk], b MO ; enumerated with James Cole age 57, male occupation grocer, b SC; Ri chard Cole, age 24, male, barkeeper, b SC; Gabriel Cole, age 18, male , b TX; Austin Cole, age 16, male, b TX.
1849-1857 RESIDENCE: TX, Travis Co, Austin; see pension file above.
1854 DEED: TX, Burnet Co, Travis Dist.; Burnet Co Land and Property , Grantor Index; v B; p 276; FHL film #978770.
29 Jun 1854; Grantor State of Texas, 320 acres.
1857-1887 RESIDENCE: TX, Lampasas Co, Lampasas; see pension file abo ve.
1857 OCCUPATION: Dec 1857- Mar 1858, Texas Ranger under J.H. Conner ; Texas Rangers-Frontier Battalion, Minute Men, Commanding Officers ; 1847-1900; v 3; p 95; FHL book 976.4 M2if.
1860 CENSUS: TX, Lampasas Co, Lampasas; p 172.
Ben Gooch (Benjamin Gooch), age 36, male, occupation merchant, valu e of real estate 2,400, value of personal estate 6,000, born MO.
NOTE: He is unmarried and living with a family named Hill.
1866 MARRIAGE: TX, Travis Co, Austin; see pension file source for BIR THabove.
Declaration of Survivor for Pension states: "...the maiden name of m y wife was Catharine Fears, to whom I was married at Austin, TX, on t he 5th day of July, 1866.
Declaration of Widow for Pension states: "I am the widow of Benjami n Gooch...I was married under my name Catharine Counts to my said hus band by Rev. Mr. Phillips on or about the 6th day of July 1866 at Aus tin, in the State of TX, and lived with my said husband from the dat e of my said marriage until the day of his death the 8th day of May 1 894...at Lampasas Co, TX and I have not since married; that there wa s never any legal impediment to said marriage, That I had been previo usly married. That said Benjamin Gooch had not been previously marri ed."
1870 CENSUS: TX, Lampasas Co, Lampasas; p 394.
Ben Gooch (Benjamin Gooch), Head, age 49, male, white, occupation dr y goods merchant, value of real estate 2,000, value of personal prope rty 4,500, born MO, male citizen over 21; Kate (Catharine Gooch), ag e 36, female, white, occupation keeping house, born AR. No children.
1888 PENSION: 2 Mar 1888, Pension issued for Mexican War service. Se e pension file under BIRTH.
1894 DEATH: TX, Lampasas Co, Lampasas; 8 May 1894. See pension file u nder BIRTH.
TO DO: Check actual deeds for Lampasas Co, and deed in Burnet Co boo k N, p 409, 1882 . See if it is this B.F. Gooch, or his cousin.
1901 BURIAL: TX. Lampasas Co, Lampasas, Oak Hill Cemetery; Mrs. Home r L. Roper, Mrs. Richard N. Grammer, Lampasas Co Cemeteries; FHL fil m #1398602 item 4; p 164.
Ben Gooch Jan 22, 1821- May 8, 1901 (NOTE: This is wrong death yea r according to pension records)
Catharine Gooch Nov 13, 1833- Sep 28, 1901.
Other Gooches listed in this record are Alfred Homer Gooch (1872-1956 ) and Rose J. Gooch, wife of R.W. (1886-1919). Also found was Jame s W. Fristoe (1862-1946).
TO DO: Order deed records for Ellis Co and find out what he did wit h the land his father transferred to him.
NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: In possession of Kathy Brown, Juneau, AK, and tran scribed by her as follows:
The following newspaper article was found in the scrap-book of Harrie t Gooch Horne Dignan (my great-great-grandmother). Almost none of th e pages in the scrapbook have dates, but just a few pages before thi s article there is one dated January, 1883. This is the only item i n the scrapbook that has an obvious connection to her family. Most o f the article was reprinted in the "Annals of Travis County and the C ity of Austin" by Frank Brown, Harriet's daughter-in-law's father. H e put the article in the 1845 chapter of his book, in which the newsp aper article's first paragraph was replaced by this one:
"Mr. Ben Gooch, an old-timer, came to Austin this year, about the tim e of the prospect of the reestablishment of the government at the tow n. He made Austin his home for many years, and finally moved to Lamp asas, where he died a few years since. He was an old Indian fighter , a good citizen, and enjoyed the esteem of all who knew him. He wa s a brother to Mrs. Capt. Wm M. Wilson and Mrs. Harriet Dignan, of Au stin. Mr. Gooch was at the capital some years
since, and gave the following reminiscences, which were published i n the
Statesman at the time."
* Kathy Brown
AUSTIN IN YE OLDEN TIMES
RACY REMINISCENCES OF AN OLD PIONEER
Mr. Ben Gooch Discourses on the Changes in Society*An Exciting Episod e With the Indians*The Reflections of a Past Era.
Mr. Ben Gooch, of Lampasas, is in the city on business and las t night a DISPATCH reporter passed an hour or two with home most agre eably, listening to racy anecdotes and reminiscences of frontier life , for Mr. Gooch is an old Indian fighter and frontiersman and was i n Austin when it was but a small collection of log houses. He live d in Austin for many years and Mr. James H.
Raymond, Colonel Milt Swisher, Judge Joe Lee and a few others will re member him. He is a man of fine sense, full of humor and anecdotes , a splendid conversationalist and no more entertaining companion ca n be found anywhere.
Last night he talked of old times, and, with a merry twinkle in his e ye, would compare the free, hospitable, honest and courageous early s ettlers with modern society and its fashionable foibles, in a way t o make a dude's
hair stand on end and the bustle of a dudine to collapse. Alluding t o his first visit to Austin last night, he said:
"I remember well the first day I reached this section of the State . Myself
and Jim Means were horseback on our way to Austin, when we reached Wa lnut creek, not far from the Rogers' place. We were riding along kee ping a sharp lookout for Austin, for we didn't know exactly where i t was. We had almost reached Walnut creek when ahead of us across th e creek we saw a band of Indians. We were off our horses in a hurry , I tell you, and seeing a deep gully leading into the creek we hasti ly led our horses into it and down to
We stopped and tied them, and climbed up the bank to get a look a nd a shot at the red bucks, as we had splendid guns and were dead sho ts. We didn't fear the Indians, as they were only armed with bows an d arrows. The bucks were riding along about seventy-five yards fro m us, and I told Jim to get a bead on one and let fly. Finally he di d so, and tumbled him off his horse. The band scattered and then cir cled around trying to get a sight of us, and we prepared to give the m the best we had and got down in some brush and waited for them to c ome in sight. They were so long coming that we advanced and lookin g out were surprised to see men on horseback wearing hats and havin g handkerchiefs around their necks. We couldn't tell whether they we re Indians or white men, and I stepped out so I could be seen and hal loed at them. They proved to be a company of rangers under the comma nd of Captain High Smith, and their arrival saved us from a desperat e fight and possibly from being killed. We came on to Austin with th e rangers. It was a very small place then with only a few shanties o n the Avenue above the Dietrich corner (corner of Sixth street, wher e Mr. Abe Williams' clothing house now is). The Capitol of the Repub lic stood where the city hall now stands."
Continuing, Mr. Gooch said the country was chuck full of game an d the hills where South Austin now is were full of deer, antelope, tu rkeys and sometimes buffalo. "The biggest buffalo I ever killed in m y life was a few miles this side of where Bagdad now is, and near whe re in that day stood a blockhouse. The worst Indians in those days we re the Wacos and the Caddos, and they were followed by the Lipans an d Comanches, all warlike and all bent on doing all the mischief possi ble."
Mr. Gooch joined Captain J. J. Grumbles' company of rangers in Au stin, and with the company was ordered to Fredericksburg, which was t hen being first settled, to protect the Germans. Here Captain Grumbl es held a parley with Santa Anna, the noted Comanche chief, and wit h Buffalo Hump, a Lipan chief, and fixed up some sort of treaty, whic h Mr. Gooch wrote out. They also gave the two chiefs passports to Sa n Antonio, where they went and held a pow-wow with the United State s officers. Mr. Gooch last night, in his inimitable way, alluding t o the great change about Austin said: "The county is now full of qua lity folks, but in them days it was full of Indians and wild men. The re's but two tribes anyhow in this country. One is the moccasin an d the other the boots. In those days the moccasins had the country a nd I was on their trail; now the boots have it, and the moccasins hav e disappeared, but blamed if I know whether the country is any bette r off." Mr. Gooch told of many scrimmages with the Indians in and ar ound Austin and the country where Georgetown and Burnet are now situa ted. Alluding to the difference between now and then he said it wa s astonishing, and to illustrate it, said: "Why, man, I left Austin a nd was on the Gabriel hunting. I had a splendid horse; he could kee p his feet anywhere, and I didn't hesitate to run him over the rockie st of country. He was the surest footed animal I ever saw. Well, si r, I rode that horse down to Austin, and what do you think? They ha d built so many houses on the Avenue and hung out so many signs tha t that horse was kept so busy looking at them, blame my skin if he di dn't fall down three times on the level Avenue."
Mr. Gooch was with Captain Ross, father of the Governor, Genera l H. E. McCullough, High Smith, J.J. Grumbles, who lived in Austin, a nd other noted Indian fighters. He belongs to that race of honest, h ospitable, brave frontiersmen who penetrated into the wilds of the gr eat Southwest and opened the way for civilization; a race of men wh o are fast disappearing from the earth, and who, for dash and darin g and bravery have had no equals in the world.
More About Benjamin Gooch:
Burial: Oak Cemetery, Lampasas, Lampasas, Tx
Record Change: March 04, 1998
General Notes: Wife - Catherine Fears
Notes for Catherine Fears:
!1833 BIRTH: AR, Van Buren Co, Clinton; National Archives Mexican War
(1846-1848) pension file for Benjamin Gooch #WC-9252 & SC-1337; docum ents
Declaration of Widow for Pension states: "I am 61 years of age, an d that I
was born on or about the 13th day of Nov, 1833, at Clinton, in the St ate of
!MARRIAGE: See pension file source for BIRTH above.
Affidavit submitted to J.P. Word clerk of the Lampasas County Court o n 23 Jun
1894, by A.J. Northington, age 53, states: "...That he was acquainted
personally with George W. Counts during his marriage relation with ab ove named
claimant Catharine Gooch who was her first husband and of his own kno wledge
states that he...died in the summer or fall of 1862 in Little Rock, A rkansas.
We were soldiers in the same company when he sickened and died at th e time
already named of a congestive chill and was buried in Little Rock."
!1866 MARRIAGE: TX, Travis Co, Austin; see pension file source for BI RTH above.
Declaration of Widow for Pension states: "...I was married under my n ame
Catharine Counts to my said husband by Rev. Mr. Phillips on or abou t the 6th
day of July 1866 at Austin, in the State of TX, and lived with my sai d husband
from the date of my said marriage until the day of his death the 8t h day of
May 1894...at Lampasas Co, TX and I have not since married; that ther e was
never any legal impediment to said marriage, That I had been previous ly
married. That said Benjamin Gooch had not been previously married."
!1894 LAND: TX, Lampasas; see pension file source for BIRTH above.
General affadavits signed by Omar Smith and D.C. Thomas state that Ca tharine
owned about 26 acres of land, 20 acres of which was under cultivation , and
that her sole income came from the rental of the land at about $100 p er year.
!PENSION 1894: see pension source for BIRTH above:
Affidavits signed in Lampasas Co in 1894 by the undertaker L.R. Blair , age 46,
and A.V. Thomas,
age 43 and sexton of the Lampasas cemetery. Also signing affidavits w ere J.W.
Townsen , age 48, and D.C. Thomas, age 59.
In the Declaration of Widow for Pension it states: "...I am dependen t in whole
or in part for my support upon my own exertions, my relatives are no t legally
bound for my support, and that such dependence as alleged consists i n this, to
wit, I am a widow, no brother, nor child to assist me in any manner , no income
except the rent of 20 acres of land. I have no horse or cow or othe r animal."
!1901 DEATH: TX, Lampasas, Lampasas; Lampasas Co, TX Probate Records;
1889-1905; pp 247-252, 256, 264-266, 273-275; FHL film #1433160.
...Mrs Catharine Gooch departed this life in Lampasas County TX, on t he 28th
day of September, 1901...
!1901 BURIAL: TX. Lampasas Co, Lampasas, Oak Hill Cemetery; Mrs. Home r L.
Roper, Mrs. Richard N. Grammer, Lampasas Co Cemeteries; FHL film #139 8602 item
4; p 164.
Ben Gooch Jan 22, 1821- May 8, 1901 (NOTE: This is wrong death year
according to pension records)
Catharine Gooch Nov 13, 1833- Sep 28, 1901.
Other Gooches listed in this record are Alfred Homer Gooch (1872-1956 ) and
Rose J. Gooch, wife of R.W. (1886-1919). Also found was James W. Fri stoe
!1901 PROBATE: TX, Lampasas, Lampasas; see source for DEATH above.
D.C. Thomas County Judge, A.J. Northington executor, W.B. Abney attor ney for
petitioner, J.E. Morgan County Clerk, T. J. Young Sheriff, D.J. Morri s deputy.
Estimated value of said estate is $900.00. Will bears the date of Aug ust 10,
1910, witnessed by J.E. Wiley, Mrs. T.W. McKnight and Mrs. M.L. North ington:
...I give and bequeath to Mrs. Harriet Dignon [?] an individual hal f interest
in and to my farm in the Chandler Addition to Lampasas in Lampasas Co unty, TX
being the same land formerly occupied as a homestead, and the other h alf
interest I give to Mrs. Virginia Spence for the use and benefit of he r mother
during her lifetime. I wish Mrs. Mary E. Wilson to have the finger r ing and
breast pin that once belonged to my husband Benj. Gooch to be kept i n thefamily. I wish my nephew Frank Davis to have the lots in the bl ock in
Lampasas, TX the same being my present homestead...
Probate record contains an inventory of all of Catharine's personal p roperty
and its value, as well as real estate as follows: East half of Lot s 5 & 6
Block 2 Lampasas Springs Company's First Addition to Lampasas, TX (va lue
$500); Blocks 9-10-15 & 16 Chandler's Addition to Lampasas, TX (valu e $1,000).
The following claims were presented to Executor: Wrenda Weaver, M.A . Wimberly,
Dorbaudt & Dorbaudt, Stokes Bros., Key Bros., J.D. Cassell, L.R. Blai r.
The following creditors were paid:Wrenda Weaver, Mrs. Wimberly, W.B . Abury
Attys fees, D. C.? Thomas, Insurance, H.B. Casbeer moving goods, Rev . Stamps ?,
self for services rendered said estate (A.J. Northington)
Earnest Clifton Felts and Dartha Maund
Husband Earnest Clifton Felts
Born: 1913 Died: Buried:
Father: Walter Elbert Felts Mother: Carlyn Lina Gooch
Marriage: 25 May 1940
Wife Dartha Maund
Born: Died: Buried:
1 M Ronnie Felts
Born: Died: Buried:
2 F Jannie Felts
Born: Died: Buried:
3 M Larry Felts
Born: Died: Buried:
4 F Vicky Felts
Born: Died: Buried:
5 M David Felts
Born: Died: Buried:Spouse: Connie
Luther Leroy Wood and Eula Mae Felts
Husband Luther Leroy Wood
Born: 9 Jun 1906 - sabine Co., Texas Died: 12 Dec 1991 - Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches Co., Texas Buried:Marriage: 25 Dec 1928 - sabine Co., Texas
Wife Eula Mae Felts
Born: 22 Jun 1911 - sabine Co., Texas Died: Buried:
Father: Walter Elbert Felts Mother: Carlyn Lina Gooch
1 F Lexie Mae Wood
Born: 12 Jan 1930 - sabine Co., Texas Died: Buried:Spouse: Maurice McCarter Marr: 1946
2 F Vinna Fay Wood
Born: 13 Dec 1932 - Pineland, Sabine Co., Texas Died: Jan 1933 Buried:
3 M Vilas Dalone Wood
Born: 29 Jan 1935 - sabine Co., Texas Died: Buried:Spouse: Lynda Lou Scott Marr: 31 Jan 1959 - sabine Co., Texas
4 M Everest Luther Wood
Born: 13 Jul 1938 - sabine Co., Texas Died: Buried:Spouse: Mae BarnhillSpouse: Ruby O'Banion
5 M Michael Wayne Wood
Born: 3 Dec 1947 - sabine Co., Texas Died: Buried:Spouse: Diane HowardSpouse: Karen Gail CoxSpouse: Sue Ann Bolton Marr: 2 Apr
Carl Edward Smith and Lola B. Felts
Husband Carl Edward Smith
Born: Died: Buried:Marriage: 25 Oct 1939
Wife Lola B. Felts
Born: 26 Mar 1920 Died: 22 Apr 1996 - Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches Co., Texas Buried:
Father: Walter Elbert Felts Mother: Carlyn Lina Gooch
1 F Karen Smith
Born: Died: Buried:Spouse: ???????? Fountain
2 F Cathy Smith
Born: Died: Buried:Spouse: ??????? Durrett
3 M Jay Smith
Born: 15 Jul 1953 - Shelby Co., Texas Died: Buried:Spouse: Debbie Williams Marr: 22 Jun 1973 - San Augustine, San Augustine Co., Texas
Walter Elbert Felts and Carlyn Lina Gooch
Husband Walter Elbert Felts
Born: 5 Aug 1888 - Mississippi 47 Died: 20 Nov 1981 Buried:Marriage: 10 Apr 1910 - sabine Co., Texas
Wife Carlyn Lina Gooch
Born: 12 Aug 1889 - sabine Co., Texas Died: Buried:
Father: Claiborne Patrick Gooch Sr. Mother: Roxy Jane Harper
1 M Davis Dalone Felts
Born: Died: Buried:
2 M Benton Norris Felts
Born: Died: Buried:
3 F Eula Mae Felts
Born: 22 Jun 1911 - sabine Co., Texas Died: Buried:Spouse: Luther Leroy Wood Marr: 25 Dec 1928 - sabine Co., Texas
4 M Earnest Clifton Felts
Born: 1913 Died: Buried:Spouse: Dartha Maund Marr: 25 May 1940
5 F Lola B. Felts
Born: 26 Mar 1920 Died: 22 Apr 1996 - Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches Co., Texas Buried:Spouse: Carl Edward Smith Marr: 25 Oct 1939