Joseph Milton McKenzie

Joseph Milton McKenzie 1804-1843

Family Background

        Joseph Milton McKenzie was a son of Hezekiah Balch McKenzie and Isabella Howe. He was born 19 February 1804 at Scott's Hill, Henderson County, Tennessee. He died 17 October 1843 in Gonzales County, Texas.
        “Milton” McKenzie is found in the 1830 census of Henderson County, Tennessee. The 1837 tax roll of that county includes Milton, Newton, James and H. B. McKenzie.

Family Story

        Notes from an old McKenzie family Bible name the children of Hezekiah McKenzie who "married Miss Howe" as
Rebecca (Mrs. Bill Shaw)
Joseph Milton (Born Feb. 19, 1804, Died Oct. 17, 1843, Gonzales County
Benjaman Franklin
        Joseph Milton McKenzie and family came to Texas April 5, 1839. They lived on the Tenn. River near Patton's Ferry. They came down the Mississippi River on a flat boat. At New Orleans a number of families coming to Texas, chartered a boat to bring them to Galveston; a storm blew them off course and they landed at Linville, Texas, a small place on Matagorda Bay.


        Joseph Milton McKenzie married Jane B. "Jensy" Higgenbotham about 1825, probably in Tennessee.

Migration to Texas

        An old story in the McKenzie family tells that :
Great Grand-father Higginbotham of Tennessee came to Texas to buy mules in 1812 and was killed by Indians. A Mr. Gemison and a negro man were the only ones in the party not killed; they did not return for two years. Mr. Gemison was engaged to Aunt Polly Higginbotham when he came to Texas. He did not return for two years. As she had not heard from him,she thought he was dead and married. When he came back he went to see her and told her he did not blame her.
There were six Higginbotham children: Tom, Toliver, Jensy, Martha, Pollie and Sallie. Aunt Martha and Uncle Toliver never married; Jensy married twice, Grandpa McKenzie and Mr. Keyes; Aunt Sallie married Mr. Hendricks but never came to Texas. Aunt Pollie married Mr. Kerr. Grandpa McKenzie and family, Uncle Toliver and Aunt Martha Higginbotham came to Texas from Tennessee by boat in 1839. They landed at Linville on Lavaca Bay, a few miles above where Port Lavaca is now. The village of Linnville was burned by the Indians in 1840; most of the settlers escaped by taking to boats and going out into the Bay. Afterwards the settlers went down the coast and built Port Lavaca. The McKenzie family later moved to Gonzales County and settled near Prairie Lee (Now Caldwell County). Grandpa [Joseph Milton McKenzie] died in December 1843. Aunt Martha Higginbotham made her home during her last years with Cousin Lucinda Kerr DeVilbiss; and died in her home near San Antonio, Texas, in 1870.
Grandma Keyes, nee Jensy Higginbotham, made her home during her last years with Aunt Mary Amberson at London, Texas, and died there in 1888, age 84 years.

Great Comanche Raid of 1840

        The Indian raid that destroyed Linnville in 1840 was the climax of the Great Comanche Raid of 1840. It was a retaliatory strike by the Comanches after the Council House Fight in San Antonio. The eventual show down between the Comanche raiders and the settlers occurred at the Battle of Plum Creek, now in Caldwell County.


        Joseph Milton McKenzie and Jensy Higgenbotham had five children.
Mary [Ann] Jane b 31 Mar 1826 d 25 Aug 1909m 13 Oct 1842 John H Finch m 2 James Amberson
Thomas Newton b 31 Jan 1828 d 18 Feb 1909m 18 Nov 1856 Mary Jane Waller
Martha Isabelle b 6 April 1830d m 1851 Leasel B. Harris
Sarah Elizabeth b 1832 d m 8 Feb 1855 Jefferson D. Lilly
Louisa Adaline b 23 March 1838 d 27 Dec 1880m 17 April 1855 Francis Asberry Vaughn