cooke.html Untitled
 Johannes Hahn: background
History Lessons:
 Donation of Johannes' Bible
 St. Paul Lutheran Church, Newton, NC
 Zion Lutheran Church, Hickory, NC
 Furor over a baptism
 Hawn marriages in Catawba County, NC
 Hawn burials in Catawba County
This 'n' That:
 Hahn coat of arms
  Historian Yoder's view
 George M. Yoder, historian
 Palatines to America
 About Catawba County
 Bollinger leads migration
 Memories of Hahn Chapel
 Memories of Cape Girardeau
 Letters from visitors (16 pages)
 Photos of some Hawns

For those with an interest in the Hahn settling of Texas and especially Cooke County,here is a story from Ken Leach, [email protected] Cooke County's first permanent settler came to the area four years earlier than the currently recognized pioneer family.

Martin, Neeley, who established his residence in 1845 on Spring Creek in the southern part of the county was believed by A. Morton Smith in his The First 100 Years in Cooke County to have been the first permanent settler Henry H. Hahn unknowingly recorded his claim to the honor of being Cooke County'sfirst resident when he regained his citizenship after the Civil War upon signing the Loyalty Oath.

Immediately after voting registration opened in 1867,Henry was one of the first county citizen's to go to the courthouse and swear his allegiance to the United States. When asked where he was born, hesitated Missouri.In the columns asking, "How long in Texas?''How long in the County?' 'How long in the Voting Precinct?" Henry said,"26 years" to each question. This places him in the area now known asCooke County in 1841.

Henry Hahn, the son of Joshua Hahn and Catherine Wise, was born February 13,1813, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Joshua moved his family to Greene County, Illinoisin about 1828. Henry married Patsy Silkwood on January 14, 1836, in Calhoun Co., Illinois.Henry and Patsy came to Cooke County in 1841. In 1834 their son, William J. Hahn, added to the county's list of firsts, by becoming the first child of a pioneer family to be born in Cooke County.

Between 1846 and 1850, Henry's father, Joshua, brought his family to Cooke County.Joshua filed the 20th land deed to be recorded in cowboys CookeCounty which had just been carved out of Fannin County by the Legislature. Even thought Texas was giving free land just for the asking, neither Henry nor his father applied. Both bought unfiled land grants of 640 acres each. Many residents of North Gainesville are living on the land Joshua had surveyed then claimed in 1850. Henry's land was north of Gainesville along what is now north Clements,which was earlier know as the Toll Road and the Airport Road.

In addition to microfilm records, the present generation is blessed with a knowledge of Henry Hahn thought an oral history began by Henry's son, John Newton Hahn, that has been passed down by his descendants. The current story tellers are Henry Hahn of Portales, New Mexico, and Gwen Brownlee of Dallas.Henry Hahn came to Texaswith his brother-in-law Solomon Silkwood. Henry settled in Cooke County.Solomon is recorded in Dallas County where he was given a 640-acre land grant.

Henry was with the Silkwood family at Bird's Fort on Christmas 1841, when Solomon and several other men left the safety of the fort in 6 inched of snow to explore a proposed supply route. They went 14 miles toward what is now Farmer's Branch. On Christmas morning, they treed a bear. Before they could kill the it, they were attack by Indians. One of their party was killed. The rest returned to Bird's Fort, arrived there Dec. 27th. Solomon died Jan 15th from exposure. John Neely Bryant, founder of Dallas, was the executor of his estate. On April 1, 1842, Henry and several other families return to their homes in North Texas.

Henry was a farmer, gunsmith, trapper and master stone mason, according to the family stories. Until recently, one of the guns created either Henry was still in the Hahn Family.

When Camp Fort, later to become Fort Worth, was established in 1849, Henry was a hunter, trader, and sometime scout for the army. He would bring meat, elk, deer, and bear, from up and down the wooded stream in North Texas and trade it to the troops. He took his pay in power, lead and supplies like that. One time he killed a large alligator in Trinity River near where Dallasis now and brought the tail to Camp Worth. He would then trade those items to the settlers who need supplies. . Eventually, he would end up with the money he used to buy his land and became rather prosperous. During one of his trips to Camp Worth, Henry heard Indian chanting and sound coming. He carefully approached an area where he could look down; into the camp from were he could see Indians in war paint doing dances. Henry rode to warn Ripley Arnold. Arnold,in a surprise attack, charged and rode through the Indian camp. The Indians fled the area. Henry and the others followed them west


Near daybreak, Henry came upon a teen aged brave with a compound fracture in his arm. Henry tore off part of his shirt and set the boy's arm. In Comanche,Henry told the lad, "Go home. Behave yourself and tell your chief, 'Let's quit killing each other.'" He turned the young brave loose.

Several weeks after the battle, Jim Ned, chief of the Delawareand who was in the attacked camp, rode into Henry's place and introduce himself. After they talked, Chief Ned and Henry made a peace treaty among themselves. They slashed their right wrists, bound them together with rawhide and swore to be blood brothers. From that time they were.

The Delaware ranged from around Brownwood to southeastern Oklahoma. When they were in the Cooke Countyarea they stayed on Henry's place. He would cut out some beef to feed them. Later, Comanche Chief Yellow Wolf put Henry and his family under his protection. Henry was, for his day, an educated man.

He had a library in his home where he read books. He subscribed to eastern newspapers that came on the Butterfield Overland Stage. People thought he was a real oddball for this. After Patsy Silkwood died, Henry married a neighbor and widow, Martha Jane Wright. Other of Henry's neighbors were the Dobkins. Henry's daughter, Rebecca,married James Dobkins. Not too far north of them were Pincky Pierce and his wife, Elizabeth.

She was a niece of Jim Brown of Harper's Ferry fame. Robert F.Bostick had 640 acres next to Henry. Henry was active in helping runaway slaves get up into Oklahoma.When the Civil War came along, he actively campaign against secession. Possibly through his efforts, Cooke County was one of seven Texas Counties where the vote not leave the Union carried. Sometime during the Great Hanging in Gainesville,Henry had been tipped off by his friend Bostick that they were going to come after Henry. Bostick did not know just when. Henry and his wife, Martha Wright,kept a constant lookout. .

Henry's original house north of Gainesville was a log cabin which had become a shed or barn. He had built in front of it a white clapboard house, because Martha thought was that the ideal house. When they saw a large band of riders coming, Henry went into the old log cabin barn. Henry got behind a loophole and trained his gun on the riders. According to the story as handed down in the Hahn Family, there were 27 riders. The leader rode up and yelled for Henry to come out. Martha came out of the house and asked what they wanted. "We have come to hang Henry," the leader said. "What for?" she asked. "He is a Yankee lovin', ** lovin', Indian lovin' son of a bitch and we are goin' to hang him." "He is where he can shoot you. He is going to get one or two of you before you get to him." "We are going to hang the son of a bitch anyway." "He has Sons in the Confederate army. When they come home they are going to take revenge" "We don't give a damn. We will hang them too." "Henry is guilty of all those things. But if you hang him, Jim Ned will bring the Delawareand Comanche and burn Gainesville to the ground. It that what you want?" she asked.

They rode away. The mob knew Martha was telling them the truth and went back to Gainesville without harming Henry. Several weeks later, the tombstone Henry had made for his father in Fairveiw Cemetery was smashed to pieces. Henry never replaced it and until 1998, the grave's location was unknown. Henry later opened a brick yard southeast of Gainesville. It is believe by his family, he made and laid the bricks for what is now the Morton Museum of Cooke County. Samuel Challis, namesake of Challisburg, and Henry were friends. They traveled together to surrounding counties at fair time and entered the wrestling contests.

Henry's half sister, Syrena Hahn, married Charles Monroe Leach in 1882. She was the mother of Felix Leach, who was Gainesville's assistant postmaster in the 1940's.

Henry Hahn died April 23, 1889. Martha Hahn died July 31, 1889. They are buried in Union Hill Cemetery southwest of Challisburg.

This page was compiled by Linda H. Setzer,. Write to Linda Setzer [email protected] (remove one @ before sending).
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Copyright 2011 Linda Hawn Setzer
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