Hamby Family Stories
Letter from Mary McNeely Hamby
[written by Marteely Hamby to Leora Brown Hamby
Leora mother Matilda Pierce Brown died 2 April 1931.
written some time after 2 April 1931]
Dear children - Wiull rite you a few lines to tell I am more than sairy
I dont feel lik I could go down that far you now I shure ood go to see
gran ma brown and the children that comes to see tell all them howdy for
me my stomick was herting me when I was at youe I am gragely giting wors
so I rote to bealah
to send me a dollar worth her pills, so she sent them and never rote
me a scratch I have rote her too letters and she never anser one what is
the matter You recon they ar sick I never rote eny thang to
thank hard of her mother may god bless her an Sam they may be gone off
for thire helth god did bless poor old grammama and tuek hom out of suffering
god wiull tak me hom some day ah but I could
see her but dont beleave I could mak the trip up thire oh lee I did
love you mother but god noes best when to tak us away dont grieved she
is better off tell all the children hellow for me if we never see each
other no mor on this earth we can meet each other en heven may god bless
rite soon M M Hamby
the old rheumatism is coming back over me
Letter from Bess M. Hamby
to Georga Jackson Hamby
Undated, sometime after 1965
Bessie Hamby Taylor, Duane O'Shay,
Carolyn Hamby and Bobby Ford
Edward Silvester Hamby married Mary Martellia McNeely
He died 1928 I think She died Sept 1932. They had 9 children 3 died
in Infancy Beulah born Mar. 28 1877 married Sam Bingham He
died they had 3 children Ralph Flossie & Wilma all dead Mark
Vester born April 4, 1883 - they had 2 children one Baby died and Rosevelt
got killed by Train Bertha Born Nov 20 1887 married Marion Stonecipher
They had 15 children 1 Ward, 2 Lain, 3 Wyatt, 4 Parelee, 5 Vivial, 6 Worth,
7 Walter, 8 Dolph, 9 Edd, 10 May and 11 Mary Twins, 12 Bettie, 13 Edith,
14 Danna, 15 Henry. John Fulbright March 23 1890 married Leora Brown
and had 3 children Geraldine John F & Bob Bessie Myrtle June 12 1893
married John W Taylor March 25, 1908. ; 3 Children Coral Velma Feb
19, 1909 Lois R Sept 11, 1910 Virgil Allen July 29, 1927 Coral married
Floyd Oshay May 2, 1936 Had 2 Sons Duane & Gary Lois married Arthur
D Ford June 17, 1936 Had one Son Bobbie Joe. Virgil married Bettie
Troxel March 15 1935 They have no children but she had two daughters
John W Taylor died Oct 18, 1932 Floyd Oshay died April 29 1963 Bessie Myrtle
married Alfred Wilson Feb 13 1956. To go on down with my family Duane
Oshay married Billie Jo Woods Sept 1 1957 They have 2 girls Linda
April 15,, 1959 & Donna May 26, 1960. Bobbie Ford married Mary
Ann Pilkerton Dec 15 1962 They have 1 Son David born March 21 1965.
I left out Bea Edna Born June 6, 1898 married Sam Blair and they had two
children Faye & Vester. Vester got killed in the war.
See also Bess' wonderful recipe for Sweet Dill Pickles.
In this connection the biographer would invite attention to some of the most salient points in the life history of one of Hood County's first settlers and venerable citizens, W.G.W. Powell. He is a native of Georgia, born in Columbia County in 1817, son of Isaac and Sarah (Jones) Powell.
Isaac Powell was a son of Hardy Powell, who was of English descent, served as a Revolutionary soldier, was for some time a resident of North Carolina and from that state removed to Georgia. On his mother's side the subject of our sketch traces his origin back to Wales. His maternal grandfather, Robert Jones, was one of the pioneers of Georgia. In Georgia W.G.W. Powell was reared on his father's farm, from his boyhood assisting in the farm work, and remaining in the parental home until he was twenty-two years of age. Then in 1839 he wedded Miss Adevine Jones, a native of the same county in which he was born, and a daughter of Joseph Jones and his wife, nee Nelson, both of Welsh descent.
He and his young wife settled down to housekeeping on a Georgia farm, remained there until 1841 and that year moved to Tallapoosa County, Alabama, where he reclaimed a farm from Nature's wilds and upon which he resided until his removal some years later to Texas. Arrived here, he settled on Squaw creek, on a pre-emption claim, having for his neighbors and companions the Indians and wild animals, as there were then but few white people in this part of the country.
At first the Indians were friendly and harmless. Later, however, by their raids and depredations of various kinds they gave the settlers great trouble, and Mr. Powell had for some years to be constantly on the alert. At one time he and his sons had a battle with the Indians and killed seven of them and drove the others away. He cleared up and improved 160 acres of land where he first settled on coming to Hood County, and still owns the place, its operations now being conducted by his son.
The great loss of Mr. Powell's life was in the death of his aged companion. For a period of fifty-three years they traveled life's pathway together, sharing each other's joys and sorrows, working hard in early years to make a home and accumulate a competency for old age, and enjoying together the fruits of their labors until 1892, when she was called to her home above. They had twelve children, ten of whom reached adult age. Six are still living and are residents of this county: Jackson, Robert, Charles, Lewis J., John R. and Sarah J. Sarah J. is the widow of W. J. Arinton. Of John R. we make more extended mention further on in this sketch.
During his long residence in Hood County, Mr. Powell has witnessed the many changes that have taken place here, and he has not only been a witness to these changes, but also he has been a prominent factor in developing the resources of the country and making it possible for the people of today to enjoy the privileges and advantages which they do. He took a leading part in building the first churches and schoolhouses here. For many years he has been a member of the Christian Church, with which his good wife also was identified, and for years he filled the offices of deacon and elder. During his early residence here he served as county commissioner. He maintains a membership in the A.F. & A.M., having been initiated into the mysteries of this order many years ago.
Source: W.G.W. Powell and His Son, John R. Powell, History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.
Web Page by Jo Ann Hopper.
Exerpt from Hood County History
by Thomas Taylor Ewell
Published in 1895
Transcription by Karen Ward Jones
Foremost among the early settlers was W.J.W. Powell, familiarly called "Uncle Billy." He came to Squaw creek and settled upon the farm he still owns, near Tolar, about the year 1853. He is so truly representative of the better class of early settlers, that a brief sketch of his life will not be deemed out of place. Mr. Powell sprang from on of those hardy families, who settled Georgia, about the times of Oglethorpe; he is a veteran of the Florida war; migrated with his father at an early date to Arkansas, thence to Texas. Was the first white man to settle on Squaw creek, where he devoted himself to his favorite occupation of hunting; putting in a small farm from which, with his trusty gun, he made ample provision for his family, which began to multiply rapidly. The only near neighbor Uncle Billy had for some time was "Jack", a Caddo Indian, who camped on the opposite side of the creek from him, with his two wives, and the most friendly relations sprang up between Uncle Billy and this Indian. Neighborly courtesies were exchanged between them, and they hunted together the wild deer and turkey. "Jack" always dressing Uncle Billy's pelts for him, and coming to him for milk and other domestic wants. These friendly relations continued undisturbed, and through "Jack" the other members of his tribe, whose hunting parties frequently traversed this section, were influenced to maintaining friendly relations with the whites, thus affording great protection against the more savage tribes, until about the year 1850, when in a evil hour, a party of whites, either through wantonness or mistake, fell upon a peaceable camp of Caddos, near the town of Palo Pinto, in the dead hour of midnight, and while they slept, killed and wounded a number of men and women, and possibly some of their children. This affair effectually aroused the savage instincts of the Indian and henceforward the scalping knife of the Caddos was as much a terror to the sparse settlements of whites as was that of the Comanche. Before day one morning immediately after this affair, "Indian Jack" came to Uncle Billy's and awakening him, told him of the occurrence, and that it necessitated his departure, saying, as he regretfully took his leave of his white friend, "hereafter the white settlers will be in much more danger." And many a solitary traveler, and remote settler afterwards gave his life and that of his family in verification of this ominous warning.
Returning to Mr. Powell, he is now in his 78th year, having lost his wife a few years ago is living with his son, John, at Tolar. Around him are settled his children, Jackson R., Robert J., Joseph M., Lewis H., Charles Y. and Jno. R., and three daughters, all prosperous and excellent citizens. Mr. Powell is a man of large physical stature, has enjoyed robust health, and amid the scenes of his frontier life, has maintained a character irreproachable for integrity, and beautified by Christian virtues.
Source: Ewell, Thomas Taylor, Hood County History, Chapter III: Pioneers, 1895. Transcription by Karen Ward Jones.