John H Hargis

John H Hargis

    John H. Hargis was born 14 December 1805 in Person Co., North Carolina, and died 29 July 1881 in Caldwell County, Texas. He was married on 8 December 1827 to Susanna Jones. Susanna was born 12 January 1811 and died 8 April 1904. From the use of the name 'Huard' by his descendants, it is supposed that Huard might have been John's middle name. The naming of the fourth son as John Henry might indicate otherwise.

    This old tintype is the first one in the Hargis family album. It is not labelled except for the surname, but may well be a picture of John and Susannah Jones Hargis.

Possibly Susannah Jones and John H. Hargis
    Descendants recalled that John Hargis joined the Baptist church at the age of 21. He and Susanna moved to Mississippi about 1830 after the birth of their first child, Lee Murphy Hargis. The family lived in Mississippi about 20 years. They lived in Tennessee for a while. The John Hargis family moved to Caldwell County about 1853.

    In the Plum Creek Almanac (vol 9 # 1)Martha Ellison Holmes tells the story of Nancy Martin Martindale. Nancy and George Martindale's daughter, Vashti, was the wife of Lee Murphy Hargis. The Holmes article says that the Martindale family, including four sons-in-law, came to Texas together. So Lee Murphy Hargis and his wife, Vashti, may have been the first of the Hargis family to come to Texas. After seeing the country, Lee probably wrote to his parents and encouraged them to come from Mississippi, as well. Two of the Martindale sisters were married to men of the Ellison family. Members of the Ellison family had come to the Lockhart/Gonzales area about 1848. They undoubtedly sent word back to Mississippi of their satisfaction with their new homes.

    John Hargis is said to have been instrumental in the organization of the Clear Fork Baptist Church.

    By 1858, when the Martindale Baptist Church was organized, the charter members included:
        John Hargis and wife Susan
        Murphy Hargis and wife Vashti
        Banister Hargis and wife, Adeline
        Calvin Hargis

    John and Susannah Hargis had ten children:
1 Lee Murphy Hargis
2 Bannister Hargis
3 Calvin Jones Hargis
4 John Henry Hargis
5 Mary Jane Hargis
6 Sarah Ann Elizabeth Hargis
7 Francis Emily Hargis
8 Martha Angelina Hargis
9 John Iverson Hargis
10 James Elexander Hargis

CHILDREN of John Hargis


    The eldest child of John and Susanna Hargis was Lee Murphy Hargis, born 9 August 1829 and died 29 April 1900. His wife was Vashti Martindale, born 27 August 1830 and died 29 April 1910, according to her tombstone in the Hall Cemetery in Caldwell County. The children of Lee and Vashti were Martin, Martha Jane, Melissa, Nettie, Willow and Lee.

    Martin Hargis married Jeanie Staples, daughter of Jack Staples, who founded the community of Staples. Jeanie's brother, George Staples was the editor of the newspaper in San Marcos, Texas. Martin and Jeanie Hargis had sons Oscar D. Hargis and Ross Hargis. Oscar Hargis made seven trips around the world. He lived in Africa for two years, extablishing rubber plantations for Goodyear Tire Company. He later lived in Lubbock and in the Canal Zone for a time. Oscar had a son named Paul Hargis who lived in Austin, Texas.

    Martha Jane, daughter of Lee Murphy and Vashti Hargis married Ben Dixon, a Baptist preacher. They had six children: Charles, Will, Lonie, Tom, Myrtie and Alta Dixon.


    The second Hargis child was Bannister Hargis, born 28 March 1831 and died 31 July 1899. He was married on 6 March 1850 to Mary Adeline Gant, who was born 30 July 1834. Their children were John William, George Dennis, Emiline Parilee and Willie Huard.

    John William, their first child died before the 1860 census. Willie Huard, the fourth child died before the 1870 census.

George Dennis Hargis b 10 Feb 1856
Emiline Parilee Hargis b 22 Aug 1858
Children of Banister Hargis

    This old tintype of George and Parilee was probably made about 1871. In 1871 George was 15 and Parilee was 12/13. George Hargis married Leonora Bagley and Parilee married Robert S. Rowland.

    George Dennis Hargis and Leonora Bagley had six children. They were:
Wiley Bea b 19 Nov 1879
William Huard b 11 Oct 1881
Minnie Lee b 11 Oct 1881
Addie Myrtle b 15 Feb 1884
George Dennis, Jr. b 4 Apr 1889
Claude Aubry b 18 June 1889
    This picture from the Hargis/ Fortune family album with the name Huard is probably of this second son of George Dennis Hargis. No one has confirmed this, however.

"Huard Hargis" is written on this picture

    Emiline Parilee Hargis married Robert S. Rowland or Roland. They had two children: Dennis Burroughs and Addie Grace. Dennis married Aurie Etta Reid on 10 April 1898.


    Calvin was the third child of John H. and Susanna Jones. His name may give a clue to the name of Susanna's father. Calvin was born 10 November 1834 and died 29 August 1899. He married Martha Eveline Crunk in Caldwell County on 1 August 1860. Their children were Will, John, Ellen and Ira.

"Calvin Hargis" is written on this tintype

"Mrs. Calvin Hargis" is written on this tintype


    John was born 24 March 1837 and died 9 July 1838.


    Mary Jane was the fifth child of John H. and Susanna Jones Hargis. Mary Jane was born 9 April 1839 and died 19 Nov 1917. She was married in Caldwell County on 7 December 1854 to Isaac Jackson Miller. He was born 27 November 1828 and died on 3 July, year lost from the record.

the back of this tintype says "from left Matt Sue Miller children of Mary Jane Hargis Miller"
Mary Jane is probably on the right
Picture made perhaps about 1871 when Matt was 14 to 15 and Sue was 9 or 10

    The children of Mary Jane Hargis and Isaac Jackson Miller were:
1) Martha Eveline b 14 Oct 1856
2) John Franklin b 16 Feb 1859
3) Susan Sarah Frances b 28 Sept 1861
4) Lee Walter b 21 June 1864
5) Willie Huard "Bud" b 28 June 1867
6) Jesse b 2 Jan 1870
7) Calvin b 11 Aug 1872
8) Arthur Burroughs b 5 June 1875

1)Martha Eveline Miller was married in 1884 to John Williams (1852-1933). The children of Matt and John Williams were:
Mary Elizabeth b 31 Jan 1885
Walton b 10 Feb 1886
Wilburn b 3 June 1887 d 21 Sept 1888
Ervin b 9 April 1889
Tallie b 6 Sept 1891
Barnie b 6 April 1893
Nellie May b 23 Jan 1895
Nettie Ray b 7 Sept 1896
Johnnie Lee b 30 Jan 1904
2) John Franklin Miller was born 16 Feb 1859 and died 4 January 1883

3) Susan Sarah Frances Miller, called "Sue" was born 28 Sept 1861. She married W. H. Middicks.

4) Lee Walter Miller was born 21 June 1864

5) Willie Huard "Bud" Miller was born 28 June 1867. He married Virginia Fry.


    The sixth child of John and Susanna Hargis was Sarah Ann Elizabeth. She was born 29 July 1841. She married Lewis E Johnson in Caldwell County on 4 December 1856. They lived in Llano, Texas.

    Sallie and Lewis Johnson had no biological children, but 'adopted' Anna Collins who married William N. Cartwright and Kathryn Ellison who married Ira Haynie. Anna and William Cartwright moved to Pontotoc County, Oklahoma around 1900, and had a family of 10 children. Kathryn and Ira Haynie lived near Billings, Montana.


    The seventh child of John and Susanna Hargis was Francis Emily. She was born 18 Sept 1843 and died 17 July 1913.

Francis Emily Hargis
    Francis was married in Caldwell County, Texas, on 8 November 1859 to Robert William Fortune.

    On 15 October 1899, R. W. Fortune wrote

My father, Nelson Fortune, and my mother were married in the fall of 1826. [Family Bible records show the marriage date as Dec. 6, 1827.] Her name was Jane Brackinridge, a daughter of Richard Brackinridge of Meringo Co., Alabama. Nelson Fortune died the 18th day of August 1835, leaving my mother with 4 children, 1 girl and 3 boys, me being the youngest and 1 year old at the time.
We lived in Meringo Co., Ala. Till the fall of 1844 and moved to Kemper Co., near Shyqualak, Mississippi. My oldest brother, Thomas Fortune, went down near Brandon, Miss. and died in 1852. William Merit Fortune married in 1852 and came to Texas.
In 1854 in September my Mother, my sister and her two children, and myself left Kemper Co., Mississippi for Texas in an ox wagon. Came to Caldwell County, Texas, the 8th of Novmeber, being 51 days on the road. I was 20 years old when we came to Texas.
My sister, Sarah Rachel Phillips, died in Feb. 1864.
My Mother lived with me and my famliy and died in my house in 1881, age 73 years.
Old tintype of Jane Brackinridge Fortune

    Thomas Nelson Fortune was born 27 October 1787 and died 18 August 18 1835. Jane Brackinridge was, according to her tombstone in the Clearfork Cemetery nine miles southeast of Lockhart, Texas, born 1 November 1807 and died 10 April 1881. Nelson and Jane Fortune had five known children:
1) Sarah Rachel 1828-1864 who married 1st Mr. Yeamans, 2nd Mr. Phillips
2) Thomas N. Fortune 1830-1852 died unmarried
3) William Merit Fortune 1831-1896 m. 1852 Mary Young who d 1889
4) Richard H. Fortune b 20 Oct 1832 died young
5) Robert William Fortune 1834-1907 m 8 November 1859 Francis Emily Hargis
    Enid Long Barker, his granddaughter, tells us:
Robert William Fortune was a carpenter and was building a house for John H. Hargis, Francis Hargis' father near Martindale in Caldwell Co. when he met the girl he was to marry.
Their first home was on West Fork Creek in Caldwell County. Their first two children were born during the Civil War. They moved to Plum Creek in Caldwell County. Her father moved there too after the War and gave the land for the graveyard. Next two children were born at this home. They moved to Lockhart, Texas in 1870 and in 1873 moved to a farm 2 miles out of Lockhart. They moved to Llano County, Texas, for two years (1883-1885) but returned to live on this Lockhart farm again in 1885. Later the family moved into the town of Lockhart and ran a boarding house called "The Fortune House".
This farm on the outskirts of Lockhart has become in about 1940 the County Park of Caldwell County. The Fortune family are all pleased about this.
The Fortune House was built by Robert W. Fortune himself, and he and Francis Fortune had this as their home as long as they lived. In 1968 it is still standing and in good condition.
Through all their married life they were faithful members of the Baptist Church. Their church meant much to them, and so did their Bible. My memory of my grandfather that stands out indelibly through the years is of this white haired, white bearded man tilted back in his chair on the front porch of the Fortune House with his big Bible open in his lap, thoughtfully reading it.
    Francis Hargis and Robert W. Fortune lived out their lives in Caldwell County. They had nine children. Seven of them are in this family group picture, but it is not certain which is which. They were:
1) Thomas Richard b 30 Sept 1860 d 17 Sept 1869
2) Robert Calvin b 31 Aug 1863 d 5 June 1904
3) Lura Ann Jane b 16 Sept 1866 d 27 March 1943
4) Lewis William b 18 Oct 1868 d 23 Feb 1921
5) Nathan b 8 Dec 1870 d 8 Feb 1871
6) Lizzie Sarah b 8 Oct 1872 d 1 Jan 1896
7) John B b 10 Oct 1874 d 12 March 1930
8) Ada Lina b 9 Aug 1877 d 22 Jan 1920
9) Della Mayb 11 July 1879 d 16 Feb 1946
The FORTUNE family of Caldwell County, Texas
Parents Francis Emily Hargis and Robert William Fortune
Children: Lura Ann Jane, Lizzie Sarah, Ada, Della (standing left end) John B., Robert Calvin, Lewis William

    Francis Emily Hargis collected pictures of her family members and passed them to her daughter, Della, whose daughter, Enid, maintained the collection and compiled the family histories on which this article is based.

Francis Emily Hargis Fortune

    Francis Hargis Fortune died in Caldwell County, Texas on 17 July 1913. She was 69 years old.


    Martha Angelina Hargis was the eighth child of John and Susanna Hargis. She was born 25 June 1845 and died 30 August 1845, just over two months old.


    John Iverson Hargis was the ninth child. He was born 12 February 1848. He married Lucy Sullivan in Caldwell County. She was a daughter of Blackstone B. Sullivan and Elizabeth Watson Michie. The Sullivan family was in Caldwell County before 1850.

"John Hargis" is written on this tintype


    James Elexander or Alexender Hargis was born 13 November 1856 and died about six weeks later on 30 December 1856.

              Caldwell County marriage records include John R. Hargis who married Mary L Barksdale on 17 April 1860 and one on 24 June 1868 which is transcribed as S. C. Hargis and Miss J C Cliett. S. C. Hargis should be Simon Carpenter Hager, according to a descendant. The bride was Josephine Cliett who died in the early years of the marriage and is buried in Caldwell County with others of the Cliett family. The other Hargis male has not been identified. He is not included in the Hargis history compiled by Enid Long Barker.

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