Lorenzo Dow Yarbrough

by Renee Smelley

updated on July 11, 2005


Lorenzo Dow Yarbrough was born January 1840, probably in Houston Co., TX, the son of John Swanson, Sr. and Cynthia Unknown Yarbrough. Dow, as his family and friends called him, was known to have lived with his family in Houston, Gonzales, Atascosa, and McMullen Counties, Texas. He very likely attended school in Gonzales County with his sister Mandy and stepbrother's Jim Tope and John Moore.

About 1858 when Dow was 19 years old he moved to McMullen from Atascosa County with his family.  They settled on a bend of the Frio River with about 30 other families. This was the first settlement of McMullen County and was named Yarbrough Bend after Dow's father, Swanson Yarbrough.  He lived there for about three years, until 1861, when he enlisted in the Confederate States Army at Fort Brown, Brownsville, Texas on 23 September.  He served first in Captain William G. Tobin's Company, 2nd Regiment, Texas Mounted Rifles, stationed at Helena.  He was then transferred to Company K, 2nd Texas Cavalry, under Captain John Donaldson.  He is found to be listed on the 2nd Reg't Texas Mounted Rifles Rolls for years 1861 and 1862 and 2nd Reg't Texas Calvary Rolls for the years 1863, 1864, & 1865. Notes on the rolls say that the 2nd Regiment Texas Calvary was also known as the 2nd Regiment Texas Mounted Rifles.  The Second Texas Cavalry was originally organized in the spring of 1861 under designation of the Second Texas Mounted Rifles.  It was reorganized with all the same officers and enlisted men and at that time it was redesignated the Second Texas Cavalry. Dow appeared on a list of killed and wounded, in an engagement on the Nueces River, near Fort Clark Texas, August 10, 1862, as having a wound in the left hip, a wound that would continue to give him trouble until his death.

He was home on furlough in 1863, when on November 30, he married, in Live Oak County, Miss Nancy White. She was born on August 28, 1848 in Leon County, Texas, daughter of Headley Coburn White and Lydia Wright.

Dow and Nancy are known to have lived in McMullen County, TX where it is expected that most or perhaps all of their children were born. Dow bought a lot of land in block # 36 in the town of Tilden from James Lowe and wife M. J. Lowe in Tilden, McMullen Co., Texas on 16 day of July 1884.

Nine known children were born to Dow and Nancy:

(1) Sirletha Y. Yarbrough was born December 31, 1864 in McMullen Co., TX, married December 27, 1883, McMullen County to Samuel H. Ratcliff.

(2) John Swanson Yarbrough born March 12, 1866 near Tilden, McMullen Co., TX, married Jane "Janie" Louise Crawford on May 14, 1891 in Corizzo Springs, Dimmit Co., TX.

(3) Betty Ann Yarbrough, born August 3, 1869 married Thomas Clinton "Clint" Edwards on May 15, 1888 in Tilden, McMullen Co., TX.

(4) Headley Coburn "Tone" Yarbrough, born January 17, 1872, married Maggie Bell Maples on June 15, 1896 in Uvalde Co., TX.

(5) Nancy Pairlee Yarbrough, born April 28, 1877 in Tilden, McMullen Co., TX, married Valentine Harris Tilley on June 1, 1898 in LaSalle Co., TX.

(6) Jonathan David "Dave" Yarbrough, born April 1881, didn't marry.

(7) Lydia Martha "Lidy" Yarbrough, born March 22, 1874, married (1) Jasper Newton Winters on June 05, 1890 in La Salle Co., TX, married (2) William M. Booth on June 20, 1894 in Frio Co., TX.

(8) Tennessee Alivia " Leavie" Yarbrough, born July 20, 1882, married John Allen "Pete" Blakeney on August 31, 1903 in Hope, Eddy Co., NM

(9) Lorenzo Skidmore “Skid” Yarbrough, born August 24, 1885, married Maggie Jane Cleary on April 02, 1908 in La Salle Co., TX.


Dow and Nancy were living in LaSalle Co., TX by the 1900 census with their children Alevia and Lorenzo Skid. Other families living nearby were their children John Swanson & Janie (Crawford) Yarbrough, Samuel & Selitha (Yarbrough) Ratcliff, Clint & Betty Ann (Yarbrough) Edwards and Dave Yarbrough was living in the household of his brother John Swanson. Nancy's mother, Lydia Wright White was living in the household of her son Lorenzo D. White and another son Headly White lived with his family nearby as well. Other families in the vicinity are Oran and Tennessee Althea "Tennie" (White) Winters, Josiah & Elizabeth (Owings) Yarbrough, Joe & Nina (McDonald) Yarbrough, William & Jeanie (Wilson) Yarbrough and James & Elizabeth "Bettie" Davenport.


The above photo was taken circa 1905


"Family Tradition" from my grandmother Carmen has also stated that around 1901 Dow and Nancy traveled by wagon train to New Mexico somewhere around Eddy County to see about a homestead from New Mexico, but returned, shortly after, back to Texas. We do know that Alevia did travel to New Mexico and and in 1903 married Pete Blakeney in Eddy County, NM, and raised her family there, but it is not exactly known if she was with her parents when she went.

Dow Yarbrough filed for his Civil War pension June 28, 1906. Dow states that he is 67 years old, he resides in McMullen County and has lived in Tilden for 40 years. He is not working at the time and his physical condition is not good. He states he suffers from old age and that he was shot during the war in the leg. He also states that he enlisted in 1861 and served until the close of the war. He states he owns 1 mule worth $50., 1 horse worth $50., and 1 wagon worth $25. It appears that this was a long drawn out process where many Affidavits were taken. Notable affidavits were taken from Daniel T. Winters of Big Foot, Frio Co., TX and Jas. H. Tope of McMullen Co., TX to help prove that Dow actually served in the Civil War. Dow's civil war pension was finally approved on March 25, 1907, more than 2 months after his death.

Dow Yarbrough died January 5, 1907 and his grave is marked with a civil war military stone. Nancy White purchased a home from Bettie Davenport on March 11, 1908 in the town of Cotulla, TX county of LaSalle. Nancy died December 2, 1931 and was buried without a headstone. They are both buried in the Old Cotulla cemetery in Cotulla, Texas. Their son and daughter n law, John Swanson & Janie (Crawford) Yarbrough, and son Dave Yarbrough are also buried on the same row without headstones.


The above photo was taken in July 1999


Notes: Bettie Davenport is Don Crawford's grandmother and in 1908 after Dow's death Nancy purchased a home and lot from Bettie. James H. Tope, a.k.a. Jim Tope, and John M. Moore are the sons of Frances Unknown Tope Moore Yarbrough, third known wife of John Swanson Yarbrough. Daniel T. Winters states he is 64 years old in 1907 and may be the son of Orrin and Susannah (Elroy) Winters.

Source Information

1835 Municipality of Teneha Texas Census

1855 Gonzales Co., TX School Census

1880 McMullen County, Texas Census

1900 LaSalle County Texas Census

Marriage Record - L D Yarbrough and Nancy White

Marriage Record - S. H. Ratcliff & Selitha Yarbrough

Marriage Record - John Swanson Yarbrough and Janie Crawford

Marriage Index at LaSalle Co., TXGenWeb - V. H. Tilley and N. P. White

Marriage Index at Eddy Co., NMGenWeb - John Allen Blakeney

Marriage Index at LaSalle Co., TXGenWeb - Skid Yarbrough and Maggie Cleary

Obituary for Alevia Yarbrough Blakeney

Misscellaneous Land Records

Indian Depredation Deposition taken from Amanda Yarbrough Walker.

John Swanson Yarbrough, Man About Texas by Beth Walker

Thomas Clinton Edwards by Jay Edwards

Civil War Pension Application filed by Dow Yarbrough

Civil War Pension Application filed by Nancy Yarbrough

Confederate 2nd Reg't Texas Calvary and 2nd Regiment Mounted Rifle Rolls.

Amanda Dunn Cude's Notes

Notes and Information from Jewel Tilley Walker and Carmen Tilley Pierce

McMullen County History Book pages 460 - 461

Houston County History Book

Winters Genealogy from Peggy Winters Mullenaux

Renee Smelley's Genealogy File



 Copyright © 2001, 2005 by Renee Pierce  Smelley

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This webpage is part of Renee's Family Genealogy

Dow Yarbrough's Pension Application Transcription

Visit the CO K 2nd Texas Cavalry/2nd Texas Mounted Rifles web site for more information about the civil war unit that Dow Yarbrough served in.

Visit McMullen County TXGenWeb