Joseph T. Henson Family
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History of the family of Joseph T. Henson,
from the Danish Vikings to the frontiers of Texas and of Oklahoma.
family came to the colonies from England in the 1700s, of the stock of the
Viking Danes who invaded eastern England in 850 A.D . . There are noblemen,
privateers, indentured servants among the colonial Henson figures. Efforts by
several researchers to link these colonial figures to this family search are as
yet inconclusive. One link possibility would be the listing of the 1682-3
marriage of William Henson of Finchley, Middlesex, bachelor,about 32, to Mary
Weston, spinster, about 26, of her own disposition; alleged by Richard Howard of
Finchley, registry of the Vicar General of the Archbishop of Canterbury. We
begin our story with the family of Joseph Henson, noted in the 1790 Federal
census for Randolph County, Virginia, the probable father of John Henson (born
about 1780) and his wife Ellenor (Nelly) ..?.. born about 1782, both born in
Virginia during the span of the genesis and events of the American Revolution.
The search continues for the actual parental families of these early Americans
in the young Republic as various of the colonies, including North Carolina, were
considering becoming member states. Reference the documents, in the Virginia
file, entitled 18th century laws, and Virginia-NC.
The parents of John and Ellenor felt the tensions of those days as General Leslie landed with 2,200 British soldiers at Portsmouth and Newport News in October 1780 to provide a diversion in favor of Lord Cornwallis’ command, the British Army of the South, which was moving from its bastion at the port of Charleston, S.C. through the Carolinas to smite the rebel militia and Continentals. The British military, under General Clinton, had recently invested the port city of Charleston and had fortified it. The goal of the Cornwallis campaign was to encourage and incite the support of the loyalist Tories. Cornwallis grew to believe the solution lay in Virginia and swung there in 1781 from the Carolinas and moved through Virginia, hampered by his long supply train and a small harassing force of Continentals directed by the Marquis de Lafayette. Those who weathered this campaign saw Cornwallis stop along the Virginia coast and set up camp at Yorktown on the coast of the Chesapeake to await further orders from General Clinton. Unaware that a powerful French force had embarked from the West Indies, the British navy was content elsewhere and a surprised Cornwallis saw his outnumbered army attacked and defeated, the first major victory of the Continentals and their French allies.
Most Hensons of record during that period were from Northamptonshire and so, we presume, were this young couple. The name Henson (Hinson, Hansen) is of Danish Viking derivation. There were some Hensons who left grinding poverty in Scotland for the Americas in increasing numbers after the Seven Years War in Europe and its extension in the Colonies (the French and Indian War) gave promise to the westward and southerly expansion of the British Colonies. This expansion was felt in the Southwest corner of Virginia and the Northwest corner of North Carolina along the valleys of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Rivers where several hundred Scots arrived each year during the 1770’s. To catch the spirit of these times, we note that, to quieten the claims of the veterans of George Washington’s 1754 Virginia regiment, one of the large chartered land companies sponsoring development of these expansions (The Vandalia) assigned these men a total of 200,000 acres from their much larger patent, of which Washington ended up with 40,000 acres. Washington was not happy since his shares in the Ohio Company and the Mississippi Company were larger than this assignment.
In 1790, North Carolina ratified the constitution and joined the new republic of the United States of America and John and Nellie were married around 1800, probably in North Carolina where their son, Joseph, was born 16 July 1801. One researcher suggests Montgomery County, N.C. as Joseph’s probable birth place. There were about a dozen Henson families listed in North Carolina in the first census of the United States in 1790. It is probable that this John Henson was one of the two males under age 16, along with two males over 16, and five females listed for family of Joseph Henson in Randolph County, N.C. in that census. Or he may have been the John Henson Jr. listed in the 1800 Census for Anson County, N.C. Or he may have been the John Henson, youngest son of Robert Hinson, born 1777 in Fauquier County, reference the Virginia file on Robert of Fauquier. He is not the John Henson listed in Rutherford County in the N. C. census of 1800, that person emigrated to Illinois. At any rate this young couple were on the move by 1804 for their next child to be born in South Carolina.
John and Nellie faced a virtually untracked frontier to the west where the French, Spaniards, and a multitude of Indian tribes held domain and claimed territory, traded, explored, and hunted. Shortly after the birth of Joseph, they emigrated to South Carolina and then on to Georgia by 1804. Beginning in 1776, land was offered via Headright and Bounty Grants along the coast and the Savannah River in the Eastern portion of Georgia. Between 1805 & 1832, as more land was needed to the West, the Creek Nation ceded lands to the United States and lots of 202.5 acres were drawn. John Henson drew one such lot in Oglethorpe County in the Land Lottery of 1807, indicating that he had been in Georgia for four years by that time.
The U.S. Army Rolls for the War of 1812 show a John Hinson enrolled variously with these three units, as a private in the first two and as a corporal in the third: Major Smooth’s Battalion of the Mississippi Militia, the 3rd Regiment of Winterley’s Georgia Militia, and Battalion 7 Regiment of Perkin’s Mississippi Militia. At the close of the War of 1812, the British left weapons with the Creek Nation and the American armies fought a decisive series of battles with the Creeks which resulted in the removal of the tribes to the Indian Territory (now Eastern Oklahoma). By the early 1830s all of the Indians had been displaced. Additional counties were created with the Six Cherokee Land Lotteries. Each new county was divided into Militia Districts and census records are enumerated in this format.
The 1810 Census for Baldwin County, Mississppi shows Hinson, John - 3,2,1,1 & 4 slaves, and he later shows on the tax rolls for adjoining Clarke County in 1813. John died in Marengo County in 1844 and Ellenor died sometime between 1850-1860. Baldwin County was created by the Mississippi Territorial legislature on Dec. 21, 1809, from territory taken from Washington County. Its size was altered several times before 1868, when it received its present dimensions. Available data on names and dates of birth of their children reaching adulthood indicate that one child was born in North Carolina in 1801, one child was born in South Carolina in 1803 or 4, one child was born in Georgia in 1805, and five more were born in Alabama between 1810 and 1824. With these data it is probable that other children were born between the listed Georgia and Alabama births and died in infancy.
The path through Georgia and Alabama was the Federal Road, with its route marked by axe slashes on the way through the heavy woods of the region. Forts were set up along this road to protect the travelers and settlers from the Creek Nation. Perhaps the most famous of these was Fort Mims. There are instances when a member of one race openly shielded or offered protection to their counterpart in the other race. In the midst of the murderous raid on Fort Mims, Alabama, by Creek warriors-which resulted in the deaths of some 500 white men, women and children-one tribesman, for reasons best known to himself, led a white mother and her child to safety. The move west from Georgia followed the displacement of the Creek (Muskogee) and other tribal nations from Alabama Territory to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) after the War of 1812.
The lure of the frontier and the promise of free land pulled both the Henson and Thomas families to Georgia and thence to the West. Beginning in the southern British Colonies at the close of the Revolution, forty-five years later these families were on the frontier in the Republic of Texas. They were a hardy lot and traveled and settled with extended family and friends whose names would show on voter records, censae, and other documents such as witness to weddings.
The following data on the Georgia land lottery in 1807 were probably read with interest by these families with the hope that the acreage represented would be expanded. But such was not to be the case. There was also the disappointment of speculation and unfulfilled promises that were leading to the Great Yazoo Land Fraud. . The news from the West would encourage and draw those who wanted better opportunities for their families.
1807 Land Lottery
The 1807 lottery was for dispensing additional 202 and a half acre lots in original Baldwin and Wilkinson counties of Georgia . Individuals or families who won lots in the previous land lottery were not allowed to participate in the lottery of 1807.
Each participant in the 1807 land lottery had to be: a. Citizen of the US and
b. Inhabitant of Georgia for at least THREE years prior to Act of 26 June 1806.
Each participant in the 1807 land lottery could qualify in only ONE of the following categories:
1) Every free white male, 21 years old or older, was entitled to ONE draw.
2) Every free white male, 21 years old or older, with a wife and/or children under
21 years was entitled to TWO draws.
3) Every widow was entitled to ONE draw.
4) Every white female, unmarried and 21 years old or older was entitled to one draw.
5) Every family of orphans under 21 years of age whose father was dead , was entitled
to ONE draw.
6) Every family of two or more orphans, whose mother and father were both dead, got TWO draws. They would be registered in the county and district where the eldest orphan lived.
7) Every family with only ONE orphan under 21 years of age, whose mother and father were both dead was entitled to ONE draw.
John Henson’s will filed for probate September 16, 1844 cited these heirs: Nelly Henson, William, John, Matthew, James, Mary (Sherwood Hammond), and Elizabeth (Hiram Foster). Joseph had been in Texas since late 1833 and did not figure in the will. Clement seems to have left Alabama westward on his move to Texas and also did not figure in the will.
The nine children, reaching adulthood, of John and Nellie Henson were:
1. Joseph T. maintained that he was born 1801 North Carolina and census data support that date. He married 1828 in Marengo County, Alabama to Mary (Polly) Thomas born 1807 in Warren County, Georgia. Polly was illiterate as were a considerable number of those around her. He died in Jacksboro, Texas 1887. Polly died there also, ten years later.
2. Elizabeth Born circa 1802 or 1803 married Hiram Foster in Marengo Co. on Feb. 13, 1825.
3. Mary (Polly) born 1804 or 1805 in Georgia married Sherwood Hammond in 1825;
4. William born 1805 in Georgia married Hannah Gilmore in 1829 in Alabama. William
Henson was bondsman for a Nathaniel Foster in March 1829. A son, John Gilmore Henson , was born to them in 1832. This son served in an Alabama cavalry Regiment during the War of Northern Aggression. He was captured on the day that Lee surrendered and was released two months later. He moved to Texas in 1871 and his wife petitioned for a Confederate pension there in 1909. In this petition his property was valued at $ 300. He was living in the town of Howth in Waller County, Texas at the time of his application.
5. John, Jr. born 1815 in Alabama, married Malinda Williamson in 1834.
6. Clement born 1818 in Alabama, married Oliss (Oliph) (Olive) Thomas (probable relative to Joseph’s wife) on 10 Jun 1840 in Alabama. On Dec. 6, 1848, Clement & his wife sold land to his brother William. The wording was he sells claim to the estate as one of the heirs of John Henson.. A son, William H.Henson enlisted in Co. H, 36 Texas Cavalry (Confederate) Camp Rocky, June 1863 at the age of 18. Clement moved to Bigfoot, Hayes County, Texas. This William Henson may be the Bill Henson listed in write-ups of several trail drives. In 2000. Mary Grace Williamson identified herself as a great grand-daughter of Clement.
7. Matthew born 1822, in Alabama, married Mary McFarland in 1842.
8. Lucinda born 1822, in Alabama, married William Williamson in 1834.
9. James born 1824 in Alabama married Ellinoor Robertson born 1828 Choctaw County near Butler, Alabama, 25 July 1845. Marriage records in courthouse in Chatom, Alabama Bk.B, page 120. They were wed by Jesse A.Wright. They had 4 children. (first wife), After her death he married Harriette Studivant who bore him two children (second wife). They farmed in Choctaw County, Alabama. James went into the Confederate army in 1862 and, was sick with measles and pneumonia the first year and froze to death on a battlefield. He is buried near Yazoo, Mississippi.
Between 1848 and 1852 Clement, Matthew, Elizabeth, and Mary had sold their shares of their inherited land to their brother William.
Note: There was a practice, on occasion, of naming the first son after his grandfather and the second son after his father. One theory holds John being accompanied by several brothers. There is a possibility that Joseph Henson may have been a surviving child of a brother to John Henson, and raised in John’s household. This scenario would yield William being named for his grandfather and John being named after his father.
The Thomas branch to the Hensons
The earliest we have for the family of Joseph’s wife, Mary (Polly) Thomas, begins with John Thomas, Sr., born probably in South Carolina around 1740. His son, John Thomas Jr., Polly’s father, was born in Georgia around 1776. Other Thomas families are referenced by researchers as coming into Georgia from South Carolina during those years and this very likely includes the parents of our man John Thomas, and of his wife, Phoebe Springer, who was also born in Georgia about the same time, according to later census data. They took a marriage license in Warren County, Georgia June 26, 1801. John was probably the brother or nephew of James Thomas who received a grant of 322.5 acres on Ogeechee in Hancock County, Georgia October 5, 1785 and also bought a tract of land on both sides of Long Creek for 150 pounds sterling April 23, 1795. Richard Whatley sold land to John Thomas in 1796 (Warren County). John Thomas Sr., estate probated July 18, 1799, was probably John’s father.
Phoebe Springer’s line probably derives through Job Springer, born circa 1745, died 1832, locations unknown. He had a son John Springer who married in 1809 to Miner Whatley. John and Miner had a son Elisha born 9 December 1819 in Marengo County, Alabama. (In Warren County, Georgia in 1796, John Thomas bought land from a Richard Whatley. This land was sold by John and Phoebe Thomas in 1799.
Quoting from the book “Early Settlers of Montgomery Co., Texas”:
“Job Springer Sr. was married 3 times. A son by his first wife was Job Jr. who married Lydia May. Their son John May Springer married (in Marengo county, Alabama) Elizabeth Landrum. John and Elizabeth came to Austin’s colony the same time as John and Phoebe Thomas. One family history says John and Elizabeth Springer had a daughter Lydia who married William Thomas, the son of John and Phoebe. (other records indicate Lydia’s last name was Neuman or Nyman. Maybe she was widow Neuman when she married William.). (John Thomas and his son David had land dealings with a William Landrum in Texas. William’s wife was Nancy Gilmore. John and Phoebe’s son Simeon married a Gilmore. Gilmores were security on marriages of John and Phoebe’s daughters Lucinda and Mary who married in Marengo county, Alabama.) From these close relationships, we suspect that Job Springer Sr. was the father of Phoebe Springer.
In 1794 John Thomas Jr. sold 3 negroes to William Thomas of Hancock County (witnessed by Josiah, Sarah, and R. Thomas, all probable siblings of John). John bought 125 acres on Middle Creek in 1796 for 50 pounds sterling of which he and Phoebe sold 120 acres for 150 silver dollars (possibly Spanish coinage) February 2, 1799. Both he and Phoebe made their mark in lieu of signature on this transaction. John is listed as executor on several probate documents during the next few years in that county. He and Phoebe are probably the same couple listed on a deed in Jackson County, Georgia in 1809. This was a frantic time, (1795-1814), when many land titles in Georgia were disputed in the great ‘Yazoo Fraud’ which was finally resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court with financial settlement by the U.S. Congress in the amount of $4,200,000 in 1814.
The 13 children of John and Phoebe Thomas were:
1. Sentha (daughter) born 24 March 1802
2. Nancy, born 22 October 1803, died 28 August 1821.
3. Betsy, born 10 November 1805
4. Mary (Polly), born 10 December 1807, died 30 June 1897, Married Joseph Henson 1828.
5. Lucinda, born 1 August 1810, died in Alabama circa 1831-32, married William Morris in 1830. They had a daughter and William came to Texas with the child when his in-laws did.
6. James Avery, born 1812-14, died 1865, married Amanda Wheeler in 1842 in Texas.
7. John Nelson, born 18 January 1815, died after 1846-47.
8. David, born 27 December 1816, died after 10 January 1837.
9. Sylvania, born 19 March 1819, married D.P. Lang in 1849
10. Annie, born 13 September 1821
11. Samuel Andrew Jackson, born 8 June 1823, died circa 1871. Served in Orrick’s band of Frontier Rangers in Jack County, Texas along with several of the Henson men, to protect the settlers from Indian attack during the Civil War years.
12. William M., born 15 January 1825, died after 1870, married Lydia in 1849.
13. Simeon, born 27 December 1827, died 1 February 1897, married Sarah Gilmore in 1853
The latter eight children came to Texas with their parents and are noted with them in the registry of the Austin Colony. Peter Cartwright traveled to TX with John Thomas according to rolls of Austin Colony
John and Phoebe began their westward trek from Georgia as the Creek Nation lost their lands in a bitter war against U. S. military forces under General Andrew Jackson in 1814 and the Alabama Territory was organized from the Mississippi Territory in 1817. Alabama Territory became a state in December of 1819. Marengo County was formed from lands of the Choctaw Nation in 1818.
rather lengthy petition to the U. S. Congress in 1817 - 1818 gives a view of the
politics effecting the emergence of the Alabama Territory:
“To the Honorable the Congress of the United States, the humble
petition of the undersigned inhabitants of the Alabama Territory
residing near the waters of the Mobile,--respectfully showeth,That your
petitioners have heard with the most serious alarm that applications
are about to be made to your honorable body by the new state of the
Mississippi for an extension of the boundaries of the said state so as
to include at least the whole of the settlements on the western side
of the Mobile & Tombigby
Your petitioners view this proposed transfer of freeman, like the
vassals of European potentates, from one sovereignty to another, as so
repugnant to justice & so completely hostile to the principles of
republican America; that they persuade themselves it will receive from
the representatives of the people of the United States, a prompt &
indignant rejection. That venerable instrument,--the declaration of
Independence,--both established the sacred maxim that "all men are
equal"--and that "governments derive their just powers from the
consent of the governed:
But what equality of rights would exist; if the people of the Alabama
territory were to be bound down by a form of government instituted
without their co-operation by the people of the State of Mississippi?
What equality could they boast of when they found themselves subjected
to the control of governors, & bound by the ties of allegiance to a
government, without having previously had the smallest agency in the
choice of the one or the organization of the other? If the just
powers of a government can be derived only from the consent of the
governed; your petitioners have certainly a right to expect that their
inclinations will be consulted, & that some means will be provided by
which their consent may be manifested, before they are entangled in
the ties of allegiance to a new sovereignty. They have indeed a right
to expect more than this. They are as much entitled as their brethren
of the Mississippi to have a voice in determining the previous
question submitted to the convention, whether it be expedient to form
a partial state out of the Mississippi Territory? The voice of your
petitioners has been decidedly against that measure. But it has been
adopted, and they submit. But they cannot submit in silence to the
doctrine, that after its adoption, they are liable to be bound like a
band of captive slaves to the chariot wheels of triumphant majority.
They are not the inhabitants of a province acquired by conquest, or by
purchase from a foreign power. They claim the rights of original
citizens of the United States. The Alabama territory is, for the most
part, a portion of the state of Georgia, one of the old thirteen
confederated sovereignties: it is entitled by a solemn compact with the
state of Georgia to admission into the Union when its population shall
be sufficient, on "an equal (?) with the original states, in all
respects whatever, with liberty to form a permanent constitution &
But what will become of these privileges if the people of the
territory can be transferred in parcels to the adjacent states? & how
dishonorably will the national faith be violated, if your petitioners
are stripped of that right of forming their own constitution, which
they are as much entitled to, as any of the original parties to the
federal compact! Your petitioners humbly conceive that the reasons
which they have suggested must be conclusive with your honorable body,
against any extension of the territorial limits of the State of
--but there are various considerations which induce your petitioners
to be immovably hostile to the measure.
1.) It will retard the admission of the Alabama territory into the
union as an independent state:--& will considerably augment the
burdens of government, when it is admitted.
2.) considering the actual situation of the country, & the state of
its population;--the dividing line proposed to be established between
the State of Mississippi & the Alabama Territory, is the most
unnatural one that could possible be devised. It is true that in a
county where the population is regularly scattered over the whole
surface of it, a river may be regarded as a natural boundary. But in a
country where the population is confined to the vicinity of the water
courses, & the whole face of the territory besides is a wide waste; a
river, especially if it be only of a second rate in point of magnitude
becomes the most inconvenient 7unnatural boundary imaginable. Such a
boundary separates neighbors. It places under different governments
those who are in habits of daily intercourse. it facilitates the
evasion of both civil & criminal process, & multiplies the means of
rendering the laws a laughing stock to the lawless. Under the
circumstances in which your petitioners are placed, it will frequently
separate one part of a family from the other,& leave the plantation of
a citizen in one state & his mansion house in another. And what would
be gained, to compensate for these inconveniences? nothing: but the
saving of the expense of running one additional line through a country
where hundreds of thousands are already run under the authority of the
3.)--If your petitioners have been accurately informed, one of the most
impressive considerations which induced the late congress to divide
the Mississippi Territory was the danger of a collision of interests
between the two great communities living adjacent to the Mississippi,
& to the water of the Mobile. A future want of harmony in the
counsels of the new government,& perpetual feuds among the people,
were anticipated as the natural result of such a collision. But the
proposed alteration in the boundary line will renew & augment those
very dangers which the division was meant to guard against. The only
difference to be perceived is that with the limits now contemplated by
the Mississippi people, the result of every struggle between the two
communities will be that the people of the Mobile, will be made to
pass under the yoke.
4.) The rivers Tombigby & Mobile are formed by nature to be one great
channel of intercourse between the western states & the gulf of
Mexico. This channel ought to be subject to the regulation of a single
sovereignty. It should be under the superintendence of a legislature,
which will, not only be sensible of its importance, but feel an
interest in promoting its utility & affording to nature all the
needful succours of art. But will such an interest be felt by a
legislature, of which a majority of members will be elected by the
inhabitants of a country adjacent to a rival channel of commercial
intercourse? It cannot be expected. The Alabama territory as it now
stands, possesses an identity of interest, as complete, as any state
of equal extent in the American Confederacy. Whether the people are
stationed on the Tombigby or Alabama,--on the Mobile or the Tennessee;
they are all deeply interested in bringing to perfection the same
channel of trade & commerce. But if you divide them, if you connect
one portion of them to the Mississippi, & leave the other portion of
them to themselves; you paralize their energies, & drop a cloud over
their fair prospects of future prosperity. The general interests of
the Union, call for the highest possible improvement, of every part of
it:--and the Congress of the United States will watch with the most
sedulous jealousy against every measure calculated to obstruct or
retard it. Your petitioners therefore, humbly and respectfully hope
that no proposition for making any encroachments on the Alabama
Territory, will receive any countenance from your honorable body”
Job Springer, John Gilmore, and several Landrums are included in the some 520 listed signers of this petition. No Thomas nor Henson is noted.
As the State of Coahuila of Mexico was opened to immigrant settlement, early colonists received grants of 4,428 acres. Page 26 of "Stephen F. Austin's Register of Families," notes John and Mary Thomas and eight of their children were in the Austin Colony circa 1832, nine years after the colony was established.
"John Thomas, 50 years of age. Moved from Alabama. Phoebe his wife, 50 years of age. 6 Male, 2 Female children"
The below records note their subsequent location in the Republic and the State of Texas.
1837 - Washington Co, Republic of Texas (tax list) [included present Montgomery and Grimes counties]
1837 - Washington Co., Republic of Texas [filed in present Montgomery Co.]
1839 to 1848 - Montgomery Co., Republic and State of Texas deeds
1850 - Montgomery Co., State of Texas (census, household 175]
John ‘s wife, Phoebe, died in Montgomery County before 1850 and John died sometime after that date, before the next census.
A David Thomas born in South Carolina about 1778 also came to Texas around 1860 and his grand-daughter married one of the sons of John and Phoebe Thomas, in Texas. They may have been distantly related. John and Phoebe also had a son named David Thomas. There was another David Thomas who was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and died in the Texas Revolution.
Researchers have earned their merit badges in tracing the whereabouts of these family members over the period of 1832-36 as they were on the move to avoid the armies of the President of Mexico, Santa Anna, who was determined to rid Texas of all who were against him, fostering a Mexico formed of federated states rather than a form of empire with all government by a centrist ruler (read ‘Santa Anna’) seated in the capital city of Mexico. This determination focused especially on the Texican colonists. The following excerpt captures the scene of those times:
Excerpt from ‘the Eagle and the Raven’, James Michener, State House Press, Austin 1990:
”As a reward for the rape of Zacatecas, President Santa Anna had been promoted to the rank of general-in-chief and given the exalted title of Benemerito en Grado Heroico, and there was a rumor that if he succeeded in subduing the Tejanos he was to be named Benemerito Universal y Perpetuo
Accordingly, he spent the late fall of 1835 preparing his army for a major assault against those infuriating dissidents who had begun calling themselves Texicans. Almost none of the Anglos had been born in Tejas and many had been there less than a year. He agreed with an aide who assured him; ‘They are little better than the rabble that you helped defeat at Medina in 1813. Cut-throats sprung from American jails, adventurers who drift down the Mississippi River, corrupt traders from Louisiana, and, I will admit, a few honest farmers from Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.”
Of interest to the Thomas side of Joseph’s marriage are the following excerpts from the book ‘Indian Depredations’ , Wilbarger - (State House Press):
-Page 387 - in 1839 - moving from Bois d’Arc to Bonham, Texas (North of Dallas)- a Mr. Thomas and his son-in-law Daugherty were attacked by Indians.
-Pages 288 and 610 - in 1838 - near Bonham, Texas and Fort English - Andrew Thomas was attacked by Indians and had a narrow heroic escape.
-Page 624 - in 1862 - 5 miles west of the town of Burnet - 5 teenagers,including Marshal Thomas, were attacked by Indians. There were four McGill boys and their cousin Marshal.
Back to John and Nellie Henson
The 1810 census of the Mississippi Territory shows John Henson in a household of three adult males, (possibly his two brothers), one male child, one female child, one female adult and four slaves, in Baldwin County in what is now Southwest Alabama. He had come far from his family home in Virginia, just in time to witness the southerly elements of the War of 1812 and the ensuing war with the Creek Nation. John is noted as one of forty-nine voters listed for Baldwin County in 1813. The census of 1816 finds him head of a household with two adult males, two male children, no female child, one adult female, and seven slaves. The 1820 census shows him as head of a household of one adult male, two male children, one female child, and one female adult. The family settled in Marengo Co. where John died in 1844. John's children born in 1823, 1825, and 1827 were born in Alabama. Marengo County was created by the Alabama Territorial legislature on Feb. 6, 1818 from land acquired from the Choctaw Indians by the treaty of Oct. 24, 1816. The name of the county was suggested by Judge Abner Lipscombe, and was given as a compliment to the first white settlers, expatriated French citizens, and commemorative of Napoleon's great victory at Marengo over the Austrian armies on June 14, 1800. The county seat was originally known as "Town of Marengo." In 1823 the name was changed to Linden, a shortened version of "Hohenlinden," scene of a French victory in Bavaria in 1800. Other towns and communities include Demopolis, where French expatriates settled and formed the Vine and Olive Colony, Myrtlewood, and Sweet Water. Various courthouse records were destroyed by fires in 1848 and 1965.
Most settlements in early Alabama were typical of the American frontier. The French colony at Demopolis however, is a colorful exception. A group of Bonapartists, fearing for their lives after the fall of Napoleon, sought refuge in the United States. Congress granted them 92,160 acres of public land on the Tombigbee River. The settlers were to pay $2.00 per acre within 14 years time. In 1818 the first refugees arrived from Philadelphia via Mobile aboard the McDonough. A total of 347 were granted a quantity of land. The principal portion of the French grant lay in Marengo County but some of it was in Greene, including some very good lands around Greensboro. The French had great difficulty about their location, and’ finding their settlements on land other than their own, three times had to move from their clearings.
The colony was a failure from the start. The French were unable to grow either vines or olives any profitable way. Furthermore, they were continually annoyed by American settlers who settled on their lands with no legal right. Gradually the French settlers returned to France, moved to Mobile, or joined relatives in New Orleans until by 1830 there were few of the original families left in the Demopolis area. While it lasted, the colony had been a bright spot in the wilderness. They were the happy French "in the midst of their trials and vicissitudes” being in the habit of much social intercourse, their evenings were spent in conversation, music, and dancing. The larger portion were well educated, while all had seen the world, and such materials were ample to afford elevated society. Sometimes their distant friends sent them wines and other luxuries, and upon such occasions parties were given.... The female circle was highly interesting. They had brought with them their books, guitars, silks, parasols and ribbons, and the village . . . resembled at night a miniature French Town…………
Many of the grantees, unfortunately for themselves, came prematurely to their lands, they came to the trackless desert or country, almost impervious to the approach of man, without a road or passway; consequently, the means of transportation to their particular allotments of land was so impracticable and expensive that many persons upon their arrival were compelled to settle, temporarily, on their small allotments around the town of Aigleville, where their funds were exhausted and they became unable to make a second settlement upon their large allotment .The surveyors report of these lands will exhibit the difficulty of passing through the country, their notes showing that for many days they could not proceed more than 2 or 3 miles per day. Many of us were obliged to pay as much as four or five dollars per bushel for corn, and a proportionate price for many other articles of provisions, which prices were very frequently doubled by the difficulties of transportation to their residences. 40 or 50 dollars have often been paid for a cow and calf, which can now be purchased for 8 or 10 dollars. Thus commenced our strangers to the language, the manners, and habits of the people of this country, we have been greatly retarded from making the rapid progress which perhaps the citizens of the United States would have made……………………………………..
It will be recollected that the members of our association were chiefly composed of officers and merchants, possessing an extremely limited knowledge of either the science or practice of agriculture; that the region of country which they were to remove was a perfect wilderness; and, under circumstances like these, it is to be expected that very many unforeseen and unexpected difficulties would present themselves; and as the common necessaries and means of support must he obtained before an entrance could be made upon the principal object of the association (the culture of the vine), we have, in many instances, been obliged to neglect the performance of our contract, and yield to the more immediate and pressing demands upon our industry for a bare competency and support in addition to those natural difficulties under which we labored, we had other and more serious ones to encounter. The necessity of first acquiring the means of subsistence; the difficulty and length of time required in preparing and clearing land for that, that the 7 years had nearly elapsed before this was accomplished
Again many of the allotments, from their natural locality, being within the prairie country, admit of no settlement, on account of the impracticability of procuring water, many having dug a great depth unsuccessfully; these still remain unsettled and unimproved. I further will remark that for several years the colony was remarkably unhealthy, scarcely a family escaped sickness, and many of the grantees died. ."(A. J. Pickett , History of Alabama (Sheffield, Alabama, 1896), 663.)
From the way early settlers were buying and selling land, one could say these Hensons were land speculators (as were many others), in every new section of land ceded by the Indians. If one followed cessions for the entire length of the Tombigbee/Black Warrior River system, one would find land transactions by these settlers until the "Panic of 1837," which burst the speculative bubble. An 1850 July 4th toast was "Andrew Jackson, who won his laurels in battle, and lost them in the chair!"
Pioneering settlers needed water, food, shelter, a place to grow a cash crop and easy transportation to a market. The Tombigbee/Black Warrior River drainage area was heavily wooded, had some prairie clearings, fish and game were plentiful, and the river flowed to Mobile (upstream, it also almost reached the Tennessee River, up the Locust or Mulberry forks!). The lure of this land was irresistible to land-hungry pioneers. They came in small groups at first, but soon American settlers were expanding the "bridle-paths" through the Creek Nation to major highways of immigration.
From 1800 to 1808, Washington County ran all the way across Mississippi Territory to Georgia. Indians occupied most of the land. Madison Co. was created in 1809 (the eastern half of the portion above the Tennessee River) from the Cherokee and Chickasaw cession of 1806-7. It was not uncommon for people to travel along the Tombigbee River system, then make the short overland portage to Madison Co. In 1809, Washington Co. was divided into Wayne Co. (in what would become Mississippi), and Washington and Baldwin Co.'s. (in what would become Alabama), over to the river (no longer to Georgia). Clarke Co. was established 10 December 1812. "The enabling act did not name a county seat, and for several years courts were held in private homes, mainly around old Fort Landrum, near the present community known as Winn [SE ¼ of NW ¼, S18, T8N, R2E]." According to Bell's "History of Clarke County," courts "were held in the home of John Landrum during the years 1813-14 and 1816. John Landrum had died during the 1816 meeting."
" The settlement of Winn came about as a result of farmers from the Carolinas and Georgia in search of better farming lands. Others left these same areas of the Carolinas, fleeing British Tories ---." "Early settlers coming into the Winn area in 1812 or before including Landrums, Valentines, Bumpers, Reeves, Calhouns, Dotys, Robinsons, and Winns. " "--- the early settlers of Clarke were typical pioneers. They were looking for a site for their cabins, usually near a good spring or a small creek where they could clear a few acres of land for corn, pumpkins and peas, and where game and fish were abundant. These pioneers owned no slaves, and this class of men formed the army that ran the Indians out of the county. Many of them had no titles to their cabin sites, and as soon as the wealthy citizens from the East came into the county with slaves, many of the original settlers continued on westward and settled in Mississippi and Texas."
The sudden influx of greater numbers of settlers, coupled with intrigues by the British and Spanish, led to the Creek Indian War of 1813-14. A party of "Red Sticks" (war party) developed among the Creeks. When it was learned that they were securing arms in Spanish Florida, a body of Mississippi Territory Militia "attacked the returning party at a bend of Burnt Corn Creek. After an initial success, the Militia became occupied with spoils, and were routed by a Red Stick counterattack. Terrified by Red Stick success at Burnt Corn Creek, the Alabama pioneers left their cabins for refuge in the nearest frontier fort." Unfortunately, that was Fort Mims (a hastily erected one-acre stockade around the home of Samuel Mims. On 30 Aug 1813, most of the five hundred fifty-three settlers were killed by a war party of over one thousand Red Sticks.
The loss of Fort Mims promoted expeditions against the Red Sticks from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia and the building of forts as places of refuge. "Chief among the forts was Ft. Madison at Manila, where troops were trained. Other forts in Clarke Co. were Ft. Sinquefield at Whatley, Ft. White at Grove Hill, Ft. Turner at West Bend, Ft. McGrew near Salitpa, Ft. Landrum and Ft. Mott near Winn, Ft. Carney below Jackson, Ft. Easley at Woods Bluff, Ft. Powell at Oven Bluff, and Ft. Glass south of Suggsville." General Andrew Jackson's Tennessee Volunteers, aided by Chickasaws, Cherokees, and some Creeks, had victories at Talladega, Tallasehatche, Enitachopco, and a stalemate at Emuckfau. Gen. Claiborne's men, assisted by Choctaws, defeated a Red Stick force under William Weatherford (Red Eagle) at Holy Ground. In Feb. 1814 Jackson led his men against an entrenched Red Stick force at the Horseshoe Bend of Tallapoosa River. Almost one thousand Red Stick warriors were killed, breaking the back of the Rebellion. Creeks surrendered almost one-half of the present state of Alabama in August 1814. In 1813, the U. S. had captured Mobile from Spain, extending full control over West Florida.
In 1815, the huge Monroe Co. was formed from the ceded lands (the northern portion was made into Montgomery Co. in 1816). In 1818, new areas were added, now connecting Alabama Territory from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee border. The Territory expanded from seven counties to twenty-one counties. Of special interest was the formation of Marengo Co. and Tuscaloosa Co. on the eastern banks of the Tombigbee River, across the river from the
remaining Choctaw lands, "The Old Demopolis Land Office Records & Military Warrants 1818-1860 and Records of the Vine and Olive Colony" by Marilyn Davis Barefield listed many purchases by Wilson's, Hinson's, Hill's, May's, Arrington's, Gilmore's, Ford's, etc.
The next major cession by the Indians, in 1823, resulted in the formation of Walker Co., thus filling in the Black Warrior River valley with land for immigrants. In 1829, Montgomery, St. Clair, and Shelby Counties were expanded to the Georgia border by Indian cessions. By 1832 most of the Indians had moved west; although a few chose to stay, under the treaty's option. "The signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek did not immediately result in an influx of settlers. The Choctaws had to be removed; the Indians and other claims on land under the treaty had to receive their titles, and land needed to be surveyed. --- In 1833 the federal government announced that the land would be sold ---The St. Stephens land office was the office for the sale of most of the land that would make up Sumpter Co. The residue was attached to the Tuscaloosa land district and sold there." The Sumpter Co. commissioners met at Fisher's Store, selected an adjacent area as the county seat, naming it Livingston. "Many settlers had already staked claims before the land sales began. The fifty Choctaws had their lands, and whites or half-breed squatters had grabbed land at various spots, usually near the Tombigbee River. --- During the next thirteen months, pioneers purchased over half of what would become the county. Early settlers described the land as an almost unbroken forest, with patches of prairie land. --- Although stages were running regularly in the county by 1838, the settlers continued to prefer water routes." They used canoes, skiffs, bateaux, flats and barges to carry cotton, lumber, and produce down streams to the Tombigbee. --- In 1836, 20,000 bales of cotton went through Livingston to Moscow, a landing on the Tombigbee. About that time, the towns were becoming more civilized. Livingston outlawed houses of ill fame, the firing of guns, or brawling in the city limits, required liquor dealers to keep their doors closed, and forbade anyone from breeding horses in public, or allowing hogs to run loose.
When President Jackson introduced his "Specie circular," it was as if someone had removed the props from the economy of the country, resulting in the "Panic of 1837," and it deeply affected this region. Many settlers sold their land and property to more successful planters, and moved west, often to Texas.
Back to the Hensons:
Polly Thomas Henson scrawled a note in the margin of her son Asa’s cattle tally book much later in Texas, that she was ‘borned’ on a farm near Warren, Georgia in 1807 and later lived near Milry, Alabama then on to Montgomery County , Texas when Texas was still part of the Republic of Mexico. She and Joseph Henson were married in Marengo County, Alabama in 1828. Their first child was born there in 1829.
The lure of large grants of land in Tejas was strong. The publicity for the various colonies had reached Alabama. Joseph and Mary Henson followed the trail of her parents and siblings and other Alabamans to the colonies in Tejas, by the ferry across the Sabine River in December 1833, with two small children. Joseph apparently returned for a while to Alabama where he proved his homestead in 1835.
Returning to Tejas, Joseph served with Sam Houston’s Volunteer Army, from March 12 to June 12, 1836 on duty with Co.D which was formed on March 12th under command of lst Lt. J. S. Collard and Captain William Ware, in the 2nd Regiment under Colonel William Sherman for which Joseph was paid $24 by the Republic of Texas on April 29, 1837. He received a bounty grant of 320 acres in 1840 as a result of this service. This company, known as the San Jacinto Volunteers, was in action at the crucial Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836 that captured the President of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and won independence for the Republic of Texas. Joseph Henson is listed among the 35 men of this unit, and noted as being on furlough 18 April, to return 1 May. We have no information on the reasons for his absence, but he missed the musket balls, bayonets, knives, sabers, and cannonade of the most critical event in Texas history, when the people of Mexico, North and East of the Rio Bravo (Rio Grande) and South of Wyoming, became the Republic of Texas with signature of a treaty by the President of Mexico, General Santa Anna. There were seven hundred eighty three members of the Army of Tejas hidden from the much larger army of Santa Anna that day, but rapidly assembled by Sam Houston. Other than Sherman’s uniformed Kentucky volunteers, the soldiers were dressed in tattered jeans and mud-caked buckskin. Seguin commanded a group of nineteen Tejanos, and there were two free Negros, scout Hendrick Arnold and Dick the Drummer. One hundred seventeen of these men owned land in Texas and ten of the fifty-nine signers of the Texan declaration of independence were there, led by Houston and Rusk.. This army had solid colonists along with many cursing, hard drinking adventurers with no education or property – some of whom could not even sign their names. Sherman, Millard, and Hoxley stood with their men, awaiting Houston’s order. Burleson and Lamar led the mounted charge. Largely outnumbered by the Mexican army, the Texicans attacked before the Mexicans really knew they were there, capturing President Santa Anna. On the Mexican side, casualties were approximately six hundred Mexican soldiers killed and a similar number wounded. On the Texan side, casualties were nine dead and thirty seriously wounded. Houston took a musket ball through his ankle.
Mary Henson was a witness to the will of Daniel E. Baylis in 1836 in Washington Co., Texas. Joseph Henson also gave oath regarding this will. We do not know the date and whether this related to the furlough mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
On November 19, 1838, Joseph exercised 135 acres of his military bounty grant in Nacogdoches County. These acres were surveyed but not patented. He then exercised 185 acres in nearby Angelina County which also were not patented. The Census of the Republic of Texas in 1840 lists Joseph in Montgomery County with 320 acres of land and 55 head of cattle. There were problems between these new settlers and those who held Spanish land grants. One family settled in and found themselves in a dispute ten years later with a Spanish land grant claim. In 1842 there were more Indians in Montgomery County than white men. Mexican soldiers had just arrived in the Mission San Antonio and Houston was anxious to move the capitol from Austin to Washington on the Brazos. Montgomery County was divided in 1846 into three counties (Montgomery, Grimes, and Walker).
Horton’s History of Jack County gives this excerpt for one family on the move: “We moved from Montgomery to Smith county, near Tyler in 1848. Seven years later agents came to us advising that we were on a Spanish Land Grant and would have to move. The case was in Federal Court. The father decided to move out before his goods were confiscated so we took 150 head of cattle, shelled 10 bushels of corn and put it in the wagon, put in 200# of bacon, tied a big basket of chickens on the back end of the wagon, loaded our little handful of household goods and drifted west to a point east of Finis, 80 miles to the post office in Birdsville, Tarrant county. In 1856 we signed a petition to give a county where Jack County is. The petition was granted July 4, 1857.”
The practice of settling differences by personal encounters, by fighting, shooting, stabbing, or dueling made the task of public prosecutors difficult. There are presently some 35 boxes of court records for Montgomery County available for the years when the Hensons were resident in that jurisdiction. These are stored in the old jail in Conroe. The following few cases were hurriedly copied from documents in 3 of these boxes. If the pattern holds throughout these records, Joseph Henson was a colorful figure in a populace where each one probably generated their own share of such cases.
There are deed records in the early Republic of Texas governance of Montgomery County relating to the deposition of a colonist headright reserving 640 acres for Joseph Henson.
“12 March 1836
Benjamin Rigsby and wife, Catharina Rigsby to William F. Young MUNICIPILITY OF WASHINGTON: $600 league bounded by lands of Zachariah Lundrum, Owen Shannon, Jesse Beck, William Landrum. Land known as Benjamin Rigby headright. Reserves 1/2 of undivided league for heirs of Thomas Taylor "which they gave him for furnishing money to clear out
of the Office." Further reservation made of 640 acres for Joseph Henson's benefit. 25 acres reserved for Charles Stewart.
/s/ Benjamine Rigsby & Catharine Rigsby
Wit: Charles Yarot, Thomas Gilmore, Wm. H. Baker, William Gilmore.
Probate Court Mar Term 1838-27 Mar 1838 Jesse Grimes, Probate Judge.
Recorded 14 Apr 1838 by Gwyn Morrison, Clerk & Recorder”
There are court documents for Montgomery County concerning a robbery charge against Joseph Henson in 1839 for which the constable Nathan Drake was cited for negligence in letting Joseph go back to his house rather than being in jail1 July 1839. It is not clear as to ensuing action however there is a document instructing the sheriff to sell such of Joseph Henson's goods as necessary to satisfy a judgment of $87.25 in court costs for some case. The sheriff responded with a note on the document that no sale was taken on this execution for want of bidders 5 October 1841.
There are court documents for Montgomery County referring to a libel charge by Joseph Henson and Lem G. Clepper against John Leigh in the spring term of the court in 1843 and 1847. The libelous statement was "There has been nothing amiss since you gave over killing my cattle and burying them". "You are a cattle thief. You are killing them now & you have been a thief ever since you was born." Joseph won the case.
There are court documents for Montgomery, fall term 1839 for the following assault charge with intent to kill brought against Joseph Henson by James Thomas, Joseph's brother in law.
Mr. Thomas’ petition of March 20, 1839: “I was riding the road by Joseph Henson’s and stopped with the children, talking to them. Joseph Henson was ploughing near the house. When I was about to start off, Joseph Henson came running to the house and called out to me to stop. But believing that he was mad with me previous and from threats that I had heard of his making on me of taking my life, I thought proper to go on and Henson ran into his house and came out in the yard again with his gun in his hand and presented his gun at me. And I do verily believe that his gun missed fire or he would have shot at me, and by that means made my escape”
Mr. Thomas’s petition of May 27, 1839: “I was riding on horseback in Montgomery County near Caney Creek, where I saw Joseph Henson in the vicinity. He was armed with gun, pistol, and bucher knive. When I came up to where Henson was, he commanded me to get down and said if I did not he would shoot me. I got down and, being forced by Henson to divest myself of a pocket knive the only weapon he had, Henson commenced the assault with blows. I was beaten to the ground and did not see Henson use a knive.”
James Thomas (his mark)
A year later the parties agreed to dismiss the suit, with Joseph to pay costs of the suit to Mr. Thomas.
There are court documents for Montgomery, November 1846 reflecting a
judgment against James H. Price to pay the amount of $139.40 to John
Landrum for the use of Joseph Henson in the amount of $68.70. This seems to have
something to do with the payment of Republic of Texas tax by Mr. Price.
Joseph and his young family were found in the 1850 Census in Leon County, Texas with nominal holdings of stock animals and a few slaves. But this was not to be the end of Joseph’s contribution to the history of Texas. Texas, with large area and scant population, had joined the United States in 1845. That action and the expansionist spirit prevailing in the United States precipitated war between the United States and Mexico through 1846. To the Texas Ranger companies were added military forts along the Texas frontier over the next twenty years as it expanded into what had been part of Mexico up to that time. Eventually this border reached the Rio Grande and El Paso. The Western plains of Texas were populated with thousands of hostile Comanche, Apache, and Kiowa, as well as outlaws and Mexican Comancheros who worked with these Indians. There were true frontiersmen beyond the military zone but settlers moved in only after there was military protection and where they could find water. Texas was growing along the river valleys. The future of the dry High Plains was not bright until those problems were solved. The coming of the windmill encouraged the movement of families.
Joseph and his family had arrived in Texas December 1833, by virtue of such date receiving a First Class Headright of 1 league and 1 labor (4,600 acres). There was evidently friction between him and his in-laws. There were also problems with owners of the 27,000,000 acres of Spanish Land Grants which limited areas for settlement in Southeastern Texas. These grants were expressly guaranteed by Texas lawmakers. In order to exercise his Headright, Joseph and his family moved on in the frontier to an area where public land was still available. His one league and one labor headright (4,600 acres) was ultimately surveyed on land situated along the waters of Carroll Creek, a tributary of the Trinity River, and recorded January 1, 1855 at Alton, Denton Land District. This record was moved to the newly established Land District for Jack County in 1858.
The Great Comanche Raid of 1840 was the boldest and most concerted Indian depredation in the history of Texas. The raid resulted in two of the bloodiest and most significant Indian battles Texas ever witnessed. Some 600 Comanche and Kiowas swept down from the Hill Country and made surprise attacks on Victoria and the seaport of Linnville. Many settlers were killed and much property was destroyed. The Indians were pursued by Texan forces, surprised and overwhelmed at the battle of Plum Creek. After growing up in the Indian wars of the Georgia-Alabama region and fighting for the independence of Texas from Mexico, Joseph was an Indian fighter to the rank of Captain for much of twenty years after the Republic of Texas was born.
He fought the Comanche and Kiowa tribes, Comancheros, and outlaws as the frontier in Texas expanded westerly from the original colonial settlements. He continued this career of Indian fighter around 1852 at Fort Graham, Texas, (on the east side of the Brazos River, 14 miles west of Hillsboro), where the immigrant road led West to California. Early in this period Dallas was a trading post with one log cabin and a ferry boat across the Trinity River. From there he moved on to Fort West at Decatur (now Wise County) Texas. And finally he was at Fort Richardson (on Lost Creek, half a mile south of Jacksboro, Texas). He was badly wounded in a battle with Indians near Newcastle in Young County, Texas. By 1853 the military post of Fort Worth was no longer on the frontier and was abandoned. . By 1857, the frontier was 100 miles west of the villages of Dallas and Waxahachie, but the sounds of swinging axes and rattling wagons were few, due to the murderous presence of the Comanches. During the War of Northern Aggression 1861-65, as many of the men went to war, the frontier moved back a hundred miles due to the tribal attacks of the plains Indians. By 1875, as the Indian Wars closed with the slaughter of ponies in the Palo Duro Canyon, the Comanche were on reservation in Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
His wife bore him nine children of whom two daughters were born in Alabama and the rest on the move along the frontier in Texas.
These nine children were:
Daughter Elizabeth A. (Lizzie) born 6 July 1829 Marengo County, Alabama, Died 22 March 1875 in Jack County, Texas. Married James J. Dorsey, later married James S. Lauderdale.. Lauderdale was killed by Indians near Jacksboro 1867. Elizabeth had 6 children by Lauderdale: Mary, William Thomas, Margaret, Amira, Jeremiah John, and Effie Blanche Lauderdale. (Matthew Ellison b. 1869 Anderson county S.C. married Effie Lauderdale)Effie died 1895. Matthew Ellison worked at a livery stable, then had the job of driving the mail hack from Jacksboro to Weatherford, TX for 4 or 5 years. He then married Effie Blanche Lauderdale, and to this union four children were born: Bertha May, Willie Martin, Ruby Blanche, and Nettie Lee. In May of 1893, Matthew Ellison and his family left in a covered wagon, with 9-10 horses and 10-15 head of cattle, for Greer County, Texas. They traded some of their livestock and $300 in cash for land owned by Tom Lauderdale and Scheler Richardson, in the vicinity of what we know now as Spring Creek.
An Ellison family history by a family member:. “This is an attempt too make some kind of record or family history of Matthew Greenlee Ellison who was born near Belton South Carolina Feb. 25 – 1861 he was one of 5 children born in that family.
Before I proceed with Matthew Greenlee Ellison I will give some of the background of this family I will take that from the family history written by Carl Grayson Ellison in the years 1954 – 1962.
Now we will begin with Matthew Greenlee Ellison’s family his father was William M. Ellison, his grandfather Captain Miles Ellison, and his great grand father James Ellison, Jr., his great great grandfather James Ellison, Senior.
What I have given up to now is just names, heads of familys, and number of children and some dates.** Carl G. Ellison the writer of the book “Mile Ellison and his decendants” has given several accounts and happenings all down the line. I will give a few of these, first will be Captain Miles Ellison in regard too what should be paid into the Missionary Baptist Church for Home and Foreign Missions they split up, some one way, some another but the next year they all come back under one head the Missionary Baptist Church which Miles had led in organizing this church was part of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the Foreign Missionary Society. The Big Creek Baptist Church stands today as a testimony of this man’s conviction about missions.
Another incident was the Land Grants for Services rendered the Government.
Another is the listing of a farm sale by James Ellison, Jr.’s wife after his death. The inventory of the estate reads:
1 mare and colt $110.00
30 head of hogs $60.00
1 horse and sorrel $70.00
1 horse a Bay Stud $80.00
1 Young black mare $50.00
150 barrels of corn $300.00
foder (fodder) stalk and shacks $26.00
14 head of cattle $72.00
17 head of gees (geese) $8.50
3 set geir $6.50
1 logg (log) chain $3.00
2 pots and 2 ovens $9.00
1 reel and wheel $3.00
2 hide racks $2.50
4 bee stands $7.00
Pewter and tin $12.00
1 loom and tarkling $2.00
Wooding and vesels $9.00
Cubert and furniture $10.00
1 table anc 6 chairs $3.00
1 bed and furniture $10.00
1 bed and furniture $18.00
1 chest $1.00
3 sadles (saddles) $20.00
3 cotton wheels $3.00
1 Negro girl $300.00
1 Negro girl $270.00
1 Negro boy $300.00
1 Negro boy $200.00
14 head of sheep $21.00
This sale was in 1875.
Now I will began with our Dad Matthew Greenlee direct family none of which know but very little. We know Uncle Bill had 2 boys. One we all knew as Cousin Bud Ellison the other Hayden Ellison.
We have no record of Lawrence’s family or Molly’s but his brother John had 4 boys and of course Matthew Greenlee had 15 children. Each of these will give their individual account of their life and family.
All that I know about Dad’s early life is what he told me, his life at home from birth to age 13 didn’t cover much, he told of his play mates Kelly and we find Harve Kelly was a cousin to Dad. Another incident a young Negro slapped Dad then ran, then Dad’s brother John ran in the house for the gun and shot the Negro, Dad thought in the leg.
At the age of 13 Dad left Belton, South Carolina. With a family headed west his job was to care for the teams, get wood and water when they camped. They got as far as Alabama or Georgia and tied up for the winter but before the winter was over he found other means of travel and finally got to the Mississippi River. Then the hardest part was on west to Jacksboro, Texas. This trip covered abut 3 years, as Carl G. Ellison states that the last account they had of Dad was at the age of 16 at Jonesburrow and he must have meant Jacksboro, Texas. That is when he wrote home and felt he would be there long enough to hear from home. His first job at Jacksboro was working at a new one stand gin, he and another fellow carried the cotton in big hampers or baskets to feed the gin. After working the first day they were hungry and broke or almost, the man gave Dad $0.15 said go to the grocery store get 3 dozen eggs, they were $0.05 per doz. Dad always laughed about eating hard boiled eggs for 2 days.
His next job was at a livery stable then the job of driving the mail back from Jacksboro to Weatherford, Texas. This job lasted 4 or 5 years, then he got married to Effie Blanche Lauderdale, and to this union 4 children were born. Bertha May, Willie Martin, Ruby Blanch ad Nettie Lee. But before we go further I should give some account of the Lauderdale family. They were early settlers in Jack County, Texas on Carrols Creek near Jacksboro. Some few years before this time a band of Cheyenne Indians raided the place just before sunrise, Granddad and Grandmother Lauderdale were killed. Uncle Tom Lauderdale gathered the 4 children in the cellar the house, barn and everything was burned and most of the horses and cattle were stolen.
After that Uncle Ace Henson taken charge of everything. The 4 children were Uncle Tom Lauderdale and Aunt Mary Lauderdale (Young), Uncle Jerry, and Effie Blanche Lauderdale who Dad married.
At this time I will give some account of the trip or the move from Jacksboro, Texas to the present old home site where all the Ellison children were reared, Dad and Mother with 3 small children left Jack County, Texas in a covered wagon with a good team of horses, 1 saddle horse, and 8 or 10 head of brood mares and about 10 – 15 head of castle they left sometime in May and arrived at the old home site in August 1893.
I can still remember the names of some of the horses, John and Bill were the team, Dollie the sorrel mare was the saddle horse and old Mollie, Old Paint and Baldy.
Now it is necessary to give some account of how he came by or got possession of the Old Home Place this he traded some horses some cattle and $300.00 in cash to Uncle Tom Lauderdale and the joining east quarter of land he got from Shiler Richardson. Settled on Timber Creek close to where Doxie is or did stand.
The Spring Creek School was built in 1892. Mrs. Shadden was the first teacher and her husband was Postmaster at Mangum, so you can see someone had to attend school I will give a list of part of them Callie, Cassie, Dude and Willie Henson and the Armbruster children, George Huff and his 2 sisters, the Beesons and Bell children.
Now I will give the names of some of the early settlers, the Armbrusters, Hensons, Ebb Howard, Bill Jackson, Paten Huff, Cross Huff, Charley Churchhill, Bells, Beasons, John Plunkett, Perry Parish and George Groff and Ben Groff lived South and East of Carter.
There had been some disputes as too boundary lines when we came to the settlement it was Greer County Texas and North Fork of Red River was considered the boundary line, Oklahoma and Texas were in a lawsuit regarding the boundary lines then we were in Oklahoma when the case was decided in favor of Oklahoma just too show how one moves around I will give an account of the Ellison place.
We lived in 2 states, Texas and Oklahoma, Oklahoma territory, Greer County and Beckham County and Spring Creek School district, Delhi School District and now Sayre School District. So you see that is 2 states, 1 territory, 2 counties, and 4 school districts and never moved out of the same house. This history is given too show what Matthew Greenlee Ellison went through on an Oklahoma farm. Our Mother (Effie Blanch Ellison) died Jan 22, 1895 leaving one infant and 3 other small children.” End of Ellison family history.
Mrs. Tuck Cornelius, nee Sarah Newman, was Amira's step-aunt. After Elizabeth Henson Lauderdale died, Evert Johnson, a fairly prominent man in Jacksboro, adopted Amira. Evert's wife was the sister of Sarah Newman. When Sarah & her husband, Tuck Cornelius, moved to Amarillo, their daughter, Maeve, was the first white child born in Potter Co. Their house is a landmark in Amarillo
Daughter Phoebe born about 1832 died about 1861, also married a Lauderdale(1) then Rev. David Joseph Smith(2). She had three children by Lauderdale : Mary E., Sarah J., Simpson Joseph(died young) Lauderdale and two children by Smith: Alfred Granderson Smith and a daughter who married Mose Rhoades. Phoebe appears to have been named after her grandmother.
Daughter Mary Margaret born about 1833, married Joshua G. Lawrence. Her husband was killed by Indians 1871. Mary had five children : William(Joe) Watson(the outlaw); Cynthia Elizabeth, Isabella, Mary Margaret, and Ida Lawrence
Son William S. born 1835
Son John H. born 1839, married Nancy J. of Kentucky, (same age). They lived in Limestone County, Texas and had three children: John H. (born 1858), Mary E. (born c.1862), and Robert M. (born c.1865)
Daughter Julia Etta born about 1840. Married Samuel Pate Thomas, born about 1838 in AL or SC, son of John C. Thomas. Samuel Pate died in Civil War in Nov. 1861 in hospital in Richmond, VA. Julia apparently died before 1870 as her 2 children were living with her brother, John A. Henson, in Limestone County at that time. These 2 children were Emily J., born about 1856, and Asa Pate Thomas, born 1860, died 1944 in Tarrant County, Texas.. Emily married Nathan T. Holt, son of James K. Holt & Elizabeth Fortner(?). Daughters of Emily & Nathan were 1.Etta & 2. Leola.
Asa Pate married Mary A. "Mollie" Tacker, 19 Jan. 1878 in Limestone Co. Second wife was Jennie R. (?). Asa's children with Mary were 1. Etta L. b. Nov.1878, died 1900-1910, married
(?) Brown. 2. Gracy E. b. Feb. 1882, died 1900-1910. 3.John M. b. Apr. 1885, d.
1900-1910.4. Walter Lee b. 3 Nov. 1887, d. 1911-1920, married Alma J. Thompson. Children were Avis, b. about. 1908, Arnold b.abt 1912. 5. Allen S. b. Jul 1890, d. 1900-1910.
Children with Jennie were 1.Asa E. b. Sept.1894, m. Laura. 2.Ethel B. b.June 1898, d.
1900-1910. 3.Effie b. abt.1901. 4. child, born & died 1900-1910. 5. William E. b. abt. 1906.
6. Earl b. 22 Feb. 1908 d. 18 June or July 1975. 7. Edgar
In 1880, Asa Pate Thomas & wife, Mary A., were living in Jack Co. In 1881 he was in
Limestone Co., TX.
Son Asa Lewis born 21 March 1845 Montgomery County, Republic of Texas. Died 1920 in Panhandle, Carson County, Texas. Married 1865 Jacksboro, Texas to Julia Ann Dean Jay who was born in 1836, Red River County, about the time of the Texas Revolution. Julia died in 1906
Son Joseph T. born 6 December 1846 in Montgomery County, Texas
Son Andrew J. born circa 1848 in Texas and married Elizabeth Hensley in Jack County Texas. They had three sons and three daughters. Jack Henson was on the school board for Urbana School when it was first started. "It was a subscription school, in which people donated money to pay the teacher. School was in session for two or three months in the summer and winter." Urbana was about 5 1/2 miles north of Willow, at first in Old Greer County, but now would be in Beckham. Mr. Jack Henson hired a private tutor to teach his children until the school was built." In an article about the community of Moravia "There was also a pump station down the railroad tracks about two miles north that was called the Moravia water station. It was located at the west side of the Jack Henson farm." Moravia was about 4 miles north of Willow (Greer County) and was just over the county line in Beckham County.
The obituary follows for their son: Herbert Edgar "Hub” born1895 in Greer County, Texas. Married Eva L. Smith 1925 in Marked Tree, Arkansas. Died 1988. Buried Carter, Beckham Co.,Oklahoma where they had lived most of their married life. Hub graduated from the Kansas City Conservatory of Music and The School of Mines, worked as a mechanic when he was young and later farmed the land that he was born on. He fought in France and was wounded during World War 1, served Carter as Mayor and councilman, and was an avid hunter. He left a daughter, Alma Jo Jenkins, two granddaughters and five great-grandchildren, one sister, Jane Blass, of Oklahoma City, and a host of nieces and nephews.
Joseph and Mary were in Lavaca County , Texas for the 1850 census.
Joseph and Mary Henson and their young children were now a part of the hard times in Texas where the story is told of these heartfelt remarks of a grandmother in a letter to her family in Tennessee “Texas is all right for men and dogs, but hell on women and horses”. The more hearty among the males with their healthy and humorous outlook on life found an emotional escape in enormous numbers of practical jokes. Men chewed tobacco and smoked cigars. Older women were often pipe smokers and many of the young females dipped snuff. East Texas communities grew and prospered despite the devastating national panic of 1837. Beginning in the 1840’s, the cow business was swelling to an industry of importance. Texas had land and livestock but little money. The trails to market with cattle and horses saw the money packed in the bottom of ox-carts moving back into Texas. The War of Northern Aggression drove most of the settlers out of Jack county and Indian raiders moved almost 35,000 head of cattle from the high plains to Union Army buyers in Kansas.
From 1787 on, the Jacksboro area lay on the Spanish route from San Antonio to Santa Fe. In 1832 there were five to six hundred trappers on the headwaters of the five rivers in this region. In 1841 the Jack County area formed a part of a twenty-six county land grant known as the Peter’s Colony which was enabled by “An Act Granting Land to Emigrants” signed by acting president of Texas, David Burnett on February 5, 1841. Texas needed immigrants and it needed money. This settlement was exceedingly difficult due to Indian attacks and not until some thirteen years later was the grant surveyed for record. It covered the western one third of what became Jack County. The eastern two thirds of Jack County were opened to settlement under the General Homestead Act of 1853. The new settlers were not too careful in respecting the surveyed lands that belonged to the Peter’s group now known as the Texas Emigration and Land Company who had bought it for twelve dollars a square mile (640 acres). The shaky little Republic of Texas offered little help to the enterprise. Jack County was formed from Cooke County, by the Texas Legislature August 14, 1856. These relative values are of interest: The blue collar wage in New York in 1850 was $1.50 to $2 per day. College tuition at the Eastern Schools was $200 per year. A doctor’s visit cost $5 when one could be found. A Transatlantic fare (one way) cost $60."
The first Indian raid on Jacksboro occurred in the Spring of 1858 with the devastation and slaughter of two families by a band of Kiowa and Comanches from the Fort Sill reservation. Twenty men pursued the Indians and recovered two small children. No one, white or Indian, understood the rapid settlement of the plains. Pressures continued to build from 1825 to 1860 in North Texas as thousands of displaced Indians arrived from the eastern United States and settled on Comanche and Kiowa hunting ground, forced out by the white people east of the Mississippi.
Jacksboro township was settled in 1857 and Joseph and Mary raised their family and dwelt there for forty years until Mary died in 1897. We draw from the rich stories of the ‘History of Jack County’ to relate the life there for this family. Jack County has a special place in Texas history. The frontier should have swept through the county in ten years as it had all across the American Continent. But the march stopped here and Jack County steeped in the frontier period for twenty-five years.
After Texas joined the United States in 1845, Texans expected the federal government to protect them. But it was a futile hope. In the treaty with Mexico in 1848, the United States gained about 20,000 Indians on the Great Plains and in New Mexico but had an army unprepared to deal with them. These plains and desert Indians were different from the settled, agricultural eastern Indians who were handled in their villages. The nomad Comanche, Apache, Cheyenne, and Kiowa could “fold their tents and silently steal away.”
The federal government built a line of forts stretching from the Red River to the Rio Grande. Fort Belknap in what is now Young County was one of these scattered forts. Though soldiers rode daily patrols between the forts, raids grew steadily worse reaching as far south as the Austin area. When settlement reached Jack County in 1854, Indian attacks had become violent. The deadly raids lasted through 1874. A nationally important part in the final American Indian wars took place in Jack County.
Huddled in their cabins on bloody full moonlit nights, settlers could not see the whole picture of the Indian wars, and the later telling of their stories reflects their fear and confusion.
From the History of Jack County-
“ The first Indian trouble for the Henson homestead (1856)—Sister and Alfred were in the cow pen, milking, early in the morning. Sister, then a good big girl, fifteen or sixteen years old, Alfred eight—Sister milking. Alfred holding the calf off—they heard horses. Alfred thought they were soldiers. Sister looked up and said, “They are Indians! Run!” She ran to the house and reported; Alfred stayed where he was. Grandpa (Joseph) came to Alfred. A little later A.J. Henson and a Negro man whom Grandpa had raised also came to them. Grandpa told them to go back and load the guns. This they did and returned at once and began shooting at the Indians. One Indian came closer than the others, Grandpa snapped his gun at the Indian—had failed to load --- worked the lever of his gun, fired, the Indian fell from his horse, dead. His horse stopped in a jump or two, the Indians rushed up around the dead Indian, sheltering themselves by lying on the opposite side of their horses from us, picked up the dead Indian, placed him on his horse and rode away. The fight was over.
The next Indian trouble was when twenty-five or thirty Indians came within 200 yards of our house, between daylight and sun-up. Uncle Jack (A.J. Henson) and Negro Wash began shooting at them. Grandpa came out of the house, fired one shot and an Indian fell dead. That ended the fight, the Indians, as before lying on the opposite sides of their horses from us, circled the dead Indian, loading him on his horse, and vanished. Uncle Jack was wounded twice, once with an arrow and once with a bullet in Indian fights, neither serious.”
The War of Northern Aggression delayed development along the frontier, and Indians on Oklahoma reservations marveled to see the white men fight each other, but quickly realized that the isolated settlements were easy prey. Many of the frontiersmen who joined the Confederate army moved their families back to safety. As troops moved back to eastern battlefields, settlers fled from Young, Archer, and Clay counties. But a band of determined settlers clung to Jack county. These settlers—merchants, cattlemen, cowboys, a few farmers, and families of Confederate soldiers—saw their supply lines and contact with eastern and southern Texas broken. Though the market for cattle during this Civil War was good, Indians harassed cowmen who tried to run cattle on lush grass of the country. The roster for June 25, 1864 of Captain Orrick’s Company B of Texas State Troops notes J. T. Henson as 1st Sergeant, William S. Henson as 1st Corporal, A. L. Henson as a Private, S.A. J. Thomas as 2nd Corporal, and J. S. Lauderdale as a Private. Their muster cards are on file in the Texas State Archives in Austin. These troops were organized in addition to Texas Ranger units for several years during and after the War of Southern Independence. This was a somewhat loosely organized home guard militia group organized in 1861 and later as provided by the Texas legislation of December 1863 to protect the Jack County settlers from the Indians.
After the War, reconstruction brought new people to Jack County. These were Union Army soldiers, some of whom were former slaves. Fort Richardson, for a time , was the largest army post in the United States in numbers of men. This fort brought half a million dollars a year into Jacksboro over a five year period. Armed bands of outlaws, protected by the confusion of Reconstruction, banished law and order. These outlaws openly boasted they could buy enough men to swear to anything. Legal authorities indicted and arrested large numbers of men for murder, theft of horses and cattle, and assault with intent to kill. Yet not one single conviction for murder was obtained until the court tried Satanta and Big Tree in 1871 for the Warren Wagon Massacre. 27 saloons flourished on the north side of the fort. Law and order was for another time. On pay days it was difficult to walk through the area without stepping on a drunken soldier. Justice rode at your side in a leather holster.
Geography too held back the frontier. Jack County is on the western edge of the Cross Timbers, the edge of what Easterners called the ‘Great American Desert’. The United States Department of the Interior declared the 98th meridian that runs through Newport, Cundiff, and Joplin to be the dividing line between the timbered eastern farm lands and the plains grass region. Here at the edge of the plains, the frontier halted to await the invention of barbed wire and windmills that made it possible for settlers to live on the dry plains.
Jack County got its flavor from the many people and races working in harmony and often in conflict. The white race provided numbers of hard-working settlers willing to gamble against terrific odds and also the unprincipled outlaw driven west from more developed areas of Texas. The war refugee and the draft dodgers came. Northern opportunists came to exploit or just to begin a new life in a new country. Cattlemen were willing to hold their claims with guns. Blacks came as slaves, servants, and employees of the whites. Fort Richardson had soldiers of both races, their wives, families, and camp followers. Some came to grab the federal money flowing to Fort Richardson, an American tradition.
And the native Indians made their presence felt in the most forceful way. Jack County lay on the border of the Kiowa and the Comanche favored hunting ground which these two tribes fiercely defended. Fort Richardson’s power was thrown against them, and they hated the fort and its soldiers. They fought back with the desperation of men who knew they could lose everything.
The Dean Family Branch to the Hensons
We will digress here to study this Dean family whose roots trace from Virginia in the mid 1700s on through Georgia and Tennessee, through Arkansas in the 1820’s, then into Texas in the early 1830’s at the old river town of Clarksville on the Red River. Arkansas was separated from Louisiana as part of the Missouri Territory in 1812, then became the Arkansas Territory in 1819, and was admitted as a state in 1836.
The earliest records we have are of Jesse Dean born circa 1780 in Virginia. He married Nancy --?—born circa 1780 in Maryland. She died in 1820. He married again to Betsy Hull March 22, 1821 in Caddo township, Arkansas. Nancy bore him these eight children:
1.. Son Asa born about 1798 probably Tennessee, married Susannah--?-- circa 1820. Died in Texas circa 1844. Two sons born circa 1820 and 1823. Two daughters born 1825 and circa 1835. The latter child was probably Julia Ann Dean b. June 25, 1836 who later married Asa Henson.
2.. Son Edward born 1800
3.. Daughter Sidney born 1805 (in Illinois ?)
4.. Son Levi born 1807 in Tennessee
5. Daughter Matilda born 1809
6.. Daughter Lucinda born 1811
7. Son Willis Dean born 1814.
8. Daughter Eliza born 1816 (in Georgia ?)
The older Jesse Dean arrived in 1811 in the land south of the Caddo River, bounded on the west by the Indian Territory, in the Arkadelphia area. This became Clark County, known early as Arkansas County of Missouri Territory. He reportedly received land grants for service in the Indian Wars. This was very sparsely settled land. In the late 1820’s a large contingent of citizens gathered in what was loosely called Miller County in Arkansas, near the Red River. When the group became large enough and when political conditions were satisfactory, this contingent planned to move southward into Texas as one of Stephen F. Austin’s colonies. 1830 saw this move.
His sons Asa, Jesse, and Edward Dean came to Texas between 1830 and March 4, 1836. Asa’s land grant file in the Texas General Land Office Archives reads that he arrived in Texas October 28, 1835. Another son, Levi Dean, came a bit later, probably between 1835 and 1837. However, they all hit it right and received large land grants. The first census of the Republic of Texas, taken in 1840, shows them prospering in Red River County:
-Asa Dean was taxed on 2,000 acres and 4 work horses.
-Jesse Dean was taxed on 6 slaves, 25 head of cattle, 3 horses, and $4,605 worth of property.
-Levi Dean was taxed on 1,280 acres, 3 slaves, and a wood clock.
-Edward M. Dean taxed on 3,728 acres, 7 slaves, and 10 head of cattle.
-Willis Dean taxed on $100 at interest and 4,605 acres
The family had been in Jacksboro (Jack City) for about eight years when Joseph Henson’s son Asa (Ace) met and married, in 1865, Julian Ann Dean Jay, who came from Paris, Red River County, Texas with several of her relatives, and her one year old son George Seman Jay in late1860 or 1861.. There are Confederate muster cards for “the Red River Dixie Boys” of Red River County for Joseph M., Jessee C., and George W. Jay. Jessee was twenty-eight years old in 1861. Jessee and Julia Ann Dean married in Lamar County just west of Red River County in 1855. Jessee served with the Lamar Mounted Volunteers under the command of Captain Milton Webb, in Ford’s regiment of the Army of the Confederacy under the command of Captain Milton Webb. Family tradition reads that Jessee had not returned and was presumed dead by the time Julia and her son George came west to Jack County about 1861. Julia waited the prescribed period of time for Jessee to be legally declared dead before marrying Asa.
Julia’s father, Asa Dean died about 1844 and her mother, Susannah, married Jesse Jay’s father, George Simeon Jay b. 1806 Indiana d. 1856 Lamar Co. Texas, indicating a close family relationship. Susannah had these children by her Dean marriage- James A., Artimessa, Levi, and Julia Ann. Simeon Jay had these children by his first wife- Jessee C., George, and Mary F. They had these two children by their second marriage, William about 1848 and Susan about 1849. Both William and Susan came to Jacksboro about 1860, probably along with Julia Dean. William married Charity Hensley there b. Oct 13, 1852 Arkansas, d. Mar 6 1872, in Jack County. Susan married Ira Cooper December 29, 1869, settling on a ranch in Jack County. She was Julia’s half-sister. They had three children, Irene, Eula, and Annie. Irene married John Ozier of Temple. Annie married Cal Merchant and lived on a ranch on the Canadian River near the A. L. Henson family. Cal managed the Turkey Track ranch for awhile.
At their marriage, Ace Henson was a nineteen year old frontiersman and Julia was about thirty years old and a mother , born in 1836 on the Red River near Clarksville, the oldest American settlement in Texas. They lost two infant sons, Ira and Robert, and raised three children in this marriage.
The Clarksville, Texas newspaper ‘The Northern Standard ‘ of February 1843 has the following excerpts of interest to these times:
“The money market in New Orleans quotes coined dollars and half dollars at par; smaller coinage slightly discounted; and gold coinage (sovereigns, Spanish doubloons, and Patriot doubloons) at roughly $ 16.60; and various discounted values for banknotes issued by 31 U.S. Banks.”
“An elderly lady in her eighties dies of shock from the delusion of ‘Millerism’ as she views the flames of the conflagration at Cambridge, Massachusetts and the reflections in the clouds. She shrieks ‘it is the end of the world!’”
“10,000 acres of farm land for sale. Cash or negroes.”
An Austin newspaper of August 1842 has these excerpts of interest to these times:
“ Houston is moving the seat of government! This leaves us open to Indian depredations. Nearly half the population of Bastrop and Travis are preparing to depart for the U.S. and other parts of Texas. There is no money in circulation.” (This attempted move from Austin to Washington on the Brazos was caused by the abruptly renewed presence of Mexican soldiers in the Mission city of San Antonio. The proposed relocation was thwarted by the 650 residents of Austin.)
“Houston authorized the formation of a corps of 200 volunteers for defense of the Western frontier. If the Mexican force cannot be found on this side of the Rio Grande, these troops will pass that stream as readily as they would the little rivulets of the Cibolo.”
"List of Votes polled at Montgomery (Montgomery Precinct) on the 4th of June, 1845 for four delegates to a convention to form a State Constitution for the admission of Texas into the United States Union and for one County surveyor for Montgomery County."
[from a list of 158 voters]
20. W.T. Morris [Lucinda Thomas' husband]
68. A.W. Springer
69. John Landrum
70. Wm. Landrum
79. A.E. Springer
116. G.W. Brooks
124. Wm. Gilmore
141. Joseph Hinson
144. Jno. M. Springer
Sam Houston...received 107 votes
John M. Lewis...received 63 votes
James Scott...received 63 votes
A. McNeill...received 106 votes
M.C. Rogers...received 50 votes
D.C. Dickson...received 29 votes
G.W. Banton...received 19 votes
Jas. L. Bennett...received 15 votes
C.B. Stewart...received 120 votes
for County Surveyor:
D.M. Bullock...received 95 votes
John McKary...received 39 votes
Of historical interest, a letter from Sam Houston to Doctor C.B. Stewart (who received more votes than Sam in the above election):
To: Doct. C.B. Stewart, Montgomery TX, 10 Nov 1841
My dear Sir,
At Houston I had the pleasure to receive your kind favor--for the contents, I am grateful, and am happy to say so. You will see that I am to be at Houston on the 25th instant. On the 30th my appointment is to be at your town of Montgomery. Mrs. H. Intends to bring with me. We will be happy to accept the courteous hospitality that you have so kindly tendered to us.
I will be compelled to visit Galveston in a few days. My stay will be short at Houston. I must pass some days on business previous to the 25th. I hope to meet many of the citizens of Montgomery on the 30th. I may be thru on the 28th or 9th.
Ladies may attend if they have any wish to do so. I like to speak to ladies and their presence makes men behave better to each other and themselves also. Be pleased to commend our regards to Mrs. Stewart. Salute all friends. About any arrangements to be made I leave all things to yourself and our friends.
I am very truly yours,
Sam Houston “
The lure of the frontier continued and the area around the SW corner of Arkansas was a hotbed of emotion relative to secession from the Union. Arkansas was to have the dubious privilege of two governments (both Union and Confederate) at the same time. There was a group where the Deans lived who called themselves the ‘Red River Dixie Boys’. Julia married Jessee Jay in Lamar County in 1855 where they had one child , George S. Jay, born in 1859. Family tradition reads that Jessee Jay was missing and presumed dead in 1860. Other sources believe there was a divorce. Whatever the reason, in late1860 Julia Ann kept the name Jay and put herself and son George Jay in a wagon with her brother James and his new wife, and aunt Eliza to come to Jack County, Texas, far from the pressures of civilization as they knew it.
Against the strong wishes of its president Sam Houston and many of the people on the frontier, Texas was still of an independent spirit and opted to secede from the Union. Julia Dean Henson told the story of soldiers rummaging through her household, taking everything they could including the last needles and thread. The Texas Brigade distinguished itself in Virginia during the War Between the States. These efforts depleted the already limited manpower available to defend and develop the Texas frontier. Even those with no strong feelings for the Confederacy moved to organize with the ‘Texas Frontier Rangers’. G. A. Dean, George Dean, J. A. Dean, and Levi Dean were listed on Frontier Ranger muster rolls for this region. Asa L., J.F., Joseph, W. M., and William S. Henson were also on these muster rolls to defend their families.
The frontier homesteads were in severe jeopardy from the tribes of plains Indians and in some areas the frontier moved back as much as a hundred miles during 1861-1866. The ‘History of Jack County’ could be a background for many a ‘Western Tale’.
As the 6th U, S. Cavalry returned to Fort Richardson at the close of the Civil War, they did not understand the Indians nor the terrain. In 1868-69, Asa Henson, Joe Ward, and James R. Robertson were among a small group of local civilians to be employed as scouts in the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne Campaign under General James Oakes, Captain A. Irwin, and Lieutenant Overton. The Congress enacted legislation in 1917 that provided for monthly pensions of $13 for those who had served in Indian campaigns of that period. A feeble Asa Henson and the above noted two friends were apparently the only surviving members of this group of scouts and presented their claim on the proper form, accompanied by the following narrative:
“The State of Texas
County of Potter
Before me ,the undersigned, James N. Browning, a Notary Public in and for said State and County, this day personally appeared Asa L. Henson, James R. Robinson, and Joe Ward, all personally known to me to be credible witnesses, and each being duly sworn, deposes and says as follows:
The said Asa L. Henson declares on his oath that he is seventy three years old and resides at Panhandle, in Carson County, Texas and that he is the applicant for pension under the Act of March 4, 1917, as a former scout of the U.S.Army. and his application is numbered 14974; that said James R. Robinson on his oath declares that he is seventy one years old and resides at Lubbock in Lubbock County, Texas, and is a lawyer by profession; and said Joe Ward declares, on his oath, that he is sixty eight years of age, resides at Hereford in Deaf Smith County, Texas, and by occupation is at this time the duly qualified and acting County Treasurer of said Deaf Smith county.
That said three witnesses all declare on oath that they personally know and are acquainted with the others and they further declare that they all resided at Jacksboro, in Jack County, Texas, during the years of 1868 and 1869; that the U, S. Government Post of Fort Richardson was at that time located near said town of Jacksboro and Gen. James Oakes was the Commanding officer thereof.
That during the said years the said Government Post and said town were situated on the frontier of Texas, and the adjacent country for many miles distant in every direction from said town and Government Post were almost continuously raided and depredated upon by various tribes of hostile Indians and particularly the Comanche and Kiowa tribes. In making such raids, the said hostile Indians would often murder and scalp the ranchmen, steal and drive off their stock and otherwise harass and annoy the scattering citizens of the County; that the United States officers and soldiers, stationed at said Fort Richardson, were unable to prevent said hostile raids and annoying depredations, in and about the county, on account of their unfamiliarity with the warfare and customs of these savage marauders.
As a measure of relief to the ranches and people of the country, these affiants and Sam F. Stinson, Jack Brown, Henry Callis, William McMillan, Charles Hensley, Ed. Wolffarth, and perhaps several others, whose names we cannot now remember, banded themselves together under the leadership of said Ed Wolffarth, to cope with and resist the frequent incursions of said hostile Indians. After such organization, the said company had no suitable arms or other equipment for the service intended. So the said named men , with other citizens of the country, called on said Commanding officer of said Fort Richardson and requested aid and assistance in their said project. The said officer was willing to render the citizens any assistance in his power, but he promptly informed them that he had no authority to furnish guns, ammunition or other supplies. He stated, however, that if these men, who had organized themselves, would consent to be sworn into service as Scouts for the Government, and would submit themselves to do service as scouts and be under command of commissioned officers of the regular army, that then the government could and would furnish all needed supplies, pack mules, and arms and ammunition for such scouting expeditions as might be sent out in pursuit of raiding hostile Indians. This proposition was agreed to and the above named citizens were sworn in, according to these affiants best recollection, by one Lieutenant Overton of the 6th U, S, Cavalry, then stationed at said Fort Richardson in the Spring of 1868 or 1869, but neither of them can definitely remember the month or the year.
That within a very short time, but not longer than two or three days, after the said parties were sworn in as government scouts, an expedition was arranged for an extensive scouting of the country; that said expedition consisted of these affiants and said Sam F. Stinson, Jack Brown, Henry Callis, Michael McMillan, and Ed. Wolffarth, and possibly two or three others, also Jim Dozier, a noted government scout then stationed at Fort Richardson, was one of the party, and Lieutenant Overton and a non-commissioned officer and a private of the 6th U. S. Cavalry accompanied the scouting squad and Lieutenant Overton was in command thereof.
These affiants and said other citizen scouts were furnished, by the government , Spencer carbines, pistols, ammunition and other equipments for scouting service; that pack mules, camp equipage and a twenty days supply of provisions for the entire scouting party , were likewise furnished, and in said Spring of 1868 or 1869, the party started one scout; that the scouting squad went west from Fort Richardson, circled to the Northwest, crossing the headwaters of the West fork of the Trinity River, the Big and Little Wichita Rivers, returning from a point near Red River and arrived back at Fort Richardson after an absence of from twenty-five to thirty days on said scout.
That on numerous occasions after said first expedition, these affiants were required to make short scouts in pursuit of hostile Indians, making an actual service of several scouts altogether. That they cannot now remember who was the quarter-master at Fort Richardson at the time of said service, but they verily believe that he was Captain Irvin of the 6th U. S. Cavalry and stationed at said post.
These affiants do not remember of ever drawing any pay from the government for their services, but the same was done for the benefit of the frontier people.
That so far as these affiants know, the entire party constituting said first expedition are dead, save and except these affiants.
Signed: Asa L. Henson
James R. Robinson
Subscribed and sworn to by the said Asa L. Henson, James R. Robinson, and Joe Ward, before me this 26th day of January, 1918.
Signed: James N. Browning
Notary Public, Potter County, Texas”
The Original Act of 1892 provided pension for service in four Indian wars between 1832 and 1842. That Act was amended in 1902 to cover those who served in ten other Indian wars between 1817 and 1858. It was further amended in 1908 to cover the services of Texans against Mexican and Indian marauders 1855 to 1860. It was further amended in 1917 to cover those who served in campaigns against the plains tribes during 1861-1891.
The official file on Asa’s pension application includes letters from his Congressman and a Senator, urging the review process, and numerous internal documents in review of military records. No records could be found for the officers and quartermaster cited in the claim, nor for the claimed service. With only three enfeebled survivors and no supportive official records, the claim for Indian War pensions was rejected
Back to Joseph Henson
Joseph Henson came to Jack County in the year 1855 and settled on Carroll Creek, five miles east of Jacksboro, near where the Decatur road crosses Carroll Creek. The family consisted of father, mother, five boys, W. L., John, Joe T., Asa L.,and A. J. ; four girls, Lizzie, married Lauderdale; Julia Ann, married Thomas; Phoebe, married Smith; Margaret, married
Lawrence. Indians killed Lauderdale and Lawrence; Mrs. Smith (Phoebe) dying, leaving two heirs, Alfred G. Smith and one sister (Sarah J. Lauderdale) who when grown married Mose Rhoades. The two heirs were reared by Grandpa and Grandma Henson.
Asa’s sister, Elizabeth Henson Lauderdale, was widowed November 22, 1867 when her husband, James S. Lauderdale was murdered and scalped by members of Satanta’s tribe as he traveled between his log cabin home and that of his neighbor John W. Brummett, about two miles from Carroll’s Creek. Lauderdale was returning a borrowed wagon and team to Brummett when the scalping took place. Elizabeth was left with a large family to support. These children were cared for by Asa and his parents. A Jack County Methodist publication gives this obituary for Elizabeth Henson Lauderdale, stating that she ‘died of measles at her father’s house in Jacksboro, leaving behind six well-trained children, gray haired mother & sire, & four brothers. She was daughter of Joseph & Mary Henson, made a widow by the ruthless hand
of the red man about three years ago(actually it was more like 8 yrs).
She was born in Alabama but was raised in Texas.’ One of the Lauderdale girls, Almira, was adopted by a nearby family, Tuck Cornelius. An irony to the Indian attack was that living at the home of Asa’s sister Margaret Lawrence, was a seventeen year old Apache boy named John Watson. John (Joe) Watson was later shot as an outlaw. James Lauderdale’s cousin J. H. Lauderdale died March 24, 1861, both of these Lauderdales were buried in the Henson cemetery.
Although the Hensons had been raided, harassed, and family members had been slain by Indians, there was yet more to come. It was not too far in the future when another sister’s husband would also be slain by Indians. Margaret Henson’s husband, Joshua G. Lawrence, a carpenter, was out hunting milk cows along Carroll’s Creek in an early morning fog when he was set upon by Comanches and Kiowas, and scalped.
There are court documents for Jack County, 1869-70, dealing with a murder charge against Joseph Henson Jr. in the death by shooting of a soldier James Barrett from Fort Richardson. The Jacksboro newspaper ‘The Flea’ of April 15, 1869 reads “Mr. Henson, who killed a soldier at this place in November 1867 has been released from the Post guard house and turned over to the civil authorities, and is under heavy bail for his appearance at court”. This was Asa’s brother Joseph Jr. The story tells of a man who rode up to the Henson log cabin looking for work and, per frontier custom, was offered a meal. While he was eating, a soldier rode up to a shed where Joseph Sr. was working and asked if he had seen this man riding by. When informed that the man was in the cabin, the soldier dismounted and entered the cabin. On doing so he shot without warning and killed the man as he was eating and a bullet passing through the body struck Asa’s mother in the leg. She cried out “He’s shot me!” Whereupon Joseph Jr. came running, and, seeing the blood on his mother, shouted, in words inappropriate for Sunday School “You shot my mother!” and tugged his pistol from its holster. The soldier turned on him with his carbine which apparently misfired and ran out the door. Joseph Jr. shot several times as the soldier wheeled around trying to bring his carbine to bear and the soldier fell dead. In Joseph Sr.’s testimony at the trial, he noted that he was too stove up from old wounds to have participated and Joseph Jr. was on his own with this armed man who had shot his mother. Joseph was acquitted, according to the above dates, approximately a year and a half after the incident.”
The below was the Indictment of Joseph Henson Jr.:
“In the name and by the authority of the State of Texas, the Grand Jurors for the County of Jack in the State of Texas, duly elected, tried, impaneled, sworn, and charged to inquire into an true presentment make of all offenses committed within the County of Jack, cognizable by the District Court of the said County of Jack in the State of Texas, upon their oath do say and present unto the said District Court of the County of Jack in the State of Texas, that Joseph Henson, late of the County of Jack and State of Texas with force and arms and having the fear of God before his eyes but being moved and instigated by the Devil, on towit the twenty-first day of November in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-seven in the County of Jack in the State of Texas in and upon one James Barrett in the presence of God and our said State then and there being wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and that the said Joseph Henson a certain six shooting pistol of the value of Ten Dollars then and there loaded with gun-powder and six leaden bullets, which said pistol he the said Joseph Henson in his right hand then and there held at, to, against, and upon the said James Barrett then and there unlawfully, feloniously, and of his malice aforethought did shoot off and discharge and that the same Joseph Henson with the leaden bullets aforesaid, then and there by force of the gunpowder shot and sent forth as aforesaid, the said James Barrett in and upon the back of the breast and the side of him the same James Barrett three mortal wounds, each to the depth of six inches, of which mortal wounds aforesaid the said James Barrett did die on towit the Twenty-first day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty-seven, in the County of Jack and State of Texas-
And so the Grand Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid do say that the said Joseph Henson the said James Barrett in manner and form aforesaid, wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously, and of his malice aforethought did kill and murder, contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the State.
H. G. Thompson
Foreman of the Grand Jury
S. W. Lanham
Dist. Atty. 13th Jud. Dist. Texas”
Edna Cunningham, near Conroe, Texas, descendant of Polly Thomas’s brother Simeon Thomas & Sarah Gilmore Thomas tells a little about the above story. Supposedly that soldier tried to rape Mary and there were two of the brothers. She didn't know which one besides Joseph T., but anyway the other one fled & hid out with Simeon & Sarah. She says she has a tintype of whichever brother that was and will send it.
According to K. T. Henson , Joseph T. Henson, in the above account, left home immediately following the killing of the soldier fearing what a military court would do to him. The War of Northern Aggression had ended not much earlier and military justice could be swift and one-sided. Joseph T. fled to Missouri where he may have fallen in with some "bad folks". There were rumors that he rode with the Younger Brothers for a time. In 1869 civilian law was restored in Texas and he was able to turn himself in to stand trial in a civil court where he was acquitted of the murder charge. Joseph T. was married to Caroline Bridges in 1872. K. T., their fifth child was born 1881.
*On August, 20,1866 President Andrew Johnson proclaimed the Texas insurrection at an end. However, in the spring of 1867, Radical Republicans gained control of the Texas Congress and proceeded to upset President Johnson's plan of reconstruction. The result was that the newly formed Texas government was set side and military rule was established. Texas Governor Throckmorton and all other civil officers were removed by the military. This was the political environment facing 21 year old Joseph T. Henson on the night, in November 1867, when he shot and killed the Union solider. A new Texas constitution was ratified in 1869. Records of the Jacksboro newspaper `The Flea` indicate the trial of Joseph T. began in mid-April of that year.
As the community developed, a Methodist Church and a school were established on the Carroll Creek property of Joseph Henson. He and his wife were among the charter members of this church.
Quoting one of the family researchers: “James Lauderdale, the husband of Joseph Henson’s daughter, Elizabeth, was killed by Indians in Jack Co. in 1867. Lauderdate who had been to Weatherford and unloaded his supplies during the preceding day, left his home in the morning to return the borrowed wagon and horse to the home of Wilburn Brummett, a neighbor, who lived several miles away. Lauderdate lived on Carroll's Creek, about six miles from Brummett's home. When about half-way between the two places, he was massacred by the Indians, who took his horses. Phoebe Ann Henson was married to Simpson Jones Lauderdale. They had a son, Simpson Joseph, besides the 2 girls. Simpson Joseph must have died young because in May of 1863, Joseph Henson, Sr. was in probate court as his guardian. We think Simpson Jones Lauderdale was the cousin of James Lauderdale who married Elizabeth Ann Henson. Elizabeth could not have married Whitcher in 1876, she died in 1875. Josh Lawrence, who also lived on Carroll's Creek, shortly after Lauderdate was massacred, was out one damp, foggy morning, a short distance from his house, searching for the milk cows. He was also murdered by Indians. Lawrence was scalped, and buried in the Carroll's Creek Graveyard. Mary Margaret Henson was married to Watson before Lawrence. She had a son, I think his name was William Watson, but went by Joe. He turned out to be an outlaw & was killed for being in a gang. Mary Margaret had another daughter, Cynthia Elizabeth, besides the 3 you have. Cynthia married James Wynant. Believe she died in childbirth & the baby died a few months later. We saw her grave when we visited Jacksboro last yr. but at that time didn't know who she was. A few yrs. later this James Wynant married Amira Lauderdale. Have you read the biography of Alfred Granderson Smith in the History of Jack Co.? It mentions in there that because of neglect & abuse he left home at an early age.”
Quoting one of the family researchers:. “On the l870 Fed. Census of Jack Co. TX . Effa , 2 yrs old shows with her Mother Elizabeth and her older siblings. Elizabeth was the widow of J.S. Lauderdale. In the book "94 Years in Jack County l854-l948"., J.S. and James Lauderdale are listed in the book 4 or 5 times. My Great Great Grandfather's 1st wife Phoebe was widow of Simpson J. Lauderdale and her maiden name was Henson. The Elizabeth (A) Lauderdale is her sister and they were daughters of Joseph (Joe) and Mary Henson who are on that census also I must have some place found some cemetary records because I have noted that Elizabeth A. died 22 Mar.l875. When you find Joe & Mary Henson you will see 2 children living with them . They were Phoebe"s children , her Lauderdale daughter and her son by my Gr.Gr.Grandfather , David J.Smith. (his name was A.G.) I think Phoebe died while David was away in the Civil War.. James Lauderdale on 23 Feb l861 voted against secession from the Union and so did J.S. Lauderdale. J.S. was listed as a Texas Ranger for Precinct No. 1, Jack Co. in Capt. T.F. Roberts Co. I don't know any background on the Lauderdales , but I know another person researching them and can look that up for you. I have notes that both families were in Montgomery Co TX in l840 and in Limestone Co. in l850 & l860 and a note that says there is a Probate record in Bell Co. TX for E. J. Lauderdale in April l867.”
Asa Henson and two of his brothers also had an encounter with Indians. All three escaped, although one brother was wounded in the leg. The Henson homestead beat off several Indian attacks. One of the brothers had a thumb shot off.
William Henson's wife was at home one day with her two children and she heard a noise outside. Either she went or she sent John to see what it was and it was Indians. They ran inside and bolted the entrances to the house. One of the Indians was carrying a scalp of a blond woman. The mother recognized it as the hair of her best friend, and she was so shocked that she dropped dead. The children were not hurt and the Indians went on their way.
These were regular days in a town on the main stage line for the Butterfield Stage Line to Santa Fe and California. Charlie Goodnight and Oliver Loving both ran cattle near there when they made their move to get to good grass and market by a roundabout route to avoid the Indians and outlaws, thus opening the Goodnight – Loving Trail across the Pecos, through New Mexico and Eastern Colorado.
After his marriage, Asa Henson operated a livery stable and developed cattle interests around Jacksboro. He also ran a store for groceries, dry goods, general merchandise and liquor to go. (In 1867 receipt for $ 20.67 from the United States Internal Revenue for a Special Tax upon the business of retail liquor dealer.) He purchased this store from Aynes and ran it under the name of the A. L. Henson Co. until he sold it in 1873. He was the Jack County Tax Collector for several years. During the difficult days of Reconstruction after the war, hardly anyone would accept a public office under Yankee soldiers. He rendered ex officio services as sheriff of Jack County , one of seven over a span of four years.
Asa Henson was a prospective juror in the trial of Santana, Satank and Big Tree, three of the Kiowa charged with the barbaric Warren Wagon Train Raid in 1871 where the wagon drivers had been tied to the wagon wheels and burned to death. This trial was held at Fort Richardson in Jacksboro.
Asa and Julia had these five children:
1. James Isaac Henson, born April 14, 1866 in Jacksboro, died mid-July 1965 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He married Roseanna Cecilia McQuillan of Belfast, Ireland in 1893 on her brother’s ranch (the OX brand) along the Beaver River in ‘No Man’s Land’ of Oklahoma Territory. They had eleven children, nine of whom reached adulthood. Rosie was born in Belfast, Ireland November 6, 1870 to Alexander A. and Margaret McQuillan. After several weeks of illness in St. Francis Hospital, Wichita, Kansas, Rosie died there May 26, 1937 and was interred in a Memorial Cemetery in Oklahoma City where her daughter Marie Wallace lived.
2. Robert Fred Henson, born April 14, 1869 in Jacksboro, died July 27, 1870
3. Ira Jackson Henson, born January 30, 1872 in Jacksboro, died May 31, 1873.
4. Eula Ann Henson, born March 27, 1874 in Jacksboro, married William Mitchell Goodnight, February 19, 1893 in the Methodist Church of the new town of Panhandle, Texas- she was nineteen years old, the daughter of a cowman, her husband was a twenty six year old cowboy with the Matador ranch on its holdings at White Deer, near the present town of Pampa. He was born in 1867 near Frankfort, Kentucky and came with his parents and several siblings to the Fort Worth area in the early 1870s. They had seven children of whom five reached adulthood. He died in 1931 at Fort Supply, Oklahoma, she died October 10, 1966 in Guymon, Oklahoma.
5. Louie Ann Henson born February 1881 in Jacksboro, married Asbery A. Callaghan June 5, 1901 in the Methodist Episcopal Church of Panhandle, Texas. Asbery was born November 16, 1878 in Craigsville, West Virginia and came with his parents to Panhandle in 1890. He graduated from Polytechnic College in Fort Worth in 1897. Louie died 1961 and Asbery died October 4, 1966. Both were buried in Panhandle. Asbery had run a grocery business, the Callaghan Hotel, and had served as county treasurer, mayor of Panhandle, president of the school board and county judge. Asbery and Louie Callaghan had two daughters, Pauline (Mrs. H. J. Friday Hughes of Panhandle), and Lillian (Mrs. Howard Anderson of Corpus Christi, Texas). Neither had children. Lillian died May 4, 1954 in Corpus Christi, Texas at the age of 50.
In the 1850’s a few cattle from Texas were moved to the Mississippi River enroute to market along the Ohio Valley. Texas cattle fever spread into Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio cattle. Later drives were met with growing hostility. Farmers along the way feared the fever invariably carried by hardy and resistant Texas longhorns. Armed men killed any cattle the drivers did not turn back. The closing of these trails forced cattlemen to pass west through Indian Territory, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa, a task that proved nearly impossible. However cattle that were selling for $ 3 or $4 a head in Texas would sell for ten times that in Sedaliah, Missouri, and Texas cattlemen were game to give it a try. A herd of 3,500 head was about as large as a crew and the grass and water could handle. If delivered in Missouri, such a herd would net $ 90,000 dollars. Indian raiding during these years halted ‘head-right’ settlement so that ranching developed freely in the public domain. When the War Between the States broke out, cattlemen marketed Jack County herds in the first few months by driving them to Vicksburg, Mississippi and swimming them across the river, but soon northern gunboats blocked them. The war drove most of the settlers out of the county, but a few cattlemen held on. There were sixty-one cattlemen in 1860, but by 1870 only twenty-one remained. After the war cattle raising grew rapidly over the next twenty years. Indians in reservation in Indian Territory and those on the open plains tested those driving cattle. During the ten year period 1858-1868, Jack County and the adjoining counties to the northwest lost an estimated 35,000 cattle to Indians (many were Kickapoo) who trailed them across Indian Territory to Union buyers in Kansas. Those plains were empty of cattle.
The plains Indians were focussed on the Texans who were on their ancestral hunting grounds and were hostile to the movement by Texans of herds through the Indian Territory. Goodnight and Loving blazed a trail westerly around the Indians into Colorado. In 1867 Indians attacked Oliver Loving and his herd on the Pecos and fatally wounded him. The following year, his son James Loving took the Loving herd north through Indian Territory, accompanied by herds of several other cattlemen of Jack county. They represented themselves as Kansas citizens in order to avoid attacks from Indians. The cowboy lived a hard and demanding life. He provided his own saddle, bridle, spurs, and a ‘hot roll’—a few quilts and blankets rolled in canvas; the rancher furnished the horses, wild-eyed and barely broken. He braved ‘northers’, ate trail dust, slept fully clothed on the ground, ate flapjacks of flour and water, drank coffee made of last week’s beans, and bathed when he stunk so bad that he was compelled to –if there was spare water.
The newspaper ‘the Frontier Echo’ of July 18, 1875 reads “taken up by A.J. Henson and estrayed before Thos. W. Williams J.P. Prct. No. 1, one gray mare 14 hands high, 7 years old, branded 8R on its left shoulder and appraised by Jas. R. Robinson and John Cameron at $30”
The Frontier Echo of September 18, 1875 reads “A camp meeting will commence on Carrol’s Creek near Mr. Henson’s on Friday the 24th instant. Some good preaching and a pleasant time is expected”.
The issue of December 15, 1876 reads “A little child of A. L. Henson’s met with a painful accident a few days ago. The little one was sitting on the floor before the fire when a kettle of hot water turned over and almost saturated the little one and there was boiled baby in that house. The little sufferer is getting along as well as could be expected”. This child was probably their daughter Eula –age 2.
From the files of the Jacksboro Gazette newspaper dated July 23, 1880, “A. L. Henson has returned from Chicago and reports the cattle market very dull. He spent a day or two in that city looking at the sights and says it compares favorably with Jacksboro.”
The Jacksboro Gazette of July 17, 1884 reads in part “the Democratic primary convention was held in Jacksboro, the list of delegates to the county convention includes¼.Will Henson¼”
This same issue also reads”The attempt made by a few to call a mass meeting of the citizens for the purpose of organizing a force of men to drive cattle out of the county in the direction of the Red River is very much discountenanced by the majority of our best people. This scheme is virtually killed in Jack County.”
The book “Trail Drivers of Texas’ gives these accounts of several trail drives in which Bill/Will Henson was involved It is not clear if this was Joseph’s nephew, (son of Clement Henson who came to the Hill Country of Texas about this time) or Joseph’s son. The initials W.T. apparently do not match either but are probably a misread : quoting R.F. Gilbreath of Devine, Texas “in 1873 we made a drive from Medina County and near Castroville to Ellsworth, Kansas, crossed the Guadalupe at New Braunsfels, then on to San Marcos, crossed the Colorado River at Austin, on to Fort Worth, crossed the Red River at Doane’s Store, on through Pond Creek, Indian Territory to Russell, kansas, thence to Ellsworth, kansas. They then took another herd on to Cheyenne, Wyoming near Big Spring on the Platte River when Sam Bass and Joe Collins made a big haul from a train robbery. The drive crew included Bill McBee, Quillen Johnson, Bill Henson, Jim Berrington, and three negroes. The trip took about five months.”
Quoting Joe Chapman: “On March 5th 1874, we took a herd of 1,000 head from Pearsall up the Chisholm Trail , crossing the Guadalupe River at New Braunsfels in a severe rain storm with thunder and lightning. It was cold. All hands went to the chuck wagon except W.T. Henson, Old Chief ( a negro) and me. We had to let the herd drift. Took us 2 or 3 days to recover the herd, 30 head short.”
Quoting Jesse Kilgore of San Antonio: “About the last raid made by Indians near Frio City was in 1877, when a band of redskins passed through the Oge and Woodward pasture 5 miles from Frio City. Louis Oge, Cav woodward, Bill Henson, and two Mexicans took their trail, sending one Mexican to town to notify the citizens and requesting help. Some thought it was a ruse to break up the dance so did not respond. In the afternoon, word came that the fight was on with the Indians, men rushed but arrived too late, leaving 46 head of stolen horses. There were about ten Indians.”
“In 1880 we took a herd of 3,200 head from Mount Woodward Ranch on the Leona River in Frio County to Ogalla, Nebraska. Billy Henson was the trail boss. Took us 5 months and 10 days on the trip. The boss took sick and had to quit.”
Very early in Jacksboro history, September 1858, it became a station for the Butterfield Stage Line which provided service to Santa Fe and California twice a week. On one occasion the stage raced its route in competition with a steamship rounding the lower tip of South America, as to which would reach San Francisco first. The Stage line won a substantial amount of money by winning this well publicized race. The Butterfield operated there until the end of the War Between the States.
28 years later, the railroad still had not reached Jack County and the issue of the Gazette of August 23, 1886 notes this advertisement by the Jacksboro & Weatherford Stage Line: “Reduction in fare: On account of hard times the fare on the stage line from Jacksboro to Weatherford in the future will be as follows: Jacksboro to Weatherford $2, round trip $3. On this route the stage leaves Jacksboro at 7 o’clock a.m. and arrives in Weatherford in time for the 7 o’clock train, and enables travelers to reach all points east as soon as by any other route.” Construction of the Texas and Pacific Railroad reached Fort Worth in 1876 and reached El Paso in 1881.
The issue of the Gazette of October 7, 1886 reads “The Indians are determined that the whites shall not use their country for free range any longer. The sheriff of Cowee Cowee, one of the districts of the Cherokee Nation, passed through Vinita, Indian Territory with thousands of cattle belonging to United States citizens. The officers first tried to drive the stock into Kansas, but the citizens in the state secured the enforcement of Kansas law against their introduction. But determined not to be outdone they drove over into Arkansas, where there is no law preventing. In some instances the intruders had hay put up, and established ranches and made many other improvements.”
The Gazette issue of October 14, 1886 quotes a candidate for the office of Sheriff “I came to the area in 1849. It was a wilderness. How did I come? I came from Fort Smith swinging a whip over a government ox team, my shoes were worn out and I was barefooted, the grass burrs being so bad and I not being able to get a pair of shoes¼¼I served as sheriff of Young County for a year and a half (1856) and received $75 in county script”.
There are deeds recorded in Jack County, transferring, in consideration of $5 in hand, 150 acres of land by Joseph and Mary Henson to their son Asa Henson in July 1870, also the transfer of 168 acres of land in consideration of $136 to M. A. Lawrence in October 1871, also the sale of two town lots to James R. Robinson in consideration of a note for $200 in October 1871, also
the transfer of another tract of land to their son Asa Henson in July 1869, acreage unclear.
. There are deeds for Jack County, transferring, in consideration of $5 in hand, 150 acres of land by Joseph and Mary Henson to their son Asa Henson in July 1870, also the transfer of 168 acres of land in consideration of $136 to M. M. A. Lawrence in October 1871, also the sale of two town lots to James R. Robinson in consideration of a note for $200 in October 1871, also
the transfer of another tract of land to their son Asa Henson in July 1869 acreage unclear.
There are probate records dated April 1888 from Jack County for settlement of the estates of Joseph Henson, who died in 1887 wife,Polly Henson heir and executor, and of J.G. Lawrence brother-in-law Joseph Henson Jr.guardian and executor, and of J.S. Lauderdale who died 1867 brother-in-law Joseph Henson Jr. executor and guardian, and of Joseph T. Henson Jr. who died June 1900 wife Nancy Caroline Henson heir and executor.
Probate of the estate of Joseph Henson Sr.,January 10, 1888 lists the following property :
-Three town lots_______________________________$ 800.—
-Two town lots _______________________________ $ 500.---
-Three pair of blankets @$2.50, One quilt $0.50_____$ 8.---
-One bedstead_________________________________$ .50
-One set of books______________________________ $ .50
-Four chairs___________________________________$ 1.—
-One cooking stove_____________________________$ 10.---
-Four plates, one cup and three saucers_____________ $ .40
-One old gun__________________________________$ .50
-One table____________________________________$ .50
-One clock @ $3--, One looking glass $0.05________ $ 3.05
-Note on W. L. Garvin @ 12% interest_____________ $ 537.28
- “ “ D. C. Brown “ ____________ $1,194.06
-with credits as follows:
-Paid on said notes_____________________________$ 63.83
- “ “ “ “ _____________________________ $ 572.06
- “ “ “ “ _____________________________ $ 143.85
- “ “ “ “ _____________________________ $ 125.—
- “ “ “ “ _____________________________$ 77.90
When his father Joseph died in 1887, Ace’s mother, Polly, was numbered among the many widows of the veterans of the Texian War of Independence. The State of Texas had honored these widows by a special 2,000 acre grant to be exercised in the public domain of Texas. After his father’s estate was settled and the receipt of a 2,000 acre widow’s grant from the State of Texas for his mother, Asa and his associate Charles Hensley decided to leave Jack county and enter the final Texas frontier of the high dry plains of the Panhandle of Texas, where the Panhandle of Oklahoma was loosely considered a part of the Indian Territory and an outlet for the Cherokee Nation as it moved back and forth to hunt. Part of Joseph’s family moved to a fork of the Red River only to later find to their surprise that they were in Oklahoma rather than Texas.
Charles Goodnight established one of the first ranches in the Texas Panhandle, the JA Ranch in 1876. Thomas S. Bugbee established the first ranch in Hutchinson County later that year. As a result of soaring beef prices, ranching proliferated in this region of the United States in the 1880’s. The Texas Panhandle with its open range and expansive grasslands became the preferred winter grazing site for cattle migrating south from Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas. This seasonal influx disrupted the practice of local area ranchers who went to great lengths to respect adjacent ranch boundaries. Members of the Panhandle Stock Association pooled their resources and in 1882-85 erected barbed wire barbed wire barriers along a 200 mile stretch of the Panhandle including Hutchinson County to prevent cattle from drifting south into the fertile Canadian River valley. This “drift fence” worked too well in the winters of 1886-1887 when thousands of cattle drifted south ahead of strong storms. These cattle stalled at the fence line and froze or were trampled to death. The staggering losses prompted Federal and State legislation which limited fencing on public lands and the “drift fence” was removed or incorporated into private ranch farming
Ace Henson came to the Canadian River in the Panhandle of Texas in 1887. Times were not good in Jacksboro. He had been ranching in Jack County, but his father’s death and , reportedly, some problems in family and the further beckoning of the frontier led him and his family about 400 miles to the NorthWest.. The Plains country had the wide open ranges he was looking for. The vast herds of buffalo had been decimated. The Comanche had all their ponies killed in the Palo Duro Canyon by the U.S. Army and were on the reservation in white man’s schools. Free range on the Staked Plains of the Panhandle was there for the taking. He first located in Hutchinson County, North of the Canadian River on Morse Creek, about six miles east of the present town of Plemons and ten miles west of Adobe Walls, where they received their mail and attended the Methodist church. In 1890, the Henson family moved into the new town of Panhandle. His family would spend the next twenty years riding to pickup their mail in Adobe Walls, Mineral Wells, Hutchinson City, and Carson City. Hutchinson City and Adobe Walls became ghost towns. Carson City became the present town of Panhandle, county seat of Carson County.
The Texas Legislature divided the Bexar and Young Territories in late 1876 to form the counties of the Texas Panhandle. This legislation covered the formation of Hutchinson, Hansford, and Potter counties among others. Years would pass however, before there would be enough residents in the area to establish county governments and build courthouses. In the interlude various support would come from nearby counties. Potter County was organized August 30, 1887 by 53 qualified electors. With the vote of the 38 cowboys from the LX ranch, Amarillo was elected as the county seat.. In 1887, Ace took his son, Jim, engaged a number of cowboys and drove one thousand six hundred head of cattle from Jacksboro range to the Canadian River in Hutchinson County as noted above. He had colleagues (relatives)from Jacksboro in the cattle business, Mr. Harrell and Charles Hensley, who also moved herds into the area of Hutchinson and Carson Counties. Charles Hensley and Charles Adair were credited (Trail Life of the Cowman, by E. P. Earhart) in first driving a trail from Jack to Abilene crossing the Red River in Montague and the Arkansas at a trading post run by Cherokee Jesse Chisholm. This became the famous Chisholm Trail Ace worked his cattle with Jim Lachman of the DBL brand.
. These three (Henson, Hensley, and Harrell) partnered as the Hensley, Harrell, and Henson Cattle Dealers and, in 1890-1891, had nearly 48,000 acres under lease at three cents a year per acre, in Carson and Hutchinson Counties, extending over into Oklahoma Territory to what is now Roger Mills County of Oklahoma. Ace partnered the DBL and the 22 ranches and managed other ranches for groups such as Kent and Wells of Chicago, and the Rush Creek Land and Live Stock Company, of Central City, Nebraska. He commenced work with T. E. Wells November 1, 1889.
Kent and Wells paid him $2,500 a year to manage their interests. These two groups paid ten dollars a head during 1990-91 to Ace Henson for young cattle on board railcars at Panhandle City. In 1991, the Nebraska group offered their rights and interests in the area to A. L. Henson in return for 450 head of cattle between 2 and 6 years old delivered on board railcars at Panhandle City. This offer was valid for 11 days following which an offer would be made to the Hansford Land and Cattle Company..
. Ace kept nearly every receipt, letter, notebook, tally book, and other business document that he received. The notations are poignant, revealing lonesomeness while overnight in December on the range. There are various hand written promissory notes with his father, and several business men. Often most of the words were phonetically spelled. All were honored and, as they were paid, the signature was torn off and destroyed. At his death in 1925, his daughter Eula had a small trunk where his gunbelt, photographs, and these documents were stashed. At one time this included a brochure from the railroads offering alternate sections of land to settlers along the main line across New Mexico that connected through to California. Driving across the Canadian River, south of Dumas, Texas, years later, his daughter Eula would point out, every time, a small mesa north of the river on the east side of the highway where her father would go to watch over his cattle. He moved cattle through Indian Territory, later Oklahoma Territory, and through Canadian, Texas to the rail head in Kansas. He was the first sheriff of Carson County and, 1904-06, had passes on all the railroads in Texas.
Charles Hensley was the husband of Mary Cooper, whose brother Ira had married Susan Jay, the half-sister of Ace Henson’s wife Julia. Ira’s son-in-law, Cal Merchant, age 22, helped drive a herd of O.S. Company cattle in 1887 to the DBL Ranch, then went to work for the DBL. The DBL was sold to the Turkey Track Ranch then to a group headed by Mr. Wells from the International Meat Packing Company of Chicago in 1890-1891 before being swallowed up by a Scottish Syndicate known as the Hansford Land and Cattle Company). Cal continued there for fourteen years, first as trail boss to Dodge City for three years, then as foreman at the Adobe Walls HQ for the ranch. In 1898 Cal filed on three sections (approximately 2,000 acres) of land in Hutchinson County, north of the Canadian for which he paid $ 2 per acre. He later bought two additional sections of land (approximately 1,300 acres) at $ 5 per acre. Ace Henson’s grand-daughter, Louie Goodnight, spent a summer vacation on this ranch while at business school in Amarillo around 1914 and maintained a close relationship with the Merchant family..
The following excerpt is from a Panhandle, Texas newspaper article on Carson County pioneers:
“In the fall of 1889, Ace brought the other two members of his family, his wife, Ann, and their two daughters, Eula and Louie to their new home. They came from Jacksboro by train to Washburn and on to Panhandle. The Plains country put on a weather demonstration for their arrival; the ground was white with a heavy covering of snow. The weather was very cold.
Ace hired a hack, put hot bricks and warm blankets in it to keep the family warm while enroute to their new ranch home which was about sixty miles away. Before leaving for the ranch, they stopped in front of the one drug store and the post office, which were both operated by Ed Carhart. Typical of the friendly spirit of the new country, Mr. and Mrs. Carhart came out to the hack and met Julia Henson and daughters.
The trip to the ranch took nearly all day. There were only two wire fences between the town of Panhandle and the Henson Ranch; these enclosed the ranch on Dixon Creek.
After a long cold drive Julia Henson saw in the distance a rambling ranch home. Closer view told her the house was made of adobe brick, with dirt roof and plastered walls. The rooms were like the country they had crossed, wide and spacious. All eight rooms were very large. The kitchen and dining room were together.
Julia Henson’s room was larger than the other rooms and had a big fire place filled with a roaring fire. Jim and group of the cowboys were sitting around the fireplace polishing buffalo horns. The house also had a commissary and numerous bedrooms. Ace kept a large number of cowboys, and there was a bunk house provided for them.
“Really my mother and father were pioneers, Jim, Eula and I had our ways as modern as it was possible for our parents to make it," said daughter Louie Callaghan. "Even my mother, though she was among the early settlers in this country knew little of the hardships that many of the pioneer women experienced. Perhaps my father knew her background and wanted her to love the wide open country he had taken her to, so he planned and made life as near like it was in Jack County as it was possible for her and our family”.
Ace brought Jake, the first Negro to this country. Jake was very loyal to the Hensons. He always addressed the white people as 'Mr. Ace', 'Mr. Jim', always using a title before the name. When round-up time came Jake went with the chuck wagon. However, Ace had another one of the boys trained to help around the Henson home. His extra helper, a German man, was entrusted with the responsibility of killing and curing the meat, rendering the lard, making the supply of hominy in the big hoppers, as well as taking Jake’s place he went with the chuck wagon. He also used his ingenuity and made barrels of home-made grape wine from the wild grapes that grew on the river.
Ace bought in wholesale lots. The commissary was stocked with barrels of flour and sugar and cases of coffee, the Arbuckle kind. “I was so small that one of my most vivid memories was going into the commissary and opening the packages of coffee to get the prizes they contained. Jake was really angry with me for opening the coffee," Mrs. Callaghan said.
"My mother”, said Mrs. Callaghan. “was a wonderful woman. In later years I have wondered just how much mother missed the friends, her home, her church and the much more cultured way of life that she had left behind her. She knew that her husband was a real cattleman and these vast acres was just what he needed and wanted, so she never complained or murmured about the new way of life. If she were lonely for the old home or disappointed with the new one, no one ever guessed it."
At the time the Ace Henson family came to their ranch, Panhandle was a very small town. There was only one house between Panhandle and the ranch, a place on Dixon Creek. There were the Paul Bank; a feed store owned by J. E. Southwood; John Young, a Scotchman operated a general merchandise store; a hotel; a livery stable run by Will Coon; the school house; the courthouse; 2 saloons; and no churches. All social life and church life centered on the court house.
Mrs. Callaghan was at one time one of four children in Hutchinson County. There were Mr. and Mrs. Carter who had three small children. Mr. Carter died and Mrs. Henson cared for the three children until their father made plans for them.
Mrs. Callaghan says her mother was very happy when Rev. Sells, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal church, came to Panhandle and led the people in constructing the first church building. The church really belonged to the people, for everyone gave money for the erection of the building, the saloon keepers, the gamblers, the cowboys, the church people. Almost everyone contributed something.
One of the outstanding social events during this time was a dance held at the Ace Henson ranch. People had come to the plains because they wanted broad acres, so they did not let long distances handicap them. People came to the dance from Liberal, Kans., Beaver, Okla., Canadian, Amarillo, and Panhandle. Among the guests was Miss Rose McQuillan, formerly of New York, N. Y., who had come to live on her brother’s ranch at Beaver County, Okla. The music was furnished by Jess Wynne, of Panhandle, Tom McQuillan, and John Haggart. Sheriff T. N. Adams came with his bride, the former Kate Farlow.
The guests were served in the early evening when they arrived. At midnight a sumptuous dinner was served. They danced all night and were then served breakfast before they departed. The people were widely scattered, so when they did get together they made a real affair of their social gathering.
Miss McQuillan was a very accomplished musician, and Ace persuaded her to come to his home as a governess and music teacher for his daughter Louie.
Perhaps the greatest worry of these pioneers was when illness came. At first a doctor was not available and as they did come later, the first ones were called ‘horse doctors’. One winter several of the cowboys became ill with what people in those days called la grippe (influenza). Mrs. Henson gave them quinine and whiskey; soon all had recovered. Later she learned this was the doctor’s remedy.
At another time Julia Henson was very ill and Cal Merchant swam his horse across the Canadian River in order to reach Panhandle and get medicine for her. The treacherous Canadian quicksands always had to be dealt with and this time it was a factor when illness came.
Later the family moved to Panhandle in order to be accessible to school. Ace bought a house east of the Assembly of God church; it is one of the landmarks still standing. The townfolk were impressed when Ace had the first lightning rods installed on his house. The Carhart’s home was at that time just across the street from them.
Mrs. Callaghan always had a warm feeling for the first little church built in Panhandle. It came as a loving gift from all the people, so its dedication was real and sacred. For years she was organist of the church.
Ace’s first daughter, Eula, (Louie’s mother) was married at this church. Their attendants were: Frank Elston, father of Mrs. Letha Gramer; Jessee Jay’s grandaughter Annie Cooper, who later became Mrs. Cal Merchant, of Clarendon; Tom Cleek; Olive Coffer, who became Mrs. Lucien Sellers; Willie Cooper , who is now Mrs. Roy Carhart; and Roy Carhart.”
Ace was a steward and trustee of the First Methodist church. He was the first mayor of Panhandle, served two terms as Sheriff and tax collector and was for many years a member of the school board. He was also agent for the Lone Star Commission Company for many years. During his tenure as the first sheriff of Carson County, Ace had free passes on all the railroads serving Texas. His cattle business took him to the conventions in Kansas City, to all the towns, big and modest, along the trail. While in Woodward, Oklahoma Territory, he received a letter from his family including scrawled notes from his children and a note from his wife informing him that their youngest daughter, Louie, had been confirmed in the Methodist Church. He responded along these lines ‘Louie girl I’m proud of you. I know you’ll do your best. Write to me again, I’ll be stayin in Dunn’s Saloon.’
Jim was sent off on the train for a year or so at university in Buffalo, New York. He won attention for his Western garb as he left the train. Within a short time he sent home a studio photograph from New York City posed in very elegant clothing.
Roseanna Cecilia McQuillan came from Ireland in 1888 to visit her family, several of whom had settled on the Beaver River in No Man’s Land of Oklahoma Territory. An educated woman was a rarity in the region and she found employment for several years in teaching the children of the ranch families. She commenced teaching school at the A. L. Henson ranch on Tuesday, the 19th of November 1889. Jim Henson married this young lady a few days before her twenty-third birthday in November 1893 in the home on the ranch owned by her brother, Jim McQuillan, just downstream from the present trestle over the Beaver in the now ghost township called Buffalo. This was the first Catholic wedding in the area and Father Bagley came from Kansas City for it. Jim McQuillan and his sister Margaret McGinnis were the hosts. The Henson family and Bill Goodnight traveled 70 miles by horse from Panhandle and Tommy McQuillan played the violin for the dancing. Jim and Rosie set up their home on Palo Duro Creek in Hansford County. Her brother Tom McQuillan (author of numerous early Guymon area photos) had a brief interlude in Denver but is noted in the Census of 1900 as being in Hansford. There he met Mary Ann, a young Irish woman, soon to become his wife. Jim Henson served as County Judge for Hansford County. Many of Jim and Rosie’s eleven children were born there. In 1904, the Henson and Goodnight families packed wagons and moved with their milk cows to the young town of Guymon, where the children started public school. Nine year old Louie Ann Goodnight rode her pony and looked after the milk cow. The trip took two or three days. Jim started a chicken farm on the Beaver North of town, operated the Senate Saloon on Main Street (that became the Senate Smokehouse and Pool Parlor after Prohibition). He also served as Sheriff of Texas County and as Tax Assessor.
In 1905, they bought the southern three lots on the East Side of block 500 of Main Street from Rosie’s brother John for $105. The streets were unpaved and there were board sidewalks. Later that year Jim and Rosie took a $1,750 mortgage and built a house for their large family. In 1916 and 1920 they took additional building loans from the Texas County Bank and Rosie’s sister Elizabeth (Lizzie). Their growing family of nine surviving children needed all the space they could manage. The family loved this house and, as downtown Guymon grew, they moved the house to 808 N. Quinn Street next to Rosie’s sister, Lizzie O’Neal, and sold the old site in 1922 to the Masonic Lodge for $6,000.
Rosie taught her children to play music. This home became the center of an extended family of several dozen who would gather each year for Christmas, sleeping on the stair landings and spread on the floors and beds. Music was made every time they were together. The house would fill with laughter. Margaret would sing while Henrietta played the violin and Harriet played the piano. The family always found the smallest of things to be of interest. They had a wit about them that was different than most. Harriet’s daughter, Mitty Mohon remarks that she sees it in all of the eight children of Harriet and in her cousins too. The house was sold around 1965 and moved to an unknown location. Rosie died 1937 in Wichita, Jim 1965 in Oklahoma City.
And now meet these character children; all the handsome and beautiful offspring of a genial saloonkeeper on the frontier, before Prohibition: They were occasional visitors to their cousins in the Bill Goodnight family. The three sons attended Guymon High School. The six daughters attended St. Mary’s School in Wichita and Mount St. Mary’s Cathedral School in Oklahoma City.
1. Margaret Ann, born 1894, died 1982. Married Richard Cottrell of Plains, Kansas, who had a drug store in Plains, a Chevy agency in Liberal, and investments in land holdings. They had two sons Richard Jr. (Dickie), and Billy Ray. Dickie married Willa Rae Wolfe and served in the South Pacific during the war. Their children include Marc, and Kirk. Bill married Elsie Clark. They had five children: Bill Jr., Rex, Susan, Diana, and Vance.
2. Rose Marie, born 1896, died 1990. Worked in the early days office of the County Clerk of Texas County, Oklahoma. By 1921 she was working at the State House in Oklahoma City . Moving on to the Oklahoma Supreme Court she met and married widower W. Robert Wallace, legal counselor to the Kerr-McGee Oil Company and subsequently a Federal Judge in Oklahoma City, no children. They are buried in Oklahoma City.
3. Evaleen Gertrude, born 1897, died 1965. She began as a businesswoman in young Guymon and later in Denver. She had several beaus but did not marry. Buried in Oklahoma City.
4. James Ira, born 1900, died 1954. He was tall and handsome, married Audrey, was proprietor of a nightclub in Corpus Christi. Died 1954. Had one son, Jim, who lived in Oakland, California
5. Asa L. (Ace), born 1899, died August 30, 1964, first marriage to Velma, second marriage to Julia in Denver. In his youth someone tried to steal his car in Guymon and Ace jumped onto the car to thwart this. This action cost him a leg. He had one wooden leg when I met him in 1947 in Denver. He offered me a ride to Guymon (350 miles) and I accepted. He had a bottle of whiskey in the seat beside him all the way and the accelerator as near the floorboard as he could manage. I never rode with him again. He was living in Denver at that time and ran an engine rebuilding service there. He was often prone to exaggerate and his cousin, Louie Goodnight Adams, said he was the biggest liar she ever knew. He had a son, Asa Jr., who became an airline pilot with United Airlines, married and had six children.
6. Charles Thomas (Omer) born 1904, died 1969, married Edna. They made their home in California and had two children, Rosemary and Charles Thomas (Omer) Jr. Omer Jr. served in the Navy and on the Fresno police force. He married Nancy Epstein and they had three sons and four daughters. He died in 2000.
7. And 8. The twins, Harriet Elizabeth and Henrietta Isabel, Harriet was born 1908 and died in 1999. Henrietta was born 1908 and died in 1965. These twins were full of talent and also full of life. They played the piano and violin and performed in movie houses such as the Miller Theater and the Orpheum in Wichita. Harriet loved horses. When she was a young girl she would go into the stables in Guymon and saddle up a horse and go riding. Of course when she got back the owner of the stables had reported the horse as stolen. Her father was there taking the report when here comes Harriet on the horse. When Papa confronted her about taking the horse, Harriet said ‘Oh Papa, I didn’t steal the horse or take the horse, I would never do a thing like that. I was only borrowing the horse for a couple of hours to go riding.’ She then turned to the owner of the horse and said “Here sir, you have a fine horse and thank you for letting me borrow your horse for a great ride”. Papa said the owner smiled and said “Oh little girl you are welcome and I’m glad you enjoyed your ride”. After that Papa bought her a horse and she named him “Doogie”. . After that she would ride her horse down to the Beaver River to visit her Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Paddy O’Neal. Most of the time she would spend the night with them and ride back the next day. She also rode to the chicken farm on the Beaver to see Papa whenever he was there. When Harriet was eighteen she drove Aunt Maggie McQuillan to New York and Niagara Falls to see the McQuillan family that still lived there at the time. My Mama (Harriet) told me about the rubber tires that they had on the cars and what the roads were like on that trip. She said it was a great experience for her as well as for Aunt Maggie. Aunt Maggie died the following year, leaving her little car to Harriet. How special. Harriet Elizabeth married James Swingley in the big house in Guymon They made their home in Wichita, Kansas. Children were Evaleen Rose, Marie (Mitty) Mohon of Irving, Texas, Margaret, Mary Kathleen, James, and Asa. Harriet died in Mitty’s home in Irving, Texas, March 4, 1999.
Henrietta Isabel married several times, lastly to Elmer Johnson. She died in 1954.
9. Lorena Elizabeth (Bish) born July 22, 1909 Guymon, Oklahoma, married Edward G. Troje as he returned from the Navy at the end of World War II, they have two daughters Margaret Mary (Maggie) Haven and Patricia Ann (Patty) Sisk. Bish died in Denver, Colorado August 14, 1999. She was called Bish by all her siblings or more commonly ‘Baby’ or ‘Baby Sister’ all her life. Her nieces and nephews called her ‘Aunt Sister’.
The following excerpt is from a Guymon, Oklahoma newspaper article of 1953 on Pioneer Queens
“OLD TIMERS HAVE THEIR QUEEN, IT’S EULA HENSON GOODNIGHT”
Eula Henson Goodnight of Guymon has been selected as the “Old-Timers Pioneer Day Queen”, Tom Houser, chairman of the old-timers committee said Friday.
Mrs. Goodnight succeeds Mrs. Helen Booth Forman of Guymon , last year’s queen. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Asa L. Henson and was born on March 27, 1874 at Jacksboro, Texas. She came to the Texas Panhandle when 15 years old.
Her father “Uncle Ace” Henson, had moved his cattle to the High Plains in 1887, locating on the old D.B. L. ranch on the Canadian river, ten miles west of Adobe Walls, and moved his family to the ranch in 1889.
She and her brother, Jim Henson, spent their time in riding the range helping with the cattle. Her special job was to ride to Adobe Walls once each week to get the mail.
Education during that day and time was not neglected, however, Mrs. Goodnight’s father obtained the services of Miss Rosa McQuillen of New York City, who was visiting her brother, Jim McQuillen, on the Beaver.
Miss McQuillan became a private tutor, teaching “books and music” to Misses Eula and Louie Henson, and later became the bride of Jim Henson, their brother.
In 1891 the Hensons moved to Panhandle. Texas, 30 miles East of Amarillo. Square dances were held in the Carson County court house with people riding in from miles away with their families for these wonderful social occasions. Eula soon met a harmonica playing cowboy with the Matagorda ranch who called these dances.
February 19, 1893, Miss Eula Henson married this harmonica playing cowboy,William M. Goodnight, at Panhandle. The couple had seven children, two of whom died in infancy. Their oldest son, Harry, died in 1941.
Bill and Eula Goodnight moved to the Palo Duro creek in Hansford County, Texas in 1900. This tested her mettle as a real Pioneer. When her husband had to leave to freight their supplies from Channing with a six-mule team and wagons, she had to stay at home alone with her children. Rattle snakes, coyotes, sickness and hard living were encountered.
Mr. and Mrs. Goodnight moved to Guymon in 1903, coming in covered wagons. It took two days to make the trip with their children, baggage, and a milk cow. Bill ran a dray freight service there and held several county jobs related to serving the local cattle industry including county weigher and hide inspector. About 1922, Bill and Eula moved to Amarillo, Texas to be near their family. Bill served in the Amarillo Police Department until his death in 1930 in hospital at Fort Supply, Oklahoma. One of his pocket journals while on the police force notes interesting tidbits on what he saw during that period.
After Bill Goodnight’s death she made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Louie Adams, initially in Hooker, Oklahoma then, from mid- 1942 to her death in October 1966, in the Adams family home at 816 N. Ellison , Guymon, Oklahoma. She is buried in Elmhurst Cemetery in Guymon. Other surviving children were James Goodnight of San Francisco, California; Mrs. Helen Oliver of Amarillo, Texas; and Jack Goodnight of Great Bend , Kansas.
Attachment A -
Preserved Paper Records of the A. L. Henson Family on File with the Plains Museum in Canyon, Texas. Partly Recorded in the Document Section of the Photograph Section of the History of this Family.
File Reference - Date - Description - Persons named - Location
1. 1823, 1835, 1837 Alabama Federal land patents for John, Joseph, William, Clement, and John Henson Jr.
2. 1837 Affidavit of service in volunteer army of Texas - 3 months service, March 12 to June 12 through the battle of San Jacinto and the capture of General Santa Ana - $ 24 pay -Joseph Henson
3. 1838 Military Bounty 320 acre Land Certificate – Joseph Henson
4. 1855 Claim for 320 acre Bounty Land - Joseph Henson
5. 1855 Survey for exercise of Headright of one league and one labor of public land, 4,600 acres, granted by the Republic to those who came early to Texas - Joseph Henson came to Texas in December 1833- survey made on Carroll Creek, Jack County, Texas
6. 1864 Frontier Ranger Roster, (Home Guard against the Comanche during the Civil War) A. J., Asa L., William S., Joseph, and W. M. Henson – Jack County
7. 1867 Receipt for Special U. S. Tax – Henson and Sandford – Weatherford, Texas
8. 7/26/1870 Tax receipt for $ 3.52 - A. J. Henson - Jack County
9. 7/29/1870 Tax receipt of $ 6.94 – A. L. Henson- Jack County
10. 7/27/1871 Tax receipt on 310 acres - J. G. Lawrence and J. Henson - Jacksboro
11. 3/23/1872 Promissory note for $ 750- in favor of Joseph T. Henson – Jacksboro, also 9/18/1872 School Tax Receipt of $ 8.10 – Jack County
12. -/23/1872 Promissory note for $ 500 – in favor of J. T. Henson – Jacksboro
13. 3/23/1872 Promissory note for $ 750 – in favor of Joseph T. Henson – Jacksboro
14. -/-/1873 - One bottle of Whiskey, Luke Bunch, A. L. Henson – probably Jacksboro.
15. 9/15/1873 Promissory note for $ 1,019.53 in favor D.S. Aynes and Co.- probably Jacksboro
16. 9/15/1873 Promissory note for $ 1,019.53 in favor D.S. Aynes – A. L. Henson and A. S. Young – Jacksboro.
17. 9/15/1873 Promissory note for $ 1,500 in favor D. S. Aynes to purchase lot- Asa L. Henson –Jacksboro
18. 2/17/1874 N. A. McKinnick received $ 395 of A. L. Henson on account against J. R. Shenoweth of Augusta Buttes, Kansas.
19. 10/24/1874 Statement and payment receipt of $ 24 by A.L. Henson to Thomas Ball, apparently materials for improvement/repair of a church. – probably Jacksboro
20. 3/10/1876 Promissory note for $ 25 by A. L. Henson in favor of V. Pinkstaff -Jacksboro
21. 5/4/1876 Mortgage of reaping machine to D. M. Osborne & Co. of Fort Worth, Texas for $ 55 by A.L. Henson and V. Pinkstaff.
22. 7/30/1876 Receipt for stray horse, received by owner M. L. Short from A. L. Henson - Jacksboro
23. 11/9/1876 Tax receipt for 150 acres $ 26.96 for Joseph Henson and J. B. Baird – Jack county
24. 1/24/1877 Promissory note for $ 40 to Isaac Snodgrass by A. L. Henson – Jacksboro.
25. 4/6/1877 Receipt of payment of $ 58.68 for mortgage note recorded above at #21 by George B. Loving on account for A. L. Henson and V. Snodgrass.- Fort Worth, Texas.
26. 1/5/1878 Receipt of payment by A. L. Henson, Wm. Erwin, and Jones as School Trustees to W. B. Austin for two months service as teacher in the Carroll Creek School Community - Jack County.
27. 3/3/1879 Tax receipt in amount of $ 63.34 for 550 acres, Joseph L. Henson, and 640 acres, J. Bales –Jacksboro.
28. 3/15/1879 Tax receipt in amount of $ 37.91 for 150 acres, Joseph Henson.
29. 7/10/1880 Specimen sale contract for sale of steers to W. Hunter, Fort Worth
30. 7/24/1880 Specimen sight draft for sale of steers to W. Hunter, Fort Worth
31. No dates - Various empty envelopes.
32. 2/28/1881 Tax Receipt in amount of $ 35.84 for 150 acres, Joseph Henson - Jacksboro
33. No date – Pen Quill Card
34. 8/4/1881 Promissory note for $ 1,600 by A.L. Henson in favor of Joseph Henson- Jacksboro.
35. 11/4/1881 Demand Notes for $ 10 and $ 25 by A. L. Henson in favor of D. C. Brown-Jacksboro
36. 12/17/1881 6 months note for $ 125 by A. L. Henson in favor of J. B. Pollard - Mineral Wells
37. 2/10/1882 Promissory note by A. L. Henson and partner in favor of R. E. Murray for $ 10,000 for 1,000 one year old steers to be delivered in Gonzales, Texas at Cottonwood Springs, Young County.
38. 3/20/1882 Redemption of 640 acres from tax sale by Joseph Henson payment of $ 23.72 - Jacksboro
39. 10/7/1882 Tax receipt in amount of $ 1 by Ace Henson for a town lot in Mineral Wells, Texas.
40. 11/17/1882 Receipt for subscription by Mrs. A. L. Henson to Texas Christian Advocate.
41. 12/22/1882 Letter from County Clerk of Palo Pinto County referring to record of deeds to A. L. Henson on two lots in town of Mineral Wells – written at Pollifonts.
42. 1/1/1883 Receipt of payment of $ 160 interest on $ 1600 note to Joseph Henson by A. L. Henson – probably Jacksboro.
43. 3/22/1883 Receipt of tax of $ 33.67 paid by Joseph Henson on 979 acres in Jack County.
44. 8/21/1883 Purhase contract with Wrought Iron Range Company by A. L. Henson
45. 7/11/1884 Warranty deed in favor of A. L. Henson for town lot in Mineral Wells, Texas purchased in tax sale for $ 70.
46. 3/6/1884 Receipt of payment by A. L. Henson to register one horse with the Protective and Detective Association of Texas
47. 6/26/1884 Receipt of payment by A. L. Henson of $ 10.50 for Jack county taxes on 772 acres owned by Daniel Crenshaw.
48. 11/1/1884 Deposit slip for $ 360 by A. L. Henson in First National Bank of Weatherford, Texas
49. 6/26/1884 Receipt of tax of $ 71.06 paid by Joseph Henson on 979 acres in Jack County
50. 7/7/1884 Copy of report to the court of Jack County on the condition of the estate of J. G. Lawrence as operated by Joseph Henson, guardian for his nieces and nephews who were orphaned by the Comanches. 7/ 6 /1887 Final settlement
51. 8/21/1884 Receipt of tax of $ 55 paid by Ace Henson on a town lot of 4/5 acre in Mineral Wells, Texas
52. .7/8/1885 Receipt of $ 4.44 Jack County tax on106 acres for Joseph Henson – Jacksboro.
53. 9/1/1885 Receipt of $ 177.90 Jack County taxes on lands of Joseph Henson, Daniel Crinshaw, William Williams, Thomas Burbige, James W. Bartis, and G. W. Vineyard.- Jacksboro.
54. 9/1/1885 Receipt of $ 42.36 Jack County taxes on lands of James Hughes, and A. J. Henson.- Jacksboro.
55. 1/2/1886 Life insurance policy for $ 5,000 on the life of A. L. Henson, annual premium of $ 162.35 – Written by St. Louis office of New York Life Insurance Company..
56. 2/6/1886 Bill of sale denoting cash and promissory note for a total of $8,577.66 payment in purchase by A. L. Henson of all cattle and saddle horses in King, Jack, and adjoining counties, of brand belonging to the three McKeehan brothers and the estate of T. C. Rector.
57. 3/15/1886 Receipt of $ 190.50 Jack County taxes on lands of Joseph Henson, Thomas Burbridge, Daniel Crenshaw, James W. Bates, David Rolan, and William Williams – Jacksboro.
58. 4/2/1886 Receipt acknowledging two days work on road in Jacksboro by A. L. Henson.
59. 4/7/1886 Promissory note by Robert Cator for $ 90 at ten percent in the purchase of a yoke of work cattle, yoke, and chain . This note conveyed to Robert Hunt and J. M. Sanford, then to F. Arthers (sp) and Robert L. Hunt, then to A. L. Henson and F. Arthers, and finally to Wells and Kent.. –Written at Zulu, Hansford County, Texas.
60. 10/22/1886 Warranty deed of sale of property in Jack County by A. L. Henson to Sil Stark at a price of $ 1,000. Deed registered at Jacksborough.
61. 4/26/1887 Deposition of Sil Stark concerning the case noted below at #63..
62. 4/21/1887 Settlement of Joseph Henson estate. Jack County
63. 6/20/1887 – 4/1894 Documentaion of Polly Henson claims on State of Texas for bounty land certificates and pension stemming from service of her deceased husband, Joseph Henson, in the Texian War of Independence 1836
64. 7/8/1887 Certificate of Witness Attendance in District Court, Jack County in a case between A. L. Henson and W. H. Hoffman Implement Co. The witness was present in court six days and traveled 32 miles. The witness received $ 7.12 for his service.
65. 7/29/1887 Receipt of sale of one cow to A. L. Henson for $ 30. Jack County
66. 10/28/1887 Letter from his wife and two daughters to A. L.Henson, demonstrating that they were learning to write.
67. 12/26/1887 Receipt of $ 1.50 from A. L. Henson for 12 month subscription to the Jacksboro Sentinel.
68. 12/29/1887 Receipt of payment of $ 21.67 taxes in Jack County for Wm. Williams, Jos. W. Bates, David Roland on 551 acres of lands.
69. 3/14/1888 Receipt of payment of $ 16.23 in Mobeetie,Wheeler County for T. E. Jenkins on 140 acres.
70. 1/28/1889 Receipt of $ 14.31 in payment of Wheeler County taxes on 640 acres of land owned by Thomas E. Jenkins. Written in Mobeetie.
71. No date. Loose tally pages for the 22 brand cattle in Hutchinson County on the Canadian river. Also a business card for an outfitter in Kansas City, Missouri.
72. 2/9/1889 Certificate of witness attendance in County Court, Jack County in a case between John Hensley and Joe Sherman. The witness, A.L. Henson, was present in court five days and received $ 5.
73. 1/2/1889 Receipt of $ 8.77 in payment of Jack County taxes on 571 acres of land owned by William Williams, J. W. Bates, and David Roland. Written in Jacksboro.
74. 3/16/1889 Receipt of $ 5.45 in payment of Hansford County taxes on a town lot in old Hansford.
75. 6/17/1889 Telegram to A. L. Henson from Thomas Wells of Chicago instructing him to round up and brand calves, delivering them to Persinger at Panhandle. The telegram postulates an emerging stronger role for Persinger. See Persinger correspondence from Nebraska Central College of July 1890 at folders # 77 and #82..
76. no date Abstracts of title in Hutchinson County, prepared on stationery of the C.C. Woolffarth Ranch, P.O. Estacado, Crosby County, Texas.and stationery of the Tax Collector for Crosby County. Also several holdings in various counties are noted on stationery of Sporer, Spiller, and Eastin – land agents in Jacksboro.
77. No date. A desk blotter overprinted with a calendar and advertising of a commission merchant, Ben L. Welch and Co., in Kansas City, Missouri.
78. 1/17/1890 Receipt of $ 14.06 in payment of Jack County taxes on land owned by David Rowland and David Bates.
79. 3/12/1890 Receipt of $ 50 by W. A. Huffman Implement Company from A. L. Henson in part payment of judgement against him in Jack County Court. Refer to folder # 61.
80. 3/11/1890 Receipt of payment for a one year subscription to the weekly edition of the Fort Worth Gazette by A. L. Henson of Adobe Walls, Hutchinson County.
81. 6/18/1890 Receive from A. L. Henson , as the property of Messrs. Wells and Kent of Chicago, Illinois, two hundred and thirteen cows with calves at their side and three hundred and sixty other cattle of Messrs. Wells and Kent, being in all nine hundred and eighty. Also eight horses with above. Signed by A. R. Persinger
82. 7/12/1890 Two page typewritten letter from A. R. Persinger to A. L. Henson developing at length the arrangements for handling the ranching interests of Wells and Kent.
83. 8/26/1889 to 11/12/1890. A. L. Henson checkbooks on the Smith and Walker Bank in Amarillo, Texas.
84. 2/5/1890 Note of medical visit and hot baths in Hot Springs, Arkansas
85. 11/22/1890 Receipt for purchase of a suit of underwear by Henry Neal at a cost of $ 2.90 and similar receipts for purchases of goods for other cowboys of the 22 ranch, to be paid by Henson, Harrell, and Hensley to John Young in Panhandle, Texas, “a dealer in general Supplies for Ranchers and Everybody, Pays Highest Cash Price for Hides, Bones, Fur, and Wool”.
86. 12/1/1890 documents leasing approximately 47,400 acres of land in Hutchinson County for 3 cents per acre annually, to a firm of cattle dealers composed of Asa L. Henson, and his relatives William Harrell and Charles Hensley. Also copy of review of this lease in County Court of Potter County, Amarillo, Texas, in October of 1892, for falling behind in payment.
87. 1891 Small notebook ledger for A. L. Henson..
88. 4/17/1891 Letter from the General Land Office in Austin to J. G. Williams in Pnhandle, Texas advising concerning ownership of a tract of land in Hansford County.
89. 4/25/1891 Letter from Jennie H. in Amarillo to A. L. Henson. “I would like to see you on very important business. Can you come over tomorrow ? I guess you can imagine what I want to see you about. About that widow.”
90. 5/4/1891 Letter from A. R. Persinger, General Manager of the Rush Creek Land and Livestock Company in Central City, Nebraska to A. L. Henson, developing terms on which their ranching interests might be conveyed to Mr. Henson..
91. 5/7/1891 Warranty deed from A. L. Henson to his wife, Julia Ann Henson.
92. 6/16/1891 “Mrs. Stevans, Please pay to Mrs. Henson the sum of $ 5.30, and oblige, Respt. Rosie McQuillan”
93. 12/11/1891 – 8/2/1892 Checkbook for Hensly, Harrell, and Henson on Panhandle Bank.
94. 6/23/1891 Reuben Lisco acknowledges receipt from A. L. Henson of property of Wells and Kent that was left in his charge. – Panhandle, Texas.
95. 7/18/? Receipt of 990 pounds weight of load of ? on standard scale from John ? to A. L. Henson.
96. 1/20/1893 Trustee Deed written in Cheyenne, County F, Oklahoma Territory conveying a township lot to A.L. Henson.
97. 5/13/1893 Receipt of $ 10.33 Carson County taxes paid on town lot by A. L. Henson.
98. 10/6/1893 Promissory note in Jacksboro for $ 303.56 by A. L. Henson to be paid to the order of Eduard Eastburn at Wilson and Stewarts – 215 North Walter Street, Philadelphia.
99. 11/17/1893 Warranty deed of property in Panhandle, Texas for sum of $ 300 by Asa L. Henson and his wife Julia Ann Henson to their daughter, Eula A. Goodnight
100. 11/20/1893 Bill to Mrs. A. L. Henson for purchase of $ 45 worth of clothing for her daughters Eula and Louie during the months of January and February, 1893.from F. H. Hill-DryGoods-Panhandle, Texas..
101. 5/21/1894 and 7/6/1894 – Two Promissory notes, in sum $ 77, in favor of Usher and Pugh by A. L. Henson, Tobe Oden, and John Allen. Payable at the Exchange Bank, Woodward, Oklahoma.
102. 6/2/1894 Business proposition letter from ?.B. Jones of Athens, Texas. Obverse of the letter has a handwritten medical prescription in pencil
103. 7/2/1894 Tax receipt to A. L. Henson for payment of $ 11.93 on two acres valued at $1,047. Carson County, Texas.
104. 9/3/1894 Receipt of $ 0.79 Roger Mills County, Cheyenne, Oklahoma Territory taxes paid on town lot by A. L. Henson.
105. 3/15/1895 Letter to A. L. Henson in Woodward, Oklahoma Territory from C. D. Kilmer, Office of the Chief Engineer, Atchison-Topeka-and Santa Fe Railroad Company, Topeka, Kansas. This letter transmits a lease duly executed by the General . Supt.
106. 4/26/1895 Receipt of $ $ 6.93 Carson County taxes paid on one acre of land in Panhandle, Texas by A. L. Henson.
107. . 9/15/1895 Life insurance policy in amount of $2,000 written by the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Honor on the life of A. L. Henson. Jacksborough
108. 2/19/1896 Receipt of $ 8.01 for Carson County taxes paid on one acre of land in Panhandle, Texas by A. L. Henson
109. 5/3/1901 – 4/4/1906 Correspondence and powers of attorney to A. L. Henson concerning obtaining clear title and negotiations on price of Dean family lands. Letters to J. A. Dean from Lennox and Lennox – Attorneys in Clarksville, to A. L. Henson from Edwards and Morrison Attorneys, and from Ed Edwards in Clarksville.
110. 1/6/1903 -- Receipt of $ 8.51 for Carson County taxes paid on two acres of land by A. L. Henson.
111. 2/26/1904 In his capacity as Sheriff of Carson County, A. L. Henson, sequestered 56 head of horses, understood to be recovered for the First National Bank of Waverly, Kansas versus L. B. Watkins..This document is an agreement by the bank to hold A.L. Henson safe from any damages or judgements pursuant to this sequestration.
112. 2/27/1905 Accident and Sickness Benefits Policy written on Sheriff A. L. Henson by the Pennsylvania Life and Accident Association.
113. 5/19/1906 Warranty of North American Lightning Rod Company on installation at home of A. L. Henson in Panhandle, Texas.
114. 2/6/1907 Summary Statement from the Controller’s Office of the Tax account for Carson County.
115. 2/6/1907 Refund to A. L. Henson of $ 17.79 overpayment of taxes to the State Controller while serving as tax collector for Carson County.
116. 11/16/1905 and 1908 Fire insurance policies issued by the Mecca Fire insurance Company of Waco on the dwelling of A. L. Henson in Panhandle in the amount of $ 600.
117. 8/2/1909 application and award of a pension for service in Alabama during the Civil War to J. G. Henson of Marengo County, Alabama, living in Howth, Waller County, Texas since 1871. Apparent cousin of A. L. Henson.
118. 7/1913 Assignment of a commercial fire insurance policy on a business premise and stock in Panhandle, Texas, written by The Globe Fire Underwriters, to A. L. Henson.
119. 9/14/1917 Application of A. L. Henson for Federal pension of $13 a month for services in the Indian Wars during 1868-69, as a scout for the 6th U.S. Cavalry out of Fort Richardson, located at Jacksboro, Texas. There were three survivors at this date and no records could be found. The application was very carefully reviewed and rejected.
120. 1919 - 1921 Statements of A. L. Henson account in the Panhandle Bank and the First State Bank of Panhandle.
121. 1921 Statement of A. L. Henson account in the National Bank of Commerce in Amarillo.
122. 1953 Invitation to golden wedding anniversary of Will Henson in Carter, Oklahoma.
Sorry I didn't find these pictures.
Attachment B- Index
of Photographs Depicting the Asa L. Henson Family
1830 Cherokee Trail of Tears
1865 Asa Henson home in Jacksboro, Texas
1865 old Henson cabin, Jacksboro, Texas
1865 tintype, probably a sister to A. L. Henson
1868 Asa L. Henson
1868 Tintype of Asa L. Henson
1870 Mrs. Tuck Cornelius, nee Sarah Newman
1870 James Isaac Henson, son of Asa L. Henson
1873 Infant Eula Ann Henson, daughter of Asa L. Henson
1873 James Isaac Henson
1874 Julia Ann Dean Jay Henson, wife of Asa L. Henson
1875 Elizabeth Henson Lauderdale gravestone, Jacksboro, Texas
1880 Asa L. Henson portrait photo
1880 Henson Livery Stable
1883/2 Henson Livery Stable (2) Jacksboro
1883 Asa and Julia Henson with children James and Eula
1884 Eula Ann Henson
1884 Louie Ann Henson
1885 Asa L. Henson in Temple, Texas
1885c Asa Henson’s brothers-A.J. and ?
1885 Bill Harrell’s daughter, Josie
1885 Eula Ann Henson
1885 Harry Cooper, son of Susan Cooper (Asa’s nephew)
1885 James Isaac Henson
1885 Roy Ozier
1886 Louie Ann Henson
1887 Veteran of the Texas Revolution, Joseph Henson
1887 James Isaac Henson
A.L. Henson home, Jacksboro
1887 Louie Ann Henson, Jacksboro
1887 Louie Ann Henson, Jacksboro
1887 Louie Ann Henson and a cousin, Jacksboro
1887 Joseph Henson, Jacksboro
Children of A. L. Henson relative
Louie Ann Henson
Julia Ann Dean Jay Henson
1889 Mrs. Tuck Cornelius and Mira Lauderdale
a Henson home, Brownwood, Texas
1890 Susan Cooper’s son, Abie Cooper
1890 A. L. Henson home, Panhandle, Texas
1890 A. L. Henson’s brother, Rev. Joseph I. Henson
1890 Nettie Burnett, to be wife of Emory Cooper
1890 A. L. Henson nephew and niece, Lafate and Lella Henson
1890 Roseanne McQuillan, to be wife of A. L. Henson’s son, James Isaac Henson
1890 Cal Merchant
1890 Cal Merchant2
1890 A. L. Henson’s daughter Ann Eula Henson, to be wife of William Goodnight
1890 Julia Ann Dean Henson, wife of A. L. Henson
1890 painting of unidentified typical home
1890 Andrew Jackson Henson, A. L.’s brother
1890 Julia Ann Dean Henson, wife of Asa L. Henson
James Isaac Henson in New York
1891 Roseanne McQuillan Henson
James Isaac Henson in New York fancy threads
1892 James Isaac Henson on the Palo Duro
Bill Harrell’s daughter
1893 Cal Merchant
1893 First cattle for James Isaac Henson ranch on the Palo Duro
Jim and Rosie Henson and baby Margaret
Louie Ann Henson
1895 Jim Henson with large buzzard
1895 son of Jimmie H. Rector
Baby Louie Ann Goodnight, A. L. Henson granddaughter
Jim and Rosie Henson and their first three infants, Bella, Jim, and Tommy McQuillan at hammock on the Palo Duro ranch
Rose Marie Henson
Louie Ann Henson
1899 Louie Ann Henson
1900 Studio photograph of Asa L. Henson family
the Jim Henson family ranch house on the Palo Duro, Hansford County, Texas
baby Charles Thomas (Omer) Henson
Evaleen Rose Henson
Studio Portrait of Jim Henson’s son Ace
1904 Jim Henson’s son Charles Thomas (Omer) Henson
1904 Jim Henson family house, old Hansford
1904 County sheriff convention, Fort Worth
baby Charles Thomas (Omer) Henson
1905 Senate Saloon token
1905 William Alexander and Ann Roche Henson
Asa L. Henson with Ace Henson, Lillian and Pauline Callaghan, and Helen Goodnight
1906 Studio portrait of Asa L. Henson
Early Main Street of Guymon, Oklahoma, looking West
1907 Eagle, symbol of the new Oklahoma statehood
Asa L. Henson with some of his grandchildren
1908 Asa L. Henson home in town of Panhandle, Texas
1908 Young Ace Henson and his sister Marie cleaning house
Asa L. Henson and Butch Callison in Panhandle, Texas
Asa Henson’s brother A. J. and wife
1910 School program, Guymon, Marie Henson fourth from left.
1910 An Ozier son
1910 Constructing a building in Panhandle.
1910 Downtown Guymon. View of Jim Henson’s Senate Saloon.
Oldest saloon in town.
1910 Marie Henson
1910 Rosie Henson and daughters Evaleen, Henrietta, and Harriet.
Harry Goodnight and Ace Henson
Rosie Henson with daughters Harriet, Henrietta, and Evaleen.
Asa L. Henson and long time friend, Mrs, E. K. Stanhope.
Asa leaving Hot Springs for Texas.
Jim and Asa Henson with Louie Henson Callaghan and cousin Annie Cooper
1915 Jim Henson and Annie Cooper
1915 Jim Henson and cousin Annie Cooper 2
1915 Jim Henson family photograph.
1915 Jim Henson and brother-in-law Asbery Callaghan.
Family Reunion, Guymon.
1916-1952 Big Foot, Texas. George and Naomi Henson
1918c Asa, Louie, and Asbery
1918c Jim Henson family outing
Louie Goodnight and Lillian Callaghan on Cal Merchant ranch
Henson family gathering
1918 Jim Henson’s family on picnic
Eula Goodnight, Lillian Callaghan, Evaleen Henson
Louie Goodnight and Evaleen Henson
1920 Ace and Charles Thomas (Omer) Henson.
1920 Cal Merchant’s ranch
1920 Family together in Guymon
1920 Harry Adams and Louie Goodnight, Margaret and Marie Henson
1920 Henson House in Guymon
1920 Home of John Ozier in Temple, Texas
1920 Jim and Asa Henson
1920 Margaret, Jim, and Rosie
1920 Merchant Ranch on the Canadian
1920 One of the Hensons
1920 Senate Saloon
1920 Asa L. Henson
1920 Louie Goodnight, Lillian Callaghan
1920 Louie Henson Callaghan and Eula Henson Goodnight
1920 Changing a tire
Louie, Rosie, Evaleen, Margaret, Marie
1921 Henson family and Dickie Cottrell
Main Street-Jacksboro, Texas
Asa and Jim Henson, Louie Callaghan
Asa L. Henson Portrait
1924 Asa, Jim, Annie, and Louie
1924 Jim Henson family
1924 Lillian, Asa, and Pauline
1924 Margaret and son Dicky Cottrell
A. L. Henson burial
1925 Women of the Henson, McQuillan, and Goodnight families
1925 Eula at Asa’s grave.
1925 Goodnight and Henson menfolk at Wichita, Kansas
1925 Henson gravestones, Panhandle, Texas
1925 Evaleen Henson
Atop 7 falls Colorado Springs, Colo.
Atop seven falls
1927 Bob Wallace, Colorado Springs
1927 Colorado Trip-Margaret, Louie, and Marie
1927 Margaret, Marie, Bob Wallace, on the iced Beaver bridge
1927 Marie and Bob Wallace
1927 Rosemary Henson
1928 Edna Henson
1929 Automobile excursion
Asa’s friend Butch Cassidy
1930 Edna Henson
1930 Goodnight, Hensons, and George Jay
1930c Omer and Edna Henson with Eileen (?)
1930c Omer and Edna Henson with Jim Goodnight
1930 Louie Callaghan and Eula Goodnight, in Wichita
1938 Edna and Omer Henson with their children Charles Thomas (Omer) Jr., and Rosemary
1940 Edna Henson with Jim Goodnight
1940 Eula Henson Goodnight birthplace in Jacksboro
1940 Asa L. Henson home in Jacksboro
1940 Omer and Edna Henson
1940 Omer Henson
1942 Eula and daughter Louie Adams, Asbery and Louie Callaghan, and an unidentified woman in Cody Wyoming
1942 Jim Henson revisiting the Palo Duro Ranch
1943 Bob and Marie Wallace
1943 Elizabeth (Bish) Henson in Plains, Kansas
1943 Harriet Henson Mohon’s family
1943 Harriet’s family 2
1945 J. I Henson
1946 Eula on a mountain pass
1946 Louie Callaghan trout fishing
1946 Ace Henson’s wife Julia and his sister Elizabeth in Denver
1946 Julia Henson’s garden in Denver
1946 Bish and Julia in Denver
1946 Bish and Julia in Denver 2
1948 Buffalo in Montana
1948 Edna and Eula in Yosemite
1948 Edna Henson with new car
1948 Eula Goodnight and Edna Henson
1948 Eula Goodnight, Jim and Edna Henson at Yosemite
1948 Eula, Jim, and Edna in the Redwood forest
1948 Eula, Jim, and Omer
1948 Omer and Edna Henson
1948 Omer Henson
1948 Omer’s car
1948 The Wawona redwood tree
1948 Trip to Yosemite Valley
1948 Edna Henson, Yosemite Valley
1948 Omer and Edna Henson
1949 Omer and J. I. Henson, Eula Henson Goodnight
1950 Edna Henson and friend
1950 Henson Cabin, Jacksboro, Texas
1950 J. I. Henson
1950 Hansford, Henson ranch house
1950 Unidentified young woman
1951 Omer’s car
1953 Eula Henson Goodnight, Pioneer Queen
1953 Jim Henson
1954 Jack Goodnight with two daughters of
Elizabeth Henson Troje
1955 Jack Goodnight with Troje family daughters 2
1955 Eula Henson Goodnight, Asbery and Louie Callaghan, Harry and Louie Adams, and Friday Hughes
1955 Jim Henson.
1955 Margaret Cottrell, Jim Henson, and Marie Wallace
1955 Jim Henson and sister Eula.Henson Goodnight.
1956 Eula Goodnight, Jim Henson, and Louie Callaghan.
1959 Jim Henson
1960 Mrs. R. O. Gregory, friend of Jim Henson’s youth.
1964 Evaleen Henson
1964 Jim Henson in Oklahoma City
1964 Jim Henson
1965 Louie Callaghan
1966 Jim Henson and daughters Evaleen and Elizabeth
1976 Robert Adams, Elizabeth Henson Troje and daughter Maggie
1999 Kimberley Henson and Louie Goodnight Adams
2000 Omer Henson Jr. and daughter, Kimberly
Henson gravestones Jacksboro, Texas 1
Henson gravestones Jacksboro,Texas 2
Henson gravestones Jacksboro, Texas 3
Henson gravestones Jacksboro, Texas 4
Henson gravestones Panhandle, Texas
Painting of Bronc Buster
Painting of Cowboy
Painting of First Wagon
Painting of Plains Indians
Painting of One on One
Painting of a Ranch House