Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Charles Goodnight: Texas Ranger, Indian Fighter, Pioneer Cattle Rancher

"In the 1860s, Goodnight and partner Oliver Loving established the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail, which curled northwest from Texas into New Mexico and Colorado. Their friendship and adventures formed the basis of Larry McMurtry’s epic novel Lonesome Dove."

Charles Goodnight, was a Texas Ranger, noted scout and Indian fighter. He was later a pioneer in cattle ranching in New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. Founded the Goodnight-Loving trail with Oliver Loving. His grave can be found in Goodnight Cemetery just north of the community of Goodnight, Texas which is just east of Amarillo, Texas on U.S. Highway 287. The GPS coordinates for the grave are 35.04677, -101.17467

The following is contributed by Lynda Duncan Miles.

Goodnight was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, east of St. Louis, Missouri, the fourth child of Charles Goodnight and the former Charlotte Collier. (Goodnight's father's grave is located in a pasture south of Bunker Hill, Illinois.)

Goodnight moved to Texas in 1846 with his mother and stepfather, Hiram Daugherty. In 1856, he became a cowboy and served with the local militia, fighting against Comanche raiders. A year later, in 1857, Goodnight joined the Texas Rangers. Goodnight is also known for rousing and leading a posse against the Comanche in 1860 that located the Indian camp where Cynthia Ann Parker was living with her husband, Peta Nocona, then guiding Texas Rangers to the camp, leading to Cynthia Ann's recapture. He later made a treaty with her son, Quanah Parker.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the Confederate States Army. Most of his time was spent as part of a frontier regiment guarding against raids by Indians.

Goodnight described what it took to become a scout, "First, he must be a born a natural woodsmen and have the faculty of never needing a compass except in snow storms or darkness."

Following the war, he became involved in the herding of feral Texas Longhorn cattle northward from West Texas to railroads. This "making the gather" was a near state-wide round-up of cattle that had roamed free during the four long years of war. In 1866, he and Oliver Loving drove their first herd of cattle northward along what would become known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail. Early in the partnership with Loving, they pastured cattle at such sites as Capulin Mountain in northeastern New Mexico. Goodnight invented the chuckwagon, which was first used on the initial cattle drive. Upon arriving in New Mexico, they formed a partnership with New Mexico cattleman John Chisum for future contracts to supply the United States Army with cattle. After Loving's death, Goodnight and Chisum extended the trail from New Mexico to Colorado, and eventually to Wyoming. The Goodnight-Loving trail extended from Belknap, Texas, to Fort Sumner, New Mexico

Goodnight and Loving were close friends. Goodnight sat by Loving's bed during the two weeks it took the latter to die, and reportedly kept a photograph of Loving in his pocket long after his death, and later put a photograph on his desk. As requested by the dying Loving, Goodnight carried the body from New Mexico to Weatherford, the seat of Parker County, Texas, for burial.

In order to take advantage of available grass, timber, water, and game, he founded in 1876 what was to become the first Texas Panhandle ranch, the JA Ranch, in the Palo Duro Canyon[4] of the south Texas Panhandle. He partnered with the Irish businessman John George Adair to create the JA, which stands for "John Adair". In 1880, Goodnight was a founder of the Panhandle Stockman's Association. The organization sought to improve cattle-breeding methods and to reduce the threat of rustlers and outlaws. After Adair's death in 1885, Goodnight worked in partnership for a time with Adair's widow Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie Adair.

He also developed an acquaintanceship with W. D. Twichell, who lived in Amarillo from 1890 to 1918 and surveyed 165 of the 254 Texas counties.

After Goodnight had already left the JA, Tom Blasingame came to the ranch in 1918. Blasingame worked there most of the next seventy-three years, having, at the time of his death in 1989, become the oldest cowboy in the history of the American West.

In addition to raising cattle in 1876, the Goodnights preserved a herd of native plains bison that year, which is said to survive to this day in Caprock Canyons State Park. The herd in Caprock Canyons was actually donated by JA Ranch and there is no documentation demonstrating that this was the herd preserved by the Goodnights. Bison of this herd were introduced into the Yellowstone National Park in 1902 and into the larger zoos and ranches throughout the nation. He also crossbred the bison with domestic cattle, which he called cattalo. Charles "Buffalo" Jones, a co-founder of Garden City, Kansas, after meeting with Goodnight in Texas, also bred cattalo, or beefalo, on a ranch near Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona.

On July 26, 1870, Goodnight married Mary Ann "Molly" Dyer, a teacher from Weatherford, located west of Fort Worth. Goodnight developed a practical sidesaddle for Molly. Though he was not of his wife's denomination, Goodnight donated money to build a Methodist Church in Goodnight. He and Molly also established the Goodnight Academy to offer post-elementary education to hundreds of children of ranchers. For several years after their marriage the Goodnights resided in Pueblo, Colorado, where Goodnight had considerable financial success, having invested in real estate, buying town lots, and even becoming part owner of the opera house. The barn from Charles home west of the town of Pueblo on the Arkansas river is still standing and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Much of his money was invested in the Stock Growers Bank in Pueblo; locals there began referring to him by the title "Colonel".

After Molly died in April 1926, Goodnight became ill himself. He was nourished back to health by a distant cousin, 26-year-old nurse and telegraph operator from Butte, Montana, named Corinne Goodnight, with whom Charles had been corresponding because of their shared surname.

On March 5, 1927, his ninety-first birthday, Goodnight married Corinne, whose name became Corinne Goodnight Goodnight. He joined her Two by Twos church and was baptized a few months before his death in Goodnight, Texas. Evetts Haley had described Goodnight as "deeply religious and reverential by nature."

In his younger years, Goodnight smoked some fifty cigars per day but switched to a pipe in his mature years. He never learned to read or write but had his wives write letters for him to various individuals, including Quanah Parker. During his last illness, he gave his gold Hampton pocket watch to his pastor, Ralph Blackburn.

After he mastered ranching, Goodnight was involved in other activities, including the establishment of his Goodnight College in Armstrong County and working as a newspaperman and a banker. He lost his life's savings when the Mexican silver mine he invested in was nationalized by the Mexican government. He was forced to sell his ranch in 1919 to an oilman friend, W. J. McAlister, with the provision that Goodnight and his then first wife could stay in the home until they both died.

Charles Goodnight is buried next to his first wife, Mary Ann Goodnight, in Goodnight Cemetery near Amarillo, Texas.
(Find a Grave)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Setting the record straight on Rev. Charles George Seely

One of my ancestors is the Seely family. For the past thirty years, I've done alot of Seely research, and found a great deal of wrong information that continues to be taken as "fact."

One of the most prominent ones, is the confusion over Charles George Seely and his son Charles Harvey Seely.

Charles George Seely, was born 31 August 1826 in Missouri. Charles Harvey Seely, his eighth child was was born 26 May 1866 in Lawrence County, Missouri. He was not a "Jr." as been reported.

Charles George is present on the 1850 and 1860 Census in Lawrence County, Missouri with his wife and children. He is also present as a land owner in the Lawrence County Deed Books, 1867.

On the June 1, 1870 census, in the Osage Township, Benton County, Arkansas, is the first time we see mention of his four year old Charles. Charles George Seely, noted as a Farmer is with his wife Cynthia (she actually spelled it as Synthia) and other children; James, John, Mary, and Elzora. His older son William Henry was married about 1868 to Rozalia Ann (Elizabeth) Dye.

Two days prior the census being taken, Charles George became a Baptist preacher in Benton County, Arkansas. The Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church on Highway 72 east of Gravette, approximately six miles, was organized on Saturday May 28, 1870, in a log school house above the Cash Spring. Elder Charles Seely was moderator at the organization of the church, and was chosen as the first Pastor. Elder John Givens was the first clerk.

On the 1880 Census, Charles Seely and his wife Synthia are still in Osage Township in Benton County, Arkansas. The two remaining children in the household, are Eliza (Elzora) and Charles H. That is also the last time Charles George Seely is present on any census. He died 30 January 1891.

From there, you can follow his son, Charles Harvey to the 1900 census in Benton County, Arkansas, and is listed as Harvey C "Selly" with his wife and six children. Despite having the two given names reversed, it now gives us a middle name for Charles as Harvey, and contiues on the 10 May 1910 Census in Elmo, Kaufman County, Texas and ther 1920 Census in Navarro County, Texas. Finally, on the 1930 Census in Kaufman County, Texas, he is listed as Charles H Seely.

So where did the confusion over father and son begin ? I have received numerous emails from Seely researchers, that believed that Charles Harvey was the reverand/father and Charles George was the son. Find a Grave also list a Rev. Charles Harvey Seely in the Gamble Cemetery in Benton County, Arkansas. This is Rev. Charles George Seely, not Charles Harvey. His wife Synthia is also buried nearby.

The following Family Group Sheets, list Charles George Seely and his family - and his son Charles Harvey Seely.

Good luck to those researching all the Seely lines.

Family Group Record for Charles George (Rev) Seely

Husband: Charles George (Rev) Seely

Born: 31 Aug 1826 - Missouri
Died: 30 Jan 1891 - Benton County, Arkansas
Buried: - Gamble Cemetery, Centerton, Benton County, Arkansas
Marriage: 15 Oct 1845 Place: Lawrence County, Missouri

Other Spouse: Mary Ann Pendergraft (1837-1914)
Date: 2 May 1886 - Benton County, Arkansas

Wife: Synthia Arrena Foster

Born: Nov 1824 - South Carolina
Died: 23 Jun 1884 - Benton County, Arkansas
Buried: - Gamble Cemetery, Centerton, Benton County, Arkansas
Father: Frederick Foster (1787-1864)b. South Carolina
Mother: Mary Unknown (1789-1865)b. Ireland


1 M Elijah L. Seely
Born: 2 Sep 1846 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 26 Jan 1864 - Missouri

2 M William Henry Seely
Born: 14 Apr 1848 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 11 Apr 1916
Spouse: Rozalia Ann (Elizabeth) Dye (1852- )
Marr. Date: Abt 1868 - Poss. Missouri

3 M James Francis (Frank) Seely
Born: 22 Mar 1850 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 8 Sep 1946 - Anderson, McDonald County, Missouri
Buried: - Forest Park Cemetery, Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri
Spouse: Martha Deema Costley (1854- )
Marr. Date: 22 Feb 1876 - Lawrence County, Missouri

4 M John Frederick Seely
Born: 25 Apr 1852 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 30 May 1927 - Montgomery County, Kansas
Buried: - Robbins Cemetery, Montgomery County, Kansas
Spouse: Sarah A. (Sadie) Spivey (1845-1927)
Marr. Date: 4 Feb 1872 - Benton County, Arkansas

5 M George W. Seely
Born: 27 Apr 1854 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 19 Dec 1854 - Lawrence County, Missouri

6 F Mary Ann Seely
Born: 6 Jul 1858 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 5 Oct 1951 - Dickson, Benton County, Arkansas
Buried: - Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Hiwasse, Benton County, Arkansas
Spouse: George C. Bates (1856-1940)
Marr. Date: 1880 - Arkansas

7 F Elzora (Eliza) Josephine Seely
Born: 21 Sep 1862 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 9 Nov 1921 - Centerton, Benton County, Arkansas

8 M Charles Harvey Seely
Born: 26 May 1866 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 11 Nov 1956 - Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas
Buried: 12 Nov 1956 - Oakland Memorial Park, Terrell, Kaufman County,
Spouse: Rosa Bell Burress (1867-1955)
Marr. Date: 23 Sep 1888 - Benton County, Arkansas


Family Group Record for Charles Harvey Seely

Husband: Charles Harvey Seely
Born: 26 May 1866 - Lawrence County, Missouri
Died: 11 Nov 1956 - Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas
Buried: 12 Nov 1956 - Oakland Memorial Park, Terrell, Kaufman County,
Father: Charles George (Rev) Seely (1826-1891)
Mother: Synthia Arrena Foster (1824-1884)
Marriage: 23 Sep 1888 Place: Benton County, Arkansas
Wife: Rosa Bell Burress

Born: Feb 1867 - Arkansas
Died: 12 Dec 1955 - Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas
Buried: - Oakland Memorial Park, Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas
Father: John Henry Burress (1826-1900)
Mother: Margaret Allen (Abt 1830-Abt 1870)

1 M Ireton McElvin (Erty) Seely
Born: 7 Sep 1889 - Benton County, Arkansas
Died: Apr 1975 - Siloam Springs, Benton County, Arkansas

2 F Nellie Mae Seely
Born: 10 Jun 1891 - Benton County, Arkansas
Died: 12 Apr 1972 - Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas
Spouse: Clarence Edward Chilcoat (1888-1951)

3 F Myrtle Lee Seely
Born: 10 Aug 1893 - Gravett, Benton County, Arkansas
Died: 8 Oct 1972 - Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Spouse: Charles H. Coffman ( - )

4 F Bertha Ann Seely
Born: 9 Mar 1895 - Benton County, Arkansas
Died: 26 Feb 1976 - Cedar Hill, Dallas County, Texas
Buried: - Oakland Memorial Park, Terrell, Kaufman County, Texas
Spouse: Homer Malcolm Roberts (1893-1977)
Marr. Date: 3 Nov 1913 - Kaufman County, Texas

5 M Oliver Truman Seely
Born: Mar 1898 - Benton County, Arkansas
Died: 24 Dec 1982 - Austin, Travis County, Texas
Buried: - Cook-Walden Capital Parks Cemetery and Mausoleum, Austin,
Travis County, Texas
Spouse: Verna Campbell (1893-1930)
Marr. Date:
Spouse: Ola Mae Unknown (1910-1983)

6 M Henry Clay Seely
Born: Apr 1899 - Benton County, Arkansas
Spouse: Rossielou Fincher (1896- )

7 M Frank Lafayette (Sr.) Seely
Born: 1902 - Texas
Died: 26 0ct 1979 - Navarro County, Texas
Spouse: Bertha Beatrice Doss (1904- )

8 F Mattie Virginia Seely
Born: 1905 - Texas
(photos: Ancestry/Find-a-Grave)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Family Group Sheet: Benjamin Apling Burdette family

Benjamin and Millie Burdette
My post today is an updated family group sheet, for the family of Benjamin Apling Burdette and his wife Amelia (Millie) Elizabeth Hood. Benjamin and Millie are my great grandparents. There are several versions that are presented within family trees at,. Many include a great deal of misinformation, and assumptions.

The following is the most recent version, and has been confirmed and sourced. If you are a descendant from any of Ben and Millie's children, I would welcome your correspondence at: gayleh (at)

Special thanks to Bob and Julia Fox for the photo of Ben and Millie. This is a new one for me, and it is greatly appreciated.

Husband: Benjamin Apling Burdette
    Born: 23 Dec 1835 - DeKalb County, Georgia
    Died: 14 Sep 1921 - Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
    Buried: 15 Sep 1921 - Meridian  Cemetery, Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
    Father: James W.  (Jim) Burdett (1807-1868)
    Mother: Alice Falkner (1815-Abt 1862)
    Marriage: 4 Jan 1855    Place: Wedowee, Randolph County, Alabama

   Wife: Amelia Elizabeth (Millie) Hood
    Born: 1 Oct 1838 - Newton County, Georgia
    Died: 23 Apr 1926 - Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
    Buried:  - Meridian  Cemetery, Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
    Father: Josa Hood (1808-1870)
    Mother: Harriet S. Robertson (1815-1887)

1  F  Maryann Martina (Mattie) Burdette
        Born: 30 Jan 1856 - Randolph County, Alabama
        Died: 29 May 1921 - Lubbock County, Texas
        Buried:  - City of Lubbock Cemetery, Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas
        Spouse: Jasper Alexander Syfrett (1849-1950)
         Marr. Date: 27 Nov 1873 - Marquez, Leon County, Texas
2  M  William Wesley Burdette
        Born: 13 Apr 1858 - Randolph County, Alabama
        Died: 23 Aug 1937 - Denton, Denton County, Texas
        Buried:  - Old Dublin Memorial Park, Dublin, Erath County, Texas
        Spouse: Louisa Winifred Thurman (1858-1920)
        Marr. Date: 23 Jul 1882 - Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
        Spouse: Alice Lovelace (    - Abt 1945)
        Marr. Date: Aft 1920
3  F  Emily (Emma) Frances Burdette
        Born: 9 Nov 1859 - Randolph County, Alabama
        Died: 11 Jun 1946 - Mexia, Limestone County, Texas
        Buried: 12 Jun 1946 - Dew Cemetery, Mexia, Limestone County, Texas
        Spouse: William Houston Bailey (1855-    )
       Marr. Date: 18 Jul 1878 - Concord, Shelby County, Texas
4  M  Benjamin A. Burdette
        Born: 27 Nov 1861 - Randolph County, Alabama
        Died: Abt 1862 - Randolph County, Alabama
5  M  James Gora Burdette
        Born: 19 Dec 1866 - Texas
        Died: Bef 1870 - Poss. Leon County, Texas
6  F  Susan Elizabeth (Bettie) Burdette
        Born: 3 Sep 1868 - Marquez, Leon County, Texas
        Died: 7 Aug 1959 - Spur, Dickens County, Texas
        Buried:  - Meridian  Cemetery, Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
        Spouse: John Pleasant Jordan (1846-1929)
        Marr. Date: 14 Jan 1886 - Bosque County, Texas
7  F  Salina (Lina) Isabel Burdette
        Born: 13 Aug 1871 - Marquez, Leon County, Texas
        Died: 15 Apr 1954 - San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
        Buried:  - Meridian  Cemetery, Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
      Spouse: Frank C. Gandy (1866-1922)
      Marr. Date: 5 Nov 1885 - Glenrose, Somervell County, Texas
8  M  John Monroe Burdette
        Born: 7 Mar 1873 - Marquez, Leon County, Texas
        Died: Bet 1873 and 1880 - Marquez, Leon County, Texas
9  F  Lurana A. Burdette
        Born: 27 Jan 1875 - Marquez, Leon County, Texas
        Died: 1887 - Bosque County, Texas
10  M  Albert Alonzo Burdett
        Born: 26 Jul 1877 - Marquez, Leon County, Texas
        Died: 29 Jul 1960 - Sudan, Lamb County, Texas
        Buried:  - Sudan Cemetery, Sudan, Lamb County, Texas
        Spouse: Maggie N. Bowman (1882-1966)
        Marr. Date: 8 Oct 1899 - Comanche County, Texas
11  F  Ella Mae Burdette
        Born: 20 Oct 1880 - Marquez, Leon County, Texas
        Died: 21 Nov 1957 - Canyon, Randall County, Texas
        Buried: 23 Nov 1957 - Resthaven Memorial Park Cemetary, Lubbock, Lubbock
        County, Texas Plot # N 155 Space 2 (next to husband Fletcher)
        Spouse: Fletcher Woosley Hennington (1873-1953)
       Marr. Date: 25 Jul 1895 - Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
12  M  George Issac (Sr.) Burdette
        Born: 28 Aug 1882 - Meridian, Bosque County, Texas
        Died: 15 Sep 1947 - Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas
      Buried: 16 Sep 1947 - Shannon Rose Hill Cemetery, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas
      Spouse: Annie L. Burns (1881-   )
      Spouse: Dozie Lee Redwine (1883-1934)
      Marr. Date: 1902 - Texas
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2014/Gayle Hennington-Van Horn

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Price of Liberty-James M. Henington, World War I

Working on my various lines from the Hennington family, is a work in progress. I am always surprised at what I discover, as I uncover more, and work the many files that were generously given to me by my cousin Bryan Hennington. Bryan, and his parent's began their journey releasing the Hennington & Related Families book editions. A special thanks also goes to another dedicated researcher, who provided many hours of Hennington work, Jim Voss. Jim was a remarkable man who devoted long hours of archive and library work, and it is very much appreciated. He went out of his way to assist me and answer many questions.

This post is a focus on a cousin, James M. Henington. His family line was originally from one of the 'Alabama Hennington' family we refer to. His parent's were Robert Richard Henington and Sallie Nichols. He was a brother to Maude Henington. He was unmarried. There was some speculation by Jim Voss, that James' middle name was Nichols, his mother's maiden name. This is a copy of his Find a Grave memorial page. Our family thanks James for his ultimate sacrifice to our country. May you rest in peace. 

James M Henington
Born: Dec. 3, 1893 Hereford, Deaf Smith County, Texas
Died: 09 Oct. 1918 France

Fort Worth Star Telegram – Wednesday, December 11, 1918

The Price of Liberty
Brief Stories of Men Who Have Been Killed, Wounded or Have Died in Armed Service of U.S.

Corp. James M. Henington of Hereford, Texas, was killed in action, Oct. 8, the date of the Attigny attack of the Panther Division. He enlisted in the old Seventh Texas Infantry, later the One Hundred and Forty-second Infantry, and was trained at Camp Bowie. He was the son of R.R. Henington.
 (photo by 'soilsister'/France)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Herbert Victor Disney & Effie Bollinger Cruise Papers

I recently found in an auction lot box - a hand written reference to Mr & Mrs Disney, being on board the SS Minnekahda ship, September 1929. By doing research on the Ancestry immigration records, we found the parallel information of Herbert Victor Disney and his wife Effie Bollinger being on board this ship, and the corresponding dates.
Mr & Mrs Disney's name was hand written on the a ship brochure/stateroom layout. They had cruised to London, and were on their way back to America.
If you are a descendant of Herbert and Effie Disney, please email me at teakpub at I will be glad to send it to you.
Gayle Van Horn

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Franklin County, NC Destroys 100 Year Old Records

This has to be one of the worst stories I've heard in a very long time. Those involved MUST be held accountable - Very horrible and disgusting !!

A newly-appointed Clerk of Court in Franklin County, North Carolina, discovered stacks and stacks of books, boxes, loose papers, ledgers, and more in the basement of the county courthouse. The records were from approximately 1840's to the 1960's. The records included Chattel Mortgages from the 1890's, court dockets from post civil war to prohibition, delayed birth certificate applications with original supporting documents (letters from Grandma, bible records, birth certificates, etc), county receipts on original letterhead from businesses long extinct, poll record books, original school, road and bridge bonds denoting the building of the county, law books still in their original paper wrappings, and much, much more.

The records were strewn everywhere. There was obvious mold in the back section and evidence of water damage. Some records had been ruined by the mold, but most were completely viable.

After extensive political wrangling, the county destroyed all the records on December 6, 2013.

You can read all the details in an article by Diane Taylor Torrent of The Heritage Society of Franklin County, NC at

My thanks to newsletter reader Sloan Mason for telling me of the sad news.

Comment: I am not an attorney and not qualified to give legal advice. However, I do find it interesting that the North Carolina General Assembly web site shows the following from its "enacted legislation" section at

§ 121-5.  Public records and archives.

(a)        State Archival Agency Designated. - The Department of Cultural Resources shall be the official archival agency of the State of North Carolina with authority as provided throughout this Chapter and Chapter 132 of the General Statutes of North Carolina in relation to the public records of the State, counties, municipalities, and other subdivisions of government.

(b)        Destruction of Records Regulated. - No person may destroy, sell, loan, or otherwise dispose of any public record without the consent of the Department of Cultural Resources, except as provided in G.S. 130A-99. Whoever unlawfully removes a public record from the office where it is usually kept, or alters, mutilates, or destroys it shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and upon conviction only fined at the discretion of the court.

When the custodian of any official State records certifies to the Department of Cultural Resources that such records have no further use or value for official and administrative purposes and when the Department certifies that such records appear to have no further use or value for research or reference, then such records may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the agency having custody of them.

When the custodian of any official records of any county, city, municipality, or other subdivision of government certifies to the Department that such records have no further use or value for official business and when the Department certifies that such records appear to have no further use or value for research or reference, then such records may be authorized by the governing body of said county, city, municipality, or other subdivision of government to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the agency having custody of them. A record of such certification and authorization shall be entered in the minutes of the governing body granting the authority.

The North Carolina Historical Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to make such orders, rules, and regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry into effect the provisions of this section. When any State, county, municipal, or other governmental records shall have been destroyed or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the procedure authorized in this subsection, any liability that the custodian of such records might incur for such destruction or other disposal shall cease and determine.
(Dick Eastman/Online Genealogy Newsletter)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fannin County Folks and Facts

James DeLay
About 1850 two families came to Texas by covered wagon and became my great-grandparents. James and Harriet DeLay came with their family from Arkansas and settled in Gober.
Robert Henderson and his family came from Alabama and settled in Bonham. Uncle Bobbie, as was affectionately called, was a Church of Christ minister. 
When the Civil War broke out James DeLay fought for the Confederacy and was killed in the battle of Chickamaga, September 30, 1863. His son Jerome, my grandfather, enlisted and served in the commissary department. Jerome was only 16 years old. 
When the war ended my grandfather kept some Confederate money, some printed in Richmond and one bill in the state of Louisiana. I still have these bills.
On November 3, 1869 Jerome DeLay and Margaret Henderson were married and settled in Gober. My grandfather was a farmer. Their family included five boys; Bob, Leo,Sam, Wallace and Warren. There were three girls; Florence, Laura, Zora and Elsie Henderson, a niece who lived with them.
About 1890 the DeLay family moved to Hunt County and stayed several years. In 1899 they came back to Fannin County and settled in the south part of town.
By this time all the boys had gone to employment, one a school teacher, one a real estate dealer and one working for the electric company in Oklahoma. 
The three older girls all attended Carlton College. Elsie went to school at the old high school, later Duncan Elementary. Florence and Laura worked in a millinery shop and Zora worked as a telephone operator. Laura was the first to marry. Bacon S. Titsworth and Laura DeLay were married June 10, 1903. Florence and Zora had a double wedding. Florence married David Shaver and Zora wed Sam Arledge. Elsie married Paul Coleman. Florence and David had three children; twins Mary and Louise and Minnie Lee. Of these Louise, now Mrs Jack LeCroy lives with her husband at Ivanhoe. Laura and Bacon Titsworth were my parents. Elsie and Paul Coleman had a son Paul Henderson.
I started to school at Duncan school; all grades went there. In 1914-1915 a new high school building Was erected. It included a nice auditorium, used during school as the study hall. The manual training shop and the home economics rooms were in the basement.
When I was a child, we enjoyed the streetcar very much. My Uncle Leo was a motorman. He would ring the bell and I’d run out to tje corner and watch the car. Often he would throw off a small bag of candy for me.
In the summer there was an open car that was very comfortable. Often in the summer mother and I would ride to the end of the line and back-just for fun. There were very few cars in town and the hansom cabs met the trains: of course they were horse-drawn. They were replaced by jitneys that cost five cents to ride. 
The fire trucks were also horse drawn. When a fire alarm was turned in, a bell would ring long and loud. When the bell rang, the horses were ready to go. Their harnesses were dropped over them. It was quite a sight to watch the fire truck race by.
The basement barber shop had four big bathtubs and furnished big thick towels. On Saturdays the men could come in and have a bath and a shave and haircut if they wanted it. The barber shops stayed open until midnight on Saturday nights.
I saw my first picture show in the old opera house. Later to opened on the square. They had serials, one episode a week very similar to the soap opera as we have now.
After the show, most everyone went to the ice cream parlor. They had small tables usually glass topped and four wrought iron chairs. Some called they candy kitchens and the proprietor always had homemade candy for sale.
The townspeople enjoyed the band concerts, too. The bandsmen were local talent. Sometimes it would be on the courthouse lawn and often it would be in Simpson Park. 
The first Fannin County Fair was held on fair grounds where the junior high football is now.
My father showed a registered Jersey cow once. The undertakers were a part of the furniture stores then. Halsell and Caldwell and Wise kept undertakers employed who also helped in the stores.
(Jerome) DeLay lived to be one of Fannin County’s oldest citizens. He died in 1936 in the 90th year. One of (Jerome) DeLay’s great grandsons Warren B. Wisdom was killed in the Korean conflict. he was officially declared dead December 1953. Jerome’s youngest daughter Mrs. Zora Arledge celebrated her 90th birthday this year. Mrs. Elsie Coleman reared as a sister, lives in Bonham.
By Zora Wisdom.
(date of article unknown) pgs 165-166