Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Vena Bob Le Sueur Gates

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

William W. Le Sueur, born 1815, in Elbert County, Georgia, son of Samuel Le Sueur, Jr. His brothers and sisters were: John B. married Louisa Preston; James N.B. married Sarah Jane Haynes; Anne Mary married Isaac N. Preston; Emily H. married William G. Haynes; andJane E. married William Burt. William W. married (1) Louisiana Sophronia Matthews, December 27, 1841, in Russell County, Alabama. They had two children: Madison L. Col­anne, born May 24, 1843, Russell County, and Mary Eudora, June 22, 1845, El Dorado, Arkansas. Louisiana died there July 5,1847. Madison joined the Confederate Ar­my, May 2, 1861, in El Dorado, and died in a hospital in Atlanta,Georgia, February 10, 1863. Mary Eudora married Levin R. Sullivant, October 31, 1865, born in 1837. William W. married (2) Terilla Jane Sulhivant (sister to Levin R.), October 12, 1848. They had three children:
Twins, Alice Bennett and Martha Abina, born March 14, 1850; and William W. Jr., March 12, 1855. Martha Abina died August 1, 1865. William W. Sr., died January 21, 1867, buried just outside of El Dorado. Alice Bennett mar­ried John Taylor Warnock, February 23, 1871, (see War­nock Family) and William W. Jr., married Lee Ella Hud­dleston, September 1, 1887, born in Woodruff County, Arkansas, February 18, 1870. Her mother’s given name was Eliza and she had an older sister, Alice E., and James Preston, a younger brother. William Jr., and Lee Ella had a son, William Lee (my father) born there August 22, 1888. (Terilla Jane and Levin R. were children of William and Elizabeth [Dorrohj Sulhivant. Other Sullivant children were: James Clairborne [1823]; Stephen Donel, October 29, 1825 [twin to TerillaJ.]; John Marion (1830); Martha A. (1832); Mary B. (Molhie), July 13, 1834.

My great grandmother, Terila Jane, came to Coleman County in 1878, with her daughter, Alice Bennett and son-in-law, J.T. Warnock. They settled north of Valera. In January, 1889, her son, William W. Jr. (John) and family, her sister, Mary B. (Mollie) Suhlivant, came, settling north­west of Valera. Their place was a few miles west of the War­nock’s, on the old Coleman-Ballinger road, on Home Creek. They had five children born in Coleman County: Ernest, July 7,1891; Matt Maddison, June 3,1893; James Preston (Blackie), October 5, 1895; Mary Alice, January 18, 1898; and Jim, March 28, 1901. All went to Home Creek school, except Mary and Jim, who attended Valera school. In 1905, granddaddy and Daddy Lee built the house in Valera, but still maintained the farm. William,Jr., “Uncle Bill,” served as Justice of the Peace in Valera, in the 1920’s.

William Lee married (1) Eula Meredith, December 17, 1911, in Coleman County, no children. He married (2) Susan (Kate) Douglass Dodds (see Douglass-Spruce), May 15, 1924, in Wichita Falls, and had a daughter, Vena Bob. Lee worked in the oil fields, in law enforcement, carpenter and painter. He was in WW I. He was working in the Naval Shipyards in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed December 7, 1941 ,and returned to Shreveport, Louisiana, in April, 1942, registered with the draft board, then went to Galveston. He was painting (with a contractor) the Buccaneer Hotel, when he became ill. He died of cancer December 23, 1944, buried in Oleander Cemetery, Galveston.

Ernest married Mary Gibson, daughter of Calvin G. and Nancy E. (Brightwell) Gibson of Valera (see Calvin Gaines Gibson), December 17,1911 (double wedding with Lee and Eula).

James Preston (Blackie or Bud) married (1) Bessie May Thomason (see Thomason-Hughes), January 5, 1923, in Breckenridge, no children. He was in WW I, worked in the oil fields, was night watchman in Valera a number of years (along with his dog, Tip) and a city policeman in Coleman, one time under H.T. O’Bar. He married (2) Marie Clem­mer in 1952, Clovis, New Mexico. He diedJuly 17, 1971, in Big Spring, buried at Valera.

Matt Maddison married Mabel Ethel Cook, daughter ofJames Caswell and Agnes Beatrice (Rush) Cook, they had one daughter, Ernestine, born June 27, 1915, at San Saba. Matt was in the Army in WW I (gassed) and worked for Santa Fe Railroad 17 years. Ernestine was raised by her grandparents, the Le Sueur’s (also spelled Lesueur), and graduated from Valera High. She married Foster Arnold, son of Ralph and Annie Laura (Jones) Arnold (see William Howard [Will H.] Taylor). They had three daughters: Bar­bara Ann, September 10, 1935 in Valera; Sonia Diane (Tony) February 16, 1943; and Glenda Kay, June 29, 1945. Foster was a barber in Coleman many years. He was with the Seabees in WW II. The girls graduated from Coleman High School. Barbara Ann married Jacky McDonald, son of Newton Carl (son of Bob and Effie [Alexander] McDonald-see James W. Davis) and Maxie (Williams) McDonald. Their children: Jerry DeWayne married Denise Walthall (see William Lafayette Parker and Ralph D. Allen) they have one son, Logan Dwain, born July 24, 1981. They now live in Novice. Jerry works for Bandera Drilling Company; Vickie Lynn (see Rhone Family); and Sherry Lea married Mike Stephenson of Leaday. Diane (Tony) married Tommy Elkin, son of Ralph and Irene Elkin (see Harmon David Elkin). They have three children: Shelby, Russ Taylor and Maurey Lane. Kay married Robert W. (Tooter) Sprinkles (see Sprinkles Family). Matt died January 2,1946 in Waco, buried in old Valera cemetery. Mabel Ethel (Mrs Clinton Earl Smith) is buried at Fort Sam Houston. Foster died March 17, 1975, buried at Voss.

Mary Alice never married. She worked in the lunch­room at Talpa, when this program started in the 1930’s, otherwise, she lived with her parents, taking care of them. She was a great seamstress and cook, especially pies and cakes. Aunt May was killed in an automobile wreck, July 5, 1941 (south of Rockwood). She and Edgar (Ted) Beck were returning from the Brady Jubilee. Ted was injured, had burns and was hospitalized for some time in Coleman. She is buried at the old Valera cemetery.

Jim died December 14, 1918. He had flu and pneumonia, died at his parents home, buried old Valera.

My grandfather Le Sueur was the only grandfather I knew. By the time I came along, he had already retired. I remember his thick white hair (my aunt had to cut it), walk­ing from house to town and sitting in his rocking chair. He would talk with us grandchildren, but mostly in solitude, reminiscing of years past, in a language we did not com­prehend. My grandmother Le Sueur usually had time for us, especially when I was visiting there. We went fishing, had many long walks to the old cemetery and on to their farm, stopping to do a little work at the cemetery. I remember her joining other ladies in Valera once a week for their quilting. She helped me start a quilt, still have and never completed, maybe someday! She suffered for a year with cancer, her neighbors staying with her while Blackie was at work in Coleman. I sometimes went out on weekends to help with her. My great grandmother, Terilla Jane (lovingly called Grandma Le Sueur by many) was blind for four years before her death, July 26, 1915 (in her son’s house). Her sister, Aunt Mollie, died September 15, 1922; William W. Jr. (John) died in the same house he built, April 9,1942; and Lee Ella died there also, August 8, 1944, all buried in old Valera Cemetery.

(Images to be added)

Jim Le Sueur

William W. Jr. and Lee Ella Le Sueur

William W Sr., and Terilla Jane (Sullivant) Le Sueur

Front row, Ito r: James Preston, Mary Alice, Mrs. Lee Ella (Hudd­leston) Le Sueur, holding son, Jim and Matt; Back row: William Lee and Ernest

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