Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Frances L. Gulley Staggs

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

Henry Clay, Ida Amelia (Fisher) Gulley and their two oldest children, Nora, born December 6, 1895, and Lloyd, October 30, 1897, came to Coleman County by train in 1900.  They settled on block 37 of the then Burnet County School Land, on a knoll just above Home Creek.  In 1901, the Gulleys bought block 39 just west of Home Creek which is now known as the home place.  Two other children were born there, Kate, August 3, 1901 (see William Henry Cagle and Fonie M. Scott), and Alfred, October 25, 1905.  The Gulleys had barely settled when the 1900 flood hit.  A 50 gallon water barrel in the front yard filled completely from the downpour.  Hords Creek filled so full that the tree tops caught feed bundles that were washed from the fields.

Henry was born October 17, 1863 in Overton County, Tennessee.  The family moved to Van Buren County in 1870.  He attended school and college in Tennessee and taught school in Tennessee and Missouri.  In Missouri, he met his future wife, also a teacher at West Plains and the couple married November 30, 1893.

Visitation by kin from Missouri was rare in those days, but Ida’s mother came for a visit and with the country growing and changing, it was of interest to them to take her to look over some land for sale in the Colorado River area.  The owner was a lady by the name of Day.  Mrs. Fisher and Mrs. Day seemed to hit it off during the visit and Mrs. Day showed them the area herself.  She had a dream to build a town on the land and to make it more real, building materials had been brought and delivered to the location.  She told Mrs. Fisher she was searching for a name for the town and welcomed suggestions. The name suggested by Mrs. Fisher was in honorary tribute to both husbands, “Leaday.”  And so the town Leaday got its name.

During those early growing years tragedy often struck and the Gulley family was not excluded.  On January 30, 1911, Lloyd, the eldest son, suffering from a heart ailment, passed away at the age of 13.  On September 26, 1927, Ida passed away at the age of 57 (Henry lived to be 94 years of age, passing away January 8, 1958).

The daughters married and moved away.  Kate lived in Glen Cove (see John Bailey Laws), and Nora lives in Lampasas (see Landrum-Mitchell).  Alfred continued to live on the home place and together with Henry farmed the land raising mostly cotton and grain.  Mules and horses were also an important product and Henry owned a prize mule shown at the county fair one year.  Through occasional flood and droughts the Gulleys stayed on, one of the assets of the land enabling them to stay was a spring fed well that never went dry, producing cold sweet water.  During the drought of the 30’s, immediate neighbors in need of water came to the well for drinking water for family and livestock.  On June 17, 1933, Alfred married Dessie Lee Reis from Talpa and continued to live on the home place (see R. A. Cox and Box-Caldwell-Touchstone).  Maynard and Frances were born there and Rex, their third child had the privilege of being born in the Coleman Overall-Morris Memorial Hospital.  Maynard owns a farm near Talpa and the daughter’s family is building a home on the home place.  Her son, Jace Staggs, owns a home and business in Coleman.

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This page last updated August 14, 2005
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