Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Mrs. R. L. Barnett
[Editor’s note:  Mrs. Barnett passed away December 13, 1983, buried at Coleman.]

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

Anson William Halbert, born in 1774 in Essex County, Virginia, married Elizabeth Hill in 1765.  This couple had 10 children and many grandchildren, one of whom was Lucius Nash Halbert, who married Rebecca Alford in Mississippi.  In 1849, this young couple and their baby son, Halkert Alford “H. A.” (1849-1927), moved to Texas.

When Halkert was a young man, he moved to Corsicana to begin the practice of law and to publish a newspaper, “The Corsicana Light.”  He also was the author of an almanac which gave weather forecasts gleaned from the heart of an oak tree, and to which many people looked for guidance in planting and growing crops.  It was in Corsicana that Halkert met a young widow, Mary Pauline Cravens Fortson (1854-1924), and they married in 1884.  When the young husband’s health began to fail, he sought a more healthful climate in West Texas, which was being opened up by the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad.  So, in 1886, Halkert with his wife, her two children named Ben and Hallie Fortson, and one son of their own by the name of Lucius Joshua (1895-1945) moved to Coleman.

After living in the town of Coleman a short time, Halkert purchased 350 acres of land 2½ miles east of Coleman on Hords Creek.  It was there that he built a two-story home which a short time later was completely destroyed by fire.  It was because of their losses in the fire that Halkert and Mary found it necessary to return to live in the town of Coleman, moving back to the country at intervals.  During that period three other children were born, Lilly Mary (1888-1976), Halkert Alford (1890 - 1953), and Helen Rebecca (1894-1979).  On the farm which Halbert owned east of Coleman were many pecan trees, but there was one among these which bore nuts that far excelled the others.  It was paper-shelled and full-kerneled with a delicious flavor.  Too, it was a prolific bearer, and for many years the buds from that tree were used by Halkert on native trees all over the State of Texas.  The orchard is still in the hands of the Halbert heirs, and instead of this one paper-shelled pecan tree, there are now some 400 trees budded to the Halbert paper-shelled pecan.

The four children of Halkert and Mary Pauline Halbert lived to maturity, but none is living today.  Their son, Lucius Joshua, died in Plainview, after having spent his adult life as a wheat farmer in the Panhandle; he was the father of a son, Lucius, Jr., who preceded his father in death, and a daughter, Eleanor (1914), who continues to make her home in Plainview.  The second son of Halkert Halbert was named Halkert A. Halbert, Jr., he never married and was a veteran of World War I.  Lilly Mary, daughter of H. A. and Mary, married W. Wellington Gober (1880-1961) in Coleman, where they lived throughout their married years; their only child is Forrest Gober (1921), married to the former Margaret Johnson of Mississippi. to this couple were born: Hal (1950), married Gwen; and Edward (and his wife) are the parents of two boys, Gregory, and Thomas.  The youngest child of Halkert and Mary was Helen Rebecca; married Garland Woodward (1891-1949) in Coleman, where he was a practicing attorney for many years, and where Helen was a teacher with the Coleman Independent School District until her retirement in the mid-1960’s (see Woodward).  Helen and Garland had three children: Halbert (1918), Warren (1923), and Sara Pauline (1928).  Halbert, also popularly called “Hal,” also was an attorney in Coleman prior to his appointment as a Federal Judge in 1968.  He is married to the former Dawn Blair, and they have resided in Lubbock since 1968.  Their two children are Halbert (or Hobby) (1947), who in 1982 commenced his practice of pediatrics in Brownwood, where he lives with his wife and sons; and Garland Benton (1953) who is an attorney in San Angelo, where he makes his home with his wife and daughter.  Warren, the second son of Helen and Garland, also is married and the father of two adult children, Tony (1953) and Barbara (1959), all of whom make their homes in Dallas.  Sara Pauline is the youngest child of Helen and Garland.  She lives in Coleman, where he husband, Ray Barnett, is a land surveyor; they are the parents of Ted (1953), who lives in Houston, and Helen Rebecca (1959), who is a school teacher and resident of Stephenville, where she has lived with her husband, Bill Merryman, also a former Colemanite, since 1977 (see Oliver Merryman).

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Coleman County Index
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This page last updated August 14, 2005
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