Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Birdie Helms and Mrs. Earl Heddins

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

Robert Emmett Harris, born March 17, 1853 in Marshall County, Alabama, died December 7, 1923 at Burkett, was the son of James M. and Elizabeth (Blasingame) Harris.  Robert E., along with four sisters and a brother, came to Hill County, Texas, along with the Blasingame family, shortly after the death of James M. in the late l860’s.  The Blasingames moved to California, but Robert and his three sisters, Charlsie, Mahalia and Mary came to Coleman County in 1868.  He began working as a cowhand for a rancher named Walter Erath, the son of Colonel George B. Erath for whom Erath County was named.  Robert E. went on a trail drive to Dodge City, Kansas, and returned to Coleman County to begin his own cattle operation.  He built his herd up to about 300 head on a ranch south of Burkett on the Pecan Bayou.  He married Tennessee Lucrecia “Dink” Brown, March 26, 1879, the daughter of John R. Brown (see J. R. Brown).  All of their children were born at Burkett and are:

(1) Walter Raymond, born December 3, 1879, died in 1948, married Lou Thames; children were Adrian, Ivan, Bennie, Odessa, and Billie.

(2) Robert Emmett (twin of Walter R.), December 3, 1879, death date not known, married Maggie Beulah Colvin; children were Vernon, Quinn, Monte, and Opal.

(3) Eudora, born July 6, 1883, died 1969 at Santa Anna, married Will R. Roberts; children were Onie Mae and Velma Lee, who married K .M. Mosley and live at Santa Anna.

(4) Arch Bart, born November 30, 1885, is still living in Coleman, married Mary Lou Colvin; children were Virgie (born July 7, 1909, married Walter Adams of Burkett), Elsie (born August 29, 1912, married Ben Partie and lives in Cross Plains), Lorane (born October 5, 1915, married Lon Gray), Erma Rea (born May 16, 1918, married Jim Tomlinson of Coleman), and A. B., Jr. (born August 12, 1926).

(5) Ernest Lindwood, born February 17, 1888, died July 6, 1980, married Lyda Keller, August 21, 1914 in Coleman; children were Robert E. and Wayne (see Peter Keller).

(6) Jesse James, born November 20, 1890, death date not known, married Mattie May Colvin; children were Wjlda of Burkett and Willie, who married a Tomlinson.

(7) James Benton, born August 7, 1892 died January 13, 1976, married first Joan Adams (February 14, 1928), second Dovie Bessett; children were Johnny, who lives in Coleman with his mother, Billy, Leonard and Mary.

(8) Tennessee Ruby, born February 16, 1895, married C. Clayton Burns, September 9, 1919; their child was Wanda Jean, who married B. J. McAnally (see McAnally).

(9) John Otto, September 6, 1897 - February 2, 1974 at Coleman, married Adelaide “Addie Lee” Smith; child was Robert, now of Houston.  John Otto was a Coleman Attorney.

(10) Audie, May 6, 1900 - July 19, 1980, married L. Dolph Evans at Burkett; children were Theda (Kornegay), Mourine (Clark) of Burkett, Robbie (Lucks), Reba Nell (Steinman), and Sonja (Henson).

(11) Birdie, born August 25, 1903, married Vern Helms, March 10, 1924 at Burkett, child was Milton Gill, who still lives at Burkett with his mother (see John William Wesley).

The Robert Emmett Harris children, for the most part, spent all their lives in Coleman County.  Part of the original land that belonged to Robert E. is still in the Harris family.  John and James are buried at Coleman, the others at Burkett.  Many of their descendants still live in Coleman County.

Of Robert E. Harris’ siblings, Charlsie was born January 11, 1848 in Alabama and married William Bernard Erath McLennan at Waco in 1872.  They lived at China Springs.  Mahalia was born February 3, 1850 in Alabama, married Sidney Henderson Hughs in 1877, in McLennan County, and died May 1, 1901 at Burkett.  Her husband died in 1917 at Baird, both buried at Burkett.  Their children were James Emory, Robert Emmett (see Nations-Lockridge), Sidney Foy, Eugene, and Charlcie.  The last two were born in Burkett.  The children did not remain in Coleman County.  Mary Elizabeth (birth date unknown) married Samuel D. Hawley in McLennan County, died in 1936 in Brownwood.

(Images to be added)

Tennessee Lucrecia and Robert Emmett Harris

Birdie, Vernon, and son, Gill Helms

Families History Index
Coleman County Index
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This page last updated November 12, 2005
© 1982 - 2005 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.