|Cornelius Ambrose Hemphill, known as C. A. Hemphill, was the first
of that surname to settle in Coleman County. A businessman and rancher,
he resided in the town of Coleman twenty-eight years, from 1888 until 1916,
when he moved to Houston. His only descendants remaining in Coleman
County after 1917 were his daughter, Iva George Hemphill who married Fordyce
Clay “Jack” Woodward and their daughter, Mary Lela Woodward, now Mrs. William
Henry Clifford. Cornelius Ambrose Hemphill was born October 21, 1855,
on a 600-acre tract of land which his grandfather, William Hemphill, had
purchased in Bastrop County, Texas, in 1835. C. A. Hemphill died
July 24, 1929, in Houston and was interred in Fairview Cemetery, Bastrop.
He and his twin sister, Cornelia Elizabeth Hemphill, were the firstborn
of Ambrose Baber and Martha Elizabeth (Hemphill) Hemphill. Ambrose
Baber Hemphill was born June 24, 1824, in Monroe County, Alabama, died
June 10, 1879, at Hemphill’s Prairie, Bastrop County, and was interred
in Fairview Cemetery. He married November 20, 1853, in Simpson County,
Mississippi, Martha Elizabeth Hemphill, born April 4, 1833, in Lawrence
County, Mississippi, died June 20, 1916, in Georgetown, Williamson County,
Texas, and was interred in Fairview Cemetery. She was the daughter
of Samuel and Nancy (Granberry) Hemphill who were also the parents of W.
C. Hemphill who settled in Coleman County in 1891 (see W. C. Hemphill).
C. A. married February 27, 1881, in Bastrop County, Lela Collier, daughter
of L. B. and Constance Duffey (Stephenson) Collier. To C. A. and
Lela were born a son, Edgar Wooten, and two daughters, Iva George, and
Lela. Lela (Collier) Hemphill died March 28, 1887, at the birth of the
infant Lela who lived only three days. Mother and infant were interred
in Fairview Cemetery.
C. A. married secondly, November 14, 1888, at Columbus, Rosa Lee Putney
who was born November 3, 1861, at Columbus, died June 18, 1938 at Bastrop,
interred in Fairview Cemetery. Rosa Lee (Putney) Hemphill was the
daughter of Robert William and Emma Crockett (Jenkins) Putney. To
C. A. and Rosa Lee were born three sons, Harbert Dibrell, Robert Baber,
and Ellis Putney, also two daughters, Hazel Clair, and Rosalee. All
five children were born in the town of Coleman between 1889 and 1899.
Rosa Lee had visited in the home of her relatives, William C. and Margaret
Caroline (Jenkins) Dibrell, who settled in Coleman in 1882. Margaret
Caroline (Jenkins) Dibrell was the sister of Emma Crockett (Jenkins) Putney,
mother of Rosa Lee. Another relative was William Newsom, son of Littleberry
McLemore “Mack” Newsom. C. A. and Rosa Lee immediately after their
marriage in November 1888, brought the two surviving children of his former
marriage and made their home in the town of Coleman.
C. A. Hemphill’s first position in Coleman was in the hardware and furniture
store of J. E. Stevens at a salary of $30 per month. The Hemphill
family home burned to the ground after lightning struck it during a severe
electrical and rain storm, one summer night in 1910. Neighbors rallied
to help. Fortunately, just prior to the disastrous fire, C. A. Hemphill
had bought for rental property a house on College Avenue just one block
north of the home that burned. After the fire, he moved his family
into it. Hazel (Hemphill) Morris recalls, “The house to which we
moved was more commodious and better suited to our large family.
Papa had the house raised and put on a brick foundation. He made
several interior changes and added a bathroom with modern plumbing.
Having all new furnishings, we were very proud of our new home.”
In 1916, C.A. Hemphill was a candidate for County Tax Assessor, but
was defeated in the election. Later that year he and Mrs. Hemphill
moved to Houston. There he worked as a security officer for a bank,
and later, as a special agent for the Railway Express. C. A. died in Houston,
July 24, 1919, interred in Fairview Cemetery. Rosa Lee died in the
home of their daughter, Hazel, and her husband, Earl L. Morris, at Bastrop,
Texas, June 18, 1938, interred in Fairview Cemetery. Mrs. Hemphill
and all their children were members of the Presbyterian Church.
Edgar Wooten Hemphill, was born April 10, 1883, died September 11, 1943,
in Pittsburgh. He married in Tennessee, Martha Clyde Gregory.
He was educated in the public schools of Coleman. He spent most of
his adult life in Pittsburgh. They had two children, Lela Margaret
and Norma Mildred.
Iva George Hemphill, was born June 26, 1885, died October 31, 1963,
in El Paso, interred in Santa Anna (see Fordyce Clay (Jack) Woodward).
Harbert Dibrell Hemphill, was born November 18, 1889, in Coleman, died
unmarried August 4, 1933, interred in Fairview Cemetery. Harbert
was educated in the public schools of Coleman. He worked for several
years in the First National Bank of Coleman before enlisting in the U.S.
Army in 1917. When World War I was over, he settled in Wichita Falls,
where he continued his banking career. He was on a business trip
when he died suddenly in Hot Springs.
Robert Baber Hemphill, was born June 30, 1892, in Coleman, died April
29, 1964, in Baytown, interred in Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, Houston.
He married in Coleman about 1910, Jet Randolph, daughter of Judge and Mrs.
J .C. Randolph. This union ended in divorce. On March 31, 1928, in
Houston, Robert married Mary Lucile White. There were no children
by either of Robert’s marriages. In 1912, he moved from Coleman to
Dallas, where he entered the automobile business. In 1937, he moved
to Baytown, Texas, where he owned and operated the Hemphill Cadillac-Pontiac
Ellis Putney Hemphill, was born May 26, 1894, in Coleman, died April
24, 1960, in Texas City, interred in Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery.
He married March 11, 1922, in Houston, Nita Cecil Mayes. Ellis was
educated in the public schools of Coleman. In 1917, he enlisted in
the Naval Air Force and, at the close of the war, he became a clerk with
the Southern Pacific Railway Company. After his retirement he and
Mrs. Hemphill moved to Texas City. They had no children.
Hazel Clair Hemphill, was born August 23, 1896, in Coleman, married
June 7, 1916, in Coleman, Earl Luckett Morris, born March 1, 1889, in Bastrop,
died June 5, 1961, in Houston, and is interred in Fairview Cemetery.
Hazel was educated in the public schools of Coleman and was valedictorian
of her graduating class from Coleman High School in 1914. After graduation
she took the State Teachers Examinations and was certified to teach in
Texas. She taught in the White Chapel and Bowen Schools. After
their marriage in 1916, she and Mr. Morris made their home in Bastrop.
Now a widow, and retired from the teaching profession, Hazel maintains
her own home in Houston and enjoys entertaining family and friends.
Children born to Earl and Hazel were Rosalee Edwina who married Robert
Pier Curtis, Hazel Anita who married Finley Miller Soulé.
Dr. Charles Robert who married Evelyn Barbee Williams, Patsy Earl who married
Robert Myron Sweetman, and Iva May who married Boyd Elton Waltman.
Rosalee Hemphill, was born October 5, 1899, in Coleman, died March 16,
1979, in Wichita Falls, interred in Smithville. She married December
21, 1922, James Warren Dain, born December 12, 1897, in Smithville.
Rosalee graduated from Coleman High School and later received a B. A. degree
from what is now Rice University. She was the first May Queen at
Rice. James entered the insurance business in Houston. After
the close of World War II, Mr. and Mrs. Dain moved to Wichita Falls, where
they spent the remainder of their lives. They had two children, James Warren
Jr. who married first Evelyn Randolph and secondly Blanche Ruth Palmer,
and Robert Bryan who lived only two weeks, interred at Smithville.
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Iva Hemphill, Edgar Hemphill - about 1887