Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Rena Ramzel Rice

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

William Downing Hobbs, born December 3, 1849 in Van Zandt County, Texas, the son of W. W. Hobbs (born January 14, 1817 in Illinois) and Esther Downing (born March, 1823 in Missouri) married August 5,1875 in Hunt County, Martha Emmaline Wilkinson, born December 3, 1856 in Hunt County, the daughter of John Overby Wilkinson (Co. D., 2 Regiment Cav. Texas State Troops, CSA) and Mary “Polly” Stiles of Red River County, Texas.  They moved to Coleman County in 1884 with their oldest children; their last four children born in Coleman County.
(1) Mary Esther, November 20, 1876 in Cooke County-January 3, 1966 at Bay City, buried at Decker Cemetery in Nolan County, married Charles Stuart Ramzel, March 6, 1898 in Coleman County, born May 11, 1856 in Alabama.  He was a rancher, Indian fighter, trail driver and farmer.  He was wounded three times in Indian battles.  He received a severe wound at the Yellow House Canyon battle near Lubbock, when he was 21 years old.  He hunted buffalo on the Plains and elsewhere.  Called “Concho Charlie,” he lived at Fort Concho and San Angelo after his parents returned to Alabama.  He lived with the Tankersleys and worked for Mr. Collier at Coleman.  He built windmills after barbed wire was invented, and he was too lame to ride as he did before the battles.  Mary Esther was issued a Teacher’s Certificate in Coleman County, April 17, 1897, and taught at Novice.  (She attended school at White Chapel (S. M. Sewell was her teacher), Live Oak and Silver Valley).  They had six children:
(1a) Rae Alexander, December 12, 1898 in Arizona, married Mary Taylor, Amarillo;

(1b) Ross Downing, November 13, 1900 in Coleman, married Altha Edsall, San Angelo;

(1c) Charles Bruce, January 27, ? in Arizona, married Lucy Smith;

(1d) Donald Hobbs, November 24, 1904 in Nolan County, married Edith Modrall;

(1e) Vernon Gerald, November 26, 1908 in Nolan County, married Carrie Lee Hillin;

(1f) Mary Rena, June 30, 1913, married I. E. “Jack” Rice in Sweetwater, February 23, 1929.  One daughter: Georgia Irene, March 14, 1931, married Albert A. C. Herreth, March 7, 1947 in Bay City.  They have three children: Melissa Diane, Albert Elton and Brett Ramzel, all born in Bay City.

 (2) Emmaline “Emily” Rose, August 31, 1879 in Hunt County, married a Jones, lived at Stead, New Mexico.

 (3) Etna Valentine, February 6, 1882 in Hunt County, married a Taylor, lived at Amarillo.

 (4) William Overby, July 16, 1884 in New Mexico, lived at Amarillo.

 (5) James Watt, April 6, 1887 in Hunt County, lived at Burkburnett.

 (6) Alice Malvina, February 2, 1891, married a Gorge, lived at Levelland.

 (7) Oscar Knox, March 22, 1893, lived at Abilene.

 (8) Charley Jenkins, June 14, 1895, lived at Levelland.

 (9) Mabel May, August 22, 1898, married a Whittington, lived at Blackwell.

William D. Hobbs moved to Decker in Nolan County in 1901, died August 20, 1925, buried at Decker Cemetery.  A cousin to the Hobbs children, Dolly Wilkinson of Coleman, married Ovee H. Kelley, their home was at Live Oak.

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This page last updated November 24, 2005
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