Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Bettie Cavanaugh

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

I am the great-great granddaughter of John (born April 27, 1827) and Rebecca (Davidson) Howe (born October 1, 1829), married November 3, 1847 and had nine children, that I am aware of: Jessie Franklin, born September 30, 1848, married September 24, 1872 Mary Margaret Rodgers; David William, my grandfather, born April 9, 1850, died May 30, 1918 (gravestone shows May 29), married Safronia Elizabeth Barnett, born February 5, 1861, died October 28, 1946; James A., born July 30, 1852; John S., born July 24, 1855, married August 5, 1893, Minnie Bedell; Susan A., born January 7, 1858; Nancy Anne, born March 22, 1860, married December 22, 1877, James Washington Standiford, born November 3, 1858; Pleasant Wesley, born September 24, 1863, married October 29, 1890, N. E. Watson; Mary Ellen, born April 16, 1866, married August 23, 1893, Robert S. Grimes; Martha Wilson, born January 8, 1869.  Rebecca Howe died in Coleman County, April 14, 1894, when the shaft of a buggy being put into a shed went through her stomach, buried in Coleman.  John Howe died October 11, 1906, buried near Ionia, Missouri.  Just when they came to Texas from Missouri, is not known for certain, however, some of the children evidently stayed in Missouri and some came to Texas.  I found marriage certificates in Coleman County for John S., Pleasant Wesley and Mary Ellen.

Although I have not located a marriage certificate for David William, G-grandpa Howe as I will refer to him, and Safronia Elizabeth Barnett were married and evidently began their married life in Coleman County.  G-grandpa Howe accumulated much land in the northeastern part of Coleman County, located between Burkett and Camp Colorado areas.  The first record I found of land which he acquired was April 16, 1881.  Through the years from 1881 until the early 1900’s, I located approximately 1400 acres that he acquired.  Eight children were born of this marriage, one son and seven daughters:

Oscar, married January 18, 1910 Ethel Watson.

Mary Alice ‘‘Allie” married Bill Smith, their children Joe, Nora, Willie and Allene.

Florence, born April 3, 1881, died April 9, 1905.

Mineola, my grandmother, born October 21, 1885, died July 1, 1958.

Ellen M. “Ebb,’’ born July 6, 1887, died April 21, 1930, married December 9, 1909, Walter L. Field, born December 13, 1886, died June 20, 1959, their children are: Cecil, Bernace Leon “Pat,” Essie Oleta, Cleo Clayden, Odis Wiley, Dessie Lometa, Lowell Odell, Winona Christine and Muriel Laree.

Alma Ethel, born April 12, 1889, died December 21, 1916, married January 7, 1909, Robert Roe Moore, born October 31, 1890, died January 20, 1919, their children Elmer Clyde “Tod” and William Reuben “Bill.”  Ethel evidently had tuberculosis while carrying the second child and she died just two days short of the child being one month old.  Ethel’s husband later married Ruby Fry and they had one daughter, Julia Lorene.  He died of pneumonia in 1919.

Willie, a daughter, born October 3,1892, died November 24, 1900.

Another infant daughter, born and died April 21, 1893.

G-grandpa Howe was a farmer, having one of the first threshing machines in the area, taking it around the country and threshing for others.  He also had cattle and had located on his land a dipping vat where cattle from all over the area were brought to be dipped.  He had his own blacksmith shop and raised his own mules and brood mares.  He was one of the first in the area to own an automobile, an Overland, which caused quite a lot of excitement.  G-grandpa Howe hired young men to come and work for him at various times and they would court his daughters, eventually marrying one.  As the girls married, G-grandpa would allow the newly married couple to begin their married life on certain tracts of land that he owned.  The land was not actually deeded to the couple until after the death of G-grandpa Howe in 1918.  At that time all of the land was divided with G-grandma Howe getting three tracts and the children getting theirs.  It seems that Oscar, the only son and oldest child, talked G-grandma Howe into selling her portion of the land for $600.00.  The appraisal value at the time she received it was $15,000.00.  He used this land and his portion of the inherited land as collateral on loans.  It was eventually foreclosed upon, for failure to pay, and came into the possession of T. L. and Salome H. Stevens.  G-grandma Howe and Oscar moved to Burkett where they lived in a little “shack,” much below the standard accustomed to.  Oscar did a lot of traveling and “big timing” and I am told that he died a pauper and was buried by the county in Amarillo.  There was located on the property of D. W. Howe, a cemetery which was deeded to the Howe Community.  Also located on this land was a one room school house which G-grandpa Howe built.

Mineola married Leslie Andrew Hill, December 27, 1908, born April 12, 1887, died April 6, 1962, one of the young men who worked for G-grandpa Howe.  Three children were born to this couple: Allie Pearl, Ivan Odell and Bernice Evelyn (see Holmans and Andrew Porter).  In 1935, after their son, Ivan, had married (they were living with his parents), Ivan had planted a crop of maize and rather than harvest it and move the crop, since they were moving to another place, he told his dad he could have the crop except for enough to take care of his team until he could plant and harvest a new crop.  This turned out to be a bumper crop that Ivan gave his dad and the money made from this crop was used to build a new home for Les and Ola in 1936.  Les was a farmer and Ola was a housewife, which in those days meant lots of hard work, not only doing housework but helping in the fields.  Ola was stricken by arthritis at an early age and her hands became so drawn by this disease that her fingers were drawn to the palm of her hands.  She would help pick cotton by sitting in a chair and moving it up the mows.  Ola took care of G-grandma Howe a number of years, but finally had to place her in an old folks home in Austin.  When Les and Ola leased their land in 1945, they moved to Coleman where they lived until their deaths.  Les and Ola were members of the Church of Christ.  Les was a member of the Burkett School Board when in 1936 the new school was built.

Allie Pearl Hill, born April 7, 1910 at home near Burkett, married October 25, 1933, Henry Nolan Burkett (see John Henry Burkett).  Pearl is currently living in Coleman and is a member of Hillcrest Church of Christ.

Ivan Odell Hill, born March 7, 1912 at home near Burkett, married June 1, 1935, Doris Placke, born November 20, 1911, both still living near Glen Cove.  Two daughters: Nelda Louise, born February 23, 1938, married September 7, 1957, Keith McQuary, their children, Brent and Mamian.  Margaret Ann, born June 7, 1941, married July 9, 1960, Doyle Roberts, their child, DeAnn.

Bernice Evelyn, born January 13, 1921 at home near Bumkett, married (1) May 20, 1942, Willard Holmans (see Holmans).  Evelyn married (2) Alvin Luther Porter, October 11, 1971, born January 22, 1908 (see Andrew Porter).

(Images to be added)

John and Rebecca (Davidson) Howe

Oscar Howe

D. W. Howe home - Ola, D. W., Ell, Safronia and Ethel

Tod and Bill Moore, Safronia Elizabeth Howe, Pearl Hill, D. W. Howe, Ivan Hill

Allie Pearl (Hill) Burkett, Ivan Hill, Evelyn (Hill) Holmans Porter

Mineola and Leslie Hill

Families History Index
Coleman County Index
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This page last updated November 25, 2005
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