Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Sue Kingsbery Porter and Merle Kingsbery Woodward

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

The first of this family to settle in Coleman County was Henry Williams Kingsbery, born February 24, 1847 at Carrollton, Georgia, the son of Charles Kingsbery, born in 1812 at Derby, Vermont, and Sarah A. Williams of Newnan Georgia, born in 1818 in Rhea County, Tennessee.  They were married September 9, 1841.  Three boys and five girls were born to this couple.  Henry joined the Confederate Army at the age of seventeen and served as First Sergeant in John Beale’s Battalion of Georgia.  Because of the severe economic conditions in the South after the War, the family decided to move to Texas.  Henry spent the winter of 1876-1877 in Medina and Fnio Counties, gathering cattle, which he drove over the trail to Abilene, Kansas, in 1877.  After living in Bell County for a time, he moved to Coleman County in 1882, and purchased the old Pfluger Ranch, south of Santa Anna, and lived there until he moved to Coleman, where he was elected Sheriff and Tax Collector in 1892.  He held the office for two years and was not a candidate for reelection.  He next moved to Santa Anna and was employed at the W. R. Kelley Company there, while completing purchase of the Leedy Property six miles south of town.  He moved there in 1895, and developed a successful stock farm which he operated until his death in 1929.  Stock farming proved profitable, and the Kingsberys were widely known for their fine horses and mules.

Henry Williams Kingsbery married November 22, 1892 at Georgetown, Kallie Tucker Lane, born February 11, 1870, at Tehuacana, Limestone County, the daughter of Reverend James Sterling Lane, a Methodist minister, born in 1818 in Morgan County, Georgia, died in Georgetown.  He married April 24, 1860 in Sparta, Georgia, Sophronia Jacob Audas, his third wife, born in 1836 in Sparta, died in Abilene, Texas.  Henry and Kallie were the parents of three children: Howard Thomas, October 22, 1893; Merle, June 22, 1895; and Carroll Emera, January 26, 1897.  Mrs. Kingsbery was in poor health and her doctor suggested the trip to a family reunion in Cedartown, Georgia, might prove beneficial.  Unfortunately, she died there August 9, 1899, buried in Cartersville, Georgia.  The bereaved family returned home with a widowed sister of Mr. Kingsbery, Salene K. Pritchett, to help care for the three small children.  On July 14, 1901, Henry married (2nd) Miss Cora Berry of Granbury, born in Texas, on January 25, 1863.  An infant daughter of this couple was born and died September 23, 1902.  There were no other children.

The community where the Kingsberys lived was called “Live Oak.”  This was a good neighborhood, where there was little friction. Sunday School was held at the schoolhouse every Sunday with Mr. Martin as Superintendent.  Town preachers took turns and services were well attended.  Captain J. A. Robertson of Galveston owned a ranch near Trickham on which he drilled some oil wells.  About 1912, he drilled on the Kingsbery ranch and found a good gas well.  Gas was piped into the home for lighting, cooking, and heating.  The pipeline continued into Santa Anna, and gas was distributed under the name of Santa Anna Gas Company.

Henry was a devout member and trustee of the Methodist Church, a member of the Masonic Lodge, and one of the organizers and a director of the First National Bank of Santa Anna.  He died January 4, 1929, at his home, and is buried in Santa Anna beside Cora, who died February 14, 1948.  Henry left a will in his own handwriting which closes with the following admonition to his children: “Live a life that is a credit to yourself, your name and your country.  Be charitable, ever remindful of the unfortunate and needy.”  He was a living example of his admonitions.

(1) Howard Thomas was born in Coleman while his father was serving as County Sheriff.  He graduated from Santa Anna High School, then worked on ranches in South Texas and Mexico until the Mexican Rebels forced all Americans to leave the country in 1912.  He was fortunate to escape with his horse, saddle and guns, leaving his household goods, other livestock and guns in Mexico.  His uncle and namesake, Tom Kingsbery, refused to leave and was murdered by the Rebel forces.  He served with the U.S. Army in France during World War I, then returned to Coleman County to continue his father’s ranching enterprise.  He married Mabel Jarman Woodward in Coleman on May 15, 1920 (see W. B. Woodward).  From 1936 to 1952, Howard was employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Coleman and Bryan, then returned again to Santa Anna, where he resided until his death, May 24, 1970.  Mabel was a graduate of Santa Anna High School and Southwest Texas State Teachers’ College, and taught school in Coleman County for many years.  Howard and Mabel are buried in Santa Anna.  They were the parents of three children:
(la) Henry Williams II, March 30, 1921 in Santa Anna, married Suzanne Park in Port Arthur, October 14, 1950.  He is a graduate of Santa Anna High School and Texas A&M University, and served with the U.S. Air Force as a pilot during World War II.  He stayed in the Reserves, retiring as Lt. Colonel after 42 years.  He is a chemical engineer and a leader in the Presbyterian Church.  They have four sons, all born in Beaumont:
(a) Joe Thomas, February 8, 1952, the father of Austin Park.

(b) Walter Woodward, August 26, 1953. 

(c) Stuart Park, April 8, 19S6, married Lauren Davis in Boulder, Colorado

(d) William Henry, August 30, 1958.

(1b) Fordyce Clay “Jack,” May 26, 1922 in Santa Anna, was named for his uncle, F. C. Woodward.  A graduate of Bryan High School and Texas A&M University, Jack served with the Eighth Air Force in England during World War II as a Crew Chief.  He married in Santa Anna, June 30, 1951, Evelyn Virginia Bruce (see Charles D. Bruce).  Jack is a rancher and owner of a manufacturing business in Zavala County.  They are active in the Baptist Church and in civic affairs in their area.  They have four children:
(a) Ann, July 24, 1952 in Batesville, married Col. Bond Womack, now residing in Glendale, Arizona.

(b) Robert Clay (Bob), January 27, 1955 in Crystal City, married Kern Rush in Dallas now residing in San Antonio, the parents of Amber and Michael Clay.

(c) Kay Ellen, March 4, 1956 in Crystal City, married John Bell in College Station, now residing in Pearland, the parents of Barbara Ann and Sarah Ellen.

(d) Howard Bruce, August 11, 1961 at Crystal City.

(1c) Howard Thomas “Tom,” Jr., July 24, 1923 in Santa Anna, married Barbara Sue Bruce in Santa Anna, September 8, 1951 (see Charles D. Bruce).  Tom graduated from Bryan High School, attended Texas A&M University, and graduated from Texas Tech University in 1947.  He served with the U.S. Cavalry Remount group during World War II, then returned to Coleman County to continue the family ranching operations.  Active in community groups, he is director of the Coleman County Rural Electric Cooperative and director and president of the Coleman County Telephone Cooperative.  He has been a leader in the Breeder-Feeder Association and the Coleman Rodeo Association.  In 1981, he was chosen Coleman County’s “Oustanding Rural Citizen.”  A graduate of Santa Anna High School, attended Tarleton State University, Barbara served on the School Board twelve years, on the Coleman County Tax Appraisal District Board, was an officer in the Self-Culture Club, ExStudent Association, and Chamber of Commerce, and in 1959 was named to “Outstanding Young Women of America.”  The Kingsberys are active in the First Baptist Church, where Barbara was music director for ten years.  They are the parents of two daughters, both born in Santa Anna:
(a) Sue, December 29, 1952, and served as Coleman Rodeo Queen in 1969.  She was Valedictorian of her graduating class at Santa Anna High School, and received her BS degree from Texas Tech University as the highest ranking student in the Animal Science Department.  Sue married in Austin, June 23, 1979, John Winton Porter, born September 10, 1944 in Newport, Arkansas.  He is employed with IBM in Austin.  They have two children, both born in Austin:  Diana Leigh, July 10, 1980, and Mollie Melissa, June 16, 1983.

(b) Carol, October 20, 1954, served as Coleman Rodeo Queen in 1972.  She was chosen as “Miss Texas Teenager” in 1972, and graduated from Santa Anna High School in 1973.  She received her BA degree from Texas A&M University in 1976 and her LLD from Texas Tech University in 1979.

(2) Merle, born in Santa Anna June 22, 1895, was a member of the first graduating class of SMU and was a class president.  When Mrs. J. Tom Padgitt (Willie Day) organized the Capt. William Buckner Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution in 1917, she was a charter member.  On September 12, 1922, she and William Lee Woodward were married in the Methodist Church, of which both were members (see E. L. Woodward).  He was manager of Santa Anna Gas Company and supervised the drilling for Capt. J. A. Robertson of Galveston.  When the company was sold, they moved to Pampa, where he installed its first natural gas system.  They sold this company and moved to San Antonio, then bought a gas system serving several towns in northwestern Oklahoma, and named it Zenith Gas System.  They lived in Alva, Oklahoma.  After thirty-two years this company was sold to Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, and they moved to Mineral Wells to be near their ranch properties.  Lee died June 5, 1975 in Mineral Wells, buried at Santa Anna.  Their children:
(2a) Claride, February 17, 1932 in San Antonio, married Phillip Greenwood Walters, June 19, 1953 in Alva.  Three sons: Stefan Greenwood, May 27, 1957 in Oklahoma City; Mark Woodward, March 24, 1959 in Pawhuska; and David Kingsbery, March 28, 1964 in Denver, Colorado.  Dr. Walters and his family live in Alexandria, Virginia.

(2b) Janet, March 9, 1935 in Alva, married Michael Edward Holland, December 30, 1962 in Dallas.  Two children: Michele, January 3, 1966 and Daniel Lee, March 28, 1968, both born in Stephenville.  The Hollands now live in Mineral Wells.

(3) Carroll Emera was born on the Kingsbery stock farm south of Santa Anna, and has resided there most of his life.  He married Marguerite Barnes at the Baptist Church in Santa Anna, April 17, 1924, born March 20, 1905 at Marlin, the daughter of D. Joseph Barnes, born at Lunderton, North Carolina, May 18, 1868, and Ellen Elizabeth Bonner, born at Durango, Texas, March 11, 1872.  They were married at Durango, December 14, 1887 (see Barnes).  Carroll was a graduate of Santa Anna High School and had business and banking at Howard Payne College.  He was a Sergeant First Class in the National Guard during World War I.  The Kingsberys lived at Norwood, Colorado, for two years while he worked on an irrigation project, and for a while in Pampa, Texas, where he worked for Pampa Gas Company.  Since then he has lived on the ranch at Santa Anna, continuing until the present in the livestock business.  Active in community groups, Carroll was president of the Federal Land Bank of Coleman for several years, a member of the Coleman Rodeo Association and Coleman County Breeder-Feeder Association, and for many years has served on the Board of the Santa Anna United Methodist Church.  They are parents of three children, all graduates of Santa Anna High School:
(3a) Carolyn, born in Norwood, Colorado, February 3, 1925, and is a former Santa Anna Rodeo Queen.  She married at Santa Anna, March 29, 1945, Jesse Thomas Garrett, son of J. T. and Kate (May) Garrett of Santa Anna.  They have resided in Lake Jackson, for thirty years, and have three children:
(a) Michael Jess, June 27, 1947 at Santa Anna, married Roslyn Kiger, April 6, 1973 in Austin, two children, Lauren Jenifer, February 6, 1973, and Marisa Anne, April 23, 1982, both in Austin.

(b) Charles Steven, June 18, 1951 at Coleman, married Susan Bush in Harlingen, three children, Robin Rene, September 3, 1972, Kimberley Erin, August 12, 1976, both in Freeport, and Kristin Elizabeth, February 19, 1981 in Houston.

(c) Celia, March 24, 1956 at Freeport.

(3b) Maurice Barnes, December 21, 1929 at Santa Anna, married Rosalyn Wilson in Brownwood, December 30, 1953 (see Bird Wilson).  Maurice and Rosalyn were active in community affairs in Coleman before they moved to Austin in 1978, where Maurice is a realtor.  Three children:
(a) Maurice Barnes Jr., December 11, 1954 at Ranger, married to Lynette Whiteside McWilliams in Midland, two children, Robin McWilliams, September 15, 1972 and Jordan Lane, May 31, 1983.

(b) Karen, June 4, 1956 at Ranger, married Robert Edward McManus in Coleman, August 25, 1978, two children, Emily Elizabeth, October 12, 1979, and Mary Elizabeth, August 5,1981.

(c) Charles Carroll, July 1, 1959 in Snyder.

(3c) Kay, December 9, 1940 at Santa Anna, served as Coleman Rodeo Queen in 1959, married Richard Frank Gray in Santa Anna, September 17, 1960, born at Rising Star, September 11, 1933, the son of Raymond and Virginia Harniett (Alford) Gray.  Two daughters: Kathryn Michelle, December 8, 1961 in Brownwood; and Kallie Kathleen, October 29, 1969 in Comanche.

(Images to be added)

Kingsbery Home (In the Leedy Community)

Howard and Mabel (Woodward) Kingsbery

W. Lee and Merle (Kingsbery) Woodward

Howard Thomas (Tom) and Barbara (Bruce) Kingsbery

H. W. Kingsbery

Carroll E. and Marguerite (Barnes) Kingsbery

Kallie (Lane) Kingsbery

Families History Index
Coleman County Index
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This page last updated February 12, 2006
© 1982 - 2006 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.