Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Charlotte Laughlin

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

James Sylvester Laughlin sold his land in Williamson County in 1897, and together with T. C. Culverwell, bought 1800 acres at $2.00 per acre in Coleman County. Mr. Culverwell lived in Santa Anna and helped work on the ranch until 1903 when he sold his part.  J. S. took the east side, running from west to east from Mukewater Creek to over the Brown County line - a total of 755 acres.  The family, with 5 children, was accompanied on the move to Coleman County by the sister and brother-in-law of Laughlin’s wife, Olive Mable, Mary Frances (Clark) and Ezekiel Charles Miller (see Clark).  (Two more Laughlin children were subsequently born in Coleman County.)  The Miller family included three children, with a fourth child being born in Coleman County in 1905.  The family had wooden cages filled with chickens hanging on the sides of the two covered wagons.  Wooden water barrels also hung on the sides.  Inside the wagons the families carried trunks of clothes, bedding, tools, and kitchen utensils, as well as a few pieces of furniture.  When they arrived at their new home, the canvas coverings of the wagons were used to form a temporary tent and lean-to until they could build a house.  They lived in the lean-to/tent, until J. S. could haul lumber from Santa Anna to build a house and barn.

Shortly after arriving in the County, J. S. went to the Paige Store in Trickham to ask if he could have credit for a season until his got his farming/ranching started.  Mr. Paige told him to charge anything he needed.  When J. S. charged only a plug of tobacco, Mr. Paige urged him to get something more.  "Well, there’s another man working with me (Charlie Miller); I guess I’d better get another plug of tobacco."  His family later complained that their supplies were down to little more than popcorn, but all he charged was tobacco.

After a few years the Millers returned to Williamson County, but later came back to Coleman County.  Aunt Frank and Uncle Charlie are both buried in Trickham, as are their two youngest children.  Their oldest son is buried in Bangs and their second son in Santa Anna.  These children married and lived at least much of their adult life in Coleman County.  Many of the grandchildren of Aunt Frank and Uncle Charlie and at least one great grandchild were born in Coleman County.

The Miller family follows:  Ezekiel Charles Miller was the son of Ezekiel and Mandy (Potliff) Miller, was a distant cousin of the two Miller brothers who married Laughlin sisters.  He was born in 1868 and married Mary Francis Clark in 1888 (see Clark).  Mary Francis was born February 29, 1868.  They had four children:

Preston Dallas, (July 22, 1889 - January 4, 1947), married Ida C. York, the daughter of E. F. "Major" and Sarah Francis (Stacy) York, in Trickham, January 18, 1912 (see Jesse Monroe York).  Four children, the oldest two of which were born in Trickham: Elinor Francis (November 6, 1912; married Howard Sikes, December 15, 1933).  Donald Lee (December 19, 1913; married Elsie Lee Martin, January 4, 1934).  He died March 1978, buried in Bangs.  Roy Charles (March 1, 1922; married Gladys Christine Daws in Santa Anna October 26, 1940).  They have two children: Ronnie Charles (May 10, 1942) and Carmalita Ann (April 18, 1944; married Larry James Sloan, January 19, 1964).  Morris Preston (November 30, 1923; married Mary Doyle Whatley, July 3,1948).

Zora, born July 22, 1893; married Gid Mathews; died July 24, 1913, buried in Tnickham.  (see W. D. Mathews).

Clark Ezekiel, born April 11, 1897; married Birdie Wagonner; died July 24, 1966, buried in Santa Anna.  No children.

Zelda Mae, July 31, 1905, in Coleman County; married Cliff Walker; died in 1982, buried in Tnickham.

All of the Laughlins’ time was taken up caring for their extended family and farming and ranching.  Three of their sons served in France in World War I.  They were Gray, Roy, and James Raymond (Jack), who was killed on active duty on October 14, 1918.  The American Legion Post #182 in Santa Anna is named the Jack Laughlin Post in his honor.  Gray and Roy remained members of this post until their deaths in 1971 and 1970 respectively.  J. S. and Ollie’s oldest daughter, Minnie, attended business college in Brownwood and passed an examination to be certified as a public school teacher.  She taught in several schools in Coleman County, including the one in Trickham.  She married Harry Wilson in 1929 and moved to Canada for a time.  She returned to Trickham where she and her husband lived with her brother, Gray, in the house she occupied until hen death in 1981.  From 1958 until the closing of the Trickham Post Office, November 24, 1979, she served as postmistress of the Trickham station in a room attached to her front porch.  During the 1950’s and 1960’s, she and Gray cared for their elderly mother, then for their brother Porter Elmer (Bud), after he had a stroke, and for her husband, after he suffered a stroke.  Ollie and Bud Laughlin, and Harry Wilson all died in the house in Trickham, and are buried in Trickham.  Minnie also died at her home, ten years after Gray, buried in Trickham.  The Laughlin family follows:

G. B. [Gillispe Berry] Laughlin (February 9, 1807 - April 7, 1868) and Lucenia Downey Laughlin (August 24, 1815 - March 27, 1868).  G. B. was born in Virginia, and Lucenia in Pennsylvania.  They had left their farm in Atascocia County, Texas, and had joined a group of people in Bell County that was starting out for California at the time of their deaths.  She apparently died of typhoid fever, and he of blood poisoning caused by a small wound on his foot.  Their deaths orphaned their five children:

(1)  J. G. [Joe or (Joel) Gordon], born October 24, 1848, in Iowa.  Married Mary E. Renster, November 15, 1877.  He had at least two children: Minnie Laughlin (a first cousin of the Minnie Laughlin who lived most of her life in Trickham) and a son, John.

(2)  Mary Octavia, born November 5, 1850, in Iowa, married Mike F. Miller, September 19, 1872, died September 1893.  They had five children:

(1) Jasper Newton, February 11, 1875, married Martha Elizabeth Glazner, died July 7, 1944.  Three children, Dillard F., Lloyd B. and Mary Lou.

 (2) Green E., born July 31, 1877, died about 1879.

 (3) Rosa Lea, born November 22, 1879, married John Dockery, October 8,1908, in Santa Anna (see Dockery).

 (4) Hardy W., born October 4, 1882, married a woman named Margaret, no children.

 (5) Lucinda (Lou) Elizabeth, married first S. F. Whitfield and had one son, S. F.,Jr.  Her first husband died, and she married second L. B. Watkins.

(3)  Ann Elizabeth (Betty), born December 18, 1853, in Texas, married Nicholas Gordon Brown, November 18, 1869, died February 3, 1881.  She had three children:
Alice Octavia, born September 27, 1875, married Wes Daniels in Santa Anna, where she lived her adult life.  They had two daughters, Jewel married Ed Sewell; they had children. Beulah married Mr. McBumney in Santa Anna, where they brought up their children, including a daughter, Ruth, who married Bob Lilly, now lives in Zephyr.

Sarah M., born November 12, 1877.

Ann Elizabeth, January 29, 1881 - January 30, 1881.

(4)  James Sylvester, born June 10, 1856, in Texas, married Olive Mable Clark, November 10, 1887, died December 16, 1931, buried in Trickham.  Seven children, the last two born in Coleman County; all buried in Trickham except the son (Jack) killed in France in World War I and daughter, Mable, buried in Bangs.
(1) Gray Pascal, born April 2, 1889, never married, died October 19, 1971.

(2) Porter Elmer (Bud), born October 2, 1890, married Mina Rogers, February 14, 1914, died December 19, 1960.  Two sons: James Gray, died July 1981, buried in Trickham, the father of three children but he did not return to live in Coleman County until after they were grown.  Jack died in May 1971, had one son, now living in Brownwood with his two children (see R. S. Stearns).

(3) James Raymond (Jack), July 28, 1892 - October 14, 1918, in World War I France.  He is buried in a military cemetery in San Antonio.

(4) Lee Roy, born November 2, 1894, married Many Edna Cole, February 1, 1920 (see Samuel Sidney Cole), died October 19, 1970.  They have two sons who now own the original Laughlin ranch in Coleman County:  Billy Roy, born December 3, 1926, married Mildred Fay Wise, June 9, 1945.  Three children: Cheryl, married to Andrew Davis Campbell, Jr., two children, Shelly and Brian.  Charlotte, married Billy Charles Lee.  Doyle, July 25, 1936, married Wanda Rhodes, July 18, 1958.  Two children: David Wayne and Darla Kay, married to Donnie Mark Barnum.

(5) Minnie Jane, October 18, 1896, married Harry Wilson, June 11, 1929.  Died July 20, 1981.  No children.  

(6) Effie Mable, born June 24, 1900, married Carl Sheffield, November 12, 1922, died September 8, 1982.  No children.

(7) Willie Rhea, born November 4, 1904, died July 5, 1932.  She never married, buried at Trickham.

(5)  Nancy J., born March 4, 1859, married first H. W. [Hardy W.] Miller, November 2, 1876.  He died December 8, 1880, after they had a son and a daughter; she married second Louis Modgling by whom she had several more children.  Both of the Miller children came to live with the Laughlins in the county.
(1) Lilla Mae, (always called Mae), born October 2, 1877, married Carrol Bowden, two children: Jesse Cecil, born July 10, 1909; married Flora Ann Randolph September 16, 1939; two children - Carolyn May and Thomas Oscar.  Lola Ilene, February 5, 1911; married Fred F. Haynes, June 17, 1928; they lived in Coleman County and had five children (see Fred Haynes and Bowden).

(2) Jesse B., born December 16, 1879, married Julia CanZada; they had six children, all of whom spent their childhood in Trickham before the family moved to San Saba County.  The children were as follows: Hardy, December 30, 1907; Roy, April 2, 1909; Jess, July 10, 1910; Laura Mae, February 9, 1912, married Louis Hampton, lives in Brady; Leonard, born July 29, 1913; and a baby that was born and died around 1915, buried in Trickham.

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This page last updated June 4, 2006
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