Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

The John Bailey Laws Family
by Bill Laws and Beatrice M. Story Waters

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

John Bailey Laws was born March 5, 1867 in Winslow, Indiana, the son of James Mattison, born September 20, 1809, and Clarissa (Brenton) Laws, born February 10, 1832. He came to East Texas about 1883, where he attended Mayo College. It was here he met and married Beatrice Foster, born September 17, 1872, daughter of Francis Marion, born July 5, 1851, and Sarah Ann (Sinclair) Yates Foster, born May 29, 1846, on July 27, 1890 in Ladonia (see John Burkett). While in this area, three children were born:

Beatrice, December 13, 1891 in Longview-February 16, 1894; John Jr., July 29, 1893 in Cooper; and Frank, February 8, 1895 in Wolf City. The J.B. Laws family came to Coleman County sometime in the 1890’s and settled near Burkett. While in the Burkett area, Mr. Laws helped publish a newspaper, the Searchlight. He also farmed and taught school at Echo, Rae, Buffalo (1901) and Live Oak. During the following years, eight more children were born: Maud, October 21, 1897; George Dewey, February 4, 1899-February 27, 1899; Charlie, May 24, 1900; William Bryan (Bill), September 5, 1902; Hearst, June 27, 1904; Tom, April 9, 1906; Clarence, April 5, 1908; and Lois, March 5,1910. While living in the Burkett area, J.B. Laws was Justice of the Peace, did some practice as a lawyer and performed a few marriage ceremonies.

In 1913, he sold his farm to Dave Burkett and they all went to New Mexico in two covered wagons. After homesteading a claim, they became dissatisfied and came back to Coleman County. After renting some farm land on the Henry Beck ranch, the Laws family raised lots of cotton and the children attended school at Brown Ranch. After 1915, J.B. and family moved to a farm near Glen Cove, which he had bought from one of the Coleman banks. Here began a long series of cotton crops, the children growing up and getting married.

(1) John Jr. married Zada Kincaid, April 18, 1932 (see John Joseph Kincaid). He served in WW II. They had one baby, but lived only a short time. John Jr. died July 28, 1975, in Benecia, California, is buried there.

(2) Frank mar­ried Kate Gulley, January 1,1922. Kate died February 8, 1984, buried in Glen Cove. Frank died December 11,1968, buried in Glen Cove (see Gulley). They had six children: (2a) Wilma, November 29, 1922, married Charles Lee Scott (see Fonie M. Scott); (2b) Grady, December 10, 1925, mar­ried Helen Cagle (see William Henry Cagle); (2c) Carol,August 28, 1927, married (1) Nalley, (2) Linn, four children: (a) Anita (Nalley) Corley, her children Sheri Denise, and James Leo, live in Odessa; (b) Thomas Nalley and his wife, Margara, have three children, twins Jennifer and Jeannie and Katie, live in El Paso; (c) Ralph Nalley and his wife, Libby, have four children: Melissa, Jodie, Haas and Laura. Ralph died December 13, 1981; and (d) Grady Nalley and his wife, Karen, have two children: Patricia and Bennett, live in Corpus Christi; (2d) Dorothy, December 23, 1929, married Walton Kinsey, have three girls, live in Sweetwater; (2e) Clinton Boyd, August 10, 1935, married Joyce Pepper, have four children, live in St. Louis, Missouri; and (2f) James Larry, June 6,1942, lives in Ajo, Arizona.

(3) Maud married T. P. Story (see Tracy Porter-field Story).

(4) Charlie never married, died April 15, 1978, buried in Glen Cove. Charlie was a stockman and cowboy. He was a colorful figure on his pinto pony “Banjo” and always was known by the broad brimmed hat he wore.

(5) Bill married (1) Ruby Copeland in 1926, their two children are: Billie Bob and J . B., married (2) Daphna Martin, one child, Glen Ray, and in 1946, married (3) Vada Meador (see E.L. Jennings). In 1971, Bill began writing a series of historical articles for the Coleman papers and his column is still being read (1983).

(6) Hearst married (1) Ola Strange, August 5, 1926 (see Rufus H. Strange). Two girls: Dolarice and Bebe, married (2) Pat Crow, married (3) Wanda Wat­son, two children: Tina Louise and Hearst, Jr. Hearst was a law officer in Hudspeth County for about 30 years. He died March 19, 1980, buried in Dell City.

(7) Tom marriedJean­me Mae Beaver, October 31, 1927. He worked as a highway patrolman for over 30 years. Three children Tommy, Judy and Charline (see Rae family).

(8) Clarence married Anna Faye Burgett, August 20, 1945. No children. Clarence is an artist; his pictures are displayed at Holiday Hill and other places. Anna Fay has taught for 40 years.

(9) Lois married Elton Troy Kemp, March 11, 1933, two children: (9a) Laura Beatrice (Betty), November 26, 1935, married Louis Holguin, six children: Lois, Carl, Mary, Nancy, Francis and John; and (9b) Elton Jr., married in Germany, two children: Carolyn and Curtiss. Elton lives in Comanche. Elton Sr. died in 1979, buried in Glen Cove. He was a bulldozer operator and ranch hand.

John Bailey Laws died in 1932 and Beatrice in 1968, both buried in Glen Cove.



(Images to be added)

Beatrice (Foster) and John Bailey Laws

Beatrice Laws, John Jr., Frank, Maui.?, Charlie, Bill, Hearst,

Tom, Clarence and Lois, July 4, 1946, Glen Cove

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This page last updated July 8, 2007
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