Well, I just completed this month's column. Here it goes:
As Palo Pinto County is celebrating its sesqui-centinnial, I thought it would be interesting to see what was going on in the year 1857.
Created August 27, 1856, from Navarro and Bosque counties, Palo Pinto County was organized in 1857. Spanish name Palo Pinto refers to spotted oak, a common regional tree having bark with a mottled appearance. The first Anglo American settlers arrived in 1850's. The county seat, first named Golconda in 1856, but was renamed Palo Pinto in 1858. A court session in 1857 called for the first courthouse to be built of wood frame construction with two doors and three windows. The contract was awarded for a bid of $300.
Jos. H. Dillahunty was named postmaster on Golconda in 1858, and James C. Loving was named postmaster of Pleasant Valley in 1857. Ansel Russell was postmaster of Russell’s Store in 1857.
Richard Dyer married Elizabeth Walker on 21 October 1858 in Palo Pinto County.
At Black Springs near Oran in the Keechi Valley in 1857, the celebrated pioneer open range cowman and trail driver Charles Goodnight settled his first ranch on the extreme Indian frontier of Texas. From there Goodnight took part in the 1860 Pease River battle when Cynthia Ann Parker was recaptured from Comanches. He served as a scout and guide for the Texas Rangers during the Civil War and in 1866 he laid out the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail, over which thousands of longhorns were driven to market in New Mexico.
Ten years later in 1867 at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, Goodnight’s partner, Oliver Loving, died from wounds suffered in an Indian attack. Without the aid of an mortician, Goodnight carried the body by wagon through hostile Indian territory for burial at Weatherford. Goodnight extended his cattle trails to Wyoming and Colorado, where he started a ranch near Pueblo. Almost twenty years later, in 1876 he established the first cattle ranch in the vast Texas Panhandle, which became the internationally known JA Ranch.
By 1855 the Lovings had moved to the future Palo Pinto County, where they ran a country store near Keechi Creek and ranched. The first assessment roll of Palo Pinto County, taken in 1857, listed Loving with 1,000 acres of land.
Somewhere along about that time, Loving noticed of the vast herds of wild Spanish cattle roaming the whole of Texas. He capitalized on this resource early and began moving herds to the east. In 1857 he entrusted his nineteen-year-old son, William, to drive his and his neighbors' cattle to Illinois up the Shawnee Trail. The drive made a profit of thirty-six dollars a head and encouraged Loving to repeat the trek successfully the next year with John Durkee. He successfully moved herds to Shreveport and New Orleans, at that time the only safe markets for Texas cattle. Fierce tribes of Indians controlled all the areas west and north of the Texas settlements.
Involved in the preservation of the area's native buffalo, Goodnight also bred the first herd of cattalo by crossing buffalo with range cattle. Goodnight's pioneer efforts led to the development of the frontier and the Texas cattle industry.
In 1857 Jesse Hittson actively participated in the formation of Palo Pinto County. His grave is the earliest marked at this site. He is buried in Pleasant Valley, in the Hittson Cemetery. Five generations of Hittsons are buried here.
Another cemetery of interest is the Palo Pinto Cemetery. This cemetery traces its history to 1857 when a 320-acre tract of land was surveyed for the original Palo Pinto town site. The town was platted in 1858 and one block was laid around an existing cemetery. The oldest legible grave marker is that of George W. Slaughter, 6 May 1843 to 15 June 1860.
Born in Lawrence County, Mississippi, George Webb Slaughter, father of the above named Slaughter, came to Texas with his parents in 1830. They settled in Sabine County and began a freighting business.
Slaughter participated in the Texas War for Independence, serving as a courier for General Sam Houston, and on one occasion took a dispatch to Colonel William B. Travis at the Alamo in San Antonio. Slaughter married Sarah Mason on 12 October 1836, the first marriage sanctioned under laws of the Republic of Texas. The couple had 11 children, including the prominent cattlemen Christopher C. (1837-1919) and John B. Slaughter (1848-1928). George W. Slaughter in 1844 was ordained a Baptist minister. He began raising cattle in Freestone County in 1852, and moved in 1857 to his Palo Pinto County homestead.
In 1861 Slaughter organized a Baptist church near his home and rode a circuit in the area, preaching and practicing "saddlebag" medicine. He and his family survived several Indian attacks. In 1882, he founded the First Baptist Church in Mineral Wells. He ceased ranching in 1884. In 1886 he was moderator when Slaughter Valley Baptist Church merged with the church in Palo Pinto, where he was later buried.
Christopher Columbus Slaughter established a frontier ranch in Palo Pinto County in 1857.
LaFayette Abraham Wilson moved with his parents in their overland caravan from Washington County, Arkansas, to a portion of Palo Pinto County along the Keechi Creek.
The Peveler family settled in the Republic of Texas on a tract of land in present-day Fannin County that was granted to David Peveler in 1838. David Peveler had signed an oath of allegiance to the Republic that made him eligible for the land. The family later moved to Parker County for a short time before establishing a home on Keechi Creek in Palo Pinto County in 1857. The next year the family moved to Young County and settled near the Brazos River where they established a ranch. The ranch was four miles north of frontier military post Fort Belknap and the present-day town of New Castle.
Now for some queries:
“My uncles and father were born in Texa; my uncles in Archer county. Did there used to be a town by the name of Fleerton or Flurton in Archer County? Melissa Fleer-Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org”
Here’s a response to Noel Garland’s post:
“Dear Sue: I was reading your column the other day and I noticed that you mentioned my father, Gary Hanks. Are you looking for him? Yes, we (my father and I) are related to Nancy Hanks Lincoln. She would be our 8th generation aunt or something like that. Are you related to her as well? My grandfather researched our genealogy before he passed away. Denise Shelton (Hanks), email@example.com”
“The Daugherty family moved to Abliene Texas area from Kentucky in the early 1800's. This is from word of mouth, however we do have a few documents. Ruth Amanda was my Great-grandmother’s mother. My great-grandmother’s married name was Bannie Childs Crowder. Gemma, Lrmanz@aol.com”
And, finally, more information about the Garland clan:
Corrie Bell Garland Sex: F
Birth: 17 Mar 1915 Place: Hartsville, South Carolina
Death: 20 Mar 1960 Place: Charleston, South Carolina
Burial: 23 Mar 1960 Place: Hartsville, South Carolina
Father: Asa Garland
Mother: Roxie LNU
Spouse: Robert Kinchen Kea , Sr
Marriage: 1936 Place: Darlington,South Carolina
Asa Garland Sex: M
Birth: 1887 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Death: 1918 Place: Hartsville, South Carolina
Father: Henry L Garland
Mother: Bethany 'Betty' Norwood
Spouse: Roxie LNU
Henry L Garland Sex: M
Birth: 16 Nov 1846 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Death: 21 Nov 1916 Place: Lydia, South Carolina
Burial: 22 Nov 1916 Place: Lydia, South Carolina (Wesley Chapel 2-34)
Father: Asa Garland
Mother: Elizabeth Wood
Spouse: Bethany 'Betty' Norwood
Marriage: 1875 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Asa Garland Sex: M
Birth: 1806 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Death: 1885 Place: Lamar, Darlington, South Carolina
Father: William Joseph Garland
Mother: Lydia Cooley
Spouse: Elizabeth Wood
Birth: 1814 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Death: 1890 Lydia, Darlington, South Carolina
Marriage: 1840 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
William Joseph Garland Sex: M
Birth: 1753 Place: Roanoke Rapids, Edgecombe County, North Carolina
Death: 10 Feb 1827 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Burial: 11 Feb 1827 Place: Darlington, South Carolina (Garland Cemetery)
Spouse: Lydia Cooley