Nancy Cabaniss

Nancy Melvina Welborn was born in Jackson County, Alabama 22 August 1858, the daughter of William Starnes Welborn and Elizabeth (Reynolds). Nancy married William F. Cabaniss 8 February 1880, Jackson County, Alabama. William left Alabama in the late 1870s to start his fortune in Texas. Family legend reports he found the rivers flooded and claimed Nancy by raft on the way to get the marriage license. They returned to Titus County, Texas to start their family. William made a fortune raising and training mules for farmers and livery stables. [Re: Titus Co, TX records 1880-1890] They left Titus County, Texas about 1890 and arrived at Arapaho, Custer County, Oklahoma in June 1892. Nancy had eight children, six survived her. Her sixth child (third son) was first white child born in Arapaho, Oklahoma.

William could barely read or write. Nancy truly was an assistance to her husband. This fact was declared in William's probate contested in Custer County, Oklahoma when William died 25 September 1939.

Nancy's obituary in Arapaho, Oklahoma newspaper BEE, April 11, 1919:

"Mrs. Nancy Cabiness [spelling difference noted], aged 60 years, wife of Wm. Cabiness, died at her home five miles southwest of Arapaho Monday night. Besides her husband, her daughters, Mrs. Florence Moore and Mrs. Bell Berry, and sons George, Charley, Joe, and Jesse, are still living in this county.

"Mrs. Cabiness was a remarkable woman besides raising her family and keeping her home she was the constant business companion of her husband in his vast business affairs. All this she seemed to do with ease. She had a remarkable memory and never seemed to forget the smallest details of business.

"Her last few years were made different from the frontier life of which we all partook in the settlement of the country to a modern home in every particular the best that money could provide.

"Her funeral was one of the largest ever held. Despite the floods and bad roads a great throng of admiring friends gathered at the home with magnificent floral offerings. The funeral sermon was preached by the minister of the Christian Church of Clinton and the choir of that church furnished music. She had filled every mission of life well and died respected by all. Burial was made in the family cemetery on the farm."

Click here for a picture of William and Nancy Cabaniss.

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