Children of S. L. Rouths, All in 80's, Hold Reunion
Taken from the Brownwood Bulletin, September 18, 1941

Two sisters and abrother, native Texans, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. D. L. Routh, settled in Collin County in 1847, and later moved to Brown County. Left to right: Mrs. W. J. Inman, Fort Worth, 83; R. D. Routh, Brownwood, 87; and Mrs. Mollie Faulkner, Blanket, 80.

Four brothers, veterans of Texas' first oil boom, Spindletop, 1901, who recently had a reunion at Electra. Left to right: Frank Palmer, Smithfield; W. E. Palmer, Electra; Bob Palmer, Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Charles Palmer, Seminole.

 

The children of Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Routh, Missourians, who settled in Collin County, at Blue Ridge in 1847, got together recently in Brownwood for a visit, and a photograph for the West Texas Pioneers column. They are R. D. Routh, 87, of Brownwood, Mrs. W. J. Inman, 83, of Fort Worth, and Mrs. Mollie Faulkner, 80, of Blanket.

Collin County was frontier for a long time after the Routh family arrived but when the section got sort of crowded, Mr. Routh, a stock raiser, decided to move again. That was in 1873, and they went to Brown County, where there were few settlements, and Brownwood was just a cluster of small houses, mostly built of logs.

Indians were annoying the settlements, and the scattered stock ranches, and R. D., the oldest child of the family, (actually, R. D. was the sixth of eight children) then 19, joined the Texas Rangers. He now is one of the oldest former Rangers. There were some United States soldiers on out farther west, at Fort Concho, but the main burden of protecting the settlers tnad their stock against Indian depredations fell on the Rangers.

Warning Signs

Mrs. Inman recalls that the nearest she ever came to seeing a live Indian was the shadow of one, prowling around the house, one moonlight night. She saw a dead one, which the Rangers had killed, then hanged to a tree and left for a while as a warning to other redskins that might have been in the neighborhood.

When the Rouths moved their cattle and household possessions to Brown County they had a choice of two shopping centers for their supplies, Waco or Fort Worth, either of them pretty fair trips for the wagons.

Mrs. Inman, who was Mattie Routh, was first married to Joe Knight of Fort Worth, when she was 16 years old.

"We were lucky," she says, "for a circuit rading preacher came along soon after we became engaged, and we got married at home. The preachers were only around every several weeks; sometimes months elapsed between their visits, and young folks wanting to get married would sometimes have to ride a long ways if they wanted a preacher or could have to go to a county seat, and be married by a justice."

Father Gold Hunter 

Mr. Knight, who also was a stock raiser, died several years after their marriage. He and his father were well known early-day stockmen of Tarrant and Palo Pinto Counties. His father was known as Captain Knight. He headed a party of gold seekers from the MiddleWestern States to California in 1849, and the gold-seeking adventure was over, and he had turned to "fortune hunting" on the rich, free grass of West Texas.

Mattie Routh Knight married W. J. Inman, who did his pioneering in the railroad business in the late Nineties, and since that time Mr. and Mrs. Inman have been in and around Fort Worth the most of the time.

Mrs. Faulkner, whose husband also was a stock raiser and farmer, has lived uninterrupted in Brown County since 1873.

Oil Pioneers

Texas oil field pioneers, the four Palmer brothers, held a reunion recently in Electra, pioneer oil town of Northwest Texas. The reunion was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Palmer, 12 miles northeast of Electra, on the Rec River Valley farm which now occupies the attention of the former oil field worker.

The other brothers, all of whom were born in Arkansas, But who have lived in Texas for more than half a centurn, are: Frank Palmer of Smithfield, Charles J. Palmer of Seminole, and Bob Palmer of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The bringing in of the Lucas gusher at Spindletop found the Palmer boys living on the Gulf coast. The fmaily home, at Rosenberg, had been destroyed during the great Galveston flood of 1900, and the youngest boy, Don, was killed.

Many Spindletop boom stories were recalled by the brothers at their reunion, and these oil field adventures were the last they shared jointly, for they seperated in 1904 at Sour Lake. Bobquit the oil fields and moved to Tennessee, when he married a Tennessee girl who had been visiting in East Texas.

The other three at various times engaged in railroading, or were in various oil fields, before finally settling down, and, incidentally, going "back to the land". Frank operates a diary farm in Tarrant County and Charles raises cattle and wheat in Gaines County.

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