|Samuel Howard and Mrs. Harriet Kelly were married on
the 10th of August, 1837, in Caldwell County, Kentucky. The 1850 U.S.
Census for Caldwell County, Ky. Lists:
In 1853 Dr. Howard brought his family to Texas. It would be interesting to know why he chose to exchange their comfortable plantation life for the hardships of the rude Texas frontier. His daughter Bettie (Elizabeth), who was 10 years old when the trip was made, told her grandchildren of traveling in an ox wagon, crossing the Red River, of camping in Dallas, and in the small village of Waco. One of her vivid memories was of the many antelope grazing on the prairie. She would lie hidden in the tall grass waving her feet to attract the attention of the curious animals until they came quite close. Then she would jump up and delight in the beauty and symmetry of their slick bodies and lithe motions as they dashed away.
What was it that brought them to Texas? It was a period of migration. People were on the move and many of them headed for Texas. Land promoters and Colonizers wrote glowing descriptions of opportunities in Texas. These were published in newspapers in the East and North and served as fuel for the wanderlust then prevalent. Was it the ever elusive greener pastures, was it political dissatisfaction, search for adventure, or personal unrest which caused them to come?
The year 1853 also brought young Adam R. Johnson to Burnet from Henderson County, Kentucky, near where the Howards had lived.
On the 7th of November, 1853, Samuel Howard purchased for $50 a two acre block between Washington and Jackson Streets in the town of Hamilton, later to become Burnet. This is block No. 8 across the street from the Courthouse. Although stories handed down in the family say that Dr. Howard settled in Lampasas, it was probably here that he established his medical practice and opened a drug store which also sold liquor, as was the custom of the day. Living quarters were adjoining the drug store, both being housed at first in a tent with a partition of 1"x12"s between them. The younger daughter, Vitula, told how she mischievously slipped into the store through a loose board in the partition while her father was having his noonday meal, to help herself to the candy. She was terrified of a helper in the store who had a peg-leg. When she heard the stumping sound of his approach, she left too hurriedly through the conveniently loose board which came down on her back, peeling off a good portion of hide.
The frontier living must have been difficult for patrician Harriet Howard who had always had slaves to do her every bidding and knew nothing of the skills needed to copy with frontier hardships. Even though she lived in a tent in a raw frontier town built mostly of tents, Harriet walked ramrod straight and held her head, with its beautiful dark hair, high and proud.
Family tradition says that Dr. Howard was the only physician in this region and that he traveled by buggy over a wide area to tend the medical needs of the settlers. Because of constant danger from Indians he was always accompanied by someone, most often his step-son, Redmond Kelly.
The young people of this newly settled Hamilton Valley found diversion in riding horseback, but the Howard girls were not allowed to ride outside of the village without the protection of their brother, "Red". Several times when they rode into the country they were chased by Indians as they raced back to town. There is a story in Vitula's family that when she was a little girl, Indians carried away the child with whom she was playing. Vitula escaped capture by hiding under a cedar bush. Bettie's grandchildren say that she told them stories of having been carried away by the Indians. They thought that she was just telling them bedtime tales for their amusement. At any rate, awareness of Indian danger was an ever present part of life in early day Hamilton (Burnet). The Indians raided every light of the moon and even if Vitula's and Bettie's stories are not documented, there are many similar ones that are.
On the 8th of November, 1856, Harriet Howard purchased from A. G. Horne "one tract of cedar timber land" near Morgan Creek.
In the marriage records of Burnet County we find that on August 11, 1854, Maranda (sic) Howard was married to A. G Horne who was county clerk at the time. The entry was made by A. O. Horne, Sr., Deputy Clerk. On the 8th of December, 1858, Elizabeth A. Howard was married to William R. Lilley. Neither couple was destined to a long and happy life. Archibald Gilchrist Horne was the son of Malcomb Horne, state surveyor, of Austin. He and Miranda had two sons, Archibald Andrew, born 16 September, 1855 and John Collier, Born 3 June 1858. Family tradition says that A. A. Horne was the first white child born in Lampases County (could they have meant Burnet?). A. G. Horne died of pneumonia contracted while on a surveying trip in 1858. Miranda and her two sons are listed in the U. S. Census of Burnet County for 1860. John Collier Horne "went west" as a young lad and was killed on a ranch in Dakota in 1894. A. A. Horne married Catherine Lackey of Blanco County and they settled near Maverick, Texas. Miranda lived for a while with the Horne family in Austin. She later married Dr. Pearson of Bellville. They were the parents of two children, a daughter, Pleasant, who married Augustus E. Rankin, and a son Samuel, who died young. Dr. Pearson and Miranda were divorced and she married E. W. Dodgen, a widower with several children. They had a daughter, Miranda, who died in childhood and two sons, Charles and Thomas. The Dodgens lived for a time in Blanco County. Miranda died at the home of Pleasant's son, Howard Rankin, in Clayton, New Mexico, and is buried there.
The 1860 U. S. Census of Burnet County lists Wm. R. Lilley- 25- House Carpenter, Elizabeth A. Lilley 17-, and Wm. A. Lilley 9/12. Six years later on 25 January, 1866, Mrs. Bettie Lilley was married to Thomas J. Johnson, brother of General Adam R. Johnson, hero of Burnet County. Thomas and Bettie Johnson were the parents of two children, Ben, who was killed in a pile driver accident in 1904, and Carrie, who was married to D. L. McDonald. In the 1870's the Thomas Johnsons were living in Papalote, Bee County, where Bettie's father, Samuel Howard, now had his drug store. Civil War service had left Thomas in poor health and eventually caused his death. He is buried in the Burnet Cemetery.
On 11 December, 1879, Bettie Johnson was married in Bee County to Frank J. Boggus. One child was born to this union, a son, Frank, Jr. They made their home on a ranch in San Patricio County and are buried in the Bethel Cemetery near Odem, Texas.
Burnet County records show that Redmond R. Kelly, son of Harriet Howard by a previous marriage, was married on 15 May, 1861, to Caroline l. Calvert. The 1860 U. S. Census for Burnet County shows R. R. Kelly in the home of E. Sampson, Merchant, born in London, England. By 1870 Redmond Kelly had died leaving much property to his two young sons, James Hugh and Redmond Alfred Kelly. His wife, Louisa Caroline, was married Feb. 6, 1871 to James W. Taylor.
By 1870 Samuel and Harriet Howard had moved to Bastrop County. In 1871 they sold their Burnet County holdings and Harriet purchased in her own name some 3000 acres of land in Bastrop County. They are shown in the 1870 U. S. Census of Bastrop County with two sons, Tobias and Samuel S. On 4 November, 1869, daughter Vitula was married in Bastrop to Willliam Kirk (Dock) Clark of Caldwell County. The young couple went to Papalote, Bee County, to make their home. It is thought that the other daughter, Victoria, was married in Bastrop in 1867 to Alex Farmer. Vitula and Dock lived at Papalote through the "terrible seventies" with Dock serving as a frontier peace officer. In 1880 they moved to Uvalde County where the pickett house which they built still stands on the Dry Frio. Still following the frontier west they moved in 1890 to Borden County and there lived out their lives. They are buried at Gail, the Bordon County sat. They were the parents of nine children.
Before 1880 Samuel and Harriet Howard had gone to live with their daughter Bettie and her husband, Frank Boggus, in San Patricia County. They are there in the 1880 Census. Many records were lost when the Boggus home was destroyed in the 1919 hurricane. The death dates of Harriet and Samuel Howard are not known but they too are buried in the Old Bethel Cemetery near Odem. Their original grave markers have not survived the passing years.
Any information concerning any members of this family would be most welcome.
Mrs. Frank Miller
Fluvanna, Tex. 79517