ABNER AND LURANEY RICKETSON

 Source: Family tradition and Grace Edes: Descendants of William Ricketson, Vol. II, 1932. Submitted by JoAnn Hopper, <jhopper494@aol.com>, Jan 2000.


Abner Ricketson was born July 27, 1864 in Coffee County, Georgia to Hiram and Amelia Wright Ricketson. Sometime before Abner was six years old, his father, Hiram, brought the family to Texas after serving on the losing side of the Civil War, along with eight of his brothers, two of whom died in the war. Hiram's father Allen had owned a good deal of land in Georgia, but he died in 1855 and then the war came and the family was at loose ends. In all, five of the Ricketson brothers, Hiram, Benjamin Franklin, Aaron, Eli, and David came to Texas and settled in Llano and Burnet counties. Abner recalled coming to Texas as a young boy on a ship; he enjoyed playing on the deck, but most of the adults were quite ill.

Abner was in Burnet County in 1870, according to the Burnet County Federal Census. His father, Hiram, first settled on a place between Marble Falls and Kingsland, near the Colorado River. Later he moved to Oxford in Llano County and Abner eventually acquired the original homeplace where he reared his family.

Abner was a descendant of William Ricketson who came to the colonies in the mid-1600's, just when has not been documented. Family tradition holds that William was an Englishman, a Quaker and a skilled carpenter. Whether the William Ricketson who married Elizabeth Mott in 1679 was the emigrant or the son of William, the emigrant is still being researched. William is first recorded in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and later in Old Dartmouth, Massachusetts near the present day New Bedford. Here he built his home around 1684 on what is still called Ricketson Point. William died here in 1691 and his widow Elizabeth married Matthew Wing.

The next generation in Abner's line was Jonathan Ricketson who married Abigail Howland and remained in Dartmouth, unlike his son Timothy Sr. who was restless. Timothy married Bathsheba Wilbur (Wilbor) from an old Rhode Island family and then moved to New York for a while, then to the Carolinas and finally settled in Georgia. Both Timothy Sr. and his sons were involved in the Revolutionary War. He and several of his sons received bounty land grants as payment for their service during the war. Timothy, Jr. was the only surviving son in the new country. Abednego had gone to Nova Scotia. Gordius and Marmaduke were killed by Indians, hired by the British (according to family tradition), and Jordan was hanged by the British in Augusta after a failed attempt to retake that city from the British.

Timothy, Jr. left two sons, Joseph and Abraham, in Georgia. He married a second time and started a new family in Kentucky; he is buried in Bardstown, Kentucky.

From William, Jonathan, Timothy, Timothy, Jr., Joseph, Allen, Hiram to Abner was an unbroken line of Ricketsons. Abner loved his history and would later help Grace Edes compile her second volume of Ricketson history, WILLIAM RICKETSON AND HIS DESCENDANTS, VOL II, which catalogs hundreds of Ricketsons around the world. He would regale his children with countless stories of their family's history. His two great passions, history and geology, supplied his gift of the narrative with much material. Rarely, was he without a story to tell.

In 1891, Abner married his cousin, Lorena (Luraney), daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Mary Davis Ricketson. Luraney was born September 22, 1863 in Clinch County, Georgia and had come with her parents to Texas and settled in Llano County at Babyhead. In 1885, Lorena had married John Henry Wilbern who died young leaving her with two babies, John Allen and Minnie.

Abner and Luraney lived on the place between Marble Falls and Kingsland in Burnet County on the Colorado River, which had belonged to Hiram. Here they had nine children:

Logan, 1993-1894;
Ophelia, 1894-1983, married Andrew James (Andy) Harwell;
Leona, 1895-1988, married John Banks Hoover;
Benjamin, 1896-1927, married Pansy Wall;
Andrew Jackson (Jack), 1897-1969, married Bessie McCarty;
Olga, 1899-1981, married Raymond Haile;
Myrtle, 1901-1996, married Francis Littleton (Frank) Fluitt;
Cleburne, 1903-1973, never married;
Thaddeus Milton, 1906, married Beulah Mae Ricketson.

His ancestors had served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, Indian Wars, and the Civil War. So in the family tradition, in 1898, Abner served in the Spanish American War in Company C, First Regiment of Texas Infantry. It was the "best little war around".

Abner was a farmer/rancher who managed to support a large family with the help of his hard-working wife. Even in hard times, food was plentiful, and Luraney was a wonderful cook. Her venison and hot biscuits, as well as the ever-present teacakes were specialties. Family members remember loving to visit and enjoy their gracious hospitality. Abner's family was one of the first households in the area to have gaslights.

After rearing their children to adulthood, surviving fire, floods and many other hardships and joys on the old homeplace, they sold the place and retired to Burnet, Texas in the early 1940's where they remained until their deaths. Abner died of a stroke March 24, 1944 after chopping wood. Luraney died in 1947. (See photo of the couple in their old age)

From Georgia, crumbling from Civil War, to a new life where, as a young boy gathering the horses, Abner heard frightening sounds that sent him into hiding (Later he learned he had heard the Wolf's Crossing Massacre.), Abner and Luraney Ricketson saw many changes come to Burnet County and the rest of the world. Although they took these changes in stride, there was always a touch of the Victorian nineteenth century with them.

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