JUNE 5, 2008
My grandmother was Ida
Catherine or Kathryn MOXLEY Wyly. Her dad was under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and after
their defeat they started walking
home, and had to eat a horse or two. His family included a Gates. His wife died, and he married Mary Ann
Fleming in Missouri. The Kansas Jayhawk
contract reconstruction crew under U.S contract, raised taxes too high to keep the land, especially since
so many had lost husbands in the War. They even passed a reconstruction law
that said no one related to a
member of the Confederate Army could hold a office of leadership, including Jesse James's father, who was a
Baptist Minister who had to resign.
I have a photo of my Great
Grandparents in chairs in their yard. I remember them both. They joined a wagon train, Texas
bound, with Ogan, Fleming, and
friends and neighbors, bound for Erath County, Texas. They lived on land joining the land by Pleasant Hill
(Chigger Hill) Methodist Church and
Indian Creek School. Their scout and helper was a full blooded Indian
who would watch for signs of Indian
Raiders, apparently the time of the Erath County Minute Men. He is buried under
a flat rock just outside the main
Cemetery Gate, with no markings whatever. Seems like he earned more than that. He is buried by some Moxey and
My Great Grandparents never had
electricity or indoor running water, even to the 1950's when Aunt Susie Moxley lived
there after finishing Tarleton and
Mary Hardin Baylor. They used a hand pump and some creek water. The house had a long dining room when I was in
high school, and my Great Grandparents
had a weaving loom and spinning wheels. I have a piece of
the rag string carpet they wove.
Several in the area had their floors coverred with these runs of carpet,
fully carpeted floor, with wood stoves. Aunt Susie had dated a Baylor
student and she tught in several
Erath County Schools, refused a Principal's position in Bloomington, Texas as she would not be a
woman supervising a man teacher.
She also taught at Texas A&M Consolidated Public School.
They also had some marriage
connections to Tom Arendell's family, who built his log Cabin between Indian Creek
and Selden, not in Stephenville as
some claim. The cabin was moved from the Moncrief Dairy, the Wood
family dairy, and Garvin
restored it with a fireplace , dirt floor, and a rocker--just a good quiet place to take a
short rest, behind their new
I have Aunt Susie's well written
diary, with some Quaker quotes in it, from Missouri. They were Baptist, most of
the Flemings were Methodist, and
Great Great Grandmother Fleming was Catholic. She attended church with family. Either the Moxleys or Flemings
had connections to the Mayflower and some had learned weaving and spinning
in Boston. Her dad was an
immigrant naturalized in a Missouri
Aunt Susie also taught one
Golightly youth who was in a wheel chair after her return home. Hugh Herring worked
peanuts on their sandy land and
lived near us in Johnsville during WW2. Connie taught in
Johnsville, then Selden, and
has her name on a Quilt square, quilted in Selden Auditorium, after the women finished
tearing sheets into bandages for the Red Cross in WW2.
JUNE 30, 2008
We visited Stephenville Country Opry
last Saturday night, and Selden community
homecoming Sunday. Also the Selden Hatchett Cemetery. Who was the first one buried there? His headstone
is gone--may have been a
scratched rock, in the way of a mower in the past? They may have
not recognized the rock as a
headstone. Legend says Dr. Hatchett had a westbound covered wagon of settlers who
camped out near the creek and present
cemetery. One son was sick, and the westbound settlers got Dr. Hatchett to check him, but he was too far
gone. The dad then asked Great Grandad
Hatchett for a burial place. Several Hatchetts are buried in Chalk Mountain and Indian Creek cemeteries,
and there are at least 8 generations
in Selden Cemetery. Fire ants are a problem there, and Aunt Mary Wyly, Capt. with the Army Nurses in
South Pacific, passed on a few years ago.
Question 1: I have seen this on the
internet but have problems doing it now. How does the moon affect the dirt used
to cover the coffins? At times
they have to haul in dirt to fill the grave, and at other times so much dirt is left over, it is used to
level sinking graves nearby.
One of my Co-op Students in Midway
High was a plumbing trainee, and his dad taught him that one watching the moon
knew when burying a pipeline would sometimes have dirt hauled in and at
other times they had dirt left
over. No wonder we have some rough road patches.
2. Somewhere on Rootsweb there are
reports of using a metal detector to find lost graves. Others used the
"Witching Wires" in each hand, or used a green tree fork to locate them. I tried
and could find water lines with both of the last two.
JULY 27, 2008
Any connection to Amabelle Alison,
mother of Johnny Dunn, former head coach at Tarleton? I attended Stephenville
High when he did. Amabelle had
once lived on old Dirt Hwy 67 between Selden, old Crockett School, and Johnsville, not far from several Wylys
and Kays as the crow flies (Cross
I have some photos of the Selden area
in the 1920's with Stephenville friends, including Robert Latham, Shug Maxwell,
(grandchild of Selden Hudspeths),
Eades, Kay, Hatchet, Carey and others on Sunday afternoon outings in Sunday clothes when they went to
climb Lone Mountain past Johnsville.
They were driving mostly fairly new Model T Fords. Dad is in one of the photos in his Tarleton ROTC
hat, boots, and complete uniform.
A generation later we went in levis to climb Lone Mountain when the tower of poles was standing there
which was used in the 1940's for volunteer lookouts for all planes. If they
saw one they checked it by a
poster they had there, and if not readily identified, they had a direct
line to Carswell AFB in Fort
Worth. From the north end of the mountain, one could see Maratheal's Gap and much of
the Paluxy River and Pony Creek
and Mitchell Creek. Indians could send smoke signals from there to Indians on Comanche Peak Mountain
near the Nuclear Plant today, between
Grandbury and Glen Rose.
The Lathams and the R.E. Cox connected
families ran stores in Stephenville,
expanded to Waco, where a tornado destroyed their downtown store. Lonnie Hicks came with them from
Stephenville to Waco, and ran a shoe
store in Marlin, Texas for many years.
AUGUST 11, 2008
The longest Stage route in the world
was the Chisdester Butterfield Stage
line from Fort Worth to El Paso, to Yuma, Arizona. Sheriff Blackie Martin under Sheriff Carl W.
Turnbow, and also Erath County Judge was a descendant of Rocky Martin of the
area near Dublin, who drove stage lines from Dublin west to the first or
second overnight stop, and fresh horses as needed. Then the drivers could
change stages and return home a
few times a week. The stage line sometimes furnished hotels or bunk houses and fresh horses. This line
operated a few years before it was replaced by locomotives burning Thurber
Coal, California bound. The line from San Antonio to Fort Worth stopped
in the Holly Store in present
Hewitt, south of Waco. I went to a garage sale at the old station site, and bought a diary of activities
around the store, including swapping
merchandise for labor or Mr Holly working for fresh meat and canned goods and fresh fruit for travellers
and locals. The man holding the
garage sale before the house was removed for an Antique Auto shop on I-35 said he was related to the Pattons
of Patton, Texas, south of
Valley Mills and the Paytons of Stephenville. Print it out and
see how one of the T's could
have become a Y. My first grade teacher at Johnsville made my report card
out and did not spell Wyly correctly. Mom and Dad corrected that. She lived 2
miles from us.
Stephenville Historic Calendars from
Town and Country Bank had a photo of a Chisdester Butterfield Stage. There were
connections to Mineral Wells to
Waco. One of these calendars reports that Stage riders from
Austin to Mineral Wells to
Stephenville heard a deep rumbling sound with a clear sky. The date corresponds with the
eruption and tsunami and
earthquake in the South Pacific,
above Australia. Could they have been hearing the rumble through our limestone
rocks in Central Texas??? This
was reported in Stephenville, Waco, Austin, and other newspapers of
that day. References are listed on
bibliography pages of the calendars.
AUGUST 23, 2008
James T. Stone was born in Flat Creek,
Bedford, Tennessee; so was Neil McLennan of McLennan County,
I have a letter from Mrs. Nelda Smith Stone Wilson of Nashville,
Arkansas. All or some are listed in the Howard County, Arkansas History
Book which reports a family gathering. She sent a 1 page
letter about gathering information, and she said James T Stones had 111
grandchildren when they held his birthday.
1. Was this a typo error?
2. Did it include step children and grandchildren? Has anyone seen a
finished book the author started? She was or is Nelda Smith
Stne or Wilson of Nashville, Arkansas.
Mom was a Stone grandchild and was in Stephenville nursing with a Stone
who married Ira Stewart, Erath County rancher and Superintendent of
Penelope Schools in Hill County. Also, Daisy McNeil Stone was a sister
to the McNeils with a Stephenville Barber shop. Her dad was the
McNeil who rode with John R. Baylor of the Central Texas Rangers, and
Geronimo through Mexico under the command of George Baylor of West
Texas. He also controlled hogs running loose in Stephenville, then
everyone built pens. I attended high school with several Stones.
To confuse things, the Stones who ran the Selden Cotton Gin did not
claim connection to the Huckaby and Stephenville Stones.
3. Was the Bateman who married one of the Selden Wylys connected
to the one who married James T. Stone? One source says John Eugene Wyly
and Loudelia Bateman (part Cherokee or Choctaw) met in the territory of
Graham, Texas and were married in Stephenville. He worked on the new RR
to California, and descendants today are scattered from California to
4. Was Hawthorne Rampage of Black Stump Valley--Erath and Basque
counties--and his sons of Rampage farms in Northeast Texas
related to the Rampage who prepared some Stone history??
Just curious. Will check with the Howard County Library for the book.
Also, Grandad Henry Carey came from Hope to Harrison to Mena,
Arkansas. He said he came on a "Pig Trail." Then I worked
through Mena and Fort Smith and learned that the south end of the
Prehistoric Indian Pig Trail was used by Indians to drive pigs in to
trade with the Great Lakes connected Indians. From Mena, the narrow
federal paved park road goes west and curves south to a
road from Broken Bow, OK and then a shallow Red River crossing
into Paris, Texas. I used to think the Pig Trail was any muddy
swamp crossed on logs, sometimes called a Corduroy road, but that was
not necessary using the Pig Trail.
When mom was born, her older sister, Ada Carey Hatchett, and her mom
rode the train to join Grandad at James Stone's home. They farmed at
Pea Ridge, Oak Dale, Valley Grove, and Selden. Now, where would
they have left the train for Huckaby? Thurber, Stephenville, Huckaby,
Bluff Dale? Or did the Jake Hammond RR come closer to
Huckaby. Or did they just leave Stephenville by buggy???
Did you know Betty Lea or Lee
Cantrell? She rode the "Blue Goose" Stephenville High bus from Bluff
Dale. New buses were not available during WW2, and this one was
built or modified by the contract driver. Most buses
in Stephenville back then were owner-contracted bus runs. The
Blue Goose was retired from school runs as soon as new ones were
obtained. A shop near Clifton remounted old bus bodies on the
chassis of trucks new or used. I drove one later, and it leaked
on the driver's feet. The Bluff Dale Blue Bus was used at one
time by Convair workers, and later it was used to haul workers to the
Comanche Peak Nuclear plant construction near Glen Rose.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2008
One Mr. Hooker ran the Abbott Cotton
gin in Stagecoach days, just north of West, Texas off I-35. There was a
Butterfield Stage stop near the
cave in case of Indian attacks. He had a 2 story home near the commonly known parts of the cave, which are
now filled in. Mr. Hooker's grandsons
included Mart Cole who was a fund raiser for Baylor University. I visited him over 30
years ago; and Jaseks of Waco Printing photographed the "Mart Cole" Cave--not the
bigger methane gas filled room
which Willie Nelson and friends did not toy with, if they knew about
it. They published an article in
Texas Caver Magazine. with
story and photos.
Wendell Montgomery (with a Bosque County grandad) told me 45 years ago he had been in the big room, but
always with a parakeet on his
shoulder, and if the bird got sick it was time to get out fast. In wet weather the gas from bat guano was
worse. One well was drilled to fresh
water above the cave, and the drill dropped several feet through a vacant space, then finished the well below
the cave, with a windmill on it.
Endell also had connections to Aderholdt and Dr. Wylie family who had left Bosque County for the West.
Mr. Hooker sold cotton from his Abbott
Gin through a Dallas agent, who vanished
in a car with something in the back seat with a tarp over it. They honked and Mr. Hooker sent his
grandsons with rifles to the upstairs
windows, then opened the door and told the driver--believed to have Clyde Barrrow and Bonnie Parker in the
front seat, to look up at the
windows. The car left, and the next day the cotton buyer's body was found--but no money--near "Stonehenge," or
the old Interurban Bridge between
West and Abbott., or that is the story locally.
Was Mr. Aderholdt from Thurber coal
mine country? One man, about 40 years
ago was in Sulak's Cafe when we were eating lunch. He said he was past 80 then, and he was born in
Thurber, Texas. His dad was one of the European Coal Miners who were recruited
by TP Coal and Oil and TP railroad.
to work the coal mines and Thurber (Acme) Brick yards . When
the mines closed they moved to the
West. It was not far from
there to the old Texas Central (Katy later) through Dublin , Hico, Iredell, Walnut Springs, and
West to Elm Mott Depot near
Waco. Did the Mingus family ride
the Katy to the Thurber-Ranger area or go from Bosque to Palo Pinto Mingus town, a
mile or so from Thurber???
OCTOBER 10, 2008
Websites you might want to look at
[note: valid as of the above date, but no guarantees as time goes on]
Three-Way School Discussion Board - good place to share memories and
find old classmates
Erath County Obituaries - W (select
letter to look at other last
Alice Hickman Wyly grave
Olin School 1936, several Wylys and
Wyly,Margie Varnell wedding record
W.P. Wyly, Carrie Vinson wedding record
Elza School 1936 (Robert Wyly listed
Annie Pearl Wyly, James Standefer,
Hatchett Cemetary - information on
Carey, Evans, Garner (Imogene),
Hatchett, Kays, Wyly
Duffau School Roll Call
OCTOBER 11, 2008
I just stumbled into something some of
you may have already found. Just go to a Google search window and type in
[Thurber, Texas Coal Miners]. It lists 18300 sites. The first page has reports
showing 11 nationalities; others show 17. Some say Italians had the most
people, but others say the Polish were most numerous. The man I knew in West, Texas who
was born in Thurber was either
Czech or Polish (if their name ends in a Y or an I, this can separate the two). There is no Czechoslovak
Nation, but today they are divided
into 3 or more provinces.
Luther Carr lived on the road from the
Little Duffau area past Hatchett and Carey land to Johnsville. There was a
connection to the Herbert Webb
family, and Mattie Nell Carr was a longtime friend of my double first cousin Grace Evelyn Wyly Tarpley, now
of Lipan. Where does C.T. or C.E.
Carr fit this picture? He once had a service station in Stephenville, and ran the Ace Cafe on Fort
Worth Hiway in 1950's.
In the 1930-40's there was sometimes a
community picnic near Hatchett Cemetery
and some fresh springs which were kept clean and good swimming holes. Once we spread a pot luck
picnic lunch on back of Luther Carr's
flat bed truck. There were connections between Carr, Webb, Carey, and Hatchett. David Carey now lives
on his grandad Carey's farm, which
was once part of Dr. Hatchett's land.
The first Selden store was on a dirt road, now closed, a short distance from
David Carey's home. It was run by
Tom Hatchett before the store was moved into Selden; and David's grandad and mine were Carey brothers from
Arkansas, closely related to the Stone families of Huckaby. My Carey
grandparents are buried in Huckaby
Cemetery. John Kay was first
Postmaster in the Selden store at one time.
Mom was in the Stephenville Nursing
home, and her cousin Daisy McNeil Stone shared her room. Cloye Stone Stewart was 2
doors away. Daisy used to run
the cash register and used book store in the
McNeil barber shop.
Also, I noticed the death from burns.
It was not unusual back then
for prarie fires and homes to burn, as there were no rural fire trucks. By the time one from Stephenville
got there, it was too late. Grandmother
Nancy Elizabeth Hipp Carey was fatal;ly burned by a pasture fire starting towards their house
on Hatchett land in Selden. Grandad
had burned off a fence row by a plowed field, when wind and thermal draft caused the fire to jump
the road. Her clothes were burned off, and she lived 3 days without pain in
Stephenville Hospital. Her spine
was damaged and the nerves did not carry the pain--or so they said.
CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN THE EXACT
CONNECTIONS LISTED ABOVE?
Oh, yes, Mr. Stephen or Tom Arendell
did not build the first house in the Stephenville area. When Mr. Stephen got
there, a black man had a house built
2 or 3 years before the Stephen house was built near him. The Stephen brothers ran the RR depot in
Belmead, (Waco area), Texas, and the third Stephen brother ran an ox cart
freight line from Belmead to the Panther Cave-Chalk Mountain area, then to
Fort Graham and other stores, and
possibly to Fort Griffin. This Stephen brother left his wife in
the cave--their home--and she
had twins there, named Cliff and Cave Stephen. She killed a panther with a rifle.
[The cat] was fighting the family
bulldog; thus the name Panther Cave.
I remember some Selfs in Erath County. Searched
Stephewnville High School annuals, back when it only had 3 grades, and finally
found one in a 1949 Annual of John
Tarleton Agricultural College (now Tarleton State University) "Grassburr" annual. And Jackpot, there was
a photo of H. L. SELF, Assistant
Professor of Animal Husbandry, with a B.S. Degree from
Agricultural and Mechanical College of
Texas, (now Texas A&M University at College Station, Texas). Tarleton State
University now has campuses in Stephenville,
Killeene, Texas and Thurber, Texas in the old Ghost town of Mingus. They also have courses at
McLennan Community (Jr.) College,
and a degree can be earned in Waco from Tarleton on the MCC Campus, mostly. I was a squad leader in
ROTC at Tarleton, and Franklin Conger
was in my squad. When he passed away, his mom asked for a military funeral. Other members of my squad
were pallbearers, and Tarleton Wainwright
Rifles Firing Squad fired a salute over his grave. They even had a Tarleton Cadet to play "Taps" on
his trumpet, not like some fakes
today who hold a trumpet to their lips while a recorder plays "Taps." Ewell Jones updated us
on history of burial as we took turns standing guard at the Funeral home in
DECEMBER 5, 2008
Had a little time today to catch up on
some computer cleanup. Dr. W.P. Hatchett had 2 sons named "Hamp" (
Hampton?) and "Pink" (William Pinckney) Hatchett. Their sister
Ella married great Grandad Robert Augustine Wyly, parents of
Grandad Henry and his brothers. My dad, Eddie Augustine Wyly and
another had shifts sitting up with the corpse of "Uncle Gus" Hatchett,
in the 2 story home Dr. Hatchett had retired in. When I was
small, he had a square behind it. House one side, a row of harness and
blacksmith shop, a room for workers, and a storage shed for some
tools and farm equipment. Also a Smokerhouse where cured pork and
poultry feed was kept. Dr. Hatchett and "Choctaw " Bill Robinson
were founders of Pony Creek Baptist nearer to our home. "Uncle Pink"
was the leader in founding Selden Baptist church and Dr. Hatchett and
William Henry Robinson founded the Pony Creek Baptist Church, where I
attended in teenage years. It was organized as "A Church of Christ to
be called the Pony Creek Baptist Church" and elected delegates to
Paluxy Baptist Association which met at Paluxy College, before Hood and
Stephenville Associations were organized..
Great Grandad Robert and wife Ella Hatchett had one daughter and some
sons. Ella Alatissa Wyly died of pneumonia--she seemed to have
recoverred, but they took one fresh air ride with family in a Buggy,
and they were caught in a sudden spring rain. She died and Ella never
fully recoverred from the shock
Dad said that when they were doing the set up with his Uncle, a cat
ripped the screen open and was in the coffin when they caught him. I
will bet that woke them up.
c2006-2009 Charles Wyly
Tim Seawolf and Barbara Peck
This page last updated on December 6, 2008