My parents, James Stanton and Salina Jane (Craig) Cone, and we nine children left Cisco in a covered wagon on a hot August day in 1900 for the Panhandle of Texas to buy a ranch.
My father had sold his cattle interests in the Devil River area of Sutton Co. and planned to invest the proceeds in a ranch on the Plains. He had first considered moving the family to the Sutton Co. ranch but my mother had declined to move to this untamed area where the Spanish language predominated and the energetic activities of cattle rustlers had forced a change from the original family "4N" brand to C-O-N-E branded across the left side with the initial "C" on the shoulder the final "E" on the hip.Papa registered and continued to use the latter brand in Crosby Co.
We made the trip to Crosby (less than 200 airline miles but much longer by the primitive roads and cattle trails of that period) to see a ranch owned by Carol Littlefield. He had a section of land with an option to file on 80 acres of government land which joined the section. There was adjoining land which could be purchased for $1 per acre from the government, but neighbors convinced Papa that it would be more profitable to buy less land and purchase more cattle since the whole country side could be grazed free. Only the larger ranches had fenced their land and there was between 25 and 30 sections of open range bordered by Huckabee ranch on the north, TM Bar on the east, and a part of Bar-N-Bar on the south.
After buying the Littlefield section and filing on the 80 acres, we began the return trip to Cisco going by Olustee Indian Territory where we visited my maternal grandparents, the William Alexander Craig family.
Back in Eastland Co., we harvested our cotton and corn crops then returned to Crosby Co. with some breeding stock cattle, horses and chickens. We moved our buggy and organ and later found that there were very few of either in the county.
Heavy fall rains had preceded our return trip and we lost our directions going too far north and placing us near the Kropp homestead. We veered to the southwest and got bogged in the mud several times. We unhitched the team from one wagon to help pull out another which was stuck. We finally sighted the Carol Littlefield half dugout which was visible for only a short distance. Our wagon tracks made in the wet prairie could still be seen 20 or so years later.
At this time there were virtually no roads. They were mostly cow trails. There was only one house on the road from our house to Floydada and in the other direction, only one house between our place and Emma. Mr. and Mrs. R.L. Bowling lived two miles east of us. The Townsends lived one mile west and Uncle John and Aunt Lucy Noble lived a mile northwest of the Townsends. That seemed to be the most settled community near. The Mallards and Uncle Casper and Aunt Phelie Littlefield lived west of them. There was a school in that community named Farmer.
During the first winter we lived in a half dugout tent and my half brothers, Frank and Henry, slept in the covered wagon. Papa and Frank spent much of the winter in the "breaks" getting wood that we knew little about conserving. The next winter we burned coal hauled from Canyon or used cow chips like most of our neighbors.
When spring came, Papa and Frank began hauling lumber to build a house from Canyon about 100 miles away. They also freighted fence posts, wire and materials for a windmill. Each load of freight brought much needed supplies for the family. The house was one and one-half stories and was always painted pea green with white trim. It became a landmark.
We went to school at Farmer the last half of that first year. In 1901 we attended school the first half of the year at Farmer and the last half at Cone. We took almost half of the pupils in our wagon and when we made an excuse to go home early we took all those who rode with us.
Papa helped R.E. Chapman to open a small general store and secure a post office. Chapman named the post office Cone in honor of his friendship with my father. Until a regular mail carrier could be found, Chapman and Papa took turns carrying the mail. Papa and Mr. Chapman got a school district established and the school was built on the present site.
Chapman moved his residence from Estacado in 1901 and his house still stands (1977) and is now the home of Ruth Bartley.
The land for the Methodist Church was donated by the Cone family with the understanding that it was to be used by all denominations. It was the only church there for many years.
During the first year Papa started breaking out land and finally had 375 acres of cultivation - mostly cotton and milo. Papa always had a good string of horses and our main pastime was riding them. Grandpa Craig gave us a stallion and two mares which were thoroughbreds and we raised our saddle horses from them. The station, "Old Mack", became well known in three counties.
My father, J.S. Cone passed away Mar. 13, 1910. He was buried in Emma cemetery. Emma I.O.O.F. Lodge assisted by Lorenzo and Estacado Lodges were in charge of conducting the rites. A long column of cars, buggies, horsemen and others on foot followed the hearse to the resting place.
The Cone house burned in 1916. Another house was erected but mother sold the land in 1917 and moved to a larger place eight miles south of Dimmitt. In her later years she and my sister, Lilla, moved to the town of Dimmitt, where they lived until mother´s death in 1940. She was buried beside her husband at Emma.
The children of J.S. and Salina Jane Cone are: Lilla Mae (9/10/1885-1/13/1948); William Franklin (2/14/1887-3/19/1953); Eula Lena, born Aug. 19, 1888; Nancy Lela (10/23/1889-3/30/1969); Docia Beulah, born Sept. 1, 1891; Henry Stanton, born Aug. 9, 1893; Flossie Ellen, born Mar. 29, 1895; Marlin Cannon (1/22/1897-5/13/1947); Eva Dera Cone, born Jan. 4, 1899; Richard Kenneth, born Mar. 16,1901.
James Stanton Cone, Salina Jane Cone and Lilla Cone were buried in Emma cemetery. Lilla never married.
Frank was married to Artie Patterson. He is buried in Dimmitt Memorial Gardens. They had one girl, Melba Jean.
Eula was married to Walter Noble. He is buried in Cone cemetery. They had four children Mary, Loraine, Eugene and Elred. Eugene served in the military service and died from a heart attack after coming home. He is buried in Cone cemetery. Lela was married to Edwin O´Dell Cartwright and they have two children. Dell is buried in Cone cemetery and Lela in Dimmitt Memorial Gardens. Edith is buried in Gage, Ok. cemetery. Jack is sheriff of Castro county.
Docia was married to Vincent Manning. He is buried in Floydada cemetery. They had three girls, Doris, Fleeta, Jean. Fleeta and baby were killed in a car wreck and her husband has since died. They are buried in Floydada cemetery.
Henry was married to Arrie Cheyne. They had six children. Arrie is buried in Canyon cemetery. Austin served in the military service and passed away after coming home. Clarence Eldred and the youngest brother, Garland, both served in the military service. the girls are Lorna, Betty J. and Edna Lois.
Flossie was married to Mr. Maud Rippy. He passed away May 14, 1923. They had three boys, John Stanton, Audice Allen and Richard Lynell. All three served in the Air Force and John and Lynell made the supreme sacrifice. Lynell is buried in Dimmitt Memorial Gardens, John Stanton´s plane was shot down in St. Georges Channel. His body was not recovered. His name is engraved on a granite slab in a building in the American cemetery in the Philippines. Martin was married to Willie Wiley. They have no children. He is buried in Lorenzo cemetery. She lived in Roverside, CA.
Kenneth was married to Mavronee Boyd. They had one son who passed away when he was 23 years old.
Flossie was married to Howell Victor Hunt Feb. 21, 1958. He is buried in Folsum cemetery in CA.
Source: Crosby County History 1876-1977, page 212-213
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