Submitted by
Kay Cunningham



Francis W. Capps


     Francis W. Capps, b ca 1806 in Tennessee, d ca 1865 in Marlin Falls County, Texas. He was married twice - his first wife (name unknown), died in Alabama, where two sons were born:

     John Q. Capps, b ca 1826 in Alabama-married in 1850 in Texas to Rebecca Adams, b 1835 in Kentucky. James A. Capps, b ca 1827 in Alabama, d in Falls County - was married ca 1852 to America Oakes, b 1835 in Tennessee, d before 1870 in Falls County - a daughter of Charles and Susan (Neal) Oakes, and had four children: Letitia, b 1853, Charles F., b 1855, John, b 1862, and William Oakes Capps, b 1866. James A. Capps served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.

     Francis W. Capps married second, ca 1839, to Mary America (maiden name unknown), b ca 1820 in Tennessee. When they moved to Texas in 1841 with their one-year-old daughter, born in Mississippi, they settled on Blue Ridge (present-day Stranger, in Falls County), where they bought 320 acres of land, and resided there and farmed until they moved to Marlin.

     After the new county of Falls was created in 1850, Francis W. Capps was active in its development. On March 31, 1851, he and Ashley Stephen Marlin (a son of John Marlin) were appointed election judges for a second election. Three men from the Blue Ridge area (Stranger) were appointed to select lots for churches in the town of Marlin; and Francis W. Capps selected a lot one block south on Williams Street for the Methodist Church; Larkin Rogers selected a site one block west of the courthouse square for a Presbyterian Church on present-day Fortune and Perry Streets; and Reverend Zachariah Nehemiah Morrell selected a site on Craik Street, one block north of the courthouse square, for the Baptist Church.

     When town lots went on sale, Capps purchased 1/2 acre of land, which included Adams’ Spring at the foot of Ward Hill - adjoining the property of Dr. Allensworth Adams. The two men established the Adams -Capps Hotel, probably the first such establishment in the town. Adams later sold his property to J. W. Perkins, and moved back to Robertson County.

     By April 1853, Francis W. Capps was serving as a Commissioner of Falls County, and he and a son, John Q. Capps, were appointed “Patrolers’ for a three-month term. At this same meeting, it was decided that the County Court would rescind its sale of ‘/2 acre of land to Capps because they wanted to own Adams’s Spring to furnish water for the town. Capps was ordered to choose another ‘/2 acre as a substitute, and it is believed that he lived on Capps Street, which was named for him. Yet another decision affecting Francis W. Capps was made in that April 1853 meeting of the County Court. It was ordered that an allowance up to $1,145, out of state funds, be made to F. W. Capps to build a jail.

     A year later, June 1854, Capps, Allen H. Morrell (son of Reverend Z. N. Morrell), and James Long were ordered to draft a plan and contract for building a bridge across Big Creek on the Marlin-Springfield road, by way of Blue Ridge (Stranger). This bridge became known as “Parson’s Bridge” (so-named for John Parsons, who owned land in that area), and was the landmark used in surveying school district in Falls County for 100 years.

     Francis W. Capps served as a County Commissioner until 1856, when he was elected the third Chief Justice of Falls County - serving through the Civil Tar to 1864.

     The children of Francis W. Capps and his second wife, Mary America, were:

     Marilla Elizabeth Capps, b 1840 in Mississippi -married December 28, 1854 to James W. Wheeler.

     Lola Letitia Capps, b 1842 in Texas - married March 27, 1862 in Falls County, Texas to Dr. David G. Adams, b 1830 in Missouri.

     William Capps, b 1844 in Texas - was unmarried in 1870.

     Jennett Capps, b 1846 in Texas - married September 28, 1869 in Falls County, Texas to William Fuller, b 1828 in South Carolina, and purchased a farm in the Alto Springs area of East Falls County, which they later sold.

     George W. Capps, b 1848 in Texas - married in 1870 to A. J. (only initials were used). They were residing with George’s widowed mother when the 1870 Census was recorded.

     Martha Ella Capps, b 1853 in Texas.

     Francis M. Capps, b 1855 in Texas.

     Thomas J. Capps, b 1857 in Texas.

     David G. Capps, b 1859, died before 1870.

     Judge Francis W. Capps died in Marlin during his tenure as Chief Justice, and William R. Reagan was appointed to complete his term. Judge Capps served during the infancy of the State School System, only to have its progress halted by the Civil War. He was a true pioneer and patriot of Falls County. His second wife, Mary America, died in 1877. The site of their burial has not been located.



     Dr. Allensworth Adams
     Author: Maxine Bowling Friedly
     Date: 21 May 2000
     Surnames: Adams, French

     In Reply to: Frances W. Capps

     Dr. Adams was my Gr Gr Grandfather who later returned to Kentucky. He was born 16 Feb 1813 in KY and died in 1885 in Rockcastle Co., KY.

     He married 4 Dec 1845 Elizabeth French. (we are not sure if they married in Texas) His daughter, my Gr Grandmother Armsted Ann Adams, was born at Marlin, Texas, 11 Aug 1849. Some of his other children were born in Texas also. I would like information about the book from which the article was taken.

     Thanks for posting it.

Copyright Permission granted to Theresa Carhart for printing these bio of these

Falls County Families to this Web page "Families of Falls County",

Compiled and Edited by the Falls County Historical Commission, page 67, column 1
Member of Falls County Historical Commission