WILLIAM S. STEELE, JR.

 

 


     William S. Steele, Jr., b 1796 in Antrim County, Ireland, d January 28, 1880 in the home of his son, Henry Steele of Stranger, Falls County, Texas-was a son of William S. and Rose Mary (Orr) Steele, Sr. The father was a Colonel in the British Army, and was killed in service - being a son of Robert Steele, of Scotland, who was a physician and minister, who immigrated to Ireland to escape persecution.
     William S. Steele, Jr. married in 1816 in Ireland to Mary McGill, who died in Antrim County, Ireland on November 5, 1852 - a daughter of William and Florence McGill. They were the parents of nine children all born in Antrim County, Ireland; and William came to the United States in 1866 - first to New Orleans, Galveston, and thence to Falls County - settling in Stranger where his son, Henry, had settled in December 1853, and traveling in company from Ireland with his son, Robert A., and other children.
     The nine children of William S. and Mary (McGill) Steele, Jr., included:
     Florence Steele, who died in infancy, in Ireland.
     Henry Steele, b ca 1825 in Antrim County, Ireland, died after 1900 at Stranger, Falls County, Texas and said to have been buried in a family cemetery on his own land-was married ca 1847 in South Carolina to Mrs. Elizabeth (Erskine) Tucker, b 1821 in South Carolina - a daughter of Hugh and Jane (Richards) Erskine, and widow of Benjamin Tucker. Henry came to Stranger, Falls County, Texas in December 1853 traveling with his wife's parents and siblings, and other relatives. He bought land on Blue Ridge (later called Stranger), and participated in the organization of the second Presbyterian Church established in the community. In 1874, when the county began establishing public schools, the Henry Steele school was organized and active for about thirty years. Before his wife, Elizabeth, died ca 1870, they had seven children, including a pair of twin daughters: William J. Steele, b ca 1848; John Alexander Steele, b ca 1850 who married Elizabeth E. Hastings, b ca 1854 in Mississippi; Martha J. Steele - a twin, b ca 1852 in South Carolina, who married October 28, 1869 in Falls County, Texas to R. F. Mattison; Margaret Jane Steele - a twin, b ca 1852 in South Carolina, who married June 12, 1870 to James H. Carr; Eliza E. Steele, b ca 1854, who married December 25, 1870 to Leonidas Dean; Florence Steele, b ca 1856, who married Fleetwood Kay - a son of Harris and Louisa (Adair) Kay; and Robert Henry Steele, b April 3, 1861, d June 14, 1934 and buried in Criswell Cemetery in Falls County -married Annie Eaves, b March 2, 1862, d April 2, 1936 and buried by her husband -a daughter of Reverend W. B. and Elizabeth Eaves, and their three children included a daughter and two sons, who were Howard B. Steele, b April 6, 1886, d September 18, 1902; Robert Kearney Steele, b February 8, 1898, d March 19, 1977 who served in the U.S. Army during World War II; and Lottie (Steele) Van Zandt.
     William S. Steele, III - was killed June 27, 1862. No further information.
     Rose Mary Steele, who died before 1892-married William Harper in Ireland and settled in Limestone County, Texas.
     Elizabeth Ellen Steele - who married John Harper in Ireland, and resided in the area of Kosse, Limestone County, Texas. After her death, John Harper left his two sons with his brother and sister-in-law, Wil
liam and Rose Mary (Steele) Harper, and returned to Ireland where he remarried. He had planned to return to Texas to rear his two sons; but his second wife refused to leave her family, and the two sons stayed with the Uncle and Aunt and never again saw their father.
     Robert A. Steele, b ca 1829 in Antrim County, Ireland - married there ca 1865 to Ellen Poll, b ca 1834 in Ireland. They immigrated to Texas and settled at Stranger, Falls County, near his brother Henry Steele, in 1866 - and traveling with his father, and his other siblings. Among their children were: William John Steele who married Ophelia Watson; Annie Steele who never married; Carrie Steele who married B. B. Brooks, Isabella Steele, b 1885, d February 23, 1930 and buried in Stranger Cemetery - never married; Ellen Steele who married John Williams and had Helen Eunice Williams who married Thomas Franklin Harper; and Mary Steele, b ca 1869, who was the first surviving child.
     Alexander M. Steele, b May 13, 1832 in Antrim County, Ireland - immigrated to America, traveling with his brother, Henry Steele, in 1846. While Henry stayed in South Carolina until he moved to Texas in 1853, Alexander moved west to Missouri, but in 1859, followed Henry to Falls County, Texas.=He lived for a time near the McClanahan Community, where, in May 1870, he was married to Mrs. Louisa A. (Dean) Wray. They resettled about 1880 in Kosse, Limestone County, Texas, where they became active in the Missionary Baptist Church and Sunday School.
     Jane Isabella Steele, b ca 1843 in Antrim County, Ireland - married Edward Heath, b ca 1846 in Texas. In 1892, Jane was residing in Denison, Texas. No further information.
     James M. Steele, b ca 1845 in Antrim County, Ireland - no further information.
     Descendants of the Steele family - primarily through Elizabeth Ellen who married John Harper, and Robert A. and Ellen (Poll) Steele - continue to reside in Falls County, Texas. They were conscientious citizens of their adopted country, and were active in the community, social, and church affairs. Most of the family remained members of the Presbyterian Church, and for many years were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Fairview, Texas, while living in the Stranger Community.

 

 

 

Copyright Permission granted to Theresa Carhart for printing the biographies of these Falls County Families to this Web page."Families of Falls County", Compiled and Edited by the Falls County Historical Commission, page 432 column 2 and page 433 column 1 and 2.  
Member of Falls County Historical Commission.