Thomas H. Rattan
Thomas Hempstead Rattan was born in 1789 in Montgomery Co., North Carolina, the son of John Rattan and Mary Esther Greene. At the age of 17, he married Miss Gillian "Gillie" Hill in 1807 in St. Clair Co., Illinois. Together they had ten children, all who were born in Illinois and lived to adulthood. The Rattan family was still living in Carrollton, Greene Co., Illinois at the time of the 1840 census, but by 1850 Thomas, his wife and youngest son were living in Collin Co., neighbors to his daughter, Ann "Annie" Rattan Thorckmorton and son-in-law, James Webb Thorckmorton.
The two youngest daughters of the Rattan family were twins, born March 5, 1828, in Carrollton, Greene Co., Tennessee ~ Ann Rattan and Martha Patricia "Patsey.". At the age of 19 Ann married Texan James Webb Throckmorton on May 25, 1831 at her childhood home (above) in Illinois. They traveled to Texas along with the family of an older sister and friends in wagons and settled in Collin Co. neart McKinney on a large farm. Born to J.W. & Ann were four boys and six girls; she also cared for and raised one of Dr. Throckmorton's nephews from the age of 5 as well as two nieces of her husband's; one of Dr. Throckmorton's sisters also lived with the growing family for five years.
J.W. Throckmorton was born in Sparta, Tennessee, son of Dr. William Edward Throckmorton and Susan Jane Rotan. One of eight children, Throckmorton spent the first eleven years of his life in Sparta, Tennessee. In 1836 Dr. William E. Throckmorton moved his family to Arkansas; in 1841 he visited Texas and purchased land in Collin County. Later he moved his family to their new home but, sadly, died less than a year later. After seeing that his family was settled, J.W. Throckmorton left for Kentucky to study medicine with his uncle, James E. Throckmorton. He remained in Kentucky until the outbreak of the war for independance broke out in Texas, when he returned to Texas and volunteered for military service. After serving for only three months in the field, Dr. Throckmorton became ill and was reassigned as a surgeon's assistant. He received a medical discharge in on June 8, 1847 and returned to his family in Collin Co. After marrying Ann Rattan, he began his medical practice, which Ann assisted her husband in caring for patients after diligently reading his medical books. However, being more interested in the new state's law and politics than medicine, he was elected to the as a Texas State Legislator and later Senator. Although he voted against secession (along with six other men in the Convention of Texas, from the United States, he was one of the first men in Texas to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. He served in the Confederate Army and became the first post-war Governor of his adopted state, elected June 1866. Ann and the children remained at their home in Collin Co. while her husband was in Austin; after serving only one year, leaving the office in August 1867) as Governor, J.W. Throckmorton returned home and took up the practice of law.
Dr. Throckmorton had suffered with lifelong kidney disease and died from a fall during a business trip on April 21, 1894, after 46 years of marriage; Ann died about a year and a half after her husband on October 30, 1895; both are buried at the large Pecan Grove Cemetery in McKinney, Collin Co., Texas
Sources: Barber, Rosamond. The Pioneer Rattans of Two Continents. c1984, pgs. 58-59.
Newcomer, Velda Wilburn. Texas' First Ladies Historic Costume Collection. Denton, Texas : University Press, c1978. pg 23.
The Handbook of Texas. "Throckmorton, James Webb," assessed July 25, 2017. The Texas State Historical Society.
Elaine Nall Bay
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