18 February 1932
Contributed by Liza Kight
Gordon, Thomas, one of the oldest
inhabitants of Collinsville, was born in Todd County, Ky., May 8, 1848.
He came with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Gordon, to Missouri when Tom
was eight years old. They stayed in Missouri ten years and moved
to Arkansas in 1867. Tom was the second oldest child, having two
brothers and six sisters. He had an older sister. In 1873,
when Tom was 25 years of age, he left Arkansas and came to Texas.
However, he had made a trip to Texas every year for the six preceding years
for the purpose of hauling apples. Sometimes there would be as many
as thirteen or fourteen wagons in the train, Mr. Gordon relates.
They brought their apples to Dallas, Waco, Austin and once they went as
far as San Antonio. It was their custom to sell their load of apples,
sell the wagon and team and take a Texas pony on the trade and return home
by horseback. Even in those days Texas appealed to Tom Gordon, and
he tried for six years, ever since he had started making trips to Texas,
to get his father to move there. It was a lawless country, but it
was good farm land and farming has always been Tom Gordon's long suit.
He finally came to Texas to settle in 1873 on the Tom Stevens place.
His family moved to Texas some several months later. Mr. Gordon says
he "moved to Texas and started farming and has been farming ever since
up until the last few years." He married Oct. 16, 1875, Loraney Phipps,
a native of the Collinsville section. they had ten children, seven
of whom are living. People of those days were more friendly than
they are now, Mr. Gordon says, in talking over the customs of by-gone years.
"There were a good many horse thieves in those days," he continued, "but
we killed all of them. Of course we rode in wagons, horseback and
in ox wagons, and a good horse was worth more than nearly anything else.:
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon moved to Burneyville in Indian Territory Jan. 1, 1887
and it was in Burneyville that his wife died April 8, 1888, and after having
spent two years at this place, he moved back to Collinsville. He
married Mrs. Joseph Phipps, Dec. 20, 1888, who also died. He was
married for the third time, this time to Mrs. Mary Reed, in 1912.
Mr. Gordon has been a Free Mason for 63 years and was a member of the Knights
and Ladies of Honor, an organization which existed in 1878.