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The Family of

James Marshall Lovell


 Pictures & Narrative submitted by:  Sil Crim

(I am making this attempt to compile as much information as is available about the James Marshall Lovell family of Houston County, Texas. I would like to consider it a “work in progress” that can easily be up-dated and/or changed as new information is learned. Most of the information came from “Granny Vivian Lovell’s lil green book” furnished to me by her daughter Imogene (Mullins) Cook. In addition, information from the internet at has been helpful in identifying the first Lovell’s to come to America as well as information about them from the old country. Please feel free to send additional information or edits to Silver C. Crim - e-mail at

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It has been said that the Lovell family of Houston County, Texas, could have easily been called the “Lovable” family, because of their deep Christian heritage and beliefs, their love of family and friends and their willingness to go the extra mile to be of help to someone in need. Although I did not coin the name, I can attest to the above, without exception, during my seventy four plus years as part of the family.

James Marshall Lovell (Pa) was born in the community of De Berry, Panola County, Texas on March 13 1861 to parents Cuff (Cuffie) Lovell and Mary (Mollie) Kemp Lovell. Cuff was born in 1834 and Mollie was born in 1841. Records also indicate that brother, Noab C. Lovell was born of this marriage in 1859. (The community of De Berry is located on US Highway 79 about 12 miles northeast of Carthage, Texas or about 16 miles southeast of Marshall, Texas on Texas Highway 31).

Pa’s grandfather was Benoni Lovell, born in 1791, died in 1870, and mother Mary F. (Binion) Lovell, born 1800, died also in 1870. It is known that Mary died in Panola County, Texas and can be assumed that Benoni also died in Panola County Texas, however was unable to confirm that fact except he did sell land to Martina Coward and P.B. Corzine on December 1, 1855. There is also evidence that Benoni owned land near Huntsville, Alabama between 1824 and 1839.

Mary Lovell’s parents were William Binion, born August 28, 1763 in Buckingham County, Virginia. He died in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Greenwood Cemetery) May 25, 1842. Mary’s mother was Jane Elizabeth Burton, born in Caswell County, North Carolina on November 19, 1764 and died June 25, 1842 in Fayette, Alabama (Buried in Chapel Hill Cemetery).

The children of Benoni and Mary were: Mary Jane Lovell, born 1820. She married Bartlett Wagley who was born in 1802 and died in 1857; James M. Lovell, born 1828; Queen Ann Lovell, born 1830. She married L.A. Hughes and later married Wyatt Coleman; Peter Lovell was born in 1831; and Cuff Lovell was born in 1834.Little else could be found about the other children.

It is believed that Cuff and Mollie left Panola County in 1872. After Cuff died, Mollie married Will Coleman. Will had three children from a previous marriage (Sallie, Matt and Allen) Lucy Coleman was born of this marriage. Aunt Lucy (Pa’s half sister) never married and lived with Lovell family members until her death. She is buried in the Weches cemetery. No other information is available; however we do know that Pa and brother Noab (aka NC or Boss) came to the Weches community in Houston County in 1877.

Pa met and later married Elizabeth C. (Betty) Lively on December 20, 1886. They had three children, Virginia (Virgie) Lovell, born September 12, 1887; Avalona Lovell, born January 12, 1889; and James Frank Lovell, born December 24, 1891. Betty (Lively) Lovell died in May 1892 at the age of 29.

Grandma Colman (Mollie) (Kemp) (Lovell) and Lucy Colman lived with Pa and Betty in Weches in a house later owned by Need Henley (Nannie Lee (Henley) Lovell’s father). Then they moved farther East from Weches   two times until they settled at the Lovell home place. It is two and one half miles east of Weches on Texas Highway 21. A great-grandson of Pa and Emma, Jim Loyd Lovell built his home on the exact spot of the old home place. His son Justin, or the Great-great grandson of Pa now resides there.

On September 8, 1897, some five years following Betty’s death, Pa Lovell married Emma (Pyle) Smith. Emma was born on January 30, 1873 and had been married to Lee Smith who died March 13, 1895. Two children had been born to Emma and Lee. They were Clara Smith, born July 16, 1893 and Lee Edgar Smith, born June 30, 1895.

Beginning a marriage with five children, all under ten years of age would be a large enough test for most, but six additional children would later be added to the Lovell clan.

Until recently, two large oak trees stood in front of the Lovell home. (Jim Loyd had to remove them for fear that one would fall and damage the home.) When paved roads came to Houston County, a large rock wall, with steps in the center held back the sandy ground, but welcomed many-a-visitor. Pa Lovell would sit in a two-person swing hung from a branch of the tree to the left of the steps. Ma Lovell loved to tell stories of how Pa would sit out front in the swing and welcome friends and strangers passing by to stop and rest, have a cool drink of water—or even a meal.

In later years, the family always gathered for reunions on/or near Pa’s birthday. Every year, family and friends came from near and far to honor a man (and family) they loved.

During their marriage, Pa and Emma had six additional children. Vivian Lovell, born October 16, 1898, Vera Marbeth Lovell, born November 24, 1899, Emmett Carroll Lovell, born June 24, 1905, Loyd Lacy Lovell born May 2, 1908, Wilmer Sherman Lovell born April 23, 1910, and Elwin Winfree Lovell, born December 15, 1913.

James Marshall Lovell (Pa) went home to be with his Lord on December 30, 1946, at 8:40 P.M. He is buried in the Weches Cemetery, Houston County, Texas. Emma Lovell (Ma) died August 4, 1950 and is also buried in the Weches cemetery.

(The next section of the Lovell narrative is information about the children of James, Betty and Emma. Much of the information is not known to me, but surely will be provided by family members when reviewing the site.)

Virginia (Virgie) Lovell Married Sam Houston Gregg on December 6, 1908. Sam was born March 29, 1878. They had seven children: Sam Ardis Gregg, Mavis Gregg, John A. Gregg, Betty L. Gregg, twins, Lorine and Florine Gregg and Earl Porter Gregg. Sam died August 30, 1949 and Virgie died March 4, 1974. Both are buried in Weches cemetery. 

Avalona Lovell married John Alvis Musick on December 10, 1906. They had two children, Myrtle Ruth, born July 4, 1911, died August 11, 1992. Myrtle Ruth had no children. She is buried in Laurel Oaks Memorial Park on Lake June road, Mesquite, Texas. Frank Musick was born August 10, 1907 and died February 11, 2002. Frank was married to Houston (Haney), born August 9, 1905 and died January 26, 1992. They had one son, James Ray Music, Born July 18, 1933. Avalona died October 23, 1923 and John died June 19, 1961.They are buried at Lynch Chapel Cemetery (some call Jones Chapel or Landrum Cemetery) which is located on Texas FM 294, 6 miles South-West of Alto, in Cherokee County, Texas. Frank and Houston are buried at Oakland Memorial Cemetery, Terrell, Texas.

James (Jim) Frank Lovell married Ava Jones on September 4, 1910. They had two children, James (Jim Jr.) Frank Lovell Jr. and Betty Jean Lovell. Jim Jr. died October 18, 1977 and is buried in Soper Oklahoma. He was married to Nora Awleen Collum on February 20, 1944. She died November 27, 1995 and is also buried in Soper, Oklahoma. They had two children, Jerrell Marshall, born July 11, 1945 and Majorie Jeannene, born June 12, 1959. Jerrell and his wife Jackie reside in New Braunfels, Texas and Jeannene lives in Dayton, Texas. Betty Jean (Lovell) is married to Donald Landers and is living in Hamilton, Texas. They have no children.

Clara Smith married John L. Silvers on June 10, 1915. He was born November 6, 1886. They had two sons, Raymond Silvers and John (Buster) Silvers. Raymond married Vercie Smith. They had three children, Joe Kent Silvers, Jim Ray Silvers and Brenda Fay (Silvers) Collins. John died December 16, 1951. Clara died July 22, 1983 and both are buried in the Weches cemetery.

Lee Edgar Smith married Farree Lee (Fay) Gilbert on June 25, 1919. They had four daughters: Natha Lee (Smith) Tims, Moline (Smith) Sheffield, Aletha Faye (Smith) Kirchoff and Sandra Sue (Smith) Hollingsworth. Lee died in 1981 and Fay died in 1995. Both are buried in the Weches cemetery.

Vivian Lovell was the firstborn to James and Emma and she married Lemuel Eichelberger Mullins on April 3, 1920. Lemuel was born on September 18, 1890. They had three children; a son stillborn, on September 19, 1921, Imogene (Mullins) Cook, born March 23, 1923 and Charlie Faye (Mullins) Lee, born March 28, 1928. Vivian died September 2, 1986 and is buried in the Weches cemetery. Charlie Faye passed to a new life with the Lord on February 28, 2001 and is also buried in the Weches cemetery. Imogene lives in Bedford, Texas.

Vera Marbeth Lovell married James Rutherford Crim Jr. on June 28, 1916. Rutherford was born in Rusk County, Texas on March 17, 1894. They had four children: Carrie Pauline (Polly) (Crim) Patterson, James (Jimmie) Carlton Crim, Iris Modene (Crim) McHenry and Silver Carroll Crim. Polly resides in Port Arthur Texas; Jimmie was killed in action July 13, 1945 in a bombing raid over Kawasaki, Japan; Modene resides in Caldwell, Texas and Silver resides in Windcrest, Texas. (Side note: Silver Carroll was named after two uncles, John Silvers and Emmett Carroll Lovell) Rutherford was killed in an automobile accident July 1, 1956 and Vera died January 7, 1973. Both are buried in the Weches cemetery.

Emmett Carroll Lovell married Reba Wallace July 28, 1922. Emmett died November 27, 1930. Reba died February 23, 1968. (They has an infant son that died shortly after birth, July 6 1924 to July 9, 1924) They had two additional children, Marshall Sterling Lovell, born March 29, 1926 and was killed July 11, 1944 by a Japanese sniper on Saipan during WWII and Syblleen (Lovell) (Gorbett) Collins. Syblleen resides in the big city of Alto, Texas.

Loyd Lacy Lovell married Gertrude (Gertie) V. Smith June 18, 1929. Gertie was born January 4, 1910. They had one son, James Lacy Lovell, born On September 10, 1932. Loyd was very active in Houston County politics and was first elected as Sheriff November 2, 1948. He was re-elected four times serving until January 1, 1961, when he became County Judge of Houston County and served several terms. Loyd died January 27, 1979 followed by Gertie on February 8, 1985. James Lacy represented the 17th District in the Texas House of Representatives and served from the 60th Legislature in 1967 to the end of the 62nd Legislature in 1973. James Lacy died August 5, 2000. All three are buried in the Weches cemetery.

Wilmer Sherman Lovell married Nannie Lee Henley on March 26, 1930. Nannie Lee was born June 22, 1916. They had no children. Sherman died December 27, 1983. Nannie Lee died May 29, 2004 and both are buried in the Weches Cemetery.

Elwin Winfree Lovell married Myrtle Bowman on February 20, 1932. Myrtle was born May 15, 1912 and still resides in Weches, Texas. They had no children. Elwin died September 4, 1992 and is buried in the Weches cemetery.

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