1. JOHN EDWARD1 NITE was born
12 Aug 1805 in North Carolina, and died 25 Aug 1849 in Crockett,
Houston Co., Texas. He married LUCY STEPP 29 May 1826 in
Tennesse. She was born 10 Apr 1807 in Oglethorp, Macon Co.,
Georgia, and died 08 Mar 1865 in Crockett, Houston Co., Texas.
Notes for JOHN EDWARD NITE:
and Lucy came to Texas in 1835 and settled in Houston County.
John had no fortune but did have splendid faith and courage. As
the years passed, he became one of the large landowners of the
county. This is written in a book called ďA History of La Salle
County", by Annette Martin Ludeman, 1975.
Lucy left Alabama in 1835 and headed to Texas with a band of
others that were in turn, just as brave to head towards
unsettled territory and to take the chance of meeting up with
hostile Indians. They carried with them, their family fortune of
about eighteen hundred dollars in gold that they had in a small
trunk that had been stolen from them on their way to Texas. So
when they reached Texas, they were destitute.
able to get a Land Grant of 1500 acres on which they built a log
cabin which was located in the vicinity of Porter Springs which
was the Alabama crossing of the Trinity River. They added on to
their cabin as the family grew.
always fear of the Indian, so John joined the Home Guard as
Captain to protect his family. It was often necessary to gather
the families in the wagons and take a few possessions and head
to a stockade where women and children stayed while the men
dealt with the Indians.
John and his
neighbors built a school for the children to attend when he was
approached by a gentleman who came to his home with books in his
saddle and said he was a teacher. The men built the school
house, made benches, and set the school up with water buckets
and a dipper and of course a hickory rod that could not be
believe in slavery so the family had only one elderly Negro lady
who's name was Mary who did the cooking for the family and
helped care for the small children.
came to an end on that August day when Elisha Clapp had stabbed
him to death as he cried out in pain "Mercy Clapp". Lucy kept
Johns' coat with the hole where the knife had pierced it until
the day Lucy passed on.
Glenwood Cemetery, South Section, Crockett, Houston Co., Texas
LUCY STEPP: Shown w/o spouse as Lucy Nite
with the children on the 1850 Houston Co., Texas Census.
On the 1860
Census of Houston Co., Texas, it shows Lucy "Knight" at age 50,
Farmer, Real Estate $13,322, Personal Estate $6780.
Children of JOHN NITE and LUCY STEPP are:
i. JOHN DICKENS2
NITE, b. 29 Mar 1827, Tennessee; d. 03 Feb 1860, Houston Co.,
2. ii. JAMES MONROE
NITE, b. 02 Jan 1830, Hardin Co., Tennessee; d. 1902, Near
Bigfoot, Frio Co., Texas.
3. iii. CALVIN JASPER
NITE, b. 16 Mar 1832, Tennessee or Alabama; d. 25 Sep 1905,
Forestburg, Montague Co., Texas.
iv. SOLOMON J. NITE,
b. 06 Jan 1835, Houston Co., Texas; d. 29 Nov 1865.
4. v. LUCY JANE NITE,
b. 23 Apr 1838, Houston Co., Texas; d. 04 May 1912, Frio Co.,
5. vi. AMANDA M.F. NITE,
b. 08 Feb 1841, Near Crockett, Houston Co., Texas; d. 15 Sep
1931, La Salle Co., Texas.
vii. MARTHA ANN NITE,
b. 01 Jan 1844, Houston Co., Texas; d. 02 Dec 1922, Luling,
Texas; m. MARCUS BANKS.
viii. SAM HOUSTON
NITE, b. 31 Aug 1847, Houston Co., Texas.
2. JAMES MONROE2 NITE (JOHN
EDWARD1) was born 02 Jan 1830 in Hardin
Co., Tennessee, and died 1902 in Near Bigfoot, Frio Co., Texas.
He married MARTHA HARRIS 1855. She was born 08 Aug 1841 in
Louisiana, and died 22 May 1923 in San Francisco, California.
More About JAMES MONROE NITE:
Longview Cemetery, Near Bigfoot, Frio Co., Texas
Children of JAMES NITE and MARTHA HARRIS
6. i. LUCY ANN3
NITE, b. 1857, Houston Co., Texas.
7. ii. AMANDA F. NITE,
b. 1859; d. Stockdale, Wilson Co., Texas.
8. iii. FRANCIS OCTAVIA
NITE, b. 19 Oct 1860, Angelina Co., Texas; d. 19 Jul 1935,
Stockdale, Wilson Co., Texas.
iv. MARTHA LENORA
NITE, b. 24 Aug 1862, Texas; d. 12 Mar 1945, Bigfoot, Frio Co.,
Texas; m. WILLIAM DAVID HARRELL, 09 Oct 1884, Texas; b. 03 Dec
1851, Gonzales Co., Texas; d. 17 Jun 1935, Bigfoot, Frio Co.,
v. FLORENCE U.
NITE, b. 1867; m. A.B. SMITH, 13 Dec 1882, Gonzales Co., Texas.
9. vi. CHRISTOPHER
COLUMBUS NITE, b. 1869, Bastrop Co., Texas; d. 06 Feb 1897, Rust
Ranch, Menard Co., Texas.
vii. JAMES BRENNAN
NITE, b. May 1871, Gonzales Co., Texas; d. Abt. 1920.
10. viii. EVA NITE, b.
1873, Bastrop Co., Texas.
ix. AMEDA NITE, b.
Dec 1878; m. ROBERT M. CHAPMAN.
x. JOHN BUNION
NITE, b. 1879; m. BESSIE.
xi. MAGGIE NITE,
b. Dec 1884; m. CLIFFORD S. ALLRED; b. Abt. 1880, Tyler, Texas.
3. CALVIN JASPER2 NITE
(JOHN EDWARD1) was born 16 Mar 1832 in
Tennessee or Alabama, and died 25 Sep 1905 in Forestburg,
Montague Co., Texas. He married (1) JULIA SHERMAN Abt. 1854.
She died Bef. 1860. He married (2) MARY CATHERINE WICKER Bef.
1862. She was born 09 Sep 1843 in Georgia, and died 15 Feb 1902
in Lomet, Lampasas Co., Texas.
Child of CALVIN NITE and JULIA SHERMAN is:
i. JOHN DICKERSON3
NITE, b. 1856, Houston Co., Texas; d. Abt. 1908, Finney Co.,
Kansas; m. JEANNETTE ANN RIGDON; b. 22 May 1866, Marion, Grant
Co., Indiana; d. 07 Aug 1938, Wichita, Sedgwich Co., Kansas.
Children of CALVIN NITE and MARY WICKER
ii. WILLIAM JASPER3
NITE, b. 22 Nov 1862, Houston Co., Texas; d. 07 Apr 1920,
Marlow, Stephens Co., Oklahoma.
ADELINE NITE, b. 11 Dec 1864, Houston Co., Texas; d. 30 Nov
iv. THOMAS CALVIN
NITE, b. 14 Nov 1866, Houston Co., Texas; d. 23 Sep 1931, Red
Rock, Bastrop Co., Texas.
v. MARTHA JANE
NITE, b. 01 Jan 1868, Houston Co., Texas; d. 02 Mar 1946,
Wichita Falls, Wichita Co., Texas.
vi. SAMUEL HOUSTON
NITE, b. Abt. 1870, Texas; d. Abt. 1872, Texas.
vii. LUCY CAROLINE
NITE, b. Abt. 1873, Texas; d. 28 Jun 1906, Texas.
viii. EDWARD HENRY
NITE, b. 08 Feb 1876, Nueces Co., Texas; d. 16 Jan 1947,
Stellar, Fayette Co., Texas; m. (1) MATTIE HARRIS; b. 16 Jan
1880, Fayette Co., Texas; d. 10 May 1900, Fayette Co., Texas; m.
(2) ANNIE VIOLA RICHARDSON, 03 Dec 1900, Lockhart, Caldwell Co.,
Texas; b. 23 Feb 1882, Flatonia, Fayette Co., Texas; d. 11 Oct
1962, Galveston, Galveston Co., Texas.
ix. SAMUEL AARON
NITE, b. 01 Apr 1878, Texas; d. 28 Jul 1884, Bastrop Co., Texas.
x. MARY ELIZABETH
NITE, b. 16 Nov 1880, Gonzales Co., Texas; d. 13 Feb 1969,
Garden City, Finney Co., Kansas; m. AUGUST CHRISTIAN KEUNE; b.
03 Mar 1882, Garden City, Finney Co., Kansas; d. 13 Sep 1962,
Garden City, Finney Co., Kansas.
4. LUCY JANE2 NITE (JOHN
EDWARD1) was born 23 Apr 1838 in Houston
Co., Texas, and died 04 May 1912 in Frio Co., Texas. She
married ROBERT JAMES SMITH, SR.
15 Apr 1855 in Crockett, Houston Co., Texas. He was born 11 Jul
1831 in Alabama, and died 19 May 1914 in Frio Co., Texas.
Notes for ROBERT JAMES SMITH, SR.:
joined the C.S.A on 22 Feb 1862 as a private and served in Capt.
John T. Smith's company of the 15th Regt., Texas Calvary which
was commanded by John H. Burnett. On the 12 Oct 1862, William
Franklin Burks ( his brother-in-law) wrote to his wife (Bob's
sister) Amanda, telling her he was in Desare, Arkansas with
Capt. Brown's Co. F., Col. Burnett's Regt. 13th Texas Calvary,
General Young's Brigade. Bob was there along with Lloyd
Richardson, their brother-in-law. Later that month they were at
Camp Nelson. On 7 Nov, Bob returned to Little Rock.
Bob was listed
as a farmer with Real Estate of $515 and Personal Estate of
Bob and Lucy
moved to Frio County, Texas in 1878 and bought a large farm. He
had built a large home made of logs that he hauled from San
Patricio County where they had also lived for a few years. He
hauled the logs on wagons drawn by eight oxen. He built it large
enough for family to come visit and stay awhile. Bob and Lucy
were good about helping their kinfolk when they needed it,
raising grandchildren, burying the dead, placing a marker for
family kin who didn't have one. A first cousin Lucy Wingate had
lived with them for a spell during her childhood.
Bob started a
freight line between San Antonio, Bexar Co., and Cotulla, La
Salle County with his ox wagons. Sometimes he would be
accompanied by Big Foot Wallace. He became known as "Tater
Smith" because he sold sweet and Irish potatoes on his freight
Children of LUCY NITE and ROBERT SMITH
i. MARY ELIZABETH3
SMITH, b. 20 Apr 1856, Houston Co., Texas; d. 04 Aug 1894, Frio
Co., Texas; m. (1) JOHN STAPLETON; b. Abt. 1839; d. Abt. 1900;
m. (2) EDWARD H. PHELPS; d. Abt. 1875.
ii. JOHN EDWARD
SMITH, b. 12 May 1858, Houston Co., Texas; d. 22 Nov 1879, Frio
11. iii. SARAH LUCY
SMITH, b. 19 Mar 1861, Houston Co., Texas; d. 23 Apr 1935,
Carrizo Springs, Dimmit Co., Texas.
iv. ROBERT JAMES
JR. SMITH, b. 16 Apr 1863, Houston Co., Texas; d. Dec 1927,
Pearsall, Frio Co., Texas; m. JOSEPHINE WITTER; b. 1859, Texas;
v. SAMUEL HENRY
SMITH, b. 25 Mar 1866, Goliad Co., Texas.
vi. MATTIE ALINE
SMITH, b. 26 Sep 1868, Dewitt Co., Texas; d. Humble, Harris Co.,
Texas; m. WALTER SLAUGHTER.
12. vii. CARRIE VIOLA
SMITH, b. 07 Dec 1874, Texas.
5. AMANDA M.F.2 NITE (JOHN
EDWARD1) was born 08 Feb 1841 in Near
Crockett, Houston Co., Texas, and died 15 Sep 1931 in La Salle
Co., Texas. She married WILLIAM FRANKLIN BURKS 14 Oct 1858 in
Crockett, Houston Co., Texas. He was born 11 Jun 1839 in Near
White River, White Co., Arkansas, and died 27 Jan 1877 in La
Salle Co., Texas.
Notes for AMANDA M.F. NITE:
Amanda is in
history books as a very colorful lady. In 1924, Amanda was
elected Queen of the Old Trail Drivers of Texas. She served for
25 years. She was the first woman to help drive her own cattle
to Kansas in 1871. She and her husband " Bud", traveled the Old
Chisolm Trail and the Western Trail! She once caused a Prairie
fire that burned for days trying to bake a pie for her husband!
They lived at Shawnee Prairie in Angelina Co., TX. until 1866,
when they moved to Banquette, in Nueces Co., near Corpus
Christi. After living there for ten years, they moved to and
founded the famous " La Mota Ranch" near Cotulla, on the Nueces
River near Old Fort Ewell. Bud had seen the beautiful live oak
grove by a huge natural lake as he returned home to Angelina
from his service in the CSA on the Rio Grande. He had
volunteered in Angelina Co., TX. on 31 March 1862 with Capt.
Browns' Co. D, 22nd. Texas Infantry. He contracted Tuberculosis
while in the army and died the 27 January 1877. Amanda, his
sister Rhoda, and a friend buried him on the " LA Mota " Ranch.
Amanda continued to manage the ranch, buying and selling stock
and adding to her acreage until " La Mota " contained over
42,000 acres with a large two story home and many herds of
goats, sheep, horses, and cattle. Amanda died on the 15th day of
September 1931, and was laid to rest next to her husband in the
ranch cemetery. Their children had died years before and are
buried beside their great- grandfather Martin Jones, in the
Jonesville Cemetery in Huntington, TX. Amanda raised Rhoda and
Capt. Baylors two surviving children on the ranch. She led an
interesting life to say the least about our wonderful ancestor.
A gentleman had also found her so intriguing that he wrote a
novel that based the novel on Amanda. In another book called "
OLD TRAIL DRIVERS OF TEXAS", Amanda includes information of her
trips on the Trails.
In the book
the writter expresses Samuel Dunn Houston's recollections of
Amanda as being a girl who dressed as a man. She joined his
trail crew for four months in 1888 on a drive between New Mexico
and Colorado. Amanda had given in detail, a description of her
trip up the trail with her husband William "Bud" Burks' herd
which was driven to Newton, Kansas. Amanda was living in
Cotulla, Texas when she wrote of her experience.
Mr. W. F. Burks and I lived on a ranch at Banquette, Nueces
County, during the days that Texas cattle could be marketed only
by driving them over the Old Kansas Trail.
At this time
in this section of the country good steers could be bought for
fifteen dollars, and were often killed for the hides and tallow.
The meat was fed to the hogs.
In the early
spring of 1871 Mr. Burks rounded up his cattle and topped out a
thousand head of the best to take to market. Jasper Clark
(better known as "Jap") was getting ready to take the Clark herd
also, so they planned to keep the two herds not far apart.
in April with about ten cowboys each, mostly Mexicans, and the
cooks. The cattle were roadbranded at Pinitas and started on the
familiar trail. They were only a day out when Marcus Banks, my
brother-in-law, came back with a note to me from Mr. Burks
asking me to get ready as soon as possible and catch up with the
bunch. He also said to bring either Eliza or Nick (black girl
and boy who worked for us) to look out for my comfort, and
suggested that Nick would be of more help than the girl.
So Nick and
I started in my little buggy drawn by two good ponies and
overtook the herd in a day's time. Nick, being more skilled than
the camp cook, prepared my meals. He also put up my tent
evenings, and took it down when we broke up camp. It was
intended that he should drive my horses when I was tired, but
that was not necessary, for the horses often had no need of
anyone driving them. They would follow the slow-moving herd
unguided, and I would find a comfortable position, fasten the
lines and take a little nap.
were driven only about ten miles a day, or less, so that they
would have plenty of time to graze and fatten along the way.
They were in good condition when they reached Kansas.
I was lost, I left the bunch only once after starting. On this
occasion I went to Concrete, where my sister lived, to have a
tent made for the trip.
before our herd reached Beeville the Clark herd stampeded and
never caught sight of us until we were 'way up state.
pretty well with us till we neared Lockhart, and here we lost
thirty cows in the timber. They were never recovered.
came to timber we had to rush the cattle through, sometimes
driving all day without stopping, for if they were scattered it
was almost impossible to gather them again in the thick
springtime, the weather was delightful until we reached Central
Texas. Some of the worst electrical and hailstorms I have ever
witnessed were in this part and also in North Texas. The
lightning seemed to settle on the ground and creep along like
Bosque County late one evening a storm overtook us, and Mr.
Burks drove/me off into a more sheltered part of the timber. He
unfastened the traces from the buggy and gave me the lines, but
told me if the horses tried to run to let them go. Hail had
begun to fall by this time and he had to hurry back to help the
men hold the frightened cattle. Harder and heavier fell the
hail, and rain was pouring down in torrents. The horses worked
their way around to one side of the buggy, seeking protection,
and it seemed that it would be only a few seconds until they
pulled away from me entirely. Determined not to let the horses
go, I left the shelter of my buggy top and tied the horses with
a rope I always carried with me. I got back in the buggy and sat
there cold and wet and hungry and all alone in the dark.
Homesick! This is the only time of all the months of my trip
that I wished I was back on the old ranch at Banquette.
seemed ages to me I could hear the rumble of wagon wheels on the
trail, and later still the sound of the beat of a horse's hoofs
going the same way; but no one seemed to pay me any mind.
learned that it was the cook driving the wagon, not knowing
which way to go after being lost in the dark woods; and that Mr.
Burks rode after him to bring him back to cook supper for the
hungry men who had had nothing to eat since morning.
heard the return of the wagon the woods rang with the sound of
Mr. Burks' voice calling me, and I lost no time in answering. It
was one o'clock in the morning when I reached camp.
and several of the others had big blood blisters on their hands
caused by the hail. One of the boys said, "The beat of the hail
on my head made me crazy. I would have run, but didn't know
which way to go."
few people living along the trail, but when going through Ellis
County we saw an old woman sitting in the doorway of a small
house stringing beans. We remarked to her that we saw very few
women in that part of the country. She answered, "Yes, sir, I'm
the first woman that made a track in Dallas County, and I would
be back in Tennessee now, only I would have to go through
Arkansas to get there. I guess I'll stay right here.
Once when we
were camping in Johnson County I heard the bark of dogs followed
by several rapid pistol shots. I ran to my tent to see what the
trouble was. The Mexican who had charge of the cattle on this
relay said that two dogs ran right in among the grazing herd and
were about to stampede them when he shot them.
The owner of
the dogs appeared soon after the shooting and seemed very
downcast over his loss. He said he had "sure been having bad
luck." He had first lost his two sons in the Civil War and had
now lost his two dogs, which he had trained to keep cattle out
of his tiny nearby field. We were sorry for the poor old man,
but knew the Mexican did the right thing in preventing a
We camped a
long time at Fort Worth, waiting for the Trinity River to fall
low enough to cross our cattle. I counted fifteen herds here
waiting to cross.
After we had
crossed the Red River we seemed to have left all civilization
behind. There were no more fresh fields, green meadows, and
timber lands. The sun was so blistering that we hung a cloth
inside the top of my buggy to break the heat that came through.
Evenings and mornings were so cool that we were uncomfortable.
We had heard
of the treacherous Indians and cattle rustlers of the Territory
and were always on the look-out for them. The cattle and horses
were kept well guarded. One day one of the Mexican cowboys, who
was on guard duty fell asleep. Mr. Burks could not permit such
negligence and told the man that he had to go. All the Mexicans
notified Mr. Burks that if this man was "fired" that all would
go with him. Of course there was no one else to be employed in
this uninhabited territory, so we kept the man who had to have
his afternoon nap.
We had no
unpleasant experiences with the Indians, although they came to
camp and tried to trade with the men. We narrowly escaped having
trouble with a couple of what we supposed to be rustlers. While
alone in camp one afternoon two men came up and were throwing
rocks in among the grazing cattle. I called to them to stop and
said, "Don't you know you'll stampede those cattle." and they
answered, "That's what we're trying to do." Just then some of
the men rode up and the rustlers left hurriedly.
always kept his horse saddled at night so that he would be ready
to go at a word from the boys. As he often helped the men watch
the cattle when they were restless, I was sometimes alone in my
tent till late at night. On these occasions I sat up fully
dressed for any emergency.
On one of
these nights it was thought that Indians were near, so a guard
was left at my tent, but he was soon called to help with the
cattle. A man from the other camp begged me to go over to his
camp and stay until the trouble was over, but I told him I
preferred my own tent. The men thought me very brave to stay
alone at such a time.
and our herds were stampeded one day, supposedly by Indians. It
was a horrible yet fascinating sight. Frantic cowboys did all in
their power to stop the wild flight, but nothing but exhaustion
could check it. By working almost constantly the men gathered
the cattle in about a week's time. They were all thrown into one
big herd, and the roar of hoff-beats of two thousand milling
cattle was almost deafening. The herd was divided into two, then
worked back and forth until every cow was in her rightful bunch.
experience of this kind the men would be almost exhausted. I
felt so sorry for one of them, Branch Isbell, a young
tenderfoot, that I persuaded Mr. Burks to let him rest. The boy
lay down and was soon sleeping so soundly that he did not hear
us breaking camp, and we forgot him when we left. I wanted
somone to go back and wake him, but Mr. Burks said that it would
be only a little while till he appeared again. The boy overtook
us late in the evening, and said that he would not have awakened
then if an approaching herd had not almost ran over him.
We seemed to
be pursued by fire during our entire trip. The first night we
were in the Territory Mr. Burks and I went to sleep, leaving a
candle burning, and before we were awakened a box full of
trinkets and small articles, including my comb, were in a blaze.
occasion a prairie fire ran us out of camp before breakfast. We
escaped by fleeing to a part of the plain which had been burned
before, called "a burn" by people of that section.
later my ignorance was the cause of an immense prairie fire. I
thought I would build a fire in a gulley while the cook had gone
for water. Not later than I had struck the match than the grass
all around was in a blaze which spread so quickly that the men
could not stop it. They succeeded in beating out the flanks of
the fire so that it did not spread out at the sides at the
beginning. The fire blazed highter than a house and went
straight ahead for fifty miles or more. Investigators came next
day to find out who the culprit was, and when they learned that
it was a woman, nothing was said, except for a remark one of the
men made that he was glad that he didn't strike the match.
Once when we
were encamped on Emmet Creek a fire crept upon us so quickly
that the men barely had time to break up camp and get the cattle
to safety. There was not time enough to harness the horses to my
buggy, so the men tied ropes to it, told me to jump in, and we
again fled to a burn. Birds and animals fled with us before the
Many of the
prairie fires were started by squatters on land who wanted to
keep strangers away. They would plough a safety boundary around
their stake and then set fire to the grass outside.
very scarce because of these fires and the cook often had to go
miles to get enough to cook a meal.
many nice cool streams whose banks were covered with wild plums.
I noticed the ripe ones first when crossing the Washita, and
wanted to stop to gather some. Mr. Burks wasn't ready to stop,
so told me that the Indians were very troublesome at this place,
and I needed no coaxing to start the horses on.
we came to the Canadian River, the red, blue, and yellow plums
were so tempting I had one of the Mexicans stop with me to
gather some. We wandered farther away from the buggy than I
realized, and when we had gone back a short way I thought the
horses had run away and left us. I was panicstricken, but the
Mexican insisted that we go farther up stream, and we soon found
the horses standing just as they were left. I forgot my scare
when the cook served me with delicious plum pie made from the
fruit I had gathered.
only woman in camp, the men rivaled each other in attentiveness
to me. They were always on the lookout for something to please
me, a suprise of some delicacy of the wild fruit, or prairie
chicken, or antelope tongue.
northern part of the Territory we left the trail a while to
graze the cattle, and I drove on ahead of the bunch to a stream.
"Jap" Clark motioned to me to stop, but I misunderstood him and
thought he meant "go on," and plunged my horses in the swollen
creek. One of the horses stumbled and fell, but was on his feet
in a moment, and somhow I was jolted across to the other side. I
was the subject of much chaffing because of this alleged attempt
to break my neck. The crossing was so bad that the banks had to
be chopped down to make it safe for crossing the cattle.
On the banks
of the Arkansas River we saw two Yankees who called themselves
farmers. When we asked to see their farms they showed us two
plots about the size of a small garden. They said they had never
farmed before, and we easily believed them. Vegetables were a
great treat to us, so we bought some from the "farmers" and
enjoyed them immensely.
cook on this trip was a very surly negro. he was a constant
source of trouble, and everybody was glad when he was "fired"
and a white man took his place. I heard a commotion in the camp
kitchen one day and when I looked out of the tent door I saw the
cook with a raised axe and a Mexican facing him with a cocked
pistol. Mr. Burks rode up in time to prevent a killing.
three months on the trail when we arrived at Emmet Creek,
twenty-two miles from Newton, Kansas.
here, as did several other Texas ranchmen. Market had broken,
and everybody that could do so held his cattle hoping for a
to town we would often stop at the different camps for a few
and rainy nights a candle alway burned in my tent to guide the
men. One very stormy night Mr. Burks had to help the men hold
the cattle, and he saw the light in the tent flare, then all was
black. He rushed through the rain to the place where the tent
was and found it flat on the ground, me buried under it, unhurt.
The rain had softened the ground and the wind easily blew the
tent down. That night all the matches got wet and it was late
next morning before we got others with which to start a fire.
weather came the market was still low and Mr. Burks decided to
winter his cattle, with others he bought, on Smoky River.
wanted me to stay in town at Ellsmore, but after being there a
few days, and witnessing another fire in which a hotel and
several residences were burned, I preferred camp.
A man who
lived some distance from camp was paid to feed the horses
through the winter, but soon after we heard that he was starving
them. A boy was sent to get them and as he was returning, the
first severe snowstorm of the season overtook him at nightfall
and he had to take refuge for himself and horses in a wayside
stable. Next morning he was awakened by a commotion among the
horses, and found the owner of the stable trying to punch out
the horses' eyes with a pitchfork. Such was the hatred felt for
strangers in this region.
were lost in this snowstorm. Many of the young cattle lost their
horns form the cold. Blocks of ice had to be chopped out of the
streams in order that the cattle could drink.
taste of early winter in Kansas decided Mr. Burks to sell his
cattle and leave for Sunny Texas as soon as possible, and he met
with no discouragement of his plans from me, for never had I
endured such cold.
December we left Kansas, dressed as if we were Esquimaux, and
carrying a bucket of frozen buffalo tongues as a souvenir for my
friends in Texas. Our homeward journey was made by rail to New
Orleans via St. Louis, and by water from New Orleans to Corpus
Christi via Galveston and Indianola.
home in much better health than when I left it nine months
think, now that I've finished telling the few stories of my trip
over the Old Kansas Trail, that the journey was one of trials
and hardships. These incidents served to break the monotony of
sameness of such a trip.
One day Mr.
Von said as we were resting along the way, "In the heat of the
day, when I am riding behind my cattle, I think of you and am
sorry for you, " and added, as I hope you will, " but when I see
your smile of happiness and contentment I know all my sympathy
What Mr. Von
said is true. For what woman, youthful and full of spirit and
the love of living, needs sympathy because of availing herself
of the opportunity of being with her husband while at his chosen
work in the great out-of-door world?" written by Mrs. A.
Burks of Cotulla, Texas
message was sent to me on 19 Aug 2000 from Donna Donnell from
Ft. Worth, Tx.
Congratulations! Amanda is going to be inducted in the Texas
Trail of Fame! I need a couple of things. I good photo of her,
I would like one where she is younger, mid thirties if
possible...or what ever you have. I need names and address of
family members to invite to the breakfast and ceremony. October
28th, here in
Fort Worth. You can invite anyone you want. However, the
breakfast is limited. Also, who would accept the award on her
Fort Worth, TX
Notes for WILLIAM FRANKLIN BURKS:
William " Bud
" came to Texas as a small boy from White Co., Arkansas, not far
from Little Rock. He met his bride in Texas I believe. His wife
later became known as Mrs. Amanda Burks, Prairie Queen of The
Texas Trail Drivers.
William and Amanda's home on the 1870 Nueces Co., Texas Census
are Simpson and Unity's children and William's step natural
sister and step siblings Rhody, Margaret, Marcus and John. They
also have a 9 year old black domestic servant named Eliza from
Texas residing in the home. They do not have Napolean with them.
Children of AMANDA NITE and WILLIAM BURKS
i. JOHN A.3
BURKS, b. 23 Sep 1859, Jonesville, Angelina Co., Texas; d. 08
Jun 1860, Jonesville, Angelina Co., Texas. John was only 9 mo.
old when he died of Typhoid Fever. The only natural son that Bud
and Amanda were to have.
ii. LUCY PHETNA
BURKS, b. 01 Jul 1861, Jonesville, Angelina Co., Texas; d. 06
Feb 1865, Shawnee Prairie, near Jonesville, Angelina Co., Texas.
Notes for LUCY PHETNA BURKS:
Lucy it is
believed, might have died from diptheria. She was only four
years old when she died. She had died while her mother Amanda
was away taking Bud back to the war. Bud had been home on
Furlough for a few days, and it was a days journey back, so Bud
wouldn't have to walk so far, Amanda rode him closer to his
destination.They left little Lucy in care of Buds' brothers and
sisters who were living with them at Shawnee Prairie. That
night, Amanda was riding towards home and leading Buds' horse,
when she saw someone in the darkness ahead. She ordered the
person to halt and identify himself!! The Negro man stopped and
told her he was riding to meet Mrs. Burks to tell her that her
five year old daughter Lucy was dead! Lucy had taken sick
suddenly, after Bud and Amanda had left the home and she died
very sudden. This would be Bud and Amandas' only natural
daughter. After the death of Bud and Amandas' children, they
were never blessed with children again..
6. LUCY ANN3 NITE (JAMES
MONROE2, JOHN EDWARD1)
was born 1857 in Houston Co., Texas. She married HARVEY
Children of LUCY NITE and HARVEY HUNTER
ii. JANE HUNTER.
7. AMANDA F.3 NITE (JAMES
MONROE2, JOHN EDWARD1)
was born 1859, and died in Stockdale, Wilson Co., Texas. She
married JAMES W. TAYLOR 18 Apr 1881 in Gonzales, Texas.
Children of AMANDA NITE and JAMES TAYLOR
iii. MARTHA TAYLOR.
8. FRANCIS OCTAVIA3 NITE
(JAMES MONROE2, JOHN EDWARD1)
was born 19 Oct 1860 in Angelina Co., Texas, and died 19 Jul
1935 in Stockdale, Wilson Co., Texas. She married JOHN LIPSCOMB
MEDEARIS 08 Aug 1882 in Gonzales Co., Texas. He was born 29 Jun
1859 in Shelbyville, Bedford Co., TN., and died 24 Jul 1942 in
Stockdale, Wilson Co., Texas.
Children of FRANCIS NITE and JOHN MEDEARIS
MEDEARIS, m. LIVING BURRIS.
ii. IRMA OLAF
MEDEARIS, b. Aft. 1882, Texas; m. RANSOM LEO HIGHTOWER.
iii. LUCY ETHEL
MEDEARIS, b. 27 May 1883, Onion Creek, Travis Co., Texas; m.
iv. MARY ADDIE
MEDEARIS, b. 02 Jan 1885, Onion Creek, Travis Co., Texas; m.
ELIJAH CHARLES COZART.
v. EVA ELLEN
MEDEARIS, b. 23 Jan 1887, Onion Creek, Travis Co., Texas; m.
WILLIAM OSCAR MARTIN.
vi. WILEY NITE
MEDEARIS, b. 26 Dec 1890, Onion Creek, Travis Co., Texas; m.
vii. MEDA A.
MEDEARIS, b. 26 Dec 1890, Onion Creek, Travis Co., Texas; m.
viii. HARVEY HARDEY
MEDEARIS, b. 08 Sep 1892, Stockdale, Wilson Co., Texas; m.
ix. EDNA ETTA
MEDEARIS, b. 18 May 1896, Caddo, Wilson Co., Texas; m. ROSS
x. FANNIE LOU
MEDEARIS, b. 06 Feb 1898, Stockdale, Wilson Co., Texas; m. (1)
CHARLIE SMALLEY; m. (2) MR. MCCREADY.
9. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS3 NITE
(JAMES MONROE2, JOHN EDWARD1)
was born 1869 in Bastrop Co., Texas, and died 06 Feb 1897 in
Rust Ranch, Menard Co., Texas. He married IDA QUINEY 23 Oct
1890 in Wilson Co., Texas. She was born Dec 1870.
Children of CHRISTOPHER NITE and IDA
ii. EDWARD NITE.
10. EVA3 NITE (JAMES MONROE2,
JOHN EDWARD1) was born 1873 in Bastrop
Co., Texas. She married (1) LONNIE NORWOOD. She married (2)
MARCUS AURELUIS DILWORTH 15 Jun 1890 in Wilson Co., Texas. He
was born 07 Feb 1860 in Gonzales Co., Texas, and died 30 Jul
1893 in Standley, I.T..
More About MARCUS AURELUIS DILWORTH:
Masonic Cemetery, Gonzales Co., Texas
Child of EVA NITE and LONNIE NORWOOD is:
i. MATTIE ELLEN4
Child of EVA NITE and MARCUS DILWORTH is:
11. SARAH LUCY3 SMITH (LUCY
JANE2 NITE, JOHN EDWARD1)
was born 19 Mar 1861 in Houston Co., Texas, and died 23 Apr 1935
in Carrizo Springs, Dimmit Co., Texas. She married THOMAS HENRY
SR. GARDNER 17 Jun 1879 in Frio Co., Texas. He was born 05 Apr
1856 in Gates Valley, Atascosa Co., Texas, and died 30 Sep 1924
in Carrizo Springs, Dimmit Co., Texas.
Notes for THOMAS HENRY SR. GARDNER:
in the home of Thomas and Lucy in 1920 Carrizo Springs, Texas,
were their Elliott grandchildren Robbie G. Elliott, female, age
12, born in Tx., their grandson Albert Elliott, age 10, born in
Tx., Edwina Elliott, female, age 8, born in Tx. Maurine Elliott,
female, age 6, born in Texas, Victor H. Elliott, grandson, age
4, born in Tx. and grandson Jack Elliott, age 1, born in Texas.
Children of SARAH SMITH and THOMAS GARDNER
iii. GEORGIA GARDNER, b. 08 Apr 1880, San Angelo, Tom
Green Co., Texas; d. 01 Nov 1929, Valley Wells, Dimmit Co.,
iv. VIOLA GARDNER,
b. 01 Jan 1882, Frio Co., Texas; d. 27 Jan 1960, Texas.
THOMAS HENRY JR. GARDNER, b. 27 Jul 1883, Dimmit Co., Texas; d.
11 Nov 1947, Dimmit Co., Texas.
vi. JOE L. GARDNER, b.
05 Dec 1884, Dimmit Co., Texas; d. 27 Nov 1953, Carrizo Springs,
Dimmit Co., Texas.
vii. EDNA GARDNER,
b. 08 Feb 1886, Dimmit Co., Texas; d. Nov 1918, Laredo, Texas.
viii. CHARLES ALFRED SR. GARDNER, b. 18 Mar 1887, Dimmit
Co., Texas; d. 13 Mar 1950.
ix. ELSIE GARDNER,
b. 29 Jul 1888, Texas.
ROBERT JAMES SR. GARDNER, b. 22 Dec 1889, Texas.
xi. ALICE GARDNER,
b. 17 Dec 1891, Texas.
xii. MARTHA ANNE
GARDNER, b. 11 Sep 1893, Texas.
GARDNER, b. 15 Apr 1895, Texas.
xiv. KATHERINE A.
GARDNER, b. 02 Oct 1897, Texas.
xv. OTTO ARTHUR
GARDNER, b. 10 Dec 1899, Texas.
12. CARRIE VIOLA3 SMITH
(LUCY JANE2 NITE, JOHN EDWARD1)
was born 07 Dec 1874 in Texas. She married (1) CHARLES LAWLESS
Bef. 1917. She married (2) CALVIN ELLIOTT ROOKSTOOL 21 Dec
1917 in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Children of CARRIE SMITH and CHARLES
LAWLESS are all living.