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John Edward Nite and Lucy Stepp

(NOTE: Author of the Notes on this page are unknown)


Generation No. 1


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.



  John 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.

  John and 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.

  They were 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.

  There was 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 abandoned!

  John didn't 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.

  John's life 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.

Burial: 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., Texas.

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., Texas.

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.



Generation No. 2


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.


Burial: Longview Cemetery, Near Bigfoot, Frio Co., Texas      

Children of JAMES NITE and MARTHA HARRIS are:

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., Texas.

                  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.


                   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 are:

                  ii.       WILLIAM JASPER3 NITE, b. 22 Nov 1862, Houston Co., Texas; d. 07 Apr 1920, Marlow, Stephens Co., Oklahoma.

                 iii.       FRANCIS ADELINE NITE, b. 11 Dec 1864, Houston Co., Texas; d. 30 Nov 1933.

                 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.


Robert (Bob) 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 $884.

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 line.

Children of LUCY NITE and ROBERT SMITH are:

                   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 Co., Texas.

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; d. 1956.

                  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.

  "My husband, 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.

  They started 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.

  The cattle 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.

  Except when 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.

  The night before our herd reached Beeville the Clark herd stampeded and never caught sight of us until we were 'way up state.

  All went pretty well with us till we neared Lockhart, and here we lost thirty  cows in the timber. They were never recovered.

  Whenever we 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 undergrowth.

  Being 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 something alive.

  Over in 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.

  After what 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.

  Later I 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.

  After I 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.

  Mr. Burks 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."

  There were 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 stampede.

  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.

  Mr. Burks 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.

  Both Clark 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.

  After an 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.

  On one 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.

  Two days 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 flames.

  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.

  Fuel was very scarce because of these fires and the cook often had to go miles to get enough to cook a meal.

  We crossed 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.

  Later, when 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.

  Being the 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.

  In the 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.

  The camp 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.

  We were three months on the trail when we arrived at  Emmet Creek, twenty-two miles from Newton, Kansas.

  We summered here, as did several other Texas ranchmen. Market had broken, and everybody that could do so held his cattle hoping for a rise.

  While going to town we would often stop at the different camps for a few minutes' chat.

  On stormy 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.

  When cold weather came the market was still low and Mr. Burks decided to winter his cattle, with others he bought, on Smoky River.

  Mr. Burks 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.

  Nine horses 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.

  The first 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.

  So in 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.

  I arrived home in much better health than when I left it nine months before.

  Please don't 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 is wasted."

  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

The following 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 behalf.

Donna Donnell

Fort Worth, TX 76108"



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.

Residing in 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 are:

                   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.



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..



Generation No. 3


6.  LUCY ANN3 NITE (JAMES MONROE2, JOHN EDWARD1) was born 1857 in Houston Co., Texas.  She married HARVEY HUNTER. 

Children of LUCY NITE and HARVEY HUNTER are:

                   i.       LEE4 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 are:

                   i.       MAUDIE4 TAYLOR.

                  ii.       HOUSTON 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.      


                   i.       LIVING4 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. MONROE GARNER.

                 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. BERTHA STEVENSON.

                vii.       MEDA A. MEDEARIS, b. 26 Dec 1890, Onion Creek, Travis Co., Texas; m. WILEY MONTGOMERY.

               viii.       HARVEY HARDEY MEDEARIS, b. 08 Sep 1892, Stockdale, Wilson Co., Texas; m. ELMIRA HICKS.

                  ix.       EDNA ETTA MEDEARIS, b. 18 May 1896, Caddo, Wilson Co., Texas; m. ROSS HEMBY.

                   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.


                   i.       CHRISTOPHER4 NITE.

                  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..


Burial: Masonic Cemetery, Gonzales Co., Texas      


                   i.       MATTIE ELLEN4 NORWOOD.



                  ii.       CARLE4 DILWORTH.


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.


Also residing 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.


                   i.       LIVING4 GARDNER.

                  ii.       LIVING GARDNER.

                 iii.       GEORGIA GARDNER, b. 08 Apr 1880, San Angelo, Tom Green Co., Texas; d. 01 Nov 1929, Valley Wells, Dimmit Co., Texas.

                 iv.       VIOLA GARDNER, b. 01 Jan 1882, Frio Co., Texas; d. 27 Jan 1960, Texas.

                 v.       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.

                  x.       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.

                xiii.       CARRIE 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.