The Decrows of Decros Point
and Matagorda County


History & Photo Submitted by Pat Nichols

 

 

Photo
Sarah Decrow (b c 1846) & Cordelia Decrow (b Aug. 4, 1847),
daughters of Thomas & Lucretia Decrow.
Sarah and her daughter, Azubah Humphrey, died in the
1875 hurricane when the Decrow house was swept into
Matagorda Bay. Cordelia's house was further down the
peninsula. She, her husband, Henry Peaslee and their
infant child survived.

 



 


I returned to searching my ancestors after a long lapse about five years ago after a family reunion.  My mother’s oral history included stories that our Decrow ancestors settled in Matagorda County and were among Stephen F Austin’s Old 300.  I began searching on the internet and discovered in “The Handbook of Texas Online” that indeed Daniel D Decrow was one of the Old Three Hundred.  Daniel is my 2nd great granduncle.  These were the first 300 colonists brought to Texas by Austin.  I then searched the USGenWeb and discovered the existence of the two-volume set Historic Matagorda County.  I found a used set online and was very excited when it arrived.  The Decrows are mentioned throughout Volume I.  There were sketches on my 2nd great grandfather, Thomas, and my 2nd great granduncles, Daniel, Elijah, and Howard.  I made my first contact with Carol Sue Gibbs at that time and she has continued to help and advise me in my research.  My mother and I made a trip to Bay City and spent an afternoon searching the Matagorda County Museum Archives.  The next day we searched the Courthouse land records and visited the Genealogy section at the Bay City Public Library.  Since that visit, I have continued and expanded my research of my Decrow ancestors.  The brothers were born in Maine.  They descend from Valentine Decrow who was in Marshfield, Plymouth Colony by 1680.  Their mother Azubah Gay Decrow descends from Mayflower passenger William White.  This connection was a total surprise.  This information augments and corrects some of the information found in Historic Matagorda County.    --Pat Nichols


This is a history of the Decrows, who left Lincolnville, Maine for Texas. Thomas Decrow was my 2nd great grandfather, and his daughter Cordelia, was my great grandmother. Thomas and three of his brothers, Daniel, Elijah, and Howard all came to Texas in search of land.

Thomas Decrow was born in Lincolnville, Waldo, Maine, on 1, August 1804, the 2nd youngest son of Daniel and Azubah Gay Decrow. Thomas immigrated to Texas in 1831. He joined his oldest brother, Daniel Decrow, in Matagorda County. He returned to Maine four years later to marry Lucretia Morton. The marriage intentions were filed on 6 Oct 1835 in Bristol, Lincoln, Maine. The marriage was solemnized on 29 October 1835. Thomas and Lucretia returned to Matagorda County and Thomas received 300 acres located on Matagorda Peninsula from Hamilton L Cook to settle a $200 debt between the two. The document promises that title will be passed to Thomas once Hamilton received the title. The property was a league selected and located by Bernard Valentine and sold to Hamilton. The bond is dated 23 September 1838.

 


Matagorda Bulletin, September 13, 1837


Seven children were born to Thomas and Lucretia; some of the dates of birth are approximate and are based on the 1850, 1860, and 1870 census information. The children were Rebecca, 1837, Robert, 1841, Olivia, 29 November 1841, Azubah, 1844, Sarah, 1846, Cordelia, 4 August 1847, and Thomas W Decrow, 14 November 1849. In the 1850 census, two additional Decrow family members are found in the household. They are living on Decros Point. They were Thomas’s older brother, Elijah, and Thomas’s nephew Robert, age 20. Robert Decrow, age 20, is the son of Thomas’s older brother, Robert, and Harriet Wade Decrow. I have found no evidence that brother, Robert, ever came to Texas. The elder Robert inherited the Decrow house and farm in Lincolnville in return for caring for his aged parents. 

In the 1860 census, two other Decrow family members are listed in Thomas’s household. Emma, age 18 and Susan, age 16. They are the daughters of Thomas’s younger brother, Howard, and Mary Kuykendall Decrow, both deceased by this time. Rebecca is no longer in the household as she married Joseph Cherry on 22 November 1858. The Thomas Decrow household is in Dwelling #1 and Family #1 in the order visited. Robert, the nephew is in Dwelling #7 but is Family #2. The dwellings in between are listed as “Unoccupied”.

In the 1870 census, the household consists of Thomas, Lucretia, Robert, Olivia, Thomas W, and brother, Elijah. The household is in Dwelling #46, Family #39. On the census, Rebecca and her stepson Thomas Cherry appear in Dwelling #45, Family 38; Rebecca is now a widow. Daughter Cordelia is in Dwelling 43, Family #37 with her husband Henry Norcross Peaslee, and their first-born son, Decrow Aldred Peaslee, age 1. Her father-in- law Stephen Peaslee is also in the household. Henry married Cordelia 11 December 1867 in Calhoun County. Sarah Decrow and John Magness Humphrey witnessed the marriage. Sarah married John Magnus Humphrey on 27 March 1868 in Calhoun County. In the 1870 census, they lived on Matagorda Island, Calhoun County with their son James, aged 1. I have found no further record of Azubah.

Thomas’ occupation is listed as a stock raiser or stock farmer in all of the censuses. His brands have appeared in previous issues of “Oak Leaves”. In the 1850 census, his real estate is valued at $6,000. In the 1860 census, his real estate is valued at $17,567 and his personal estate is valued at $30,350. In the 1870 census, his real estate is valued at $3000 and his personal estate as $7500. He raised cattle and sheep. 

Thomas made at least two return trips to Maine, one to marry and one to visit his sister Olivia Decrow Hall Doane. I have a copy of a telegram sent from Winterport, Maine dated 25 July, 1874 to David Sims received at Indianola on 25 July, 1874 indicating that he arrived at his sister’s and all was well. 

Thomas, Lucretia, Sarah Decrow Humphrey, Robert, and Rebecca Decrow Cherry all drowned when the hurricane of September 17, 1875 destroyed the Decrow house. The house was built and designed to withstand Texas storms. Several friends and neighbors joined the family to ride out the storm, most of them also perished. The violence of the storm washed out the anchor posts of the house drowning those that sheltered there. Cordelia, nicknamed “Ting”, survived the storm because she and her family apparently stayed at their house. According to the September 24, 1875 edition of the “Victoria Advocate” Olivia, nicknamed “Todd”, survived the storm as she was staying with a sick friend in Saluria, and Thomas W. Decrow survived. “The Advocate” indicates that Thomas or “Phut” Decrow was swept away but was rescued. Our family oral history does not include this story about Thomas, nor does his obituary mention this story. Both our family oral history and Olivia’s obituary indicate that Olivia was swept away and rescued. She was staying on Matagorda Island with Mrs. Nicholls, the sick friend. The Nicholls house was destroyed and according to Olivia’s obituary published in the “Williamson County Sun”, thirteen people perished. Henry Nicholls, the son, and Olivia floated off on the roof and grabbed a wooden gutter to stay afloat. The gutter kept them afloat until they reached a small island, which contained a single small cedar tree. They clung to the tree until morning when they were rescued by Captain S. K. Brown.

The three surviving siblings relocated to Georgetown, Williamson, Texas, after the storm.  Thomas married Jennie Cook 3 June 1878 in Calhoun County. Olivia married Joe Page 10 October 1883 in Williamson, County. Olivia and Joe Page had no children, Thomas and Jennie Decrow had two, and Cordelia and Henry Peaslee had eight children. Olivia died 12 April 1903 at her home in Georgetown. Thomas died 4 January 1921 of pneumonia at his home in Georgetown, and Cordelia died 7 July 1934 at her home in Georgetown. They are all buried in the IOOF Cemetery in Georgetown.

Olivia Decrow’s will was written 1 August 1901 and was included in her probate file in Williamson County.  She included a bequest of $1000.00 to S. K. Brown, who rescued her from the small island after the devastating hurricane.  The will further states that if S. K. Brown should die before the will was carried out; the bequest is to go to his wife Molly Brown.  Additional bequests were made to the children of Thomas W. Cherry, Rebecca Decrow Cherry’s stepson. The will states that Thomas W Cherry was “our old ranch keeper”. She left $300 to Olivia Cherry, possibly her namesake.  The remainder of the surviving Cherry children received $100 each.  Olivia left a large estate valued at $108,046.27, the remainder went to her brother, Thomas and to her sister Cordelia’s children.

 

Family Group Sheet

Subject  Cordelia Decrow (1293, 0028)

                  Birth    4 Aug 1847 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Marriage   11 Dec 1867 Calhoun County, Texas.

                  Death    7 Jul 1934 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Burial    8 Jul 1934 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Father  Thomas Decrow (845, 0032) (b. 1 Aug 1804, d. 17 Sep 1875)

                  Mother  Lucretia Morton (187, 0032) (b. 1810, d. 17 Sep 1875)

         Spouse  Henry Norcross Peaslee (1292, 0028)

                  Birth   12 Dec 1838 Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky.

                  Baptism:    8 Jun 1840 Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky.

                  Witness:   27 Dec 1860 Marriage; Carl O Edelmann (317, 0081) and Ada Irwin Peaslee (1428, 0081, 0082); Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky.

                  Death    2 Feb 1913 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Burial   __ ___ 1913 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Father  Stephen Moody Peaslee (1426, 0029) (b. 1808, d. 1 Feb 1873)

                  Mother Susan Danforth Norcross (1368, 0029) (b. 22 Sep 1811, d. 17 Dec 1876)

 

         Eight Known Children:

 

         M  Decrow Aldred Peaslee (1294, 0028)

                  Birth   16 Nov 1868 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Death   __ ___ 1943

                  Burial   __ ___ 1943 IOOF Cemetery, Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

 

         M  Roland Elmer Peaslee (163, 0028)

                  Birth    6 Feb 1871 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Burial   __ Nov 1894 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death   10 Nov 1894

 

         F  Edna Morton Peaslee (1295, 0085)

                  Birth    8 Aug 1872 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Marriage    7 Jun 1907 James L VAUGHT (1297, 0085) (b. 9 Feb 1855, d. 1940); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Daughter:   __ May 1908 Verna Mae VAUGHT (1298); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death   __ ___ 1948

                  Burial   __ ___ ____ IOOF Cemetery, Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

 

         F  Anita Peaslee (1296)

                  Birth   21 Jan 1874 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Marriage    9 Nov 1897 James Allen CHALLENER (5753)

 

         M  Thomas Robert Peaslee (5609, 0080)

                  Birth   17 Feb 1876 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Marriage   12 Jul 1900 Jennie Marlowe Trott (5591, 0080)

                          (b. 21 Dec 1879, d. 21 Jun 1965), daughter of G A Trott (6075)

                  Son:   27 Apr 1901 Elmer Kenneth Peaslee (5752); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Son:   __ ___ 1901 Baby - Trott Peaslee (5760)

                  Daughter:    7 Jul 1904 Mabel Peaslee (5756)

                  Son:    2 Oct 1906 G Henry Peaslee (6929); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death    3 Jan 1944

                  Burial   after 3 Jan Georgetown, Williamson, Texas. 1944

 

         M  Otis Peaslee (162, 0028)

                  Birth   17 Sep 1878 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death   10 Dec 1920 San Antonio, Bexar, Texas.

                  Burial   11 Dec 1920 IOOF Cemetery, Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

 

         F  Alma Todd Peaslee (322)

                  Birth    9 Jun 1881 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Burial   __ ___ 1885 IOOF Cemetery, Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death   16 Sep 1885 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

 

         F  Sudie Ada Peaslee (28, 0025)

                  Birth   10 Sep 1883 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Marriage   14 May 1912 Frederick Vinther (27, 0025, 0092) (b. 1 Jan 1876, d. 23 Sep 1948), son of Hans Christian Vinther (33, 0026) and Ida Frederikka Otilia SUVA (34, 0026); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Son:    2 Feb 1913 Maurice Elton Vinther (1291, 0025); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Son:    1 May 1916 Edwin Carl Vinther (1290, 0025); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Daughter:   20 Apr 1923 Anna May Vinther (24, 0041, 0091); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death   27 Dec 1957 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Burial   29 Dec 1957 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

 

Family Group Sheet

Subject  Olivia Decrow (165, 0075)

                  Birth   __ ___ 1842 Matagorda County, Texas.

                  Marriage   10 Oct 1883 Williamson, Texas.

                  Death    9 Apr 1903 Williamson County, Texas.

                  Burial   12 Apr 1903 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Father  Thomas Decrow (845, 0032) (b. 1 Aug 1804, d. 17 Sep 1875)

                  Mother  Lucretia Morton (187, 0032) (b. 1810, d. 17 Sep 1875)

         Spouse  Joseph M Page (166, 0075)

                  Birth   __ ___ ____ Massachusetts.

                  Burial   __ ___ ____ Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Father              

                  Mother              

         No Known Children

 

Family Group Sheet

Subject  Rebecca Decrow (188, 0072)

                  Birth   __ ___ 1838 Matagorda County, Texas.

                  Marriage   22 Nov 1858

                  Death   17 Sep 1875 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Father  Thomas Decrow (845, 0032) (b. 1 Aug 1804, d. 17 Sep 1875)

                  Mother  Lucretia Morton (187, 0032) (b. 1810, d. 17 Sep 1875)    

         Spouse  Joseph Cherry (193, 0072)

                  Marriage   __ ___ ____ Unknown (--?--) (5765)

                  Father             

                  Mother

         No Known Children

 

Family Group Sheet

Subject  Thomas Decrow (845, 0032)

                  Birth    1 Aug 1804 Lincolnville, Waldo, Maine.

                  Marriage   29 Oct 1835 Bristol, Lincoln, Maine.

                  Death   17 Sep 1875 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Father  Daniel D Decrow (775, 0033) (b. 17 Nov 1758,      )

                  Mother  Azubah Gay (773, 0033) (b. 19 Oct 1765,           )

         Spouse  Lucretia Morton (187, 0032)

                  Birth   __ ___ 1810 Bristol, Lincoln, Maine.

                  Death   17 Sep 1875 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Father              

                  Mother     

 

         Seven Known Children:

 

         F  Rebecca Decrow (188, 0072)

                  Birth   __ ___ 1838 Matagorda County, Texas.

                  Marriage   22 Nov 1858 Joseph Cherry (193, 0072)

                  Death   17 Sep 1875 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

 

         M  Robert Decrow (190)

                  Birth   __ ___ 1840 Matagorda County, Texas.

                  Death   17 Sep 1875 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

 

         F  Olivia Decrow (165, 0075)

                  Birth   __ ___ 1842 Matagorda County, Texas.

                  Marriage   10 Oct 1883 Joseph M Page (166, 0075); Williamson, Texas.

                  Death    9 Apr 1903 Williamson County, Texas.

                  Burial   12 Apr 1903 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

 

         F  Azubah Decrow (192)

                  Birth   __ ___ 1845 Matagorda County, Texas.

 

         F  Sarah Decrow (191, 0074)

                  Birth   __ ___ 1846 Matagorda County, Texas.

                  Witness:   11 Dec 1867 Marriage; Cordelia Decrow (1293, 0028) and Henry Norcross Peaslee (1292, 0028); Calhoun County, Texas.

                  Marriage   27 Mar 1868 John Magnus Humphrey (168, 0074) (b. 1846,          ); Calhoun  County, Texas.

                  Son:   __ ___ 1869 James Humphrey (525); Calhoun County, Texas.

                  Death   17 Sep 1875 Matagorda Peninsula, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Daughter: Azubah Humphrey (6076)

                  Son:  J H Humphrey (6520)

 

         F  Cordelia Decrow (1293, 0028)

                  Birth    4 Aug 1847 Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Marriage   11 Dec 1867 Henry Norcross Peaslee (1292, 0028) (b. 12 Dec 1838, d. 2 Feb 1913), son of Stephen Moody Peaslee (1426, 0029) and Susan Danforth Norcross (1368, 0029); Calhoun County, Texas.

                  Son:   16 Nov 1868 Decrow Aldred Peaslee (1294, 0028); Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Son:    6 Feb 1871 Roland Elmer Peaslee (163, 0028); Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Daughter:    8 Aug 1872 Edna Morton Peaslee (1295, 0085); Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Daughter:   21 Jan 1874 Anita Peaslee (1296); Decros Pt, Matagorda, Texas.

                  Son:   17 Feb 1876 Thomas Robert Peaslee (5609, 0080); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Son:   17 Sep 1878 Otis Peaslee (162, 0028); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Daughter:    9 Jun 1881 Alma Todd Peaslee (322); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Daughter:   10 Sep 1883 Sudie Ada Peaslee (28, 0025); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death    7 Jul 1934 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Burial    8 Jul 1934 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

 

         M  Thomas W Decrow (164, 0068)

                  Birth   14 Nov 1849 Matagorda County, Texas.

                  Marr Lic:    1 Jun 1878 Jennie Cook (167, 0068) (b. 7 Apr 1856, d. 23 Mar 1926), daughter of Jane C COOK (4961); Calhoun County, Texas.

                  Marriage    3 Jun 1878 Jennie Cook (167, 0068) (b. 7 Apr 1856, d. 23 Mar 1926), daughter of Jane C COOK (4961); Calhoun County, Texas.

                  Daughter:    9 Nov 1879 Azubah Tom Decrow (5311, 0076); Williamson County, Texas.

                  Son:   13 Sep 1888 Thomas W Decrow Jr (216, 0069); Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Burial   __ ___ 1921 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death    4 Jan 1921

 

Family Group Sheet

Subject  Thomas W. Decrow (164, 0068)

                  Birth   14 Nov 1849 Matagorda County, Texas.

                  Marr Lic:    1 Jun 1878 Calhoun County, Texas.

                  Marriage    3 Jun 1878 Calhoun County, Texas.

                  Burial   __ ___ 1921 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Death    4 Jan 1921

                  Father  Thomas Decrow (845, 0032) (b. 1 Aug 1804, d. 17 Sep 1875)

                  Mother  Lucretia Morton (187, 0032) (b. 1810, d. 17 Sep 1875)

         Spouse  Jennie Cook (167, 0068)

                  Birth    7 Apr 1856

                  Death   23 Mar 1926

                  Father              

                  Mother  Jane C COOK (4961) (b. 16 Apr 1830, d. 23 Apr 1908)

 

         Two Known Children:

 

         F  Azubah Tom Decrow (5311, 0076)

                  Birth    9 Nov 1879 Williamson County, Texas.

                  Death   11 Jul 1964

                  Burial  after 11 Jul IOOF Cemetery, Georgetown, 1964 Williamson, Texas.

                  Marriage   __ ___ ____ William Morrison WOODS (5329, 0076) (b. 5 Apr 1880, d. 23 Mar 1969)

         M  Thomas W. Decrow Jr. (216, 0069)

                  Birth   13 Sep 1888 Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.

                  Marriage   15 Dec 1917 Joyce Laura STANFIELD (5312, 0069) (b. 10 May 1889, d. 13 Feb 1984), daughter of Walter STANFIELD (5641) and Emily (--?--) (5761); San Antonio, Bexar, Texas.

                  Daughter:   16 May 1919 Jane Joyce DECROW (5314, 0070); Austin, Travis, Texas.

                  Son:   16 Jul 1922 Thomas W, III Decrow (5313); Austin, Travis, Texas.

                  Death   14 Mar 1960 Buda, Texas.

                  Burial  after 14 Mar 1960 IOOF Cemetery, Georgetown, Williamson, Texas.
 


Elijah Decrow Family History
 


 

Copyright 2007 - Present by Pat Nichols
All rights reserved

This page was created
Apr. 27, 2007
This page was updated
Apr. 30, 2007
   

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