courtesy of E. M. Huitt, Jr. & Mary M. Springer
Fred, Earl Martin Huitt, Sr., Larry, Hilma Slone Huitt
Billy Mack, E. M. Jr.
Earl Sr., Hilma, Fred, E. M., Jr, Billy Mack and Larry in 1942
Hilma and sons 1955
E. M., Billy Mack, Hilma, Fred, & Larry
Earl Sr., Fred, E. M. Jr., Billy Mack
E. M. Jr., Fred, Billy Mack
Fred 7, E. M. 4 & Billy Mack, 2
Larry 11 months at right
Matagorda County had its first hunting accident
of 1946 fatality late Saturday when Earl M. Huitt was accidentally
shot and killed by his own weapon while on a hunting trip south of
Collegeport off the Oyster Lake Road.
Mr. Huitt, 53, a well-known county rice farmer, was found dead early Sunday morning after his family became alarmed at his failure to return from his hunting trip. According to Justice of the Peace G. R. Halliday of Palacios, Mr. Huitt's death was "due to accidental gunshot wound." He was shot once in the chest with a .12 gauge shot gun.
The Daily Tribune, May 25, 1996
James Fredrick Huitt (1855-1944) was the second child of four born to John B. and Lovina Huitt in Auburn (south of Springfield), Illinois. His siblings were brothers William T. (1851) and John L. (1859), and a sister Sinai (1860). His father, John B., was killed by Southern bushwhackers while home on leave during the Civil War. Lovina (born in Delaware; maiden name unknown) and the children may have joined a wagon train from Illinois to Kansas along with other Huitt relatives. There are groups of Huitts in Dickinson County, KS and Greene County, IL that appear when searching for a John or William Huitt, though they have different middle initials. None of our Huitts were found in the 1850, 1860, or 1870 census records, although the search for them continues. A Civil war service record was issued for a “Jonathan N.B. Huitt”, born in Illinois in about 1820. He served as a private in the 12th Regiment of the Illinois Cavalry, Company F.
Lovina and her children arrived first in Stafford County, KS, where the three boys worked on the railroad being built going west through Kansas. The 1875 Kansas census lists Lovina, William, and Sinai living in the town of Lakin in Barton County. There is no record of Lovina after 1875, so we assume she dies in Barton County, before 1880, at about age 55.
J.F.’s sister, Sinai, encountered tragedy in Kansas. In 1878, she married Abraham Vandeveer and had 3 sons: William (1979), Alonzo (1882), and John (1883). In 1880, they were farmers in Ellinwood, Barton County and Sinai’s brother John lived with them. In 1885, when she is just 24, Sinai died in Ellinwood. A comment found on another family tree described her death: “Sinai tried to commit suicide twice and finally succeeded on Nov 26, 1885”. Eight years later, in 1893, her husband Abraham dies, leaving their 3 young boys parentless. In the 1895 census, William is living with another family in Ellinwood. Both William and Alonzo later appear with their own families in Oklahoma. William dies in 1950 and Alonzo in 1935. The fate of the youngest son, John, is unknown.
J.F.’s brothers also failed to survive the hardships of Kansas pioneer life. In 1880, William T., is married to Mary E and has a young daughter in Strafford County, but they disappear after the 1880 census. The last record of J.F.’s younger brother John is found in the 1885 census, where he is living with J.F.’s family and farming in Ellinwood.
Now, on to the prolific and prosperous family of our ancestor, James Fredrick Huitt:
J.F. married Martha “Mattie” Bolin (1859-1915) on 13 Nov 1878, in Strafford County, KS. Martha was reported to be of Irish descent, although the name “Bolin” has Swedish heritage and the Kansas census in 1880 shows another Martha Bolin, born in Sweden, living in Crawford, KS. Our Martha was the third of six children born in Ohio to Jacob Bolin (1832-191?) and Sarah J Speeker (1832-1894). Her siblings were: William (1856), Archibald (1858), Louise (1864), Edward (1868), and Benjamin (1870).
Little is known of the ancestry of Martha’s parents. Based on the 1900 and 1910 census, her father, Jacob Bolin, was illiterate. He served on the Union side of the Civil War, a private in the Infantry of Company G, Regiment 71, and was a POW in Meridian, Mississippi. Jacob and both of his parents were born in Ohio. Jacob’s wife, Sarah, was also born in Ohio, but her father was from Pennsylvania and her mother, from Virginia. Sarah died in about 1894. After her death, Jacob lived with his son Edward and wife Ida and their family. He probably died between 1910 and 1920 in Missouri, as the 1910 census shows him living there at age 77. (I have not traced any of Martha’s 5 siblings)
After their marriage, J.F. and Martha farmed in Strafford County. Their first child, Ernest Leland Huitt, was born there in 1879. They then moved to Barton County, and farmed about 2 1/2 miles south of Ellinwood, where the next 10 of their 12 children (five boys and seven girls) are born. Martha’s parents, Jacob and Sarah Bolin and several siblings appear on the same page as the Huitts in the 1885 census, also farming near Ellinwood.
Two of their children, Claude and Pearl, do not survive childhood and are buried in the Ellinwood Cemetery. In 1901, J.F., Martha, and their family of nine move again, this time to a farm in Barber County, one mile east of Isabel and north of the Santa Fe Tracks. Ernest, Ida, Frank, Sula, Ethel, Earl, Webb, Maude, and Florence, arrive with their parents, and their last child, Grace, is born at their new home on April 26, 1901.
LaVeda Huitt Carpenter, daughter of Ernest, recalled her grandparents as follows:
“James Frederick was a farmer, a water well driller, and a trader. He farmed, drilled water wells, erected windmills and traded almost anything - land, cattle, horses, machinery, and potatoes, what-have-you.” She also reported that Martha had “long, beautiful, heavy, dark red hair”.
Dick Battin, grandson of Ida Huitt Runkle, recalls J. F. as the man with a “golden touch”. Every thing J.F. touched, seemed to prosper. He was wealthy enough to gave each of his 10 children a choice of a house or $10,000. We have several family pictures of the Runkle family, where the clothing and furniture all indicate a prosperous and comfortable life.
After a few years farming, the Huitts moved to town and built a large two-story house across west from the Isabel school house.
Milestone events in the Huitt family:
In 1902, Ida (age 20) married John Runkle. Pearl (1904) was the first grandchild.
In 1904, Sula (age 19) married James Swinson (age 20)
In 1906, John Everett Runkle, the second grandchild is born to Ida and John
In 1908, Irene Swinson is the third grandchild, born to James and Sula Swinson
In 1909, Ernest (age 30) married Golda Gibson
In 1910, on Feb 7, Ethel (age 20) married William Swinson (age 21), in the 1910 census taken in March, she was living at the Huitt home in Isabel, without her husband William.
In 1910, Claude Swinson is the fourth grandchild. He dies a year later.
In 1911, Lawrence Swinson is born.
In 1913, Lloyd Huitt is born to Ernest and Golda Huitt
In 1910, the young families of Ida, and Sula both live close to their Huitt parents in Isabel. Sometime between 1910 and 1915, the family photo of all 10 children and their parents is taken.
J.F. Huitt served on the Isabel school board and was involved in organizing the town school in Isabel. In 1911, he was listed as Director of the Isabel Public school. There were 42 students in the one room school house and Bertha Nossaman was the teacher. The students included Grace Huitt, Pearl and Evertt Runkle. Pearl’s Aunt Grace Huitt was 3 years older than her. Not only were they the same class at school, but they lived on the same street, and often played house and dolls together.
In March of 1915, Martha boarded the train with J.F., for an operation in Wichita. She did not survive and died in the Wichita hospital two days later, on March 17, 1915. The cause of death was listed as “Shock following operation for strangulated umbilical hernia”. She was just 56. The expenses paid to the funeral parlor in Wichita indicate a lavish funeral. The casket is described as: “DOUBLE EXTRA. Size, Black broadcloth covered casket, Octg, ends, Three panel molded top, Art silk Interior, Silver, with Moray silk bar handles, sides and ends, Ebony and silver name plate, Plate engraved, (MARTHA M. HUITT). Burial robe, Cashmere”. Total funeral costs in Wichita: $202.50. Her body and casket are transported from Wichita to Isabel and funeral services held on March 20, at two-thirty pm, “from the residence”. Burial followed in the Isabel cemetery.
After Martha died, the 1915 Kansas Census shows J.F., Earl, Ethel, Webster, Maude, Florence, and Grace living at the family home in Isabel. Florence was 15 and Grace was 13. Their neighbors were John and Ida (Huitt) Runkle, and children Pearl and Everett. Frank is not listed and probably is in Montana, where his WWI draft registration is recorded.
The next Huitt family events were:
1916, Ethel (age 27) married Carl William Robinson, presumably with a divorce or annulment from William Swinson. (William Swinson remarried also and had a family).
1917, Maude (age 20) married James Stitzle
My grandmother, Pearl, remembered her 6 Huitt Aunts and 4 Uncles fondly. She was very thankful that her 3 favorite Uncles (Frank, Earl and Webb Huitt) all returned safely from service in WWI.
After the great war, the remaining Huitt children marry:
1921, Florence (age 22) is married to Floyd Wells
1921, Webster (age 26) is married to Opal Mease
192-, Grace is married to Howard Campbell
192-, Frank is married to Edith
1929, Earl (age 36) is married to Hilma Slone (1909-1996)
In 1923, J.F. moved to Palacios,
Texas, and spent the remainder of his life there.
He married Lucie L., a woman 10
years younger. The 1930 census shows J.F., Lucie, her father George
Anderson (age 84), and son Fred Anderson (age 35) living with them.
Ethel’s oldest son, Carl Levon Robinson, related that none of J.F.’s
children liked his second wife and would not allow her inside their
homes – she had to wait for him on the front porch. J.F. appeared to
get out and visit all his 10 children and their families. We have
several pictures of him taken at daughter Ida’s farm with his
grandchildren, James & Leonard Runkle.
Several of J.F’s children (Ida, Earl, and Grace) followed him to Texas and made homes there.
In 1944, when J.F. died at age 88 of a heart ailment, he had 9 living children, at least 19 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. He is buried with Martha in the Isabel Cemetery.
A summary of the 12 children of Fred and Martha Huitt:
1. Ernest 1879–1966. Died of “coronary occlusion”. Buried in Isabel; wife Golda Gibson (1884-1972). 2 children: Lloyd (1913-1970), Laveda Huitt Carpenter (1918-2005). Lived on farm outside Isabel until he died at age 86. 7 grandchildren.
2. Ida 1882–1964. Died of Alzheimer’s in El Paso, TX. Buried in Isabel; husband John Runkle (1877-1948). 4 children: Pearl Runkle Battin (1903-1996), John Everett (1906-1979), James (1921-1975), Leonard (1921-2001). 12 grandchildren.
3. Frank 1883-1954. Died of lung cancer near Wellington, Kansas. Buried in Isabel; wife Edith. Served in WWI. Lived in Montana in the 1920 census. Occupation listed as “Farm Supervisor”. No children(?).
4. Sula 1885-1941. Died following a stroke. Buried in Isabel; husband James Swinson (1883-1973). 4 children: Irene Swinson Rice (1908-1993), Claude (1910-1911), Lawrence (1911-1927), Clara Swinson Todd (1913-2003). Clara left home at 17 to attend Business school and lived next door to her married sister, Irene Rice (Census 1930). Clara later moved to Brazil, Indiana and lived with her Aunt Maude before marrying W. Paul Todd in 1934 and starting a family. Clara & Paul had 2 daughters: Marian (Harrison) and Janet (Young). Clara cousin’s, Marjory Sneddon (daughter of Florence Huitt Wells), informed me that Sula (known as Aunt Sue) had a stroke while visiting in Indiana and never fully recovered.
5. Claude (1887-189?) Died in Ellinwood.
6. Ethel (1889-1954) Died of colon cancer. Buried in Topeka; husband Carl William Robinson (1888-1962). 3 children: Carl Levon Robinson, Marvin (1921-2006), Lola Robinson Clements (1924-198?).
7. Pearl (1891-189?). Died in Ellinwood.
8. Earl (1893-1946). Died from
accidental self inflicted gunshot while hunting. Buried in Cedarvale
Cemetery, Bay City, Matagorda, Texas; wife Hilma Slone (1909-1996) 4
children: J. Fredrick, William McKinley, Ernest Larry, and Earl
9. Webb (1894-1980). Died of
Alzheimer’s. Buried in Isabel; wife Opal Mease (1900-1985). Son
Eddie and ?.
10. Maude : (1896-1979). Buried in Brazil, Indiana; husband James Stitzle (1895-1973); no children. Jim, like Maude, came from a large family and was also one of 10 children. After living in Brazil, Indiana, for many years, they retired to Florida and Jim died in St. Petersburg. Maude moved back to Indiana, but she had a bad car accident (she was not an experienced driver). She never recovered from the accident.
11. Florence (1899-1983). Died from effects of a stroke. Buried in Brazil, Indiana; husband Floyd (Wesley) Wells (-1961). 1 child: Marjory Wells Sneddon. Marjory and her husband have 3 children and 8 grandchildren.
12. Grace (1901-1966). Died of pneumonia and infection from an “absess about old colostomy”. Buried in Bay City, Texas; husband Howard Campbell (1900-1983); no children. After Grace died, Howard married his brother’s widow.
Oral remembrances of J.F. Huitt:
Carl Lavon Robinson, age 89, Topeka,
KS, eldest child of Ethel Huitt Robinson recalled these memories of
his grandfather Huitt: “J.F. carried a flask of liquor in his pants
that he pulled out and drank during visits, claiming that the
“doctor ordered it”. None of his children liked his second wife.
She had to sit on the front porch while J.F. went inside to visit
his children. J.F. passionately hated the Railroad companies and no
one liked J.F. very much in the town of Isabel.”
Marjory Wells Sneddon remembers visits to grandpa’s home in Palacios, TX. J.F. had a cotton plant in his front yard.
Copyright 2008 -
Present by The Huitt Family
|This page was created
Jan. 23, 2008
|This page was updated
Jan. 26, 2008