Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
This page will be devoted to the Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County. These stories have come from a variety of sources, some from old newspapers, some from descendants and some have been previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's quarterly publication, "Our Heritage." Our thanks to Sue Wilkinson, quarterly editor, for permission to reprint these stories. All biographies are welcomed and if you have one that you would like to submit, just write it in your own words and send it to Sibyl and we will be very happy to post it on this website.
William D. Melton
William D. Melton was born in Newton County, Georgia on September 29, 1836. His parents were Denson Crow Melton and Elizabeth Webb Melton. His great grandfather, Jeremiah Melton was a charter member of the Mars Hill Baptist Church in Georgia in 1799. Also, Jeremiah served in the American Revolutionary War.
In 1848, William's father, Denson, decided to come to Texas. He bought land near Troup in Smith County probably because it looked like Georgia. Denson's cousin, Eliel Melton, had died at the Alamo and all of the intriguing stories had enticed Denson to come to the new frontier. Traveling with him was the Harmon family and William would later marry one of the Harmon girls.
On January 1, 1859, he married Martha Ann Elizabeth Harmon. He had known her all of her life as they came from the same place in Georgia. Her mother was a Hamby, and Hambys started marrying Meltons years ago. In fact at that time, back in Georgia his grandparents, Moses and Dolly Melton, were living with Martha's uncle Isaac Hamby, but Isaac was married to Moses' daughter.
William and Martha's happy married life lasted only a short time because the country was in turmoil. Texas seceded from the Union in February 1861 and William enlisted on March 22, 1862. He had to leave Martha with their first child, Thomas Jesse. William was gone over three years.
After the Civil War, William, his father, and some of his siblings relocated to Van Zandt County probably because of the ravages of the war. Reconstruction was not kind in Texas. Denson purchased land about halfway between Grand Saline and Canton on Highway 17. Denson did not stay long and wanted to go back to Smith County. He gave his land to William. In later years, the land was divided among William's children. Some of this land still belongs to Melton descendants.
William and Martha, along with most of their children, were buried in Creagleville Cemetery. Their children were: Thomas Jesse m. Fannie Anders; Emiline m. J.F. McManus; Mettie m. Tom Howard; John Houston m. Katherine Anders; Moses m. Annie White, and Isaac m. Nettie Stamps. Most of these children made Van Zandt County their home until they died.
Submitted by Lois Melton Thompson
Previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's Our Heritage
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