Jane Brackenridge Fortune
1807 ~ 1881
On 15 October 1899, R. W. Fortune wrote:
My father, Nelson Fortune, and my mother were married in the fall of 1826. [Family Bible records show the marriage date as Dec. 6, 1827.] Her name was Jane Brackinridge, a daughter of Richard Brackinridge of Meringo Co., Alabama. Nelson Fortune died the 18th day of August 1835, leaving my mother with 4 children, 1 girl and 3 boys, me being the youngest and 1 year old at the time.
We lived in Meringo Co., Ala. Till the fall of 1844 and moved to Kemper Co., near Shyqualak, Mississippi. My oldest brother, Thomas Fortune, went down near Brandon, Miss. and died in 1852. William Merit Fortune married in 1852 and came to Texas.
In 1854 in September my Mother, my sister and her two children, and myself left Kemper Co., Mississippi for Texas in an ox wagon. Came to Caldwell County, Texas, the 8th of November, being 51 days on the road. I was 20 years old when we came to Texas.
My sister, Sarah Rachel Phillips, died in Feb. 1864.
My Mother lived with me and my famliy and died in my house in 1881, age 73 years.
Thomas Nelson Fortune was born 27 October 1787 and died 18 August 18 1835. Jane Brackinridge was, according to her tombstone in the Clearfork Cemetery nine miles southeast of Lockhart, Texas, born 1 November 1807 and died 10 April 1881. Nelson and Jane Fortune had five known children:
1) Sarah Rachel 1828-1864 who married 1st Mr. Yeamans, 2nd Mr. Phillips
2) Thomas N. Fortune 1830-1852 died unmarried
3) William Merit Fortune 1831-1896 m. 1852 Mary Young who d 1889
4) Richard H. Fortune b 20 Oct 1832 died young
5) Robert William Fortune 1834-1907 m 8 November 1859 Francis Emily Hargis
Enid Long Barker, his granddaughter, tells us:
Robert William Fortune was a carpenter and was building a house for John H. Hargis, Francis Hargis' father near Martindale
in Caldwell Co. when he met the girl he was to marry.
Their first home was on West Fork Creek in Caldwell County. Their first two children were born during the Civil War. They
moved to Plum Creek in Caldwell County. Her father moved there too after the War and gave the land for the graveyard. Next
two children were born at this home. They moved to Lockhart, Texas in 1870 and in 1873 moved to a farm 2 miles out of
Lockhart. They moved to Llano County, Texas, for two years (1883-1885) but returned to live on this Lockhart farm again
in 1885. Later the family moved into the town of Lockhart and ran a boarding house called "The Fortune House".
This farm on the outskirts of Lockhart has become in about 1940 the County Park of Caldwell County. The Fortune family are
all pleased about this.
The Fortune House was built by Robert W. Fortune himself, and he and Francis Fortune had this as their home as long as
they lived. In 1968 it is still standing and in good condition.
Through all their married life they were faithful members of the Baptist Church. Their church meant much to them, and so
did their Bible. My memory of my grandfather that stands out indelibly through the years is of this white haired, white
bearded man tilted back in his chair on the front porch of the Fortune House with his big Bible open in his lap,
thoughtfully reading it.
Francis Hargis and Robert W. Fortune lived out their lives in Caldwell County. They had nine children. Seven of them are
in this family group picture, but it is not certain which is which.
1) Thomas Richard b 30 Sept 1860 d 17 Sept 1869
2) Robert Calvin b 31 Aug 1863 d 5 June 1904
3) Lura Ann Jane b 16 Sept 1866 d 27 March 1943
4) Lewis William b 18 Oct 1868 d 23 Feb 1921
5) Nathan b 8 Dec 1870 d 8 Feb 1871
6) Lizzie Sarah b 8 Oct 1872 d 1 Jan 1896
7) John B b 10 Oct 1874 d 12 March 1930
8) Ada Lina b 9 Aug 1877 d 22 Jan 1920
9) Della May b 11 July 1879 d 16 Feb 1946
Source: Tory Crook
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