Thomas Calhoun Greenwood

J. Marvin Hunter's, FRONTIER TIMES, June, 1933
V. 10, No. 9, pp. 425-427.

Reminiscences of G. C. Green

The following from the pen of G. C. Greenwood, a resident of Texas for over sixty years and of Lampasas County, appeared in the Lampasas Leader about 25 years ago. No man, stood higher in the estimation of the community than did the writer, and his statements will be taken for face value.

“Looking back from the 4th day of October, 1854, the date of my father’s arrival at Lampasas Springs, I see him living on a farm three miles south of Lockhart, in Caldwell County, Texas, where he settled in 1845, before the organization of the county or the beginning of the town of Lockhart. And well do I remember, though but a boy, how my father worked in securing the names, Caldwell and Lockhart, for the county and town, as the names were given by a vote of the people in the proposed limits. He succeeded in the names, although the opposition was strong and the contest hard. But he was two votes for chief justice at the election for officers, though elected to that office by a four-fifths majority over the same competitor at the election for the second term, and was re-elected as often as he chose to allow his name to be placed before the people as a candidate.

   He had moved to this place in Caldwell County from Lavaca County, where he had temporary residence for one year after his removal from Nacogdoches County, where he had lived since 1839, and prior to his settlement in Nacogdoches county he had lived at Harrisburg, on Buffalo Bayou since the Battle of San Jacinto. Whilst at Harrisburg he assisted in laying out the city of Houston, in which place he owned considerable interest, and I have in my possession now the first map ever made of that town, completed in March 1838.

   Prior to April, 1835, my father, like other Whites, in Texas, had only temporary abodes, determined oftener by the moods and movements of hostile forces that otherwise. He emigrated to Texas in 1833 from Jefferson County, Illinois, though born and reared in Franklin County, Georgia, he was descended from Virginia parents. Oh, my mother, what you must have suffered, during those years of war and peril from 1833 to 1836! For many times do I remember, though but a child when you would snatch me from my bed and fly to some secret hiding place or haven of safety amid the whoops and yells of our savage and cruel foes. My father’s name was Garrison Greenwood.

   “I have spoken of the perils that my mother was called upon to face during the years embraced in a period between 1833 and 1836, one or two incidents of many which were so fixed in my memory that I never shall forget. I will relate: My father when he first came to Texas, started a settlement on the Brazos River, just opposite where subsequently the town of Washington was built. It was at this place on one occasion, in the darkness of night, that I was pulled from my bed by my mother and commanded to silence in a whisper of such evident alarm that startle me into obedience, whereupon she led me out the back way and into the brush of the bottom along a narrow path, some half mile to a neighbor’s, my father armed, following at some few paces in the rear. When we reached the neighbors they had already fled. We turned about, and by devious windings, amidst brush, thorns, and brier scratches, at last arrived at the house of another neighbor, where the entire settlement had concentrated in the dark hours of the night, and we had considerable difficulty in passing the guard, which they had posted. After here passing the remaining hours of the night, we were doomed on our return in the morning to a sight of ruin and devastation at my father’s cabins. Milk cows slaughtered, stockade burned, cabins demolished, the old dog killed and the furniture torn to pieces.

   “A few months afterwards this settlement broke up and fell back to the Murchison settlement, on San Pedro Bayou, where my father passed one short season of comparative safety to the family, himself busy in selecting and locating lands, amongst which are those in and around where Palestine now is, and here he started a settlement and in conjunction with others he built a fort, which was called Fort Houston, and here the refugees from Fort Parker found shelter after the massacre at that place, and before closing I will relate one incident occurring at this place. About the time the block house was finished, and before the outer works were complete, the Indians raided the Murchison settlement and carried off considerable stock, which greatly enraged the whites who sought to avenge the wrongs done them by killing some two or three Indians they happened to come upon, who were out hunting. This aroused several small tribes, and they immediately began to concentrate, and in full war paint too. This condition of affairs was entirely unknown to those at Fort Houston until the arrival of a courier from Murchison, who brought the news, with notification of the intention of the whites then assembled at Murchison to attack the Indians, who were embodied about midway between the two points. There were put ten men at Fort Houston, and there were about 1,000 Indians concentrated between us, making the case very critical. It was destruction to fly and death to remain, and in haste those at Houston returned the courier with an urgent request not to proceed until they should receive another dispatch. On the departure of the courier they began to consult as to what was best to do under existing conditions. Some favored flight, others were of the opinion that it was safest to remain, and if needs be, to fight it out. So they could not agree. The consultation consumed the day and several hours of the night, when it was at last unanimously agreed that as my mother, being the only mother in the fort, and consequently felt more than anyone else should decide the matter, whereupon she adjourned the council, with the assurance that if they should all retire and to sleep, that by the dawn of the next day they should have her decision. This they did, but the decision came in a few hours afterward, for my mother aroused my father long before day made its appearance and gave him her decision, assuring him of the success; for said she, “I have seen it all in a vision.” She commanded him to get his horse and go unaccompanied to a certain point on the road to Murchison, and that he must be at the place before daylight; “and in the early light keep your eyes down the branch and you will see an Indian riding toward you, hail him with the word “Bobishela” and if he replies by the same, go to him, and make him understand that you wish a conference with his chief. Then follow his lead and fear not for God has assured me that there is no danger. There are three chiefs in the camp, and Cement, the medicine man, prophet and priest. State the condition of the whites, their number, temper, and resolution to give them war. Demand the return of all stolen property, giving them assurance that all hostility on the part of whites shall cease, and that in future we shall live as brothers.” Those, said she, “are the preliminaries only of the final treaty which will be made, but you must not forget to arrange a meeting at this place in 5 days. My father went as directed, unarmed and alone, and my mother’s directions he carried through in every particular, and the conditions were acceded to by the Indians, even to the arranged meeting five days afterwards. As this has now extended far beyond the contemplated limits, when began, I will close.


The Greenwood Family

The progenitor of the Greenwood family in Caldwell County was Thomas Calhoun Greenwood (1823-1908).  He was born in Monroe County, Mississippi, the son of Thomas and Lydia (Moore) Greenwood.  He was educated at La Grange College in Alabama and became an attorney.  In 1844 he married Juliet Crocker (1823-1907), daughter of James Crocker and Susannah Niswanger.  The family removed to Seguin, Texas in 1852 and in 1855 settled on an 800 acre tract of land three miles west of Luling.  They had the following children:   Thomas, Calpurnia, James, Caroline, Emmett, Paul and Eugenia.

Thomas Greenwood (1845-1877) joined the Confederacy as a private in Captain William Hardeman’s Company.  Following the war he returned to his father’s farm in Caldwell County.  In 1872 he married Sarah Elizabeth Swann (1848-1927) of Leesville, Texas, daughter of John Swann and Catherine Barnes.  In 1877 he was drowned while attempting to cross the San Marcos River.  His widow was remarried to Patrick Henry Walker in 1883.

T. C. Greenwood, Sr., (1873-1949) was the only child of Thomas and Elizabeth Greenwood.  He was mayor of Luling for fifteen years and was the first president of Luling’s Chamber of Commerce.  He married Lola Cochreham (Cockerham), (1882-1968) in 1902, the daughter of Dr. Thomas Edward Cochreham (Cockerham) and Lola Davis.  Lola Greenwood was the first president of Luling’s American Legion Auxiliary and a member of the Episcopal Church.

T. C. Greenwood, Jr., was born in Luling in 1905.  He attended the Luling schools and was graduated from Texas A&M in 1927.  He was active in the insurance business in Luling for many years.  In 1937 he married Genoveva Emma Martinez, of Kenedy, Texas.  She was born in Montemorelos, Mexico, in 1912, the daughter of Dr. Pedro Martinez and Martha Anne Delashmutt.  She was educated at Texas Women’s University and taught music in the Luling Public Schools for twenty-six years.  She is an active member of Luling’s Episcopal Church.  They have two children:

Lola Anne Greenwood was born in Kenedy, Texas in 1938.  She was graduated from the University of Texas in 1960, where she belonged to the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.  She married Glenn Moore in 1959 and they are the parents of two daughters, Whitney and Leslie Moore.  They reside in Dallas, Texas, where Mr. Moore is associated with Maynard Oil Company.

T. C. Greenwood, III was born in Luling in 1939.  He was graduated from Texas A&M in 1962 and the Western State University College of Law in 1977.  From 1963 to 1966 he served in the Far East as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, and since 1967 has been employed as a pilot by TWA.  In 1963 he married Sharon Springs, daughter of George Springs and Elizabeth Driskill.  She was educated at Texas A&I and the California State University in Fullerton.   They reside in Placentia, California and are the parents of three children, Thomas, James, and Phillip.  

T. C. Greenwood, III

Geneological and Historical Society of Caldwell County. (1984). The Greenwood Family, from Historical Caldwell County: Where Roots Intertwine 1836-1986 (pp. 203). Wolfe City, TX: Hennington Publishing Co.

Updated 08/28/2013
Caldwell County TXGenWeb  Copyright © 2013  
Coordinators, V Sofge and N Hickman
All Rights Reserved. Limited use rights may be granted by written or electronic permission.