Cavenah and Flowers Families


Cavanah & Flowers Families

Battle Island


Elisha Flowers

Elisha Flowers, one of Austin's "Old Three Hundred," arrived in the Republic of Texas in 1822. He was the son of Edward and Rebekkah Flowers. Edward was born May 21, 1743, in Kentucky, and was buried at Creelsboro, Cumberland County, Kentucky, on May 2, 1815. The will was probated on July 14, 1816. The gravestone reads: "Patriot and Soldier under General George Washington for the Independence of our Country." His wife, Rebekkah, was born in 1762, and died in 1826.

Elisha Flowers first married Polly Smalley, daughter of Andrew and Martha Rutherford Smalley. Andrew served in the 7th Infantry Regiment of the Kentucky Militia during the War of 1812. His parents Abner and Nancy Murrey Smalley, daughter of Jermiah Murrey, married July 9, 1774. Abner served under Colonel David Fannin between 1775 and 1783 and was a Tory.

The last recorded Indian raid in Matagorda County took the lives of Polly Flowers, Mrs. Charles Cavanah, and three Cavanah daughters. They were massacred by the Karankawa Indians at the Charles Cavanah home during the winter of 1826. A daughter of Polly Flowers an a fourth daughter of Mrs. Cavanah were wounded, but they recovered.

Elisha and son, Romulus, returned to Kentucky, where Elisha married Mrs. Susannah Baker and had another son, Martin Van Buren Flowers.

While in his early teens, Romulus Flowers returned to his mother's relatives in Matagorda County, and on March 19, 1838, Elisha asked the court to appoint Harvey Kendrick as tutor and curator of Romulus. Romulus married Elizabeth DeMoss, daughter of Peter and Susan De Moss on August 15, 1850, at Matagorda. The 1850 census lists Romulus as being age 27, living with the Peter DeMoss family.

Elisha Flowers was issued land grant #156 for one sitio of land on August 10, 1824. He claimed to have come to Matagorda County in 1822. He also received one labor of land in Colorado County on July 19,1824.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, page 67

The Cavanah and Flowers Families
By Kathleen Tatum

When the Karankawa Indians attacked the Flowers and the Cavanah families, while the men were off hunting in the winter of 1826-1827, only two small children survived the massacre. One was Jane V. Cavanah, about three years old and the other was Romulus Flowers, also about three.

Some of the books of Texas history tell of this massacre by the Indians. Most of them state it was too small girls that survived and they went to a neighbor's house nearby for help. Most likely these two small children hardly realized what had happened to their mothers, brothers and sisters. One book said in the retaliation with the Indians, there were nine white men that lost their lives and were buried in one mass grave site in Matagorda Cemetery. This, too, is incorrect for there are only two plural grave sites in Matagorda Cemetery. One is the Civil War soldiers that lost their lives in 1863 near Matagorda Peninsula and the other is the yellow fever victims from teh epidemic that struck the town of Matagorda in 1862, The histories of Matagorda County by Jimmy Yeamans and John C. Marr state that none of the white men lost their lives when they apprehended the Indians at Battle Island and killed most of them.

Jane V. Cavanah was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cavanah. She was born in Louisiana about 1823, shortly before the family came to Matagorda County with one of Austin's colonies. At the young age of fourteen, Jane married James Moore on October 10, 1837 in Matagorda. James was a prominent widower with two small sons. His first wife was Mrs. Olive Graves, widow of Ransom O. Graves. Olive and James Moore's children were Amanda Jane and James T. Moore.

James Moore died suddenly in October 1840 without leaving a will. Jane, being so very young, did not immediately file with the next session of the probate court to settle his estate. A. C. Horton took it upon himself to file for the administration claiming neglect by Jane for he was one of the people to whom the estate owed money. Jane fought him in court for nearly thirteen years and each year he received another yearly extension. He would claim the estate was not productive enough to pay the bills so he could settle the estate. Jane claimed he sold her slaves and then used his slaves to pick the 120 bales of cotton, charging the estate with his slave labor. She also claimed some of the cotton was sold in his name along with his cotton and that the inventory of the cattle and hogs was incorrect. He retaliated by claiming they sold all the cattle and hogs that could be found, but some could have been hiding in the woods. At the time her father, Charles Cavanah, was living with her.

Isham Thompson, being wed to little James T. Moore's half sister, finally received guardianship of James T. John Huff, also a close relative, received guardianship of little Amanda Jane Moore.

Jane V. Cavanah Moore married her second husband, Williams Beeks, on March 4, 1843 at Matagorda. The 1850 census of Wharton County names William Beeks, age 26, born in Louisiana, and their children were William, Jr. age 6; Elizabeth, age 3; and George Beeks, age 1.

Romulus Orlando Flowers, son of Elisha Flowers and Polly (Smalley) Flowers, was born about 1823 in Kentucky. Shortly after the birth of Romulus, the Flowers family moved to Matagorda County. On January 5, 1924, the Mexican government granted Elisha Flowers a sitio of land (#54) on the east margin of Bay Prairie and west of Rio San Bernardo. On July 19, 1824, he also received a labor of land (#7) west of the Rio Colorado in Colorado County.

On December 26, 1828, Elisha asked the court of Matagorda County to appoint Harvey Kendrick tutor and curator of his son Romulus. He also recorded his Mexican land holdings on April 5, 1838 while he was still in the county.

The 1850 census of Matagorda County enumerates Romulus Flowers, a single man, living with Peter and Susan De Moss. On August 15, 1850, he married their daughter, Elizabeth DeMoss. They moved from Matagorda County to Goliad County in 1858. Their family was located in Goliad on both the 1860 and 1870 censuses.

The 1880 census of Goliad County reveals the following information.
Romulus O. Flowers, age 56, farmer, born in Kentucky
Elizabeth, wife, age 43, born in Texas
John A., son, age 22
Elijah Milson, son, age 19
Sarah Elizabeth, daughter, age 17
Thomas J. son, age 14
Romulus O., Jr., son, age 12
Narcissa A., daughter, age 8
Lula Texas, daughter, age 7
Henry E., son, age 4.

Next door was their daughter and her family.
I. W. Hardt, age 29
Susana, age 24
Murry Lee, age 7
Ella M., age 5
Annie S., age 4
Edward H., age 2
Mary E., age 2/12 (April)

Romulus Flowers' wife, Elizabeth, died January 19, 1913, but it is not know when he died.

Oak Leaves, Matagorda County Genealogical Society, February 1992


Copyright 2007 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Mar. 2, 2008
Mar. 2, 2008