Mary T. (Smith)
Feb 2, 1820 - Oct 10, 1903
Kerens Tribune, October 10, 1903
One by one the old landmarks of East
Navarro are passing to their final reward
Mrs. Mary Sherrill, the aged mother of
Messrs Robert, Charles and Claud Sherrill and Mrs Walter Smith, quietly passed away last
Saturday evening at the home of her son, Mr. Charles Sherrill, in North Kerens. She had
been in feeble health for a long time, but her condition did not become alarming until the
night before her death.
Mrs Sherrill's maiden name was Smith. She
was a native of Alabama and was 84 years old at the time of her death.
- Contributed by Robert R.
great-grandson of Mary T. Smith and husband David Warren Sherrill
- I have her listed as Mary Gertrude Smith
(buried at the Jimmerson Cemetery,
Navarro co., TX.) Need verification ...elw
June 10, 1886
LEONARD. - Sister Rebecca Leonard,
whose maiden name was Ross, was born in the State of Arkansas, March 24, 1821; moved to
Texas in 1870, and died at her son's, in Navarro county, Texas, June June [sic] 10, 1886.
She embraced religion while young - was a member of the Methodist Church for more than
forty years. Her life was consistent, peaceful and tranquil. Disease seized upon her, and
for several weeks an heir of suffering; but she was only waiting and was willing to die.
While musing along life's pathway the angels came and sang so sweetly that she caught a
glimpse of heaven; threw down mortality; left six children and a host of friends and
relatives standing upon the shore weeping, and went up to join her husband and child that
had preceded her. Children, her footfall will no more be heard. You will never again
listen at mother's sweet counsel; but may the example she set while here speak to
her children saying, follow thou me. May God's rich blessing rest upon the children and the
bereft. Children, meet you mother in heaven.
EUGENE T. BATES.
- Donated by John C.
Berry, Added 12-18-1997
- Wife of William M. Leonard
Rachel Minerva (Hammonds)
SESSIONS - Mrs. R. M. Sessions was born
near Fort Smith, Ark., March 24, 1880 (Date in error,
born. abt 1842); moved with her father, Rev. John Hammonds, to Texas
at the age of four years; professed religion and joined the M. E. Church, South, at the age
of 12 years; was married to (Isaac Boone) Sessions Sept. 21, 1853; died July 29, 1886.
Sister Sessions had been a great sufferer for quite a while, all of which she endured with
Christian patience and fortitude, feeling that the afflictions patiently borne in this
life should work for her a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory at the right
hand of God. Her death was not unexpected, yet the whole of the Rice Community where she
lived was deeply pained at her departure, as evidenced by the large crowd of mourners that
followed her to her last resting place. The writer being her pastor had frequent
conversations with her in reference to her departure and she always expressed herself as
being perfectly resigned to the will of her Heavenly Father. She would gladly have stayed
to raise and educate her baby boy, Marvin, who is now at the University of Georgetown, if
the good Lord had so ordered, but his will was her will - feeling assured that if she left
that part of her family which remained on earth she would join her husband and a great
many other loved ones at home. Sister Sessions was faithful in all departments of life: as
a mother, gentle and kind; as a wife, true and loving; as a member of the church,
consistent and good; always walking worthy of the vocation wherewith she was called. She
was always concerned for her children, and especially her youngest son for whom she prayed
to the last that God would keep him in the way of everlasting life. May God bless every
member of her family and save them with their mother in heaven. Our church at Rice has
lost one of its faithful and good members, a mother truly in Israel. The community and
church is poorer by her having been called away, but heaven is richer, and we expect to
meet her again, for she died as only the good can die, in full triumphs of living faith in
Christ and the resurrection.
Harriet Itasker (Caldwell)
JOHNSON. - Harriet Itasker Johnson,
youngest child of Alfred and Catharine F. Caldwell, was born in Travis county, Texas, July
3, 1851, and died of consumption at home, near Webberville, May 13, 1886. She was married
to W. J. Johnson, Dec. 7 1873; professed religion and joined the M. E. Church, South,
under the ministry of Rev. Erkenbrack, in 1870, and lived a consistent Christian until
death. As she was dying, her husband asked her if she had any word to leave. She said:
'Meet me in heaven, and raise my children to meet me there. 'She also said: 'It is sweet
to die and this is rest.' Then sweetly fell asleep in Jesus. She leaves a husband, four
little children, a mother, two brothers and a sister. Farewell, dear daughter, we hope to
meet thee beyond the river, on Canaan's shore, where there is no more sickness, pain or
death, and where all tears will be wiped away for ever.
Mecca Orange, (McCandless) Lawrence
J. T. Lawrence
Corsicana, Feb 18, (1924?)
Mrs. M. O. Lawrence of Dawson Dies.
Navarro County Woman Friend of Early
CORSICANA, Texas, Feb. 18.
Mrs. Mecca Orange Lawrence, 93 years old, died at her home four miles north of Dawson,
Navarro County, Wednesday morning at 2 o'clock. The funeral will be held Thursday
afternoon at 2 o'clock with burial in the family cemetery on the homestead.
Mrs. Lawrence was born in Tennessee in
1831 and came to Texas with her father, David McCandless, when a child, and settled at the
old Nashville settlement on Brazos River, in what is known as Milam County. Mrs.
Lawrence's father was appointed Associate Commissioner of the Board of Land Commissioners
on December 19, 1837, and his appointment was signed by Sam Houston, President of the
Republic of Texas. Among the prominent men in the early history of Texas who were personal
friends of Mrs. Lawrence were Sam Houston, Deaf Smith, George B. Erath, Big-Foot Wallace,
Gen. Walter P. Lane, Ben and Henry McCulloch, John McLennan and others.
In 1849 Miss McCandless was married to J.
T. Lawrence, who died many years ago. The following children survive: John, Billie, Jim
and George Lawrence, Mrs. Fannie Sowell and Miss Carrie Lawrence of Dawson and Mrs. A. E.
Savage of Hubbard. Many grandchildren and great-grand-children survive. Mrs. W. B. Waddell
of Corsicana is a granddaughter.
Mrs. Lawrence was in Navarro County when
the Indians were troublesome. She often said she remembered Waco as a small Indian
Village. That she remembered the men passing her home on their way to a point west of the
present town of Dawson to bury the victims who fell in a fierce encounter with the
Indians. That was in 1836.
Mrs. Lawrence was one of the oldest, if
not the oldest, pioneers of Navarro County. She inherited her large farm on Richland Creek
from her father, who secured the land from the Government in the early days of Texas
history. For sixty-five years or more she had been a reader of The Dallas News and The
- Clipping from the Harlee Collection, copied from
"Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas vol XIII
- Married Joseph Thompson Lawrence
on 25 October 1849 near Wheelock, Robertson Co., TX
Mrs. M. O. Lawrence Dead
Mrs. M. O. (Aunt Mack) Lawrence, the oldest resident of
this entire section, died at her home north of town Wednesday morning at 2
o'clock. Her death was not a surprise, as her trouble, which was caused from
complications setting up from a broken leg, which she received a few years ago,
was a serious one, and together with her extreme old age, it was known several
days ago that she could not survive.
Mrs. Lawrence came to Texas in 1835, and settled in
Robertson colony, now known as Robertson county, later moving to her present
home, and has lived there 68 years. She had reached the age of 93 years, 2
months and 18 days. She lived under six flags, the Stars and Stripes, the
Mexican flag, Republic flag, back under the Stars and Stripes, then the
Confederate flag, then the Stars and Stripes of today.
Aunt Mack was a good woman, everybody knew her and loved
her. She has many friends, not only in this vicinity, but throughout the State,
who are sincerely grieved by her passing away.
The funeral service will be held this (Thursday)
afternoon at the family burying ground near her home, conducted by Revs. Johnson
of Hubbard, McKeown and Tyree of this place.
A more extended article concerning the life of this good
woman will appear in our next issue.
Mrs. M. O. Lawrence
Mrs. M. O. Lawrence, who died at her home north of Dawson, Feb. 18, was one of
the oldest, if not the oldest pioneer of Navarro county, she being 93 years, 2
months and 17 days old.
Mrs. Lawrence was truly an everyday Christian woman, and as long as it was
possible for her to go she attended church at every opportunity. Within the past
few years many times she attended church even though she had to be carried by
her sons and other loved ones. She was converted at a Camp meeting under a brush
arbor near Dresden in 1864, where she joined the Cumberland Presbyterian church,
moving her membership shortly after to Liberty Hill, later to Spring Hill, were
she kept it until moving to Dawson, she being a member of Dawson church at the
time of her death. Mrs. Lawrence has 39 grandchildren, 66 great-grandchildren,
and 6 great-great-grandchildren.
The following, written by the late E. O. Call, some 9 years ago, has been given
us, and is said to be a correct history of the life of this great old lady:
Mrs. Lawrence was born in Tennessee in 1831, came to Texas with her father, Dave
McCanless, and settled at the old Nashville settlement on the Brazos river in
what was termed Milam’s Colony. It was in this colony that Dave McCanless was
chosen Associate Commissioner of the Board of Land Commissioners, and Mrs.
Lawrence has a commission made out to her father, dated Dec. 19, 1837, Houston,
Texas, and signed by Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas, in “this,
the second year of the Independence of said Republic.” This unique document is
yellowed with time, and the seal of the Republic is not plain, but the name of
Sam Houston appears in bold outline with the customary flourish below.
Rather incongruously, the commission states that “I, Sam Houston, President of
the Republic of Texas, do appoint Dave McCanless to the office of Associate Land
Commissioner, to which he has been duly elected by the joint vote of both
houses.” These latter words are in the fine script of some clerk of the Republic
and suggests the unusualness of appointing a man to a position to which he had
In 1849 Miss McCanless married J. T. Lawrence, who was born in Tennessee, in
1825. Their children now living are John, Billie, Jim, George, Miss Carrie, Mrs.
A. E. Savage of Hubbard and Mrs. Fannie Sowell. Miss Carrie lives with her
mother on Richland creek, four miles north of Dawson, on the old Dave McCanless
League of 2,000 acres, which Mrs. Lawrence inherited from her father and which
she now owns.
“I knew Sam Houston well, in 1848,” said Mrs. Lawrence in referring to early
days in Texas. “We were living at old Wheelock, where I heard him speak on
temperance. It was a great speech. Mr. Houston was a powerful man, very handsome
and easy to approach; he readily made friends with everybody. Deaf Smith, George
B. Erath, Big-foot Wallace, General Walter P. Lane and Ben and Henry McCullough
often visited our house.
“I also knew John McLennan, for whom McLennan county was named. At that time
Waco was a small Indian village. I remember seeing the men pass our home on
their way to near Dawson in 1836 to bury the surveyors killed in a big battle
with the Indians. As to Indian troubles, we had plenty of them. Everybody, women
as well as men, had to fight them, and they were as brave as the men.
Up on Little River at one time the men were all out scouting when some Indians
came; they shot arrows with fire tips onto the roof, which soon began to burn.
The boys at the house climbed up through the loft and the women handed up
buckets of milk, which was used to put out the fire. One old buck was looking
through a crack when one of the women punched him in the face with a burning
stick. He just yelled and cursed in English and Spanish and said something in
Indian. I guess it was about the same he was saying in other languages.”
Mrs. Lawrence particularly prized a faded slip of paper which is at once an
account and a receipt for goods bought in Houston Jan. 21, 1838, by John
McCanless. Mr. McCanless bought 300 pounds of sugar at 40c a pound, making $120;
400 pounds of coffee at 70c a pound, $280; 150 yards of domestic at 30c a years,
$30; 150 years of calico at $1 a yard; making a total of $580, which is
receipted in full by L. Edinburg &Co.
Wilburn Hill King - CSA General
10, 1839 - Oct 12, 1910
Ft Worth Record 10/13/1910 page 5
Sulphur Springs, Oct. 12 - Gen. W. H.
King died at his home here this morning. He was appointed Adjutant Gen. by Governor
Roberts. Which position he held through the Roberts, Ireland & Ross administrations.
His remains were carried today to Corsicana for interment.
Oakwood Cemetery, Corsicana,
TX. Note: His body was transported by train, and a large crowd of military service
personnel waited to pay their respects.
Burial of Gen. King.
The remains of the late Gen. W. H. King arrived
here from Sulphur Springs last night at 10:48
and were met at the depot by a large number of
Masons and an escort of Confederate veterans
from Camp Winkler, who accompanied them to the
residence of Scott Bagby on South Sixteenth
The funeral took place from Mr. Bagby’s
residence this morning at 9 o’clock., Rev. W. E.
Boggs, pastor of the First Methodist church,
read the impressive funeral rites of his church
after which the Masons took charge interment
Oakwood cemetery. A
large procession followed the remains to their
final abode, and there were many beautiful
A good and great man has gone to his reward and
he will be missed from the walks of men, not
only for his distinguished public services, but
for his many virtues and manly attributes as a
private citizen, a true man and a lovable and
Sarah (Melton) Caddel-Green
GRANDMA" GREEN OF JACK CO., TEXAS
O. M. Melton, Graham, Young Co., Tex.
"Grandma" Green was born in
Sumpter County, Alabama, in 1840, moved with her parents to Mississippi, and in 1851 moved
to Navarro County, Texas. She was married to J. D. Caddel in 1858, and to that union were
born three children, Mrs. Mary McCoy, deceased; Mrs. Fannie Clay and J. D. Caddel. Her
first husband died in 1862. She afterward married S. Green. To this union were born four
children, Ben Green, Viney (who died at 8 years of age), Mrs. Lannie Newman and Mrs. Lena
Durham. In 1877 they moved to Jack County, Texas, where she resided until her death, June
10, 1920. She left five children, thirty four grandchildren, forty-five
great-grandchildren, one brother, O. M. Melton, and a host of other relatives and friends
to mourn her death. She was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church for fifty-four years.
She was a kind and loving mother, a good neighbor and a true Christian; always visiting
the sick and always willing to help any one in need. She was ever strict to attend her
church when possible to do so.
- Donated by Jean Caddel
- Added Feb 17, 1998
- Married to Seaborn
Green on 31 December 1866
Major John M.
Tyler Daily Courier, April 29, 1907, pg 5
Died April 28, 1907, Burial at Corsicana,
Texas. He has several relatives in this city, among them the Broughtons and the late
Major Jim Douglas. He lived in Tyler at one time and was one of the first settlers of
Smith County. He died at Corsicana and his funeral was held there. He was very old.
- Submitted by Jim Douglas
[Added Feb 25, 1998]
- John M. Douglas was my gr-gr grandfather.
This obit. was found in a compilation of family history titled: BROUGHTON-DOUGLAS FAMILIES
of EAST TEXAS, Some Ancestors, Descendants & Related Families. Authored by Mary Lee
Anderson Barnes. I believe the source for the obituary was the Tyler Public Library.
May 24, 1848 - Aug 30, 1910
Rice Rustler, Sep 1910
A SUDDEN DEATH.
Mrs. Ida C. Fortson Died Very Suddenly at
Her Home Here Tuesday Afternoon.
Mrs. Ida Fortson died very suddenly at
her home here Tuesday afternoon [30 Aug 1910] at 3:30 o'clock, after about an hour's
illness. Mrs. Fortson ate a hearty dinner and seemed to be enjoying the best of health.
About 2:30 she was turning the cream freezer, helping the girls make cream for an
entertainment which was to have been at her home. She was sitting in a back hall, and
noticing the freezer had stopped turning, her daughter, Miss Callie, looked around and Mrs
Fortson had fallen over against the wall. Being unable to arouse her, Miss Callie called
for help and Will Hodge, who was working in his shop near by, came and helped get her on
the bed. Dr [Hugh] Sloan was there in a very few minutes and the children and relatives
were notified and many of them were at her bedside in a very short time. Everything that
could be done by physicians, and the kind hands of her children and anxious neighbors was
done, but to no avail. She closed her eyes in the endless sleep about 3:30, one hour after
she was stricken.
Mrs. Fortson was 62 years, 2 months and 6
days old. She is survived by three boys and five girls: J. B. [Joseph Benjamin], J. T.
[John Titus], and Tom [James Thomas] Fortson; Mrs Tom [Lou Ellen, or Loula] Queen, Mrs Rod
[Anna Pauline] Bartlett, and Misses Callie [Carolyn Frances] and Maggis [sic] [Margaret
Amanda, or Maggie], of this place, and Mrs. Bob [Ida Mae] Harper of Corsicana. Miss Maggie
Fortson is visiting in Mexico and it was impossible for her to reach here before the
The news of the sudden death of Mrs.
Fortson cast a shadow over the entire city and community. Most of her life was spent here
and every heart was touched with sympathy for the stricken ones, from whose fireside the
light had fled.
Mrs. Fortson had been a member of the
Methodist Church about 45 years, and was a devoted Christian woman. The funeral services
were held at the Methodist Church Wednesday afternoon at 1 o'clock, Rev Rogers officiating
and paying a beautiful tribute to the memory of deceased. The Casket was covered with the
most beautiful floral designs loving fingers ever wrought, all of which spoke of peace,
purity and immortality. The music rendered was such as to soften the hearts and moisten
all eyes, at the close of funeral servics [sic] an unusually long procession followed the
hearse to Chatfield where she was placed by the side of her husband who had preceded her
more than 20 years. All stores, jins [sic], etc, were closed during the funeral. We can
only say to the mourners that she is not dead' but only asleep resting after a long and
well spent life here; she would not if she could, return, you will have to go to her. From
the life she lived, take an inspiration; go forth to live as she lived, so that when the
summons comes, you may says as she could, "all is well." The Ladies of the Home
Missionary Society were honorary pall bearers. The Rustler extends heartfelt sympathy to
the bereaved relatives.
Texas Christian Advocate 17 Nov
Fortson-Mrs. Ida Caroline Fortson
(nee Clayton) was born in Comersville, Tenn., May 24, 1848, and died at Rice, Texas,
August 31, 1910. She moved to Chatfield, Texas, when she was six years of age, where she
lived the greater part of her life. She was converted and joined the M. E. Church, South,
when a child. She was married to James T. Fortson, of Aberdeen, Miss., June 20, 1867. She
was the mother of ten children - three boys and seven girls. Her husband died in 1892 and
she remained a widow to her death devoting her time to the church and the raising of her
children. It was my pleasure to have been her pastor for two years, and she was faithful
in her obligations to the church. She took an active part in the woman's home Mission
Society, always doing her share of the work. A good woman has passed out of this life to
ever be with her Lord. She died as she had lived, and the victory was hers in the last
hour. She shall be greatly missed by her family, Church and community. May God's
sustaining grace ever be with her children and relatives who mourn her death, and may they
emulate her noble traits of character, fulfill their mission in life and at last meet
their loved one in the home of the saints. Her ex-pastor and friend, J. C. MIMMS.
- She was the daughter of Joseph Alvey Clayton and Margaret
Amanda Poole Clayton
Old Chatfield Cemetery,
Navarro Co., TX
- Added March 4, 1998
Frances Emaline "Emma" (Bartlett)
Corsicana Daily Sun, Sat., 6 Jul 1912, p. 1, col. 1
VENERABLE LADY DEAD.
Mrs. Emma Tate, Aged 89 Years, Dies at
Her Home Near Rice.
Mrs. Emma Tate, aged 89 years, and a
resident of this county and the Rice community for many years, died there yesterday
afternoon, and the remains were buried in the local cemetery there today. The deceased was
an aunt of Mrs. Sam R. Frost of Corsicana and Mrs. Frost, Mrs. A. N. Justiss, Mrs. George
E. Jester and Miss Boyd Frost attended the funeral. Deceased was also an aunt of Mrs. S.
J. Norvell, whose husband died almost at the same hour, and of J. M. Bartlett, a prominent
citizen of Rice.
- She was Frances Emeline Bartlett and was
married to John Beldin (d. Sep 1841), Col. Robert H. Porter (d. Dec 1849), and Dr. R. S.
- Donated by Roger A. Bartlett - Added
Nov 12, 1878 - Mar 17, 1922
See Edward/Edwin Sessions
John Abraham. Mcgee
From The Cumberland Presbyterian 5 Aug 1905
McGEE - Dr. J.A. McGee was born in
Clarenden, Ark., Nov. 8, 1844, died July 1, 1905, at 8:45 p.m. at his home in Rice, Texas.
He was the eldest son of Dr. J. J. and Mrs. E. A. McGee. His father died while he was yet
young, and to him was the responsibility of helping his mother raise the younger brothers,
Tom and Rev. W. V. McGee. He professed religion in about the year 1874 at Louisville, Ky.,
while attending lectures, and joined the Presbyterian Church. He moved to Rice in March,
1877, and became a charter member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at that place and
was elected a ruling elder which position he filled with honor to his death. He was
married to Miss Laura P. Sessions, January 24, 1878. They had born to them one son and
five daughters. Two of the girls preceded their father to heaven. The others were with him
at the last and live to mourn their loss. He was a devoted husband, a loving father, a
fine and successful doctor, a faithful elder and a good man. His home was always open to
the preacher. No husband or father loved his family better than did Dr. J. A. McGee.
Religiously he was a Cumberland Presbyterian of the truest type. Socially, he was a Mason,
knight of Honor and Odd Fellow. His first partner was T. J. Linch and his last was Dr. Hugh
Sloan of Rice. His partnership with Dr. Sloan lasted for sixteen and a half years. Dr.
McGee was a public-spirited man always taking an interest in everything that was for the
bettering of man or the building up of the town or country in which he lived. No one in
his community had more friends than did he. When it was known that Dr. McGee was dead all
seemed to want to do him honor. More people came to his funeral than had ever been to one
in Rice. The religious services were conducted by Rev. M. C. Johnson and the social by the
lodges of which he was a member. While Dr. McGee was over sixty, he was yet in the prime
of his manhood and was in the front ranks for all that was good. While he has gone, he
fell with his armor on and God took him home. To the loved ones we can only say:
"Weep not for him, but rejoice that you can soon meet him where troubles never come
and no good-byes are ever said." W. J. LACKEY, former pastor.
- The Rev. Lackey also was a brother-in-law, husband of Mrs. McGee's
- Added 3/4/1998
Dr. John A. McGee died at his home in Rice, Texas
July 1, 1905 after a long illness. He was a prominent citizen of Navarro County and for
many years a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and a Mason. He was Chairman of
the Committee on Memorial Resolutions for the last State Medical meeting but unable to
attend because of illness.
- Source: Journals of the Texas State Medical Association Vols. 1 through 7 -
1904 - 1913
- Added 6/17/1998
Obituary moved to Biography
of Joseph Alvie Clayton Page
Hannah B. (Welch) Melton
From the Semi-Wekly Farm
News - Date of old paper is not included
PIONEER TEXAN PASSES AWAY
An old-timer has passed to the great beyond.
Hannah B. Melton was born May 20, 1827, at Ash Grove, Indiana. Mrs. Melton's father, John
Welch, moved to Texas with his family about 1829. Then Texas was part of Mexico. Mrs.
Melton lived under four flags, the Republic of Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Stars
and Bars of the Confederacy, then back to the Stars and Stripes, five changes. Ethan
Melton and Hannah B. Welch were married in 1847, one year after Navarro County was
organized. Ethan Melton was Treasurer of the new county. He was the first white man that
made a home north of the Richland Creek. Mrs. Melton's early life was full of hardships as
all the first settlers' were. Mrs. Melton's was perhaps the first residence the writer
visited after coming to Dresden (then Richland). The post office was kept at Ethan
Nine children were born to them. Three died after
they became grown and married. Three are living, J. I. Melton of old Dresden, Navarro
County; C. C. Melton of the same place, and Mrs. Frank Blaisdell of McLennan County, where
Mrs. Melton spent her last days. She was a Primitive Baptist by faith, the same faith of
her husband, though never was a member of the church. She was a good neighbor, thoughtful
of the feelings of those with whom she had dealings, a good mother, a good woman. The
writer knew her sixty-five years.
Mrs. M. E.
Hartnell - Fultz
Rt. 2, Barry,
Navarro Co., Texas
- Added 4/29/1998 - Donated by Jean
- Note; Hanna passed away Dec 28, 1915 ... elw