Albert T. Detwiler and Mary Catherine Reed Detwiler
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Albert Detwiler

Mary and Albert Detwiler
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Albert T. Detwiler was the son of Louis T. Detwiler and Phoebe Ann Hiatt. Louis T. Detwiler was born in Switzerland in 1811 and was trained in cabinet making and carpentry by his father. He migrated to this country by working on a ship for his passage to New York. He joined a Dutch colony in Pennsylvania where he met and married Phoebe Ann Hiatt. After a few years the family of five children traveled with a wagon caravan to Missouri. They settled on a farm in Jefferson County on LaBarque Creek. He practiced his trade of cabinet making.

Albert Detwiler was born at La Barque Creek, Jefferson County, Missouri, February 9, 1853. He was one of a family of seven sons and five daughters, including Mary and Louis of Missouri and Frank of Paducah. La Barque school was built near his home. It was better equipped than most because of the benches is father made for the school. Albert later taught in this school. Two of Albert´s brothers and an uncle served in the Union Army. One uncle was in the Confederate Army where he lost his life. Louis T. died at age 90. Phoebe Ann Hiatt died in 1870.

Albert came to Texas in 1876, where he met and married Mary Catherine Reed, Sunday, August 1, 1880 a Humbolt, Hunt County. Mary Catherine was the daughter of Margaret Burrrow and William H. Reed. Her mother died in 1899 near Farmer and is buried at Emma. (See article on Margret Reed).

Mary C. Reed was born in Smith County July 27, 1859. After her marriage, the family lived in McLennan County near Waco. Collin County and other places in eastern Texas. In Reagan, Falls County, two daughters were born to Albert and Mary Catherine Detwiler. They were Maggie Tee, born July 28, 1884 and Eula May born February 21, 1886. Another daughter, Willie Salome was born August 3, 1888 near West in McLennan County.

Willie remembers hearing her parents tell of coming from Orange (where her father worked in a lumber mill) in a covered wagon. Her mother´s nephew, Jess Blackburn, traveled with them and helped care for a herd of horses they brought with them. They came by Sweetwater, where they spent Christmas Day, 1889, before coming to Crosby County. Here they were met by a brother, Marion Reed, a sister, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Chapman, and her mother, Mrs. Margret Reed.

The Detwilers first settled at Buffalo Springs near Lubbock where he worked for the ranch building fences and water tanks. After hauling lumber from Amarillo, the family built a half dugout on land three miles south of what is now Lorenzo, where they and Mrs. Margret Reed homesteaded.

Albert built the half dugout on the line of the two plots of land so that both settlers could home stead their plot while occupying a single room. The law required a homesteader to live on the land for a designated time. It was in this half dugout that Bertha Detwiler was born September 25, 1892, the first baby born in the western half of Crosby County.

Realizing the need for a school, Albert Detwiler, Henry Smyer, and Bub Bedingfield hauled lumber from Amarillo with their wagons and teams to build a school. It was named La Barque School for Albert´s childhood school in Missouri.

Since there were few roads at that time, Albert helped find a route to Amarillo. He was active in stock farming, and freighting from Colorado City, Sweetwater, Amarillo and Gail.

About 1900, they moved their home and filed on a section of land west of Emma. To file on land, the buyer promised to pay $1 per acre in 40 years from the time of filing. Closest neighbors included the Poulsons, Witts, Kerlins, Jones, Smyers and Bedingfields.

Margaret Tee attended school at Emma. She taught school and on February 3, 1907 married Arthur Faulkner Davies. They moved to Southland where they had nine children: Lawrence Alvore was buried at Emma, (July 1, 1909-October 14, 1909). Mary married Fred Davis and they moved to Weatherford. Winston married Mattie Whitely; they had a son who married Florence Cowan, she had four daughters and a son. They live at New Hope. Josephine married A. M. Spikes and they had two children and live in Lubbock. Margaret married Woodrow Lucklear, has two children, lives in California. Kenneth married Gloss Oats, has four children and lives in Slaton. Francis married Grady King, has two sons, and lives at Muleshoe. Eulalie lives in Lubbock. Willie married Blanton Martin, has a daughter, lives at Littlefield. Olive married Clyde King, has two children, lived in Oklahoma and Lubbock.

Eula May married A. Delmer Parrish, November 24, 1936. They lived in Ralls and Lubbock. Delmer was a pioneer water well driller. He had one daughter, Adelia, who married N. A. Cox. They have two adopted children. Willie Salome attended school at Emma. She recalls the fear and excitement of two events of her childhood in Emma. A threatening prairie fire was fought by the settlers with wet tow sacks to save the town. Standing in their door watching cattle stampeding down the street was a scene she has never forgotten. Willie married Will O´hair Lockwood, May 20, 1906 and lived near Robertson. He was a farmer stockman. He lived from 1862-1916. They had four children, Tom married Otelia Bowen and had two girls. Albert married Mary Alma Shipp and has two children. Daisy married Walter Wood in Morton, has two girls, now lives in Lubbock. W. O. married Marcia Wheeler, has four children.

Bertha attended school at Farmer, a school in a pasture east of Robertson, Emma and Robertson. Some of those who attended school when she did included Pauline, Mabel, Fred and Bryant Robertson, Laura Kerlin, Wrights, Exums, Emma Snider, Lura Smyer. Bertha married Matt Kirksey in a home wedding, April 21, 1912 and they continued to live in Crosby County. They have two daughters. Mary Mildred married Aaron Sechrist and had eight children. Ruby married Clester Griffin and they have three children.

In 1916, Albert and Mary Catherine Detwiler built a home and moved to Ralls. They were charter members of Emma Baptist Church. Albert was active in organizing the Masonic Lodge at Estacado and Emma. He was a member of Blue and Royal Arch Chapter of Masonic Lodge at Ralls. Albert died September 12, 1933 at age 81. Mary Catherine died February 27, 1935. Both are interred in Ralls cemetery. (By Ruby Griffin)

Source: "Crosby County History Book 1876-1977", Crosby County Historical Commission, ©1977
Transcribed by Cheryl McDonald

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A. Detwiler, 80, a pioneer citizen of Crosby county, died early Tuesday at his home in Ralls after an illness of several month.

Mr. Detwiller had lived in Crosby county the last 43 years. He was a member of the First Baptist church and Masonic Lodge.

Funeral services were conducted at 2:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon at the home of Rev. R. E. Harrison, burial to be in Ralls cemetery.

Survivors are a widow; four children, Mrs. A. F. Davies of Southland, Mrs. Matt Kirksey of Lorenzo, and Miss Eula Detwiller of Ralls; a brother, William Detwiller of Carthage Mo., and a sister, Mrs. Mary Grant of Clayton, Mo.

The Crosbyton Review, Friday, September 15, 1933

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