This post covers the years 1821 to 1904.
Here are the generations, like links in the family chain, at a glance:
The first four generations have question marks only because they are based on circumstantial evidence. John enjoys court-sworn documents, and so do the rest of the generations.
Amonet lived a three-state journey: South Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas. He was a farmer. He was also musical and taught singing. One record calls him a “Singing Master.”
Nancy is blessed with a long and established ancestry on her mother’s side, including a co-founder of Pennsylvania, a patriot in the Revolutionary War, and a co-founder of Texas. She was born in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, and died in Columbia County, Arkansas.
His and Nancy’s living documents tell their life story.
Amonet Washington was born on November 7, 1821 in Liberty Hill, Edgefield District, South Carolina. His granddaughter (our grandmother) writes in her family history: “She and grandfather were married April 27, 1843.” And elsewhere, “She and Grandfather Wilbourn were married Apr. 27, 1843.” He died on December 8, 1889, on his farm about 5 miles west of Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas. He was buried in Antioch West Cemetery.
More about him
His granddaughter, who never met him but who heard traditions, reports that he had almost black hair and blue eyes. He was six feet tall and had unusual musical ability, teaching singing. He was also a farmer. The 1880 Census says he’s unhealthy, but he lives for another nine years.
We don’t know why Amonet’s parents gave him that unusual name. Speculation: someone on his mother’s side had that name. It has a French feel to it, and family tradition says there is a French lineage in our background. Family traditions usually have a kernel of truth in them. His father – and probably his mother – are from Virginia, and there’s a colony of Amonettes (their last name), French Huguenots, who settled in that state. But so far nothing has been confirmed.
Amonet comes from an illustrious heritage. His ancestor is William Clopton, who is a “gateway ancestor.” This means that William Clopton descends from a royal line several generations back and then immigrated to the American colonies.
His Clopton lineage works out like this:
For more information, please click on William Clopton and Our Royal Heritage.
Further, Ann Booth, who married William Clopton, is the daughter of Dr. Robert Booth. He is one of the early settlers in Jamestowne.
To find out more, please click on Robert Booth and Jamestown Society.
Spelling variations: Amonett, Amonette, Ammonette. In this post his name is spelled Amonet.
Here is his grave marker posted at Find-a-Grave.
Nancy Margaret was born on January 1, 1827, in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. She died on May 7, 1904, in Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas. She was buried on May 9, 1904, same place. She appears in the 1900 Census in Magnolia, and is listed as 74 years old and born January 1826, so we have a slight mismatch with family tradition, which says 1827 (see below).
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Sometimes Nancy Margaret appears as Margaret Nancy or Maggie Nancy. Ella Rae (Nancy’s granddaughter and our grandmother) writes: Maggie Nancy “was 77 years at her death.” In Amonet’s will, she is named as Nancy. Her grave marker says the same. So in this post she is called Nancy.
On her father’s side, Thomas Gray’s family history is short because we have not been able to find the Grays. He was born in February 1799, in South Carolina. He married Anna S. Leaky before 1820 in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. He died on October 20, 1853, Bienville Parish, Louisiana. He was a prosperous plantation owner, having a number of slaves and property valued at $14,461.00, a huge amount, at his decease.
It’s her mother’s family history that is long and distinguished.
Her mother was Anna S. Leaky (Leakey, Lakey or Lackey). She was born about 1802 in Knox County, Kentucky. She died after February 17, 1855 and before the 1860 Census, probably in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
Anna’s father was Joel Leakey, who was born March 1, 1780 in Surry County, North Carolina, and died before August 4, 1837 in Austin County, Texas. He married Nancy Callaway about 1800 in North Carolina.
Joel was an original founder of Texas – one of Texas’s founding father. The organization Old Three Hundred keeps track of this wonderful heritage.
Chris Womack, a descendant of Amonet’s daughter Sarah Leacie Jane, discovered Joel’s participation in co-founding Texas. So a hat-tip to Chris.
Joel’s father was Thomas Leakey, who was born June 16, 1751 in Orange County, North Carolina. He married Ann Hadley, January 7, 1777, in Surry County, North Carolina. He died about 1805 in the latter county.
Thomas’s father was Alexander Leakey or Lackey, who was born in Maryland, in the 1720s or 1730s. It’s probable that his father was also named Alexander, but more research is currently being done.
So the links in Leakey’s family chain look like this:
In a related line, Anne Hadley, who married Thomas, was born March 24, 1757, in Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware; she died October 6, 1841 in Warren County, Tennessee.
Anne’s father was Simon Hadley, who was born March 5, 1737, in Mill Creek, New Castle County, Delaware, and died March 24, 1803, in Surry County, North Carolina. He married Bridget Foote March 8, 1756 in Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware. She was born April 17, 1732 in Mill Creek, New Castle County, Delaware, and died December 15, 1807 in Surry County (now Yadkin County), North Carolina.
Simon qualifies as a Patriot during the Revolutionary War, because he signed the oath of allegiance. He has been DAR-approved.
It was Chris Womack who got Simon approved for DAR. So another hat-tip to her.
Simon’s father was Joshua Hadley, who was born in King County, Ireland, March 3, 1703, and died 1760, in Orange (now Alamance) County, North Carolina. Joshua married twice, but his first wife died shortly after their marriage. Our line is his second wife Patience Brown, who was born May 25, 1712, in Nottingham, Chester County, Pennsylvania. She died May 23, 1783, in Orange County, North Carolina. They moved to Orange County in 1756, where a memorial plaque has been set up for them. Joshua is the original immigrant, though Hadley researchers are not sure when he came over to America. One family history says the original Hadleys, long before Joshua, were from England, but one of them was sent to Ireland as an English Army officer. But for sure Hadley family researchers say Joshua was born in Ireland.
So the links in the Hadley family chain work out like this:
Finally, we look at Patience Brown’s heritage, who married Joshua Hadley. Her father, Jeremiah Brown, was born in New Castle, Delaware (one tradition says Maryland), in 1689. He died on March 7, 1767 in Nottingham, Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was buried in West Nottingham, Chester County.
Jeremiah’s father was James Brown. James was born in the third month, 27th day, 1656, in England. He died March 1716/17, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, where his will was probated, naming his children.
James’s wife and Jeremiah’s mother was Honor Clayton, who was born the first month, 29th day, 1662, in Sussex, England.
Her father was William Clayton, who was born December 9, 1632, in Sussex, England. He died before the first day, eight month, 1689. He married Prudence Langford, who was born about 1635, in England. He (and she) came to these shores on the ship Kent in August 1677. He was a councilor to William Penn, after whom Pennsylvania is named. Clayton served as acting governor in Penn’s absence.
The links in the Clayton – Brown family chain follow this sequence:
So we have Nancy Margaret Gray Wilbourn’s ancestors participating in three key historical events in America:
- A Founding Father of Pennsylvania – William Clayton.
- A Patriot during the Revolutionary War – Simon Hadley
- A Founding Father of Texas – Joel Leakey
Since William Clayton was the Founding Father of Pennsylvania, he has been admitted as a qualifying ancestor into the organization called the Colonial Dames.
Her grave marker:
Amonet and Nancy’s Children
These children’s niece and our grandmother Ella Washington (Rae) Wilbourn wrote a few family histories, one built on the other. As to this family in this post, much information comes from her Aunt Mildred, the eighth child here (see below). Rae put the family information from Mildred’s letters into her own family history.
Of the descendants generally, Rae writes:
All lived long lives except Alex who died in his forties & my father at 76. All the above children were born on a farm near Athens La except Mildred (youngest) was born on a farm six miles west of Magnolia Ark., where the family lived for years & years. Aunt Mildred lived there even after her marriage and until she died at age 89.
The records show Mildred was born in Louisiana, unless her mother visited Arkansas while pregnant and underwent a surprise birth.
- Eliza Ann (1844-1928)
- Thomas Amonet (1847-1911)
- Alex Hargess (1850-1928)
- William Harvey (1853-1927): He’s our direct line, so see his own post, here:
- Emmaline Gertrude (1855-1949)
- Sarah Lecie Jane (1858-1904)
- Champion Ellis (1862-1951)
- Mildred Frances P (1865-1954)
- Judson (1868-69 to 1871?)
1. Eliza Ann
She was born in 1844 near Athens, Claiborne Parish, LA. She married William Titus Hearn about 1865, per her 1900 and 1910 Censuses, family tradition, and their grave marker. She died in 1828. He was born in 1824 and died in 1924.
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They got married when he was 19 and she was 21.
In one family history Rae writes:
Oldest of family Eliza Ann married Titus Hearn had two girls, six boys
One son Dr. Wm Oliver Amonet Hearn lives at Enloe Texas (he was one year younger than Aunt Millie) [sic]
Another son 2nd Thomas Abner lived at Taylor Ark
Next son Gus Hearn lives at Clarksville, La [Rae inserts “Texas” between “Clarksville and La.”]
Jimmie and Amonet Hearn live at Haynesville
In yet another family history, Rae writes, somewhat in a bulleted format:
Eliza Ann married Titus Hearn, had 2 girls and six boys.
William Oliver Hearn M.D. lives at Enloe, Texas (1949)
Thomas Abner (putting curb in a well & fell head first into well & was killed. He lived at Taylor Ark)
Next son John Hugh Hearn died about 1947
Gus Hearn lives at Clarksville Texas 1949.
Jimmie & Amonet Hearn live at Haynesville La (in 1949)
In another family account Rae writes:
Aunt Eliza Hearn daughter Coryanne lived at Machen Spring Hill La. A girl named Gladys Hearn Black, husband Thare Black
However, the census data do not have some of these kids.
Eliza A. appears in her father and mother’s 1850 Census, 2nd Ward in Township 23, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. She’s six years old. Her father Amonet’s name is misspelled Wellborne in the census itself. See this census, below.
William and Eliza Ann are in the 1880 Census, Mississippi Township, Columbia County, Arkansas. He’s 33, from Georgia, and a farmer. Both his parents are from Georgia. She’s 34, from Louisiana, and keeping house. Her father’s from South Carolina and her mother’s from Mississippi (Amonet is from South Carolina, but Nancy Margaret is from Louisiana). Their children: William O. (13), Thomas A. (11), John H. (7 or 8), Craton (sic, read: Creighton) A. (4), and August L. (1). Elbert C. Hearn (53) and Harriet Hearn (51) live next door. They are William’s parents.
Wm. T. and Eliza A. Hearn appear in the 1900 Census, Mississippi Township, Columbia County, Arkansas. He’s 53, born November 184? and from Georgia. So are his parents. She’s 55, born August 1844, and from Louisiana. Her parents are from South Carolina (father) and Louisiana (mother). So we have a discrepancy as to her mother’s place of origin from the 1880 to 1900 Census (Amonet is from South Carolina, and Nancy Margaret is from Louisiana). William and Eliza Ann have been married 35 years (= m. 1865). She’s the mother of eight children, seven of whom are still living. Daughter Estola V. was born June 1882 and was 17 and single when the census was taken. Son James H. was born March 1885 and was 15 and single at the time. William T. was a farmer and the two kids are at school. Eliza’s occupation is not named, but it is usually “keeping house.” All can read and write. William and Eliza own their farm free of mortgage.
William T. and Eliza A. Hearn are in the 1910 Census, Mississippi Township, Columbia County, Arkansas. He’s 63 and she’s 65. They’ve been married only once, to each other, for 45 years (= m. 1865). He and his parents are from Georgia, while she’s from Louisiana, as was her mother, and her father’s from South Carolina. He’s a general farmer, while her occupation is “none.” Both can read and write. They own their farm free of mortgage.
Here is Eliza’s and William’s grave marker:
2. Thomas Amonet
He was born on January 27, 1847 (or 1846), near Athens, Louisiana. He married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Malinda Bell; the 1910 Census says they’ve been married 39 years, which works out to 1871. He died June 6, 1911, Washita County, Oklahoma.
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His niece (our Grandmother Rae) writes in her family history:
Thomas Amonet Wilbourn, a farmer, married Lizzie Belle. They had eleven children. Only six lived to adulthood. This family lived within 3 miles of my father’s farm near Mountain View Okla. However, I do not know what state or where they [the kids] were born. Maybe the last two in Indian Territory, Okla. The names of the children, 3 girls and 3 boys are: Titus, Amonette (girl), called “Ammie,” Alice, Arthur, Luther and Etola. All live in Okla except Luther Wilbourn who has a “dude ranch” near Colo Springs. Arthur & Etola died in their 20’s, 30’s. I knew them all well. Etola was my age; all lived 2 mi. from our Okla farm near Mtn View.
Titus J. Wilbourn’s burial grounds is in Cordell, Washita County, Oklahoma. Find-a-Grave says his lifespan was March 9, 1879 to May 5, 1936. That means he was ten years older than Ella (Rae).
Thomas A. appears in the 1850 Census, Township 23, Ward 3, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, with his father Amonet (29 and from South Carolina) and Nancy (24 and from Louisiana) Wellborne (sic). Thomas is 4 years old (b. 1846).
Thomas Willbourn (sic) is found in the 1870 Census, Ward 2, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. The Post Office is Homer. He’s 23, from Louisiana, and works as a clerk in a store. He lives with James Meadows, 28, who is a merchant and apparently owns the store, to judge from his personal and real estate values. Real: $3000.00; Personal: $4800.00. Thomas is from Louisiana, and James is from Alabama.
In the 1910 Census, Oakdale Township, Washita County, Oklahoma, Thomas A. Wilbourn and Elizabeth are found. (His last name is mistranscribed at ancestry.com as Welbourn.) He’s 63 and a farmer on a general farm. He’s from Louisiana, his father from South Carolina, and mother from Louisiana. Elizabeth is 57 and from Texas. Her occupation is “none.” Her parents are both from Tennessee. Thomas and Elizabeth have been married 39 years (m. 1871). They’ve had eleven children, six of whom are still living. They own their farm free of mortgage. The child living with them is Luther, 22, who is married to Cora E, 19. They have no children. In the marital status column M2 is written for Luther, while M1 for Cora E. and Thomas and Elizabeth. Does this mean Luther was married twice at 22 years old? Cora’s father was born in Texas, and mother in Ireland. Thomas and Elizabeth have a grandson living with them – Loy A. Barker, 15, who was born in Arkansas, as was his father, but his mother was born in Texas. Thomas hired Weldon L. Boyles, 15, as a farm laborer. Everyone in the household can read and write.
Here is his grave marker at Find-a-Grave:
Though difficult to read because of the shadow, the marker says: THOMAS AMONET WILBOURN. Jan. 27, 1847 to June 6, 1911. The base reads: WILBOURN.
3. Alexander Hargess
He was born on January 7, 1850, in Athens, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. He went by the abbreviated form of his first name: Alex. On March 21, 1872, he married Sarah Eveline Bridges (ancestry.com). She was born May 1856, per the 1900 Census. He died October 2, 1928, and is buried in Upper Old Athens Cemetery.
A post about him at Find-a-Grave says his lifespan was Jan. 7, 1849 to Oct. 2, 1928. “The husband of Sarah Eveline Bridges; the father of Clara Wilbourn. Burial: Old Athens Cemetery, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.”
More about them
The family tradition really comes from Rae’s handwritten account. She writes of Alexander:
Called Alex . . . Became a lawyer, married, had one child, a girl who died when 14. His wife died soon after. He lived to be about 50 years.
However, the censuses reveal he was a farmer. It is possible to be a farmer and an attorney, but the census records never say he was an attorney. Family tradition says he was born in 1849, but the censuses reveal 1850; the 1850 Census says he was 6 months old when it was enumerated in September, and the 1900 Census says he was born January 1850.
Alex appears in the 1850 Census with his father Amonet (29 and from South Carolina) and Nancy (24 and from Louisiana) Wellborne (sic). Alex is six months old, confirming his year of birth as 1850, not 1849.
Alex H. and Sarah E. are found in the 1880 Census, Ward 5, Claiborne (Claiburn in the census) Parish, Louisiana. He’s 30 and a farmer from Louisiana; he father’s from South Carolina and mother from Louisiana. Sarah E. is 24, keeping house, and from Georgia, as are her parents. Their daughter Clara is 6 and at school. All of them can read and write.
In the 1900 Census, Ward 5 (west half), Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Alexander H. Wilbourn and Evie S. (sic) are listed. Recall that Alex’s wife’s middle name is Eveline and first name is Sarah, so apparently in this census she went by Evie and abbreviated her first name. He’s 50, from Louisiana, a farmer, and born in January 1850. His father’s from South Carolina, his mother from Louisiana. Evie is 44, and from Georgia, as are her parents. She was born in May 1856. They’ve been married 28 years (m. 1872) and have one child, who is still living. They own their farm free of mortgage. They have hired a servant woman named Mary Harris, who’s black, 16, born in November 1883, and single. She and her parents are from Louisiana. Everyone in the household can read and write.
In the 1920 Census, Athens, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Alexandria (sic) H. Wilbourn and Sarah E. appear. He’s 69 (b. 1851), and she’s 63 (b. 1857). Another researcher offers an alternative to his last name to the one transcribed originally at ancestry.com: Alexandria H. Willison. But the last name clearly says Wilbourn in the handwritten census. The only mistake is in the first name, not last, and his place of birth. Anyway, “Alexandria” is said to come from Arkansas, and his parents are from the “United States,” while Sarah E. comes from Georgia, as do her parents. Mallie Lyles (mistranscribed at ancestry.com as Ledes) is 60 and cited as a “hand maid,” that is, a servant. She’s white and hails from Louisiana, while her parents come from the “United States.” “Alexandria” is a manager of a general farm. Sarah E.’s occupation is left blank.
Here is his grave marker:
- William (Bill) Harvey: He’s our direct line. See his post, here:
5. Emmaline (Emma) Gertrude
She was born on January 17, 1855 near Athens, Louisiana, so says family tradition from her descendants, and the 1900 Census confirms it. She married William Joseph Smith, Doctor of Medicine, May 28, 1873, Claiborne Parish (record at ancestry.com). Family tradition says she died when she was over 95 years old (1949), upon falling and breaking her hip. Their granddaughter Joanne Brown says Joseph died in 1920, while Emma died in April 1949. Bible records say William was born September 5, 1851, near Athens, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
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Family tradition says she was born in 1854, but the censuses say 1855. They owned a drugstore in Mountain View, Oklahoma. She was a music teacher – piano and voice.
According to Mildred’s letters to Ella (Rae), our Grandmother Rae, Emma was 95 on January 17, 1949. Rae writes in her own family history:
Emma Gertrude, a few years younger than her brother Wm Harvey, born at Athens La. She married Dr. Joe Smith. They had three sons. Clarence who became a pharmist [sic] in his father’s drugstore in Mountain View Okla; Alvin and Roy both died in their teens with TB. Emma lived to be 96. She taught piano for years! Until past 90! Clarence still living in 1974 [when Rae’s account was written].
Still in another account Rae writes: “Aunt Emma was 95 the 17th Jan 1949.”
Emma’s granddaughter Joanne Brown writes:
Emma died in April 1949. I guess her body just gave out . . . Emma taught voice and piano and spent many years directing children in Grammatics. She was teaching music in Duran NM at the time of Dr. Smith’s death in 1920.
William J. and Emma G. Smith are found in the 1880 Census, Mississippi Township, Columbia County, Arkansas. He’s a school teacher, and she’s keeping house. He’s from Louisiana, and so is she. His father’s from Georgia, and mother’s from South Carolina. Her father’s from South Carolina and her mother’s from Louisiana. Their one son is Ovanda W., 11 months, and born in July 1879. The Charles E. and George M. Tally families are neighbors (note the husband of Sarah Leacie Jane).
William J. and Emma G. Smith appear in the 1900 Census, Cloud Chief Township (south half), Washita County (though the census taker wrote Woohita), Oklahoma. He was born October 1851, and she in January 1855. They’ve been married 27 years (m. 1873). His occupation is a physician; hers is not listed. He’s from Louisiana, his father’s from Georgia, and mother from South Carolina. She’s from Louisiana also, but her parents’ place of birth is recorded as “unknown.” Their children: Clarence, 20, born July 1880, Arkansas, a salesman; Alvin, 11, born in September 1888, Arkansas; Roy W. 8, born March 1892, Texas. Everyone can read and write.
William J. (58) and Emma G. (55) Smith are in the 1910 Census, Cameron Township, Leflore County, Oklahoma. He’s a physician and druggist, and her occupation is “none.” They’ve been married once (to each other), for 37 years (m. 1873). They’ve had six kids, three of whom are still living. He’s from Louisiana, and his father from Georgia, mother from South Carolina. She’s from Louisiana, and her parents are from the “United States.” They rent their house. Roy W., 17, lives with them. Everyone can read and write.
In the 1920 Census, Duran (Precinct 10), Torrance County, New Mexico, William J. (67) and Emma (64) Smith appear. He’s a doctor of medicine and runs a drug store, and her occupation is “none.” He’s from Louisiana, his father’s from Georgia, and mother from South Carolina. She’s from Louisiana, her father’s from South Carolina, and mother from Louisiana. They have two neighbors who were born in Mexico. William and Emma can read and write and live alone, no kids with them.
Cousin Alvin Smith son of my Aunt Emma Smith & Uncle Joe Smith he [Joe] was a doctor (MD) Aunt Emma my father’s sister. She died at age 95 yrs They [had] two other sons. Roy and Clarence, Roy and Alvin died in their “teens.”
This is probably the right cemetery:
6. Sarah Lecie Jane
She was born on February 2, 1858, near Athens, Louisiana. She married Augustus Madison Talley, on October 12, 1876, in Columbia County, Arkansas. Residing in Pittsburg Township, Camp County, Texas, she died on November 18, 1904, a mere seven months after her mother. Leacie was buried in Cross Roads Cemetery. Augustus Talley was born April 6, 1850 and died May 7, 1935. He married a second time, to Mattie P. Barham, who was born July 3, 1858 and died February 2, 1940. Since her middle name appears so often, she probably went by it in everyday life.
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Her niece (our grandmother) says in her handwritten family history: “Leacie Wilbourn married Joddy Tally, tho’ don’t know the size of their family. She died Nov. 18, 1904.” Rae got this information from the daughter-in-law of Mildred Wilbourn Souter, eighth child, below.
In the 1880 Census, Justice Precinct 2, Bowie County, Texas, Leacie J. (22) and Augustus Talley (30) are found. He works on a farm and she’s keeping house. Thomas J (3) and Leona (1) are their children; both are at home. Augustus is from Georgia, his father’s from South Carolina, and his mother’s from Georgia. Leacie’s from Louisiana, her father’s from South Carolina, and her mother’s origins are blank. The adults in the household can read and write.
In the 1900 Census, Precinct 2, South of T & P Railroad, Bowie County Texas, A. M. (50) and Sarah (42) appear. He was born in April 1850, and she in February 1858. They’ve been married 23 years (m. in 1877). He comes from Georgia, as do his parents. Sarah’s from Louisiana, as are her parents (Amonet’s from South Carolina). Their son C. W. is 16, born in February 1884, Texas, and a farm laborer. W. T. Smith, 26, their son-in-law, was born April 1874, married three years, and is a farm laborer; Leona A. 21, was born April 1879, married three years (m. 1897), and is the mother of two children, one of whom is still living. Their daughter Leesy (sic) is 1 years old and born in April 1899. August and Sarah own their farm free of mortgage. All of them except the baby can read and write.
In the 1920 Census, Justice Precinct (Pittsburg Township is crossed out), Camp County, Texas, Augustus M. (69) and Mettie P. (61) are found. He’s a farmer on a general farm, which they own free of mortgage, and her occupation is “none.” Both can read and write. They live alone.
In the 1930 Census, Justice Precinct 1, Camp County, Texas, Augustus M. and Mattie P. are found. He’s 80, and she’s 70. Their age at their first marriage is 27 and 17, respectively. He’s still farming on a general farm they own, and her occupation is still “none.” They live alone.
Cross Roads Cemetery, Pittsburg, Camp County, TX.
She had married August Madison Talley.
“Lecie Wilbourn wife of A M Talley Born Feb 2, 1858 Died Nov 18, 1904”
Here is her husband’s gravestone:
7. Champion Ellis
He was born May 16, 1862 near Athens, Louisiana. He married Margaret Souter (sister to Joseph Souter; see Mildred, below), in 1888 or 1889. He went by the nickname Champie. He died in Chickasha, Oklahoma, February 8, 1951.
More about them
No doubt he was named after his grandfather Champion who died young in South Carolina. According to Champion Ellis’s sister Mildred’s letters, he was a medical doctor who practiced until he was 87 years old. Her letters state that he was 87 years old in 1949.
Ella (Rae) writes in her family history:
Champion Ellis . . . was born May 16, 1862 and died April 7, 1959; became a doctor, married Margaret Souter. Had four children, one girl Verda, and three sons. . . . [He] was born near Athens, La also. His boys are Alvin, Oliver Amonet, and Orion. Oliver married, but died young, left a widow with four small children. Aline Hutchinson was the oldest child, another girl, and two boys. Orion & wife have one daughter in Magnolia.
Still in another family history Rae writes: “Dr. Champie Wilbourn was 87 yrs old in 1949.” She continues on another page of two kids Orion and Verda: “Orion Wilbourn son of uncle Champie (my cousin at Carmel CA, Verda)”
Rae writes in her miscellaneous notes:
Dr. Uncle Champie lived in Alex, Okla for years, practiced kept up his practice past 85. He died 90 or 91 not sure.
Rae got this information from the daughter-in-law of Mildred Wilbourn Souter (see eighth child, below)
However, the census records indicate he lived in Arkansas for years.
Champion’s daughter Verda wrote numerous letters to Rae, and from one in particular, June 20, 1970, Rae jotted down the vitals:
Uncle Champie’s wife Maggie Frances Souter born August 11, 1871 died? Uncle Champie born May 16, 1862, died December 19, 1953. His first son Oliver Amonet born Sept 27, 1889, died October 17, 1918, named after his paternal grandfather, who died Dec. 8, 1889 (2 mos after Oliver’s birth). Uncle Champie and Aunt Maggie lived at Moulton Ark. 12 m’ so of Magnolia probably 1st 3 children were born . . . Verda’s not sure of this.
Find-a-grave says date of birth is May 16, 1862, while his date of death is Feb. 8, 1951. He was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Chickasha, Grady County, Oklahoma. So the Feb. 8, 1951 date, above, is confirmed. But his wife died two years later in Arkansas. Did she move straight back to Arkansas after his death? Did he die in Oklahoma on a trip? Any other explanation?
In any case, his daughter Verda’s letter to Mildred (child eight, below), dated October 24, 1951, says her father died in Chickasha Hospital. The hospital bill was due for the days February 1 to 8, meaning that he was in the hospital during those eight days and died on the last one. She writes another letter giving more detail about his passing away in the hospital.
Verda married a Mr. Wood. Then she married Dr. Philip Norton Davis, January 19, 1947, in St. Augustine, Florida (so says her wedding invitation). Rae’s granddaughters Carolyn Rae Cook Harris and Janis Marie Arlandson Coder visited Verda in Carmel, California.
In the 1900 Census Magnolia Township, Columbia County, Arkansas, Champion E. and Maggie F. Wilborn are found. Champion was a physician. In that year he was 38 years old and married 11 years, so his birth year was 1862 and his year of marriage was 1889. He’s from Louisiana, his father’s from South Carolina, and his mother’s from Louisiana. Maggie F. was born in August 1873 and was 26 years old in 1900. She was originally from Georgia, her father’s from South Carolina, and her mother’s from Georgia. Their listed children: Oliver A was born September 1889, 10 years old and at school; Ira E. was born March 1891, 9 years old and at school; Verda V. was born July 1894 and 5 years old. Champion and Maggie own a farm, free of mortgage.
Champ E. (49) and Maggie (37) Wilbourn are in the 1910 Census, Magnolia Township, Columbia County, Arkansas. They’ve been married 22 years (m. 1888) and have four children, all of whom are living. He’s from Louisiana, and his parents from the “United States.” She’s from Georgia, and her father’s from (garbled) South Carolina or Georgia, her mother from Georgia. His employment is a doctor; hers says “none.” They own their house free of mortgage. Their children: Ira, 19, single; Verda, 15, and single; Orion, 5 and single; everyone in the household can read and write.
Champion E. (57) and Maggie (46) Wilbourn are in the 1920 Census, Magnolia Township, Ward 1, Columbia County, Arkansas. They own their house free of mortgage. He’s a practicing physician, and her occupation is “none.” He’s from Louisiana, his father’s from South Carolina, and his mother’s from Louisiana. She’s from Georgia, her father’s from South Carolina, and her mother’s from Georgia. Their children: Orin, 13, attended school in the last year; Verda, 25, is single and stenographer in an office; everyone can read and write. Aileen, 9, is a granddaughter to Champion and Maggie; John Thomas, 7, is their grandson. These two cannot (yet) read or write.
In the 1930 Census, Magnolia City, Columbia County, Arkansas, Champie E. (68) and Maggie F. (58) appear. He and Maggie own their home, which has been appraised at $20,000.00, a huge amount compared to their neighbors. He was 25 and she 17, when they were married. He’s a physician in the “medical” industry. She’s a proprietor of a rooming house. He’s from Louisiana, his father and mother are said to be from Arkansas. She’s from Georgia, her father’s from South (garbled) Carolina, and her mother’s from Georgia. Orion T. (J.?), 25, single, is a car salesman at an auto company, but he’s been unemployed for 12 months. John T. (J.?), 17, is their grandson, and attended school in the past year. Alvin C., 13 is their grandson and attended school in the past year. Mollie E. Souter, 80, is the mother-in-law in relation to Champion. She’s widowed and from Georgia, as are her parents. Bonnie Davis, 53, is a lodger and a land appraiser for the Federal Loan Bank. Adler Robinson, 21, is a lodger and a salesman at a variety store. Corinne Souter, 18, is a niece and single. Her occupation is “none.”
The Social Security Death Index says Orion Wilbourn was born July 4, 1905 and died September 1984. His last residence was 71753, Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas.
Champion died February 8, 1951. His grave marker:
Once you’re there, you can find the links to his children. Well done, Karen.
8. Mildred (Millie) Frances P.
She was born in March 1865, per her 1900 Census, either in Haynesville or Athens, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Joseph A. W. Souter (brother to Margaret Souter; see Champion, above), was born in December 1866, per the 1900 Census. They married January 7, 1890, presumably in Magnolia Township, Columbia County, where her parents resided. She died April 7, 1954, and he died July 3, 1960. Both are buried in Columbia Memorial Cemetery, Columbia County, Arkansas. Lewis Funeral Home handled the services and burial. You can find a write-up about them at Find-a-Grave.
More about them
Mildred’s letters to Ella (Rae) say that Mildred was 84 in 1949.
Rae writes in her family history: “Aunt Mildred lived there [Magnolia, Arkansas] even after her marriage and until she died at age 89.” So her records of Mildred’s ages are a little off.
Rae further writes in her family history:
Called Millie. She married Joe Souter, brother of Margaret Souter, her brother Champie’s wife. They had 4 boys and one girl. Burle (A. B.), a watchmaker in Okla City, Okla; Dr. Ellis Souter, health (City) doctor at Guthrie Okla; Fairey and wife Helen have two daughters & live ½ mile from Aunt Millie and Uncle Joe. Millie died at 89 years. Netabel the daughter a widow. One son Joe who died at age 24 yrs. Netabel & Fairy are at Magnolia, Ark. Fairey is a farmer (800 acres).
Farris Wilbourn (Fairy or Farrie) Souter’s gravestone information says he was born February 11, 1896, and died May 29, 1981.
Still in another family history Rae writes:
Aunt Mildred was 84 [in 1949] . . . Millie’s son Burle Souter is A.B. Souter 1230 N. W. 31st St. Okla City Okla. Watch maker at Tinker field several miles out of the city (son lives in Chicago).
In another family history Rae says:
Aunt Mildred lives on the Magnolia & Taylor Highway, about 5 miles west of Magnolia Ark.
Netabel taught English in McNeil High School about 12 miles from Aunt Millie’s [eighth child, below]
One daughter Nancy Yvonne is marrying at 16 June 1950 to a lawyer Tom Allen from Sapulpa Okla; has office there, no doubt still there.
About Joe Rice (1945) Joe at 15 won a scholarship at University of Chicago and again in 1946 will all expenses (personal) paid in 1948.
Aunt Millie’s son Eugene’s given name is Eugene Harvey, another son John Ellis is an inventory, invented instruments in making airplanes, works with the factory at Evanston Ill, John Ellis’ given name . . . Amonet Burle, given name
. . . Son Ellis Souter, M.D. his office is 112½ N W 31 St, Guthrie, Okla. Home add: 120 Drexel
Son – Fairey Wilbourn Souter, wife Helen, youngest son of Aunt Mildred & Uncle Joe Souter. They have two daughters Mary Ruth, married to Hez Bussey, an attorney lives in Norman Okla.
Nancy Yvonne a Pi Beta Phi Sorority & going to college at Norman (1949).
Fairey & Helen live on a farm about 6 mi west of Magnolia. They are well-to-do farmers about 100 cows & 2000 acres of land.
Aunt Mille & Uncle Joe had one daughter Netabel, married Mr. Rice, one son, separated when son was a baby; son a “spastic” had a fine mind. College graduate, wrote a beautiful poem at age 12 & 13.
Burle has two girls Mildred Katherine and Caroline Beryl Lives in San Antonio Tx
Netabel Souter Rice was late Supt of schools in Texas for about 6 yrs and was doing clerical work translating dead language into English for some professor in College in Chicago, Ill, for some time, but she and son returned to stay with her mother & father Joe & Mildred Souter. Joe & Mildred Souter near Magnolia Ark. She was teaching high school in 1949 must be retired now. Some younger than I am.
In Rae’s miscellaneous notes, she writes:
Uncle Joe Souter was 85 in January 1952 . . . Eugene Harvey, no children, married, 27 yrs. . . . John Ellis in Guthrie married 27 yrs, no children, loves to fly his own airplane [Rae surely confuses Eugene and John length of marriage and no children] . . . Amonet Burle third son a natural mechanic . . . [w]as a jeweler all his life . . . Aunt Millie has a wrist watch he made & gave her (has two girls) . . . Helen and Netabel watches he made . . . Fairey Wilbourn had bright red hair, blue eyes when he was born . . . hair grew darker later. Burle’s girl Ruth flew airplane at 17 years.
Mildred’s daughter-in-law Helen Souter, Fairey’s wife, wrote a letter to Rae, dated March 24, 1974. Helen provides these vitals:
#1 Leacie’s husband was Joddy Talley – I do not know about her children – she died Nov. 18, 1904.
#2 [Rae’s] Uncle Joe Souter’s name was Joseph Augusta Wright;
#3 [Rae’s] Aunt Millie borned [sic] March 29, 1865, died April 7, 1954;
#4 [Rae’s] Uncle (Champ Ellis) borned [sic] May 16, 1862, died Feb 8, 1951;
#5 Grandma Wilbourn (Nancy) died May 7, 1904. I think all her children were borned [sic] in La. Aunt Millie was the youngest child;
Mother had a sister named Emma, married Sr. Smith. She used to live in Mountain View Okla. And she lived at Portales, New Mexico; she had 3 sons, Clarence, Alvin & Roy.
Mother Souter had a sister Aunt Eliza Hearn that lived near us. That was so nice. I loved her very much. She would come out and visit mother. I saw Aunt Emma Smith one time. She taught music.
Amonet W. Wilbourn and Nancy Gray were married April 27, 1843.
Joseph A. W. Souter and Mildred F. P. Wilbourn were married Jan. 7, 1890.
The 1870 Census shows that the Wilbourns still live in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Mildred lived with them (see below)
The 1880 Census was taken in Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas, and she is cited as 15 years old. She was most likely born in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
Joseph A. (33) and Mildred F. P. (35) Souter are in the 1900 Census, Magnolia Township, Columbia County, Arkansas. Her mother Nancy Wilbourn, 74, widowed, lives with them and was born in January 1826. Joseph, a farmer, was born in December 1866, and Mildred in March 1865. They’ve been married 10 years (m. 1890). She’s from Louisiana, her father’s from South Carolina, and her mother’s from Louisiana. He’s from Georgia, as are his parents. They own their farm free of mortgage. Their children: Eugene H. is 9 years old, born in October 1890, and at school. John E. is 8 years old, born in April 1892, and at school. Amonet B. is 5 years old and born September 1894. And Fairie M. is 4 years old and born in February 1896.
Joseph A. W. and Midrid Sauter (sic) can be found in the 1910 Census, Magnolia Township, Columbia County, Arkansas. He’s 43 and a farmer; she’s 44, and her occupation is “none.” He and his parents are from Georgia, and hers are said to be from Louisiana. They’ve been married 20 years. They own a farm free of mortgage. Their children: Eugene is 19, single, a laborer on the farm, and attended school within the year. Ellis is 17, single, a laborer on the farm, and attended school within the year. Burel (sic) is 16, single, a laborer on the farm, and attended school within the year. Farrie is 14, single, a laborer on the farm, and attended school in the past year. Nellie B. is 10, her occupation is left blank, and she attended school within the year. Everyone can read and write. Incidentally, their neighbors in the census are black.
In the 1930 Census, Clay Township, Columbia County, Arkansas, Mildred F. (64) and Joe W. (65) Souter are found. The value of their house is $7,000.00, and they own it. At the age of their marriage, Joe is said to have been 22, and Mildred 24, so there’s a mismatch with their recorded ages. He and his parents are from Georgia, and she’s from Louisiana, her father’s from South Carolina, and mother from Louisiana. Their occupation is recorded as “none”; that is, they’re retired. They can read and write.
Her grave maker:
9. Judson F.
He appears with his parents Am. W. and Nancy Willbourn (sic) in the 1870 Census, Ward 2, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana; Post Office: Homer. Judson is 2 years old.
So far, no additional record has been found, so he may have died young. Rae, his niece (our grandmother) writes in one of her family histories concerning Amonet and Nancy (Gray) Wilbourn: “One child died in infancy,” but she does not name him. This could be Judson.
Amonet’s and Nancy’s Censuses
Let’s return to Amonet and Nancy, the subject of this post.
In the 1850 Census, 3rd Ward in Township 23, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Amonet Wellborne (sic) is a young family man of 29 years. He’s a planter, who property is not valued in this census. Nancy is 24 and from Louisiana. Their children, all born in the same state: Eliza (6); Thomas A. (4); and Alex (6 mos). Nancy’s sister Ruth Gray Simmons (married William) lives on a neighboring plantation. The Wilbourns live in dwelling no. 308 and are family no. 308; 2nd Ward, 23 Township; the census was enumerated 25 (or 23) September 1850.
Try as we might, we cannot find this family in the 1860 Census. Sometimes census takers just missed families.
In the 1870 Census, Ward #2 (or 7), Post Office of Homer, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, page 21, Am W. Willborne is 48 years old and from South Carolina. He is a singing master. This matches up with the handwritten accounts of Ella Washington Wilbourn, his granddaughter (and our grandmother), who says he was a skilled musician and taught singing. His estate is valued at $800.00 (real) and $500.00 (person). Nancy is 42 and keeping house; Alex H. is 20 and at home. William H. (our direct line) is 17 and at home, as are all the other named children. Emeline G. is 15; Sarah L J is 12; Champion E is 8; Mildred F. P. is 5; and Judson is 2. They live in dwelling no. 95; family no. 158; the census enumerated 13 August 1870.
In the 1880 Census, now the Wibborns (sic) have settled north in Clay Township, near Magnolia, Columbia County, Akansas. The census taker has misspelled his last name. A. W. (Amonet Washington) is 58 and marked as unhealthy, so his son Champion, 18, manages the farm. (Amonet lived another nine years, though.) Mildered (sic) F. is 15 and keeping house. Their mother Nancy is said to be 53 and from Louisiana. Interestingly, her mother is supposedly from Mississippi, while her father is said to be from Iilinois (sic), though better records indicate the South. The category “Health” means “Maimed, crippled, bedridden or otherwise disabled.” They live in family no. 71, and the census was enumerated 8th (?) June 1880, and is on page 7.
In the 1900 Census, Magnolia Township, Columbia County, Arkansas, Nancy Gray, 74, born January 1826, lives with her daughter Mildred F. P. Souter. Nancy notes that she has one child and one living child; this probably merely refers to Mildred, her daughter who was taking care of Nancy in the home. Nancy dies in four years. She’s from Louisiana, as are her parents. They live in dwelling no. 350 and are family no. 35. The census is in supervisor’s district no. 6 and enumeration district no. 54; Sheet no. 21; it was enumerated July 4, 1900.
Amonet and Nancy’s Louisiana Deeds
These documents are about land purchases, sales, and mortgages.
April 26, 1858:
Amonet had land to sell. He was 37 years old, so we can assume he had bought land long before that year. T. J. Worsham was Amonet’s brother-in-law; Worsham married Amonet’s younger sister Sarah.
State of Louisiana
Parish of Claiborne
A. W. Wilborne
T. J. Worsham
Filed April 26, 1858
Know all men by these presents that I Arnonett [sic] W Wilborne for and in consideration of the sum of two hundred and thirty dollars to me paid in hand by Thomas J. Worsham, all of said state and parish have bargained and sold and do hereby convey to the said Thomas Worsham viz,
The South East quarter of the North East quarter of Section No. twenty of Township No twenty three of Range seven west containing forty 4/100 acres as per duplicate No. 9489,
and I the said Wilborne do hereby guarantee the title of all the above lands and appertances [sic] to the said Worsham his heirs, executors, administrators against myself, my heirs, execu., adms. or assigns and against all other persons, witness my hand this 22nd day of February eighteen hundred and fifty eight Feby 22, 1858.
Henry (X) Wilson
A. W. Wilborne
T. J. Warsham [sic]
State of Louisiana
Parish of Claiborne
Before me John W. Hayes Recorder in and for said parish personally came and appeared William Branon one of the subscribing witnesses to within deed who after being duly sworn declared that he saw the parties sign the same and that he also saw Henry Wilson sign the same all in the presence of each other sworn to and subscribed this the 1st day of April 1858.
John W. Hayes, Recorder
I certify the above to be a true record this 26th April 1858.
John W. Hayes Recorder
April 1, 1859 and March 1, 1860:
Amonet homesteads more land in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
April 1, 1859. Land Patent. Land office: Natchitoches, Township 23 – North Range 7-West, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Total acres: 79.73. Act or Treaty: April 24, 1820. Sale – Cash Entries. Signature: Yes.
April 1, 1859. Land Patent. Land office: Natchitoches, Township 23 – North Range 7-West, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Total acres: 80.32. Act or Treaty: April 24, 1820. Sale – Cash Entries. Signature: Yes.
April 1, 1859. Land Patent. Land office: Natchitoches, Township 23-North Range 7-West, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Total acres: 120.78. Act or Treaty: April 24, 1820. Sale – Cash Entries. Signature: Yes.
March 1, 1860. Land Patent. Township 23-North Range 7-West, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Section 8, NWSE.
March 1, 1860. Land Patent. Township 23 – North Range 7-West, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Section 9, NWSW.
March 1, 1860. Land Patent. Township 23 – North Range 7-West, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Section 9, SESW.
January 15, 1872:
Notary Public J R Ramsey’s handwriting is very difficult to read, so I don’t transcribe the short mortgage here, but summarize it. Amonet signs a promissory note for $209.00 to William B. Gill, at 8% interest, per annum. Amonet agrees to pay the attorney’s fee if he does not pay the note on time. He mortgages eighty acres in Sections 8 and 9 of Township 23. (signed) A W Wilbourn and (signed) W B Gill; Attest: W J [Slmands?] and W O Davis. J R Ramsey, Recorder and Notary Public; recorded September 8, 1874
March 6, 1873:
Amonet sells 79 and 23/100 acres, 80 and 32/100 acres, and 120 78/100 acres: to R P Webb, for $2250.00. That’s a huge amount. Maybe this prepares the way for Amonet and his family to move north to AR, between January 1, 1874 (or January 1, 1875) and October 12, 1876. It should be noted that Amonet had an aunt named Elizabeth Webb, but it is unclear whether R. P. Webb is hers.
State of Louisiana
Parish of Claiborne
A. W. Wilbourn
R. P. Webb
Filed March 6, 1873
Know all men by these presents that I A. W. Wilbourn of the State and Parish aforesaid have this day for and in consideration of twenty two hundred and fifty dollars the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged do bargain sell and convey and do bargain sell and convey unto R. P. Webb of the same State and Parish above mentioned the following described tract or parcel of land viz;
The East half of South East quarter of Section eight in Township No. twenty three Range no. seven containing seventy nine acres and twenty three hundredths and the South West ¼ of South West ¼ Sect. nine and South West ¼ of South East quarter of Section No. eight in Township No. twenty three of Range No. seven containing eighty acres and thirty two hundredths and the North West ¼ of South West ¼ of South East ¼ of South West ¼ of Section No. nine, North West ¼ of South East quarter
Of Section No. eight in Township No. twenty-three of Range No. seven containing one hundred and twenty acres and seventy-eight hundredths above described land lying and being situated in the State and Parish aforesaid,
The title to same land I warrant and defend unto R. P. Webb his heirs and assigns forever, binding myself my heirs and assigns to do the same. In testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name in the presence of the subscribing witnesses, both lawful age and citizens of the same State and Parish of myself, on this 6th day of March A.D. 1873.
[signed] A. H. Wilbourn [Alexander Hargess, Amonet’s son]
[signed] T. A. Wilbourn [Thomas Amonet, Amonet’s son]
[signed] A. W. Wilbourn
State of Louisiana
Parish of Claiborne
Before me, B. D. Harrison, Dy. Recorder in and for said Parish came and appeared A. H. Wilbourn who on oath deposes that he saw the maker of the within deed sign the same and that he and said T. A. Wilbourn signed it as witnesses all in the presence of each other.
[signed] A. H. Wilbourn
Sworn to and subscribed before me, Decr. 16, 1873
[signed] B. D. Harrison
A true record, Decr. 16th 1873
August 26, 1873:
Deputy Recorder J R Ramsey’s handwriting is very difficult to read, so I didn’t transcribe the short mortgage here, but summarized it. Apparently M C Adkins needs to mortgage some of his property and labor to Amonet and his son Thomas Amonet. So Amonet is not yet prepared to move north to Arkansas. Alex Hargess Wilbourn was a witness. Athens, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. Mortgage. M C Atkins mortgages his “present growing crops”; his horse; which cannot be traded without Wilbourns’ consent; his labor to gather cotton; and his corn: mortgaged to A. W. Wilbourn and T. A. Wilbourn. He is supposed to finish his labor by November 1873. M C Adkins (signed); Attest: A. H. Wilbourn (signed); Geo W. Beck (signed); M. C. Adkins (signed). Filed August 30, 1873; recorded September 5, 1873; Recorder: J. R. Ramsey; Deputy Recorder: B D Harrison. Recorded in Book C, Mortgages & Privileges.
December 15 and 16, 1873:
Alexander Hargess buys land from his father Amonet on credit. One note is payable January 1, 1874 ($400.00), and the second one is payable January 1, 1875 ($645.00). Alexander paid his father $100.00 on March 1, 1873, perhaps as a kind of down payment.
State of Louisiana
Parish of Claiborne
A. W. Wilbourn
A. H. Wilbourn
Filed Decr. 16th, 1873
Know all men by these presents that I A. W. Wilbourn a resident of the aforesaid Parish and State have this day bargained sold and delivered unto A. H. Wilbourn of the same residence for and in consideration of the sum of nine hundred and five dollars cash in hand paid the receipt whereof is acknowledged in this way viz; the said A. W. Wilbourn receives from the said A. H. Wilbourn two notes given by me the said A. W. Wilbourn to the said A. H. Wilbourn or bearer said notes bearing date each the 1st day of January A.D. 1873, and the first note payable is due the first day of January A.D. 1874, amounting to ($400.00/100) four hundred dollars bearing a credit thereon of one hundred and forty dollars paid first of March A.D. 1873, and the second note calling for six hundred and forty five dollars and payable 1st day of January A.D. 1875, the following described property to wit:
Lots numbers 6 (six) and 7 (seven) in Block (B) fronting Pearl Street seventy-eight feet each, and running back one hundred and twenty-three and a half feet West as per map of the Town of Athens, together with all the improvements and appurtenances thereunto belonging,
Said lots of land situated in the Parish of Claiborne and State of Louisiana now, I the said A. W. Wilbourn do hereby warrant and defend the title of the said property to the said A. H. Wilbourn his heirs and assigns against myself my heirs and assigns and against all debt mortgages or other incumbrances [sic] whatever, in testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name in the presence of the two subscribing witnesses both of lawful age and residents of the Parish and State aforesaid on this 15th day of December A. D. 1873.
[signed] T. A. Wilbourn
R. P. Webb
[signed] A. W. Wilbourn
State of Louisiana
Parish of Claiborne
Before me B. D. Harrison, Dy. Recorder in and for said Parish came and appeared R. P. Webb who on oath deposes that that [sic] he saw the maker of the above and foregoing deed sign the same & that he & T. A. Wilbourn signed it as witnesses, all in presence of each other.
[signed] R. P. Webb
Sworn to and subscribed before me, Decr. 16, [sic]
January 1 and 2, 1874:
Amonet sells over 180 acres for $1350.00, to J. H. Simmons, who is probably related by marriage.
State of Louisiana
A. W. Wilbourn
J. H. Simmons
Filed Jany 2, 1874
Know all men by these presents that I A. W. Wilbourn of the State and Parish aforesaid have this day for and in consideration of the sum of thirteen hundred and fifty dollars $1350.00 cash in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged do this day bargain sell and deliver unto James H. Simmons of the same State and Parish above mentioned the following described tract or parcel of land lying and being situated in said Parish and State to wit;
Being West ½ of the NE ¼ and E ½ of the NE ¼ less twenty acres formerly deeded to J. H. Simmons by J. B. McFarland and the NW ¼ of the SE ¼ Section (3) three Township nineteen (19) Range seven (7) West containing one hundred and eighty acres more or less, with all the improvements thereon,
The title to said land I warrant and defend unto J. H. Simmons his heirs and assigns forever, binding myself my heirs and assigns to do the same. In testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name in the presence of the subscribing witnesses on this the 1st day of January A. D. 1874.
Also three acres off the East side of the NE ¼ of the NW ¼ section three Township nineteen Range seven West,
This the 1st day of January 1874.
[signed] J. B. McFarland
J. F. McFarland
[signed] A. W. Wilbourn
J. H. Simmons
State of Louisiana
Parish of Claiborne
Before me, J. E. Ramsey, Recorder in and for said Parish came and appeared J. H. Simmons who on oath deposes that the maker of the within deed signed and executed the same on the day it bears date for the purposes therein set forth.
[signed] J. H. Simmons
Sworn to and subscribed before me, Jany 2d, 1874
[signed] J. R. Ramsey, Recorder
A true record, Jany 2d, 1874
B. D. Harrison
Move from Louisiana to Arkansas
They lived in Louisiana near – but not right next to – the Arkansas border, so the move was not that far. But when did the Wilbourns move north to Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas?
Consider these facts:
* On January 1, 1874, Amonet records a land sale, in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
* On December 15, 1873, Amonet’s son Alexander Hargess buys land in a promissory note, in Claiborne Parish, LA. The second payment is due on January 1, 1875.
* On October 12, 1876, Sarah Leacie Jane, Amonet’s and Nancy Margaret’s fourth daughter, married Augustus Madison Talley, in Columbia County, Arkansas.
* Therefore, if Amonet waited in Claiborne Parish for his son’s payment on January 1, 1875, then the Wilbourn family moved north to Arkansas between January 1, 1875 and October 12, 1876.
* If he did not wait, then they moved between January 1, 1874 and October 12, 1876.
* We can assume that it takes time for a man and woman to court and marry, so maybe we can narrow the time six or twelve months (?) before Leacie’s marriage date.
* Bottom line: Amonet and family moved, probably in spring 1876.
October 4 and 5, 1883:
By now Amonet lives in Magnolia, Columbia County, Arkansas, but he sells town property in Claiborne Parish, LA, to his son Alexander Hargess, for $10.00. This current deed replaces one that was made in September 1873. I don’t have that deed, unless it’s the one dated in December 1873. I don’t know the price of the Athens property in Claiborne Parish at that time, but $10.00 seems quite a good price, compared to the 1873 deal. For that price, maybe Amonet in his old age (he’s 62) was being generous with his son Alex. The 1880 Census says Amonet was unhealthy (see above), but he dies in 1889, six years and two months after this deed.
State of Arkansas
County of Columbia
Wilbourn et al.
A. H. Wilbourn
Filed Oct. 6, 1883
Know all men by these presents that we, A. W. Wilbourn & T. A. Wilbourn of the county and state aforesaid for and in consideration of the sum and price hereinafter set forth, have this day and do by these presents grant, bargain, sell transfer and convey with a full guarantee of title to to [sic] A. H. Wilbourn of the Parish of Claiborne and state [sic] aforesaid, the following described property, situated in the Town of Athens in Claiborne Parish, to wit:
A part of two lots in said Town of Athens, described as follows:
Beginning at the SW corner of what was formerly known known [sic] as the yard fence of Dr. W. O. Davis, and run East (47) forty seven feet from the starting point, thence South (40) forty feet, the West 47 feet to Pearal [sic] Street, thence South forty feet on Pearl Street, thence East (247) two hundred and forty seven feet, thence North eighty feet, thence West two hundred feet to the starting point, with the improvements thereon,
And we promise to warrant and defend the title to said lot of land against all legal claims and demands whatever, subrogating said purchaser to all our rights and actions of warranty against all former vendors. This sale is made for and in consideration of the sum and price of ten dollars cash in hand paid, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged. This deed and act of sale is made in the place of a former deed made to the same property during the month of Sept., 1873, which original deed has been lost or mislaid and was made by these vendors to this vendee. Thus done and signed in presence of the attesting witnesses on this the 4 day of Oct., 1883
J. M. Bolger, M. D.
C. E. Wilbourn
A. W. & T. A. Wilbourn
State of Arkansas
County of Columbia
Be it remembered that on this 5th day of October, 1883, before me, Dave Dixon, Clerk of the Circuit in and for said County and State, personally appeared C. E. Wilbourn, one of the subscribing witnesses of the foregoing deed, to me personally known, who being duly by me first sworn on his oath stated that he saw A. W. Wilbourn and T. W. [sic] Wilbourn, grantors in said deed subscribe said deed on the day of its date for the uses, purposes and considerations therein expressed and that he and he [sic] J. M. Bolger, the other subscribing witness subscribed the same as attesting witnesses at the request of said grantors. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of my office of said court at Magnolia, on the day and date aforesaid.
By J. H. Baker, D. C.
A true record Oct. 10, 1883
J. R. Ramsey, Dy. Clk. D. C.
December 5, 1889. Will Book B, pp. 166-67. The binding of the entire will book cuts off the middle margin. So William Harvey’s middle initial H barely appears. Unfortunately the clerk or lawyer liked using initials, instead of full names, in too many (but not all) instances.
Last Will & Testament of A. W. Wilburn
In the Name of God. Amen
I A. W. Wilbourn of the County of Columbi[a] and State of Arkansas being in ill bodily Heatlh [sic] but of Sound disposing mind and memory and being anctious [sic] to make depository of my property while I have capasity [sic] so to do that I am blessed of I do hereby make and publish this as my last will and Testament hereby revoking and making all other last Wills and testaments heretofore by me ma[de] Null and Void.
Item first I commend my Soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth and to be burried [sic] by my my [sic] Executor hereinafter named and appointed with as little expense and ostentations as will be suitable to my means
Item 2nd I will and bequeath unto my beloved wif[e] Nancy Wilborn one third of my real Estate hereinafter described and also my Wagon, and buggy and my Boy mule named Juin, Also one half of [a__] all my money I may have on hand o[n] my Death.
Item 3’d I give and bequeath unto my my [sic] Son Champion E Wilborn one third of my real Estate
Item 4 I give and bequeath unto my beloved daugh[ter] Mildred F. P. Wilborn one third of my real Estat[e] and my mau[s]e colored Mule John and also one half [of] all my money that I may have on hand at the tim[e] of my death.
Item 5 I give and bequeath unto my beloved son T. A Wilborn the Sum of one Dollar
Item 6 I give and bequeath unto my beloved son A. H. Wilborn the Sum of one Dollar
Item 7 I give and bequeath unto my beloved son W. [H] Wilborn the Sum of one Dollar
Item 8 I give and bequeath with my beloved dau[ghter] E. A. Hearn the Sum of one Dollar
Item 9 I give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughter E. G. Smith the Sum of one Dollar
Item 10 I give and bequeath unto my beloved Daughter S. L. J. Tally the Sum of one Dollar
It is my Will that my Executor herein mentioned pay off all the above bequeaths after my death as soon as he conveniently can
Item 11 I hereby nominate and appoint my beloved Chanpoon [sic] E. Wilborn Executor of this my last will and Testament
A. W. Wilborn signed sealed published and declared by the Said Aminst [sic] W. Wilborn as and for his last Will and Testament in presence of us who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as Witnesses herto [sic], in this the 5th day of December 1889
J C Fimby
A. J. Dodsen
State of Arkansas
County of Columbia
Personally appeared before me T. C Monroe Clerk Circuit Court and Ex officio Clerk Probate Court in and for said County and State J. C. Fimby and A. J. Dodsin [sic] the subscribing witnesses purporting to be the last will and testament of A. W. Wilborn deceased late of said County and State bearing date of 5th day of December 1889 who being duly sworn depose and saw that the said A. W. Wilborn signed sealed and published and declared the same to be his last Will and testament in their presence and called upon them to sign their names therto [sic] as witnesses and that they signed the same as such witnesses in the presence of each other and in the presence of the said A. W. Wilborn deceased and that said A. W. Wilborn was of sound mind and memory and over twenty one years old at the time of signing the same
Subscribed and sworn to before me on
this 14th day of Mch 1890
J C Fimby
T C Monroe Clk
A. J. Dodsin
Filed Mch 14′ & Recorded Mch 24th 1890 [signed] T C Monroe Clk
Amonet’s parents are Champion Wilbourn and Elizabeth Ann Anderson. His father died young, about 1822-1827, when Amonet was about two or six years old, for he was born in 1821. So how much did he remember of his father? We don’t know. No matter. His mother had no choice but to move on.
Amonet has a three-state journey: South Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
He was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina. He appears in several places in his grandfather William’s probate. His great-grandparents Thomas and Hannah Wilbourn surely moved away about the time he was born, but on his family’s move out to Louisiana, around 1836, his mother Elizabeth Ann, wife of Champion, must have stopped by Tuscaloosa County, Alabama to visit her kids’ great-grandmother, who died about 1840.
Amonet was a mid-teen when he and his family moved out to Louisiana. The places he stopped had to include first, as noted, his great-grandmother’s place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, seeing also his Great-Uncle George and possibly Great-Uncle Thomas, and their children. Then they must have met up with his Great-Uncle Richard and Great-Aunt Elizabeth Wade, in Sumter County, Alabama.
In the Champion and Elizabeth Ann post, we discuss when they left South Carolina. His grandmother Cairy (Hudson) Wilbourn and her kids left after December 2, 1834, when she sells the plantation, and got to Yalobusha County, Mississippi, before January 27, 1835, when she purchased land there. Yet, a history of Bienville Parish, Louisiana, says a group of Edgefield pioneers, including Elizabeth Ann, left in 1835 and arrived in that parish the first of 1836. Did Amonet and his family live in Yalobusha County, Mississippi, for about a year? Amonet and his mother knew this line the best, so maybe they stayed with them a long time before they went on out to Louisiana.
On arriving in Louisiana, his mother wasted no time to buy property. She bought some in 1837. He did not have as much training in farming as other young men did, for his dad died when the boy was really young. And Amonet was a mid-teen when he arrived in their new state, and his brother William was just a few years older, so Amonet’s and William’s training was also inadequate. But they did not live in poverty. In fact, they seemed to have prospered. No doubt they had to depend on their neighbors more than usual – though all pioneers depended on each other. Our pioneer ancestors were not so much self-reliant as community reliant. For all we know, these Wilbourns depended on an older slave or two. Amonet and his family seem to have gotten along fine, in agriculture.
On August 5, 1837, Amonet joined Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. So now he was getting good ol’ sermons to foster his spiritual and moral growth.
On April 27, 1843, he married Nancy Margaret Gray. Did they get married there? Did they attend that church?
Amonet had musical abilities, so says family tradition and his 1870 Census. The census specifies “singing master.” Did he sing for the church? Play an instrument? Surely he did. His granddaughter, our grandmother, who was born in 1889, the same year Amonet died, also was a “singing master”; that is, she taught voice and piano, for many years. Yet, the 1870 Census says Amonet’s real estate was valued only at $800.00, while their personal property was $500.00. So his focus on his “singing master” job meant his farming suffered.
Sometime between a deed dated December 15, 1873 in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, and his daughter Sarah Leacie Jane’s marriage in October 12, 1876, Columbia County, Arkansas, the family moved from Louisiana to Arkansas. It was probably in the spring 1876. His granddaughter (our grandmother Rae) heard from her Aunt Millie (Amonet’s daughter) that William Harvey, Rae’s father and Amonet’s son, did not move up to Arkansas, but shot out to Texas. No doubt he visited Amonet’s brother William for a while, who had moved out to Cherokee County, before 1860.
In the 1880 Census, Amonet is marked down as unhealthy. But in what way? Whatever it was, his wife Nancy and daughter Mildred no doubt took care of him, and his son Champion was doing the farm work. Champion, however, did not like the farm life, instead becoming a doctor of medicine
Maybe Amonet’s illness or unhealthy condition, generally, never left him, because he died December 8, 1889. His wife Nancy Margaret lived another 15 years after he did, dying May 7, 1904. She ended up living with her youngest (surviving) child and daughter Mildred, until then.
Nancy’s maternal family history is long and distinguished. William Clayton was a founder a Pennsylvania in the 1680’s. Her great-great grandfather Simon Hadley qualifies as a DAR patriot, and her grandfather Joel Leakey was a Founding Father of Texas, and he qualifies to be a member of the Old Three Hundred.
Amonet was transitional in American history. He knew all about slavery. His grandfather owned about 20, and his mother owned one or two. Yet, he lived well past the Civil War (1861-1865) and the Emancipation Proclamation (1863), so he saw the slaves live free. He also heard about them entering the federal government for the first time and holding high office. But he also heard about their suppression in the 1870s. While he lived, an Old Order was dying and a New Order was struggling mightily to be born.
Amonet was a thoroughly and fully fledged citizen of the American 1800s. The nineteenth century gave him birth, raised him, and saw him die. He was a farmer of the South and had musical abilities. No doubt a household filled with music made life easier during the tough and often confusing transitional history.
See his son’s post next: William Harvey Wilbourn
Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Claiborne Parish: Homesteads Edition. Arphax
Ford, LeRoy and Jeanette White. Our Niche in History: Letters to Our Children.
Hamm, Thomas D. “Simon and Bridget (Foote) Hadley.” The Quaker Yeoman.
Vol. 13. No. 5. January 1987. P. 8.
—. “The Deep Creek Hadleys.” The Heritage of Yadkin Co. [NC]. Frances
Harding Casstevens, ed. The Yadkin County Historical Society, 1981.
Healton, Curtis E., ed. A Hadley Genealogy, (Volume 1), Ancestry of Simon Hadley, Original Immigrant, and Some of His Descendants. The Hadley Genealogical Society of Southern California, 1974.
Huggins, Katherine Dobbins. “The Hadley Family.” The Heritage of Yadkin
County [NC]. Frances Harding Casstevens, ed. Yadkins County Historical
 Thomas Hamm’s “Deep Creek Hadleys.”
 You can search for Titus J. Wilbourn at Find-a-Grave.
 Farris Souter can be found at
http://thehardyparty.com/cemeteries/columbia/memorial.htm; scroll down to Souter.