Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Branding Marks

I've never owned an animal that had a brand or needed one. No horse, cow or anything like that. There haven't been too many in my recent family who would have either.
Gwen and the Longacre Brand
In my wife's family line were several who owned ranches.

Her great uncle David Coffman, a part time preacher who also married us, had several ranches near Abilene, Texas where he raised sheep. I don't know if he tried to brand them, but he also had cattle and probably registered a brand for the cows.

It's serious business in Texas where you have to register your brand each year with the County and pay a fee. If you are late someone can apparently take your brand as their own.  

My daughter travelled with her grandmother to Abilene a couple years ago for a high school reunion and found this display painted on one of the downtown buildings that had samples of local cattle brands. It included one for her grandmother's Longacre family. Her grandfather was Benjamin Longacre and both he and his father raised cattle in Texas.

The web page of the Texas Cattle Raisers Association interprets what the artwork in a brand means. So the Longacre brand with a line over the LO is called a rail.

I found this 1889 newspaper article that described another Texas family brand. John William Glenn was my wife's great grandfather. He was born in 1870 in Bluff Springs, Alabama and died in 1943 in Dublin, Erath County Texas.

Dallas Morning New August 12, 1889
He moved to Texas with his parents in 1888. This report described the brand on his mule that someone stole in 1889 as having a 3 with a half circle over it. A half circle is supposed to mean "swinging." So this means his brand was the Swinging 3. John William Glenn was also a Methodist minister so I doubt the design of his brand had any family connection.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mr. Ensley's Fire

I was reading the diary of James Rumley (1812-1881) the former Clerk of the Carteret County North Carolina Superior Court and it mentioned an event involving a Capt. Fulford (my mother's maiden name) so I decided to see who this was. Rumley kept a diary for three years during the Civil War, mainly to document what he considered atrocities committed by Yankee troops against the local folks.

His entry of October 30, 1863 detailed the fire that broke out five days earlier in the kitchen of a Mr. Ensley on Front Street in Beaufort and quickly spread to destroy five houses and one business. In listing the property owners he said one was Dr. King on Front Street and another Capt. Fulford. In fact Capt. Fulford's house was intentionally blown down with gun powder by the Union troops to try and contain the fire.

I wasn't sure who this Capt. Fulford was and Rumley didn't mention anything else about him. He does go on to say that several houses had been intentionally set fire, one culprit who he described as "some devil in human form."  He infers it was the Yankee troops who he said are "suspected of being discharged convicts from northern penitentiaries and ripe for crime."

But the fire on October 25, 1863 was apparently an accidental kitchen fire that got out of control.

1860 Census Beaufort, NC Page 146
I checked the 1860 census records to see if I could identify any of the names. There on page 146 I found a William Fulford living next to Dr. F. L. King. This was Dr. Francis Lathrop King who married Sara Ward. He received medical training at Bellevue Hospital in New York and ran a Drug Store on Front Street in Beaufort.

The William Fulford listed was my first cousin, five times removed. His father was James Martin Fulford the brother of my great grandfather, Stephen Fulford.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse
William Fulford was born in 1786 and died in 1864. He was called Captain, of the sea no doubt. His son, William Hawkins Fulford listed on the 1860 census record as a 25 year old Mariner became famous as a Ship Captain and the founder of North Miami Beach, Florida.

Capt. William Fulford was the second Keeper of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The first Lighthouse Keeper was his father James. William Fulford spent 40 years living at Cape Lookout with his father and serving as both Assistant and Lighthouse Keeper. By 1860 at age 74 he had retired and moved to town.The census has his house valued at $2,000 and personal property of $8,000 which was a lot of money back then.

1870 Beaufort, NC
William Fulford died the next year and without resources during the Civil War his family wasn't able to rebuild the house. On the 1870 census his wife, Civil Pigott Fulford, was living in Beaufort but no longer on Front Street and in a much smaller house with two daughters and grandchildren. I'm not certain where William Fulford's house was located on Front Street but a 1870 map shows a lot owned by Mrs. Fulford between Craven and Queen Street. It is next door where Taylor's Creek Antique Store is located today.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Two Sons, One Day Apart

 A strange coincidence was finding tragic death reports for two Carl William Bahrt sons published one day apart, but separated by 32 years.

Robert Bahrt was the seven year old son of Capt. Carl William Bahrt and Catherine Elizabeth Davidson. He was born in 1883 and died in 1890. The newspaper had liberty to enhance death notices back then so the article that was published in the Manatee River Journal could easily be mistaken as coming from a family member.

Robby was fishing near his parents large home on the Manatee river when he fell in and drowned. He wasn't found for several hours and the family's grief was poured out in the article. The article says he was buried in the Fogartyville Cemetery but there is no marker for him. His parents were later buried there too but I haven't found a marker for them either.

Manatee River Journal May 22, 1890
Manatee River Journal May 22, 1890

Thirty two years and one day later the death notice of another Capt. Carl William Bahrt son was published in the Tampa Tribune. John "Jack" Bahrt was the son of Carl William Bahrt, Jr. and Luddie Garner Bahrt. Luddie was the sister of my great grandmother.

Jack was born in 1917 and was only five years old when he was struck and killed by a car. He and his father had stopped to look at Palma Ceia Springs in Tampa when he ran across the road and was hit by a car. Some thought the warm water of the spring had healing power but it didn't work that day.

Jack was buried in Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Tampa in a plot that was later filled out by his parents and other family members.

Tampa Tribune May 23, 1922

Monday, November 12, 2012

Luck of the Draw

June 21, 1906 Tampa Tribune Page 1
The family story over the last hundred years was that my great grandfather, William Augustus Lundy gave all his children gold coins from a Pirate's Chest he found buried on his property in Manatee County Florida and they used it to buy land and get started farming.

Well at least one of his kids received the benefit of his father's good investment. These newspaper articles from 1906 tell about his son, James Lundy receiving a windfall on Texas oil land.

Apparently shortly before he died in 1903 William Lundy bought some land in Texas from a speculator for $800. He gave the title to his oldest son James.

James William Washington Lundy was born in 1877 and died in 1953 in Manatee County Florida. He married Ada Bryant in 1902, ran a Grocery Store and was the Postmaster in Parrish, Florida for many years.

June 24, 1906 Tampa Tribune Page 8
In 1906 he sold the land that cost his father $800 a few years earlier for $75,000. I don't know the location of the land or if the buyer struck oil on it. I would imagine they knew there was oil there if they paid such a high price for the land. $75,000 in 1906 is equivalent to almost $2,000,000 today if it just increased based on the CPI.

That might be a story for a future day if I can find the land records in Texas. For now all I know is that James Lundy came out pretty good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Texas Moonshine

Thomas Jefferson Longacre was the brother of my wife's great grandfather. I've written about him a couple times because of the interesting story that he ran away from home for about 20 years in the early 1900s. He supposedly left his Texas family behind to travel the railroad in western states, had another wife and son there, who he abandoned and then came back home to Texas. He died in Dallas Texas in 1948 after working for many years for the San Angelo Police Department.

In one of those posts I shared a newspaper article about the time he tried to shoot his boss, the Police Chief of San Angelo, Texas in 1937.

It turns out that wasn't the only time he was in the news for trying to shoot the law, although folks back then may not have considered Revenuers or those who helped them being the same as a local Police Chief. These two articles came from the Dallas Morning News. The first one tells of Thomas Longacre being arrested for running a Moonshine Still. 

Dallas Morning News Jan 30, 1987

A week after his arrest Longacre was set free and shot Ed Davidson three times in the chest. I couldn't find any explanation on why he shot Davidson other than it was connected to the arrest for running the still.

Dallas Morning News Feb 7, 1897

There are a couple other articles that indicate he was convicted of Assault to Murder so I guess the victim survived. 

Justice was swift back then. His appeal was heard and the conviction upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in June 1897, five months after the shooting. He didn't serve much time in jail though as he was out by the time the 1900 census was done. Running a moonshine still and shooting a revenuer must not have been considered too serious back then since they didn't keep him from working for the police department.