Waller and Montgomery County Stories Generally
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Contact: Nick Wallingford - firstname.lastname@example.org
Annie Debell Wallingford was the eighth of nine children of Thomas Ginn ("T.G.") Wallingford and his wife Evaline Debell. Of the children who lived to adulthood, we probably know less about her than any of the others. This set of notes attempts to summarise what I have been able to confirm...
Annie was born on 15 February 1867. The entry in the family bible is faint, written onto the bottom of a page. T.G. and Evaline were still living in the Retreat area of Grimes County, Texas, at that time.
Wallingford Bible: Birth of Annie Debell Wallingford (page 4 - bottom left, almost illegible)
Annie's middle name, Debell, comes from Evaline's maiden name. Though all the Debell family seems to spell it without a final 'e', Annie's name sometimes has that, but other times does not. The entry in the Wallingford Family Bible is very difficult to read, but records it as Debell.
At the time of Annie's birth, T.G. and Evaline had two girls and two boys living, as three children had already died young. The youngest of the four still living, James Monroe, died of yellow fever at the age of 9, when Annie was only 9 months old.
Wallingford Bible: Death of James Monroe Wallingford (page 4, half way down right column)
T.G. and Evaline's eighth and last child, named Evaline Debell after her mother, was born when Annie was about 2 1/2 years old. This is one of few births that was not recorded into the family bible, perhaps because the mother never fully recovered from childbirth? Only a few months later, on 15 January 1870, Annie's mother Evaline died, leaving T.G. with 4 girls and a boy to raise, the oldest being Martha ("Mattie") who was not quite 14 years old. Martha Palymra Clark, a niece of T.G.'s, was living with the family as her own parents had died some years before.
Wallingford Bible: Death of Evaline Debell Wallingford (page 4, near bottom of right column)
Annie appears as "Anna" in the 1870 census of Grimes County with T.G., Martha ("Mattie"), Eliza, Thomas and Evaline, along with Martha Clark.
Sadly, the youngest girl, Evaline, died shortly before her fourth birthday.
Wallingford Bible: Death of young Evaline (page 4, bottom of right column)
We have no stories or written materials relating specifically to Annie during her youth - we have very little about any of the children in that 1870s period of time. We do know the family moved a few miles south, from Retreat to the Field's Store area, probably shortly before March 1877, which is when T.G. wrote to apply to transfer from the Retreat Lodge at Courtney to the Pleasant Hill Lodge at Field's Store.
In June 1880 Annie (now 13 years old) was living with her sister Mattie and her husband Robert F. Day, along with Annie's brother Robert Thomas (17) and the Day's young girl Edna (1 year old).
T.G. was boarding nearby. I cannot confirm the actual locations, but the Day's were family number 74 on the census, and T.G. was boarding with James L. and Maria Boulware, enumerated as family number 8. T.G., incidentally, was the census taker for this area, possibly related in some way to his job as a constable for the area.
James L. Boulware is shown as a "merchant" on the census, but it is not clear in what capacity. While James himself does not get directly related into our family, it is time to look at the Boulware family overall...
Musco and Serena Lewis Boulware moved from South Carolina to Florida sometime shortly after 1850, having had three boys (at least two were living, not sure about the other). In Florida, they continue to have more children - after having had 6 boys in a row, they had 4 daughters!
Sometime after July 1870, the family moved to the Field's Store area of Texas.
The 1880 Waller County census shows Musco and Serena with two boys and three girls, living one house away from Henry and Emma Ogg. The oldest of the boys still at home was Reuben, aged 28, and listed as a 'farmer'. T.G., remember, was boarding nearby with Reuben's brother James.
Now comes something of a mystery, but one with enough clues that I think I can draw some conclusions...
On 3 October 1881, T.G.'s older brother Hiram wrote to him from Indiana, saying:
Later in the same letter, he wrote of his wife Hannah:
Annie would be about 14 1/2 at this time, and probably still living with Mattie and Robert Day. It is my guess that Annie got unexpectedly pregnant - it sure seems to be one of the best answers to the questions raised by Hiram's writing to T.G.
We do not have evidence of any child born to her to fit this time frame, however. It could be that the pregnancy did not go to full term, that the child died at birth, or perhaps died soon after - assuming that my guess about the pregnancy is right!
We do know, however, that Annie and Reuben Boulware had a child a year later - Lena (sometimes called "Mattie") was born 24 September 1882, just one week short of a year from the time Hiram wrote the letter to T.G.
At the time of that birth, Annie was 15 1/2 - and Reuben was 30!
The only other record of Annie from these early 1880s is the mention in a later letter (1900) from Joseph Power, an attorney from Kentucky, that in August 1884 T.G. had a power of attorney to sort out some Debell estate matters, one of them being Anna D. Boulware.
November 1892 brought a major event to affect both the Wallingfords and the Boulwares for several years...
On 8 November 1892, a fight broke out in Field Store near the polling place, and Charles Quinn was shot and killed, and C. McConnell was supposed to be "mortally wounded". T.G. Wallingford, his son-in-law Reuben Boulware and Joe Woods all turned themselves in. Election officials fled rapidly, one of them taking the ballot box with him!
There had been something of an old feud already, and a brother of one of those killed (Quinn's brother, I think) had brought a Winchester rifle with him to the polling booth area. On that basis, the three who turned themselves in were bailed out of jail. It was never explained where/why *they* had their guns in the polling booth area!
Several months later, a grand jury returned bills of indictment for murder. It may have been at that grand jury that T.G. made a statement quoted by Arthur Moore, Sr.: "...the prosecutor attempted to discredit Grandpa by asking, 'Mr. Wallingford, isn't it true that you killed two men just last year?' Grandpa answered firmly, 'I killed two horse thieves.' This brought laughter from the jury..."
The three accused were shortly after released on bond, Boulware and Wood at $2500, T.G. at only $1000 (so presumably his role was not so major). Later the trial was held over to the next session due to lack of time. One can't help but think District Attorney Pinckney's involvement may have had something to do with it - T.G. and Pinckney had been close friends going back to the days of the Civil War when they served together in Hood's Brigade.
When it did come to trial some 6 months later, Woods was acquitted, and T.G.'s case was "dismissed" (on the motion of the district attorney!!). Reuben's case was moved to Austin County. In that same court, City Marshall Goss was found not guilty, in a clear case of self defence, of killing Hugh Quinn. Hugh Quinn was an uncle of the Charles Quinn that Reuben apparently shot...
In January 1896, Boulware was finally cleared of the charges against him.
Annie and Reuben continued to have children through the 1880s and 1890s. In the 1900 Waller County census, they are shown living next door to Andrew Campbell. As Will Sorsby is listed a few households earlier, I believe this would place them on the current FM 1488, just before it makes the hard right hand turn before approaching Field's Store from the west.
Living with them are Mattie L. ("Lena"), Frank R. (also called "Roy" sometimes), Annie V. ("Verna"), Thomas and Katie. The census records that Annie had 7 children, 5 of whom were still alive. As we know of only one child (Ruby, born in 1885) who will have died by this time, it adds credibility to an earlier birth of which we have no details...
Also living with the family at that time is Edna Day, Annie's niece. Given that T.G. was actively working to sort out an inheritance for Edna and her brother Edwin at this time, and paying taxes on a piece of land they owned, gives credence to a belief that T.G. did get along with the family, though we'll probably never know more details.
Annie and Reuben had two more children - Owen and Joe Howard - in the next few years, and one more child (Thomas) died at age 8, in early 1903 - seemingly of "congestion". Thomas Edwin's death certificate must have been one of the very earliest to be recorded in Waller County...
In general terms, the family seems to have gravitated to Hempstead from the Field's Store area, for the most part.
Lena lived in Hempstead for the last five years of her life, dying in 1919 from pneumonia at the age of 36. It does not appear that she ever married.
Roy was a butcher in Hempstead. In 1930 he was living with his Aunt Mamie (sister of Reuben) in Waller County. He died in 1943, aged 54. He, too, appeared to never have married.
Verna was living in Austin at the time of Lena's death in 1919 - she came back to Waller County and acted as the informant for her death certificate. She is reported to have married William ("Willie") Irwin Ethridge in Austin, Texas, in March 1920. She was still, however, in June 1920 shown with the name Boulware as an attendant at the State Lunatic Asylum in Austin, Texas. When married, Verna and Willie moved to Bessemer, Alabama (Willie was born in Alabama) and they had four children. Annie Verna lived until 1976, dying in Bessemer, Alabama (a suburb of Birmingham), aged 84.
Katie married Joseph Luther Mason and lived to the age of nearly 78, dying in 1975. In 1930, her Aunt Eliza ("Lide") and Lide's son Vernon were living with the family in Harris County. Kate and her husband later lived at 207 Moore Street, Navasota.
Owen appeared in the 1920 Waller County census sharing a house with his first cousin, Arthur Moore, Sr. Owen worked as a laborer for the State of Texas, working on the roads, and died in 1936 (age 35) when a truck turned over while he was working in Hempstead. His chest was crushed and he died before reaching the hospital.
We know nothing of Joe Howard, apart from the fact he was the last child to be born. He very likely died before 1910, as he was not on that census with the family.
In the 1910 Waller County census, the Boulwares had five children still with them: Lena, Roy, Verna, Katie and Owen.
We know very little about the deaths of either Annie or Reuben. Annie died 27 June 1912, at the age of 44. Reuben will very likely have died before 1920 (as he is not on the census then) but I have not found any details at all.
Annie in the early 1880s appears to have been T.G.'s "problem child". Whether she was ever fully forgiven by the irascible T.G. isn't known - we have no records, or even family stories, to describe the interactions of T.G. and Annie Debell's family. Maybe someday we'll learn more...