Waller and Montgomery County Stories Generally
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Contact: Nick Wallingford - firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm going to attempt a narrative with links to source documents and photos to describe how the Bessie and Henry Warren Ogg Jr family got to where it was in the middle 1920s...
It will, by necessity, have to sometimes jump between families and a bit of back and forth in time, but I'm hoping it can overall make sense of the people, the times and the places that all combine to give us the Bessie and Henry family that many of us are descended from.
Let's start with Sarah Elizabeth Caldwell. Just so you have an idea of where we are, she was Bessie's father's mother.
Sarah was born in South Carolina on 13 November 1821. When she was young, she moved with her family to Haywood County, Tennessee.
Sarah married Thomas Jefferson Montgomery on 22 June 1842, and had five boys with him over the next 8 years. Her only daughter came 2 years later - and lived only a day. Her husband died six months after that.
Sarah remarried, to Robert Monroe Campbell, the next year. Robert was about 25 years older than Sarah. He had come with family members from North Carolina to Tennessee in about 1839, then moved to Texas with them in 1851, settling near a small community called "Brushy", about eight miles north of Columbus.
For whatever reason, he was back in Tennessee to marry Sarah in 1854.
Sarah and Robert Monroe had six children together over the next 10 years or so - including a set of twins. The twins were Andrew Monroe (Bessie's father) and John Jones - we'll get back to them soon.
Shortly after she started having this second family, several of her first set of sons went down to Texas, going in the company of Sarah's brother Ferd (short for Ferdinand Eugeneus!) Caldwell.
Only a few months before the last child ("Fed", short for "Federic") was born, Robert Monroe died at the age of about 68 - fathering children up to the end...
Sarah at this stage (1864) was 43. She had borne 12 children. Two little girls and one little boy had died either at birth or in their first year of life. One of the first set of boys had been killed in the Civil War that would have been raging around them in Tennessee for those last few years.
As well as some of the Montgomery boys and others of her own brothers and sisters, various other of Robert Monroe's family were still in Texas. Robert Monroe's younger brother Andrew Monroe Campbell (not 'our' Andrew Monroe Campbell, this one, but his uncle...) had moved with Robert Monroe and others to the Columbus, Colorado County area, in about 1851.
This Andrew Monroe was also a twin - his brother was John D. Campbell. It seems reasonable to believe that Robert Monroe named his twins Andrew Monroe and John after his younger twin brothers...
This older Andrew Monroe had done quite well - between 1851 and 1866, he owned land, slaves, was involved in railway developments and promotion and had become the Chief Magistrate of Colorado County for 10 years or so, before remarrying and moving to Galveston in 1866.
It seems reasonable to assume that when several of Sarah's siblings and her sons, the Montgomery boys, went down to Texas in the middle 1850's, they did so in order to settle near these other relations, at least to give them some familiarity and family. There was quite a population of 'ex Haywood County, Tennessee' settlers in that area - Columbus and Fayette Counties, during that period of time.
So in about 1871, Sarah came to Texas to settle into that same area, outside of Weimar in a place called Osage.
In late 1872, the oldest of her 'second family' - Kate Adeline - married James Howell Blair. They stayed in the area immediate area, not far from Sarah and the younger children still at home with her.
So 1880 finds Sarah Elizabeth Caldwell Montgomery Campbell living near Weimar, Colorado County, with her three youngest sons - twins Andrew Monroe and John Jones (20) and Fed (16) - and her youngest daughter, Mollie (22) and her husband Zach Willis (26) and child (just over one year old). The boys and Mollie and her husband are all farm laborers, and Sarah is 'keeping house'. Sarah's son Ferd Montgomery was living next door to them with his family.
Daughter Kate Adeline and her family (by now four children) were living only a short distance away.
Her brother Ferd Caldwell was living on his own not very far away, in the same place he settled in 1854 and lived for the next 49 years.
We'll leave them there for now... The one to watch is one of the twins, Andrew Monroe Campbell, now 20. I can only speculate that the family was relatively religious, with several mentions having been made of their involvement with the Harmony Baptist Church in Tennessee before moving to Texas. Though it is not a given that this is how they got involved with their neighbors, the Robertson family, it is a distinct possibility.
Now we'll go back to Tennessee and back in time to Jesse Wiley Robertson, born in 1823, who married Mary Elizabeth Dorris, three years his junior, in 1844. They married in Robertson County, Tennessee, where Jesse had been raised. Both came from large Tennessee families - Jesse had 9 brothers and sisters, and Elizabeth had 11 in next door Davidson County (Nashville is the county seat).
Sometime in the late 1840's, Elizabeth's brother Anderson Dorris (in fact, he and several other brothers and sisters) moved his family to Montgomery County, Texas. Though the timing is not confirmed, it seems likely that Jesse Wiley and Elizabeth and the others came at about the same time.
In 1850, Jesse Wiley and Elizabeth were in Montgomery County, with their first three children. Jesse was at that time a 'mechanic'. Later in that year, Anderson Dorris was involved in writing the articles of faith for the Montgomery Baptist Church. Again, it is likely that Jesse Wiley and Elizabeth were involved in that same church.
In 1853, Anderson Dorris and some others of the family moved to Caldwell County, being involved in road building, as the County Coroner, and as a bailiff for the court. He later (1870) served a term in the Texas legislature during the Civil War reconstruction period. He was involved in the law that made it illegal to carry concealed weapons! Anderson was also reputed to be the best chair maker in Texas...
Jesse Wiley and Elizabeth stayed in Montgomery County, however. By 1860 they had six children - Jessie Wilie was still a mechanic. Elizabeth's sister Charlotte Garrett was living with them, a 43 year old widowed schoolteacher.
In about 1861, the family moved up to Navarro County. This may have been related to the Civil War, as both Jesse Wiley and son Louis Thomas served in the Confederate Army.
The family must have moved up to Colorado County in the late 1860's, probably about 1867, and possibly be closer to Elizabeth's Dorris side of the family, who where in and around Caldwell.
One young son died in Osage in 1867. An older daughter, Harriet, married in Colorado County in 1868. Their oldest son, L.T. (Louis Thomas) married Alice Ball there in 1869, and in 1870 was farming on a property belonging to Martha Ball, his new wife's grandmother.
So now we're back to 1880 in Colorado County. Jesse Wiley (now described as a blacksmith) and Elizabeth and their family are neighbors of Sarah Campbell. It was a pretty full household at the Robertson's. It had L.T. (Louis Thomas) (34) and his two young children Jesse (5) and Helen (7). L.T. was married and widowed in a 10 year period, and left with these two children. Another older son, Isaac Fuller (28) and Isaac's wife and infant daughter were in the household. And finally, the three Robertson girls - Charlotte (21), Maggie (19) and Lula (17).
Living as a boarder in the house listed after them in the census is Robert Cato, who would later marry Charlotte in January 1882. Then the next year, on 13 December 1883, neighbor Andrew Monroe Campbell married Maggie Robertson, and Charlotte Robertson married yet another neighbor, James MacDonough Milam (known as James or Mac).
On Andrew's side of the family, his brother Fed married Elizabeth Moore in mid-1884. His sisters Kate Adeline and Mollie were both already married and started families in the area during this time, too.
So we've brought the Campbells together with the Robertsons, and my Great-Grandparents Andrew and Maggie have gotten married, but they're all still near Weimar, Colorado County.
All three of the Robertson girls and husbands started having children pretty soon afterward, with the Catos having a boy in late 1882 and the Campbell's having a boy (John Caldwell Campbell) in August 1884, and the Milams a girl in 1884. By October 1884, the Catos had moved to Waller County. There was, in fact, a major set of moves from Colorado County to Waller County - there is no record as to whether they all went together, or separately over a relatively short period of time.
Probably in late 1886, the Robertson family in its entirety (Jesse and Elizabeth, L.T. and his children, and Isaac Fuller and his family) all moved to Waller County (not sure if they moved en masse or as individual families). Andrew and Maggie Campbell moved there (before May 1887, for certain) - leaving behind Andrew's mother Sarah and his twin John Jones. John Jones was unmarried, and probably lived with his mother Sarah Campbell, through the late 1880's. It appears that Mollie (Andrew's sister) and her husband Zach Willis moved to Waller County (their older children were born there). Charlotte and Robert Cato moved there before October 1884. Lula and Mac Milam moved there. And Kate Adeline (Andrew's sister) and James Blair moved there before January 1885.
I've not been able to determine when Andrew's brother Fed and his family moved to Waller County - but he, too, was there by 1900, and could have been there more than 10 years earlier - I've not been able to confirm where his various children were born - Colorado County or Waller County. He (Fed) was still in Colorado County as late as March 1886, and probably in late 1889 as he was mentioned in his mother's obituary in a way that made it sound like he was still 'local'.
Fed did, however, purchase land in Waller County (from T.G. Wallingford!) in November 1887 and November 1893.
Not all the families stayed. Both the James and Kate Blair family and the Fed and Elizabeth Campbell families moved back to Colorado County, the Blairs before 1893 and the Campbells before 1905. (James and Kate later returned to Waller County; Fed and Elizabeth remained in Colorado County).
We don't have any record of what caused this mass inter- and intra-family move to Waller County - it sure seems like a pretty major sort of move by a significant number of related families, though!
The Robertson's had lived near there, in Montgomery County, a decade or more before. But really, there is no clear indications of why they all decided to move, either all at once or separately, to the Fields Store area north of Waller, Waller County, Texas...
One of the early events in Waller County for Andrew and Maggie Campbell was the birth of their second child, their first daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Campbell - my Grandmother Bessie, in May 1887.
In August 1890, it is certain that most of these families were living in the same area of northern Waller County - many of them were involved in the establishment of the Reid's Prairie Baptist Church. Jesse Wilie and Elizabeth Robertson, Andrew and Maggie Robertson, Mac and Lula Milam and 12 others met in the schoolhouse to organize the new church.
In September 1889, Andrew's mother Sarah Campbell died in Osage. Sons John Jones and probably Fed, and perhaps some of her Montgomery sons, would still have been there, but most of the rest of her second family were in Waller County - Andrew, Molly and Kate Adeline.
As near as can be determined, Andrew and Maggie lived in the same house for all of their life in Waller County. As near as I can tell, this was up FM 362 a few miles north of Waller, before it intersects with 1488. It would be counted as close to Fields Store, but not quite part of that township.
By 1900, many of these families have grown considerably. Andrew and Maggie Campbell now have two more daughters, Cora and Maggie, to join John and Bessie.
The Catos (Maggie's sister Charlotte and her husband Robert Presley Cato) had a sadder time of it. Though they had a total of 6 children, Charlotte died in the middle 1890's. R.P. remarried and by 1900 was living in nearby Washington County. He eventually moved up near Wichita Falls...
Next door to Andrew and Maggie were James and Kate Blair, with their family (Kate was Andrew's sister). Another two or three houses away were Zach and Mollie Willis.
Fed and Elizabeth were living not far from Andrew and Maggie, and James and Kate, along with their four children and what would appear to be their nephew Phillip, a son of Kate Adeline and James Blair. Four Campbell children were centered in this one very small area: Andrew, Kate, Mollie and Fed. The only sibling not there was Andrew's twin John Jones, who by this time had married and was still living in Colorado County, raising his family.
Mac and Lula Milam were still living north of Fields Store, with three small girls and one boy. Sadly, the boy Alonzo died about that same time. They were to have one more girl, giving them a family of four girls.
Jesse Wiley and Elizabeth Robertson were just a few households away from Fed and Elizabeth. Their son L.T. (Louis) (now 45) was still living with them, along with his son Jesse (24) and another grandchild, Marshall (16) (she was one of Isaac Fuller and Maggie Robertson's children - not sure why she was listed with her grandparents).
Isaac and Maggie Robertson were living in Montgomery County - probably not all that far away at all. Interestingly, Marshall is counted as being in both families for that census, inflating the population of Waller County for 1900!
So the Robertsons were there, living close to four of their children: Maggie, Lula, Louis and Isaac. Daughter Charlotte had died a few years earlier (as had several children before they moved to Waller County) and daughter Harriet was married and raising a family in Colorado County.
Jesse Wiley's wife Elizabeth died sometime in the early 1900's, and Jesse Wiley died about the same time. They are buried in unmarked graves in Fields Store Cemetery, along with Elizabeth's sister Charlotte who had been living with them back in 1870. Charlotte probably died first - it isn't certain where she was between 1870 and 1900.
And then, in 1907, Andrew's wife Maggie died as well. She was 47, and left Andrew with 6 children (a set of twins, Jesse Pearl and Robert Earl, had both died young). Bessie Campbell would have been 20 at the time.
That now sets the scene for Bessie Campbell to meet and marry Henry Warren Ogg, Jr. It would be reasonable to assume she had met him already - they were both living in this area, very close to each other, for all of their lives!
So far, that gets Sarah Elizabeth "Bessie" Campbell into Waller County at the beginning of the 1900's. The next stage of this writing is to bring Henry Warren Ogg, Jr. to there... To be continued!