Daniel Gandy Franks


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Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks was born December 1, 1848, in Plum Creek, Caldwell Co., TX, and died September 4, 1913, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, at age 64. Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. He is the son of Benjamin F. Franks of Alabama and Martha P. Spears of Mississippi.

Julia Zerilda Elkins was born 1848 in Guadalupe Co., TX, and died February, 1885, in Cedar Springs, Falls Co., TX, at about age 36. Buried in an unmarked grave near Cedar Springs, Falls Co., TX. She is the daughter of Preston Elkins of Tennessee, and Nancy Queen Jolly of Indiana.

Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks and Julia Zerilda Elkins were married February 7, 1868, in Atascosa Co., TX.

Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks and Zezrilda Julia Zerilda (Elkins) Franks had seven children:

  1. Alonzo V. B. Franks: Born February 1870 in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX; Died after 1916, probably in Mexico. Married November 21, 1898, in Maverick Co., TX, to Carrie Smith: Born Unknown; Died Unknown. Lived in Floresville, Wilson Co., TX, on April 6, 1887. Lived in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, on November 14, 1903, when he was seriously injured in a rear-end collision of two freight trains, when he was a conductor. Lived in Mexico in 1907. Alonzo is unmarried and living in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, in 1916.
  2. Arrie Franks: Born February 18, 1872, in Atascosa Co., TX; Died September 23, 1948, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 76). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Married December 19, 1889, in Dryden, Pecos Co., TX, to John Motley Doak: Born July 6, 1858, on the  Cook Ranch, Jourdanton, Atascosa Co., TX; Died July 26, 1949, in the Medical and Surgical Clinic, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 91). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX.
  3. Artie Collins Franks: Born February 18, 1872, in Atascosa Co., TX; Died July 26, 1907, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 35). Buried in City Cemetery #4, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. Married November 3, 1890, in Pecos Co., TX, to Henry Albert Neal: Born December 27, 1867, in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX; Died January 6, 1942, in the Santa Rosa Hospital, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 74). Buried in Mission Burial Park, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX.  Father was James Polk Neal of Missouri; Mother was Julia Virginia Thompson of Texas. Henry A. Neal married Emma L. Nuckolls December 1908 in San Antonio, TX (born May 1867 in Texas). Henry purchased the Star Hotel in Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., TX, about May 1909.
  4. Lela Franks: Born 1874 in Atascosa Co., TX; Died about 1899 in Midland Co., TX (about age 25). Married November 3, 1890, in Pecos Co., TX, to Lee Foster Heard: Born October 10, 1864, in De Witt Co., TX; Died August 3, 1942, in Midland, Midland Co., TX (age 77). Lee Foster Heard then married Lucy Jane Nichols: Born April 2, 1880, in Texas; Died March 20, 1970, at Cottonwood Acres, City of Lamesa, Dawson Co., TX (age 89). Buried in Fairview Cemetery, Midland, Midland Co., TX. Buried in Fairview Cemetery, Midland, Midland Co., TX.
  5. Oscar Bertrand Franks: Born October 16, 1876, in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX; Died December 18, 1936, at Nix Hospital, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 60). Buried in City Cemetery #4, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. Married June 15, 1898, in Bexar Co., TX, to Jennie L. Burke: Born February 28, 1871, in Tennessee; Died March 20, 1961, in Nix Memorial Hospital, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 90). Buried in Confederate Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX.
  6. Dannie G. Franks: Born December 17, 1878, in Atascosa Co., TX; Died January 7, 1962, in the Mesa Nursing Home, El Paso, El Paso Co., TX (age 83). Buried in Masonic Cemetery Lodge 130 Section, Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, El Paso Co., TX. Married December 23, 1896, at the Dolch Hotel, Eagle Pass, Maverick Co., TX, to Thomas L. J. Shields: Born June 6, 1867, in Texas; Died November 2, 1938, in El Paso, El Paso Co., TX (age 61). Buried in Masonic Cemetery Lodge 130 Section, Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, El Paso Co., TX.
  7. Zarilda Franks: Born about 1883 in Atascosa Co., TX; Died after 1885 in Unknown. 

Julia Zerilda (Elkins) Franks died February, 1885, in Cedar Springs, TX, at about age 36. She was buried in a lone grave on Cedar Creek, Cedar Springs, TX.

After Julia Zerilda (Elkins) Franks died, Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks married a divorcee, Alva Allison (Thompson) Brite.

Alva Allison Thompson was born March 6, 1856, in Oak Island, Medina Co., TX, and died December 10, 1933, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, at age 77. Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. She is the daughter of Hiram Lowe Thompson of Gasconade, Gasconade Co., MO, and Louisiana Jackson (Dever) Yocum of Metairie, Jefferson Parish, LA. Primary Cause of Death: Senility.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite was born August 30, 1852, in near Lockhart, Caldwell Co., TX, and died August 9, 1911, in Del Rio, Bexar Co., TX, at age 58. Buried in Brite Cemetery, Pleasanton, Atacosa Co., TX. He is the son of Thomas Ransdell Brite of Callaway Co., MO, and Mary Louisa Fuller of Alabama.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite and Alva Allison Thompson were married April 12, 1871, in Texas.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite and Alva Allison "Thompson" Brite had six children:

  1. John William "Will" Brite: Born February 3, 1873, in Bexar Co., TX; Died April 16, 1955, in Del Rio, Bexar Co., TX (age 82). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Married June 22, 1892, to Mattie Belle "Matt" Foster: Born January 28, 1874, in Williamson Co., TX; Died July 2, 1966, in Val Verde Memorial Hospital, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 92).
  2. Thomas T. Brite: Born April 30, 1875, in Texas; Died December 16, 1879 in Texas (age 4).
  3. Mary P. Brite: Born November 22, 1877, in Texas; Died August 18, 1879 in Texas (age 1).
  4. Mattie Collins Brite: Born March 1, 1880, near Verdi, Atascosa Co, TX; Died July 30, 1971, in Reno, Washoe Co., NV (age 91). Married (1) December 23, 1896, at the Dolch Hotel, Eagle Pass, Maverick Co., TX, to Paul Friesen: Born about 1860 in Germany; Died Unknown. Divorced 1904 in Eagle Pass, Maverick Co., TX. Married (2) 1904 in Eagle Pass, Maverick Co., TX, to Alexander John "Alex" Crew: Born Unknown; Died Unknown. Divorced. Married (3) 1908 in Dallas, TX, to John W. Kiley: Born Unknown; Died Unknown. Divorced. Married (4) Unknown to Unknown Moss: Born Unknown; Died Unknown. Married (5) 1922 to William Cropley: Born Unknown; Died Unknown. Divorced. Married (6) May 2, 1931, to Albert Kuhn: Born May 1870 in Tiffin, Seneca Co., OH; Died March 3, 1933, in the Southern Pacific Hospital, San Francisco, CA (age 62).
  5. Bennie Bell "Bengy" Brite: Born February 22, 1882, in Navasota Co., TX; Died October 26, 1972, at Valle-Hi Inn, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 90). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Married August 8, 1904, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, to James Henry "Jack" Hays: Born September 10, 1881, in Texas; Died June 15, 1951, in Ardmore, Carter Co., OK (age 69). Divorced about 1910 in Texas. In 1911, Bennie entered her nursing career at Lee Surgical Hospital, San Antonio. She became a Registered Nurse in 1915. On December 1959 she received an honorary membership into the Texas Graduate Nurses' Assn., District 8.
  6. Dan Henry Brite: Born April 19, 1883, in Navarro Co., TX; Died April 16, 1976, at a rest home, Hurst, Tarrant Co., TX (age 92). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Married November 15, 1906, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, to Anna "Annie" Griner: Born January 7, 1878, in Del Rio Hospital, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX; Died March 24, 1954, in Texas (age 76). Divorced.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite and Alva Allison (Thompson) Brite divorced about 1886 in Texas.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite then married Texana Holder.

Texana "Texan" Holder was born October 8, 1867, in Shiloh, Atascosa Co., TX, and died July 27, 1956, in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX, at age 88. Buried in Brite Cemetery, Pleasanton, Atacosa Co., TX. She is the daughter of William Holder of Warren Co., KY, and Mary "Polly" Black of Matagorda Co., TX.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite and Texana "Texan" Holder were married June 6, 1889, in Atascosa Co., TX.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite and Texana "Texan" (Holder) Brite had seven children:

  1. Luke Duran Brite: Born July 9, 1891, in Texas; Died June 13, 1968, in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 78). Married about 1916 in Texas to Benjamin Franklin "Lee" Collins Sr.: Born January 8, 1893, in Llano, Llano Co., TX; Died Unknown.
  2. David Crockett "Dave" Brite: Born May 29, 1892, in Texas; Died July 19, 1922, in an ambulance seven miles from San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 30). Never married.
  3. Samuel Houston Brite: Born July 6, 1894, in Texas; Died June 2, 1977, in Bexar Co., TX (age 82). Married December 19, 1916, to Sarah Elizabeth (Essary) Christian: Born July 1892 in Texas; Died March 24, 1962, in Bexar Co., TX (about age 69).
  4. Wallace D. "Wally" Brite: Born October 29, 1896, in Texas; Died March 6, 1972, in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX (age 75). Married December 19, 1916, to James Arch Woodlee: Born October 12,  1889, in Maraeula, TX; Died September 15, 1960, in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX (age 70).
  5. Tom Morris "Tommy" Brite: Born December 9, 1899, in Verdi, Atascosa Co., TX; Died February 19, 1978, in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX (age 78). Married July 17, 1926, to John Carroll Pruett: September 30, 1902, in Texas; Died October 9, 1985, in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX (age 83).
  6. Terry Jourdan Brite: Born October 14, 1908, in Verdi, Atascosa Co., TX; Died November 6, 1936, in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 28). Never married.
  7. Charles Henry "Charley" Brite: Born September 12, 1911, in Verdi, Atascosa Co., TX; Died December 30, 1962, in Pleasanton Hospital, Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX (age 51). Married after 1930 to Mary Croft: Born Unknown; Died Unknown.

Alva Allison (Thompson) Brite then married a widower, Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks.

Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks and Alva Allison (Thompson) Brite were married October 11, 1887, in Bexar Co., TX.

Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks and Alva Allison (Thompson) (Brite) Franks had three children:

  1. Alva Allison Franks: Born July 7, 1889, in Dryden, Pecos Co., TX; Died September 4, 1919, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 30). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Married (1) February 12, 1909, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, to Edward Paul "Ed" Robert: Born December 25, 1875, in Thibodaux, Lafourche Co., LA; Died June 29, 1912, in Las Cruces, Dona Ana Co., NM (age 36). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Married (2) March 6, 1916, at Christ Episcopal Church, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX, to Truman Fremont (Charles Truman) Abbey: Born May 19, 1886, in Orion Twp., Richland Co., WI; Died July 1, 1977, in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 91). Buried in Mission Burial Park, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. 
  2. Robert Ingersoll "Bob" Franks: Born August 17, 1891, in Dryden, Pecos Co., TX; Died August 31, 1930, in a Brady hospital, Brady, McCulloch Co., TX (age 39). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Married March 27, 1917, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, to Dovey Lucille Barnett: Born March 27, 1897, in Midland Co., TX; Died March 28, 1972, in the City of Navasota, Grimes Co., TX (age 75). Buried in Oakland Cemetery, Navasota, Grimes Co., TX. Dovey then married Unknown Brown: Born Unknown; Died Unknown. Separated or divorced. Dovey's parents are James Barnett and Rachel Wallace. Child: Bennie Lou Franks. Married Howard Binford Weaver: Born March 25, 1928, in Grimes Co., TX. Bennie is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Navasota, Grimes Co., TX.
  3. Penelope Lee "Penny" Franks: Born June 24, 1897, in Eagle Pass, Maverick Co., TX; Died April 25, 1923, at the Franks Hotel, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 25). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Penny died from a gunshot. Married about 1921 in Texas to Sidney Mitchell Deering: Born January 17, 1898, in Calwell Twp., Fannin Co., GA; Died April 25, 1923, at the Franks Hotel, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 25). He was a second class radio operator, and a graduate of Harvard University.



TIMELINE


A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas, Illustrated, Volume II, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1907

D. G. FRANKS, the popular proprietor of Hotel Franks at Del Rio, was born in Caldwell county, Texas, December 1, 1848. He was reared upon a ranch and his early educational privileges were limited, but as the years have passed he has acquired a good practical education and has worked his way upward financially. He is a son of Benjamin F. and Martha P. (Spears) Franks, both of whom were natives of Alabama but were married in Walker county, Texas. The mother was a daughter of Mrs. Lucinda Spears and she and her husband were natives of Pennsylvania, where they were married. Mrs. Spears was a daughter of Mr. Williams, who married into a Pennsylvania Indian tribe. After the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Spears they made their way southward and settled in Alabama, where Martha Spears was reared. The father died there and Mrs. Spears afterward married a Mr. Knight, who removed with the family to Texas at an early day, settling in Walker county, where his death occurred. The members of the Spears family were John B.; Martha P., who became Mrs. Franks; Lemuel; Mrs. Anna Young; Bethenia, and Elizabeth. The last two married men of the name of King and resided in Walker county.

Benjamin F. Franks (father) was born in Alabama and when about four years of age was left an orphan. He had no one to care for him and went to live with strangers but became dissatisfied with the people by whom he was reared and the treatment they gave him, so that he ran away and joined some emigrants coming to Texas. He was then but a small boy. He grew to manhood upon the frontier amid the exciting experiences incident to the settlement of Texas. Deprived of all parental training, he made good use of his opportunities in many ways, becoming a broad-minded, intelligent man of strong determination and progressive spirit. He became one of the highly respected and prominent residents of his part of the state. He owned a number of slaves and was a successful stockman and farmer. In Walker county he married and began raising stock and after the birth of three of his children he removed with his family to Atascosa county in 1852. The range was free and grass good and he carried on business successfully there until 1861, when he established a ranch on the Leona river in Frio county, which is yet known as the Franks ranch. He was active in all matters pertaining to the county and state and was a friend of Sam Houston, and with Houston and others strenuously opposed secession. When the final vote was taken he was one of only two voters in Atascosa county who stood for the Union, his companion being Calvin Musgraves. When the state did secede he removed to Frio county, where he established his ranch and was quietly pursuing his private business interests when in 1864 a "vigilance committee of regulators" arrested him on a false pretext and started for San Antonio, supposedly to place him in prison. Instead of doing this they brutally and cowardly hanged him. He died a martyr for his principles. When told of the fate that awaited him he replied that he was in their power but that he had nothing to retract and that all he had said and done he owed to the Union. He predicted, too, the failure of secession. He was a man of firm purpose, unfaltering in a course that he believed to be right and his honorable manhood was widely acknowledged. Six feet tall and of athletic build, he was very powerful and fearless, especially in defense of what he believed to be right. He died June 6, 1864. Calvin Musgraves, his friend, who voted with him to support the Union, fearing that their lives were endangered, had gone to Mr. Franks and tried to persuade him to go to Mexico but the latter refused, saying that it was his duty to remain with his family. Mr. Musgraves, however, went to Mexico and when the war was over returned to Texas, where he remained until his death twenty years later.

Mrs. Franks survived her husband until January 31, 1865, when she passed away. Her brother, John B. Spears, who had lived with the family many years, continuing with them after his marriage, took charge of the children who were thus orphaned and with his aid and advice the sons did all they could to save the stock and property but much of the stock got away. During the war the Mexicans, abetted by the white thieves, were stealing all of the best stock throughout the country and running them into Mexico. Dan G. Franks, then but a boy, yet a born leader, devised a plan and with his brother and nine companions made many runs after the thieves and brought many of them to justice, over thirty Mexicans being killed. This put an end to cattle thieving in that locality. At times the party went for two and a half days without food or water and all were about exhausted, but they persevered in their undertaking and at length succeeded in ridding the county of the bad men who infested its borders. In 1865, John B. Spears, the uncle, removed with his family to San Marcos in order to give his children educational privileges, after which he returned to the ranch and took care of the family property. He remained in the same county until his death in 1887. He was a worthy member of the Baptist church and a grand, good man.

The children of Benjamin F. Franks were seven in number, five sons and two daughters: John B., who died in 1869; Lemuel A., a stockman of Atascosa county; Daniel G.; William M., a stockman who died at Eagle Pass in 1882, leaving a wife and five children; James M., a stockman of Maverick county, who died leaving four children; Mrs. Lucinda Williams, of Atascosa county, who died leaving one son, Benjamin; Nancy A., the wife of R. Turner, a resident of Atascosa county.

Dan G. Franks spent two terms in school at San Marcos and returned to the ranch in 1867. He made himself useful in many ways, going and returning to the ranch at intervals, and with a brother he spent much time in the brush. In 1868 he married and commenced farming with his wife's mother, who had five children. He reared them all and did a good part by them. Following his marriage he purchased land certificates, securing in this way ten thousand acres, after which he established a ranch ten miles north of Cotulla, where he engaged in the stock business successfully until 1877. He then sold out and returned to Atascosa county, where he built a fine home, remaining there until 1881. During this time the family remained at home and Mr. Franks went to LaSalle county, purchasing and driving large herds of cattle to Kansas for market, but prices were low and he lost all that he had invested but the homestead to which he returned. In 1881 he engaged with a Mr. Camp in sheep industry, purchasing and driving the sheep to Menard county, where he herded. The number of sheep increased until 1883, when he sold out at a loss. He and Mr. Camp then returned to the old homestead in Atascosa county on which he had left a bunch of growing cattle, and he then bought thirty-five hundred cattle and drove them to Pecos county, where he established a ranch and continued until 1885. He then sold out to the Pecos Land & Cattle Company for one hundred thousand dollars, after which he worked for a salary for the Pecos Land & Cattle Company. In the meantime his cattle at home had been doing well and he removed his family and stock to Pecos county. A fine herd was coming up, but during the drought of 1892-3 many of them died. He then sold the remainder for twenty-one hundred dollars, giving the money to his children. He removed from Pecos to Cedar Springs, where in 1885 his wife passed away. The same year he removed with the children and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Elkins, to Wilson county, where they remained until 1888, when Mrs. Elkins died.

In 1887 Mr. Franks was married again and after the death of Mrs. Elkins he took his children to Pecos county, where he lived until 1893, engaged in the stock business. He then accepted a position with the Cattle Raisers' Association of Texas, covering the territory from San Antonio to El Paso to protect cattle raisers. He continued in that position until 1905, or for twelve years, when he resigned. When he took charge of this work, there was much thieving and smuggling at that time and Mr. Franks did much detective work, in which connection he rid the country of many criminals. So effective was his service in this direction that for four years previous to his resignation there was not a single case of thieving to report.

In 1897 his wife came to Del Rio and opened a hotel, while Mr. Franks remained in the employ of the cattle association until 1905, when he returned home and has since given his attention to the management of the hotel. He has built up a large business, which has so increased that he has been compelled to erect two additions, and the Hotel Franks is the pride of Del Rio. In this, as in all other things which he has undertaken, Mr. Franks has displayed a spirit of strong purpose and successful accomplishment that has made him a leader among men.

Mr. Franks was first married to Miss Zezrilda J. Elkins, who was born in Guadalupe county, Texas, and was a daughter of Preston and Jolly Elkins. Her father was a farmer by occupation and died in 1864. His children were: Mary, the wife of J. W. McMains; Zezrilda, who became Mrs. Franks; James W., a stockman; Margaret, who married J. Elkins and died two years later; Miles, who died in childhood; Queen, the wife of James Franks; and Breckenridge. It was these children that Mr. Franks reared, doing a father's part by them. His own marriage was blessed with six children, two sons and four daughters: Alonzo V., who is now conductor on the Mexican Central Railroad in Mexico; Artie and Arrie, twins, the former the wife of H. A. Neal, of San Antonio, and the latter of John M. Doak, a prominent rancher; Lela, the wife of L. F. Hurd, a stockman of Midland, Texas; Oscar, who is paymaster for the International & Mexican Railroad with head­quarters at Diaz, Mexico; and Dannie, now Mrs. T. Shields, of Monterey, Mexico.

Mr. Franks' second marriage, in 1887, was to Mrs. Alva Brite, the widow of Charles Brite. By her first marriage she had four children: John W., a section foreman; Mattie, who married Mr. Friesen, by whom she had a son, Carl, and for her second husband married Mr. Crew, by whom she has one child, Gedney; Bennie and Dan H., both married.

Mrs. Franks was born in Bexar county, Texas, in 1856, a daughter of Rev. H. L. Thompson, a worthy minister of the Methodist church for over forty years. He was one of the pioneer preachers in Texas and was also a stock farmer. He spent the last seven years of his life in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Franks, where he was surrounded with loving care and attention. His children were Mrs. Rosa Henshaw; Mrs. Roana McMains; Mrs. Julia Neal; Mrs. Kate Kurrey; Alva A., now Mrs. Franks; John H., and Florence, who after the death of her first husband, Mr. Clark, married Dr. Barnwell, of Bell county, Texas. Rev. Thompson was twice married and had two children by the second union, Charles and Hiram, both residents of Bell county, Texas. To Mr. and Mrs. Franks have been born three interesting children: Alva, Bob Ingersoll and Penny.

Mr. Franks is an enterprising and public-spirited man and has done much good in the world, being charitable to the needy, while to many children he has taken the part of a father as well as friend. He is a worthy member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Elks. He has lived through the period when lawlessness and strife were very common in the state, when the Indians and thieving white men took the stock and often the lives of the settlers, and has borne his part in ridding the country of such characters. He was a strong supporter of the Democracy until President Cleveland's second administration, when he decided that the nation was too great a thing for the Democratic party to handle and he has since given his support to the Republican party. He is highly esteemed for his many good traits of character and has a genial, jovial, hearty manner which makes him popular with many friends.


UP THE TRAIL TO NORTHERN NEW MEXICO

By L. A. Franks of Pleasanton, Texas

I was born in Guadalupe County, Texas, on the San Geronimo Creek, February 21, 1847. Moved to Atascosa County in 1853. My father, Ben F. Franks, being a cattleman from his boyhood days, I was raised a cowboy from the cradle up and spent my boyhood days in Atascosa County. My father, having passed away in 1862, myself and brother were left to take care of our mother and sisters. I worked cattle and fought Indians for several years, and in 1867 I settled on a ranch of my own in La Salle County. Was married in 1870 to Miss Caroline Chapman of Bell County. After several years raising cattle I started up the trail with my first herd in 1872 for G. W. Chapman and myself. I left La Salle County in March for the Wichita (Kansas) market, and went by way of San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth and straight on up the trail. We left with 1,000 head of steers and, with plenty of water and grass, we had a good trip and lost only a small number of steers on the way, arriving at the Wichita market in June. Returning to my ranch, I remained there until 1886 and started up the trail again for Presnall, Withers & Co., this time for Northern New Mexico. I left Presidio County in April and this trip was full of hardships all the way out to Roswell, New Mexico. We went by way of Alpine and Toyah and struck the Pecos River at Hash Knife Ranch, and the night we got there our herd stampeded early in the night and we did not get them checked until early morning. Again at Toyah we had a stampede that lasted all night and until sunrise the next morning, and this time we lost 22 head of steers. We went up the Pecos to Seven Rivers and on up. Striking the Pecos again, we followed it as far as Roswell, New Mexico. We had a tough time getting there, with no grass and no rain. We suffered heavy losses all the way up the Pecos, pulling and digging cattle out of bogs every day and losing some each day. We were a dilapidated looking bunch, cattle, horses and men, and when we arrived within five miles of Roswell we had a glorious rain and storm that made our trip the balance of the way very good. We left the Pecos at Roswell and went up by old Fort Sumner, crossed over to the Canadian River and by the old Bell ranch, then went on up the Goodnight Trail through the mountains and reached the market in July with 1,600 head of steers out of the 2,200 that we left Presidio County with in April. This was my last trip up the trail and I came back to Atascosa County and am still here.


Early Days On Texas Cattle Trails, By Cora Melton Cross.

TEXAS was in her swaddling clothes and the "49" gold rush to California was at its height when Jonathan M. Doak joined the caravan marching "Westward Ho!" It was a far cry, and a farther distance, reckoned by the mode of travel those days, from Madison, Miss., to the broad stretches of Texas prairie. But the call of the great outdoors had come and the lure of horn and hoof with the open range, was paramount; for it was raising. cattle, not panning pay dirt, that Jonathan Doak purposed and Texas, not California, was the objective point. Weeks of travel in a prairie schooner with household goods and family alike bundled in for the journey, finally ended for the time being in Gonzales County, where two years later we find that same Jonathan Doak recording the D. O. K brand marking his Texas longhorns on the range.

Six years later trekking again fevered his blood, nor did it cool until with family and livestock he landed in Atascosa County and established ranch headquarters, And it was there, surrounded by an atmosphere of danger adventure, hardship, the lure of yellow gold and a constantly increasing murmuring of a Northern market for Texas cattle, that John Doak Jr. was born. He is the subject of this story.

Characters: Jonathan M. Doak, Jim Lowe, John Smith, Jim Currie, Red Jim Harrison, John Dawson, Dick Marshall, Watson Peacock, Jim Mansfield, Burl Musgraves, L. A. Franks, Bob Turner, Babe Willis, R. E. Chapman, John F. Camp, John Abney, W. W. Simonds, Dan Franks, Roger Gillis

Locations: Gonzales County, Atascosa County, Frio River, Dog Town, Tilden, Ouichita River, Pleasanton, Fort Sill, Dodge City, Great Bend, Cotulla, Cibolo Creek, Boneyard Ranch, Pecos County, Dryden, Terrell County, Del Rio, Lampasas, Devils River


PECOS LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY

PECOS LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY. The Pecos Land and Cattle Company was organized in 1884 by investors from Attleboro, Massachusetts, who hoped to turn a good profit. Headquarters were located near Meyers Spring, seven miles east of the railroad station at Dryden in south central Terrell County. Although the owners had no experience in ranching, they bought 106 checkerboard sections, or 67,840 acres, of land from the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway for a dollar an acre. In 1884 the company purchased a nearby recently established ranch, the King Spring Cattle Company. Sometime later the company added the cattle of the KL brand and the 0 Bar brand to its holdings. The headquarters of the Pecos Land and Cattle Company were then moved to Dryden, where the management built three structures north of the railroad and opposite the depot. In 1886 W. W. Simonds, general manager of the ranch, patented the section of school land where the townsite of Dryden was laid out. He built a large two-story building for a store, a post office, and sleeping quarters. Two adobe buildings were constructed near the store. One of these was home to the family of ranch foreman Daniel G. Franks.

One of the problems the management of the ranch faced was that of providing water for the large herds. They leased land surrounding Cedar and Meyers springs from John L. Bullis giving access to those natural sources. Water was also taken from King Spring and from the Rio Grande. The company eventually resorted to drilling for water. After a hired contractor was unsuccessful, they bought drilling equipment and found water themselves at only 600 feet. A second problem in operating the ranch was that of rounding up the cattle. The company began roundups at the mouth of the Pecos River and drove towards Dryden. Area ranchers who joined in the roundups to separate their cattle included H. C. Tardy, John R. Billings, Joe Kincaid, George Miller, Bob and Ross Neighbors, and the operators of the T5, Mule Shoe, NA, S, TX, and Gage (see A. S. GAGE  RANCHES) ranches. The livestock was gathered, and the calves were branded. All stock was driven to home range or to market. In the spring of 1886 the Pecos Land and Cattle Company gathered 2,027 calves for sale.

Although the ranch showed a profit in good years, it lost money in poor ones. The owners had chosen to enter ranching on a large scale at the end of the open range. They paid top dollar for land, whereas earlier cattlemen had used free grass to build fortunes. In 1892 D. R. Baret moved from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to replace Simonds as general manager of the company, but the company was already fading by this time. In 1895 it was dissolved. N. G. King bought thirty-two sections of the original land for thirty-two cents an acre. D. Hart purchased the remainder for twenty -seven cents an acre. John Doak of Del Rio bought the horses and the remaining livestock. In the late 1970s one of the adobe ranch buildings was still standing in Dryden, a timeworn reminder of a costly attempt at Texas ranching.


Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks was born December 1, 1848, in Plum Creek, Caldwell Co., TX.

Zezrilda Julia "Zerilda" Elkins was born 1848 in Guadalupe Co., TX.

The 1850 U. S. Census taken on October 28, 1850, shows Benjamin F. Franks (age 26) born in Alabama, and with real estate worth $600 is a Farmer, and is living in Caldwell Co., TX. Living with him is Martha P. Franks (age 24) born in Mississippi. Also living there are three children, all born in Texas: John B. Franks (age 5); Lemuel A. Franks, (age 3); and Daniel G. Franks (age 1).

The 1850 U. S. Census taken on September 11, 1850, shows Preston Elkin (age 27) born in Tennessee, who cannot read or write, is a Farmer, and is living in Travis Co., TX. Living with him is Nancy Elkin (age 24) born in Indiana. Also living there are two children, both born in Texas: Mary Elkin (age 3); and Zerilda Elkin (age 1). Living on the adjacent farm is the James Jolly family.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite was born August 30, 1852, in Caldwell, TX.

Alva Allison Thompson was born March 6, 1856, in Oak Island, Medina Co., TX.

The 1860 U. S. Census taken on August 17, 1860, shows B. F. Franks (age 36) born in Alabama with personal estate worth $5,000 is a Stock Raiser living near Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX. Living with him is his wife, Martha P. Franks (age 35) born in Mississippi. Also living there are seven children, all born in Texas: J. B. Franks (age 15) a Stock Raiser; Lemuel Franks, (age 13); Daniel G. Franks (age 11); Wm. M. Franks (age 9); James M. Franks (age 7); Lucinda M. Franks (age 4); and Nancy A. Franks (age 2). Lucinda Knight (age 56) born in South Carolina also lives in the Household.

The 1860 U. S. Census taken on June 20, 1860, shows Press Elkins (age 50) born in Tennessee who cannot read or write, with personal estate worth $398 is a Farmer living in Caldwell Co., TX. Living with him is Nancy Elkins (age 35) born in Indiana. Also living there are six children, all born in Texas: Mary E. Elkins (age 13); Julia J. Elkins (age 12); Margaret Elkins (age 9); James Elkins (age 6); Q. Ellen Elkins (age 4); and Miles Elkins (age 2).

The 1860 U. S. Census taken on July 24, 1860, shows Hiram L. Thompson (age 42) born in Missouri with real estate worth $6,000 and personal estate worth $4,000 is a Farmer living near San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. Living with him is Louisiana Thompson (age 41) born in Louisiana. Also living in the household are Thompson children all born in Texas, with John being the only Male: Rosana Thompson (age 16); Ro Anna Thompson (age 13); Julia Thompson (age 11); Allis Thompson (age 8); Alva Thompson (age 4); and John Thompson (age 1).

Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks and Zezrilda Julia "Zerilda" Elkins were married February 7, 1868, in Atascosa Co., TX.

The 1870 U. S. Census taken on August 15, 1870, shows D. G. Franks (age 21) born in Texas with real estate worth $300 and Personal estate worth 2,500 is a Stock Raiser living near Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX. Living with him is Sarilda J. Franks (age 21) born in Texas who is Keeping House. Also living there is a male child, Alonzo V. B. Franks (age 6/12, Feb).

The 1870 U. S. Census taken on August 31, 1870, shows J. A. Doak (age 55) born in Mississippi, with Real Estate of $500 and Personal Estate of $4,000 and who cannot read and cannot write, is a Stock Raiser, and is living in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX. Living with him are the following, all born in Texas: a female, Mary E Doak (age 34), who cannot read and cannot write, who is Keeping House; Josephine Doak (age 16), who cannot read and cannot write; W. A. Doak (age 14), who cannot read and cannot write; Josephine Doak (age 16), who cannot read and cannot write; John M. Doak (age 12), who cannot read and cannot write; Boyd M. Doak (age 4); Martha Ann Doak (age 5/12, March); and Adam Zumolt (age 18), who cannot read and cannot write, a Farm Laborer.

The 1870 U. S. Census taken on August 31, 1870, shows John B. Spears (age 45) born in Alabama, and with Real Estate worth $200 and Personal Estate worth $3,000 is a Stock Raiser, and is living in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX. Living with him are: Elizabeth M. Spears (age 34) born in Alabama, who is Keeping House; Bethema Spears (age 8) born in Texas; Leonard W. Spears (age 7) born in Texas; Martha L. Spears (age 1) born in Texas, and L. A. Franks (age 23) born in Texas.

The 1870 U. S. Census taken on August 31, 1870, shows J. A. Doak (age 55) born in Mississippi, with Real Estate of $500 and Personal Estate of $4,000 and who cannot read and cannot write, is a Stock Raiser, and is living in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX. Living with him are the following, all born in Texas: a female, Mary E Doak (age 34), who cannot read and cannot write, who is Keeping House; Josephine Doak (age 16), who cannot read and cannot write; W. A. Doak (age 14), who cannot read and cannot write; Josephine Doak (age 16), who cannot read and cannot write; John M. Doak (age 12), who cannot read and cannot write; Boyd M. Doak (age 4); Martha Ann Doak (age 5/12, March); and Adam Zumolt (age 18), who cannot read and cannot write, a Farm Laborer.

The 1870 U. S. Census taken on August 31, 1870, shows Sarah E. O'Brien (age 44) born in Tennessee, and with Real Estate worth $500 and Personal Estate worth $15,000 is Keeping House, and is living in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX. Living with her are: a male, William O'Brien (age 10) born in Texas; a female, Cornelia O'Brien (age 9) born in Texas; and a female, Nancy O'Brien (age 7) born in Texas.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite and Alva Allison Thompson were married April 12, 1871, in Texas.

The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 12, 1880, shows Daniel G. Franks (age 31) born in Texas to Alabama-born parents is a Farmer living in Atascosa Co., TX. Living with him is his wife, Gerurlda Franks (age 30) born in Texas to Tennessee and Indiana-born parents, who is Keeping House. Also living there are his children, all born in Texas to Texas-born parents: son Lonzo V. Franks (age 10) who Works on Farm; daughter Artie Franks (age 8); daughter Arrie Franks (age 8); daughter Lealei Franks (age 6); son Oskar Franks (age 3); and daughter Daniel G. Franks (age not given). Also living in the household: wife's unmarried brother, Brackenridge Elkins (age 19) born in Texas to Indiana and Texas-born parents, who Works on Farm; and mother, Nancy Elkins (age 54) born in Indiana to Kentucky-born parents. A laborer also lives in the household. Living on the adjacent farm is married daughter, Alva (Franks) Brite, wife of Charles Brite. Andrew McMains live on another adjacent farm. Roana Thompson (Alva's sister) had already married Andrew's son, Abraham McMains, in 1864.

The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 12, 1880, shows Charles Brite (age 24) born in Texas to Missouri and Alabama-born parents is a Farmer living in Atascosa Co., TX. Living with him is his wife, Alva Brite (age 30) born in Texas to Missouri and Alabama-born parents, who is Keeping House. Also living there are his children, both born in Texas to Texas-born parents: son William Brite (age 7); and daughter Mattie Brite (age 3/12).

The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 25, 1880, shows H. L. Thompson (age 62) born in Missouri to Missouri-born parents is a Farmer living in Bell Co., TX. Living with him is his wife, Chrystiana E. Thompson (age 47) born in Tennessee to Virginia and Tennessee-born parents, who is Keeping House. Also living there are: son, Charles Thompson (age 12) born in Texas to Missouri and Tennessee-born parents; son, Hiram D. Thompson (age 9) born in Texas to Missouri and Tennessee-born parents; unmarried son Greo. H. Thompson (age 21) born in Texas to Missouri-born parents, who is a Farmer; and unmarried Mary F. Thompson (age 17) born in Texas to Missouri-born parents, who is At Home. Two boarders are also in the household. On the next farm lived Roana L. (Thompson) Mc Mains and family.

The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 25, 1880, shows A. F. McMains (age 37) born in Missouri to Kentucky and Missouri-born parents is a Farmer living in Bell Co., TX. Living with him is his wife, Roana L. McMains (age 34) born in Texas to Missouri and Louisiana-born parents, who is Keeping House. Also living there are five children, all born in Texas to Missouri and Texas-born parents: Hiram F. McMains (age 13); Effie A. McMains (age 12); Horace E. McMains (age 10); Grace L. McMains (age 8); and Lewis A. McMains (age 1). On the next farm lived H. L. Thompson and family.

In the early 1880s, two years before the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad lines, John Camp and Daniel G. Franks, foreman for the Pecos Land and Cattle Company, settled in of near Dryden, a small community just a few miles from the Mexican border in the southern part of Terrell County.


The San Antonio Light, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX, Thursday, October 26,1882

Arrivals at the Hord.

D. G. Franks, Menardville, .....


The San Antonio Light, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX, Monday, June 4, 1883

Mr. D. G. Franks, stockman of Menard county, is registered at the Central.


The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Galveston Co., TX, March 7, 1884

(Special to The News.)

SAN ANTONIO, March 6. -

Dan Franks, who was arrested by the Mexican river guards for being on the Mexican side, mounted and armed, was released today by order of Dr. Ornelsas, Mexican consul here. Franks held a permit from Colonel Valdez, of the Mexican army, to cross the river to recover strayed cattle. The customs authorities refused to recognize the order, as it was outside Valdez's jurisdiction.


Zezrilda Julia "Zerilda" (Elkins) Franks died February, 1885, in Cedar Springs, Falls Co., TX, at about age 36. Buried in a lone grave on Cedar Creek. Her grave remained the lone grave on Cedar Creek, always. See "Life on the Range and on the Trail" by Robert Jasper Lauderdale, John M. Doak and Lela Neal Pirtle, 1936, Page 46.

Charles Henley "Charley" Brite and Alva Allison (Thompson) Brite divorced about 1886 in Texas.

Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks and Alva Allison (Thompson) Brite were married October 11, 1887, in Bexar Co., TX.


Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks and Alva Allison (Thompson) Brite Marriage Record.


Charles Henley "Charley" Brite and Texana "Texan" Holder were married June 6, 1889, in Atascosa Co., TX.

By 1895, Dan and Alva had removed to Eagle Pass, Maverick Co., TX. It is while living here that Mattie met her first of several husbands, Paul Friesen, a German who worked for the Mexican National Railroad.


The combined Franks and Brite families, about 1895, taken in front of the Dolch Holtel, Eagle Pass, TX. Mattie Brite, age 15 (standing second from left), Bennie Brite, age 13 (standing fifth from left), Alva Brite Franks (seated at right), Daniel Franks (seated next to Alva), Robert Franks (in lap of Daniel Franks), Edward Sturges (seated second from left). 


Oscar Bertrand Franks and Jennie L. Burke were married June 15, 1898, in Bexar Co., TX.


Oscar Bertrand Franks and Jennie L. Burke Marriage Record.


The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 2, 1900, shows Dan G. Franks (age 51) born December 1848 in Texas to Alabama-born parents is a Hotel Keeper owning his own mortgaged home and living in Val Verde Co., TX. Living with him is his wife of 13 years, Alva A. Franks (age 44) born in Texas to Missouri and Louisiana-born parents, with all 7 of the children born to her still living. Also living there are his three unmarried children, all born in Texas to Texas-born parents: daughter Alva A. Franks (age 10) born July 1879; son Robert I. Franks (age 8) born August 1891; and daughter Penny L. Franks (age 2) born June 1897. Also living there are his step-relatives, all born in Texas to Texas-born parents: unmarried step-daughter Bennie B. Bright (age 18) born February 1892; unmarried step-son Dan Bright (age 16) April 1894; married step-daughter Mattie C. Friesen (age 20) born March 1880 who has been married for three years with the only child born to her still living; and Carl T. Friesen (age 1) born October 1898. Three boarders and two servants also live in the household. One of the boarders is the son of Roana L. (Thompson) McMains, Alva's sister: Horace E. McMains (age 30) born February 1870 in Texas to Texas-born parents, who is an unmarried Lawyer. Another boarder was Henry Hall, who would be instrumental in helping Mattie learn Morse code: Richard H. Hall (age 20) born December 1879 in Kentucky to Kentucky-born parents, an unmarried Telegraph Operator.

The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 9, 1900, shows Harvey A. J. Barnwell (age 41) born October 1858 in Mississippi to Alabama-born parents is a Physician owning his own home and living in Bell Co., TX. Living with him is  his wife of 12 years, Mary F. Barnwell (age 37) born August 1862 in Texas to Missouri and Louisiana-born parents, with all four of the children born to her still living. Children in the household: son, Robert Barnwell (age 10) born June 1890 in Texas to Mississippi and Texas-born parents; Daughter Mary Barnwell (age 6?) born ____ in Texas to Mississippi and Texas-born parents; step-daughter, Jessie M. Barnwell (age 17) born September 1882 in Texas to New York and Texas-born parents; and step-daughter, Lee H. Barnwell (age 14) born July 1885 in Texas to New York and Texas-born parents. Also living there is Andrew's widowed father-in-law, Hiram L. Thompson (age 82) born January 1818 in Missouri to North Carolina and Missouri-born parents, who is a Preacher.

The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 5, 1900, shows John M. Doak (age 41) born July 1858 in Texas to Unknown-born parents is a Stock Raiser owning his own home and living in Val Verde Co., TX. Living with him is his wife of 9 years, Arrie Doak (age 29) born February 1871 in Texas to Texas-born parents, with the only child born to her still living. Also living at home is daughter Edna M. Doak (age 2) born November 1897 in Texas to Texas-born parents.


The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Galveston Co., TX, November 15, 1903

HURT IN A COLLISION.

Conductor Franks Injured on the International Mexican.

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS. Eagle Pass, Tex., Nov. 14 - A rear-end collision between two freight trains occurred at a siding on the Iron Mountain Railroad 100 miles south of here this morning, delaying traffic six hours. The only man hurt was Conductor Alonzo Franks of the first section of the train, who was seriously injured. He resides in Del Rio, Tex. The loss will be considerable.


The 1910 U. S. Census taken on ___ 1910, shows Daniel G. Franks (age 61) born in Texas to Missouri-born parents is living in Val Verde Co., TX. Living with him is his wife Alva A. Franks (age 54) born in Texas to Missouri-born parents. Also living there are: widowed step-daughter, Bennie V. Hays (age 27) born in Texas to Texas-born parents; unmarried son, Polk I. Franks (age 18) born in Texas to Texas-born parents; daughter, Pennie L. Franks (age 12) born in Texas to Texas-born parents; grandson, Carl T. Friesen (age 10) born in Texas to Texas-born parents; and grandson, Denis E. Hays (age 3) born in Texas to Texas-born parents. A number of boarders also live there.

The 1910 U. S. Census taken on April 26, 1910, shows John M. Doak (age 51) born in Texas to United States and Pennsylvania-born parents is a Stock Ranch Ranchman owning his own farm free of a mortgage and living in Val Verde Co., TX. Living with him is his wife of 20 years, Arrie Doak (age 38) born in Texas to Texas-born parents, with the only child born to her still living. Also living at home is daughter Edna M. Doak (age 12) born in Texas to Texas-born parents.


The San Antonio Light and Gazette, San Antonio, TX, Sunday, August 7, 1910

Additional Southwest Texas News

Mrs. D. G. Franks has returned from a month's stay in Las Cruces, N. M., where she went to visit her daughter, Mrs. E. P. Roberts.


Charles Henley "Charley" Brite died August 9, 1911, at age 58.

Daniel Gandy "Dan" Franks died September 4, 1913, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, at age 64.


The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Galveston Co., TX, Friday, September 5, 1913

MORTUARY.

Special to The News.

Del Rio, Tex., Sept. 4.  - Daniel G. Franks, proprietor of the Franks hotel, died this morning of uraemic  poison. He was 65 years old, a native-born Texan and perhaps as well known as any man in West Texas, having been agent of the Cattle Raisers' Association for many years, and for the past ten years or more owning the hotel which bears his name.


Penny Franks was from Del Rio, TX, and was a junior at Southwest Texas Normal School in San Marcos, TX in 1916 when this photo was taken.


The 1920 U. S. Census taken on January 19, 1920, shows Alva Franks (age 62) born in Texas to Texas-born parents is a widowed Hotel Keeper who owns her own home free of a mortgage and is living at 124 E. Martin, City of Del Rio,, Val Verde Co., TX. Living with her is her unmarried daughter, Pennie Franks (age 22) born in Texas to Texas-born parents. Also living there is her grandson, Dan Abbey (age 9) born in Texas to Texas and Louisiana-born parents. Others also living there: Evans, Young, Gray, Johnson, Wall, De Base, and Cuello.

The 1920 U. S. Census taken on February 9, 1920, shows John Doak (age 59) born in Texas to Texas-born parents is a Ranch Farmer owning his own farm free of a mortgage and living in the City of Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Living with him is his wife, Ara Doak (age 48) born in Texas to Texas-born parents.

In 1920 Sidney M. Deering is an unmarried Automobile Salesman living at home with his parents in Kerrville, Kerr Co., TX.

Betty Jane Deering was born November 29, 1921, in Val Verde Co., TX.


San Antonio Express, San Antonio, TX, Thursday, July 20, 1922

RANCHER FATALLY INJURED BY FALL OF HORSE ON HIM

ARRANGEMENTS for the shipping of the body of David Brite, age 30, Pleasanton cattle rancher, to Leming, probably will be completed today. Mr. Brite died last night following internal injuries received when his horse fell, crushing the rancher beneath. Mr. Brite's skull and breast were badly crushed. Mr. Brite was herding cattle when his horse stepped into a hole and fell. He was brought to San Antonio by Dr. R. E. Mann and S. D. Luse of Pleasanton, but died en route here. Survivors of mr. Brite are: His mother, Mrs. Texana Brite of Pleasanton; three brothers, Houston of San Antonio and Terry and Charles Brite of Pleasanton; two half brothers, Dan and Charles Brite of Del Rio; and three sisters, Mrs. Luke Collins of Tahoka, Mrs. Wallace Woodles of Pleasanton, and Miss Morris Brite of Pleasanton.


Penelope Lee "Penny" (Franks) Deering died April 25, 1923, at the Franks Hotel, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, at age 25.


The Franks Hotel, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, at it appeared about 1979. Photo courtesy of Robert Gerstenberg.


Penelope Lee "Penny" Franks: Born June 24, 1897, in Eagle Pass, Maverick Co., TX; Died April 25, 1923, at the Franks Hotel, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 25). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Penny died from a gunshot. Married about 1921 in Texas to Sidney Mitchell Deering: Born January 17, 1898, in Calwell Twp., Fannin Co., GA; Died April 25, 1923, at the Franks Hotel, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX (age 25). He was a second class radio operator, and a graduate of Harvard University.


San Antonio Express, San Antonio, TX, Thursday, April 26, 1923

Man Shoots Wife, Turns Gun on Self

Special Telegram to The Express. DEL RIO, April 25. - Sidney M. Deering, 27, shot and killed his former wife, Mrs. Penny Franks Deering, 24, at the Franks Hotel, in this city Wednesday at 2:30 p. m. and immediately killed himself. Deering had been separated from his wife since last September and she had recently brought suit for a divorce, alleging cruel treatment. The tragedy occurred in the bath room at the hotel where Mrs. Deering was living. Deering used a 45-calibre automatic pistol and after firing two shots into the left breast of Mrs. Deering, one of which pierced the heart, placed the muzzle of the gun to his head just behind the right ear and fired one shot. When the door was broken immediately after the shots were heard, Mrs. Deering was dead and Deering was dying. Deering was not known to have been in the city, but it is thought had been lurking near the hotel watching an opportunity, and when Mrs. Deering came out on the rear gallery and entered the bath room, he was seen to cross the street and enter the bath room immediately after. The shots were heard within a minute after Deering had entered the room and closed the door. Deering formerly lived at Kerrville, where his parents now reside. He came to Del Rio about four years ago and made this city his home until last year, when he and his wife removed to Laredo. He met and married Penny Franks during his residence here. A letter written by Deering and found near his body, indicated an intention to commit the crime. They are survived by a baby daughter.


The 1930 U. S. Census taken on April 2, 1930, shows Alva A. Franks (age 74) born in Texas to Missouri and Louisiana-born parents is a widowed Hotel Proprietor owning the hotel valued at $40,000 and living at 216 Main Street, City of Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Living there are several family members: granddaughter, Betty J. Franks (age 8) born in Texas to Texas-born parents; divorced daughter, Bennie B. Hays (age 48) a Trained Nurse born in Texas to Texas-born parents; unmarried grandson, Dennis E. Hays (age 23) an Auto Parts Salesman born in Texas to Texas-born parents; unmarried grandson, Dan R. Abby (age 19) born in New Mexico to Louisiana and Texas-born parents; and widowed brother, John H. Thompson (age 71) a Hotel Manager born in Texas to Missouri and Louisiana-born parents. Several other lodgers also live at that address.

The 1930 U. S. Census taken on April 5, 1930, shows John M. Doak (age 71) born in Texas to Mississippi and Texas-born parents and first married at age 31 is Retired and owning his own home at 313 Pecan Street, City of Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Living with him is his wife, Arrie Doak (age 58) born in Texas to Texas-born parents and first married at age 18.

Alva Allison (Thompson) (Brite) Franks died December 10, 1933, in Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, at age 77. Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX.


Alva Allison (Thompson) (Brite) Franks Death Certificate.


The San Antonio Express, San Antonio, TX, Thursday, July 23, 1936

BURKE FUNERAL RITES TO BE HELD FRIDAY

Funeral services will be held Friday morning for Mrs. Louisa Drake Burke, 82, who died at her home, 134 Topeka Boulevard, Wednesday morning. Rev. Frank Charlton of Alamo Heights Methodist Church, will officiate. Mrs. Burke was a native of Tennessee, and had lived in San Antonio 40 years. She is survived by two sons, Roberts S. Burke of New Braunfels and Orville G. Burke of Tucumcari, N. M.; a daughter, Mrs. Oscar B. Franks of San Antonio, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.


The San Antonio Express, San Antonio, TX, Saturday, November 7, 1936

PLEASANTON MAN DIES IN SAN ANTONIO HOSPITAL

Terry J. Brite, 28, died in a San Antonio hospital Friday morning. He was a native of Verdi, a resident of Pleasanton and had been in San Antonio 14 days. Funeral services will be held at the home of his brother, Sam H. Brite, 1815 West Ashby Place, Saturday afternoon, followed by services at the Brite family cemetery at Leming, at 3:30 o'clock, Rev. E. S. Fitzgerald of Beacon Hill Church of Christ officiating. Survivors are the mother, Mrs. Texana Brite of Pleasanton; two brothers, Sam H. Brite of San Antonio, and Charles H. Brite of Pleasanton; three sisters, Mrs. B. F. Collins of San Antonio, Mrs. Arch Woodlee of McCoy, Tex., and Mrs. Carroll Pruett of Pleasanton.


Oscar Bertrand Franks died December 18, 1936, at Nix Hospital, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 60). Buried in City Cemetery #4, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX.


The San Antonio Express, San Antonio, TX, Sunday, December 20, 1936

GULF OIL OFFICIAL BURIED HERE TODAY

Rites for Oscar Bertrand Franks, 60, who died in a hospital here Friday, will be held Sunday afternoon. Franks, a native of Atascosa County, had been in the city about a month and during recent years had spent most of his time in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and Tampico, Mex., as an official of the Gulf Oil Company. He was a member of the Blue lodge, A. F. & A. M. and of the Commandry No. 1, Knights of Templar of Tampico. He also belonged to the Arabia Shrine at Houston, the Scottish Rite bodies here and was a member of the Elks. San Antonio Commandry No. 7, Knights Templar, will be in charge of the services. Survivors are his widow, Mrs. Jennie Burke Franks, who lives at 134 Topeka street; two sisters, Mrs. John M. Doak of Del Rio and Mrs. Dannie Shields of El Paso; four nieces, Mrs. Walter Fricke of San Antonio; Mrs. Lela Neal Pirtle of San Antonio, Mrs. Mitchell Waldrop of Del Rio and Miss Zorilda Shields of El Paso; also three nephews, Leslie Neal of San Antonio; Doak Heard of New Mexico and Frank Heard of the United States Army.


The San Antonio Light, San Antonio, TX, Sunday, December 20, 1936

OSCAR FRANKS RITES SLATED

Funeral services for Oscar Bertrand Franks, 60, an official of the Gulf Oil Company, of 134 Topeka street will be held at 2 p. m. Sunday at Porter Loring chapel under auspices of the San Antonio Commandry No. 7, Knights Templar. Franks, a native of Atascosa county spent a large part of his time in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and Tampico, Mexico. Survivors are: widow, Mrs. Jennie Burke Franks; sisters, Mrs. John M. Doak, Del Rio, and Mrs. Dannie Shields, El Paso; nieces, Mrs. Walter Fricke and Mrs. Lela Neal Pertle, San Antonio, Mrs. Mitchell Waldrop, Del Rio and Miss Zarilla Shields, El Paso; nephews, Leslie Neal, San Antonio; Doak Heard, New Mexico; Frank Heard, U. S. navy. Interment will be in City Cemetery No. 4.


Oscar Bertrand Franks Death Certificate.


Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Texas
A thru M by surname
Compiled by John M. Longoria, johnl@webnology.com

1st column:        LAST NAME
2nd column         FIRST NAME
3rd column         MIDDLE NAME
4th column         DATE OF BIRTH
5th column         DATE OF DEATH
6th column         INSCRIPTION

Abbey             Alva            Franks         1889              1919
Brite             Dan             Henry          Apr. 18, 1884     Apr. 16, 1976
Brite             J.              W.             1873              1955
Brite             Mattie          Bell           1874              1966
Brite             Philo B.        Owen           Jan. 23, 1906     Aug. 22, 1974
Brite             S.              Myrtle         1896              1980
Brite             Thomas          R.             1895              1966
Brite, Jr.        Thomas          R.             1916              1999
Franks            Alva            A.             1856              1933
Franks            Chas.           E.             June 10, 1873     May 7, 1929
Franks            Dan.            G.             1848              1913
Franks            Edmond                         1847             1921               Father
Franks            Penny                          1897              1923
Franks            Robt.           I.             1891              1930
Franks            Roy             W.             1900             1941               Faithful to his trust
Franks            Talitha                        1851               1927               Mother
Franks            Viola                          1873              1952
Hays              Bennie          B.             1882              1972
 


Cattlemen, November, 1937

Early-Day Stockmen of the Lower Trans-Pecos,

PECOS LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY

PECOS LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY. The Pecos Land and Cattle Company was organized in 1884 by investors from Attleboro, Massachusetts, who hoped to turna good profit. Headquarters were located near Meyers Spring, seven miles east of the railroad station at Dryden in south central Terrell County. Although the owners had no experience in ranching , they bought 106 checkerboard sections, or 67,840 acres, of land from the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway for a dollar an acre. In 1884 the company purchased a nearby recently established ranch, the King Spring Cattle Company. Sometime later the company added the cattle of the KL brand and the O Bar brand to its holdings. The headquarters of the Pecos Land and Cattle Company were then moved to Dryden, where the management built three structures north of the railroad and opposite the depot. In 1886 W. W. Simonds, general manager of the ranch, patented the section of school land where the townsite of Dryden was laid out. He built a large two-story building for a store, a post office, and sleeping quarters. Two adobe buildings were constructed near the store. One of these was home to the family of ranch foreman Daniel G. Franks.

One of the problems the management of the ranch faced was that of providing water for the large herds. They leased land surrounding Cedar and Meyers springs from John L. Bullis, giving access to those natural sources. Water was also taken from King Spring and from the Rio Grande. The company eventually resorted to drilling for water. After a hired contractor was unsuccessful, they bought drilling equipment and found water themselves at only 600 feet. A second problem in operating the ranch was that of rounding up the cattle. The company began roundups at the mouth of the Pecos River and drove towards Dryden. Area ranchers who joined in the roundups to separate their cattle included H. C. Tardy, John R. Billings, Joe Kincaid, George Miller, Bob and Ross Neighbors, and the operators of the T5, Mule Shoe, NA, S, TX, and Gage (see A. S. GAGE RANCHES) ranches. The livestock was gathered, and the calves were branded. All stock was driven to home range or to market. In the spring of 1886 the Pecos Land and Cattle Company gathered 2,027 calves for sale.

Although the ranch showed a profit in good years, it lost money in poor ones. The owners had chosen to enter ranching on a large scale at the end of the open range. They paid top dollar for land, whereas earlier cattlemen had used free grass to build fortunes. In 1892 D. R. Baret moved from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to replace Simonds as general manager of the company, but the company was already fading by this time. In 1895 it was dissolved. N. G. King bought thirty-two sections of the original land for thirty-two cents an acre. D. Hart purchased the remainder for twenty-seven cents an acre. John Doak of Del Rio bought the horses and the remaining livestock. In the late 1970s one of the adobe ranch buildings was still standing in Dryden, a timeworn reminder of a costly attempt at Texas ranching.


Dovey Lucille (Barnett) (Franks) Brown died March 28, 1972, in the City of Navasota, Grimes Co., TX, at age 75. Buried in Oakland Cemetery, Navasota, Grimes Co., TX.


Dovey Lucille (Barnett) (Franks) Brown Death Certificate.


Bennie Bell "Bengy" (Brite) Hays died October 26, 1972, at Valle-Hi Inn, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX, at age 90. Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX.


Bennie Bell "Bengy" (Brite) Hays Death Certificate.


Cedar Springs, Falls Co., TX.

Cedar Springs, once known as Mill Tract, is on Farm Road 2027 nine miles south of Marlin in south central Falls County. It was named for several springs that flowed through a nearby cedar grove. In the early 1870s the community had a sawmill, a gin, and a store. In 1879 a post office was established, taking the name Viesca, in remembrance of the colonial settlement Sarahville de Viesca, which had been five miles north. The community had a population of thirty in the mid-1880s. In 1890 it had 100 residents, a general store, and a hotel. When the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway completed the section of track between Waco and Lexington in 1891, bypassing Viesca by six miles, many residents were drawn to the railroad and the newly established community of Lott. The population of Viesca fell to fifty by the mid-1890s. When the post office was discontinued in 1905, the community resumed the name Cedar Springs. In 1905 the community had a two-teacher school for sixty-six white students and a one-teacher school for eighty-one black students. Until the mid-1950s Cedar Springs served as the focus of a common-school district; this district was divided and consolidated with the Lott and the Rosebud school districts in 1955. Cotton and corn were the principal crops grown by farmers in the Cedar Springs area until the 1930s. At that time tomatoes were introduced as a specialty crop, and farmers also began to grow watermelons, cantaloupes, and sweet potatoes. Stock, in particular turkeys, increased in importance after 1960. The population of Cedar Springs fell to fifteen in the early 1930s but increased to fifty by 1939 and to seventy by 1945. A school, a church, and several residences marked the community on county highway maps in the late 1940s. Ninety residents were reported in 1970 and 1990.


Jennie (Burke) Franks died March 20, 1961, in Nix Memorial Hospital, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 90). Buried in Confederate Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX.


Jennie (Burke) Franks Death Certificate.


Robert Ingersoll "Bob" Franks died August 31, 1930, in Brady, McCulloch Co., TX, at age 39. Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX.


Robert Ingersoll "Bob" Franks Death Certificate.


Lucy Jane (Nichols) Heard died March 20, 1970, at Cottonwood Acres, City of Lamesa, Dawson Co., TX, at age 89. Buried in Fairview Cemetery, Midland, Midland Co., TX.


Lucy Jane (Nichols) Heard Death Certificate.


Lee Foster Heard died August 3, 1942, in Midland, Midland Co., TX, at age 77.


Lee Foster Heard Death Certificate.


Dannie G. (Franks) Shields died January 7, 1962, at the Mesa Nursing Home, El Paso, El Paso Co., TX, at age 83. Buried in Masonic Cemetery Lodge 130 Section, Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, El Paso Co., TX.


El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, TX, Monday, January 8, 1962

OBITUARIES

SHIELDS

Mrs. Dannie (Franks) Shields, 82, of 2814 Gold Ave., died Sunday. She is survived by one daughter, Miss Zarilda Shields, two nieces, including Mrs. Mitchell Waldrop, San Antonio, exas, one nephew. Funeral services will be held at 11 AM Wednesday in the Easter & Maxon Chapel with the Rev. Jack Walis officiating. Burial will be in the Masonic Cemetery. In memory of Mrs. Shields, contributions may be made to a favorite charity.


Dannie G. (Franks) Shields Death Certificate.


Dannie G. Franks: Born December 17, 1878, in Atascosa Co., TX; Died January 7, 1962, in the Mesa Nursing Home, El Paso, El Paso Co., TX (age 83). Married December 23, 1896, at the Dolch Hotel, Eagle Pass, Maverick Co., TX, to Thomas L. J. Shields: Born June 6, 1867, in Texas; Died November 2, 1938, in El Paso, El Paso Co., TX (age 61).


Robert Ingersoll "Bob" Franks: Born August 17, 1891, in Dryden, Pecos Co., TX; Died August 31, 1930, in Brady, McCulloch Co., TX (age 39). Buried in Westlawn Cemetery, Del Rio, Val Verde Co., TX. Married Unknown in Texas to Dorie Barnett: Born Unknown; Died Unknown. Lillie Unknown: Born about 1898 in Texas; Died Unknown.


Oscar Bertrand Franks: Born October 16, 1876, in Pleasanton, Atascosa Co., TX; Died December 18, 1936, at Nix Hospital, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 60). Buried in City Cemetery #4, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. Married before 1915 to Jennie Burke: Born February 28, 1871, in Tennessee; Died March 20, 1961, in Nix Memorial Hospital, San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX (age 90).


Ma Kiley The Life of a Railroad Telegrapher, Thomas C. Jepesen, Southwestern Studies No. 104

Who was Ma Kiley? She was born Mattie Collins Brite in Atascosa County, Texas, near Pleasanton, in 1880, the fourth child in a family of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Her parents divorced when Mattie was seven; after remaining for a short time with her unemployed and ne'er-do-well father, Charles Henry Brite, in Atascosa County, she went to live with her mother, Alva, who had remar­ried to rancher Daniel G. Franks. The combined Brite and Franks families lived in Dryden, and later Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Texas.

While living in Eagle Pass in 1896, Mattie met the first of her many husbands, Paul Friesen, a German who worked for the Mexican National Railroad. Out of this marriage came her first child, Carl; the marriage ended after three years due to Paul Friesen's failure to support his family. Mattie went back home to Del Rio, where her mother and stepfather managed a hotel, determined to learn a trade to support herself and her child. One of the boarders at the hotel was a telegrapher named Henry Hall; he taught Mattie the fundamentals of telegraphy and encouraged her to find work as a telegrapher.

She obtained her first railroad telegraphy position at Sabinas, Mexico, in 1902, and moved there with her son, Carl. She spent three years in northern Mexico, working in Ciudad Porfirio Diaz (now Piedras Negras), Torreon, and Durango. While in Durango in 1903, she became a member of the Order of Railroad Telegraphers (ORT), the railroad telegraphers' labor organization.

While working in Mexico, she met telegrapher Alexander John Crew "over the wire" and married him in 1904. This marriage lasted only six months; when Crew came home one night drunk and began shooting at her, Mattie left him and went back to Del Rio, where her second son, Alva Gedney Crew, was born.

For the next few years, she moved from city to city in Texas, stopping wherever she could find work as an operator. While working in Dallas, she was asked by

Western Union to go to Amarillo on a short-term assignment to do some bookkeeping. Rather than take her children along, she left them at the Episcopal Children's Home in Dallas for about a week. When she returned,

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So that my readers may recognize me and know that this story is true, guess I'd better turn egg for a while and tell when and where I was hatched.

I'm strictly a country gal of Scotch-Irish descent, American born. A beau I had in Gerlach, Nevada, way back in 1911, once asked me what my "nationality" was. When I told him, Scotch-Irish, American-born, he replied, "By G -, I thought so - you're too damned mean to be plain Irish!"

Anyway I was born down in Atascosa County, Texas, where the jiggers (redbugs) delight in burying their poisonous selves into your flesh and where the grass burrs scratch the hide off your legs. I arrived on the morning of March 1, 1880, the fourth child in our family.

My mother and dad were divorced when I was about seven years old. The court awarded us kids to mother - William, my oldest brother, myself, my sister Bennie and baby brother Dan, who was a little past two years of age. Mother placed Bennie and me with a sister of hers who lived on the Medina River at a place called Oak Island, about ten miles south of San Antonio. Mother took the youngest child, Dan, with her and went to San Antonio, where she was soon married to one of the finest men who ever drew the breath of life - Daniel G. Franks, a widower and the father of six children. They moved out to Dryden in Pecos County, Texas, where my new daddy was boss of the Pecos Land and Cattle Company, on what was then the Swinging H Ranch.

My own father hated any and all of my mother's people, and as soon as he found out where she had placed us he came and took Bennie and me away with him back to Atascosa County. But he had no home, and as usual no work and no money, so for a long time he put us out with any family who would keep us, free of charge, until his marriage to Texanna Holder, a lovely young woman hardly older than my brother, Will.

We stayed with my dad and my stepmother for about two years, and then in 1891 my own mother came to take me and my sister Bennie to live with her and her new husband, Daniel Franks. As I've said, he had six children of his own, by his former wife, and mother decided that she might as well have hers with her, too. I never did know all the ins and outs of the case, but I remember when we were taken into court. I had on a checked gingham dress, wore a corset underneath, and was barefoot, with my hair in two pigtails "platted" so tight I couldn't close my eyes.

When the judge asked us to state our choice as to which parent we wanted to live with, Bennie immediately replied, "Mamma"; but I answered, "It doesn't make a damn bit of difference to me - I don't like either one of them!" At this time my sister and I were both very ornery, disobedient little hellions; we had no real love for anyone and distrusted almost everyone.

After mother got possession of us she took us to Dryden where we met the whole family. And what a family! There was Daddy Franks, my stepfather, his oldest son, Alonzo, his twin daughters, Arrie Doak and Artie Neale (the latter was married to my first cousin, Henry Neale), Leila Heard, Oscar Franks and Dannie Franks. Then there was my youngest brother, Dan, and mother's and Daddy Frank's first offspring, Alva, aged two, the idol of all the children. Eleven kids, three distinct sets: “yours, mine, and ours.”

Daddy Franks called us all together and said, "Children, we are a big family and I hope a happy one. There is room and welcome for each and every one of you. I want it distinctly understood that there sits the boss" - he pointed to mother - "and I insist that you all respect and obey her. As long as you do, this is your home, but to the first one who breaks that rule - there is the door leading out." That rule stood and the only one who ever got the door was his own son, Alonzo. I can't remember what it was about.

For the first time in my eleven years I had a real home, with affection and understanding. Before retiring we kissed each mem­ber of the family and did the same on arising. Dan Franks was the grandest man I ever knew and I have never allowed anyone to even intimate differently, in my presence. He was kind, just, upright, honest and - just 100 percent to the good in every way. He gave me the first doll I ever had. (Before my toys had always consisted of marbles, pocket knives, slingshots, nigger shooters, etc.) This doll stood alone and would close its eyes and say mama. I made clothes for it from scraps Daddy brought me from millinery stores, and he complimented everything I made, when in other years all I ever heard was jibes and ridicule.

At Dryden Daddy Franks was, as I have stated before, boss of the Pecos Land and Cattle Company. He was paid a good salary and allowed his expenses. Mother ran a boardinghouse and collected board from him, which we kids couldn't understand. We thought he was being imposed on. Her other boarders were rail­road men Charles Douglas and James Whitely, the day and night pumpers, the agent, Pete Jungman, and Albert Kuhn, the night operator. Now and then a transient would drop in, usually a rancher. You will hear more of Albert Kuhn, and the part he played in my life many years later.

A number of her Texas relatives achieved prominence and recognition as well. Mattie's sister, Bennie, became one of the first registered nurses in the Del Rio, Texas, area. A niece with the same name, Bennie Lou, graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and became the first certified school guidance counselor in Texas.

Even in death, Mattie Kuhn remains a larger-than-life figure to family members. This was partially due to sheer physical size; according to her granddaughter, Marjean Binns, Mattie Kuhn was about 5' 9" in height. Although early pictures show her to have been relatively thin as a young woman, by the time she retired, she wore a size 44 dress. An attractive woman throughout her life, she continued to win suitors even in her retirement years.

However, her influence within the family was due primarily to her commanding personality. Her niece, Bennie Lou, recalls her as being highly intelligent and a "persuasive and domineering" personality who played a central role in family politics. According to her granddaughter Marjean, she had a memory for detail that was "frightening." Marjean recalls her grandmother driving her through a featureless part of the desert near Reno and pointing out the exact location of an automobile breakdown that had occurred years before. Family members also remember some negative per­sonality traits: she had a quick temper on occasion, and had a ten­dency to act impulsively, traits that she acknowledged in "The Bug and I."

Because of her honesty in telling her story, it is possible to come up with a fairly clear portrait of Mattie Kuhn as a person. It is clear that experiencing the divorce of her parents when she was seven years old, living with her alcoholic, ne'er-do-well father, and being placed in a series of foster homes were traumatizing experiences for the young Mattie, as they would have been for any child. As she said of this period, "My sister and I were both very ornery, disobedient little hellions; we had no real love for anyone and distrusted almost everyone." However, when her mother remarried and she was brought into the large and happy extended Franks family, she idolized her stepfather, Daniel Franks, who she said was "one of the finest men who ever drew the breath of life." Her idealization of her stepfather, contrasted with her negative feelings toward her biological father, clearly created problems in her feelings about men that were manifested in her numerous rela­tionships and marriages. Again and again, she married men who behaved similarly to her biological father and eventually rejected them because they did not measure up to the standard set by Daniel Franks.

This ambivalence about male behavior was particularly evi­denced in her feelings about John Kiley. In her own words, "John was a fine fellow, but he drank. . . . That was one thing I would never stand for again - what with my father and the bluenose from Nova Scotia I'd had all the boozers I ever wanted to see." Although she left him when he broke his promise to abstain from drinking, she continued to use his name for many years and in fact even used it to sign "The Bug and I."

Despite all the failed marriages, Mattie Kuhn never gave up her dream of finding a mate who would live up to her ideals and not disappoint her. As time went by, she gradually overcame her ambivalence about men; she learned to be more tolerant of human failings and to accept others as they were. She also learned to avoid relationships with potential abusers. Her dream was fulfilled, albeit for only a short time, in her marriage to Albert Kuhn in 1931: "We were old enough to reason things out, to have patience, understanding, and tolerance, and we were crazy about each other." When he died only a few years later, she would remark, "I lost the one person I loved best on earth, next to my son."

Although her personal relationships with men were problematical, she liked working with men and was capable of having deep friendships with them. For a woman, working as a railroad telegrapher required a complex set of interpersonal skills. She often was the only woman working in the depot; she was seen by her male co-workers as being simultaneously a competitor for jobs and a sexually available female.


POSTMASTERS & POST OFFICES OF
PECOS COUNTY, TEXAS
1872 - 1930

 

DRYDEN (Pecos, Terrell) (see also THURST)

(Re-established) Franks, Dan'l. G., 24 Jun 1891

Index to Probate Cases of Atascosa County Texas

September 28, 1857 to March 6, 1939

Contributed by Terri Goins Lorenz

Partial Index to Probate Cases

NAME

STATUS

DATE FILED

CASE NUMBER

Franks, Alonzo, Artie, Dannie, Lela, Ortie, Oscar and Zorilla

Minors

April 7, 1885

89

Franks, B. F., Deceased; James, Mary L., Mathew, Nancy Ann and William

Minors

Aug. 20, 1863

11 (A)

Franks, Charlie P. and John S.

Minors

Sept. 27, 1912

418

Franks, Essie, Florence and John

Minors

July 26, 1922

626

Franks, Essie O.

Deceased

May 16, 1921

602

Franks, L. A.

Deceased

Nov. 10, 1883

73

Franks, W. M.

NCM

July 29, 1914

451

Franks, Wm. A.

Deceased

March 3, 1916

486

Franks, Wm. A.

Deceased

March 3, 1916

586 (A)


Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date: September 29,1937
Name: Eliza Elmore (Mrs.)
Post Office: , Oklahoma
Date of Birth: 1866
Place of Birth: Fall County, Texas
Father: C. A. Wells
Place of Birth:
Information on father:
Mother:
Place of birth:
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Charline M. Culbertson, Interviewer
Interview #7776  

Interview with Mrs. Eliza Elmore
Limestone Gap, Oklahoma

I was born in Fall County, Texas, in 1866. My Parents were C. A. and P. A. WELLS.

I came to the Indian Territory with my sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Bradford HAYES and their family in 1885. Mr. Hayes was a Methodist missionary both Territorial days and after statehood. He worked as a missionary in Indian Territory and Oklahoma for thirty years.

Our trip was made in a covered wagon. We did not travel with other groups but only with my sisters immediate family.

We located on the bank of the Washita River near Tishomingo.

We leased land from Edmond PORTER a Chickasaw Indian. My sister and I did all the farming while her husband preached among the Indians.

We lived in a little log house, eighteen by twenty feet. It had a fire place at one end and there were no windows, only small shutters.

At Tishomingo, at this time there was one log store and post office. I do not recall who was postmaster or who operated the store.

All we brought with us from Texas was our household goods. The only thing I am in possession of today is some old cotton garters. These had belonged to my mother. I also have a cast iron skillet that I brought from Texas.

We went to Whitesboro, Texas to get our supplies. It took two days to make the trip there. We crossed the Washita River at COLBERT’s Ferry.

We went to BYRDS mill to get out corn and wheat ground.

I had no personal friends among the Indians. I never attended any of their dances nor pow-wows.

We always had a fine gardens and orchards, also lots of wild game such as turkey, deer and hogs, and there were big flocks of prairie chickens.

I plowed and did a man’s work for eleven years and knew very little of what was going on in the outside world. I stayed at home and took care of my parents as they were invalids and did not marry until I was forty-five.

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Rusty Stroup <m2759@chickasaw.com> 03-1999.

Also submitted by  Reba Morgan Alsup  RAlsup2@aol.com    March 2004 with the following note: Rev. John Bradford Hays was a well known Baptist Missionary. Interview from Vol. 23, pages 406-407, Indian Pioneer History, Grant Foreman Collection, Indian Archives Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

 

 

The Abilene Reporter-News, Abilene, TX, Sunday, March 22, 1970

Mrs. Lee Heard

Mrs. Lee Foster (Lucy Jane) Heard, 89, of 601 Brownwood, Abilene, died at 11 p.m. Friday in a Lamesa nursing home. Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Newnie W. Ellis Funeral Home Chapel in Midland with Rev. J. B. Bitner, Jr., pastor of Southside Baptist Church of Monahans, officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Mindand. Born April 2, 1880 in Comfort, she was reared near Junction. She moved to Midland with her family in 1891 and married Lee Foster Heard June 23, 1902. Mr. Heard died in 1942. They ranched southeast of Midland and also owned and operated a grocery store and café in downtown Midland. Mrs. Heard moved to Abilene in 1951 and had been living with a daughter there until three months ago when she moved to Lamesa. She was a member of the First Christian Church of Midland.
Survivors include three sons, Lee of Odessa, Allen of Monahans and Doak of Deming, New Mexico; two daughters Mrs. Van Turner of 601 Briarwood and Mrs. Lela M. Crawford of Lamesa; three sisters Mrs. Aggie Green, Mrs. Zudie Holloway and Ms. Mag Patton, all of Midland; eight grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

 

Lela Mary Heard was married about 1925 in Midland Co., TX, to Edwin Hammond Taylor (born September 29, 1906, in Troy, AL). They had a daughter, Camilla Jane Taylor, born January 12, 1928, in Midland Co., TX.