Monday, December 19, 2016

More Tidbits in the Dublin Progress for Lancaster Families

I love newspapers, especially small town newspapers with lots of tidbits about local people and their doings. Recently I found The Dublin Progress a newspaper published in Dublin, Erath County. The count seat was Stephenville and there were newspapers published there, too. Dublin is a bit west of Stephenville and this newspaper covered all of the small farming communities around it, such as Hickey, Harbin, Howell Springs, and Purves.

This newspaper can be found in digital form on The Portal to Texas History website where they have many newspapers available in the Texas digital Newspaper Program Collection. I can search the papers by name and I have found many hits on the names Lancaster, Coor, Loveless, and Welch. These are some of the family names who lived in Erath County, Texas in the early part of the 1900s.

Here is an example of a hit I received. This clipping is from the community of Hickey in the 13 November 1914 newspaper.[1] There are four different references to Lancaster family members and a Loveless family.

13 Nov 1914, The Dublin Progress

“R. L. Smallwood and Grandpa Lancaster went to Highland last Sunday.” This Grandpa Lancaster was likely George Wilson Lancaster, father to William Carlton  “W.C.” 
Lancaster. He was seventy-five years old in 1914. Often this paper referred to the older gentlemen as “grandpa.” R.L. Smallwood was a Baptist minister.

“Singing at W.C. Lancaster Saturday night was enjoyed by all present.” 
W.C. Lancaster was William Carlton, sometimes referred to in the paper as Carl. There have been many notations of singing by W.C. or at W.C.’s home.

“Mr. and Mrs. Rob Loveless of Stephenville visited Warren Lancaster and family Sunday.”  
Here Warren Lancaster was George Warren Lancaster, son of W.C. Lancaster. Rob Loveless was the brother of W.C.’s wife, Lela Loveless Lancaster. Rob’s wife was Lillie Moon.

“Warren Lancaster, Huts Loveless and Jesse Butler left Sunday night for the west to pick cotton.” 
Again, Warren was the son of W.C. Lancaster. Huts Loveless was William Hutson Loveless, the brother of Warren’s wife, Lela Loveless Lancaster. Huts had married Warren’s sister, Josephine, often called Jodie in the newspaper.

So these newspapers give clues. Clues to where they lived. Clues to their activities. Clues to other relationships and friendships. From the first tidbit, I could learn with more research that the family was Baptist. From the second, I learned that W.C. Lancaster liked to sing or was involved in singing. From the third, I learned that Rob Loveless and his wife lived in Stephenville and confirmed a relationship between the Loveless and Lancaster families. From the fourth, I can research about raising cotton in the area and migrant cotton picking.

Soon the Stephenville Tribune and Stephenville Empire newspapers will be online. I’m sure I’ll find more articles about Lancaster, Loveless, and Coor families.

[1] “Hickey,” The Dublin Progress, 13 Nov 1914, p. 7, col. 1, Lancaster & Loveless mentions, digital image, The Portal to Texas History ( : accessed 26 Nov 2016).

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Bargain, Land for Sale by G.W. Lancaster

Here's another story from a news item from The Dublin Progress.

An ad was found in 1905, where G.W. Lancaster was offering land for sale, described as an 174 acre farm on Alarm Creek, six miles southwest of Stephenville.[1]

21 Jul 1905 The Dublin Progress

This G.W. Lancaster could be George Wilson Lancaster, my third-great-grandfather, who married Martha Jane Polly. Their oldest son was William Carl Lancaster, whom I’ve written about earlier.

The ad gave some detail but not the land description. It had ninety acres in cultivation and the balance was in timber and grass. He had peaches, blackberries, grapes, and some young apples. The house on the property had four rooms. There were also outhouses, two good wells, and a windmill. It also said it was a bargain. Did that mean he was selling it for less than it's value? Or were other properties without such anemities? 

Earlier in the 1880's, G.W. and his wife were living in Maricopa County, Arizona, near where Phoenix is today. He had purchased forty acres of land from the federal government.[2] He and his wife later sold the land for two thousand dollars in 1889.[3]  So sometime between 1889 and 1905, GW Lancaster moved back to Erath County. 

I checked the deed indexes which are located at There are indexes online up to 1896. The Family History Library has on microfilm indexes up to 1902 and deeds up to 1901. I checked the indexes that were online and found the following:[4]

Item 2, Deed Index Vol 4, 1887-1892,
·         Nothing in the Grantor section
·         G.W. Lancaster, from I. Pipes & wife, Deed, Sep 20 1890, filed 23 Sep 1890, BK 29, p 606

Item 3, Deed Index, Vol 5, 1890-1893
·         Nothing in the Grantor section
·         G.W. Lancaster, from Isaac Pipes, Release, Dec 3, 1891, filed Dec 3, 1891, Bk 37, p. 127-8

Item 4, Deed Index, Vol 6, 1893-1896
·         Nothing in Grantor section
·         Nothing in Grantee section

This piece of land that was listed in the index in volumes 4 and 5 may be the one that G.W. was trying to sell in 1905. In order to be sure, I need to check the later Grantor indexes.

Because the Family History Library does not have further indexes, I’ll have to write to the County Clerk in Erath County. First I’ll ask for the two references above and then ask them to check the index for the sale of the property sometime after July 1905 by G.W. Lancaster.

These still won't answer the question of why he was selling the land with a good house and fruit trees. He was sixty-six, so perhaps he was finally ready to retire. By 1910, he was living with his son, William C. Lancaster.[5]

[1] “Miscellaneous Advertisements,” The Dublin Progress, 21 Jul 1905, p. 4, G.W. Lancaster For Sale; digital image, The Portal to Texas History ( : accessed 27 Nov 2016).
[2] Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office, database & digital images,, AZAZAA 014321, Serial Patent, Cash Sale, George W. Lancaster, 1890.
[3] Territory of Arizona, Maricopa County, Land Deeds, Bk 21, p 32, 1889, Lancaster-Coulson; FHL film 2196859.
[4] Family History Library, Film 1428484 Items 2-4
[5] 1910 U.S. census, Erath Co, Texas, pop. sched, digital image, ( ), T624, Stephenville, enumeration district (ED) 19, sheet 225, William C. Lancaster.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Sunday, December 11, 2016

One for the Dallas Fair: 12-Pound Sweet Potato

In The Dublin Progress, which I have been reading for mention of my Texas family names, I found an article in the October 27, 1897 issue about Dempsey Perry Coor, son of my g-g-great-grandfather, James Madison Coor. His farm was located outside of Dublin and he had brought in a very large sweet potato, of the Southern Queen variety, that weighed over twelve pounds.[1]

I love sweet potatoes, so I wondered what the Southern Queen variety is. According to Mother Earth News article, the Southern Queen matures in about 105 days. It produces “long, narrow tubers with white skin and white flesh. The original strain was introduced from South America in 1870.”[2]  Some people refer to these white sweet potatoes as yams (my father did) but they are not related to true yams at all.

It seems that sweet potatoes grow well in the south because they thrive in “warm, sunny climate and prefers loose, well-drained soil”[3] and have a long growing season. I also learned that southerners tended to like the sweeter varieties and northerners preferred the drier and mealy varieties.

I looked for a result of his sweet potato at the Dallas fair but didn’t find any other mention. However in the next issue the following week, there was another large sweet potato brought into town by E.P. Purvis that weighed fifteen pounds.[4] His certainly topped Dempsey’s sweet potato.

And even though Dempsey was not my direct ancestor, his growing of sweet potatoes was still a clue that my great-great-grandfather, W.C. Lancaster, who married Dempsey’s sister, Martha Jane “Doll” Coor, probably grew sweet potatoes, too.

[1] “Local Items,” 29 Oct 1897, The Dublin Progress, p 5, col 2, D.P. Coor, digital image, The Portal to Texas History ( : accessed 27 Nov 2016).
[2] “A Brief History of Heirloom Seet Potato Varieties,” by William Woys Weaver, Mother Earth News ( : accessed 11 Dec 2016).
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Local Items,” 5 Nov 1897, The Dublin Progress, p 5, col 3, E.P. Purvis, digital image, The Portal to Texas History ( : accessed 27 Nov 2016).

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday -- Girl's Basketball at Stephenville High School

Here is a photo of the Stephenville High School girls basketball team in 1924. Two of the girls on the team are related to me but not to each other.

Circled in blue is Pearl Lancaster, who was my great aunt. She was the sister of my grandmother, Pansy’s father, George Warren Lancaster.

The girl circled in yellow is Faye Loveless. She was my first cousin, twice removed. Her father was my great-grandmother, Lela Ann Loveless’ brother, Arthur Loveless.

The clipping was sent to my grandmother by her brother, R.D. Lancaster. My grandmother also played sports in high school but this would have been a few years before her time. Someday, I hope to find her yearbook. has high school yearbooks but the earliest for Stephenville High School is 1937. Pansy married in 1933 at the age of 20, so my guess is she graduated either in 1931 or 1932. At the earliest yearbook they have is 1937 also. I will need to research when yearbooks were produced for the high school.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Singing Was Enjoyed By All

It appears that my great-great-grandfather, William Carleton Lancaster, was a singer. In the newspaper, The Dublin Progress, there were many articles about singing at W.C. Lancaster’s home.[1]

Singing at WC Lancaster Saturday night was enjoyed by all present.[2]
It seemed there were singing events at least once a month. At least, that was how often they were reported or maybe the singing was at the Lancaster house only once a month.
What kind of singing was it? Church singing? Singing where someone played the guitar, banjo, violin, or harmonica? It was not clearly stated in the newspaper.

Singing at W.C. Lancaster’s Sunday was well attended and enjoyed by all. The singing class has bought new books, and we now have one of the best singing classes in the county. We sing every first and third Sunday evenings. Everybody invited to come and sing with us.[3]
So this article said the singing was twice a month but did not state where, though it could have been at W.C. Lancaster’s. Because of the singing being on Sunday, it could be church music that they sing. Of course with Sunday being the “off” day of work, they could have been singing other types of songs as well.

In August of 1913, there was a singing convention and W.C. Lancaster was the president.

The central singing convention of Erath county will meet at Hickey school house Aug 31st, the fifth Sunday. Dinner will be served on the grounds. W.C. Lancaster is president of the convention.[4]
Sometimes W.C. Lancaster went to other locations to sing.

WC Lancaster and Omer Bost attended singing at Alarm Creek Sunday afternoon.[5]

Now, if the singing had to do with church or religion, I haven’t figured out yet which church the family attended.  A hint though could be found in researching the minister who married Lancaster family members. R.L. Smallwood married W.C.’s son, George Warren in 1912.[6] Census records for 1900-1920 listed his occupation as farmer. He lived in Stephenville in 1930 and his occupation was listed as preacher. On his death certificate, he was listed as a preacher for the Baptist Church.[7] So perhaps the church they attended was the Baptist church. The next step is to find out if there are any records of the Baptist church.

As for the singing, I have not heard any stories about this. My grandparents never sang. None of my siblings got the musical talent either, although we all love to sing-along to records, radio, and musicals. Maybe it’s enough that we love music.

Group of men, women and children singing to piano accompaniment
New York Public Library Digital Collections[8]

[1] All of these newspapers were accessed 26 Nov 2016 on The Portal to Texas History (
[2] “Hickey,” The Dublin Progress, 13 November 1914, digital image, The Portal to Texas History.
[3] “Hickey,” The Dublin Progress, 16 May 1913, digital image, The Portal to Texas History.
[4] “Personal Mention,” The Dublin Progress, 13 Aug 1913, digital image, The Portal to Texas History.
[5] “Hickey,” The Dublin Progress, 17 September 1915, digital image, The Portal to Texas History.
[6] Texas, Erath County, Marriages, Book M, p 278, GW Lancaster-Lela Loveless; FHL Film #1428410.
[7] "Texas Deaths, 1890-1976," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 5 December 2014), Robert Lee Smallwood, 17 Jun 1938; citing certificate number 27568, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2,117,696.
[8] "Group of men, women and children singing to piano accompaniment," Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library, New York Public Library Digital Collections ( : Accessed December 7, 2016).

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Monday, December 5, 2016

Where did my ancestors live? Communities in Erath County, Texas

I have been searching in old newspapers pages of The Dublin Progress, a newspaper published in Erath County, Texas, where many of my mother’s ancestors and cousins lived. I am fortunate that many issues of this paper is digitized on The Portal to Texas History website. I searched on the surnames and many hits came up.

One of the interesting things I learned were the names of the many small communities these families lived in, such as Harbin, Hickey, Alexander, Bunyan, Live Oak, Greens Creek, Lone Oak, and Howell Springs. I had heard of Dublin and Greens Creek before but not any of these other towns. These families were mostly farmers, so this part of Erath county must have been very rural with perhaps a small area where a few buildings such as a store, gas station, church, or school might be located. Now I wanted to learn a bit more about these communities.

Here is a map of the county showing some of these communities:

1907 Map of Erath Co Post Offices

You can see that they are now far from each other. Wikipedia gives information about Harbin: The community had a peak population of about 80 in 1950 where it “had a school, two stores and a Baptist church.”[1] The Texas Handbook gave the location of Harbin on “State Highway 847 four miles east of Dublin.” A landowner named Harbin donated land for a church. By the 1900s there was a store and cotton gin and the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railroad. For a short five years, a post office operated until 1905.[2]

I could find nothing about Hickey, except there is a cemetery named Hickey Cemetery.

Alexander used to be called Harper’s Mill. It was also a stop on the Texas Central Railroad and was thriving by 1900.

Bunyan is located west of Stephenville on Farm Road. The Texas Handbook gave the names of two of the first churches: Elkin’s Chapel which was erected by Methodists and Cow Creek by the Baptists, which later was named Bunyan Baptist. Later the Methodist Episcopal church was organized.  The community had a one time a flour mill and cotton gin, a post office, and several blacksmith shops at different times.[3]

The only thing I could find about Live Oak is there is a cemetery called Live Oak (Purves) Cemetery, which is located east side of Dublin. There is also a creek called Live Oak Creek. This creek flows into the North Bosque River. These two items are not located near each other.

Greens Creek is a creek, located just east of Bunyan and flows southeast to the North Bosque River. There are two creeks: Upper and Lower and both have dams on them. Greens Creek Baptist Church is located on County road 380 between Dublin and Stephenville. This church has been in the area since the late 1800s.[4]

Lone Oak. There was a Lone Oak Church, located on County Road 179. A newspaper account of a reunion was found, held in 2012.[5]

I couldn’t find Howell Springs on a map or in the Texas Handbook.

I tried to find a way to communicate with the local genealogy society but they don’t have an email. I will need to write a letter. I also found a historical commission and sent them an email asking for help about these communities.

[1] “Harbin, Texas,”,_Texas : accessed December 02, 2016.
[2] Handbook of Texas Online, "Harbin, TX," : accessed December 02, 2016.
[3] Handbook of Texas Online, "Bunyan, TX," :  accessed December 04, 2016.
[4] Greens Creek Baptist Church,
[5] “Former Students and Parishoners Invited to Lone Oak Reunion,” Stephenville Empire-Tribune, 9 May 2012,

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: Ebbie Loveless Married Again

My great-great-grandfather, Ebenezer Loveless married first Eliza A. Rodgers on 19 Mar 1871 in Chattooga County, Georgia.[1] They moved to Faulkner County, Arkansas where their eleven children were born. After Eliza’s death from dropsy on 27 Aug 1907[2], Ebbie moved to Erath County, Texas where his son, James Arthur, was living.

On 11 Sep 1908, Ebbie took out a marriage license to marry Mrs. M. M. Blunt. A list of marriage licenses were in the newspaper.[3]  Here is the image of the newspaper account.
The Dublin Progress, 11 Sep 1908, p1

They were married by the minister, J.F. Adams, on 12 Sep 1908.[4] Here is the image of the marriage record.
1908 Marriage between E Loveless & Mrs MM Blount

Who was Mrs. M. M. Blount? 
She was married previously. Looking at the 1910 census with Ebbie and his wife, more clues are given as to her identity and these will be helpful in finding records previous to her marriage to Ebbie. Here is the household of Ebby:

Loveless, Ebby, head, m, w, 59, married 2nd, 1 yr, b. GA, parents SC, farmer, general farm
               Melissa, wife, f, w, 42, 22, 1, Missouri, MO/KY
               Wm H, son, m, w, 16, sing, Arkansas, GA/GA, laborer, home farm, school
               Lela, dau, f, w, 14, sing, Arkansas, GA/GA, laborer, home farm, school
Blount, Mary, step dau, f, w, 16, sing, Texas, AL/MO, laborer, home farm, school
            Vernon, step dau, f, w, 14, sing, Texas, AL/MO, laborer, home farm, school
Settle, Aunie Mrs, mother-in-law, f, w, 73, wd, Kentucky, OH/VA

This household had two of Ebby’s children from his first marriage with Eliza: William H and Lela; two of Melissa’s children from her first marriage: Mary and Vernon Blount; and Melissa’s mother, Annie Settle. Melissa’s maiden could have been “Settle” unless her mother had remarried.

Checking marriage records in Erath County brought up a marriage between M.P. Blount and Miss MM Settle on 21 Jan 1886.[5] Melissa M. Settle was her maiden name.

Ebbie and Melissa moved to Rotan, Fisher County, Texas and Ebbie died there in 1929.[6] Malissa lived until 1950, when she died at age 83.[7]

[1] Chattooga County, Georgia, Marriages, Bk 1a, 1861-1880, p 156, Ebby Loveless & E.A. Rodgers, 1871, digital images, Georgia's Virtual Vault (, citing Georgia State Archives.
[2] Desmond Walls Allen, Pence Funeral Home Conway, Arkansas 1904-1926 Vol II (Rapid Rabbit Copy Co, Conway, AR), p 51, Eliza Loveless.
[3] “Erath County Marriage Licenses,” The Dublin Progress, 11 Sep 1908, E. Loveless-Mrs MM Blount, digital image, The Portal to Texas History ( : 26 Nov 2016).
[4] Texas, Erath County, Marriages, Book L, p 42, 1908, E. Loveless to Mrs. MM Blount; FHL 1,026,028.
[5] Texas, Erath County, Marriages, Book D, p 79, 1886, MP Blount to Miss MM Settle, digital image, FamilySearch ( : 1 Dec 2016); citing FHL film 1026025.
[6] Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate no. 2972 (1929), E. Loveless, digital image, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Jul 2008).
[7] Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate no. 8502 (1950), Malissa Million Loveless, digital image, FamilySearch ( : accessed 1 Dec 2016).

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family