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

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