John Potter Dedication in August

Through the efforts of member Violet Shirey of Rockport, there will be a commemoration of the Civil War service of veteran John T. Potter August 14 at the Shady Grove Cemetery at Winnsboro. Violet has written with several requests for assistance concerning John Potter and family.
1) She is wondering if there is any member has “any ideas what a memorial program would contain.”
2) “I am looking for Kathryn Browning. She is a g granddaughter of John T. Potter. I don’t know what her married name is, but the last I knew of her she lived in Quitman. Her parents were Ambrose and Sis Browning. They are buried in the cemetery just North of Mineola. Is there any way to locate her?”
3) “Also is there a map in your possesion that would show where John T. Potter lived? He lived in Pct 4, Wood Co.”

If you can offer any observations, ideas, or help for her, you can send an email to her at v.shirey@sbcglobal.net. Also, please consider sharing your response as a comment here on our web page. Violet’s mailing address is available on the member contact list on the Members Only Pages which you can access with the link at the top right of this page.

Query: Price Cemetery

Member Mark Reid received the following email request for help.

Hello, my name is Norman Davis and my mom’s side of the family is Price, and doing our genealogy I have found that there is actually a “Price family Cemetery” located either in or near Quitman, do you have any information that you could email me or a picture of the gates of the cemetary, I plan on taking a trip within the year there so that I can get some pics of all of my relatives that are interred there to put on my family web site. All info as to where it is actually located and if possible a pic of the gates would be greatly appreciated.
Norman Davis
5550 Texas Ave. # 615
Abilene, Texas 79605
nordav01@yahoo.com

Mark’s reply to the email:

Sorry to be so long in getting the pics. Finally got out there today. Pics attached. The cemetery is located 5 miles north of Quitman on Farm Road 2966, at the intersection with the “Lake Quitman” Road. On the southwest corner of that intersection. Hope these help out.

One of the pictures Mark furnished:

Picture of gate at Price Cemetery, Wood County, Texas

Price Cemetery, Wood County, Texas, 2011

Welcome to This Quarter’s New Members

Five members have joined the society since the Old Settlers Reuniion in August. Welcome to Sherma Largent of Quitman, Lester Nichols of Garland, Daryl Fowler of Yoakum, Edith Roberts of Yantis, and Ethel Kelley of Quitman. Ethel is researching the ADAIR family of Wood County.

October’s Family History Month Activities

October has become the recognized “Family History Month” in the U. S., and the Wood County Genealogical Society has several events planned for this month.

October 11 (also Columbus Day) is our remodel, rearrangement, and freshen up event for the genealogy research center at the Quitman Public Library. This kicks off at 8 a.m. when we begin to moved books and other parts of our collections so that we can get our shelving, work tables, and equipment relocated in the center. While some members will be around much of the time, others are going to come when they can. We hope to finish by that afternoon so that the center can be used when the library opens the next day.

October 16 is our garage sale fundraiser in front of the Mineola Community Bank during the Highway 80 Garage Sale fall weekend. We are looking forward to a large number of our local members to show up with their garage sale items (already priced and marked) to start selling about 8 a.m. We will start the setup about 7 a.m., and the sooner the better on getting items out and ready for sale.

October 18 is our regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. at the Shamburger Room of the Quitman Public Library.

At 6 p.m. we are starting a “Getting Started” or “Help with Research Brickwalls” individual sessions for the general public or members at the library preceding to our meeting time. We need any members willing to come offer consultation or suggestions to come help out. This is a new idea, and we p-lan to alter it as necessary as we go. Also, this is an excellent opportunity to discuss your research/families with another member for ideas on how to get to the next level of research. Because of this we are moving the unofficial “eating meeting” at Peralta’s up to 5 p.m. from last year’s time.

Eating Meeting Next Monday at Peralta’s

Members, guests, and visitors are invited to join our group meeting at Peralta’s Mexican Restaurant in Quitman next Monday (August 16) at 6 p.m. If you can make it, you’ll find us having a good time, talking, and sharing. Some of it will be genealogy (nothing official) and some just plain fun.

A Real “Rootin’, Tootin” Pioneer Hero

It’s a wonder that no one has made a novel, movie, or television series about the life of Wood County’s Martin Varner. It’s all there in black and white in Don Raney‘s recent history of Varner, “Martin Varner: Texas Pioneer, His Life Story and His Descendants.” And, there’s a whole lot of Wood County history there through tracing the many family connections of the Varner family.

Don was born here himself in the Hoard community and not very far from the area that Varner and his family (the first White settlers in the Wood County area) lived just south of present-day Hainesville. Connections to other historic pioneer families of Wood County are also in the book.

Don made all this come alive in his presentation to the April meeting of the society at the library in Quitman. If you want a story about a man who traveled across the United States to Texas with conflicts along the way with Indians, the United States government, and, oh, yes, the Mexican government and ultimately Santa Anna’s army, Don Raney is a man you should see (or at least read his book). Varner’s ultimate death at the hands of a neighbor over what seems to us a trivial matter (tools of the neighbor’s trade) qualifies as a true heroic tragedy.

I am so happy I didn’t miss the April meeting and, thus, miss hearing Don tell the story. I knew he was a good teacher from a previous visit he made to the society and from workshops I attended which he taught at a genealogical conference in Lufkin several years ago.

If you missed the meeting and have not seen his book, society Vice-president Dororthy Harbin has some copies of the book for sale at a very reasonable price (and a part of the purchase price will go as a donation to the society). You can contact her at 903-571-4965 or at P.O. Box 794, Quitman, TX 75783 or by email at Reddot77@aol.com.

Looking Back: Five Flags (Plus) Over Wood County

The land which would some day become Wood County, Texas, USA has been the scene of human habitation for thousands of years providing sustenace and dwelling for various peoples because of the bountiful water, forest, land and lifestyle resouces which still attract people here today.

Evidence indicates human presence here in native American Clovis cultures in prehistoric times. Historical evidence points to the arrival of the native Americans known as the Caddos as early as the first Century, A. D. Living in the forests of the Sabine River Valley and its tributaries (including the Lake Fork and Big Sandy Creeks and their water sheds), the Kadhadacho (as the Spanish called them) were in their early period mound builders and the westernmost people of the Missippian Mound Culture. They had abandoned these practices by the arrival of Europeans in the 1500’s. The Spanish and French noted them as they moved through the Sabine Valley area and traded with the loosely allied groups described as the Caddo Confederation. Hasinai Caddo tribes populated this area during historic times.

Indian artifacts have been found from North to South in the county. Examples include the Caddo Trace area at Winnsboro where Indian and Spanish relics possibly from trading have been found and the discovery of Indian villages and burials in the Quitman area. Also, Native American relics have been found south in the Mineola Nature Preserve area just north of the Sabine River.

This first “nation” having dominiion over the area which is now Wood County had no real flag as they are known by us today.

The first European nation to claim the area of Wood County was Spain,

Spain

and Texas north to the Red River was a part of the vast Empire of Spain from the 14th Century until 1821 as part of Spanish Colonial America.

Following the end of the successful rebellion against Spain by Mexico, Wood County was a part of the Mexican State of Coahuila and Texas

Mexico

from 1821 until its own succesful rebellion against Mexico.

The Republic of Texas was born in 1836 and the area that would become Wood County was in the northermost area of the large orginal Nacogdoches County during the period of

Texas

the Republic. It was during this period that Martin Varner settled in Wood County. Varner is recognized as the first settler and also the person who cut the first road into the county (1840). Then, in 1846, Texas became a state of the United States.

That same year Texas became a part of the United States of America, larger counties were broken up, and Henderson County was formed. It included areas from Houston and Nacogdoches

United States of America

counties including the area of present-day Van Zandt and Wood Counties. Just two years later in 1848, Van Zandt County was created and it included the area that would become Wood County when it was created in 1850. (Creation timing was such that Wood County residents of 1850 are listed on the census of Van Zandt County.)

In 1861, Texas followed the actions of a number of Southern states and voted to withdraw from the United States of America and join the Confederate States of America. With the surrender of the Confederate government following four bloody years of warfare in 1865, Texas

Confederate States of America

entered a period of military government by the United States. In 1866 a nullification of the secession vote was passed by a Texas constitutional convention, and in 1869 Texans were again authorized to vote for members state officers. In 1870, Texas’ elected representatives were allowed back into the United States Congress.

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