by Ernest Mae Seaholm
According to the family pages in the Bible of Warren Daniel and Barsheba Gainer Andrews, Alfred Gray Andrews was born on 18 July 1799 in Martin County, North Carolina. He was the grandson of Edmund Andrews (1725-1795) and Agnes Wallace (1737-1795) of Pitt Co., N. C. Edmund was the son of Warren Andrews and wife Sarah. Warren Andrews (the first) had received land grants in 1738, 1739, and 1741 in Tyrrel County; in 1744, in Edgecombe Co.; and in 1760 in what is now Martin Co., on both sides of Picture Swamp. Warren Andrews died in 1774.
On 20 Sep 1825, Warren Daniel Andrews deeded 260 acres of land near Green Pond and Picture Swamp to his son Alfred Gray Andrews. The land from his father was apparently his inheritance for it was deeded “for natural love and affection.” And in his mother’s will, since he was no longer in North Carolina in 1839 at the time of her death, he is merely named as being her son and willed fifty cents. However, two years after receiving the land from his father, in 1827, A. G. Andrews bought 50 acres from Kenneth Johnston, land near Picture Swamp, and two years after that on 12 March 1829, Alfred Gray Andrews married Winifred Hyman in the home of John Hyman in Martin Co., N.C.
After living in North Carolina a few years and after the births of two of their children, the Alfred Gray Andrews family moved to Tennessee, eventually settling in Shelby County. There Arden Andrews, brother of Warren Daniel Andrews, owned land which he had willed to his son Warren A. Andrews. And here in Shelby County, Alfred Gray Andrews witnessed the marriage bond of Warren A. Andrews to Sarah U. Massey in 1841. And in Shelby County four or five of A. G. and Winifred’s children were born. The six children who lived to adulthood were Mary Ann (1831), Parthenia Elizabeth(1832), Joseph H. (1836), Sallie Elizabeth (1838), Basheba Winifred (1840), and Pembroke Alfred (1843). On 21 November 1845, A. G. Andrews sold 250 acres of land in Shelby County, Tennessee for $1,700 to Harper McGowen, apparently getting ready to move to Texas.
By 1847 the Andrews family had moved to Texas, and on 11 Mar 1847, Mary Ann Andrews, the oldest of the daughters, married Oliver B. Crenshaw and settled near Oakland in Colorado County. On 10 July 1849, the second daughter Parthenia Elizabeth married Lewis Monroe Mayes and settled in Lavaca County. Also in 1849 A. G. Andrews started buying land in Lavaca County. He bought 400 acres from George Q. Turner. Later in 1856 he bought an additional 40_ acres from George Q. Turner. In 1854 he bought 200 acres from William and Nancy Boatright; in 1855, 197 acres from Thomas A. and Julia Hester; and 41 acres from James Peacock in 1860. Why A. G. Andrews settled in Lavaca County is unclear, but there were a number of connections there from Martin County, North Carolina. Kenneth Hyman, who may have been the brother of Winifred Hyman Andrews, had married and settled in Lavaca County. Also Kinchen [Kirchen?] Mayo, who was originally from Martin County, N. C., lived in Lavaca County.
It was not long after the move to Texas that A. G. Andrews became involved in public affairs in Lavaca County. He was on a commission with Benjamin H. Stribling, N. Chambliss, John Hinch and Joseph Ryan to “lay out and sell and transfer lots, and to superintend the carrying out such propositions as may have been made in favor of the location selected” for the county seat. He also was on a “Board of Trustees of a Collegiate Institute, in the town of Halletsville, Lavaca county, to be known as the Alma Female Institute” along with J. C. Finney, L. W. Layton, C. Ballard, A. Turner, S. Bennett, A. W. Hicks and M. B. Bennett. After the establishment of this school, A. G. Andrews served as treasurer and steward for the school. His daughter Barsheba (Basheba) Winifred attended this school as did Julia Turner, the daughter of Amasa Turner.
On several occasions, Andrews encountered frontier justice in Lavaca County. On 3 July 1852 Hiram Stewart Foley assaulted the sheriff John McKinney with a knife with the intent to murder. A grand jury returned the indictment and during the trial three eye- witnesses--A. W. Hicks, A. G. Andrews, and John Laughlin--testified what they had seen. However, while the jury found Foley guilty, he was only fined one cent which he quickly paid. In another incident Andrews had one of his prize horses stolen, but on this occasion he did nothing to redress the theft.
The A. G. Andrews family suffered a personal loss in 1852 when the daughter Parthenia Elizabeth, who had married Lewis Monroe Mayes in 1849, died as did her infant son, James Henry. This tragedy may have been the reason that Alfred and Winifred decided to deed two acres of land to build a church and establish a cemetery. No deed for such a transaction has been located, but when A. G. Andrews sold 197 acres of land to his son-in-law and daughterDon Fernando Payne and Savery Elizabeth Andrewsin 1868, the deed describes two acres that were to be exempted from the sale since they had been given to Andrews’ Chapel for a church and a cemetery. There are a number of very old tombstones and markers in existence in the cemetery, but no names can be read on them if Parthenia and her son are buried there.
The deaths of Parthenia and her son also led A. G. Andrews to court. He had given several slaves to Lewis Monroe Mayes, apparently as a wedding present, but with the death of his daughter and grandson, he wanted the slaves back, supposedly because he thought they were not being treated well. Mayes had summoned a number of well-known citizens to appear on his behalf in the case, and when Andrews could not summon an individual to support his cause, the case was dropped. Mayes later remarried and moved from the area.
Being close neighbors to the Amasa Turner family, A. G. Andrews joined Colonel Turner in attempting to enlarge Lavaca County by adding land across the Navidad River in Colorado County. Andrews took a petition so designed to add the town of Oakland and surrounding land to Lavaca County, but the plan failed.
The children of Andrews and Turner were friends, and letters written to or from the Turner family members sometimes show insight into the Andrews family affairs. When Savery (or Sallie) Andrews decided to marry Don Fernando Payne who lived near Oakland in Colorado County, A. G. Andrews opposed the marriage. Only the sisters Bashie Andrews and Mary Ann Crenshaw were in the house, a large house which had recently been completed, to witness the ceremony on 26 May 1858. The newly married couple left immediately after the ceremony to go to the Zachariah Payne home in Colorado County. However, Andrews did not remain angry with the Paynes for when Bashie married Josiah Payne, Don Payne’s brother, in 1859, the Turner letters described A. G. Andrews as being delighted with the match. Also in the letters of the Turner family, A. G. Andrews was described as being a firm believer in his religion, a proponent of the temperance movement, and an opponent of the abolition movement.
The 1860’s brought many changes to the Andrews family. Joseph H. Andrews, the elder son, bought the store in Oakland with Rupert Van Wagner. However, when the Civil War started, Joe first joined the Oakland Grays, the local militia group in Oakland, but later joined Company F of Terry’s Texas Rangers with his friend Daniel Cherry Payne, the brother-in-law of Joe’s sisters Sallie and Bashie. Daniel Cherry Payne was among those Rangers who became ill in Nashville (probably from an epidemic of measles) and died in November, 1861. Joe escaped he epidemic, but he was mortally wounded at Shiloh. He was left on the field, but there was some speculation that he survived and started home. However, he never made it back to Lavaca County. After the war Rupert Van Wagner started to settle the estate of Joe Andrews, but it was 1876 before the final settlement was made.
Pembroke Alfred Andrews, the younger son of A. G. Andrews, also joined the Oakland Grays when the Civil War started and later joined Whitfield’s Legion. Pembroke fought in Tennessee and eventually returned to Lavaca County after the war. On 22 Apr 1867 Pembroke married Marcia Coleman, and they became the parents of a daughter Florence (1868-1946). However, both A. G. Andrews and Pembroke became disillusioned with life in Texas after the war. Hearing about the life and lands in Mexico from articles in newspapers written by John Henry Brown, A. G. Andrews made a trip to Tuxpan, Vera Cruz, Mexico to see the country. On his return to Texas, he sold his land to his sons-in-law Don and Josiah Payne and E. B. Fowlkes and convinced his son Pembroke to make the move to Mexico. Pembroke’s wife Marcia refused to go, but in 1868, Alfred Gray, Winifred, and Pembroke sailed from Galveston to Tuxpan. After three years, Marcia divorced Pembroke and eventually left Lavaca County to settle in Coleman County, Texas, where she died in 1920 and was buried in the Coleman Cemetery.
As was his custom, once in Mexico, A. G. Andrews quickly became involved in affairs of the community. An agricultural society to help American settlers was formed, with A. G. Andrews as president and Pembroke Andrews as secretary. A number of letters and articles were written and sent to newspapers in Texas and other locations in the South reporting on the life at Tuxpan. At some times there were as many as three hundred Americans, mostly Texans, who had located in the area. However, A. G. Andrews and his wife Winifred were no longer young, and about 1869, Winifred died. A. G. Andrews, who was described as “an old religionist” by Gideon Lincecum who had moved to Tuxpan also, suffered from asthma. Gideon Lincecum described a device he made which would pull Andrews’ shoulders back so he could breathe better and even though Lincecum and Andrews differed on ideas about religion, Lincecum often visited Andrews in his home after Winifred’s death. Lincecum’s son-in-law Dr. Bradford also stayed some with Andrews, but after 1871, no mention is made of A. G. Andrews. He probably died about June 1871.
Pembroke remained in Mexico near Tuxpan where he married Ignacia Sanchez on 9 Jul 1893 at Tuxpan. In Mexican records he recorded his marriage and the births of eleven children: Elizabet (1878), Juan F. (1883-1899), Santiago [James] (1887), Andres (1888), Roberto (1889-1893), Jose Enrique [Joe Henry](1892), Josefina Francisca (1894-1894), Carlos (1897), Adolpho (1898), Mary Lee (1901), and Alonzo Gray (1903). Pembroke did not return to the United States until 1904 and then just for a visit. He had decided to send his sons Santiago and Andres to school in Laredo, and he went to see his sister Bashie Winifred Payne in Weimar. The Weimar Mercury reported his visit and a conversation with him in which he described his farming operations in Mexico. He was collecting gum and selling it to chewing gum factories, reportedly for $30,000 a year. He also reported that he was thinking about moving closer to Laredo where he would farm onions and send his children to school. The sons James and Andres also made a visit to Weimar, but after 1904 no other mention was made of Pembroke in the Weimar Mercury.
The Andrews daughters all survived their husbands by many years. O. B. Crenshaw, husband of Mary Ann, died on 8 Oct 1863 and was buried in Clear Creek Cemetery. Mary Ann moved west to live with her daughter in Brady. There she died in 1920 and is buried at Brady. Don Fernando Payne died in Colorado County 6 Dec 1871 and was also buried at Clear Creek Cemetery. His wife Savery (Sallie) lived in Colorado County for some time and then moved west with her children. She died in 1902 in Ozona, TX, where she was buried. When some of her children moved to San Angelo, they removed her body and reinterred it in San Angelo. Josiah Frederick Turner Payne, who had married Bashie Winifred, died on 20 Feb 1879 and was also buried at Clear Creek. Bashie did not leave Colorado County except for a short time to live in Houston. She returned to Weimar where she died on 11 Dec 1916. She was buried at the Masonic Cemetery in Weimar.
Shiner Gazette, 30 Aug 1894, pages 1, 5
ED BOEHM was born August 14th, 1854, in Moravia, Austria. At the age of seventeen, having finished school at the Agricultural College at Presan, Austria, he went to Russia, where he remained two years. Not being satisfied under the Russian Government he emmigrated [sic] to the United States in the year 1872 and came to Weimar, Texas. At that time there was no settlement at Weimar and but one house there. He rented a piece of land of John Byer, near the head of the Navidad and went to work on his own account. Here he remained one year, after which he moved to Flatonia and took a position with F. W. Flato, where he remained another year. At the end of this time he went back to farming again, remaining on the farm two years. He then returned to Flatonia and entered the employ of Harrison and Lane. From there he went to Schulenburg and clerked for Crantz and Kesslar, remaining there two years. He then returned a third time to Flatonia and clerked for J M Harrison, remaining there one year, removing to Praha Postoffice, where he went into business, remaining there two years. After this he returned to Flatonia a fourth time and again entered the employ of J M Harrison, remaining one year. In the winter of 1886-7 the Aransas Pass railway was built and Mr. Boehm came to Moulton and created the first business house there. The first building was devoted to general merchandise and the one adjoining was occupied as a saloon, being the same building where Fritz Helweg has been in business. There was but one other building in Moulton at this time, it being the old Lock house, below where Moore’s Hotel now stands. This old house was burned about three years ago.
Mr. Boehm was married in 1882 at Schulenburg to Miss Mary Adamshik [Adamcik], by whom he has had four children, two daughters and two sons, all living, the two latter being old enough to attend school.
Shiner Gazette, 16 Aug 1894, page 1
The GAZETTE will publish each week for some time a sketch of some prominent men of Moulton. This week we give a sketch of C.M. Kotzebue.
CHRISTIAN MEINHARD KOTZEBUE Was born in the year of 1840 in Denmark. At the age 14 he came to America and settled at New Ulm, Austin county. After living there four years he moved to Benard Prairie, where both his father and mother died; his father dying just four days before his return home from the late war, through which he fought on the confederate side. He married Miss Louise Baur at New Ulm in 1866 and after living two years longer in Benard he moved to Lavaca county and settled 2 miles northeast of where Moulton now stands, where he remained until 1890, when he moved to Moulton and purchased Moore’s hotel. He has 13 children living of whom two are married and living at Moulton. The eldest son, Meinhard, married Miss Leona Lightner in 1890 and Louise, the eldest daughter, married F, J. Helweg the same year. The other children are all living at home. Mr. Kotzebue is one of Moulton’s most substantial citizens and is held in high esteem wherever known.
By Kyle W. Hood
My 3x Great Grandfather, Jacob T Stiffler and 3x Great Grandmother Phoebe Musik-Stiffler settled in Texas presumably about 1834-1835, the exact year is unknown, as the first appearance of the family is the birth of their son Seguin Stiffler in Gonzalez County in 1835. There are no definitive records of where they came from other than the supposition the Phoebe was from Missouri and Jacob was from Pennsylvania. It is not known whether or not Phoebe was kin to James Musik who was one of the 10 original Settlers with Green Dewitt who settled Gonzalez at what is now known as “Pioneer Village” in 1825.
Jacob was not a landowner immediately upon arrival to Texas, but joined the “Texian Army” in the fall of 1835, fought in the San Antonio area with Col Burleson under Captain John Alleys Lavaca Volunteers. After the Battle of Bexar was over in December 1835, and having fulfilled his 40 day obligation, he was discharged and given leave to return home pending the final settlement of $28.67 for his pay. He returned as many of the volunteers did after the Battle for Bexar presumably under the assumption that the Mexican Army was routed and would not return, or possibly to prepare for spring planting.
There is an entry in the records of Gonzalez County of a Meinrad Stiffler applying for a Mexican Land Grant in early February 1836 (soon after Santa Anna’s march north began). It is supposed that this may have been a pseudonym Jacob used to obtain a grant, but the truth is unknown at this date.
In 1837, Jacob T Stiffler met his end fighting Commanches in an effort to rescue a young man named Warren Lyons, who had been kidnapped. Here is an excerpt from an interview with James Livergood many years after the incident –
"In October, 1837, shortly after I reached the Lavaca River, the Comanche Indians made a raid on the settlement of the Navidad near where Schulenburg now stands, killing a Mr. Lyons and taking captive his son Warren, age 13, whom they kept for ten years. At this time there were but ten families in the bounds of this county, or rather this portion of Gonzales County, and hence there were but few to pursue. A company of thirteen was mustered, however, some of whom were from Fayette County, and started in pursuit. Among those in this little band, I recall the names of James and Anthony Brown, Tucker Foley, W.H. Baldridge, David Kent (son of Andy Kent who fell with Travis in the Alamo), Pat Dorathy (Dougherty), Andy Zumwalt, Wm. Berntham, Burbanks, and a Mr. Stiffler, a recent arrival from the old states. They pursued the Indians northward into the mountains, where they struck another trail coming south, which they took and came upon the Indians on Big Brushy, near where Yoakum now stands. A battle ensued, in which our party lost one man, Mr. Stiffler, and had several wounded, but killed four Indians and captured thirty-two horses. Judging from the number of horses, we supposed that there were thirty-two Indians. The horses were brought to Captain Adam Zumwalt’s, on the Lavaca River, near where Mossy Grove church now stands. Next day a small party returned to the scene of the conflict, and buried their comrade, Mr. Stiffler, which was, indeed, a sad duty, considering the fact that he had just arrived from the states."
He is presumed to have been buried where he fell, at a bend on Big Brushy Creek just outside of Yoakum Texas, as there are no other markers or records of him being formally buried in a cemetery. Warren Lyons lived as a Commanche for over ten years, and was repatriated. He went on to become a famous Texas Ranger for taking off his clothes in the middle of a gunfight and fighting “Commanche” style.
My 3x Great-Grandmother Phoebe Musik – Stiffler had a fairly colorful life. After the death of Jacob T Stiffler at the hands of the Commanches in 1837, she was then common-law married to (Sterling) Tucker Foley, a San Jacinto veteran. Formal marriages were rare and hard to come by at the time. They had a son together named Robert Foley. Sterling Tucker Foley was out riding horses with Joel Ponton one day when Commanches ambushed them and chased the two for quite a distance. Foley’s horse foundered and he was forced to hide while Ponton rode on for help. Foley was lured out with the promise not to be killed, and had the bottom of his feet flayed and was forced to walk to the area where Ponton had been forced to hide after being shot twice in the back with arrows. Foley was made to call out to Ponton to surrender himself, which he did not do. Foley was scalped, mutilated, killed and hung by his hamstrings by an oak tree. Ponton managed to escape, but this was the trigger event that started the Plum Creek fight. After the death of her second husband (Foley) Phoebe found herself again alone with two small children, and was formally married to a Charles McKinney who fought at San Jacinto, no children were had between the two, but somehow Mr McKinney disappeared from the scene. In 1846 she married a gentleman named Wilson Simpson who was a survivor of the Goliad massacre with the Alabama Red Raiders, whose exploits of escape and survival are well documented. She had a daughter named Elizabeth Simpson in 1846. Phoebe presumably died in childbirth as her date of death is the same as Elizabeth’s birthdate. Mr. Simpson raised all three children and inherited quite the land stake from his marriage to her previous husbands. Phoebe had a League and a Labor (4400 acres) in the form of a bounty given to Jacob T Stiffler for his service to the Texian Army in the area of Peach Creek outside of what is now LaGrange. It is not known whether she claimed Foley or McKinney’s Texas Independence Land grant or not, but the Stiffler grant combined with Simpsons entitlement would have come out to over 8800 acres. My 3x Great –Grandmother died at the age of 29 having had 3 children and having married 4 times.
Mr Simpson remarried a lady named Mahala Boatright. This was apparently a humorously close family as both of Phoebe Musiks sons (Seguin Stiffler – my 2x Great Grandfather and his half- brother Robert Foley) both married girls from the Boatright family who were from the “Old 300” of Austins Colony.
The Stifflers lived in Gonzalez/Lavaca County until after the Civil War when Seguin Stiffler lost his land and had to take a Texas Confederate Indigent land grant in Ranger Texas.
Jacob T Stiffler and Sterling Tucker Foley are both annotated on the same memorial monument in Halletsville Texas.