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James B and Margaret J Warren Pyeatt

James Benton Pyeatt was born to Jacob and Olivia Inks (or McClure) Pyeatt in Jefferson County, Missouri, February 21, 1827 and died around 1927 at nearly 100 years old.

James Benton Pyeatt married Margaret Jane Warren around 1854 in Texas. However, according to the research department at the Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown, Texas, there are no Pyeatt marriages or deeds recorded there. Perhaps the family had moved on to the San Saba County, Texas, by the time the marriage occured. Since San Saba was not carved out of Bexar County until 1856, perhaps their marriage record could be found there.

Margaret was born c1839 in Tennessee to Jefferson and Elizabeth Owen Warren. Some researchers take her line back to William the Conquerer and list her date and place of birth being 1837 Boliver, Hardeman County, Tennessee. She had a sister, Martha Elizabeth Warren who married Ben Linn and a sister, Volley Warren, who married N D McMillin.

According to family tradition provided by Jacquilyn Pyeatt Fenn, "After Benton moved to Texas from Missouri, about 1852, he met and fell in love with Mattie (Margaret Jane Warren). She was several years his junior and came from a prosperous and well known family, descended from several royal lines. Mattie's parents opposed the marriage and forbade it. So Ben and Mattie "ran off" and got married--around 1854-55--anyway. They were in Little Rock before her family caught up with them. The couple came back to Rough Creek [San Saba Co, TX] and established a home there. When their first child was born, Elizabeth (Betty), Mattie's parents "gave" them a black couple to assist her with her family. The husband was known as "Uncle John," and they were with Mattie and Ben for several years."

If this headstone is Margaret's, ( click for photo) then she was born Sept 3, 1836, and died July 21, 1923. The photo is from the Buffalo Gap Cemetery near Abilene, Taylor County, Texas.

Growing up, James had lived in the Jefferson and St Louis County, Missouri, area with his parents and extended family. Sometime after 1849, Jacob and Olivia moved to Texas with James and his unmarried brothers William D Pyeatt and Andrew McClure Pyeatt.

We have not been successful in finding Jacob or his family in any number of states on the 1850 census. William D Pyeatt was married to Diana Hornsby in 1853 in Burnet County, Texas, (it had recently been carved from Williamson and other counties). Jacob appears in 1853 in Williamson County, Texas, where he and Olivia made out a deed to ?their son?, John Piatt, who was still living in Jefferson County, Missouri. Jacob appears on the 1854 tax list of Williamson County, Texas. So, why aren't they enumerated? I think I've searched with every possible combination of names and ages on the index.

Children of James and Margaret:

Obviously, there are some discrepancies in the birth places of the children with some researchers believing that the family stayed in San Saba County, Texas, longer than others.

According to John Kielch, James Benton Pyeatt remained in Texas, but some of his children went to Arizona, where they settled in Cochise County in the 1880s. Hughella Pyeatt (b: 1870), married Avery Curry, who served as a member of the first Arizona state legislature. They eventually lived in Casa Grande, Pinal County, Arizona.

From 'Call of the San Saba' by Alma Ward Hamrick:
As recalled by J M Low, who passed away several years ago, these persons settled from 1854 to 1860 in San Saba County (published in San Saba News, San Saba, Texas, Aug 6, 1903). A J Crawford's father, D A Harris, Joe Barnett, J W Fleming, Sam Linn, John Barnett, T P Hamrick, Jim Bolt, W W and Jim Crawford, and the Watsons in November, 1854, settled on the San Saba River below the mouth of Simpson Creek. In the same month, Abner Gregg, his two sons, W R and John F Dawson, and John Smelser's father settled on Rough Creek. In the same month Matthias Harkey and his sons, W J, Levi, Riley, and Israel, Jackson Brown, and J McDaniel settled on Wallace Creek. In 1854 or 1855 James Wood and his sons, W R, John, Spencer, and Henry Wood, and A Woods settled on Richland Creek. "Pony" Hall, "Beardy" Hall, and Pick, Bob, and John Duncan settled near the same place about the same time. (indent) Dr. Sloan and his two sons, Dr. Allen, M H Wadsworth, J L and John Baxter, John Fleming, A J Rose, Harvey Maxwell, McCarty, and the Kings settled on the San Saba River in the Rock Shoals neighborhood. Simpson Creek was settled by Matthew Hubbert, W J Murray, Henry and Allen Taylor, Jack Binion, Rev. John Davis, Burl Hamrick, and Tom Farr. San Saba was settled in 1855 by Dr. J C Rogan, Dr. J W Hudson, J S Williams, the Burtons, Eli and Amos Freestone, G B Cooke, W T Murray, Joe Barnett, Wear, George Williams, H Harmon, and several others. Joe and Irvin Campbell, Chaney Crouch, Jack Latham, W. Thaxton, James Henderson, Jack Hinton, George Conway, and Haldens moved to Wallace Creek in 1855. (indent) Upper Cherokee: Dr. Elliott was the first to move there. From '45 to '60 the following men settled there: Capt John R Williams, D S Hanna, Joe Hext, W J and Mathew Kuykendall, John Jackson, R T and Ben Barber, R W Gray, E Estep and Joe Montgomery and his sons J C, J N, M L and Lehue. Frank Harrell, Kelley and Poplin settled what is now known as Broyles' Valley; Charley Harris and Lambert moved there in 1855. In January, 1856, J B Harrell and A L Houston of Georgetown settled a little farther down the creek, and Isiah Clark of Missouri and William Wier settled at the mouth of the creek. (indent) Sometime in 1855 J H Brown settled on the San Saba, and Cyrus Ford came with Brown. The Shaw Bend locality was settled about 1855 by Matt Brown, W McShan and Stinnett Mussett. Jeff Warren settled on the Colorado River above the mouth of Pecan Bayou early in 1855. About the same time W J Wallis, Rev. Sam Gay, J P Pyeatt, and his brother Andrew, and their father settled on Rough Creek. About that time David Holland settled on what is now known as Holland Hill. A short time afterwards Lampson and Billy Cole settled on Pool Branch with Bill Baker at its mouth. (indent) Falls Creek and the river in the southeastern part of the county were settled by William Jennings and his son, Dick; Tom Gooch, Newt Jackson, H W Marley, Buck Davis, and Asherbrand. D Beasley and Joe Pullin settled on what was called Marley Creek. In December, 1855, Reverend Arnett, E M Moore, the Widow Eastman, and Williamson settled on Cherokee Creek in the present Chappel community. In the same community came Davy Houston, William Davis, and Cleveland, James Kelley, and J W Means, J Y Tate, and R Kolb. The following were early settlers: Dr. Masterson, Frank Ward, Captain Grumbles and his son John; Jim and Wiley Williams, Capt. N D McMillin, J N Gauney, B F Smith, R Bedwell, D M Williams, J A Taylor, W R Doran, J R Bomar, S W Terry, Bige Duncan, and Nick Sutton. (the next paragraph is on the first camp meetings)...The first store in the county was just below Hamrick Branch. Jim Bolt put in a saloon at the same place. The first blacksmith was a Negro. The first grave dug in the county was just across Mill Creek from town to bury Captain Grumbles, who was killed by Stinnett Mussett. (indent) San Saba County was organized in the act creating the county and defining its bounds which was passed by the Sixth Legislature. The boundaries of the county were as follows: "Beginning at the mouth of Fall Creek, on the Colorado river, thence due west thirty miles; thence due north to the Colorado River, thence down said river, with its meanders, to the place of beginning." (indent) The first election for county officers was held on the third day of May 1856, at which the following officers were elected: J B (Joab) Harrell, chief justice; A Sloan, district clerk; Eli Freestone, sheriff; (Shorty) Brown, Cal Montgomery, Williamson Weat and James Wood, commissioners; M Harkey, treasurer; G B Cooke, county clerk; John McNeill, justice of the peace. Chief Justice Jas L Bourland, of Burnet County, ordered the election and declared the results of the election, San Saba at that time being attached to Burnet County for judicial purposes. (more information on the choice of a county seat.

When at the San Saba County Courthouse following a visit to the Texas State Archives in Austin in August of 2003, I mentioned that many counties had birth records from 1873-1876 and asked if that might be true of San Saba County as well. "Oh no! Our birth records don't start until the early 1900s. We don't have anything that old." But, right there on the top shelf, old and torn, was the 'Register of births San Saba County, Texas, 1873-1876'. The only 'P' name was as follows: Pyeatt, Bob Lee born to J. B. and M. J. Pyeatt July 7, 1874 (white male)

San Saba County, Texas, Tax Records 1856-1896 [Roll 552 series 1]
1856 (first year of existance of San Saba County; tax list very difficult to read)
1857 pg 4 (duplicates)

  • Peyatt, J B
  • Peyatt, Jacob 2 horses $66
  • Peyatt, Andrew 1 horse $50; 13 cattle $78; 3 hogs
    1858 pg 5
  • Pyatt, A M 1 horse $75; 19 cattle $114
  • Pyatt, J B
  • Pyatt, J 3 horses $125; ?38 cattle ?$216
    1859 pg 5
  • Pyatt, A M 2 horses $100; 20 cattle $120; yoke of oxen $30; total $250
  • Pyatt, J 4 horses $200; 40 cattle $240; total $440
  • Pyatt, J B 1 horse $75; total $75
  • Pyatt, Jacob 4 horses $160; 50 cattle $300; misc personal property $20; Total $480
  • Pyatt, A M 3 horses $160; 25 cattle $150; total $310
  • Pyatt, B 1 horse $40
    1861 pg 6
  • Pyatt, A M 1 horse $75; 63 cattle $378; total $453
  • Pyatt, J B 1 horse $25; 53 cattle $318; total $343
  • Pyatt, Jacob 100 cattle $600; total $600
    1862 pg 6
  • Pyeatt, J B 64 cattle $384
  • Pyeatt, Jacob 134 cattle $804
  • Pyeatt, A M 91 cattle $443
    1863 (page #6 M - R surnames not filmed or missing from records)
    1864 pg 5
  • Pyeatte, J B number on abstract 110; 160 acres $300; Conf TX notes $1500; Tax on Conf notes 75 cents; livestock $485; total $935; poll tax 1.25; state tax 4.92; county tax 10.76
  • Pyeatte, A M livestock $860; total $860; poll tax 1.25; state tax 5.60; county tax 9.82
  • Pyeatte, J Conf TX notes $50; Tax on Conf notes 75 cents; livestock $990; total $1040; poll tax 1.25; state tax 5.90; county tax 11.95
    1865 pg 5
  • Pyeatte, J B Real Property originally owned by ?Bandes ?Cars; 80 acres $120; 1 horse $40; 200 cattle $800; total $960; poll tax 1.00; state tax 1.20; county tax 1.30 (on page 5)
    1865 pg 6
  • Pyeatte, J B 160 acres $240; livestock $555; total $795; poll tax 1.00; state tax 3.91 (on page 6)
  • Pyeatte, A M livestock $1190; total $1190; poll tax 1.00; state tax 5.95
  • Pyeatte, J livestock $1200; total $1200; poll tax 1.00; state tax 6.00
    1866 pg 5
  • Pyeatt, J B Real Property originally owned by ?Branded Carl; 80 acres $120; 200 livestock $800; total $920; poll tax 1.00; advaloren tax 1.84; poll & advaloren tax 2,84; county tax 1.42
  • Pyett, J B abstract #29 Real Property orginally owned by Carl Brands; 80 acres $270; 2 horses $100; 250 cattle $1220
  • Pyatt, J B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyatt, J B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyatt, Benton (did not abstract info; too faint to read)
  • Pyeatt, J B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyatt, J B (did not abstract info; out of order)
  • Pyatt, J B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyeatt, J B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyate, J B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyeatt, James B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyeatt, J B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyett, J B (did not abstract info)
  • Pyatt, J B (did not abstract info)
    1880 - 1883 did not find J B Pyeatt; quit searching

    This is how James Benton Pyeatt and Family looked on the 1860 census, with Andrew McClure Pyeatt in San Saba County, Texas:

    This family was enumerated #43/43 12th Jul 1860 pg 383B (ancestry image 6/24). Neighbors were #35 Sterling & Martha Houston, #36 William & Marinda House, #37 David & Esther Machiler, #38 James & Eliza Kelly, #39 D D and Nancy Jane (30 MO) Low, #40 David & Melinda Holland, #41 John & Ann Willis, #42 Samuel A Gray, #44 William R (27 MO) & Lasinda Greg, #45 Fielding & Nancy (33 MO) Dawson, #46 Elizabeth Smelser, #47 John & Zelpha Barner, #48 Benj F & Wilmoth C Smith, #49 A J & Ellen Crawford. Many of these neighbors; Abner Gregg, Fielding Dawson, William Harris and others came from Jefferson County, Missouri, to Williamson County, Texas, where they all appeared on the 1850 census (where I suspect Jacob should have been) before they pushed on to the San Saba area in 1854 before it was carved from Bexar County, Texas.

    Also in San Saba County were Margaret's parents at #73 as follows:

    And, at #74:

    The Dawsons and Greggs as-well-as many other Pyeatt neighbors are buried in the Smelser Cemetery on Rough Creek, San Saba County, Texas. This cemetery in on the ranch of Maldon Norris and was visited by Richard and Marianne Pyeatt and family in August of 2003. It would be safe to assume that if any children of James and Margaret did not live, that they would have been buried in this cemetery. There were many sandstone marked graves.

    Andrew McClure Pyeatt married soon after he appeared with James on the 1860 census to Mary Vina Birchett October 9, 1861, and we can presume that he set up his own household around that time and did not live again with his brother's family.

    "The United Confederate Veteran, William P Rogers Camp No. 322, San Saba Texas", by Ross J. Cox Sr., first edition lists under 'Confederate soldiers of San Saba County, Texas' Compiled by Ross J. and Rosemary Cox, Sr. 1996-2002 AD:
    Pyatt, J B SSN 12 may 1921, Ranger, McCord's Regiment (also in McCords from same page Lewis Mulkey and Thomas G Potts)

    Frontier Times Magazine Vol 1 No 1 - October 1923 written by J Marvin Hunter
    'Ranger of the Sixties' W T Linn, Texas Ranger of the 60's and Confederate veteran with a commendable record, was a citizen of San Saba and one of the Texas Rangers who made up that noted frontier company that was organized at the outbreak of the Civil War and was composed of men from San Saba, Mason, Llano and Burnet counties. This brief article mentions numerous names of rangers whom he recalls from those counties: An excerpt: From San Saba County: J B Pyatt, B M Hamrick, T F Hamrick, B Gammenthaler, W T Linn, Ben Linil, Henry Farrer, A J Hubbert, Allen Taylor, J A Taylor, Henry Woods, A J Brown, R G Binnion, Joe Hanna, Jack Hanna, Dick Nelson, Tom Potts, Lewis Mulky, B G Cook, and John Hall.

    Many deeds involving James Benton Pyeatt can be found in San Saba including the following:
    Grantors Index San Saba Co, Texas

    The State of Texas/County of San Saba
    KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS: That, I, Ben Pyatt of the County and State aforesaid for and in consideration of the sum of $600 to me paid by John Gay also of said County the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, Have Granted and Sold and do hereby, sell and convey unto them the s'd John Gay his heirs and assigns, Eighty acres of land in the County of San Saba on Rough Creek a tributary of Colorado River being a part of the tract deeded to J. B. Pyeatt by J. Schleicher and known as Survey No. 510 of Three Hundred and Twenty acres in the name of Carl Brandes patented to M. A. Dooly Assignee of Carl Brandes by Letter Patent No. 1064 Vol. 10 and by the said Dooly conveyed to said Schleicher by deed of Record in the County Clerks Office San Saba County. The part herein conveyed beginning at a stake in the N. Boundary Line of this Survey 371 varas E. from the N.W. Corner of the Survey from which bears a post oak S. 4 (degrees) W. 7 varas another bears S. 23 (degrees) E. 9 vrs. thence E. 371 varas to the N. E. Corner of this division and the N. E. corner of Greggs subdivision, Thence S 1215 vs to the S.E. corner of this division and the S.W. corner of Greggs subdivision. Thence W 371 vs to a stake from which bears a Live Oak E 12 varas, another bears S 48 (degrees) 14 vs. Thence N 1215 vs to the beginning together with all the singular the rights, members hereditaments and appurtenances thereto belonging or in anywise incident and appurtenances. TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the eighty acres of land herein described unto him the s'd John Gay his heirs and assigns forever, and I do hereby bind myself my heirs, executors, administrators to WARRANT AND FOREVER DEFEND THE PREMISES herein described and sold unto the said Gay his heirs and assigns against all claims whatever. Given under my hand at San Saba this 21 day of Dec A. D. 1867. Witnesses present. J. B. Pyeatt THE STATE OF TEXAS/COUNTY OF SAN SABA
    On this day personally appeared J.B. Pyeatt to me well known who in my presence acknowledged the execution of the above and foregoing instrument of writing for all the uses, purposes and considerations set forth. Witness my hand and seal of the County Court of said County at office in San Saba Town this 23 day of Dec. A. D. 1867. G. B. Cooke, Co Judge, S. S. Co.
    Filed for Registration in My Office Dec. 23 1867 at 2 o'clock P.M. and duly Recorded Dec. 26 1867 at 10 o'clock A.M. D. D. Low, Clk C. C. S. S. Co. Per J. B. Rowley, Depty Clk. [this is from a typed transcription at San Saba County Courthouse]

    Benton's family had grown considerably by the 1870 census of San Saba County, Texas:

    This family enumerated #105; #95 Wm and Lucinda Sloan, #96 Spencer and M Jane Wood, #97 Stephen W and Volumna Terry, #98 Synhha Gay, #99 Mary Poe, #100 John and Florentine Smellser, #101 Riley and Rebecca Gregg, #102 Fielding and Nancy Dawson, #103 Tolbert and Eliza J Schultz, #104 Erasmus and Rhoda Owen, #106 John and Mary Ann Gay, #107 James M and Joanna L Low, #108 David and Isabella McLaughlin, #109 E M and Joanna M Boyett, #110 James and Eliza Kelly, #111 John and Cordelia Black, #112 John and Jane Asten.

    'The West Texas Frontier', by Joseph Carroll McConnell includes a story entitled: 'The Exciting Experience of Mrs. Margaret Pyett'
    During 1870, Mr. and Mrs. Benton Pyett lived about eleven miles southeast of San Saba on Rough Creek, in San Saba County. Mr. Pyett was recovering their little log cabin so Mrs. Pyett and her little son, Billy, about ten years of age, went out to drive up a cow with a little calf. While they were a short distance from home, seven savages came charging toward them. Little Billy was on the better horse. Consequently when they started to run, his horse ran away from his mother. But when he passed the house, he could not stop. He yelled to his father, however, who was on the house, "Indians killing Ma." Mr. Pyett said that he never knew just how he managed to get off the house but the first thing he realized, he was running to meet his wife with a gun. Soon she arrived and her horse fell near the lot. When Mrs. Pyett was on her feet, an Indian threw a rope and attempted to rope her. But Mrs. Pyett raised her arm and caught the rope. The Indians laughed. They then attempted to shoot Mrs. Pyett, and the bullet or arrow passed through her bonnet. The Indians then turned and hurried away. They, no doubt, saw Mr. Pyett rapidly approaching. Note: Author personally interviewed Mr. and Mrs. R. Kolb, who lived in the neighborhood at the time.

    James disappears from the San Saba tax rolls in 1878 which is not surprising as he and his family appeared as follows on the 1880 census of ED 190, Nolan County, Texas, #79/82 'on Cottonwood Ranch/Oak Valley':

    Living in a household next door is daughter, Annaliza and family with brother, Andrew: Also in Nolan County was William M Pyeatt at #72/75 as follows: Back in San Saba County we still find their married daughters - Elizabeth Stephens and Vollie Candol on the 1880 census.

    This account of the family of Margaret Jane Warren Pyeatt's sister, can be found in "San Saba [Texas] County History 1856-1983 by San Saba County Historical Commission 1983"
    Kate Fagg Wilder Family pg 346 which reads in part:
    My ancestors were early day settlers of San Saba County. Both my grandfathers fought in the Civil War. Floyd Hamrick was an Indian Scout for the Army. John R. Fagg, of Tennessee, served in the Confederate Army and was a [my note: What happened here? I'm missing some of my text. MCP}. My grandmother, Martha Elizabeth Warren, was the daughter of Jeff Warren, and their home was on the Colorado River. Martha had a sister named Volley who married N. D. McMillin. Another sister, Margaret, married Benton Pyatt. Martha Elizabeth Warren married Ben Linn on May 7, 1861. They had a daughter named Alice. Ben Linn was killed by Indians in the Sloan Community in 1862. Alice Linn married Booker Hamrick. On May 8, 1866, Martha Elizabeth Warren Linn married T. F. (Floyd) Hamrick. They had three daughters and four sons; Burleigh Alonzo, Jim H., T. F., Jr., and Will; Frances Ellen, Lavinia Elizabeth (Bess or Bessie/my mother), and Tomorro who died of pneumonia at age 16. My grandfather, John R. Fagg, came here from Tennessee. My Grandmother Fagg was Sarah Frances Petty. They had three sons, Arthur, Claud William (my father), and Edwin Earl. [full text can be found on Miscellaneous 2 page]

    Benton was living with his daughter, Ollie Low, on the 1900 census of San Saba County, Texas:

    This family was enumerated #144/148 pg 8B image 16/24 ED #129. Their neighbors were ? Long, J V Carr, Edward Donnely, L D Robinson, Henry Dickerson, J P Coughlin, J H Beveridge, ?Dinah Sutton.

    According to Jacquilyn Pyeatt Fenn, "Benton apparently lived to be nearly a hundred years old having lived with various relatives after 1880. When he died he was living in the panhandle of Texas with a grandchild's family. In the middle of the night he arose and attempted to get to the outhouse (many still had outhouses at that time-1927-in rural Texas). He apparently froze to death--there were several inches of snow on the gound-and was discovered the following morning by a great-grandchild." I wonder if anyone can locate a headstone for James Benton Pyeatt in the panhandle area of Texas. What counties would that be? I need to search the 1910 and 1920 census indexes for James.

    I looked for James Benton Pyeatt with various of his descendants in 1910 and did not locate him. James was living with his son, Floyd Pyeatt, on the 1920 census of Justice Precinct 4, Lamb County, Texas, as follows:

    This family was enumerated #3/3 on page 64.


    Updated Aug 2012

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