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Wagon Train - Texas to California 1865

Willis Newton was 80 years old when he wrote a manuscript in 1921 that detailing the story of his life as a child, his move to Texas when a young man and then the wagon train that he lead to California from Texas in 1865. He titled his work "The Recollections of an Octogenarian". Using names from his manuscript along with historical records, Trey Smith of Austin, Texas, is attempting to identify all of the participants in this historic migration to the "frontier". The Newton train left San Saba, San Saba County, Texas on May 3, 1865 and consisted of 4 or 5 wagons of Newton's relatives.

Willis Newton was disappointed to learn that some of his other relatives had left ahead of their small train and that they would be traveling alone. He gives credit to God that they had several lucky incidents that allowed them to make a relatively easy trip. His relatives were not so fortunate and lost lives and nearly half of their livestock before they reached Precidio Delnont on the Rio Grande where they decided to trek back to Texas along a route that went through San Antonio and had water along the way. Willis' youngest brother, Robert Jasper Newton, [not named in the manuscript] along with his father-in-law, Riley Dawson were among those who went back to live in Texas after they almost didn't survive the first part of their migration.

My Jacob and Olivia Inks Pyeatt along with their son, Andrew McClure Pyeatt and his wife, Mary Vinah Birchett, were part of the Capt Jack Cole wagon train that started in Burleson County, Texas, moved through Williamson, Travis, Burnet, Lampasas and then San Saba Counties picking up families along the way. Mary V Birchett's mother was born Elizabeth Owens Cole. Among the other families were Mary's grandparents, uncles and at least one brother. This train joined with the Newton train in El Paso. According to June McCloud's family lore, there were 27 wagons in the Cole wagon train.

While Willis Newton only mentioned some of the wagon train members, there are historical records that fill in the other names for us. Chiefly, when they reached Franklin (El Paso), Texas, all of the grown men (which includes the older teenagers) were required to sign an oath of allegiance at the Provost Marshal's office.

At that point, Jacob Pyeatt was already ill and died a few days later just outside Fort Cummings in New Mexico. Some of Captain Jack Cole's relatives had made this same trip the year before. In one of life's strange co-incidences, Billy Cole, a bachelor uncle of George W. Cole (and a lifelong friend of Jacob Pyeatt) had died at the same point in their wagon train the previous year. George had written home to tell his family that he had buried Uncle Billy Cole in the graveyard along the Rio Mimbres River outside Fort Cummings. So, some of the men of the party set out to find Billy Cole's grave. They found it with his name carved in the 'head board'. They buried Jacob Pyeatt next to his friend. Willis Newton said it was the first and only time that he had helped to bury a man where there was no coffin or box to bury him in. I like to think that God ensured that neither Billy Cole nor Jacob Pyeatt had to spend their eternal rest without a loved one nearby.

To date, the oaths that have been discovered in Franklin, Texas, for the Newton train (who signed their oaths July 23nd to July 24th 1865) are listed below. The information includes: The document number, the name, the date, the town or origin, county of origin and state of origin. Those from the Newton train were as follows:

To date, the oaths that have been discovered in Franklin, Texas, for the Cole train (who signed their oaths August 12th 1865) are numbered 107 to 129 (with a few not yet located). Those from the Cole train were as follows: To view the complete list of men who gave oaths in 1865, go to the Miscellaneous II page under "Texas - El Paso County - Franklin".

The wagon trains were also stopped at Fort Bowie in Arizona Territory in September. At that time, only the former Confederate soldiers had to be documented (to our knowledge). They had to give their name, their unit, a physical description and age. The men who were documented on September 21st and 23rd appear to be from the Cole and Newton trains (for the most part).

I think William M Hutchison should be an addition to the list above. He was in San Saba County Troops 31st Brigade under Captain John H. Brown. He was age 33 in 1863.

The below is an attempt to reconstruct the list of families from the Cole Train (by family unit) using a variety of historical records and family group sheets or family research:

Celia's other family members were also in this wagon train including her parents and brothers. Willis Newton refers to Jack Cole's 'married sister and family' [not named] and later refers to Jack Cole's brother-in-law 'Billy Baker'. Celia had another son, William Baker who was born in 1867 in California the same year that her husband, William L. Baker, died. Celia then married Aaron Murchison and then William Linebarger with who she bore three more children. I found their family enumerated in 1870 in Los Nietos, Los Angeles, California at #121/124 on page 13. Mary (d: 1926) is buried in Little Lake Cemetery with many other wagon train members.

John's Birchett's sister, Mary Vinah Birchett Pyeatt was on this wagon train as were many of his Cole relatives (his mother was Elizabeth Owens Cole) including his grandparents, Samson and Vinah Tompkins Cole. It is likely that he was traveling in one of their wagons. At Fort Bowie, his oath listed Hunter's Regiment (CSA) which is the same unit that his brother-in-law, Andrew M Pyeatt, and three others listed. John lived in 1870 in Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California. He later moved to Arizona where his sister had moved. I have a copy of his diary (mostly a gambling and horse breeding record) for several years in Arizona. He mentions several families who were on this wagon train in that Diary. Ella Birchett who was born and died in 1879 is buried in grave 6 Block J, Lot 8 in the Little Lake Cemetery in Santa Fe Springs, CA. In grave #1 is Olive Pyeatt (Mary's mother-in-law) and in graves #2 and #3 are two of Mary's children who also died in 1879. I am not sure if this is John's daughter or his neice.

According to Willis Newton's manuscript, a Mr Meyers and his wife (part of the Cole wagon train) had one daughter, Franny, who had married Billy Black just a few months before the wagon train left out. Billy and Franny were part of the wagon train as well. I found Francis C. Meyers living with her parents, John and May A Meyers in Lampasas PO, Lampasas County, Texas, on the 1860 census along with her brother George Meyers. Billy and Fanny Black were enumerated in 1870 in El Monte, Los Angeles County, California, with their children: Albert S J Black, Anne Black and Morgan Black. Her mother and step-father lived next door.

I think this is the man 'Ike Boice' that Willis Newton says was their spokesman during a confrontation with the high sheriff of Pecacho. Isaac was one of five men who signed the oath at Fort Bowie and claimed to have served in Hunter's Regiment (CSA). Isaac and Caroline married in Williamson, Williamson County, Texas June 7, 1852. This is near the time that Diana Hornsby married William Dudley Pyeatt in Williamson County. Diana was a neice of Rueben Hornsby and I note that one of Isaac and Caroline's sons was named Rueben Hornsby Boyce. Isaac and family appeared on the 1860 Burnet County, Texas census with five children. Isaac and family can be found on page 31 #328/345 in Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California, in 1870. There are several discrepancies in names. Also, James W who appears in 1870 before than (older than) John J, was not listed on the 1860 census. I have to wonder what it was like for Isaac and Caroline to travel with 10 children. Did they use one wagon? It doesn't seem they would all fit. Did they have someone else in a second wagon? My hat is off to Caroline. This family moved back to Burnet County, Texas, by the 1880 census where they appeared in district 2 and 7 with an additional son, Kinner Keener Boyce who was born 1871 in California. There is a wonderful tintype family photo on

Alfred Tompkins Cole was the son of Samson and Vinah Tompkins Cole. He was more than likely in the wagon with his parents or one of his other relatives on this wagon train. He is one of the two 'single brothers' of Jack Cole that Willis Newton mentions as part of the Cole family. He is one of five who took the oath at Fort Bowie and listed Hunter's Regiment (CSA) as his unit. He was still with his parents on the 1870 census of Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California. He eventually married Martha Jane Hutchison who was also on this wagon train and had two children. In 1880 and 1900 they appear in the Santa Ana, Los Angeles County, California census. Martha's mother was married to Alfred's brother, Andrew J. Cole.

'Captain Jack' aka Andrew Jackson Cole was the leader of the Cole wagon train. Willis also refers to him as 'Capt Cole' and 'Jack Cole'. He was the son of Samson and Vinah Tompkins Cole and had been a confederate soldier (see list above). He was single at the time of the wagon train. Once in California, he married and was found in 1870 at #123/126 pg 13 in Los Nietos, Los Angeles County with wife Jane Morrow Cole and had a daughter, Martha A Cole. Jane Morrow was the sister of William H Morrow who was on this wagon train. Her parents were the John N and Louisa Morrow enumerated next door to them in 1870. It is almost sure that Jane was also on this wagon train in 1865. Jane died before 1880 and Martha Cole was living with Jane's parents in Los Nietos, Los Angeles Co, CA. Jack's second wife was Emily C Elam. Jack and Emily appeared on the 1880 Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California. According to information on, he was lastly married in 1882 to Almira Hudson Hutchison who was on this wagon train with her husband, William M Hutchison, and their children.

Benjamin Franklin Cole was the son of Samson and Vinah Tompkins Cole. He is Jack Cole's 'married brother and family' referred to in Willis Newton's manuscript also later called 'Ben Cole'. He and Sarah Jane married May 26, 1858 in Washington County, Texas. He signed an oath at Fort Bowie having served in Phillip's Regiment (CSA) in Louisiana. He had made this same trip in 1864 and then came back to help lead his family and other relative through. He appears in 1870 in the San Salvador, San Bernardino, California, census where we see that they have added another daughter, Emma Ann Cole to their family. I believe Ben appears in the Diary of John Birchett from Arizona who was a cousin and fellow wagon train member. Ben died in Payson, Gila County, Arizona in 1898.

Willis Newton only refers to Samson and Vinah as Jack Cole's 'old grey haired mother and father' and 'two single brothers' [the other single brother is Alfred above]. Samson Cole might have been the true leader of this wagon train. Many of his children and grandchildren went with him. I have to wonder if his son, Joseph Allen Cole's, young widow and their daughter (who lived with Samson and Vinah in Lexington, Burleson County, Texas, in 1860) made the journey out to California with the rest of the family. Was Mary related to William Baker (see #112) who married Celia Ann Cole (a daughter of Samson and Vinah). Samson and 'Lavinia' were on the 1870 census of Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California with their sons, Isaac and Alfred. We have not yet found an oath in Franklin, TX, for Isaac, However he signed the oath along with other Confederate soldiers at Fort Bowie. Samson died in 1881 and Vinah in 1889 in Santa Ana, Orange County, California.

John C Crawford was the son of James Lesley Crawford and Berthena Baras Owens and was born in Henderson County, Tennessee. Berthena Owens Crawford who was born in 1800 Georgia died in San Saba, San Saba County, Texas, in 1877. She is most likely related to Elizabeth Owens Cole Birchett whose daughter was Mary Vinah Birchett Pyeatt (below). Elizabeth Owens Cole was the daughter of William Tompkins and Elizabeth Owens who married in Tennessee in 1796. The John Crawford family was living at #32/36 pg 4 in Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California on the 1870 census. They had added children Robert Donald Crawford, Louisa A Crawford and James K Crawford to their family by this time. Hester (d: 1891) and William W (d: 1940) are buried in the Little Lake Cemetery [Block A, Lot 13] along with many other wagon train members.

Samuel married Anna America Morris [see Smith Morris #108 below] in a double ceremony performed by an Indian Agent during the wagon train journey. Anna was born February 12, 1844 in Missouri. Samuel and Anna appeared in 1870 in the Milquaty, San Diego County, California census. There is a photograph of Samuel and Anna on On the 1900 census, they had a 'boarder' named Lee L Morris born July 1850 in Arkansas. This is Anna's brother, Leonidis Lynn Morris.

Ira and family were on the 1860 Williamson County, Texas census and on the 1870 San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California census. Sarah's widowed sister-in-law, Jacintha Brookshire Smith, and her children were on this wagon train as well.

James A Lucas was in Masilla, New Mexico territory on the 1860 census. He had appeared in Blue, Jackson County, Missouri in 1850. On the 1880 census, James and wife along with a whole passel of children were living in Grant, New Mexico. Several of their children had been born in Missouri indicating that they had moved back to Missouri at some point. However, it appears that even though James gave Missouri as his residence on his oath, all indications are that he was living in New Mexico on the census previous to the wagon train and may not have been traveling with the Cole train. His wife, Frances and three oldest children, Belle, Mary and James were listed as born in Mexico on the 1870 census of Jackson, Independence County, Missouri. These three children would have been on this wagon train if James Lucas was migrating and not already living there.

Willis Newton's manuscript mentioned Mr & Mrs Meyers and their daughter, Fanny, who married Billy Black [listed above]. When I found this family on the 1870 census of Lampasas, Lampasas County, Texas, they had a son George. He could be one of the 'missing' oaths. I have listed Fanny with her husband on this listing. John Meyers died during the wagon train suddenly outside of El Paso, Texas, and May later married Marion Taylor in a double ceremony performed by an Indian Agent during the wagon train journey. [Francis M Taylor signed an oath at Ft Bowie, however, we have not yet located his Franklin, Texas, oath].

Willis Newton referred to Mr. Morris (who he called an old man). He said that Mr. Morris had three daughters that were old enough to marry and three daughters that were too young to marry. His 2nd daughter, Anna Morris, was married during the wagon train to Sam Grumbles which was written about in Willis Newton's manuscript. I was unable to locate this family on the 1860 census. This family was on the 1870 census in Milquaty, San Diego County, California.

William was on the 1870 census in San Bernadino, San Bernadino County, California. I believe he was born 1848 in Buchanan County, Missiouri, to John Dickinson Morrow and Alice Eveline Rhea. John D Morrow died in 1857 in Irish Creek, El Dorado County, California, during the Gold Rush. William H Morrow married Margaret A ? in California before 1869. On the 1880 census they had children George R., William H., James F., Hiram L., and Laura M. They lived in Downey, Los Angeles County, California in 1900. William H (d: 1913), George R (d: 1933), James (d: 1912) and Hiram (d: 1943) are all buried in the Little Lake Cemetery [Block K, Lot 12 and 7 1/2] along with many other wagon train members.

Willis Newton names Alfred Patton as one of the men on the Jack Cole wagon train. I have not located him in either 1860 or 1870.

Andrew was the son of Jacob #117 and Olivia Inks Pyeatt and Mary was the daughter of John Birchett and Elizabeth Owens Cole. She was a sister of John S Birchett #122 and granddaughter of Samson #107 and Vinah Tompkins Cole. Andrew and four other men on this wagon train all claimed to serve in Hunter's Confederate state militia during the Civil War. On the 1870 census they appeared at #161/165 pg 16 in Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California with a few children and his widowed mother. Mary and Andrew had 8 known children, however, on the 1900 census, Mary claimed to have borne 11 children. Therefore there are 3 children for which we have no records. Due to length of time between their marriage and the first surviving child, it is logical to suspect that some or all of those children that did not live were born between 1862 and 1866. Therefore, during this wagon train they might have had a couple of small children. Willis Newton refers to "Andrew Pyatt" and "his wife" in his manuscript. Andrew and Mary eventually had 11 children. 2 daughters died in 1879 and are buried in the Little Lake Cemetery with their grandmother and many other wagon train members.

Jacob died near Fort Cummings, New Mexico just a few days after signing his oath at El Paso (he was already ill). In Willis Newton's manuscript he refers to Jacob as "old Mr. Pyatt" and "grandfather Pyatt". He does not reference Olivia. Olive appeared with her son, Andrew McClure Pyeatt, and family on the 1870 census in Los Nietos, Los Angeles, California. Olive most likely died between 1870 and 1880. She is buried in the Little Lake Cemetery in Santa Fe Springs, CA (near Downey/Los Nietos) [Block J] with many other wagon train members.

Widow Jacintha Brookshire-Smith died July 31, 1865 in Ysletta, Texas after several days of the fever. Her oldest Son, Ira Smith, was 15 years old and now the head of the family. He took the Oath of Allegiance with the Cole Train Members on August 12, 1865 in Franklin, Texas. His uncle, Ira Leffingwell (Oath #126), and his Cousin, James Brookshire (Oath #125), both took the Oath just before him. Just before, or sometime soon after taking the Oath, Ira and his siblings were told that four local Mexican Families would be taking them in for adoption. The Ira Leffingwell Family already had 7 children and taking nieces and nephews to California was just too risky with the limited resources for the trip. The story is told that the boys would be adopted two to each family and the little girl, Amanda, would be taken in by one family. When it was time to separate their Mother and Fathers belongings, the Mexican men noticed a Masonic Apron and a special Masonic Pin given to their Mother just after their Father, Samuel A. Smith, passed away in 1860. These Mexican Men were Masons as well. They asked the children if their father was a Mason. The children recalled that their dad went to meetings once a month with men from the surrounding area. Upon finding out that the children were orphans of a Masonic Brother, they decided to send the children back to their family in the Beaukiss, Texas area. Their Creed to help the orphaned children of a Masonic Brethren would need to be fulfilled. These Mexican Masons and a U.S. Army Officer (also a Mason) provided provisions for their wagon trip home. They joined several wagons heading back East out of Franklin, Texas on the Overland-Butterfield Trail. The Seven children broke off from the Wagon Train near Concho and headed towards their homestead of Sam Smith Springs via the route through San Saba, Texas. Their Wagon broke down not many miles past San Saba and the boys walked the remaining 90 Miles with little Amanda riding beside them on their lone horse. Little Joseph Smith died not too long after arriving back home at Sam Smith Springs, Burleson County, Texas (Today it is called Lawhon Springs). Young Ira died around 1870 and the five other children lived long and prosperous lives with the love of their extended Smith family. [provided by Trey Smith]

According to Willis Newton's story, Marion Taylor was hired by Mr. Meyers [John Meyers] to help drive his cattle to market. When Mr. Meyers died suddenly near El Paso, Marion took over driving the new carriage that John had bought for himself and his wife. When the wagon train reached camp Sacatone, Marion Taylor and Mrs. Meyers were married in a double ceremony with Anna Morris and Sam Grumbles performed by the indian agent. Marion and May [listed above with John Meyers] were enumerated in El Monte, Los Angeles County, California, on the 1870 census next door to May's daughter, Franny Meyers Black.

Ethan was one of the men who signed oaths as a former Confederate soldier at Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory. He and family were on the 1870 census in Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California on pg 7 at #67/70. They added two children to their family since arriving in California, Martha Washburn and Ethan A Washburn Jr.

Notice that Mathew and William both appear on the list of Confederate soldiers who took oaths at Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory. Susannah with William and Richard appear on the 1870 Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California census on pg 12 #119/122. Matthew lives nextdoor at #120/123 with his wife, Harriet E Wilkins and sons James D Wilkins and Simon Peter Wilkins. Johnathan is said to be a descendant of Isaac Ely - I note that Isaac Ely Boyce is another member of this wagon train. Isaac Ely Boyce married Johnathan and Susannah's daughter, Catherine Caroline Wilkins (see above). Johnathan is said to have died in Williamson County, Texas, in 1870. So, either he went back to Texas or the person who researched this family made an error or assumption.

These men all took their oaths near the same date at Franklin, Texas and all the Kolbs are from Lampasas County, Texas. It is possible that they were traveling as a separate wagon train. However, William Kolb signed his oath in Fort Bowie on the same day as the CSA soldiers from the Cole Train. Four other men in the Cole train had served in the same unit as William Kolb. Perhaps they weren't strictly part of the Cole train. However, there does seem to be a connection between this group and some of the families on the Cole train.
An attempt to reconstruct the list of families from the Newton Train (by family unit) using a variety of historical records:

According to Willis Newton their train had 4 wagons, 6 men, 6-8 boys, 4 teams and about 500 head of cattle. Mr. Hutchison drove the first wagon; Willis' brother [called 'my brother' throughout and never identified] drove the second wagon; his father [not named] had Willis' nephew, Anderson Wilson, aged 8 or 9 drive the third wagon; and Willis Newton drove the fourth wagon.

This may be the man that was hired to drive Willis Newton's father's livestock. That man, not named, had a wife and child. I did not find Isaac Hitchcock on the 1860 or 1870 census.

Willis Newton referred throughout his story about 'Mr. and Mrs. Hutchison' and also an 11-year-old daughter of Mr. Hutchison named Lizzie and a 14-year-old boy named Bill Hutchison. William M. appears to be the only Hutchison on the wagon train. William and Almyra married in Clark County, AR, in 1851. Willis Newton was also originally from Clark County, Arkansas, and his wife was a sister to Almyra. Charlotte and Almyra's sister, Aletha Hudson Truman's, son William Truman was documented as having taken an oath and is referenced by Willis Newton in his manuscript. By the 1870 census, William Hutchison's family was located in Los Nietos, Los Angeles Co, CA, and were enumerated as "Hutchins". William's brother, George Hutchinson, who was aged 38 (a year younger than William) and also born in Alabama (William's birthplace as listed on that census). They added daughter, Olive, to the family in 1871. William Hutchison died in 1876 and in 1882 Almyra married Andrew J. Cole (#113 above). William M (d: 1876), William A (d: 1906), Fannie (Neighbours d: 1925) and Almira (Cole d: 1915) are all buried in the Little Lake Cemetery [mostly Block I, Lot 3] with many other wagon train members.

  • Anderson Newton (#97 Arkadelphy [sic], Clark Co, ARK) I have been unable to locate Anderson on the 1860 or 1870 census. He is a family member of Willis Newton. However, I do not know the exact relationship. Willis Newton was born in Clark County, Arkansas, and moved to Texas as a young married man.

    I located John Newton on the 1860 census of Precinct 2, Travis County, Texas at 87/87 on pg 3. His son, Willis, was enumerated a few pages previous at the end of Precinct 2. I have to wonder if his wife was alive in 1865 and if his daughter was yet married. Did they travel to California and then die or marry? Neither appear with him in 1870. Willis Newton talks about a man, woman and child who his father boarded in his wagon. The man was to help with John's cattle. Apparently the man always seems to come down 'sick' whenever there is a big job to be done. It's one of the funniest parts of Willis' story. I do not know which of the other men from the oath list is the lazy man. However, if a family could be found in 1870 with one child - it might be a clue. John Newton appears on the 1870 Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California census with John F Wilson and William Wilson. William Wilson would have been 8 years old at the time of the wagon train based on his age on the 1870 census. That fits Willis Newton's nephew, 'little Anderson Wilson', aged 8 or 9 summers who drove Willis' father's wagon (and did a bang-up job of it!). There were no Wilsons listed on the oaths that have been found to date. Did John and Anderson travel with their Newton relatives alone? Was their mother a widow who was with this group? Is his father one of the 'missing' oaths? More research needs to be done. I could not find John F Wilson and William Wilson (or Anderson Wilson) on the 1860 census. John Newton was back in Texas by the 1880 census.

    Willis Newton is the son of John Newton (above). Willis along with Charlotte and their two oldest children appeared in 1860 on the census of Precinct 1, Travis County, Texas. However, he was listed as being from Lampasas County on his oath. They appeared on the 1870 census in Los Nietos, Los Angeles County, California by which time they had added daughter, Alice Newton who was one-year-old. They were 399/427 on page 38. Willis (d: 1923), Charlotte (d: 1913) and William (d: 1917) are all buried in the Little Lake Cemetery in Santa Fe Springs, CA (near Downey/Los Nietos) [Block I, Lot 4 and Block K, Lot 1] with many other wagon train members.

    On the 1850 census, James T Roberts was living with his parents and 10 siblings in Milam and Williamson Co, TX (pg 4/59). In 1860 they were in Belton, Bell Co, TX, at that time there were only 6 siblings living with them. If not for this oath of allegiance that ties this James T Roberts to the trip to California, it would appear that he had never left Texas. James T. Roberts was in R&F 103 and 3 as a teamster in Bell County TX volunteers CSA under Col. N H Darnell. He enlisted January 15, 1862 for 12 months. According to family information on, he was the son of Cornelius Benton Roberts and Rhoda Lindsey and died in 1871 in Belton, Bell Co, TX. His father had died in 1870 in San Saba, San Saba Co, TX. So, he may have returned from California to help care for his mother. He married Nancy Chalk also born 1840 and had children James, Kadie, Octavia and Rhoda. I do not know when the marriage or births took place.

    Willis Newton refers to Billy Truman as a "boy" and mentioned him a couple of different times. At one time he quoted Billy Truman as saying 'Hold on there uncle'. William was the son of Aletha Hudson Truman Florida who was a sister to Charlotte Hudson Newton (Willis' wife) and Almyra Hudson Hutchison who were both on this wagon train. Did William travel with the Newtons as a lone relative? Aletha was widowed in 1846 and married John Osbern Florida, 28 May 1848, in Clark County, Arkansas. William appears with his mother and step-father and their blended family in Clark Co, AR, on the 1850 census and Hempstead Co, AR, on the 1860 census. Aletha died in Texas in 1903. All indications are that William Truman traveled with his aunts to California and his mother and step-father stayed behind in Texas. According to information on on the Perry family tree "William was born 7 months after the death of his father. Family lore is that William went on a cattle drive from Texas to New Mexico. On the return trip to Texas, he and 3 others were killed by indians. William was 20 years of age at the time of his death." This is said to have occurred on December 15th or 16th 1867.

    The following men who tooks oaths were part of a small wagon train that Willis Newton wrote about on two occassions: Willis Newton's wagon train had come upon another small wagon train at a river where they spent a day or two and ferried their wagons across. He called them a group from Eastern Texas. Later, they camped with them about 20 miles past Franklin, Texas. He said there was "an elderly Presbyterian minister named Weir, another one whos name was Jamison his wife was insane. The other two men was named Walton and Allen." Jamison's nephew had deserted the US Army and Mr. Jamison was caught by Willis Newton's wife and Mrs. Walton providing food to his nephew and another deserter. Willis Newton and others prevailed upon the court to go easy on Mr. Jamison due to "the helpless condition of his family. Several small children that needed his care daily and worst of all the mother of the children was insane and required his care more than the children did." Mr. Jamison had his head shaved and was drummed out of town between two bayonets. This was just before the Newton train joined up with the Cole train. I have to wonder if the Asa H Jamison who signed his oath back in May in Franklin, Texas, was a relative of this Jamison. Asa Jamison and many of the men in his group were all from Denton County, Texas. It's also possible that they all started out together but that these wagons had fallen behind (maybe due to problems they had).

    Other miscellaneous oaths during the summer months of 1865 that are most likely not connected to the Newton or Cole trains are as follows:

    There are gaps in oath numbers and others that were not numbered. Therefore, this is not a comprehensive list. These are just the ones that we discovered in looking for the Newton and Cole train oaths.


    Updated Sep 2013

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