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:
- 92 William M. Hutchison / July 23rd / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 93 John Newton / July 23rd / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 94 Isaac W. Hitchcock / July 24th / Grayson, Grayson County, TX
- 95 Newel F. Walton / July 24th / McClelland, McClelland County, TX
- 96 Willis Newton / July 24th / Lampasas, Lampasas County, TX
- 97 Anderson Newton / July 24th / Arkadelphy, Clark County, ARK
- 98 James T. Roberts / July 24th / Belton, Bell County, TX
- 99 William T. Truman / July 24th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
To view the complete list of men who gave oaths in 1865, go to the Miscellaneous II page under "Texas - El Paso County - Franklin".
- 106 / James A. Lucas / August 10th / not listed / Jackson / MO
- 107 / Samson Cole / August 10th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 108 / Smith Morris / August 12th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 109 / Matthew N. Wilkins / August 12th / Burnet, Burnet County, TX
- 110 / Johnathan Wilkins / August 12th / Burnet, Burnet County, TX
- 111 / Alfred Patton / August 12th / Burnet, Burnet County, TX
- 112 / William L. Baker / August 12th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 113 / Andrew J. Cole / August 12th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 114 / Isaac E Boyce / August 12th / Burnet Co, TX
- 115 / Ethan A. Washburn / August 12th / Milam, Milam County, TX
- 116 / Samuel H. Grumbles / August 12th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 117 / Jacob Pyeatt / August 12th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 118 / Andrew M. Pyeatt / August 12th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 119 / William B. Wilkins / August 12th / Burnet, Burnet County, TX
- 120 / Benjamin F. Cole / August 12th / Burleson, Burleson County, TX
- 121 / Alfred T. Cole / August 12th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 122 / John S. Birchett / August 12th / San Saba, San Saba County, TX
- 123 / Daniel B. Morris / August 12th / San Saba / San Saba / TX
- 124 / Luonides L. Morris / August 12th / San Saba / San Saba / TX
- 125 / James Brookshire / August 12th / Williamson, Williamson County, TX
- 126 / Ira Leffingwell / August 12th / Williamson, Williamson County, TX
- 127 / William H. Morrow / August 12th / Williamson County, TX
- 128 / Ira Smith / August 12th / Burleson, Burleson County, TX
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.
- Dye, John Pvt Morgan’s Cav —- Tenn & Ky Sep 21,65 5’10” Fair Blue Lt 31
- Grumbles, Sam H. Pvt 6th TX Inf Churchill’s Texas Sep 21,65 5’9” Fair Blue Br 24
- Taylor, Francis M. Pvt 3d Ariz Cav Madison, Major’s Green’s La, Ark Sep 21,65 5’10” Fair Blue Lt 31
- Boyce, Isaac E. Pvt ** Hunter’s State Militia Texas Texas Sep 23,65 5’9” Fair Blue Br 41
- Burchett, J.S. Pvt ** Hunter’s State Militia Texas Texas Sep 23,65 5’9” Lt Blue Lt 22
- Cole, Alfred T. Pvt ** Hunter’s State Militia Texas Texas Sep 23,65 5’7” Fair Blue Br 18
- Cole, Isaac M. Pvt Lane’s —- Hardeman Arkansas Sep 23,65 5’10” Fair Blue Lt 25
- Cole, Andrew J. Pvt 24th TX Cav Churchhill’s Claiborne Tex & Ala Sep 23,65 5’8” Fair Blue Lt 36
- Cole, Ben F. Pvt Phillips Majors Walker’s Louisiana Sep 23,65 5’9” Fair Blue Lt 32
- Kolb, William Pvt ** Hunter’s State Militia Texas Texas Sep 23,65 5’8” Fair Blue Br 37
- Morrow, William H. Cpl Baylor’s 2d AZ Major’s Green Tex & Ala Sep 23,65 5’8” Lt Blue Br 18
- Pyeatt, Andrew M. Pvt ** Hunter’s State Militia Texas Texas Sep 23,65 5’8” Fair Blue Br 30
- Washburn, Ethan A. Pvt 21st TX Cav —- Steel’s Ark & La Sep 23,65 5’7” Lt Blue Br 28
- Wilkins, William G.Pvt McAdem —- —— Texas Sep 23,65 5’9” Fair Blue Br 18
- Wilkins, Matthew M.Pvt 8th TX Inf. —— Bee’s Louisiana Sep 23,65 5’11” Tan Blue Lt 23
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.
- William L. Baker age 32 born IL (#112 from San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
- Celia Ann Cole Baker (wife) age 29 born IL (daughter of #107 Samson and Vinah Tompkins Cole)
- Henry Lewis Baker (son) age 8 born TX
- James Allen Baker (son) age 6 born TX
- Mary Ann Baker (daughter) age 5 born TX
- Sarah Frances Baker (daughter) age 3 born TX
- Andrew Jackson Baker (son) age 2 born TX
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.
- John S. Birchett age 17 born AR (#122 of San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
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.
- William S. Black age 29 born AL (#136 Lampasas, Lampasas County, TX)
- Francis C Meyers Black age 18 born TX (daughter of #136 John and May Meyers)
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 Ancestry.com.
- Isaac Ely Boyce age 41 born MO (#114 Burnet County, TX)
- Caroline Catherine Wilkins Boyce age 36 born MO or NC (daughter of #110 Johnathan and Susannah Black Wilkins)
- Reuben Hornsby Boyce age 11 born TX
- Albert Aaron Anderson Boyce age 10 born TX
- Isaac Eli Boyce age 9 born TX
- Mary Elizabeth Boyce age 8 born TX
- James/Johnathan W Boyce age 7 born TX
- John Jack Boyce age 6 born TX
- William James Boyce age 5 born TX
- Stephen Albert Boyce (listed as Sarah A in 1870) age 4 born TX
- Josiah Mathew Boyce age 3 born TX
- Charles Benjamin Boyce age 2 born TX
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.
- Alfred T. Cole age 19 born MO (#121 San Saba, San Saba County, TX; son of #107 Samson and Vinah Tompkins 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 Ancestry.com, 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.
- Andrew J. Cole age 36 born IL (#113 San Saba, San Saba County, TX; son of #107 Samson and Vinah Tompkins Cole)
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.
- Benjamin F. Cole age 32 born IL (#120 Burleson County, TX)
- Sarah Jane Chilson Cole (wife) age 25 born IL
- Emer McDonald Cole (son) age 6 born TX
- Louis Pinkney Cole (son) age 4 born TX
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.
- Samson Cole age 65 born TN (#107 San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
- Vinah Tompkins Cole (wife) age 59 born TN
- Isaac M Cole (son) age 25 born ? (took oath at Fort Bowie)
- ?Mary S Baker Cole (daughter-in-law) age 27 born ?TN [widow]
- ?Ann Cole (granddaughter) age 7 born TX
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.
- John Casey Crawford age 25 born TN (#103 TX)
- Hester Ann Bedwell Crawford (wife) age 22 born AR
- William White Crawford (son) age 4 born San Saba, San Saba Co, TX
- Mary Jane Crawford (daughter) age <1 born TX
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 Ancestry.com. 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.
- Samuel H. Grumbles age 23 born TX (#116 San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
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.
- Ira Leffingwell age 44 born NY (#126 Williamson County, TX)
- Sarah Jane Scott Brookshire Leffingwell (wife) age 39 born IN
- Margaret Brookshire (step-daughter) age 17 born TX
- James Brookshire (step-son) age 15 born TX (#125 Williamson Co, TX)
- Hiram Leffingwell (son) age 13 born TX
- Mary Leffingwell (daughter) age 11 born TX
- Matilda Leffingwell (daughter) age 9 born TX
- Martha Leffingwell (daughter) age 7 born TX
- Sarah Leffingwell (daughter) age 4 born TX
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.
- James A. Lucas age 39 born MO
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].
- John Meyers age 55 born MO (#136 Lampasas, Lampasas Co, TX)
- May A Meyers (wife) age 35 born GA
- ?George Meyers (son) age 28 born AR [need more proof]
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.
- Smith Morris age 63 born KY (#108 San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
- Margaret Ann Murdock Morris (wife) age 41 born MO
- Louisa Frances Morris (daughter) age 24 born MO
- Anna America Morris (daughter) age 21 born MO (married during trip to Samuel Grumbles #116 above)
- Daniel Boone Morris (son) age 19 born AR (#123 San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
- Leonidas Lynn Morris (son) age 16 born AR (#124 San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
- Arthusa Ellender Morris (daughter) age 15 born AR
- Rosa Emily Morris (daughter) age 11 born AR
- Missouri Benton Morris (daughter) age 9 born AR
- Harvey Douglas Morris (son) age 7 born TX
- Newton Jefferson Morris (son) age 4 born TX
- Sarah "Sally" Peace Morris (daughter) age 3 months born TX
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.
- William H. Morrow age 18 or 21 born MO (#127 Williamson County, TX)
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.
- Alfred Patton (#111 Burnet, Burnet County, TX)
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.
- Jacob Pyeatt age 74 born MO or PA (#117 San Saba, San Saba County, TX) Oath
- Olive Inks Pyeatt (wife) age 67 born KY
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]
- Jacintha Brookshire Smith age 37 born MS
- Ira Smith (son) age 15 born TX (#128 Burleson, Burleson County, TX)Oath
- Jessie Smith (son) age 13 born TX
- William Smith (son) age 12 born TX
- Thomas Smith (son) age 10 born TX
- John Smith (son) age 9 born TX
- Joseph Smith (son) age 7 born TX
- Amanda Smith (daughter) age 5 born TX
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.
- Francis Marion Taylor age 30 (on Ft Bowie CSA list)
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.
- Ethan A. Washburn age 26 or 28 born OH (#115 Milam, Milam County, TX) age 26 born OH
- Milly Washburn (wife) age 21 born MO
- Susan Washburn (daughter) age 6 born TX
- James Washburn (son) age 3 born TX
- Rosetta Washburn (daughter) age 1 born TX
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.
- Johnathan Wilkins age 56 (#110 Burnet, Burnet County, TX)
- Susannah Black Wilkins age 59 (or 55) born NC
- Matthew N. Wilkins (son) age 23 born MO (#109 Burnet, Burnet County, TX)
- William B./G. Wilkins (son) age 16 or 18 born TX (#119 Burnet, Burnet Co, TX)
- Richard Wilkins (son) age 11 born TX
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.
- 130 / Jonathan F. Kolb / August 19th / Lampasas / Lampasas / TX
- 131 / David M Kinzie / August 19th / Travis / Travis / TX
- 132 / Henry Hufstetler / August 19th / Lampasas / Lampasas / TX
- 133 / Isaac M. Kolb / August 19th / Lampasas / Lampasas / TX
- 134 / Thomas Byrd / August 19th / Travis / Travis / TX
- 135 / William Kolb / August 20th / Lampasas / Lampasas / TX
- 136 / William S. Black / August 20th / Lampasas / Lampasas / TX
- 137 / John Meyers / August 20th / Lampasas / Lampasas / TX
- 138 / Alexander H. Martin / August 20th / El Paso / El Paso / TX
- 139 / James Kolb / August 20th / Lampasas / Lampasas / TX
- 140 / Alexander H. Spencer / August 20th / Denton / Denton / TX
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.
- Isaac W. Hitchcock (#94 Grayson, Grayson County, TX)
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.
- William Marion Hutchison age 35 born TN or AL (#92 San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
- Almyra Hudson Hutchison age 22 born KY [sister of Charlotte Hudson Newton (see Willis Newton #96 below) and aunt of William Truman (#99 below)]
- William "Bill" Ashley Hutchison age 13 born AR
- Martha Jane Hutchison age 12 born AR [later married Alfred T. Cole #121 above]
- Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie" Hutchison age 11 born AR
- Thomas J Hutchison age 8 born TX
- Sarah L Hutchison age 6 born TX [is this same as Sarah Elizabeth?]
- Francis A "Frannie" Hutchison age 4 born TX
- Malissa Hutchison age 2 born TX
- Alice Hutchison newborn born TX
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.
- John Isaac Newton age 55 born TN (#93 San Saba, San Saba County, TX)
- Lydia Newton age 55 born NC [was she already deceased?]
- ?Nancy Newton age 18 born AR [did she marry by 1870 census or stay in Texas?]
- John F Wilson (grandson) age 10 born AR
- William Anderson Wilson (grandson) age 8 born AR
- Lazy Man, his wife and their chid
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.
- Willis Newton age 25 born AR (#96 Lampasas, Lampasas County, TX)
- Charlotte Hudson Newton (wife) age 25 born MO [sister of Almira Hudson Hutchison (see #92 William Hutchison)]
- William Newton (son) age 7 born AR
- John Newton (son) age 5 born AR
- Jesse Newton (son) age 2 born TX
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 Ancestry.com, 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.
- James Toliver Roberts age 22 born MS (#98 Belton / Bell / TX)
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 Ancestry.com 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.
- William T. Truman (#99 San Saba / San Saba / TX)
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).
- 90 / William B. Wear / July 22nd / Knoxville / not listed / TN
- 91 / William M. Walton / July 22nd / [illegible] / [illegible] / TN
- 94 / Newel F. Walton / July 24th / McClelland / McClelland / TX
- 95 / Isaac W. Hitchcock / July 24th / Grayson / Grayson / TX
- 100 / James B. Jamison / July 25th / Denton / Denton / TX
- 101 / John H. Allen / July 25th / McKinney/ Collin / TX
- 102 / Benjamin A. Hunter / July 25th /McKinney / Collin / TX
Other miscellaneous oaths during the summer months of 1865 that are most likely not connected to the Newton or Cole trains are as follows:
- April 2nd George W. Scott from Calloway Co, MO
- April 12th/13th James M Gentry and John Lindley from Concho, Coleman Co, TX
- April 20th William C. Franks of Fort Worth, Tarrant Co, TX
- May 3rd William J. Davis and John M. Jacobs of Alvarado, Johnson Co, TX
- May 5th Daniel W. Eggers of Weatherford, Parker Co, TX
- May 5th Joseph W. Campbell of Stevensville, Johnson Co, TX
- May 5th Warren J. Bell, Daniel J Boatright, Jesse B. Clements, James W. Campbell, Reubin P. Johnson, Cornelius C. Jones, Zachariah T. Jones and Zachariah T. Jones from Buchannon, Johnson Co, TX
- May 6th John S. Claywood and Charles R. Greene of Dallas, Dallas Co, TX
- May 6th/7th John C. Ashlock, William F. Ashlock, James H. Cooper, and Asa H. Jamison of Denton PO, Denton Co, TX
- May 7th William F. Larner of Weatherford, Parker Co, TX
- May 7th James H. Lockett and Steven M. Harlow of McKinney, Collin Co, TX
- May 7th William H. Kinnaman, Robert W. Whitfield and Nelson Yarnell
- May 9th Irvin Harmon
- May 23rd Meredith H. Lackey, William C. Patterson and Benjamin F. Vinson
- May 26th John A. Gamble
- June 2nd J. S. Dobkins and William C. Dobkins
- June 3rd Thomas Starks
- June 5th James H. Burke, James H. Bursey, James Fulkerson, Dudley Johnston, Jesse Johnston and William G. Lindsey
- June 13th Otto E. Amelong
- July 5th John W. Shiflett
- July 6th George Eckenback
- August 2nd John C. Crawford of McCullough, McCullough Co, TX
- August 10th James A. Lucus of Jackson Co, MO (this one could be part of the Cole train)
- August 24th John W. Lovelace of Fannin Co, TX; Eli Sears, James Sears, Marion Sears, Nathan Sears , Thompson Sears and Winfrey Sears of Denton Co, TX
- August 26th John W. Clanton, Joseph I. Clanton, Newman H. Clanton, and Phineas Clanton of Hamilton Co, TX
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
- Oaths of Allegiance 1865 Franklin (El Paso), TX
- Oaths of Allegiance 1865 Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory
- CSA card for William M Hutchison
- Cole Family File provided by Trey Smith
- Smith Family info provided by Trey Smith
- Hutchison/Hudson/Truman Family info provided by June McCloud
- 1860 Burleson Co, TX, census
- 1860 Travis Co, TX, census
- 1860 Williamson Co, TX, census
- 1870 Los Angeles Co, CA, census
- 1870 San Diego Co, CA, census
- 1870 San Bernadino Co, CA, census
- Little Lake Cemetery inscriptions
Back to Home