Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Harrison County Texas Courthouses: Then and Now

Now this is what I call a beautiful structure. It was built in 1900 and designed by Riely Gordon. It was built after the last Harrison County Courthouse burned. I have seen several courthouses in Texas and this is one of my favorites.

The last time I was in Marshall I did not get to tour the part that I wanted to tour. They were at that time remodeling and getting ready to house the Harrison County Historical Museum as a permanent fixture.

This photo below shows the Harrison County Courthouse burning on June 7, 1899. According to the information in the Marshall County Library, materials left by a repairman working on the roof caught fire. A Marshall-lite James Higgins did the construction. The building was designed in the Second Empire style, with a 275-foot tower, brick walls, sandstone trim, and Italianate detailing.

I wonder what records that may have possibly been destroyed in that fire. My ancestors Charles and Elizabeth Tolliver Dixon were located in the 1870 and 1880 census. My 3rd great-grands Joseph and Lucy Tolbert were also listed in the census. Both couples may have had marriage records housed in that building. I have not been able to locate those records so it is quite possible.

This is the newest Courthouse. This is more of a modern structure. It is located across the street in walking distance from the old Courthouse.

I visited this courthouse twice. Each time I was overwhelmed by the amount of people using the facilities. I was told that the majority of people on both of those times were people looking through the land records trying to find heirs for oil leases. All the spaces to work were taken up and they were not about leave. LOL

I had to show my drivers license,(the counter person took a picture)in order for her to look up marriage records behind the counter. I for the sake of me can't understand that theory on records were we were not allowed to look in the index ourselves. The index book was for records in the 1890 plus or minus a few years era.

I found a marriage record/affidavit of a Mariah Wells and Lawrence Taylor who I believe are my gr-grandmother and her husband. The marriage was performed by Minister Daniel Morse. I would have paid dearly for that copy even though I found that copies were extremely expensive if you had more than a few that you wanted.

Maybe the next trip to Marshall I will be able to take a Digital Camera, visit both places and come out with a multitude of records reflecting the lives of my ancestors.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beyond These Walls My Ancestors Stood

These are my thoughts beyond these walls where my ancestors stood as if I were there.

Monday thru Sunday:

Very early in the morning, swing those legs out from under the cover and get prepared for a hard days work. All of you have chores to do.
The creaking of the wooden floor is getting louder and louder as the kids climb out of bed one by one.

Grandmother you have to start breakfast as soon as you put that apron on. Its hanging on that nail in back of the kitchen door.
I guess homemade biscuits would be the first thing to go into the stove.

One of you girls, go outside and grab a few of those eggs from the hen house while little Gert, starts making those sausage into patties.

Elo, grab that pail over yonder and get some water from the well.

Nannie, hand me that butter you churned last week and put some on the table along with a pitcher of milk.

Elena, you can set the table and use the red checkered tablecloth this time.

I hear that screen door shut more than once. Bang, bang, bang! It must be the boys going out to do a few chores before they sit down to eat.

Toot, quick chasing that tom turkey and bring me about two more pieces of wood to throw in the stove.

Harry, John and Spencer you all come on in here now, breakfast is ready!!
Call your daddy and James Edgar ! Be quick about it before the food gets cold. You know your daddy likes his food hot.

I see grandpa picking up his bible to read a verse before any fork, spoon or cup can be touched. No telling which verse it is because every word is his favorite. flip,flip flip go the pages until he finds the right one to suit this day. Now its time to say Amen!.

Isiaah, pass the biscuits please.

Monday thru Saturday:

Late in the evening sometime after dinner there are clothes to mend. The children have to get their clothes ready for school the next day.

Wright Cuney, you and Owen go in there and help your daddy! I know he has something for you to do instead of being underfoot.
Its enough with Jessie and James Eugene crawling and tugging on my dress hem. You boys could be filling up that number two tub so that your bath can be ready.

Whose turn is it to plait the girls hair?

I know its not Bernice's because she did it yesterday.

Bettie you are sitting there so quiet and looking around like you know whose turn it is.


Church and more church at Little Flock Baptist Church.

Will all family members at the sound of my voice say Amen and please stand and sing

"Onward Christian Soldiers" Amen!!

Those who said Amen were my grandparents James Penn Daviss and his wife Gertrude Sims Daviss.

My great aunts and uncles James Edgar, Owen, Wright Cuney, Bernice, Nannie, Gertrude,Bettie, Elena, Harry, John, Spencer, Isiaah, James Eugene, Jessie, and Elo.

My father Theodore

My great grandparents James and Sallie Cooper Conway, John and Sallie Jefferson Lewis

Plenty of cousins: Nelms, Scotts, Steptoe, Williams, Thompsons, White and others.