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Wednesday, April 2. 2008
Recently I visited the Barry family graveyard, now on private property, on a hill overlooking, the Bosque River, near Walnut Bend and the only non-Barry buried there is the author of both books, James K. Greer.
Buck Barry, Texas Ranger
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 08:05 | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, May 27. 2007
I recently posted stories on my blog about my Great Grandfatherâ€™s, Brinson Bryan and Shaw Wallace. No reminiscence of my youth would be complete without a mention of my Grandmother, Linnie Ross (Sanders) Wallace.
Pictured in 1946, is my Grandmother, Linnie Ross (Sanders) Wallace, 1866-1953, my Mother, Ruth (Wallace) Bryan, 1895-1979, my Sister, Helen Ruth Anthony 1923-2003 and my Niece, Cheryl Anthony 1944-1964. Four generations of Wallace women. Because of at least 2 house fires, this is one of the very few pictures of my Grandmother Wallace.
My first memories of her were singing to me and telling me the story of the following song, author unknown:
â€œBackward turn backward o time in thy flight,
Make me a child again, just for tonight.
The tears on my pillow, thy loving watch keepâ€™
Rock me to sleep Mother, rock me to sleepâ€.
Her mother died in 1877 when she was 11 years old.
Linnieâ€™s Father, Levi L. Sanders, spent 3Â½ years fighting with the 6th Texas Cavalry during our Civil War. Being born in 1866, she was a â€œCivil War Baby Boomerâ€. She was a Texan and a â€œRebelâ€™s Daughterâ€ and taught me the First verse of Bonnie Blue Flagâ€. It was first the Regimental song of the 8th Texas Cavalry, Terryâ€™s Rangers, and later the anthem of the Southern States.
â€œBonnie Blue Flagâ€, by Harry McCarthy
â€œWe are a band of brothers and native to the soil,
Fighting for our liberty, with treasure, blood and toil.
And when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far,
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
For southern rights hurrah,
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.â€
She also made sure that I knew what â€œDecoration Dayâ€, now known as our Memorial Day, was and how it started. Before the end of the Civil War, in the Spring, Southern ladies began placing red, white and blue â€œbuntingâ€ on the graves of the Confederate dead. This practice spread all over the South and in 1868, in the North, May 5, was officially designated Memorial Day.
Our family legends say that during the latter part of our Civil War, some type of significant event occurred between her Dad, Levi Sanders and Sul Ross, the Brigade Commander of the Texas Cavalry Brigade and future Governor of the State of Texas, causing Levi to say that he would name his next child after him and Sul replying he would pay that childâ€™s way through college. Legend doesnâ€™t say what the event was, but my Grandmother, Linnie Ross Sanders, born in 1866, was named Linnie Ross, and she told me that Sul Ross paid her way through college at Baylor, then located at Independence, Texas.
Another very interesting story that she told me several times, and was recently verified by another of her Grandsonâ€™s, George Pyland, my Cousin, was that when she was 5 years old, of her seeing Cynthia Ann Parker. Cynthia Ann was captured by Comanches in 1836, lived as an Indian for 24 years until she was re-captured in 1860 by Sul Ross leading a company of Texas Rangers. Cynthia Ann had 3 children, her oldest son being Quannah Parker, the last War Chief of the Commanches. Quannah surrendered to Col. Ranald McKenzie, "Three Fingered Kenzie" being his Indian nickname, and then Quannah led his people to the reservation in Oklahoma and later became and extremely successful businessman.
Cynthia Annâ€™s Brother, Issac Parker, was a neighbor in Van Zandt County, Texas, of Levi Sanders, Lennie Rossâ€™ Dad, and she tells of seeing Cynthia Ann several times and how she â€œscaredâ€ her. Never re-adapting to civilized life, Cynthia Ann Parker died of a â€œbroken heartâ€ in 1871.
Linnie taught school in East Texas for several years before marrying Dr. Harmon Elliott Wallace, my maternal Grandfather. Before the turn of the 20th century, Linnie and Harmon moved to west Texas where he practiced medicine for over 20 years. They had 8 children, 7 surviving to adulthood, including my Mother, Ruth Wallace Bryan. Their oldest son, Horace Harmon, was not in this 1915 era picture. He was away playing professional baseball. I visited the house in the background in 1949 in Ovalo, Texas, west of Abilene and at the foot of Bald Eagle Mountain.
Linnie Ross was a fine Christian lady, a good Grandmother to me and a credit to our state!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 08:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, April 22. 2007
This story has been passed down through my family for well over 100 years. I have heard it from my Dad and his Brothers and Sisters. Brinson and Fannie Bryan, who were living near Riesel, Texas, McLennan County, were my paternal Great Grandparents and their son, Peyton Bryan, was my paternal Grandfather.
The Dogs were raising a racket outside, waking Brinson Bryan and his wife, Fannie, up from a sound sleep. He figured they had a Possum or â€˜Coon treed in the large oak tree near the Hen house. Next thing he knew all eight of his kids were awake and asking him â€œPapa, what is all the racket with the Dogs.â€ Fannie was expecting their ninth, and she hoped the last, child the next month, December 1889.
Brinson slipped on his heavy clothes, it was cold for mid November, and lit a coal oil lantern. He was going to â€œchunkâ€ the â€œcoon out of the tree and not even mess with loading his .44 pistol. With all these kids around, it didnâ€™t pay to leave the old pistol loaded. He handed the lantern to his oldest son, Peyton, slipped on his boots and said to him, â€œLetâ€™s go run that varmint off.â€
Stepping outside and heading the 100 feet to the old, oak tree with the Dogs furiously barking, Peyton held the light up towards the tree and he and his Papa were rewarded by seeing two of the biggest, yellow eyes staring back at them. â€œPapa, thatâ€™s no â€˜Coon,â€ he exclaimed, as he and Brinson edged closer to the tree, plainly making out a very large cat, rather a very large Mountain Lion, crouched on a branch about eight feet off the ground.
This looked like another â€œtight spotâ€ shaping up. Brinson had had his share of â€œtight spotsâ€ in his life. Joining the Texas Rangers in 1845 he had fought Mexicans and Indians during the Mexican War. After that war he guided wagon trains to California facing more Indians, wild animals and thieves. Next was his three and a half years of service with the Confederate Army of Tennessee and experiencing some of the fiercest battles of that war. He had married Fannie in 1867 and settled into a life of farming, mule trading and raising his family.
Now, he is being stared down by a big Cat and knowing the Dogs will keep the Cat treed, he tells Peyton, â€œBoy, hold the light on the Cat while I get something to finish it off with!â€ That â€œsomethingâ€ happened to be his old Bowie knife, almost two feet of it, which he tied onto a walking stick, or Moses stick. Counting the knife and stick, his â€œlanceâ€ was nearly 6 foot long. He knew if he shot the Cat with his pistol that it would die, but not before it would leap down on he and Peyton.
As Peyton held the light, Brinson shinnied up into the tree and with one thrust shoved the knife into the Catâ€™s throat and then, with both hands, held tight to the stick as the animal thrashed about, impaled on the knife. After it was over and the Cat lay still on the ground, Brinson thought it funny that his three Dogs could tree the Lion and keep it treed, while the Lion could easily kill the Dogs and also how the light from a coal oil lantern had kept the Cat off of them.
The Dogs had apparently intercepted the Cat before it had gotten into the Hen house. It ended up a very lop sided victory for Brinson and Peyton, no Dogs or Chickens injured, just a little lost sleep.
This may have been the last Mountain Lion killed in McLennan County, Texas.
Continue reading "Treed"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 09:08 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, February 15. 2007
On February 12, 2007, I was going through a trove of old Bryan family momentoes and opening a box of keepsakes from my Uncle, E. Jay Bryan, who served in the Army during the Mexican Border Campaign with Gen. Pershing, and died in France during WW 1, well before I was born, I came across the following handwritten poem, author unknown to me.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 11:16 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
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