April 11, 2001

Tracing Our Bosque County Roots
From the Bosque County News
11 April 2001

A few months ago I spent an afternoon exploring the old Cedron Cemetery, while there I met Mr. Joe Walker of the W4 Ranch. He took the time to tell me some of the history he has learned of the old cemetery while they have been restoring it. If you haven’t visited the Cedron Cemetery, it is worth the drive, they have done an amazing job of cleaning up and a beautiful period type fence and sign have been installed.
Recently Mr. Walker sent me some information he has received on the Arnold family, who were early settlers of the area where the W4 Ranch is now located. With the Arnold family being one of the early families of Bosque County, I wanted to share a little of the history with our readers.

Joseph Richard (J.R.) Arnold was born in Franklin County, Tennessee on January 31, 1813. He married Mary Ellen Polk around 1844. She was born December 4, 1825 in Arkansas. Their first child James Buchanan “Buck” Arnold was born in Scott County, Arkansas on January 12, 1845. Shortly thereafter the family moved to the new State of Texas as pioneers. A State Historical Marker on the west side of Highway 6 between Valley Mills and Clifton states that J. R. Arnold was one of the founders of Bosque County.

J.R., Mary Ellen and Buck homesteaded on the northern bank of Cedron Creek around 1846, here their second child Melvina was born in 1848. The couple had a total of eleven children, James Buchanan, Melvina, Rebecca, Martha Elizabeth, Amanda, Joseph Marion, William Polk, Franklin B., Mary Ellen, Jefferson Davis and an Unnamed Infant.

Mary Ellen died in childbirth March 30, 1864,with the eleventh child, she and the unnamed infant are buried in a small rural cemetery one-quarter mile northeast of the Steiner Church. The church house is situated a few miles north of the Cedron Cemetery where many of the early settlers of that region were buried.

A few years after Mary Ellen’s death, J. R. married Margaret Eddleman Davis Slane. They had four children; Minnie Margaret, Arrena, Parthena and Marian Frances.
This information on the Arnold family was provided by Rear Admiral Eugene W. Farrell, USN (Ret.), of California. Admiral Farrell includes that the descendants of this Arnold family are related to President James K. Polk.  Mary Ellen Polk’s father, William H. Polk was, along with his older brother James K. Polk, sons of Samuel Polk, whose father was Captain Ezekial Polk of North Carolina, a prominent Revolutionary War Patriot and a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration.

If anyone is researching this Arnold family drop me a line, I’d be happy to share the other information that has been sent me. Recently I made a breakthrough on one of my family lines and found a wealth of information on my Gray family. They were early settlers of Rusk, Bell and later Hamilton Counties. My gggg grandfather John A. Gray had one son J. Carroll Gray, who married Dora Richards sometime around 1880 and they lived in Bosque County near Clifton. They had five children; Ola, Eva, Dick, Jack and Robert. This is all the information I have on J. Carroll Gray and his family, but if anyone happens to know anything of them, I would love to hear from you.


Pearl Doyle, emailed me with the news that she had just come across a photo album that belonged to her aunt. She was married to Charlie Wilkerson who was from Bosque county, possibly Walnut Springs. Pearl says ” If there are any Wilkerson relatives who would like copies of these pictures, please contact me. She put first names on almost all of the pictures. I also have some letters that might be of interest They are between my grandmother and daddy who were from Bosque County. They were written in the 1930’s when dad was in the Civilian Conservation Corps”. This was such a nice offer and you
can contact her at doyle@our-town.com

I am searching for name and information about my great-great grandfather whose wife and family came to Bosque or Hill County about 1855-1860. His wife was Frances Herring (maiden name unknown). Their daughter, Lodemia, was born in 1841 in Tenn. and married my great grandfather Jeff Smith in Bosque Co. in 1860. Lodemia had two sisters, Parlee, who married A. Ward about 1859 in Bosque Co. and Elizabeth, who married a Mr. Roberts in Bosque Co. about 1862. Lodemia’s brother, Daniel, was in the Confederate Army and married Tennessee Hudson in Bosque or Hill Co. about 1868. They had one child, Jesse, born in 1869, and Daniel died in 1872 in Hill Co. Any information on the Herring family in eastern Bosque Co. would be appreciated.
Contact at:  gnelson@htcomp.net

Would like to find more information on the following 1. CHRISTOPHER RICHARD
CLAYBROOK (son of WILLIAM PEYTON DOSWELL CLAYBROOKE) was born 25 January 1831 in Washington Co. KY, and died 19 December 1883 in Bosque Co. TX. He
married (2) M.R.A.. He married (3) ANN ELIZABETH LAFON 25 November 1852 in
Marion Co. MO, daughter of RICHARD LAFON and ELIZABETH HATCHER. She was
born 9 February 1834 in Lewis Co KY, and died 5 March 1854 in Palmyra, Marion
Co. MO. He married (4) MARGARET ANN LANE 17 January 1861 in Bosque Co. TX. More About CHRISTOPHER RICHARD CLAYBROOK: Burial: December 1883, Kimball Cem., Bosque Co. TX Occupation: Blacksmith Child of CHRISTOPHER CLAYBROOK and SARAH MCKISSICK is: i. GUY W. CLAYBROOK, b. 15 April 1879; d. 10 April 1881, Bosque Co. TX. More About GUY W. CLAYBROOK: Burial: Kimball Cemetery, Bosque Co. TX Child of CHRISTOPHER CLAYBROOK and M.R.A. is: ii. CHARLES A. CLAYBROOK, b. 9 January 1873; d. 13 March 1873, Bosque Co. TX. More About CHARLES A. CLAYBROOK: Burial: Kimball Cemetery, Bosque Co. TX Child of CHRISTOPHER CLAYBROOK and ANN LAFON is: iii. WILLIAM R. CLAYBROOK, b. 18 September 1853, Marion Co. MO; d. 9 August 1871, Meridian, Bosque Co. TX. More About WILLIAM R. CLAYBROOK: Burial: August 1871, Kimball Cem., Bosque Co. TX.
I have information on the LaFons if anyone is interested they can contact me:
Linda Baker     ndnblu@texoma.net

I saw this week that they were moving the furniture across the street from the Courthouse to the new Bosque County Collection’s home in the historic Lumpkin Building. It will be exciting to see everything completed and ready for visitors. Meanwhile be sure to visit  their website at http://www.htcomp.net/bcc to see what all resources they have available.
I will continue to encourage everyone to take time to record your family history and stories. Don’t let those wonderful stories slip away, be sure to talk to your older relatives and record their memories. Also, send in your stories and queries, there are a lot of families and areas of our county that haven’t been touched upon yet in this column, I would really love to have those included.
If you are researching your Bosque County families online be sure to visit Bosque Co. TXGenWeb site at http://www.txgenweb5.org/txbosque/ you’ll find a wonderful collection of information provided by other researchers. This column will also be available weekly at this site.  If you would like to submit a story or query about your Bosque County
family to this column please mail them to:
LaDawn Garland
c/o The Bosque CountyNews
P.O. Box 343
Meridian, TX 76665
fax to (254) 435-6335 or email me at