March 14, 2001

Tracing Our Bosque County Roots
From the Bosque County News
14 March 2001

Hi List,
Here’s this week’s geneology column, Hope you enjoy it. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and good luck on you research. Just a quick note to encourage readers to send in their stories on their Bosque County Families, or memories of our beautiful county to be included in the column both online and in our local newspaper The Bosque County News.
Have a great week 

While researching my family tree I learned an interesting fact this week, it appears that if you manage to trace your family back 15 generations, you will in fact have rounded up a total of 16,184 grandparents. No wonder I have so much trouble keeping all of the names and families straight.

There will be a Dedication of a Texas Historic Marker for the Oswald Cemetery on Sunday, March 18, 2001, at 2 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend. The cemetery is located 1.8 miles North of Clifton on FM 1991; 0.5 miles East on FM 3221. The cemetery was deeded for use as a graveyard on November 22, 1877, by Flora Anderson Kemp. Among the pioneers buried here are early settlers of old town Clifton and several Civil War Veterans.

While you are researching be sure to stop by the Bosque County Collections website at This column also appears weekly on their website along with an online index, thanks to Bruce Wiland, that makes it so easy to search for your family names. You can find information there on how to order the Early History of Bosque County, revised edition, by the Bosque County Historical Commission. Be sure to get your copy now, supplies are limited. I have heard news this past week that they are going to begin moving the collection to their new location in the Lumpkin Building quite soon.

The Gandy Family of Bosque County
(continued from last week)

In the midst of research, I found that James D. Gandy’s son, Francis Marion, was equally a most interesting character. Known as “F. M.”. he is quoted in, “Adventure of a Ballad Hunter”, by folklorist John A. Lomax, as being, “most powerful in prayer and was called on to pray at climatic moments when a little extra urging was needed.” I remember one striking statement, “oh Lord, he pled, finger around their heart strings with the finger of thy love”, obviously a plea for the Sunday morning worship service.
From his Confederate Pension Application, Francis M., notes he came to Bosque County in 1853. In 1854, he married Louisa Jane McCurry, daughter of William McCurry, another Bosque pioneer family. Francis and Louisa, were the first couple to marry in what would later be organized as Bosque County. They obtained their marriage license in McLennan County, and were married under a large oak tree near the former Pool Place, south of Clifton, Texas. Jasper A. Mabrary, Justice of the Peace, officiated.

Francis enilsted during the Civil War, in the Confederacy, in Co. B, 31st (Dismounted) Texas Calvary, and served in Col. Tresevant C. Hawpe’s Regiment. The 31st, was assembled at Waco during the spring of 1862, with men mostly from Dallas, Longview and Greenville. The regiment proceeded to the Indian Territory in eastern Oklahoma, and became part of a mixed brigade of Indian and Texas units, under the command of Douglas Hancock Cooper. The 31st participated in the battle of Newtonia, Missouri, and the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

The 31st then transferred to the streaming swamps of Louisiana, where they held back the Union forces occupying New Orleans. They saw action at Bayou Bourbeau, Stirlings Plantation, Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, Yellow Bayou, and many others. In Louisiana, they served as part of Polignac’s Texas Brigade (later Stone’s Brigade) and fought the last half of the war dismounted. The brigade was led by the only foreign general of the Confederacy, Prince Camille de Polignac. Alwyn Barr, Professor of History at Texas Tech University noted “Although the men of Polignac’s brigade served in secondary campaigns with a limited effect on the outcome of the conflict, they were very much a part of the American Civil War, and a factor in those events which took place west of the Mississippi River.”

“F. M.” applied for his Confederate Pension (#09532) in Meridian and was approved Feb. 20, 1903. Less than a month later on March 17th, Francis died. Louisa Jane, applied for her Widow’s Application (#09774) shortly thereafter, and is listed as Lizer Jane Gandy. Both are buried in the Meridian Cemetery.

Many Gandy descendant’s were musically gifted. Herbert Leonard Gandy, son of Frank and Lina, and a member of the Woodsman of the World, fraternal organization, was said to be a master at playing any stringed instrument. Without any musical training, he was able to play be ear, and was particularly accomplished in the fiddle, mandolin and banjo. His talent was evident in his daughter Edna Corrine, who played with the same accomplishment in piano and organ. Sadly, Herbet contracted Tuberculosis and died at the State Hospital in San Antonio, at the age of 31. He is buried in the Gandy family plot in Meridian Cemetery.

Later Gandy generations were equally gifted. Charlie and Jesse Gandy sang for the local gospel quartets and funeral home services, as did Robert Lumpkin “Lum” Gandy, a retired county tax assessor for Bosque County.

The Gandy family remains a fascinating family to research. Some of their descendants originally from Bosque County, include the surnames of Landtroop, Hanna, Brown, McNeil, and Jordan (Jurden). As with many of the Gandy family, these descendants are also buried in the Meridian cemetery.

My Gandy connection has fascinated me since I was a young child, thank to the stories passed down in my family. May the memories of James D., F. M., Frank and their children be cherished.
Gayle Hennington-Van Horn 


I am looking for Pollard, Young and White’s from Bosque County. The Pollard’s and Young’s settled in the Walling Bend area in the late 1800’s and the White’s I don’t know to much about, but they are from Iredell and are buried in the Iredell Cemetery.
Cathy Shelley 

Would like to find more information on the following families: 1. ROBERT E. LEE7 NEW was born 25 June 1873 in Bosque Co. TX, and died 22 November 1952 in Whitney, Hill Co. TX. He married CORA ELLEN WOMACK 25 July 1894 in Bosque Co. TX, daughter of RICHARD WOMACK and MARTHA HIGGINS. She was born 24 April 1873 in Bosque Co. TX, and died 9 January 1960.

More About ROBERT E. LEE NEW: Burial: Degraffenried Cemetery, Hill Co. TX More About CORA ELLEN WOMACK: Burial: Degraffenried Cemetery, Hill Co. TX Nickname: “Ella” Children of ROBERT NEW and CORA WOMACK are: i. ADA NEW, m. UNKNOWN GILMORE. ii. MARSHAL LEE NEW, b. 8 October 1897; d. 31 July 1984, Hill Co. TX; m. ALENZA LAWSON, 3 April 1920, TX; b. 8 October 1904; d. 12 August 1986. More About MARSHAL LEE NEW: Burial: Degraffenried Cemetery, Hill Co. TX More About ALENZA LAWSON: Burial: Degraffenried Cemetery, Hill Co. TX Please contact
Linda Cowan Baker at: 

Francis Levinia Smithhart of McClennan County, Texas married Arthur Bradley Gibson about 1856. Arthur was born about 1835 in KY to Andrew Gibson. Francis was born in MS in 1839 to James W. Smithhart and Cornelia Sevier. James’ whereabouts are not known of after 1841. Cornelia was married again to Jacob Harrison about 1843.In 1850 they were located in Shelby County, Texas and later in McClennan County.
Joseph Silas, James (LL), Mary Alice, Clinton Alexander, and Martha were born to Arthur and Francis in Bosque County during the time of 1857 to 1866. This family moved to the Decatur area of Wise County where several other children were born before Arthur’s death in 1885 and other members of his family moved on into the Indian Territory. If anyone has information I would very much like to hear from them
Thank you for reading my letter. Armenta 

Does anyone have any information on the descendants of James Iredell King? I believe some of them were; Henry “Harry” Clay, Peter W., Elizabeth m. Waddy T. Hunt, Ella Magnolia m. William F. Jameson, and a daughter who married Charles Hooker. I believe Henry had a son Cleve. I would love to share information with anyone that is related to these people or has information concerning them.
Bette Leatherwood   

News from The Meridian Tribune
August, 23, 1946

Mr. and Mrs. L. E. (Lark) Boyd, former Bosque County residents, celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary, Tuesday, August 6, with an open house and dinner at the home of their daughter Mrs. J. W. Watts, 807 S. Ravima, Dallas.
James C. Skinner,of Waco, 20 year old nephew of Mr. and Mrs. D. R. Blalock of Meridian, who held his first service in a chapel of the Navy on Samar Island in the Philippines last year, will speak on World Missions at Church in Meridian Sunday afternoon, August 25, at 4 o’clock.
Walnut Springs – Mrs. S. E. Wilbanks, age 97 years, 10 months and 1 day, died at her home here Tuesday night at 8 ‘clock after being confined to her bed for the past several months. Funeral services were held at the residence yesterday at 4 p.m. Mrs. Wilbanks, one of Bosque County’s pioneer citizens, had resided in this community about 85 years and had friends by the scores.
Staff Sergeant Laudie Pederson, who spent the past two and a half years in Europe with the army air forces is here on furlough, visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Pederson.
Seen around town – About an inch of rain here Tuesday morning (the first in two months) – Sheppard Drug’s new neon sign – Carl Josey studying blueprints for his new home (already under construction) – Sam Lawson’s new store expansion project well under way – Wendell Bynum’s tourist center in West Meridian looming up – Fred Wright’s new dwelling on north Bosque going up fast – China (Whiskers) Neely vacationing at Meridian lake and has plenty of fish on ice for visitors who call at mealtime.
Heard around town – Topic of conservation since Friday night has been pro and con on Bitsey Timms’ home plate decision – among Meridian’s newest enterprises is the Early Bird Worm Farm, operated by S. H. Cooper – Painter Tom Morris to spray Grady Wreay’s new store building in deep white – town activities slowed down several hours Wednesday due to arrival of Sears Roebuck’s new fall catalogs – dove hunting season just around the corner – if you want to work on the Whitney Dam, please list you name pronto with Gordon Ginnocchio (the number who want work may be the deciding factor in whether or not the dam goes forward, this is urgent.)

If you are researching your Bosque County families online be sure to visit Bosque Co. TXGenWeb site at 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 or send in further information on one of our stories or queries please mail them to: LaDawn Garland c/o The Bosque County News, P.O. Box 343, Meridian, TX 76665, fax to (254) 435-6335 or email me at