Tracing Our Bosque County Roots
From the Bosque County News
By LaDawn GARLAND
21 March 2001
I attended the Texas Historical Marker Dedication on Sunday, March 18th for
the Oswald Cemetery near Clifton. Cold damp weather didn’t keep the Oswald
family and their descendants from gathering to acknowledge this special
tribute to their ancestors and other earlier settlers of Bosque County.
The earliest marked graves in the Oswald Cemetery, located on FM 3221, are
dated from the early 1860’s, but the land was already in use as a graveyard
before that time. The first buried there is said to be a boy from Indiana
that was drug to death by a horse. Allen Anderson an early resident who was
killed by Indians 15 miles west of Commanche was brought back and buried
here in the cemetery.
The historical marker was unveiled by Sam Oswald and read to the gathering
by Brenda Finstad, an Oswald Descendant. It reads: “Oswald Cemetery – This
cemetery, located on five acres out of the L. M. Armstrong Survey, was
already in use as a burial ground when the earliest original marked graves,
those of three children of W. B. and E. H. Moore, were dug in the early
1860’s. The original owner of the land was Captain Allen S. Anderson, a
frontier scout who was interred here in 1864 when the site was known as
Clifton Graveyard. His daughter, Flora Kemp, deeded it for use as a
graveyard in 1877. M. J. Oswald purchased the land in 1885, and it became
known as Oswald Cemetery. Burial in the cemetery has been free to people of
all races. Among the pioneers interred here are early settlers of old town
Clifton and several Civil War Veterans. The Oswald family continues to own
land surrounding the cemetery at the dawn of the 21st century.”
The Bosque County Collection indexes for the 1900 and 1920 Census are now
online at the Bosque County Collection website www.htcomp.net/bcc.
They are currently packing up materials and it looks like they could begin
moving to the new location in the Lumpkin building as early as this week.
If you are planning a trip to visit the Collection for research, you might
want to call ahead and make sure the materials are available. If you haven’t
visited the collections before, I think you will be delighted at the
variety of information and history they have managed to preserve.
BRAZOS POINT HISTORY
Brazos Point, established near the confluence of Hill Creek and the Brazos, was founded by Charles Walker Smith and Tom Willingham when these two built a store, two cotton gins, and a mill on the site of the future community. William Burley Smith, the father of Charles Walker Smith, moved his family from Louisiana to the old community of Buchanan in Johnson County in 1871 following the death of his wife, Sarah Ann (Sheppard) Smith. Later in the same year, the elder Smith moved his family west of the Brazos. A post
office was built in 1873, and Jefferson A. (Jeff) Day was named the first postmaster. The old Brazos Point was originally located on the bank of the Brazos River just below or around the Powell Spring. George Powell had a general store there. Later, his son, L. O. “Ophas” Powell put in a store there also.
Just above George Powell’s store, was the ferry crossing. Bill McIntyre owned the ferry. He transported supplies, people, and other things across the river.
The first school near Brazos Point was a little school called Flat Rock. It was about two miles from where Brazos Point now stands, and was located on the Flat Rock Creek.
The first school at Brazos Point was built by Andrew Chapel around 1860 and was called Chapel School. Later it was named Dry Branch School. There were two teachers on the faculty of this school. It burned down in 1947, and the children started to Kopperl School.
Ophas Powell decided to build a store on the highway south of the old Chapel School where the Brazos Point Community Church now stands. He called this new location Brazos Point also. Soon all of the people moved to the new Brazos Point because of better business or other reasons.
There were a few other stores located in the new Brazos Point. Mr. and Mrs. George Powell ran one of the stores. All of the people in the community called them “Uncle George” and “Aunt Sally”. Ed Moore ran a store here for some time. He later moved it to his home place and continued to run it there, but later moved his store to the Eulogy Community.
In the new Brazos Point, there was a blacksmith shop run by tom Mantooth, and a syrup mill owned and operated by Ike Cheek. The boiler where the sugar cane was boiled is still preserved in Brazos Point today. Quince Phillips also operated syrup mill on Flat Rock Creek.
Several accidents have happened in the small community. During a poker game, an argument developed, and a man named Hobbs was shot and killed by an unidentified man.
A drowning accident took place when Jack Clifton tried to swim the river. It was bank full, and people tried to convince him he couldn’t make it, but he decided he could. He started swimming and about half way across he went under and drowned.
Once a Jew Peddler came to “Uncle George’s” house and store with two horses hooded to a hack. The peddler wanted to cross the river. George said there was no way, but the peddler wanted to cross and decided to try. While he was crossing the river, the water got so deep, he had to cut the horses loose and swim back to shore. Later Ophas Powell and Jessie Hudson helped get the hack from the river.
A double tragedy occurred on August 2, 1881. There was a Methodist Church on the south side of the cemetery. They were getting ready to start a revival at this church. In those days, water-wells were dug by hand. The men were going to clean out the well. A young man, T N Womble, 22 years of age, went down to clean out the well and passed out. Then his father, T F Womble, age 51 years, went down to get his son. He too passed out. Both father and son lost their life August 2, 1881—a poison gas had settled in the bottom of the well. They are resting in the Brazos Point Cemetery.
Mr. and Mrs. Andy Polster ran a small grocery store at the new Brazos Point. In the late spring in 1929, Mrs. Polster cooked dinner, put it on the table and left the house. When she failed to return home that afternoon, her husband became uneasy. Then he and several men of the community began a search for her. They finally found her tracks and followed them one and a half miles north of Brazos Point to the river, which was up pretty full. On
the bank of the river a long piece of timber had lodged in some willow trees and extended out a little way over the water. (This was near the Womack Rock.) They found her bonnet on the bank. She had jumped off the piece of timber into the river. They searched for her about two days before they found her. Jeff McCarty and Bill Anderson found her in a drift about a quarter of a mile from where she had jumped in. She is also buried in the Brazos Point Cemetery.
There were two cotton gins in the area. One was located near the Powell Springs in old Brazos Point. The other was about one half mile north of the present Brazos Point. It was owned and operated by Uncle Wilborn Sanderson, a son in law of Aaron Turner. J. Harry Stanford’s paternal grandfather, Harrison Stanford, with his family and that of his father in law, Joseph Day, moved to Johnson County from Collin County in 1866.
Joseph Day was an early day Methodist circuit rider. The families settled about 18 miles southwest of Cleburne on a section of land beginning about a quarter mile due west from what is now known as “Five Oaks,” about a mile east of the old Brazos Point River bridge. The first public crossing on the Brazos in that part of the country was on their land. The first official map of Cleburne shows West Henderson Street to be known as the “Day Crossing Road.”
Harrison Stanford operated the first cotton gin located near the Powell Springs about a half mile west of “Five Oaks,” first operating it as a horse power gin and later using steam. At this time, cottonseed was considered good for nothing but planting, and after the planters took home what seed they needed, the rest was left at the gin. During the time the gin was
operated by horsepower, when the seed stack became too large, they would burn the seed. Later when they used steam to run the gin, many tons of seed were burned for fuel in the engine.
Harrison Stanford and Joseph Day took logs from the Brazos River bottoms to build their homes and other buildings. They fenced their fields with split rails and rock. Harrison Stanford reared a large family. He died about 1888.
As you travel through the Brazos Point, Eulogy, and Lone Oak Communities there is a vast difference as to what it was then. All three of these communities were good farming land. You would see pretty fields of corn, cotton, peanuts, milo, and grain fields of oats, rye, and sudan for hay. It was a beautiful sight to behold either in springtime or fall of the year.
When time came to harvest the crops, you would look out across the acres of cotton that was white as snow, and you would wonder if it was possible to harvest it all before it rained, hailed, or a storm came to ruin it. But everyone seemed happy and was not in such a hurry as we are now, although work was done from sun-up until sundown a lot of times when there were things that needed to be done.
A marriage license was issued in Bosque Co. for Walter A. Smyth and Lizzie A. Chapman who were married in Meridian in 1891–he was 36, she was 18. Their oldest son, Ivy L., claimed to be born in 1881 in Eastland (obituary) or Shackelford (Social Security) Counties . The next son, Wm. Alvin, was born in Meridian in 1892 (Bible Record). The rest were, as far as I know, born in Wise county. W. A. Smith and daughter, Clara, died in 1910 in Wise
County. Now I have found a Walter Smith in Morgan on the 1880 census, who had a wife, Elsie, and 3 month old daughter, Minnie. He was 25 and Elsie was 22. The ages fit and Ivy L. could have been born to this couple, if he were in fact born in 1881. However, on the 1910 Wise Co. census, Ivy was shown about 2 years older than Wm. Alvin and that was what my father thought. Was Walter of 1880 the same as the Walter of 1891? And, if so, what happened to Elsie and Minnie?
I am searching for the father of William Jackson Glenn, b:1867 d:1946 in
Walnut Springs, TX. William was married to Annie Glenn. They are buried in
the Walnut Springs Cemetery. Thanks for any help.
Looking for info on Greenwade’s in Bosque Co. Have Alphie Marlin “Buck” Greenwade, b 9 Oct 1895, d 10 Feb 1989. son of Jeffrey Pete Greenwade and Jessie Ann Wilson. Need siblings. Alphie Marlin “Buck” Greenwade married Ada “Thelma” Thompson 21 Nov 1936 in Whitney, Hill Co. Thelma was b 10 May 1907 in Whitney, she d 24 Dec 1992 in
Clifton. Need more info on Greenwade family please. Also looking for any info on Thomas Odell Thompson b 25 Sept 1826 Marion Co, TN, d 1891 in Bosque Co or Hill Co. Married Roda Rebecca Bible, d/o Christopher Columbus Bible. Who were Thomas’ parents/siblings? (Thompson, Sullivan, Gant, Rose, Worley, Erwin, Greenwade, Gilmore, Walker)
Thanks in advance, Carole Schreiber firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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