Tilman P. Curbow is the great-great-great-great grandfather of my son. Tilman Curbow migrated across the south and brought the Curbow family to Texas. Because of Tilman’s adventurous spirit, my son can today say proudly, “I am a seventh generation Texan.” Tilman fought a war; suffered many hardships; lived a rough and tumble life; and left a trail that was often difficult to follow. The bits and pieces and details of his life were buried by time and only recently were they uncovered and put in written form. Tilman’s life tells the story of hard work, determination and real grit, and perhaps a barroom brawl or two (seriously) !
There are many unanswered questions about Tilman Curbow. We know that he was born around 1821 in Georgia and that he died in Texas somewhere around 1900. I believe that Tilman was the son of Henry Curbow (who died in Cass County, Texas in 1850). Additionally, I believe that Tilman is a younger brother of Wiseman Curbow who settled in Bowie County, Texas. Tilman was married to Elizabeth Box, the daughter of William Bolton Box. Their two oldest children Lucinda and Oliver Perry were born in Georgia. The rest of their children (Virginia Elizabeth, Harriet, William F., Martha Isabell and Henry Harrison) were born in Mississippi, most likely Itawamba County.
Tilman Curbow served the Confederacy in the Amercian Civil War – first with the Arkansas 6th Infantry Regiment where he participated in the Battle of Shiloh and later in Texas with Nelson’s Co., 2 Battalion Cavalry.
During the reconstruction period Tilman Curbow was in Bowie County where he served as a juror on the infamous Dalby murder trial.
Around 1867 Tilman moved his family to McLennan County – east of Waco on the Brazos River – where he farmed and ranched. Tilman lost his wife sometime between 1870 and 1880. Toward the end of his life Tilman became involved in a lawsuit over probate/property rights which case went all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. In connection with this lawsuit a “Suggestion of Death” for Tilman Curbow was filed on March, 1902.
These are the last known records that Tilman Curbow left us. It is my hope that as I progress in the research – I will be able to shed more light on some of our unanswered questions about him. While we do not know everything about Tilman – we do know without a doubt that he possessed a strong pioneering spirit – that he experienced hardships – and that he was a true southern patriot. His humble life is remembered here with fondness and appreciation.