Virginia Elizabeth Curbow Story

03 Jan

Virginia Elizabeth Curbow was the second daughter born to Tilman Curbow and Elizabeth Box.  She was often referred to as “Jennie.”  Because of the many conflicting records pertaining to Virginia – the details of her life have been a challenge to untangle! 

According to Jennie’s Texas Death Certificate, she was born 28 May 1851 in Mississippi – most likely in Itawamba County.  Jennie’s death certificate, the census records and both of her headstones (one set at the time of her death – the second at the time of her husband’s death) all conflict with one another when it pertains to her date of birth.  Her death certificate provides the year 1851; the first headstone provides the year 1852; the second headstone provides the year 1854; and the census records range from 1842 to 1853. 

To complicate matters further, Jennie’s name is confusing.  The older of the headstones lists her name as “Virginia” – the second headstone lists her name as “Jennie E.”  The census records vary drastically from Elizabeth – Sarah J. – Jane – Elizabeth J. – Janie – or any combination thereof.  Then to confuse matters further – in her marriage record she is listed as “Jane” Carbow/Corbin.  I do believe – despite the confusion – that this is one and the same person.  I have found nothing to indicate that these are two separate people.   

Jennie married Robert Alexander Story in McLennan County, Texas on either the 23rd or the 24th day of February, 1869.  Again, confirming that there was nothing easy about researching Virginia – for some reason that is unknown to me – there are two marriage records on file in McLennan County for this couple.  I do not know which date is correct. 

According to a Deed found in the records of McLennan County, Texas, Robert and Jennie Story purchased 97 acres of land on Williams Creek in the De La Vega Land Grant on 28 Nov. 1877.  Based on the McLennan County Tax Rolls, it appears that Jennie and her husband spent their entire married lives living on that property in Axtell, McLennan County, Texas.  Axtell is located about ten miles east of Waco, Texas and about five miles from where the Branch Davidian – FBI standoff occurred.  Sometime around 1886, Robert and Jennie purchased an additional 200 acres of land. 

Jennie Elizabeth and husband had five sons – sadly, only the youngest son, Frank Edward, lived to his adulthood.  Any parent shudders at the thought of losing one child – let alone losing four children.  It makes me think that they must have had a very strong and unshakeable marriage to live through such tragedy.    

  • Levy Story born 1869 – died before 1880
  • John Story born 1874 – died 5 Nov. 1882

Published Waco Daily Examiner, Tuesday, November 7, 1882:  Mr. R. A. Story, who lives seven miles east of the city, on Williams Creek, lost a son, Sunday, about nine years old from a very peculiar attack of sickness.  The child was recuperating from chills and had got strong enough to pick cotton. Friday morning, while going to work, he was attacked with a spasm, and from that time until death never moved or spoke, dying at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday.  Two physicians were called in. Dr. Pitts, of Mt. Calm, described the malady to congestion of the brain and spine. Dr. Howard of Waco said it was black jaundice.  The stricken parents only know that their child is dead and buried.

  • Henry Story born 1877 – died before 1900
  • Joseph Story born 1879 – died before 1900
  • Frank Edward born 1892 – the only son to live to adulthood.

Jennie died 12 Feb 1924 in Axtell, McLennan County, Texas – she was 72 years old at the time of her death.

 The Waco Times-Herald Page 5, Published Tuesday, February 12, 1923 – DEATH MONDAY NIGHT – BELOVED AXTELL WOMAN – Mrs. R. A. Story died at her home here last night, after an illness of several years.  She was one of the pioneer residents of Axtell, beloved by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.  Mrs. Story is survived by her husband and one son.

Jennie Elizabeth Curbow Storey - Texas Death Certificate

Virginia Elizabeth Curbow Story, stone set at the time of Jennie's death


Jennie is laid to rest (along with her husband and youngest son) in the Axtell Cemetery.  The cemetery is remote, quiet and well-tended.  The Story family is laid to rest together under a very large old cedar tree.  As mentioned above, Jennie has two headstones. 

Virginia Elizabeth Curbow Story, stone set at the time of husband's death

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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Story


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