John Ashford Atwood was the oldest son of William Payton Atwood and Ellen Elizabeth West, born 19 Aug 1874 in Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas. He spent a good part of his childhood in and around Round Rock – in fact John and his father were in town to buy new boots on the day that the outlaw Sam Bass was killed in a shootout with local lawmen and Texas Rangers (July of 1878).
John Ashford Atwood - from the collection of Brian Atwood
Sometime around 1882 the family relocated to Cross Plains, Callahan County, Texas. There John met and married Laura Jane Williams on 2 Jan 1894 at the age of 19. Marriage announcement: “John A. Atwood, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Atwood and Laura Jane Williams, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Y. R. Williams (familiarly known as Uncle Rab), were married in the home of her sister, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Mitchell by Rev. A. T. Ford, pastor of the old Board Flat Baptist Church on January 2, 1894. Relatives and friends who witnessed the marriage ceremony were her sister, Mrs. Georgia Mitchell and 3 eldest children; Rosa Atwood, sister; Rufus, Dan and Gene Atwood and Miss Mattie Pennell, cousins. Friends were Charley Barr, Frank Bryson, Lonnie Gardner, Della Gardner, Alice and Myrtle Acker, all of the Board Flat community.”
John and Laura made their first home in the Board Flat community – 2 1/2 miles east of Cross Plains, Texas. To them were born two daughters:
Myrtie Alice Atwood (1895-1976 – who married Joseph Warren Reid)
- Myrtie Alice Atwood
Ruby Olive Atwood
Ruby Olive Atwood (1896-1981)
The family spent time living in Oplin, Abilene and Cross Plains, before finally settling in Lubbock County, Texas in 1926.
This article was written about John Ashford Atwood on the occasion of his 80th birthday on August 20, 1954 in The Lubbock Morning Avalanche:
20 YEARS AND FOUR GENERATIONS – J. A. Atwood, 2509 33rd St., seated second from left, celebrated his 80th birthday Thursday with a family reunion and birthday dinner in the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Reid, 2505 33rd St. Seated with him, left to right, are his brothers and a sister, Gene Atwood of Abilene; Mrs. W. E. Jones, 3306 Ave. N; and Claude Atwood of Clyde. The four generations at the celebration included Atwood; his daughter; Mrs. Reid, standing left, holding his great-grandson, Warren Odom, 2; and his granddaughter, Mrs. Vernon L. Odom, 2603 44th St., standing right, holding his only other great-grandchild, David Odom, 2 months old. (Staff Photo)
ATWOOD MARKS BIRTHDAY WITH CELEBRATION HERE – J. A. Atwood, 2509 33rd St., observed his 80th birthday Thursday with reminiscences that included stories of his father’s friend, Kit Carsen, and his own presence at Sam Bass’ death in Round Rock. Atwood says he saw the posse go in after Bass, but didn’t see the actual killing because he ran. There was some speculation that he was celebrating his 80th birthday because he did run. Atwood was born in Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas, the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Atwood. He came to Lubbock at 26 from Cross Plains. Now a retired farmer and a deacon of the First Baptist Church, he celebrated Thursday with a family reunion and birthday dinner in the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Reid, 2505 33rd St. Among the guests were his only grandchild, Mrs. Vernon L. Odom and her two children, Warren, 2 and David, 2 years old, of 2603 44th St. Also present were his sister Mrs. W. E. Jones, 3306 Av. N, and two brothers, Gene of ____ and Claude of Clyde. Two sisters were absent. Two other sisters, Mrs. Chess Barr of Cross Plains and Mrs. Lee Straley of Oplin were unable to attend. Mrs. ____ could not come because she was busy with another celebration – her 50th wedding anniversary. There was not a _____ among Atwood’s eight brothers and sisters until he was 77 years old. Others attending the dinner were Atwood’s wife, Mrs. Gene Atwood; Mrs. Claude Atwood; W. E. Jones; Winson Atwood, a nephew; Vernon L. Odom; and Miss Ruby Atwood, a daughter, 3511 33rd St. Atwood’s family has been outstanding in the Lubbock public schools. Miss Ruby Atwood, a teacher at O.L. Slaton Junior High, is beginning her 30th year here this fall as a social studies teacher. Mrs. Odom, the granddaughter, is a ____ home economics teacher at J. T. Hutchinson Junior High School. Reid, the son-in-law, has taught here 33 years and is safety coordinator fo the Lubbock public schools and is a past president of the Lubbock Classroom Teacher’s Association.
Celebrating his 80th birthday.... BACK ROW: Winson B. Atwood; Claude Atwood; Eugene (Gene) Atwood; Vernon Odem with son Warren Edward Odem on his shoulders; John Atwood SECOND ROW: Walker Jones; Elizabeth (Atwood) Jones; Eunice (Arnold) Atwood; Laura (Williams) Atwood; Emma (Arnold) Atwood FRONT ROW: Norma Grace (Reid) Odem and her mother, Myrtie (Atwood) Reid
John’s wife, Laura, died 2 December 1954 in Lubbock. John died 8 November 1961, also in Lubbock. They are laid to rest together in City of Lubbock Cemetery.
John Atwood’s Funeral Rites Planned Today (November 1961): Funeral services for John A. Atwood, 87, 2509 33rd Street, who died 2:10 p.m. Wednesday in St. Mary’s Hospital, will be at 3 p.m. today in First Baptist Chruch. Dr. J. Ralph Grant, pastor and the Rev. J. T. golding, assistant pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in the city of Lubbock Cemetery under direction of Sanders Funeral Home. Atwood, a retired farmer, had been ill since October 5. Born in William County, Atwood lived in Cross Plains before moving to Lubbock in 1926. He had been a deacon in the Baptist Church more than 57 years and had been a member of the First Baptist Church here since moving to Lubbock. The family requested that friends send contributions to the Lottie Moon Christmas Foreign Mission Offering, in care of First Baptist Church. Survivors are two daughters, Mrs. J. W. Reid, 2505 33rd Street, and Miss Ruby Atwood, 2509 33rd Street, a foster son, Sidney Ratcliffe, Gustine, California, two sisters, Mrs. W. E. Jones, 3306 Avneue N, and Mrs. Chess Barr, Cross Plains, a brother, C. E. Atwood, Abilene, a granddaughter, Mrs. Vernon Odom, 2127 55th Street, and three great grandchildren. Nephews will be pallbearers.
Final Resting Place - Lubbock City Cemetery