RSS

Category Archives: Story

Little Boys No Longer Lost

A new and fresh genealogy find always gets my heart to pumping. I so love how the genealogy community works together to solve each other’s mysteries. My hat is off to those of you that started out “pre-internet” – I don’t know how you did it!

Today I received a comment on the blog from Norma Thronburg. And guess what? The little sons of Jennie Curbow and Robert Alexander Story have been found! Not that they were ever lost – we just didn’t know where they were laid to rest! We always assumed that the boys were laid to rest in Axtell Cemetery along with their parents and brother Frank Story (the only son to survive to adulthood). However, they are not listed on the burial index nor did my husband and I find markers for them when we visited Axtell last summer.

Well, thanks to Norma and Find-a-Grave volunteer Mark Dutton, we now know that the boys are laid to rest in Yowell Cemetery. I haven’t been successful in finding any history on this cemetery but it appears to be a small abandoned family cemetery located on ranch land near Axtell in McLennan County, Texas. Many of the stones seem to be toppled and some are broken. Thankfully, the Story boys each have a stone that is still readable.

How our Story family connects to the Yowell family is unknown to me. It looks like most of these burials took place prior to 1877 when Robert purchased his farm in Axtell. So perhaps they were neighbors? Or perhaps Robert worked for the Yowell family? In the 1880 census Robert and Jennie are in McLennan County with their sons (on Page 55). At the top of page 55 directly above the Story family two Yowell family members are enumerated: Frank Yowell, age 20, born Missouri, indexed as “son”; and John Yowell, age 19, born Missouri, indexed as “son.” However, when you check the previous page (page 54) there is no Yowell “head of house” listed. This is apparently an enumerator error – so the relationship between the families remains unclear.

The following is a listing of the Story headstones that were located in Yowell Cemetery:

Levy Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 27 Nov. 1869
Died: 20 July 1871
Levy lived only about 30 months. Robert and Jennie married on 23 Feb of 1869. He was born practically 9 months to the day!  Levy was 8 months old when the 1870 census was enumerated. He was with his parents Robert and Jennie Story – his Curbow grandparents lived a few doors down – all living “east of the Brazos River” in McLennan County. Also in the home was Harriet Hamilton (and her relationship to the family is also unknown.)

E. Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 17 Feb 1870
Died: 17 Mar 1870
Lived about 1 month – it is unknown whether E. was a male or a female – and we did not previously have this child listed in our database.  E. does not appear in any census record – the 1870 census was enumerated in July of that year, after the time of death.

T. Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 20 Nov. 1872
Died: 29 Dec 1873
Lived about 13 months – it is unknown whether E. was a male or a female – and we did not previously have this child listed in our database.

John F. Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 20 Nov. 1873
Died: 7 Nov. 1882
John lived almost 9 years and can be found with his parents in the 1880 census. We know the circumstances of John’s death through this newspaper article published in the Waco Daily Examiner, on 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 A. Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 20 Jan 1875
Died: 27 Jan 1883
Henry lived 8 years. We can find him with his family in the 1880 census where he is misindexed as “Kenny A.” It is believed by me that his mother’s grandfather was Henry Curbow of Cass/Bowie County, Texas. Perhaps he is named after him?

In addition to these children, we know from the 1880 census that Robert Alexander and Jennie Curbow Story also had a son named Joseph who was born sometime in 1879. He can be found with the family in the 1880 census. Jennie stated in the 1900 census that all of her children but one had died – and it is presumed that Joseph died prior to 1900.  Joseph’s burial location is unknown to me at this time.

The only son of Robert Alexander Story and Jennie Curbow to reach his adulthood was Frank Edward Story (1892-1954) who is laid to rest in Axtell Cemetery in McLennan County with his parents.

While performing this genealogy study, I have come across many family stories of drama and trauma – but this story strikes me as one of the most tragic.  I simply cannot comprehend what it must have been like for Robert and Jennie to bury one child after the next. The death of one child would change your life forever – but this couple lost 6 of their 7 children – incredible heartache and an incredible testimony to their perseverance.

Thank you again to Norma and Mark for their time and effort and dedication to the genealogy community.  We appreciate you!

Yowell Cemetery; Axtell, McLennan County, Texas; From the collection of Mark Dutton

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Curbow, Story

 

Tags: , , , ,

Axtell, McLennan County, Texas

Virginia Elizabeth Curbow and her husband Robert Alexander Story spent the vast majority of their lives living in Axtell, McLennan County, Texas.  Axtell lies eight miles northeast of Bellmead in eastern McLennan County, both are now suburbs of Waco, Texas. 

Axtell was established in 1881, when the Texas and St. Louis Railway laid its tracks from Corsicana to Waco.  A post office was opened in 1882.  By the early 1890s Axtell had a population of 200, a gristmill and gin, two general stores, and a hotel.  In 1896 Axtell schools had 85 white students and two teachers and 75 black students and one teacher.  During that same time period, the population has risen to 250 people.  The Axtell State Bank opened in 1912.  Population estimates for Axtell reached a peak of 400 in 1914.  Severe storms and floods in the fall of that year damaged or destroyed crops and property throughout the region, making it impossible for many area farmers to meet their loan payments.  The bank at Axtell was forced to close that same year.  In spite of this setback and the Great Depression a few years later, Axtell managed to hold its own as a small railroad town.  This information as written and provided by Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl via Handbook of Texas Online.

Last summer, when my husband and I were in Waco on a Curbow fact finding mission (one of many!), we stopped in Axtell to take a look around.  It’s a very small rural town – in fact, there’s not much there at all.  We did find the cemetery which is directly across the street from the Axtell Baptist Church.  It is a small quiet and serene cemetery.  It is gated and fenced and extremely well maintained.  It has a covered seating area for quiet peaceful reflection.  Jennie, Robert and Ed are together under a very large old cedar tree towards the front of the cemetery. 

 

Axtell Cemetery – Entry Gate

 

We also found some Miller graves.  Thinking they might be connected to Elijah Spencer Miller, Harriet Curbow’s husband, I had my husband snap the photos.  Later, not being able to make the connection to our family, I nonetheless posted several memorials to Find-a-Grave.  I’m happy to report that the memorials have now been claimed by a Miller family member who has taken over the management of them.  I love Find-a-Grave!  Such a great resource. 

Our family members that are laid to rest in Axtell Cemetery are:

Virginia “Jennie” Elizabeth Curbow Story
Robert Alexander Story
Frank Edward “Ed” Story
Levy Story, John F. Story, Henry A. Story, and Joseph Story (all who died in childhood), are presumed to be buried in Axtell.  However, this has not been confirmed, and if they are there, they do not have headstones.

If you wish to view any of the above memorials on the Find-a-Grave website, or if you wish to read any other memorials of folks buried in Axtell Cemetery, I am attaching the link here

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Cemeteries, Story, Times and Places

 

Tags: , , , ,

Frank Edward Story – Son of Jennie Curbow and Robert Alexander Story

Frank Edward Story was born in Axtell, McLennan County, Texas on May 16, 1892.  He was the youngest and sole surviving son of Jennie Elizabeth Curbow and Robert Alexander Story.  He was known to his family and friends as “Ed.” 

Ed was a World War I veteran.  On his draft registration card he is listed as a self-employed farmer.  He describes himself as being of medium height and slender build with brown hair and brown eyes. 

Frank Edward Story – World War I Draft Registration Card

Ed was a private in Company B, 326th Infantry, 82nd Division of the United States Army during World War I.  The division consisted entirely of newly conscripted soldiers and deployment was to Le Havre, France in 1918.  This division spent much time in the British-held region of Somme directly on the front lines.  I do not know when Ed was discharged from the military.  McLennan County has his discharge papers on file, but they will not release them to me for privacy reasons. 

Based on the census records, we know that Ed returned to Axtell after his service in World War I.  According to his death certificate, Frank worked at a cotton gin. 

Although there are questions to be answered regarding Ed’s marital status, it does appear that he married at least one time and possibly twice.  He stated on his World War I draft registration card (which he filled out in 1917) that he was married.  By 1920 he is listed in the census as a widower.  I have not been able to locate a marriage record for him in McLennan County, Texas that matches these dates. However, there is a marriage record in McLennan County for: F. E. Story x Doris L. Story on Feb. 14, 1924 (married in the Methodist Church).  Interestingly, there is another marriage record for Doris L. Storey x W. C. Price on 11 October 1923 in McLennan County.  Who Doris L. Story is – and who W. C. Price is – and how they fit into the life of Frank Edward Story – is unknown to me at this time. 

Even though I have never found any children with Ed Story in the census records, his father’s obituary states that he had a granddaughter – Lowell Story. (Frank Edward Story’s obituary does not mention any children that may have survived him.)

Frank Edward Story lived out his life in Axtell, Texas, and died in the Veteran’s Hospital at Marlin, Falls County, Texas on 28 Apr 1954.  He is buried in Axtell Cemetery with his parents. 

Frank Edward Story; Axtell Cemetery

 F. E. Story, 61, of Axtell, Dies – F. E. (Ed) Story, 61, of Axtell died at 8 p.m. Wednesday in a Marlin Hospital.  Funeral Services will be held at 4 p.m. Friday at Wilkerson-Hatch Chapel, burial in Axtell Cemetery.  James A. Edmond Post 121, American Legion, will have charge of graveside services.  Surviving are four cousins, Mrs. L. J. Campbell, Mrs. Eugenia Holley (daughter of Joseph Story and Mary Susan Blake ) and Miss Belle Lytle (daughter of Lucinda Curbow and William Henry Lytle), all of Waco and Mrs. Elma Barrett (daughter of Joseph Story and Mary Susan Blake ) of Axtell.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knows who Lowell Story was/is. 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Story

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Robert Alexander Story – Husband of Jennie Curbow

Jennie’s husband, Robert Alexander Story, was born in Texas on 22 Aug 1844, the son of Joseph James Story and Tenny Humphries.  He was one of nine children.  His parents came from Mississippi and settled in Panola and Shelby Counties, Texas where they can be found in the 1850 and 1860 census records.  Robert Alexander Story’s grandfather, Ephraim Story, based on various census records, slave schedules and land claim records, was a well-to-do early settler of the Mississippi Territory. 

Although Robert Alexander would have been the proper age and eligible to serve, I do not find any military records for Robert that would indicate that he served in the Civil War, nor are there any applications for pensions for him or his wife Jennie.

According to a Deed found in the records of McLennan County, Texas, Robert Alexander Story bought 97 acres of land on Williams Creek in the De La Vega Land Grant on 28 Nov. 1877 from J. C. League of Galveston, Texas.  He paid a total of $388 for the 97 acres (with a payment due in two equal sums of $194 – one payment due in 1878 and one payment due in 1879).  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, Texas.  Axtell is located about 10 miles east of Waco, Texas and about 5 miles from where the Branch Davidian – FBI standoff occurred. 

Again, based on various tax rolls in McLennan County, it appears that Robert Alexander purchased an additional 200 acres some time between 1886 and 1887.  In tax years 1895 and 1896 the couple owns a total of 456 acres in the La Vega Grant.  The property is described as being “in Axtell near the railroad.”  There is a home on the property which is valued at $500. 

Robert died 28 Feb 1931 in Axtell, Texas. 

The Waco-Times Herald – Published Saturday, February 28, 1931R.A. STORY – R. A. Story, 86, died at 6:45 a.m. Saturday at his home in Axtell, and funeral services will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Axtell Methodist Church.  Rev. T. H. Yarbrough officiating.  Burial, Compton in charge, will be in Axtell Cemetery.  Pallbearers are C. A. Slaton, C. C. Barron, C. E. Bloodsworth, W. D. Thompson, Pat Morgan, Frank Willis.  Mr. Story had lived at Axtell 70 years.  He is survived by one son, F. E. Story of Axtell, a granddaughter, Miss Lowell Story; six nieces and one nephew. 

Robert Alexander Story - Texas Death Certificate

I would be interested in connecting with other Story family researchers – particularly those from Texas.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Story

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Virginia Elizabeth Curbow Story

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

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Story

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: