Tag Archives: Callahan County Texas

John Ashford Atwood – Son of William Payton Atwood and Ellen Elizabeth West

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

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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Atwood


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Marion Hilary Grantham – You Died When?!

Marion Hilary Grantham was the fourth son born to Hillard Cisero Grantham and Margaret Dickson, and one of my husband’s first great grand uncles in the Grantham line.

Cropped from his brother's wedding photograph

According to his World War I Draft Registration Card, which he filled out in his own hand, he was born on 22 Apr 1885 – in Meridian, Bosque County, Texas – and a majority of the census records seem to confirm this. His Texas Death Certificate, however, conflicts listing a birth date of 22 Apr 1884. The location is according to the Texas Death Certificate.

World War I Draft Registration Card

When the 1900 census record was enumerated on 4 July, the family is present in Precinct 4 of Callahan County, Texas. Marian is 15 years old and is indexed as a “farm laborer.” He is living with his parents, Hillard and Margaret, along with his brothers – George, Jesse, Orlando and Ira.

According to the Marriage Books of Callahan County, Texas, on 21 Sept 1904 Marion Grantham married Mary Maroney Lawler.  They were both 19 years old at the time of their marriage. Mary was born 1 May 1885 in Alabama, the daughter of “Unknown” Lawler and Amanda C. Dillon. In the 1900 census Mary is with her mother (in De Kalb County, Alabama) who has remarried to William Smith. Mary Lawler Grantham died in Lubbock, Texas on 4 Oct 1973.

The 1910 census finds the Marion Grantham family living two doors down from his parents in Precinct 4 of Callahan County, Texas. He is 25 years old and indexed as a “farmer.” He is living with his wife Mary who has given birth three times: Myrtie, age 5; J. K., age 3; and Elmo, an infant.

On 17 Sept 1918 Marion Grantham filled out his World War I Draft Registration Card. He confirms that he is a resident of Oplin, Callahan County, Texas. He is a 33-year-old self-employed farmer. He lists his wife, Mary Grantham, as his next of kin. He describes himself as being of tall/medium height, medium build with blue eyes and dark hair. He confirms his birth date as 22 Apr 1885.

In the 1920 census the family is still in Precinct 4 of Callahan County. They are renting a farm. Marion is 35, and with him is his wife Mary M. and children Myrtie E., 15; Joe, 13; and Elmo 12.

I was just about ready to stop my research on Marion Grantham because a majority of the trees on list his date of death as 8 Feb 1927 – he would have been 41 years old at the time of his death. I was bothered by the fact that I had been unable to locate a Texas Death Certificate for him; nor have I had any luck in locating his burial location. By 1927, most Texas Counties were keeping fairly good records – so there should have been a death certificate on file. At this point I decided to figure out if I could find his widow and children in the 1930 census. Low and behold – Marion was alive and well in 1930! He was found in Callahan County, Texas living in Precinct No. 2. He is misindexed as “Morie H.,” age 43 born 1887 in Texas; he rents; has been married 20 years; and is a farmer. He is living with his wife Mary, age 43 and their sons Joe (who is misindexed as “Jae”), age 21 and Elmo, age 19; both of the boys are farmers.

This is a classic case of not copying or believing everything you see on  DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!!

Texas Death Certificate

Once I took out the incorrect date of death for Marion, I was able to locate him in the Texas Death Index and the Social Security Death Index. Marion Hilary Grantham was 81 at the time of his death – not 41! He passed away on 16 Dec 1966 in St. Mary’s Hospital in Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas. He is laid to rest in Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock.

Marion and Mary had the following children:

  • Myrtie Verlia Grantham (1905-1995) – She married Norman Othello Magill
  • Joe K. Grantham (1907 – ?) – Nothing more is known about him by me.
  • Elmo Leonard Grantham (1909 – 1980) – He married Lillian Shoemaker
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Posted by on April 3, 2011 in Grantham


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Edgar Claude Atwood – Son of William Payton Atwood and Ellen Elizabeth West

Edgar Claude Atwood was the youngest son born to William Payton Atwood and Ellen Elizabeth West; born 23 June 1893 in Cross Plains, Callahan County, Texas. He was one of my husband’s 1st great grand uncles in his Atwood line.

Edgar Claude Atwood - from the collection of Brian Atwood

Edgar can be found with his family in the 1900 census (where he is 7 years old) living in Justice Precinct 6, Callahan County, Texas. Likewise, Edgar can be found in the 1910 census with his family – still in Callahan County – albeit the enumerator listed his year of birth as 1897.

At the age of 19, Edgar Claude Atwood married Eunice Mae Arnold on 23 Mar 1913 in Oplin, Callahan County, Texas. Edgar and his brother, Columbus, married sisters. Claude married Eunice Arnold and Columbus married Emma Arnold.

Edgar filled out a World War I Draft Registration Card on June 5th (1917 or 1918 – the year not listed). He indicates that he is a farmer; that he is married with 2 children; He describes himself as being tall and stout with blue eyes and light hair.

World War I Draft Registration Card

When the 1920 census is enumerated in March, we find Edgar still in Callahan County with his family. He is indexed as “Claude E. Atwood,” age 26 born 1894 in Texas. He is renting a farm and he can read and write. He is with his wife Eunice M., 24 and they have had the following children: Jerel R., 6; Arnold W., 4 and Margarete P., 1.

And ditto for the 1930 census – still in Callahan County (Oplin) misindexed as “E. D. Atwood,” age 36 born in 1894 in Texas. The family is renting their home that is worth $5.00 (or perhaps their monthly rent is $5). The do not own a radio. Does anyone know why in the world the 1930 census asked that question?! Edgar Claude lists his occupation as “truck driver in the trucking industry.” He is with his wife Eunice who is 35 and children: Gerold, 16; Arnold, 14; Margarett, 11; Suedell, 8; J. W., 5; and Bobie, 1.

From the collection of Brian Atwood

Edgar Claude Atwood died at the age of 66 on 23 Feb 1960 in Abilene,. Taylor County, Texas at Hendricks Hospital.

Texas Death Certificate

Obituary as published on Wednesday, February 24, 1960 in THE ABILENE REPORTER-NEWS

E. C. Atwood Rites Today – Funeral for E. C. Atwood, 67, will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Elliott’s Chapel of Memories with the Rev. J. D. Partin, former pastor of Eula, now minister of Cedar Gap Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be in Elmwood Memorial Park. Mr. Atwood died at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday at Hendrick Memorial hospital after a short illness. He moved to Abilene from Eula last October. He had lived in Callahan County since he was born June 23, 1893 at Cross Plains. His Abilene address was 2907 S. 27th Street. Mr. Atwood worked as supervisor of the farming interests of J. D. Hamilton. He married Eunice Mae Arnold at Oplin in 1913 and was a deacon in the Eula Baptist Church several years. Survivors include his wife; four daughters, Mrs. H. C. Rinehart, Mrs. L. H. Hampton, Jr. and Miss Freddie Mae Atwood all of Abilene; and Mrs. Virgil Brown of Sweetwater; four sons, R. G. of Seminole, A. W. and Bobby both of Andrews and J. W. of Abilene; two sisters, Mrs. Ches Barr of Cross Plains and Mrs. Walker Jones of Lubbock; two brothers, John of Lubbock and Gene of Abilene; and 13 grandchildren.

Edgar Claude Atwood is laid to rest in Abilene City Cemetery (Elmwood).

Final Resting Place - Abilene City Cemetery

Edgar and Eunice had the following children:

  • Robert Gerald “Sleep” Atwood (1914-1985)
  • Arnold William “Fats” Atwood (1916-1965)
  • Margurite Peace “Mickey” Atwood (1918-1998)
  • Sue Dell Atwood (1921-1986)
  • John Windel “Jake” Atwood (1925-1988)
  • Robert Marrell “Bobby” Atwood (1928-1986)
  • Betty Jo Atwood (1930-1999)
  • Freedie May Atwood (1933-1960)
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Posted by on April 2, 2011 in Atwood


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William Payton Atwood and the Sam Bass Gang

William Payton Atwood is my husband’s great great grandfather.  He was born 25 July 1849 in Laclede County, Missouri – the oldest son of Thomas Jefferson Atwood and Matilda Hough. 

William Payton Atwood

By the time William was 11 years old the family had relocated to Texas and can be found there in the 1860 census living in Erath County, near Stephenville.  William lost his mother early in life.  He was only 15 years old when Matilda died in 1864.  After the death of his mother, William can be found in the 1870 census with his father and his brothers in Hays County, near San Marcos indexed as a “stock dealer.” 

On 28 Aug 1873 William Payton Atwood married Ellen Elizabeth West in Williamson County, Texas – we presume somewhere near Round Rock.  I find it simply amazing that these things transpired in Round Rock 138 years ago – and here we are living our lives in the exact location where they lived theirs.  Ellen West was the daughter of Willis D. West and Delania Johnson – born on 22 Dec 1850 in Calcasieu County, Louisiana.  She was one of ten children.  The West family genealogy is very interesting.  Ellen can be traced back to Governor West – Governor of Colonial Virginia.  Her particular family line can be traced back to William the Conqueror through The House of Plantagenet.

Ellen Elizabeth West Atwood

The couple lived in the Round Rock area for about ten years before relocating and settling in Cross Plains, Callahan County, Texas. They had eight children: John Ashford in 1874; Rosa Lee in 1877; William Riley in 1879; Minnie Hannah Viola in 1882 (all of these children born in Williamson County) and Laney Bell in 1885; Manda Elizabeth in 1888; Columbus Eugene in 1890; and Edgar Claude in 1893 (all of these children born in Callahan County).  

For those of you familiar with Texas history, you will enjoy this:  In 1878 William Payton Atwood and his oldest son, John Ashford, were in town (Round Rock) to buy new boots on the day that the outlaw Sam Bass was killed in a shoot-out with local lawmen and Texas Rangers. Killed in the shoot-out was gunslinger Sam Bass and Williamson County Deputy Sheriff, A. W. Grimes

In an article written in The Lubbock Morning Avalanche on 20 Aug 1954 in honor of John Ashford Atwood’s 80th birthday, this was written:  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 !   William Payton Atwood’s father, Thomas Jefferson Atwood, is buried in the Round Rock Cemetery – very near to the outlaw Sam Bass. 

John Ashford Atwood went on to state that his father, William Payton Atwood, was friends with Kit Carson.  Kit grew up in Franklin, Missouri in the same general area that William Atwood was born. Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson was an American frontiersman. How his path may have crossed with our William Payton Atwood is unknown.

William Payton Atwood died in Callahan County on 17 Oct. 1917 at the age of 68. He is laid to rest in Cross Plains Memorial Park. His wife, Ellen Elizabeth West Atwood died in October of 1925 and is buried with him in Cross Plains Memorial Park.

Cross Plains Cemetery


Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Atwood


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Russell Columbus Atwood

Russell Columbus Atwood – known as “Lum” to family and friends – was the middle son of Thomas Jefferson Atwood and Matilda Hough.  Russell was born in Laclede County, Missouri on 12 Apr 1853.   

Laclede County, Missouri

Russell Columbus Atwood married Amanda “Mandy” Waters on Christmas Day 1873 in Hays County.  The family spent some time in Callahan County before settling in Eastland County, where they spent the rest of their lives. 

Eastland County, Texas

Russell was always indexed as being a farmer.  I am uncertain how many children this couple had.  In the 1900 census Amanda states that she has given birth 10 times and that 8 of her children are living; and in the 1910 census she states that she has given birth 9 times and that 7 children are living. 

These are the children that I have been able to document:

 Matilda Rosalee Atwood (born 1875)

Columbus Eugene “Gene” Atwood (1877-1933)

William Lafayette “Fate” Atwood (1879-1946)

Arthur R. Atwood (1880-1908)

Jennie A. Atwood (1885-1968)

Naomi Ellen Atwood (1887-1945)

Ida Atwood (1889-1890)

Daniel Elmer Atwood (1891-1962)

Clarence Ford Atwood (1897-1955)

Russell Columbus Atwood died in Pioneer, Eastland County, Texas on 23 June 1919 at the age of 66 years.  He is laid to rest in the Pioneer Cemetery.

Pioneer Cemetery

 Please contact me if you have any information on this branch of the Atwood tree. 

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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Atwood


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