Tag Archives: Ellen Elizabeth West

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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Our Roots Run Deep

The latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are featuring Tim McGraw’s discovery of his family’s “rags-to-riches” story with ties to George Washington got me to pondering about our collective families and the role they played in shaping our nation.  Several of the family lines that we are working on have deep roots – in fact they were present here even before America became a nation. 

Brothers, Joseph Curbow (1755-1850) and William Curbow (1757-?), were both Revolutionary War soldiers who served on the North Carolina Line.  According to William’s pension papers, the family home in North Carolina was burned to the ground by the British.  William also spent the brutal winter of 1777-78 in Valley Forge with General George Washington.  The family story that has been passed down is that both Joseph and William were present at the British surrender in Yorktown in 1781.  Fact or fiction?  I don’t know – but it is fascinating to contemplate, don’t you think?

Edward Grantham (1643-1704) is my son’s 9th great grandfather.  He was known as Old Edward.  He lived in Surry County, Virginia.  The family home was known as Grantham Reeds and was located directly across the James River from Jamestown, which was founded on May 14, 1607, and is the first permanent English settlement in what is now America! 

My husband’s gg-grandmother was Ellen Elizabeth West.  The West family has a long and interesting history in America and in England.  John West (1590-1659) was the colonial Governor of Virginia from 1635-1637.  He was the fourth son of Thomas West, 2nd Baron De La Warr.  Did you know that this is where our state “Delaware” got its name?  John West’s plantation is the site of present day West Point, Virginia.  One of the sons of Governor West was Lieutenant-Colonel John West.  He was married to Unity Croshaw, a granddaughter of Raleigh Croshaw, one of the founders of Jamestown, Virginia.  Time and legend have not been kind to Unity – it has been reported that she was a shrew, and that she divorced her husband for adultery when he left her to live with Cockacoeske – Queen of the Pamunkey  – and purportedly a cousin to Pocahontas.  Again – fact or fiction?  I don’t know.

Meanwhile, out west, Bartolomé de Montoya, a Spanish Conquistador arrived in New Mexico on 24 Dec. 1600.  The family came as part of the second Onaté  expedition, whose colony consisted of 65 settlers.  The Montoya family brought with them 25 servants, cattle and equipment needed to start a new life in Nuevo España.  From the family of Bartolomé de Montoya the Montoya surname was firmly established in New Mexico – and virtually all Montoya families from New Mexico descend from him.  

And yes, in case you are wondering – we have our fair share of lunatics – thieves – and drunkards in our family tree too.  Trials, tribulation, tragedy and drama were often the norm – divorces, family feuds, unplanned pregnancies, “bar-room difficulties” and the like have been uncovered.  Our Ham family can be tied to the outlaw Jesse James; and our Curbow family can be linked with the gunslinger John Wesley Hardin.  It’s all good though……they’re family!


Posted by on February 12, 2011 in Curbow, Grantham, Montoya, Odds and Ends


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William Riley Atwood

William Riley Atwood is the great great grandfather of my son and the much loved and missed PaPa of my cousin Beverly.  William was born to William Payton Atwood and  Ellen Elizabeth West on 25 November 1879 in Williamson County, Texas.  

William Riley Atwood with baby Beverly

By June of 1900 the Atwood family had moved from Williamson County to Cross Plains, Callahan County, Texas where William met and married Hattie Frances Havins on 30 July 1905.  The couple had five children:  Maurice Havins in 1906; Glen L. in 1907; Clementine Elizabeth (“Clemmie”) in 1909; Thomas Orvil in 1910; and Neil Vernon (“Skeezix”) in 1916.  Sadly, William’s wife Hattie died in 1918 while still a young woman leaving him with five small children to raise on his own.  William never remarried.

Beverly fondly remembers that PaPa spoiled her terribly:    “As a child, I sucked my thumb.  Mother and Daddy tried everything they could think of to get me to stop.  They put hot sauce on my thumb, and as soon as we went to bed, Papa would wash it off!  Next they put a thumb guard on my thumb.  When we went to bed Papa would take it off for me.  They really thought they had a smart child!”  Beverly recalls going into town (Winters) with the family as a child:  “I saw a little horse in the window that I wanted.  Of course, Daddy told me no.  So I went to Papa….and when Mother and Daddy got back to the car…there I sat holding my new little horse.  Yes…I was spoiled!”

William Riley Atwood died  24 Feb 1952 in Lawn, Taylor County, Texas.  He had been living with his youngest son, Vernon Neil Atwood and family at the time of his death.  He left us at the age of 72 of an apparent heart attack.   

Published 2/26/1952 in Abilene Reporter News
LAWN MAN FOUND DEAD – Lawn, February 25th – William R. Atwood, 72, was found dead Sunday night at the home of a son, N.V. Atwood, who lives 3 1/2 miles southwest of Lawn.  The son and his wife left home about 1 p.m. Sunday and the elder Mr. Atwood was apparently feeling fine at that time.  When they returned shortly after 7 p.m. they found Mr. Atwood slumped over on the floor in his bedroom.  He was apparently preparing to go to bed when stricken.  Justice of the Peace Buford McKinney of Lawn conducted an inquest and returned a verdict of death by natural causes.  Mr. Atwood was born on November 25, 1879 in Williamson County.  He moved to Cross Plains in 1900 and moved to Oplin in 1921.  He moved to Lawn in 1944 to make his home with his son.  Mrs. Atwood died in 1918.  Funeral will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Oplin Baptist Church.  Burial will be at Cross Plains with Fry Funeral Home of Tuscola in charge of arrangements.  Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Edgar Taylor of Fort Stockton; four sons, M.H. Atwood of Oplin; Glen Atwood of Kermit, T. O. Atwood of Alice; and N. V. Atwood of Lawn; four sisters, Mrs. Rose Ridgeway of Abilene; Mrs. Lee Staley (Straley) of Oplin; Mrs. Ches Barr of Cross Plains; and Mrs. W. E. Jones of Lubbock; three brothers, J. V. Atwood of Lubbock; C. E. Atwood of Cross Plains and E. C. Atwood of Eulia; and eight grandchildren.

 Grandpa Atwood is laid to rest in Cross Plains Memorial Park with his wife Hattie Frances Havins.

William Riley Atwood – Headstone at Cross Plains Memorial
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Posted by on January 1, 2011 in Atwood


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