Tag Archives: Henry Harrison Curbow

Henry Harrison Curbow

Henry Harrison Curbow (the great great grand uncle of my husband) was the youngest child of Tilman P. Curbow and wife Elizabeth Box.  Elizabeth had a brother named Harrison Box, and perhaps Henry received his middle name from this uncle.  From the census records, we can conclude that Henry was born about 1858 in Mississippi , and again, probably in Itawamba County .  Henry can be found in the 1860 and 1870 census with his parents.  When the 1880 census was enumerated, Henry was living with his oldest sister, Lucinda Curbow Lytle and family in McLennan County , Texas .  The remainder of the information that I have on Henry raises more questions about his life than answers. 

On 10 Jan 1882 , Henry married Mary “Mollie” C. Young in McLennan County , Texas .  Mollie was probably the daughter of John M. Young and Martha C. Dudley born between 1859- 1860 in Missouri , most likely in Lincoln County, where her family can be found in the census records.  I say “probably” because I have nothing to tie her to this family other than the census records.  Mollie arrived in Texas sometime between 1870 and 1880.  I can find no record of her after her marriage to Henry Harrison Curbow, and it is possible that she may have died young or the marriage did not last.  Alternatively, she may have remarried; however, I have not been able to find a second marriage record for Mary in the McLennan County, Texas Marriage Books. 

I have found listings for H. H. Curbow in both the 1882 and 1884 McLennan County Tax Rolls.  He was taxed for his personal property – a wagon, horses and hogs.  He is not listed in any Waco City Directory of the time period. 

On a recent trip to the McLennan County Courthouse, my husband and I stumbled upon the probate records of Henry Harrison Curbow.  He died as a very young man on 10 January 1885 – only 26 years old.  While Henry did not leave a Will, he did have assets and debts, and so it was necessary to probate his estate.  I was able to obtain the entire probate file – and some of the pertinent excerpts are as follows:
  • On 18 May, 1885, W. L. Booker made application to be appointed administrator of the Estate.  This application informs the Court that “H. H. Curbow departed this life intestate (without a Will) in McLennan County on or about the 10th day of January 1885.”
  • On 27 July, 1885 , the administrator filed the Inventory and Appraisal along with the List of Claims.  The Inventory concluded that Henry Harrison Curbow owned no real property but did own personal property – a partial list includes: 

Four mares (various colors and various brandings) along with their respective colts; 25 head of branded stock horses; three branded horses; three sows and eleven shoats; three turning plows; one set of guns; one saddle (in the possession of his father, T. P. Curbow; two old wagons; 62 bushels of corn (“in Bentley’s hands to be delivered this fall”). 

 It appears that Henry Harrison Curbow owned quite a few horses; In 1882 and 1884, he paid taxes on horses – was he a horse trader?  A cowboy?  A rancher?  He may have been a farmer, but that seems less likely as he didn’t own any land and his farm implements were few and listed as “old.” 

 The List of Claims against the Estate of H. H. Curbow included:

  •  T. P. Curbow – claimed rights to 130 bushels of corn belonging to said estate and by said T. P. Curbow – $60.00.
  • Sam G. Mills – claimed rights to “a sum of money not definitely known to this administrator but suffered to be about $80 or $90.” 
  • C.D. Bentleyclaimed money owed for board of Henry H. Curbow from the 29th day of December 1884 to January 10, 1885: $12.00; Nursing of Henry H. Curbow for 9 days during January 1885 at $2.00 per day: $18.00; 3 quarts of whiskey at $1.00 per quart: $3.00; Washing: $2.00; Board for Monroe Tull, laborer for Harrison H. Curbow for which said Curbow above gave, from November 28, 1884 to January 5, 1885 at $10 per month: $20.00; Total claimed:  $55.00.  (I was able to locate a Monroe Tull in the 1880 census – He was living in Lamar County , age 17, born 1863 in Arkansas .  He was a hired hand working on a farm for Mr. J. B. Hodges.  This interests me.  Henry’s sister, Martha Isabel, married first Charles Hodges who was born in Arkansas .  I wonder if there is some connection here?)

On this same date, 27 July, 1885 , the Court ordered that all of Henry Harrison’s assets be sold and that the credits and claimants be paid.  The information above leads me to ask several questions:

Where was his wife?  Had she died or were they divorced?  Why was Henry Harrison Curbow not being tended to by his family?  Why was a stranger nursing and boarding him?  Why was he being charged for whiskey?  Was he an alcoholic or was the whiskey being used for medicinal purposes?  Why was the estate charged for washing?  Was this washing of his clothes or washing of his body after death?  Was he estranged from his family? 

Ben Alexander, a citizen of McLennan County , Texas contested the Final Accounting of Henry Harrison Curbow’s Estate.  His contesting of the Final Accounting rests on his claim that:  “a large part of his claim was for expense of the last sickness of H. H. Curbow, deceased.”   (I have located a B. Alexander in the 1880 census.  He is living in Waco , McLennan County , Texas .  He is 37 years old, born 1843 in Posen , Prussia .  He is living with his wife, Marie Alexander, age 22 and daughter, Gusta, age 1.  He is a merchant.  Interestingly, he has 3 boarders in his home.  Could this be where Henry Harrison spent his last days?)

On 1 September, 1885 , the administrator of the Estate, W. L. Barker, filed the Final Accounting with the Judge in McLennan County .  Important excerpts from the final administration include the following: 

 ...comes and shows that all the debts known to exist against said Estate (except as hereinafter shown) have been paid as far as the assets coming into his hands would allow……

……inventory and appraisements filed on the 27th day of July 1885 shows 32 head of horses belonging to said Estate appraised at $12 per head.  One horse appraised at $20 and two mules appraised at $35 each.  Of the horses he would show that T. P. Curbow, father of decedent, claimed eleven head as his own property and Petitioner being unable to confirm said claim.  After the most careful investigation of the facts, delivered the eleven head {illegible} ones to him…………

…..Claims belonging to said Estate – Of the account against T. P. Curbow ……..could collect nothing.  Said Curbow denied the debt and was and is insolvent.  Said claim is worthless. 

As of this writing, it is not know whether illness or injury caused the death of young Henry Harrison Curbow.  It appears that he fell ill around the 29th of December, 1884 and he died the 10th of January, 1885 – lingering in his sick bed for about thirteen days before he died. 

I should point out that Henry’s entire probate file is handwritten – and large portions of it are illegible because the handwriting is so poor.  On the last report filed by the administrator – Tilman P. Curbow’s name is mentioned again.  It appears that very shortly after the death of his son, and before an Administrator had been appointed, Tilman sold some of Henry’s hogs/shoats to an individual named Jimmy Edwards without the permission of the Court.  The Court ordered Jimmy Edwards to turn over the hogs, and he refused to do so.  A lawsuit over the hogs was contemplated but it appears that the issue was later resolved.  I can’t convey any more detail then that – as the handwriting is so poor on the document. 

Again, it is my belief that Tilman P. Curbow and son Henry Harrison Curbow were together leasing/working on the Bedwell land at the time of Henry’s death. 


This is all I know about the life of Henry Harrison Curbow.  I have been unable to locate an obituary for Henry, and I do not know where in McLennan County he is laid to rest.

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Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Curbow


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