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William Henry Lytle, Jr. – Son of Lucinda Curbow and William Henry Lytle

Lucinda and William had one son – William Henry Lytle, Jr. – who was born in Waco, McLennan County, Texas on 3 Nov 1887.  William married Margarette Logan about 1921 – they had no children.  His occupation varied from clerk to driver in his younger years to a machinist for the Katy Railroad Shop later. 

William Henry Lytle was a World War I veteran (Ord Sgt III MBL Ord Repair Shop).  On his draft registration card William describes himself as tall and slender with grey eyes and light hair. 

William Henry Lytle – World War I Draft Registration Card

His wife, Marguerite, died of cancer in 1941, and it does not appear that he remarried. 

On the afternoon of May 11, 1953, Waco, Texas was struck by a F5 tornado.  William perished in that storm when the building he had taken shelter in collapsed on top of him.  He is laid to rest with his family in the Lytle family plot in Greenwood Cemetery (formerly known as East Waco Cemetery). 

William Henry Lytle, Jr. - Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas

THE WACO NEWS-TRIBUNE (City Edition, Part 4/Tornado Obits) and WACO TIMES HERALD (Page 17); Wednesday, May 13, 1953:  William Henry Lytle, 64, OF 2915 Windsor (located west of IH-35 and east of Waco Lake in the Dean Highlands area of Waco), died Monday afternoon in the tornado.  Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at Comptom’s Chapel, Chaplin Harris of Veteran’s Hospital officiating, assisted by Dr. D. L. McCree, burial in Oakwood Cemetery. Survivors: one sister, Miss Bell Lytle of Waco; one-step daughter, Mrs. Marvin Booker, Sr. of Fort Worth, one step-grandchild, Marvin Booker, Jr.  Active pallbearers – E. H. Bergner, Mr. Pueblo, Tom Conway, Marvin Booker, Sr., Marvin Booker, Jr., R. B. Marshall.   Mr. Lytle was born in Waco and lived here all his life. He was a retired machinist. Employee of Kathy Shops, Bellmead. Compton’s Funeral Home, 1024 Austin, Phone 4-1441.

William Lytle’s wife, Marguerite, had been married one time before her marriage to William.  This marriage produced a daughter named Irene Margaret Smith.  This young lady married Marvin Matha Booker.  The step-grandchild mentioned in William Lytle’s obituary is Marvin Matha Booker, Jr.  Mr. Booker was born in 1928 and is presently 82 years old.  I was lucky enough to visit with him in the summer of 2010 about his step-grandfather – William Henry Lytle – and this is what he shared with me:

I called my step-Grandfather “Big Daddy” and Grandmother “Big Mother.”  Most of the years that we visited them at their farm in Waco, I was very young, and had little interest in family history – I preferred playing outside.  During World War II, we were allowed three gallons of gas a week, so we didn’t travel much.  I do not remember Big Daddy ever speaking of his family or his life as a youth at his home. 

Regarding Big Daddy’s military service – He was a Sergeant in the 36th Division Texas National Guard before the U. S. entered WWI.  Due to the strong German influence in Mexico prior to our entering the war, the Texas Guard was activated and sent to the Mexico border to stop any invasion of United States soil.  I believe the troops were on the border about a year.  He often spoke about the Mexican military, probably influenced by the Germans, firing on our troops.  He said when they received fire from the Mexicans; they would expend rounds into the Mexican lines usually causing casualties.  He always spoke of the border time as an enjoyable period.  Regarding World War I – He talked about the Mexican border expedition more than his combat experiences in Europe.  He spoke a number of times about how the artillery would use the church steeples in French villages as aiming stakes for firing missions.  He also commented about the poverty and destruction in France.  He never spoke about actual combat.

 Big Daddy loved to hunt and he would let me tag along as long as I followed instructions and stayed close.  The only times he ever talked about the border expedition and Europe was out hunting, never around the house.  He left his shotgun to me when he was killed.  I do not know where or when Big Daddy and Big Mother were married.  I can’t remember Big Mother’s funeral, but her battle with cancer was somewhat long and very bad.    

Regarding the tornado – Big Daddy went into downtown Waco most afternoons to play 42 with other retired Katy Railroad people that worked at the Bellmead shops.  During their last game the sky turned black so they decided to leave early and go home.  One of the other men and Big Daddy started walking to their cars and it started raining.  The other man kept walking, but Big Daddy entered the six-story R. T. Dennis Furniture Store to wait out the storm.  This building took a direct hit from the tornado and caused all of the floors to come straight down.  Twenty-two people died in the Dennis building including Big Daddy.”  (News reports indicate 30 people.)

R. T. Dennis Furniture Store – destroyed in Waco Tornado

The Waco tornado remains tied with the 1902 Goliad tornado as the deadliest in Texas history and the tenth-deadliest in US history. No deadlier single tornado has struck the United States since then, making it the worst storm of the last 75 years. The tornado killed 114 people and caused 597 injuries and up to $41.2 million in property damage.  Over half the dead – 61 – were in a single city block bounded by 4th and 5th Streets and Austin and Franklin Avenues.  The Waco tornado struck at 4:36 p.m. The tornado, over two blocks wide, hit the downtown area. Many people on the streets crowded into local businesses for shelter. However, few of the buildings were constructed sturdily enough to withstand the winds, and they collapsed almost immediately. The best-known example was the six-story R.T. Dennis furniture store, which crumbled to the ground and killed 30 people inside.  Newer buildings with steel reinforcement, including the 22-story Amicable office building (now called the ALICO Building) just across the street, weathered the storm.  William Henry Lytle’s name appears on the Waco Tornado Memorial. 

Waco Tornado Memorial

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Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Lytle

 

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Belle Sarah Lytle – Daughter of Lucinda Curbow and William Henry Lytle

Lucinda and William had one daughter that survived to her old age – Belle Sarah Lytle – who was born in Waco, McLennan County, Texas on 17 Jul 1879.  Belle Sarah Lytle never married.  In various census records and Waco city directories she is listed as “telephone operator,” “stenographer for railroad,” and on her Texas Death Certificate it lists her occupation as a “Stenographer-Clerk” for M.K. & T Railroad.”  

Her grand nephew, Marvin Matha Booker, Jr. remembers her this way:  When we went to Waco for a visit, Miss Belle {Belle Sarah Lytle} usually had Sunday dinner with all of us either at the farm or in downtown Waco.  She was a quiet lady allowing others to carry the conversation.  I remember her mostly talking about her church.

It appears that Belle Sarah Lytle spent all but the last six months of her life living in Waco, Texas.  Belle Sarah Lytle died in Katy Employee Hospital in Denison, Grayson County, Texas on 5 May 1963.  She was 83 years old.  She is laid to rest in the Lytle family plot in Greenwood Cemetery (East Waco Cemetery). 

Belle Sarah Lytle - Greenwood Cemtery, Waco, McLennen County, Texas

WACO TIME HERALD, PAGE 17, MONDAY, MAY 6, 1963: Lytle, Miss Belle – Miss Belle Lytle of 1900 Webster Avenue died at 9:00 a.m., Sunday in a Denison hospital. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday in Wilkerson and Hatch Chapel. Chaplain Charles D. Harris and Rev. Urban Schultze officiating. Burial at Greenwood Cemetery. She has no survivors. Wilkerson and Hatch Funeral Home, 1124 Washington Ave.

 

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2011 in Lytle

 

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William Henry Lytle – Husband of Lucinda Curbow

Lucinda Curbow’s husband, William Henry Lytle, was born in Georgia in September of 1840.  I do not know who the parents of William Henry Lytle were or exactly where in Georgia he was born.  When he enlisted into the Confederate Army, he did so out of Macon County.  

Macon County, Georgia

In the 1850 census there is present in Macon County the family of William and Mary Lytle – they have a son named William and a daughter named Sarah.  (William Henry Lytle and his wife would later name their daughter Belle Sarah.)  This could very well be his family, but at this time I have nothing to tie them together. 

William Lytle enlisted into the Confederate States Army at the age of 20 out of Macon County, Georgia on June 15, 1861.  His rank was private at enlistment and he was a sergeant at discharge.  He was a member of Company C, 12th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Dole’s Brigade, Rhodes Division, J. T. Jackson’s Army Corps.  William was wounded in the arm during the Battle of Lynchburg (Virginia) and spent time in the CSA General Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Muster Roll Card - William Henry Lytle

He was later captured and taken prisoner in 1864 at Winchester, Virginia and transported (via Harper’s Ferry) to the dreaded Yankee prison camp at Point Lookout, Maryland. 

Prisoner of War Muster Card - William Henry Lytle

Point Lookout was a prison camp for Confederate prisoners of war built on the tip of the peninsula where the Potomac River joins Chesapeake Bay.   Point Lookout, Maryland was deemed to be the largest and worst Yankee POW camp.  It was constructed of fourteen foot high wooden walls.  These walls surrounded an area of about 40 acres.  A walkway surrounded the top of the walls where Negro guards walked day and night.  It is reported that the guards were brutal in their treatment of the prisoners.  No barracks were ever built.  The Confederate soldiers were given tents to sleep in until overcrowding became so bad there were not even enough tents to go around.  Prison capacity was 10,000, but at any given time there would be between 12,000 to 20,000 soldiers incarcerated there.  The extreme overcrowding, Maryland’s freezing temperatures, shortages of firewood for heat, and living in tents took its toll and many lives were lost due to exposure.  As the water supply became polluted and food rations ran low, prisoners died from disease and starvation.  Food was in short supply; the men were reported to hunt rats as a food source.  A prisoner, Rev. J. B. Traywick said, “Our suffering from hunger was indescribable.”  (http://www.clements.umich.edu/Webguides/Schoff/NP/Point.html)

Point Lookout, Maryland - Yankee Prison Camp - Image from mycivilwar.com

William Henry Lytle survived this prison camp and was “exchanged” at the end of the war in 1865 – when he presumably headed for Texas.  As previously mentioned, William met and married Lucinda in Waco – they married 20 Aug. 1878.   Based on census and tax records, William and Lucinda spent their lives in Waco, Texas. 

 On 21 Nov. 1892, William Lytle joined the Pat Cleburne Camp of Ex-Confederate Army Veterans:  WACO MORNING NEWS; Sunday, April 21, 1895: The Pat Cleburne Camp was organized in 1888. Roster and roll of members as of March 31, 1895, full name, rank and organization:  Lytle, W. H. Ord Sgt. Co. C 12 Georgia Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia.

Cleburne Camp Application - William Henry Lytle

William died at his home on 25 Oct 1905.  He was 65 years old.  He is laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery, also known as – East Waco Cemetery in the Lytle family plot.  Lucinda, his wife, and his children, Belle Sarah and William, Jr. are buried there with him.

William Henry Lytle - Death Notice

I would be interested in hearing from any Lytle researchers who have information on William Henry Lytle and his parents. 

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Brick Walls, Civil War, Lytle

 

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