Tag Archives: McLennan County

Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas

Recently my husband and I made a trip to Hill County, Texas – the cemetery hunt was on!  After a very successful mission to the Covington area, we decided to stop in Waco on the way back to Austin.  I was aware that Lucinda Curbow Lytle and family were laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery as is Martha Isabell Curbow’s second husband, Jonathan Monroe Bedwell.  While I already had photographs of the pertinent grave markers, I wanted to physically stand at Lucinda’s grave and pay her my respects. 

After getting lost a few times, and stumbling upon the much larger and more beautiful Oakwood Cemetery, we finally made our way to Greenwood! Greenwood Cemetery is located a stone’s throw away from busy IH-35 and lies on the southeast corner of Earle Avenue and Price Street in Waco, Texas. The City of Waco established Greenwood Cemetery in 1875, shortly after our Curbow family arrived in McLennan County.  I believe that Greenwood Cemetery was also at one time called “East Waco Cemetery” or “West Waco Cemetery,” depending on which section you were buried in; however, I cannot get a definitive answer on that from local historians.

Map - depicting location of Greenwood Cemetery in Waco, Texas

I felt sad when we walked the cemetery.  I tried to visualize what the cemetery must have looked like in the past; but, I had a hard time doing so.  Even though Greenwood Cemetery has a historical marker designation and is cared for by a cemetery association, in my estimation, it felt stark, forgotten and “unloved.” 

Historical Marker for Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas

 The cemetery has a “white” section which is contained inside a chain-linked fence, and a “black” section which is outside the fenced area.  According to a gentleman that we ran into at the cemetery, the black section has suffered much from vandalism. Overall, the cemetery is bordered by a very underprivileged residential area and the concrete and noise of the freeway.  My husband and I walked the entire cemetery – and we could not find the Lytle plot.  Frustrated – knowing it was there – we were about to give up and just go home.  It took an older gentlemen (also working on his family history) to point out the Lytle plot – which we were practically standing right on top of – situated at the very entrance of the cemetery.  (Okay, so it had been a very long day!)  At one time the plot had been edged by a concrete border – but with the passage of time the concrete has partially sunk into the ground.  There is one marker for Edward and Lucinda; Edward and Belle each have their own marker; and wife Marguerite has one small stone.  It brought comfort to know that the entire family was laid to rest together. 

Greenwood Cemetery

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

William Henry Lytle, confederate soldier;
Lucinda Curbow Lytle, daughter of Tilman P. Curbow;
Belle Sarah Lytle, daughter of William and Lucinda;
William Henry Lytle, Jr., son of William and Lucinda;
Marguerite Logan Lytle, wife of William Henry Lytle, Jr.; and
Jonathon Monroe Bedwell, husband of Martha Isabell Curbow.

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 at Greenwood, I am attaching the link here. 

This is an excerpt from The Story Tellers…..which says it all for me:  

How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family you would be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.


Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Bedwell, Cemeteries, Curbow, 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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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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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.”  (

Point Lookout, Maryland - Yankee Prison Camp - Image from

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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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

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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Story


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Lucinda Curbow Lytle

Lucinda Curbow Lytle (my husband’s great-great grand aunt) was the first child born to Tilman P. Curbow and Elizabeth Box (18 Dec, 1843 in Georgia).  Lucinda was known to her family and friends as “Lucy.”  Lucy spent a good part of her childhood living in Itawamba County, Mississippi before coming to Texas with her family during the Civil War period. 

On August 20, 1878 Lucinda married William Henry Lytle, a Confederate Civil War veteran, in McLennan County, Texas.  Given the time period – she married late in life – at the age of 34 (her groom was 37 years old).  When I reflect upon the life of Lucinda Curbow, I very often envision her as the family caretaker.  Given that she was the oldest daughter, I think that it is entirely possible that Lucinda may have set aside her own desires for a family – and that she married later in life, because she knew that she was needed by her father to assist in running the household and taking care of her younger siblings after the death of their mother, Elizabeth.  In fact, her youngest brother, Henry Harrison Curbow, is still living with Lucy and her new husband in the 1880 census. 

It is fairly clear, based on census records, McLennan County Tax Rolls and Waco City Directories that Lucinda and her husband spent their entire married lives living together in Waco, Texas.  They had four children, but it appears that only two of them survived to adulthood, Belle Sarah and William Henry Lytle, Jr.   The family home was located east of downtown Waco on Clay Avenue.  According to a local historian that my husband and I met at the McLennan County courthouse, this location used to be a very charming Victorian section of town.  Sadly it has fallen into neglect and disrepair. 

Lytle Family Home – Clay Avenue – Waco, McLennan County, Texas

Lucinda’s husband, William Henry Lytle, died many years before she did – in 1905.  After his death, Lucinda can be found always living with her children, Belle and Edward, Jr.  In 1915, Lucy filed a Widow’s Pension Application based on her husband’s Civil War Service where the Judge describes her as, “an old lady whose mind is very feeble.” 

Lucy died 16 July, 1923 in Waco, McLennan County, Texas.  She was 80 years, 5 months and 2 days old when she died of kidney failure.

Published on MONDAY, JULY 16, 1923 in the WACO TIMES HERALD

Lucinda Curbow Lytle - Obituary


Lucinda is laid to rest in the Lytle family plot in Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas.

Lytle Family Headstone/Plot - Greenwood Cemetery, Waco, McLennan County, Texas

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Posted by on January 2, 2011 in Lytle


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Tilman P. Curbow – Southern Patriot

Tilman P. Curbow is the great-great-great-great grandfather of my son.  Tilman Curbow migrated across the south and brought the Curbow family to Texas.  Because of Tilman’s adventurous spirit, my son can today say proudly, “I am a seventh generation Texan.”   Tilman fought a war; suffered many hardships; lived a rough and tumble life; and left a trail that was often difficult to follow.  The bits and pieces and details of his life were buried by time and only recently were they uncovered and put in written form.  Tilman’s life tells the story of hard work, determination and real grit, and perhaps a barroom brawl or two (seriously) !  

There are many unanswered questions about Tilman Curbow.  We know that he was born around 1821 in Georgia and that he died in Texas somewhere around 1900.  I believe that Tilman was the son of Henry Curbow (who died in Cass County, Texas in 1850).  Additionally, I believe that Tilman is a younger brother of Wiseman Curbow who settled in Bowie County, Texas.  Tilman was married to Elizabeth Box, the daughter of William Bolton Box.  Their two oldest children Lucinda and Oliver Perry were born in Georgia.   The rest of their children (Virginia Elizabeth, Harriet, William F., Martha Isabell and Henry Harrison) were born in Mississippi, most likely Itawamba County.

Tilman Curbow served the Confederacy in the Amercian Civil War – first with the Arkansas 6th Infantry Regiment where he participated in the Battle of Shiloh and later in Texas with Nelson’s Co., 2 Battalion Cavalry.

Tilman Curbow - Civil War Muster Roll - Bowie County, Texas - Feb 3, 1864

During the reconstruction period Tilman Curbow was in Bowie County where he served as a juror on the infamous Dalby murder trial.  

Around 1867 Tilman moved his family to McLennan County – east of Waco on the Brazos River – where he farmed and ranched.   Tilman lost his wife sometime between 1870 and 1880.   Toward the end of his life Tilman became involved in a lawsuit over probate/property rights which case went all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. In connection with this lawsuit a “Suggestion of Death” for Tilman Curbow was filed on March, 1902.  

These are the last known records that Tilman Curbow left us.  It is my hope that as I progress in the research – I will be able to shed more light on some of our unanswered questions about him.  While we do not know everything about Tilman – we do know without a doubt that he possessed a strong pioneering spirit – that he experienced hardships – and that he was a true southern patriot.  His humble life is remembered here with fondness and appreciation.

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Posted by on January 1, 2011 in Brick Walls, Curbow


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