Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Francis Marion and Mary (Sadler) Baldwin

Francis Marion Baldwin was our first ancestor to be born in Texas -- actually the Republic of Texas.  Francis Marion was born the 6th of September 1840.  We know his mother's name was Jane and his father was most likely William Baldwin, who died about 1849 in Grimes County.  Jane was left a widow to raise a large family on the Texas frontier.  Young Francis Marion grew up without a father and with the added responsibility of helping his widowed mother.  In 1850, Francis, age 10 years, was listed with his mother, Jane Baldwin, who was listed as the head of the household, in the the 1850 Walker County, Texas Federal Census. 

Sometime in the 1850's, the Baldwin family moved to Limestone County, Texas.  The next record that can be found for Francis Marion Baldwin was the 1860 census.  Francis, aged 19, was living with his mother, Jane Baldwin, and younger siblings in Limestone County, Texas.

In 1862, Francis M. Baldwin, was reported on the rosters for the Confederate army.  He was a Private in Texas Cavalry Baylor's Regiment Company E, Muster Roll for Oct 21 to Dec 31, 1862.  Francis enlisted 21 Oct 1862 at Centerville, Leon County, Texas by Capt Carrington, period - 3 years in the war, received no pay.

Shortly after Francis returned home from the Civil War, he married Mary Sadler (or perhaps during the Civil War while on leave.)  Mary, who was also born in the Republic of Texas on October 1, 1845, was the daughter of John and Bathsheba (Lindley) Sadler.   Her father, John Sadler, was a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, having fought for the independence of Texas from Mexico in 1836. Mary's uncle (her mother's brother), Jonathan Lindley, died at the Alamo.

The John Sadler family was a neighboring family to the Jane Baldwin family in Limestone County.  Both families had moved from Walker County to Limestone County at about the same time -- around 1855.  Because Limestone county is a "burned county," meaning that the Court House burned down, no records exist prior to 1873.  Therefore, there is no record for the marriage between Francis Marion Baldwin and Mary Sadler on the county level.  In 1958, their daughter, Alice, stated that her parents were "married in Limestone County during the Civil War."  Their first child was born in September of 1866, so it is very likely that they married at the close of the Civil War in 1865.  Perhaps someday, a family bible will come forward with the marriage date, but no family bible for the Francis Marion Baldwin family has yet been located.  Frank Atchinson remembers seeing a family bible, when Mary Baldwin had to prove son Roscoe's birth date.

The 1870 census, shows the Francis Marion and Mary (Sadler) Baldwin family was living in Limestone County, Texas.  Mother, Jane Baldwin, was also living with the family.   Jane Baldwin was 65 years old.   Francis and Mary had three children by 1870: Lafayette, Allen (our ancestor) and Levi.

1870 Census Limestone County, Texas

By 1880, the Baldwin family, who were still living in Limestone County, had grown to include nine children. 

1880 Census Limestone County, Texas

In the latter part of 1883 or early in 1884, the Baldwin family moved to Eliasville, Young County, Texas.  Eliasville is tucked between the mountains and the banks of the Clear Fork of the Brazos River in the southwest corner of Young County.  The Baldwin children were listed in the Young County, June 11, 1884 School census.  The Eliasville school was a rock building located south of the business section of town on what was called "The Hill".  In 1884, the school had 115 students and was taught by Prof. A. N. Edwards, Miss Martha Elkins and Mr. W.T. Stinson.

Photo of the Francis Marion Baldwin homestead in Young County, Texas.
All that was left standing of the Baldwin home (1984) was the cistern.


In 1885, both of Mary's parents died.  Her father, John Sadler, died in April of 1885 and her mother, Bathsheba (Lindley) Sadler died six months later in October.  Mary may have received a small inheritance from her parents, because in 1886 she had her own money and bought cattle from her husband, F.M. Baldwin, for $486.80.  She apparently did not want to just turn her money over to her husband, so she made him write out a legal bill of sale for cattle in exchange for her money. 

On May 21,  1900, Francis Marion Baldwin died, at the age of 59 years.  He was buried in the Eliasville Cemetery.  His headstone has the Masonic emblem on it.  A short obituary was posted in May 1900 in the Graham Leader newspaper (Graham, Young, TX):
"F.M. Baldwin, old and well known citizen of the Eliasville country, died at his home Monday and was buried at Eliasville Tuesday. Mr. Baldwin was near sixty years old, has been a citizen of Young County for the last sixteen years. He leaves a wife, a large family of children, and numerous friends who mourn his departure."

F.M. Baldwin Headstone, Eliasville Cemetery, Young County, Texas

Since the photo of the headstone is hard to read, I've added some
headstone rubbings (didn't have the right supplies so not very good.)



According to descendants who knew her, Mary Sadler Baldwin was a small petite lady --- only about 5 feet tall.  Family descendants also remembered their Grandma Mary telling them stories about the Sadler children (Mary and her siblings) playing with the children of Sam Houston, when she was a young girl living in Walker County, Texas.  School records show that the Sadler children were attending school in Walker County in 1854.  The Sadlers moved shortly afterwards because by 1855, the children showed up in the school records for Limestone County, Texas in 1855.  (White, Gifford, TEXAS SCHOLASTICS 1854-1855, Copied from originals in the Archives Division of the Texas State LIbrary, Austin, Texas, 1979)

After the death of her husband, Mary continued to live on the Baldwin homestead in Eliasville until her death in 1933.  No one lived in the house after she died and the house was eventually torn down -- only the cistern was left standing.  According to cemetery records, Mary is buried next to her husband in the Eliasville cemetery.  If Mary had a headstone, it no longer exists and her information is not added to the side of her husband's headstone.  

In 1958, Tom Cunningham interviewed daughter, Alice Baldwin Atchinson, for the information on the Baldwin family to include in his book, "Story of Eliasville."  (Cunningham, Thomas M., Story of Eliasville 1958, Denton, Texas)

Story of Eliasville, pages 73-74:
The Baldwin Family
Francis Marion Baldwin (1840-1900) and Mary Baldwin (1845-1933) were married in Limestone County during the Civil War, and with ten children came to Eliasville in 1884, settling on the river two miles north east of town. The two youngest children were born here. They were faithful members of the Baptist church and often entertained visiting preachers. Their home was two room frame building with an open hall between, to which were added lean-to rooms to the rear. During an Association revival Mr. Baldwin plowed till ten, shifted his team to the wagon, wan with the children and preachers went to church. After their return he arose from the noon meal bidding his minister guests to make themselves at home while he resumed his weed killing. The family never missed a service at the church. Their twelve children were: Lafayette, Allen, Levi, Charlie, Bob, Willie Ann, Mittie, Walter, Lem, Alice, Roscoe, and Lena.
Lafayette married Nannie Barnes, and they had four children. By a second marriage he had six children.
Allen married Mary Stewart, and they had eight children.
Levi married Addie Johnson, and they were parents of four children.
Charlie marred Della Choate, and they had three children.
Bob married Mattie London, and their children numbered six.
Willie Ann married Pleas Hyden, an they had ten children.
Mittie married Virgil Matthews, and their son is Clayton.
Walter, single, died only a few years ago.
Lem, died in young manhood.
Alice married Charlie Atchison, and their three children are: Frank, Leroy and C.L. Frank married Rita Bell, and they have one daughter, Mary Alice. Frank Atchison is a banker in Graham. Leroy married Lois Lankford, and their three children are: Helen Catherine, Steve Roy and Ralph. C.L. is the father of one child, Lynn. C.L. owns a successful finance company in Midland. Frank and C.L. received their financial training in the Eliasville Bank under Mr. Harvey C. Brock and Mr. W.O. Cunningham.
Roscoe married Annie Belle Mills, and they have two boys: Hoyt and Hubert. Hoyt has a son, Bobby. Hubert married Wanda Sharklin. Roscoe and his family reside in Johnson County.
Lena married John Hill and they have six children: Norman, Robert, Myrtle Mae, Wayne, J. W., and Nettie Fay. This family lives at Seymour.
Father Baldwin worked oxen on his farm, and Alice recalls when she rode the oxen to the water in spite of brotherly warnings from Walter and Lem that she might get hurt. Lively as a cricket and unafraid, Alice rode them just the same. Alice, the baby when the family moved to Eliasville, claims a continuous residence in Eliasville of seventy-three years.
(On page 40)
Roscoe Baldwin got his nickname from reciting a bumble-bee poem which ended with, “it went bum, bum, bum.” We called him “Bum Baldwin” ever afterward."

The below photo (actually a very poor xerox photocopy) was sent to me by B. R. Sadler in the 1990's.  He said it was of Francis Marion Baldwin.  If anyone has a better copy or the original, please scan a copy and share!  With today's technology a much better digital copy could be posted for all posterity to enjoy.



The following photo is of Mary Sadler Baldwin holding Hoyt Baldwin, her grandson.   Again, a better copy of this photo would be appreciated!



Any additional information on the Francis Marion and Mary (Sadler) Baldwin family would be appreciated.   A much better story could probably be written and I hope someday someone will accomplish that.  
Thank you.
 
***ALL descendants (male and female) of Francis Marion Baldwin and Mary Sadler are encouraged to participate in autosomal DNA testing!!  Direct male descendants can do yDNA tests through FamilyTreeDNA.com where there is a Baldwin surname group. ***