Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vern and Laura Wilson

Uncle Vern
Vern Wilson was the older brother of our Grandma Maymie.  He was close to our family during my entire youth and I have many fond memories of "Uncle Vern."

William Martin Wilson, more commonly known as Vern Wilson, was the oldest child of Charles and Minnie Wilson.  Vern was born 29 Sep 1903 at Quinlan, Woods, Oklahoma. 
The Wilson family lived a rather nomadic lifestyle, moving around the country in a covered wagon.  They moved from Oklahoma to New Mexico, back to Oklahoma, then to Arkansas, back to Oklahoma, then to Utah and finally to Colorado -- all in a covered wagon.  Below is a picture of Vern and his sister, Maymie, taken about 1912 while they lived in New Mexico.  Vern and Maymie had a close relationship all their lives.

As a teenager living in Southern Utah, Vern had trouble getting along with his father.  One day, Vern saddled up his horse and with two pack horses, and started out for Oklahoma.  A friend by the name of Roy Rutherford rode with him.  Vern rode as far as Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he sold his horses and joined the Navy.

Once when his ship docked in California, Vern had shore leave.  A young girl by the name of Laura Franks was with a group of young women waiting to see all of the sailors. According to one of Vern's sisters-in-law, Laura "grabbed a hold of Vern and never let him go."  
Laura Franks
Vern and Laura were married 5 Dec 1925 in Los Angeles, California.  Laura Ella Franks, the daughter of Carroll Franks and Emma Gipson, was born 28 Jan 1910 in Oklahoma.  Several months after her birth, her family moved to Los Angeles, California, where she grew up. 

Shortly after they married, Vern and Laura moved to Oakland, California. The photo below was taken in 1927 in Oakland.
Vern and Laura Wilson 1927
Vern was in the Navy about 8 years before he got out.  Rumor has it that he just left while on furlough - as in desertion.  In 1930, Vern and Laura were living in Oakland, Alameda County, California.  He reported his occupation as a roofing laborer.  An occupation he would follow most of his life. 
In 1949, Vern owned a company called Valley Roofing in Cortez, Colorado.  In the photo below, Vern is standing in front of his truck, which was parked in front of  Wilson's Grocery store just north of Cortez.  Vern and Laura lived a little further back behind the store.

In about 1949, Vern was trying to get a roofing contract on the Navajo Reservation. He had to prove that he was part Indian, so he had his wife, Laura, type up a pedigree showing his Indian heritage (shown below).  There is NO PROOF that the great-grandma was actually a Choctaw Indian.

Pedigree for Vern Wilson

In 1949, Vern was baptised by a Southern Baptist preacher in Hartman Creek (north of Cortez, CO).  Baptized at the same time were his sister, Maymie, and his nephews, Leroy and Wilber.  They are standing in the creek just prior to being baptized.

Preacher, Leroy, Maymie, Wilber, Vern
Baptised in Hartman Creek, Cortez, CO 
By 1953, Vern and Laura had moved back to California.  Vern worked for Miller Bros Union Pacific  Stockyard in La Puente, California.   The photo shown below was dated December 1963.  Laura wrote on back: "Kinda goofy looking, but pretty natural at that.  If we get a better one will send it to you."

In 1956, Vern then went to work for stables of Mrs. H. C. Morton of Los Angeles, taking care of her thoroughbred horses.  Laura was a taxi driver in the Los Angeles area during this time. In the photo below, Vern and Laura are still living in California -- not sure on the make of the car, but I do know that he owned a "Hudson" at one time.  

Vern and Laura were not able to have children, but are fondly remembered by nieces and nephews.  The last few years of his life were spent living south of Cortez, Colorado.  Vern had heart trouble and was semi-retired.  I remember working on some really big puzzles with him.  He would spread the pieces out on his coffee table and let me help him put them together.

Laura was a go-getter - never one to sit still for very long.  She was the first "Tupperware Lady" I knew.  Laura traveled all over the 4-corners area selling Tupperware at parties.  I can remember helping her pack all her tupperware in the car, so she could leave for a party.

Vern died in his sleep on 22 Oct 1962 and was buried in the Cortez Cemetery.   Laura eventually moved back to California and died 30 Jan 1983 in Torrance, Los Angeles, California.  Her ashes were returned to  be placed beside Vern in the Cortez Cemetery.

Vern & Laura
About 1960

We miss both of you!

Vern Wilson Birth Information

This affidavit was made by Minnie Pearl Wilson in 1952.  It is the birth information for her son, William Martin "Vern" Wilson. 

Feuding Hatfields??

Martin Monroe Hatfield Family Photo
Were our Hatfield's part of a feud in Oklahoma??

This is a photo of the Martin Monroe Hatfield family on their Oklahoma homestead.  Martin and daughter, Anna, were holding rifles.  The family, looking rather stern and standing in front of their home, appear as if they were trying to scare or chase someone off their property.  Anna looks as if she were ready to shoot the next person to move any closer.  Were they holding guns to make a statement or were they just having fun posing for a photo?

Left to right:  Clinton holding horses, Alfred holding puppy, Grace holding horses, Martin holding a rifle, Nancy, Anna holding a rifle.  She looks a little like Annie Oakley instead of Anna Hatfield.
This photo was not dated, but guessing from the ages of the children, the photo was taken about 1907-1909.  Photo would have been taken on the Hatfield Homestead in Woods County, Oklahoma.

More on the Martin Monroe Hatfield Family can be found on these blog posts:
Martin Monroe Hatfield Family
Before and After -- Hatfield's Homestead
Anna Belle Hatfield 
Pioneer in the new 'City of the Dead' at Dove Creek
Fixin' Supper -- the "Minnie Pearl" style

The Hatfield family is part of the Wilson family line.  Our direct ancestor, Minnie Pearl Hatfield, married Charles B. Wilson.  She was the daughter of Martin Monroe Hatfield and Nancy A. McNeil.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

John Sadler - A True Texan

John Sadler is the great-grandpa of our Grandpa Jess Baldwin.  John was the first true "Texan" in our Baldwin-Sadler family line.

John and Basheba Sadler
Our "First Family" in Texas

John Sadler was born 24 May 1811 in Tennessee. Some researchers believe him to be the son of John William Sadler and brother of William D Sadler who settled in Frio County, Texas.  Since descendants of our John Sadler and William D Sadler share common DNA, it is almost for certain that John and William were brothers.

At some point before 1830, John moved to Illinois. It is not known if he moved to Illinois by himself or if he made the move with family and/or friends.
In 1830, John was listed in the Federal Census for Shelby County, Illinois as a single man.  Later in 1830 in Shelby County, Illinois, John married Basheba Lindley.  Below is a copy of the marriage license dated 17 Nov 1830.  Basheba's grandfather, John Whitley Sr., paid the marriage bond.

State of Illinois, Shelby County
To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting
Know ye license & promission is hereby granted to any licensed Minister of the Gospel, Judge,
or Justice of the Peace in the County of Shelby & State of Illinois
to solomize the rites of matrimony between
Mr. John Sadler and Miss Basheba Lindly
now both of the County & State aforesaid.
Witness Joseph Oliver Clerk of the County Commissioners Court of said County of Shelby & State aforesaid.  This 17th day of Nov 1830.
paid on oath of John Whitly Sr.
John Sadler and Basheba Lindley were married the next day on the 18th day of November 1830 by Joseph Baker, JP.  Below is the record of the marriage.

Basheba (sometimes spelled Bathsheba, Barsheba, Bashie) was the oldest daughter of Samuel Washington Lindley and Elizabeth Whitley.  She was born on 5 Mar 1811 in Illinois.

The young couple headed for Texas several years after they married.  They most likely traveled in covered wagons with members of the Lindley family, which included Basheba's father, Samuel W. Lindley.  Members of the Whitley family also came to Texas around that time.

Texas was still part of Mexico and Mexican government required a letter of recommendation from a reliable citizen of the US before admitting families to Texas. Basheba’s father, Samuel Washington Lindley, received a letter of recommendation signed by the Governor of Illinois on 27 Sep 1833.  In an 1838 land record, John stated that he "arrived in this County [Montgomery] in November 1833."

After they arrived in Texas, John Sadler gave the Mexican authorities a certificate of character on 25 Sep 1834.  Below is a copy of the original certificate.

Transcription of original character certificate from the General Land Office of Texas:
"San Augustine, September 25, 1834
I Certify that John Sadler from the certificate of two repectable persons a native of Tennessee of the United States of America is a man of a family consisting of four persons and that he is a man of good moral habits and industry and a good citizen and a friend to the laws and religion of the country given at the instance of the party ____ . Benjamin Lindsey Aalcalde
(Note) Wife & 2 children = Vehlein. Next to Saml Lindley. Wm Rankin"

The above character certificate states that John and Basheba Sadler had 2 children by 25 Sep 1834.  Who were they? Present day records show only one child born before Sep 1834 and that was James.  Who was the second child mentioned in the character certificate? John and Basheba were married Nov 1830, so it is possible that they had a child born in 1831 or 1832. Did they have a small child that died shortly after they arrived in Texas?

On 7 Nov 1834, John Sadler and his father-in-law, Samuel Lindley, received grants from the Coahuila y Tejas government issued in Nacogdoches. These grants were later recognized by the Republic of Texas. Spanish Land Grant, Volume C: 56, Montgomery Co. TX.
On 29 Apr 1835, John received a land patent for in Montgomery County, Texas.

By the latter part of 1835, the Texians were engaging in battles and revolting against the Mexican government.  The Texians were accustomed to a federalist government and individual rights, and were not happy with Mexico’s increasing dictatorial attempts. 
Basheba's brother, Jonathan Lindley, enlisted in the Texas army.  He was with the relief force from Gonzales that was sent to the Alamo.  Jonathan Lindley died during the Battle of the Alamo on 6 March 1836.

Battle of San Jacinto
News of the Alamo's fall and the death of his brother-in-law, Jonathan Lindley, undoubtedly prompted John to join Sam Houston's army and fight for Texan Independence from Mexico.  John fought in Captain William Ware's Company and is considered one of the heroes who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto under General Sam Houston on April 21, 1836.
Battle of San Jacinto.  Artistic interpretation by Henry Arthur McArdle (1836-1908)

Proof of John's service can be found in different sources:
FOUNDERS AND PATRIOTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS, BOOK II; Published by The Daughters of The Republic of Texas; Austin, Texas, 1974. Page 147.  Mrs. Nannie Fay Sadler Robertson; No. 6179; admitted November 17, 1969; Mary Ann Lawhon Chapter.  'John Sadler, b. 5-28,-1811, Tennessee, d. 4-18-1885, Oletha, Texas, m. 11-17-1830, Shelby County, Illinois, Barsheba Lindley, b. 3-5-1811, Illinois, d 10-17-1885, Oletha, Texas.  John Sadler, a soldier at San Jacinto in Captain William Ware's Company.'
MUSTER ROLLS OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1986.  Muster roll - page 37.  San Jacinto List; Col Sherman's Command.  Name & Rank: John Sadler

After defeating Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto, Texas became it's own republic.  John, Basheba and their family became Citizens of the Republic of Texas.
In August 1838, John received bounty land for having fought at the Battle of San Jacinto.   Below is a copy of the actual bounty land certificate. 

John Sadler Texas Bounty Land Certificate

On 11 Mar 1839, John registered his brand in Montgomery County, Texas.

In the 1840, John was enumerated in the Montgomery County Census of the Republic of Texas.  He reported 2000 acres of land under complete title and 1652 acres of land under survey based on a grant but without final title.  John, also, reported one slave and 15 head of cattle.  In 1846, John was enumerated in the Republic of Texas Poll list.  He was listed with the middle initial of "W".  This is the only record with a middle initial shown.

John, Basheba, and their family were living on their land that was partly in Walker County and partly in Montgomery County.  The plat map shown below for Walker County shows where John's land was located.  His parcel of land is the bigger yellow area at the bottom of the map.  Part of the land crossed the county line and was in Montgomery county.  Most of the official records pertaining to John Sadler are found in the Montgomery County Court records, but there are some records also in the Walker County Court records.  His children attended school in Walker County.

By deed dated 19 February 1849 in Walker County, Texas, John Sadler of Walker County sold to William Nathan Lindley of Walker County, for the sum of $150, 96.2 acres of his headright league in Walker County. Recorded 19 March 1849, notary public John S. Besser.

John and "Besheba" Sadler appeared in the US Federal Census of 1 June 1850 in Walker County, Texas. The census recorded that John, a 39 yr old Tennessee native, was a farmer with land valued at $1784.  Other members of the household included James Caine Sadler, Sarah Sadler, Samuel Lewis Sadler, Elizabeth Sadler, Richard Henry Sadler, Mary Sadler and Robert Sadler.
1850 Federal Census, Walker County, Texas, page 268B

John and "Basheby" Sadler were also enumerated in the 1850 Montgomery county census.  This is probably because his land was located in both counties, and, so was shown in the census records for both counties.

On 16 December 1850, John sold to Daniel McGill the "tract of land situated in Montgomery Land District Texas and a part of said Sadlers headright league of land granted to him as a colonist..." for $1700.00.  Montgomery County Deed Book, Vol. O, page 128.

In 1854, his family is listed in the School Enumeration for Walker county.  John Sadler was listed as having 5 children in school.

In later years, John's daughter, Mary Sadler Baldwin, recalled knowing and playing with the children of Sam Houston when she was young.  According to census records, Sam Houston and family were living in Walker County in the 1850's.

On 19 January 1854, John Sadler sold to Jonathan Collard, "a part and remainder of six hundred and forty acre tract of land donated to me by the Republic of Texas for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto."  The deed is found in the Montgomery County Clerks office, Deed Vol. Q, page 324-325.

Greatest Rail Maker in Montgomery County
JH Collard gave the following description of John Sadler in his earlier years when John lived in Montgomery County.  This was found in a 1877 deposition for John's "proof of service" in the Army of the Republic of Texas and is part of John's pension application found in the Texas General Land Office records.
Deposition by J H Collard -
Transcription of above deposition by J H Collard:
"I know the John Saddler that served in the Army of the Republic with me by the expression of his eye, by the color of his hair, by his voice, by his being a large, stout man, and was notorious in his younger days as being the greatest rail maker in Montgomery county, and this to be the same John Sadler who lives as stated, near L____ Prairie."

Move to Limestone County
Sometime in 1854, the John Sadler family moved to Limestone County, Texas.  The Sadler children were listed in the 1855 School Enumeration for Limestone County.  The John Sadler family had 3 males and 2 females attending school:  Robert, Richard, Samuel, Mary and Elizabeth.
1855 School Enumeration for Limestone County
Texas State Archives
In 1860, John, Basheba and family were living in Limestone County, Texas.  Son, James was living next door to John and Basheba, or possibly in a different dwelling on John's farm.  Allen Baldwin, a school teacher, was also living next to or on the Sadler family farm.  Allen was a school teacher and often people in the community would help support school teachers.  So, perhaps John was providing Allen Baldwin with living accommodations.

1860 United States Federal Census; Limestone County, Texas;
Roll: M653_1300; Page: 336; Family History Library Film: 805300

John's daughter, Mary Sadler, married Francis Marion Baldwin about 1864.  The courthouse in Limestone County burned down in 1873, so there are no records prior to that time and so no marriage record can be found.  Family tradition states that Mary Sadler and F. M. Baldwin were married "during the Civil War."  The Baldwin family had moved from Walker county to Limestone county about the same time the Sadler family made the move.  The families probably knew each other in Walker County before moving to Limestone County.  It was F. M. Baldwin's older brother, Allen Baldwin, a school teacher, who was living next to John in the Limestone County 1860 Census.

In 1870, John and "Bashaba" Sadler were enumerated in the Limestone  County,  Texas Federal Census.  John gave his occupation as "planter."  John's daughter, Sarah Sadler Wageman, was living next to John and Basheba.  According to the census, the value of John's personal and real estate had decreased since the 1860 census.
1870 United States Federal Census; Limestone County, Texas; 
Page: 194B; Family History Library Film: 553095

In 1874, John started the application for a military pension and started receiving an annual pension of $250.00 based upon his service to the Republic of Texas as a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto.

John and "Abasha" Sadler appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Limestone County, Texas. Daughter, Martha, is also in the household.  In the 1880 census, John and Barsheba Lindley Sadler's children, James, Robert and John, and other family members, were enumerated in close proximity in Limestone County.
1880 United States Federal Census, Limestone County, Texas, Page: 419D; ED: 096

John and Basheba had at least nine known children, five sons and four daughters.  Many of their children and grandchildren stayed in the Limestone county area, but others spread out and helped to populate and settle the great state of Texas.  According to information found in online family tree databases, there were about 54 known grandchildren.  Although, not all of the grandchildren lived past childhood.  And, it appears that a large majority of the grandchildren remained in Texas.

Known children of John and Basheba Sadler: 
(1) James Caine Sadler, 1834-1910, md Amarillis Corner, 8 children; 
(2) Sarah Sadler Wageman, 1835-1900, md Henry Wageman, 7 children; 
(3) Samuel Lewis Sadler, 1839-1921, md Jane Folley, 12 children; 
(4) Elizabeth Sadler Sadler, 1842-1912, md John Sadler, 2 children; 
(5) Richard Henry Sadler, 1844-1887, md Rachel Ferguson, 1 child; 
(6) Mary Sadler Baldwin, 1845-1933, md Francis Marion Baldwin, 12 children; 
(7) Robert Sadler, 1849-1924, md Nan Ross, 5 children; 
(8) Martha Sadler Ingle, 1850-1897, md Taylor Ingle, 1 child; 
(9) John "Bud" Sadler, 1853-1898, md Elizabeth Martin, 6 children.

John Sadler died on 18 April 1885 at age 73 in Limestone County, Texas.  Basheba died later that year, on 17 October 1885.  John and Basheba are buried beside each other in the Ferguson Cemetery in Oletha, Limestone County, Texas.

About 20 years ago, I visited the Ferguson cemetery in Limestone County and took the above photo of the original headstones of John and Basheba with the taller memorial headstone for John between them .  Better photos of the headstones can be found on sites such as and

To view John Sadler's Find A Grave memorial, Click Here.

To view the original donation land grant records shown above, go to the Texas General Land Office website: History>Land Grant Search.  Search both spellings: John Sadler and John Saddler. 
To view John Sadler's Character Certificate, Click Here.
To view John Sadler's 1838 land record, Click Here.
To view John Sadler's Donation Land Certificate, Click Here.

Descendants of John and Basheba Sadler are eligible for membership in The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and/or the San Jacinto Descendants.

If anyone has additional information on John Sadler, please leave information in a comment.  It would be nice to have a complete history of John Sadler online.  Also, looking for a photo of John and/or Basheba Sadler.  Thanks.