Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Leroy Francis Webb - Ancestor Saturday

It's time for looking into the life of another of my ancestors...Ancestor Saturday 2014!
He was alive at the time cowboys were riding the range, driving their Texas cattle to market in Kansas and Illinois before railroads took that job away.

I share this with Sepia Saturday HERE
Topic - old photographs hidden in a book.  (There is an old photo included below.  As well as lots of data that comes along with research about my great grandfather.) 

Leroy Francis Webb was born on Jan 14, 1856, in  Clinton, DeWitt County, TX

Died 27 Mar 1921, San Antonio, TX
He was my great grandfather.  He outlived my grandfather (who died at 28) by 2 years.

LFWebb Store
Unknown event being memorialized in 1894..."In Memory of the L. F. Webb Family"

L. F. Webb Store, Weesatche, Texas.  Apparently the gathering is of Employees, Friends and Customers.  See information about DeWitt County below, but my guess is most of these "customers" were cowboys, farmers and ranchers.

Born in 1856 in DeWitt County, an early settlement of Texas...Here's some info from Wikipedia:
In 1825, empresario Green DeWitt  received a grant from the (Mexican government) Coahuila y Tejas legislature to settle 400 families (in Texas territory).  Between 1826 and 1831 settlers arrived from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and other Southern states.
A temporary county government was set up in 1846, with the county seat being Daniel Boone Friar's store at the junction of the La Bahía Road and the Gonzales-Victoria road.  On November 28, 1850, Clinton became the county seat until Cuero became county seat in 1876.
From April 1866 until December 1868 a subassistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau served at Clinton. The community of Hopkinsville was established in 1872 by Henry Hopkins, freedman former slave of Judge Henry Clay Pleasants, the judge credited for ending the Sutton-Taylor Feud. Residents began a school that was active until 1956, and established the Antioch Baptist Church.
The notorious Sutton-Taylor feud began as a Reconstruction era county law enforcement issue between the Taylor family and lawman William E. Sutton. It eventually involved both the Taylor and Sutton families, the Texas State Police, the Texas Rangers and John Wesley Hardin. The feud, which lasted a decade and cost 35 lives, has been called the longest and bloodiest in Texas history.
April 1, 1866 marked the first cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail, which originated at Cardwell's Flat, near the present Cuero (also in DeWitt County). The coming of the railroads eliminated the need for the Chisholm Trail
Mr. Webb is listed on the census in Gonzales, Texas at age 3 in 1860. His father, Samuel Webb, had been born 28 January 1827 in Vienna, Dorchester, Maryland.  His mother, Ellen Ann Delamater Webb was born 25 Jan 1842 in New York.  They had married in DeWitt County, Texas, he at age 29, she was 15.  Leroy Francis Webb had 7 siblings.

In 1870 (age 13) he lived with his parents, Samuel (a  merchant) and Ellen in DeWitt County, TX.

At 20 he married Annie Elizabeth Williams, in Goliad, TX on Aug 7, 1877.  She had been born on June 20, 1862 in MO.

In the 1880 Census, they are living still in Goliad, and he's a Retail Grocer (perhaps in  the building shown above).  He is 23 and Annie is now 18.  They have 2 sons, J.E. (2) and John (3 mos).  And in the way of families, his sisters and brothers are also living with them: Phiney, 12; Joe, 9; D. E. (female) 6; and Sam, 4.   W.E. Ramsey, age 68, is a clerk who also lives with them.  His mother had died in 1876 and his father died 8 days after his wedding in August 1877.

There is also on the same 1880 census sheet a person identifying himself as a photographer, B. Kehner, a 66 year old German and his wife.  I wonder if he is the source of the great photograph in 1894 of L.F. Webb's store.

It is also interesting to note that Leary and Leroy were given as spellings of his name, as well as Larry.  I think this was politically motivated perhaps, or maybe just transcription errors.

In the Census of 1900 his household had changed a bit.  He's 42, having been married 22 years, but still Head of General Merchandise.  His wife Annie has given birth to 7 children, 6 of whom are listed as living.  Daughter 16, Maggie E. W; 13 year old Thomas K; 11 year old Clara; and 8 year old son, Albert J. (to become my grandfather.) 25 year old Katie Avers is their houseservant.

And on that census sheet, the next listing after that household is for James E. Webb, age 21, living with his brother, 20 year old John.  These were the oldest sons of Annie and Leroy Webb.  J. E. is a bookkeeper, and John is a salesman of merchandise. I wonder if they helped in the family business.  They haven't left the area, in spite of the 1894 photo in "memorial" of the business.

Then in the census of 1910 his family is living on Lewis St, San Antonio and he's still a General Merchandise Merchant.  I would love to know what motivated the family to travel from Weesatche to San Antonio. Perhaps it was that railroad which changed the cattle drives from cowboys spending weeks on a trail to Kansas to just loading the cattle on cattle cars, though that change began when he was a child.

Annie in 1910 has all 7 of her children living, but other sources say there was a daughter who died at 5, Laura Mae.  Listed in the household, Tom is 22; Clara, 20;  Albert 18; and L. F. is 5.  A servant is 17 year old Orestes Ware.

A delightful resource is available also for 1910. The San Antonio City Directory which lists L. F. Webb as a Confectionary located at 262 San Pedro Ave, SW...with a telephone number.  He and wife A. E. live at 130 Lewis Ave.  Also listed is Thomas K. as a clerk for L. F. Webb (and living at home as well).  Miss Clara Webb is listed at the same home address, no occupation.  And 18 year old Albert is a solicitor for Conness Realty, also living with parents.

By the Census of 1920, L.F. Webb is retired as a merchant, age 61, living with Annie still at 130 Lewis St.  36 year old John is a manufacturer, living at home, as well as a daughter Mattie, age 33.   A servant is also cook.  I have no idea who this John and Mattie might be.  Their son, John would have been over 40.  He had married someone named Elizabeth Hohn.

Mission Burial Park, San Antonio, TX

In Texas Find-A-Grave, I find his family marker, and both his and Annie's graves.  She outlived him by quite a few years (dying in 1942, age 80) .  He died when he was 64 years old, on 27 Mar 1921.  I never heard if he saw my mother, Mataley Webb, who was born in March of 1917.



Wendy said...

Wonderful photo of the store! If I had been an employee, I would have been among the ones standing on the ground.

La Nightingail said...

Whether or not your great grandfather saw your mother would, I suppose, depend on how close Albert & family lived to his parents & how easy or not it was to travel from one place to the other? People back then didn't pop about as they do now, of course. But I do hope he saw her. It would be nice for you to be able to think so, anyway. Interesting post.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

My grandmother and my mother lived in the very same town, San Antonio, as my great grandmother Annie Webb. And there were lots of aunts and uncles "Webb" as well. But Mom never mentioned any of them.

Kristin said...

His tombstone looks quite impressive surrounded by the flat ones.

Mike Brubaker said...

The store photo resembles the photo from Windthorst, TX that I posted back in November. A few months ago I read a very good book, "A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico" which described how the politics of the time influenced the pattern of immigration in Texas and the Southwest.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Thanks Mike, it is very convoluted with the politics of those 2 countries. I'll look for that book.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

I continued looking at the 1920 census and find that several sheets were mixed up, so families at the bottom of one sheet looked as if they had children who were listed at the top of the next sheet, which was actually out of order. Thus the Webbs didn't ever have the John and Mattie and cook that I mentioned above. The actual family members will be noted in another post...soon.

Bob Scotney said...

I'm impressed with the amount of work you must have done to be able to put this post together. I was not expecting to see Leroy's history in so much detail after that memorial photograph, ending as it did with his and Annie's grave.

Joy said...

That is quite a stretch of history you have uncovered great research. There seems to be always someone on a roof in store photos, it seems this one was irresistible with four up there.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

Thanks Bob, and Joy. I have actually felt like this was a real person now, and all the data was available through Ancestry DOT com and archived Census reports...sorry there weren't more pictures available from Ancestry. It does get a bit dry for reading on a blog. Thanks for stopping by.

Little Nell said...

Well done on the research again Barb and I stand in admiration of that headstone too!

Boobook said...

Sadly I don't think the stores of today stop long enough to congregate for a photo.

Peter said...

Can you imagine such a picture in front of a web shop?
Thanks for telling us this piece of history. Without Sepia Saturday I would never have known...