|Modern B&B in Marshall Texas|
Laura Dove Witty Patty was born on 29 Mar 1854, in Marshall Texas. This is where my great great grandmother Eugenia Witty Booth also was born just 2 years earlier.
Then by 1860 the family settled a new area in Hill County, much further west. Actually their father, Carroll Witty had purchased land and "settlers began moving into the area about 1850, and the community was established in 1857." I note that the Hillsboro Historic Association doesn't have any records of him...which seems interesting somehow. (More on Hill County tomorrow when the Witty's family has settled there.)
But let's go back to Marshall, which was founded in 1841 as the seat of Harrison County, in East Texas, and was incorporated in 1843.
|Texas and Pacific Railroad station|
Marshall quickly became a major city in the state because of its position as a gateway to Texas; several major stage coach lines and one of the first railroad lines into Texas ran through it. The founding of several colleges, including a number of seminaries, teaching colleges, and incipient universities, earned Marshall the nickname the Athens of Texas, in reference to the ancient Greek city state.Marshall was the first city in Texas to have a telegraph service....by 1854 the local paper had a telegraph link to New Orleans, which gave it quick access to national news. By 1860 Marshall was one of the largest and wealthiest towns in East Texas, with a population estimated at 2,000. With slavery still prevalent for the major industry, cotton, over half the population were Blacks.
The whole Witty family had still lived in Limestone County, Alabama as of Feb 1850s census. Carroll Witty probably settled his wife and the younger children in Marshall, by 1852 when Eugenia was born, then took his two oldest sons with him (this is pure speculation on my part) to set up a home in Woodbury, Hill County, Texas. Then they would all have a place to live on the frontier.
Obviously Carroll visited the Witty family in Marshall, perhaps for supplies or other reasons, including fathering Laura Dove.
Isn't that a pretty name?
She married like many young women in that time when she was 17. Her husband was James Riley Patty, born on 14 Oct 1845 in McMinn County, Tennesse. He had been a Corporal for the 59th Tennessee Mounted Infantry, Company A, during the Civil War. So he moved to Texas following the war, and was 26 when he married in 1871 in Hill County, Texas.
The Patty family included 9 children, the last one born in 1890. The youngest, Eva Laura Fay Patty Herring, lived to be 96, dying in 1987, after having 4 children.
|Early Pioneer home|
Laura and her husband both died in 1935. He died first, March 30, and she applied for pension as a Civil War widow in April of that year. She died on Oct 5. Her adult son who lived with her, Birch, gave information for the death certificate, saying she was still married. He had been 50 when the 1930 census was taken, and his 45 year old sister Hettie also still lived with their parents. Birch was employed as a grocery clerk, but Hettie didn't work outside the home. These adult children didn't marry or have children as far as I know.
Edith, who died at 90, their oldest child, also was living with her parents as of 1920, and she was a public school teacher. By 1930 however she was living as a boarder in Dallas, TX, and was still teaching. She didn't marry or have children.
Lexie Patty, their 6th child, is on a Sevier County, Tennessee Census in 1930 as a widow, with 3 sons who all have Patty as their last name. And Lexie is the head of a household which farms, while parents who are listed must be her in-laws, Levi and Sarah Henner. She also gives her birth as well as that of her parents as being in Tennessee (which wasn't true). At some point in her life Lexie returned to Hill County Texas, and she died there age 84 in 1968.
Major Riley Patty...the next youngest of their children...what another interesting name! As a child he was given Major Riley as his name, but later records just show him as Riley. Perhaps various official persons thought the title should belong to someone who had attained that rank. He lived from 1885 till 1951, dying at 71 years of age. In 1940 it is interesting to note, that he lived with his brother Birch, and sisters Hettie and Lexie, in Hillsboro, Hill County Texas.
These were siblings that came back to, or never left, the home of their parents.
William Canal Patty did marry, and had 2 children, then in his fifties became an inmate of the Colorado State Hospital, where he died after 5 years at age 57. How sad.