Monday, February 19, 2018

Sally Phillips Pattillo My Third Great Grandmother on my Father's Side

Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Boydton built in 1842
during Sally's lifetime
Sally Phillips was the daughter of Pettus Phillips and Rebecca Coleman. She was born circa 1789 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. On some records her middle initial is “E” and on others “C”. I prefer “C” guessing that it is for “Coleman” her mother’s maiden name. The Phillips family was from Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Pettus and his father Martin both lived in Mecklenburg County, as did Rebecca’s family. I know that Sally had at least one brother John Phillips and a sister Nancy because both were named in their father’s will.

In 1808, on December 15th Sally married Samuel H. Pattillo. He was 28 and she was 19. They were married in Mecklenburg County by Rev. James Meacham. Two and a half years later her sister Nancy married Marshall Mosely. Three years after that Sally gave birth to James Henry Pattillo, my second great grandfather. It seems unusual that her first child wasn’t born until six years after she was married which suggests that possibly other children were born earlier but did not survive.
Close up of young tobacco plants grown by Sally's family.

The births of three additional sons followed – Edward M. in 1816, Charles Madison in 1918, and Robert Alexander in about 1820.  Each of her sons lived to maturity, married and had successful careers. James was appointed Superintendent of the Poorhouse and Housing Stewart at Randolph-Macon College, Edward was a Justice of the Peace, and Charles was a Constable for Mecklenburg County.

When Sally’s father, Pettus Phillips died in 1821 she was 32. He left her a Negro man named Ben and $400 that was actually given to her husband Samuel W. Pattillo. A few years later in 1828 Sally gave birth to a daughter, Ann who married John W. Pearcy on February 13, 1873 and moved to Dinwiddie County, Virginia. That same year in December Sally’s mother Rebecca died.
Marriage Record for Ann R. Pattillo and John Pearcy.
Saml' Pattillo and Sally Phillips are listed as Wife's Parents

Sally’s husband Samuel died about 1840 when Sally was 51, so he was not there to witness the marriages of their children. Each of their children married between 1845 and 1873.

I have not found a record of when Sally died or where she is buried.

Sources: Melba Crosse book on the Pattillos; 1820, 1830 and 1840 censuses; Ancestry website; Marriages of Mecklenburg Co. book; will of Pettus Phillips; marriage document for Ann R.Pattillo.

Samuel H.W. Pattillo (1780 - ca. 1840) My Third Great Grandfather on my Father's Side

Samuel was the son of Solomon Pattillo and Sarah Major. He was the youngest of four children
Tobacco Gold growing in Mecklenburg Co. Virginia in 2017
Samuel Pattillo was most likely a tobacco farmer.
named in his mother’s will in 1817. He had an older sister, Rebecca who was born about 1774, and two older brothers Williamson, born about 1776 and Edward in about 1778. Samuel was born about 1780. All of these children were born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.

It is not clear what his middle name was. In the Pattillo book by Melba Crosse she notes that she found two documents where he used “H” as his middle initial but in most records he used “W”. On the 1820 and 1840 censuses he is shown as Samuel W. Pattillo. On his marriage record it shows Samuel H. Pattillo. I’ve guessed that his middle name was Henry because his oldest son’s middle name is Henry. I’ve found no records that provide his middle name but someone on Ancestry noted his middle name as “Willis”.

By 1800 Samuel’s family had moved a little south to Mecklenburg County, Virginia where he appeared on a tax list in that year. Much of what I know about Samuel comes from court records I found when I visited the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in 2014 and 2017. The earliest of these documents is dated December 21, 1805 when Samuel is shown as a trustee in a debt agreement between Peter Peterson and a firm called Bilbo & Langley. This record is from Warren County, North Carolina. A Google search brings up two more references to Bilbo & Langley but neither explains what sort of firm it was.

Next is a deed from April 7, 1807 when he sold a 66-acre tract of land on Woodpecker Creek in Mecklenburg County to Willis Vaughn and his wife Edie.
Woodpecker Creek crosses Highway 49 and is southwest of Chase City
in Mecklenburg County, Virginia

On September 15, 1810 Samuel purchased a tract of land from Lewis Toone for 179 pounds. The purchase included “and appurtenances” which probably means a house and other farm structures. The curious thing about this transaction is that the debt was recorded in British pounds rather than American dollars – 34 years after the American Revolution.

October 18, 1811 is the first time Samuel appeared on a circuit court record when he was summoned to appear as a witness at the courthouse in Boydton, Virginia. That same year he purchased a 66-acre parcel of land from Willis and Edie Vaughn for $187. On the survey of this new piece of property one of the surveyor’s landmarks was labelled “Pattillo’s Corner Red Oak”, so it seems the new parcel was contiguous with a parcel he already owned. These two land transactions with the Vaughns are confusing – in one Samuel sold a 66-acre parcel to Vaughn and in the other he purchased a 66-acre parcel from Vaughn – maybe it was the same parcel that he sold and then bought back from the Vaughn’s.

Between 1813 and 1819 I found four more court documents involving Samuel. The first in November of 1813 was the circuit court case of Marshall Moody vs. Charles Burton. In March of 1814 Samuel served as the administrator of the estate of John Fair. This is interesting because it was typical at that time for the court to appoint a family member or other close associates to serve as the estate administrator. I have no idea who John Fair was or why Samuel was called upon to administer his estate. Fair could have been a neighbor or personal friend but there are no Fairs in our family tree as far as I know.

In March of 1819, when Samuel was 39, he was involved with a pair of interesting cases that came before the Grand Jury. One was an assault case filed against Thomas W. Gillespie who got into a brawl in a tavern. The other was against Alexander Gillespie who was accused of using profanity in the home of Henry Dedman. These seem like petty crimes – I wonder why they went to the Grand Jury?
Samuel would have taken his tobacco crob to a tobacco
wharehouse similar to this one in Chase City

Later in 1819 Samuel was called upon to appraise the value of the slaves owned by Thomas Spain who had passed away. At that time it was standard practice for a person’s estate to be inventoried and the value of his estate to be appraised. Local men in the community – typically land owners were routinely called upon to provide these services to the court. Samuel worked on the appraisal with William Brame, Charles Hutchison, William Baptist and John Jeffries.

Samuel’s mother Sarah died in 1817. Her will was dated April 4th of that year. In it she left Samuel one feather bed and furniture. Her son Williamson received, “one Negro man by the name Frank also one feather bed for him and his heirs ... I give and bequeath to my son Edward M. Pattillo one Negro boy by the name Littleton, 2 feather beds and furniture ….”. The remainder of her estate was to be equally divided among her four children – so her daughter Rebecca received substantially less than the sons.

On the 1820 Mecklenburg, Virginia census Samuel W. Pattillo was listed with his wife, children and six slaves. Samuel was 40 years old but the census provides no additional information.

Samuel was particularly active in civic affairs during the 1820s. I’ve found eleven court records from that decade. On May 21, 1821 Samuel served on another grand jury. The case had something to do with his father-in-law Pettus Phillips and the business Craddock & Pattillo. The court document notes that Samuel was paid $3.75 for his service on the jury but is unclear on other details. Craddock & Pattillo was a general store owned by David Craddock and Dr. William J. Pattillo – no relation. The store was located adjacent to the Quarter Horse Race Track in Christianville. Christianville is now called Chase City and is near the town of Boydton.
This is the courthouse in Boydton. Built 1838-1842 at the
end of Samuel's life.

Three of the court records were land transactions. On February 16, 1822 he and Sally executed two transactions – in one they sold a 70-acre tract of land to Alexander Clausel for $300, and in the other they sold a 100-acre parcel to Richard Harris for $600. The third land transaction occurred in March of 1824 when Sam purchased another 179 ¾ acres from Elizabeth Toone after her husband William Toone died.

The other seven cases involved myriad civic responsibilities. In June of 1821 he was again asked to appraise an estate – this time it was for a man named William Hurt. In August of 1823 he helped appraise the estate of John Murphy. He did another appraisal for the estate of Eliza Farrer in 1826. At the end of the decade on December 21, 1829 Samuel was a surety (a person who takes responsibility for another's performance of an undertaking) in a case involving Elizabeth Baskerville – “a person of unsound mind”. Makes you wonder what that was all about.

On the census of 1830 Samuel was living in a household with 8 others – there were 7 males including Samuel and two females – his wife Sarah and their youngest child, a daughter Ann who was born in 1828. Only Samuel was identified by name. Neither slaves nor free persons of color were recorded on the census that year.

I have found only two court documents for Samuel from the 1830s. One indicates that he served on another jury when he was 50 years old. I don’t know what the case was about. Then in 1831 he was a surety for the estate of Martha Butler. A newspaper article in the Richmond Enquirer dated September 2, 1836 includes the name Samuel W. Pattillo as a member of the Republican Van Buren Committee who endorsed “Martin Van Buren of New York and William Smith, of Alabama for President and Vice President of the United States.” 
Downtown Boydton in 2017 - a designated historic district

On September 23, 1841 Samuel did something that seems peculiar. He signed an agreement to pay several debts he owed to five individuals not later than April 1, 1843.  And, he put up practically everything he owned as collateral – including the 200 acre tract of land he lived on, plus his entire household and kitchen furnishings, his plantation tools and utilities, all his feed and animals, his shotgun and all the crops that were currently growing on his plantation plus the crops from the upcoming year. The total of what was owed came to $875.40. The equivalent in 2017 is $23,633, so the debt was not huge – so why did Samuel have to risk everything he owned?

I don’t have a date of death for Samuel. Crosse believes he died sometime before the 1840 census because he was not enumerated on that census. He would have been about 60 years old when he died. In May of 1841, his son Charles was appointed to administer Samuel’s estate. The inventory included 1 parcel of corn, 1-2000 pound slack (presumably an old spelling of sack) of oats, 2-1200 pound slacks of oats, 2 slacks of fodder (350 and 500 pound), 1 parcel of fodder, 1 parcel shucks, 1 600 pound parcel of tobacco, 1 Bay mare, 1 dark Bay heifer, and 1 yearling. The total value came to at $92.31 ($2917 in 2017). This doesn’t seem like much for someone who was a landowner. Given Samuel’s extensive civic involvement it appears he was a man of some stature in the community – trusted and well-regarded.
1840 Mecklenburg County census. Samuel is listed 4th from the bottom.

None of the documents I’ve found for Samuel say that he was a farmer but given the contents of his estate and knowing that the vast majority of men living at that time in Virginia were farmers, I think it is safe to assume that that was his profession and way of life. I know that his son James Henry, my 2nd great grandfather was a tobacco farmer so it is likely that Samuel grew the same crop for income.

For information about Samuel’s marriage and children read the post about his wife Sally C. Phillips.

Sources: Melba Crosse book on the Pattillos; 1820, 1830 and 1840 censuses; Ancestry website; tax and other court documents including land deeds; Marriages of Mecklenburg Co. book; the will of Samuel’s mother; and Samuel’s probate documents.

Detail of an abandoned farm storage structure.
2017 Mecklenburg County

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Abraham Drake (1761-1840) My 4th Great Grandfather on my Father's Side

Abraham Drake's headstone in the Drakes-
Cliff Cemetery in Elizabethton, Tennessee
Abraham Drake was the son of Benjamin Drake and Sarah “Sallie” Buchanan.  He was one of seven children. He had an older sister Mary, an older brother William and four younger brothers Isaac, Jacob, Elijah and Ephraim. Abraham was born on July 29, 1761 shortly after the start of the American Revolution. The revolution did not end until 1791, when the United States Bill of Rights was signed, when Abraham was 30 years old. His father Benjamin participated in the revolution in as a militiaman under William Christian, according to DAR records.  Records suggest that Abraham was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

At that time most children learned to read and write and attended school until the age of 8-10. Later in life Abraham was very engaged in civic matters so he may have had some additional schooling. Abraham married Elizabeth “Eliza” Murray in about 1789 and between 1790 and December of 1813 they had ten children – four sons Samuel, Ephraim, Jacob and John and six daughters Sarah, Ruth, Salina, Pricilla, Mary and Elizabeth. Sarah, the eldest daughter is my third great grandmother.

According to a Drake Family History by Donald Drake, Abraham appeared on the 1790 census living in Huntington County, Pennsylvania. By 1796, when Abraham was 35, he and his father were living in Carter County, Tennessee. Both of them appear on tax lists for Carter in 1796 through 1800. Abraham’s father Benjamin is shown as a land owner – initially with 339 acres of land and by 1799 439 acres. Records show that his four younger brothers were also living in Carter County.
This is a portion of the tax list from 1796. The 6th and 7th names listed
are Benjamin Drake and Abraham Drake

From studying court records found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the book Remembrances of Carter County by Mildred Kozsuch I’ve found more than 45 cases of Abraham having served on juries or grand juries in Carter County. There are four documents from 1797. Two were about his serving on juries in the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, and two were about Abraham being involved with road building. On July 5, 1797 he was appointed overseer for the publick (sic) road that was to start at a ford of the Watauga River above his property and extend to the head of Indian Creek. It was to continue to the mouth of Sugar Creek and up the creek to John Peter’s land. From there it was to connect to the farms owned by Nicholas Carriger, Thomas Dunk and John Miller. The document stipulated that “all hands living above the tumbling shoals” should work on the road.
The tumbling shoals - a shallow place in the Watauga River
this photo from another blogger - 2 RV Gypsies

Another document, also dated July 1797 included Abraham in a long list of men who were responsible for building a road “near Elisha Humphrey’s up the Doe River to the middle ford”.

From February 1803 to January 1806 Abraham was involved in some manner in five additional transactions that were recorded by the courts. In 1803 he simply witnessed a couple of land deeds for a man named Godfrey Carriger. In 1804 Abraham was again charged with overseeing the construction of a road “from the ford of the river above widow Carter’s to the Sullivan Line at the head of Indian Creek”. The document stipulated that the hands of Andrew and Alexander Greer, Benjamin Drake and James Finley were to help build the road. In April of 1804 Abraham served on another jury, and on January 21, 1806 he witnessed a deed between John Blevins and Alfred M. Carter.

I’ve found no records for Abraham between 1806 and 1819 when I found seven documents that reference him. Three were cases where he served on juries to resolve local land transactions and four were about road construction projects. Abe and a small group of men were charged with laying off a new public road from Elizabethton that would cross the Watauga River at the tumbling shoals and pass across the Doe River. From there it was to go through the “coaling grounds until it intersects the present road or go by George Emmert’s land and intersects the old road near George Emmert’s spur.”

I have five more court records for the period 1820 to 1822 when Abe was age 59 to 61. In August of 1820 he was listed on a tax list that showed that he lived in Captain Patton’s District of Carter County. He was appointed to serve on the jury of the Court of Pleas and Sessions in 1821 and in that capacity was again involved in road construction projects in the same general area near Indian Creek, the Watauga River and on Stoney Creek Road. On one day – August 18, 1821 Abraham and the rest of the jury ruled on six cases. On February 12, 1822 he was on the jury when Alfred M. Carter applied to the court to lay out a 3000 parcel of land so Carter could build a furnace near the ironworks he owned.

Abraham appeared on the 1840 Carter County census. There were three individuals in his household at the time – one male and one female in the 60-70 age bracket which would have been Abe and his wife Eliza and one other male aged 40-50 which was probably their youngest son John who never married. The census showed that Abe owned no slaves at that time – which does not jibe with the inventory of his estate that was made after his death. 
1840 Carter County Census, Abraham listed 5th from the bottom
Like most of his neighbors Abraham was a farmer. He inherited land from his father and most likely grew tobacco for income. Starting in 1836, when he was 75, he started distributing his land and slaves to his children. He gave a parcel of land to his sons Samuel and John on September 14, 1836. Later that same year in October he gave a slave named Maria to his granddaughter Emily McLeod. Emily was the daughter of Ruth who married Abner McLeod. These records are included in the probate packet for Abraham which is available on In 2017 Ancestry had 71 separate documents in Abe’s probate packet – most are short, cryptic notes on small scraps of paper. After reading each of these documents I wrote an article for the Nugget – a magazine published by the California Genealogical Society that summarizes all that I learned from the material in Abraham’s probate packet. Here is what I learned:
This is a photo of the Lewis farm which was located on Stoney Creek in
Elizabethton. Abraham's farm likely looked very similar to this farm.
Photo found on Google.

The vast majority of all money paid out from his estate went to his children.  I was reminded that his daughters had to receive their share through their husbands. After sorting all the information in a spreadsheet I could see that Abraham had left nearly equal amounts to each of his children. Ephraim, Sarah and Ruth each received $600. Jacob, Pricilla and Mary each got between $550 and $570. One exception, Eliza, Abraham’s youngest daughter received a total of $1180 – nearly double what all the others got. Two children, Salina and John were not mentioned. John never married and had no children. From other sources I know that John suffered from some sort of mental disorder. I do know that his oldest brother Samuel took care of John. In my research it is not clear that Salina was a child of Abraham – this lack of reference reinforces that she may not be one of Abraham’s descendant.  Several of the papers reference Samuel in his capacity as an administrator but only one was a payment to Samuel. That paper said, “One day after date of will pay Samuel Drake $300 for value received of him as witness my hand and seal this 20 day of October 1836.” It was signed by Abraham and witnessed by John Drake. I suspect that this is due to a lost document and believe it is most likely that Samuel received an amount equal to what Sarah received through her husband William Stover – the other administrator.
This is the Sabine Hill home of Nathaniel Taylor in Elizabethton
built in 1818. The Drake family home may have looked
 similar. Google

There were eight persons who were paid from the estate that I do not recognize as one of Abrahams children or a spouse. One of these was N. Williams who was acting as the attorney for the children of Jacob Drake who was deceased. Another of the unknowns was paid for building Abraham’s coffin and others for providing services or goods.

I know that my second great grandfather, William Stover and one of Abraham’s brothers, Samuel Drake administered the estate, and that they put up a $1000 bond to insure that they would do it right. I know the settlement date was 28 September 1842.  It took two years to settle his affairs. Actually, three items in the probate packet are dated after the settlement date – the most recent being 15 July 1850 – nearly ten years after Abraham died.

Abraham had dealings with merchants named Benjamin Browning, Nicolas Rodgers, T.N. Singletory, C.C. Taylor and William Rockhold & Son.

A couple of the documents referenced loans that Abraham had made to his children prior to his death. I know that Abraham’s daughter Eliza purchased a tract of land from Alfred M. Carter because one of the payments made to Carter was made from Abraham’s estate and was part of her inheritance. A separate entry also attributed to Eliza and dated 27 October 1841 for $220 was “for property bought at sale”.

I thought it was interesting that one payment to Abraham’s daughter Eliza was in goods rather than cash. She received 50 pounds of coffee and 50 pounds of sugar. The value of the coffee was recorded in cents but the sugar in shillings – what’s that about?
This is the interior of the Tipton-Haynes home in Johnson
City near Elizabethton. The Drake home would
have contained similar items.

The grand total of the amounts paid was $6376.88 which is equal to $168,794 in 2016 dollars.

Abraham died on October 1, 1840 at the age of 79 and was buried in the Drakes Cliff Cemetery along with several other Drake and Stover relatives. When I visited Elizabethton in 2012 I took a photo of his headstone. It is worn and hard to read but starts, “In Memory of Abraham Drake, Died” …. but I cannot make out the rest

Not included with the above probate documents is an Inventory of the Sale of the Personal Property of the Estate of Abraham Drake which lists items that were sold after his death. His wife Elizabeth purchased a slave woman named Syntha for $100 and household and kitchen furnishings for another $100. My 3rd great grandmother Sarah bought two slaves – Dave and Allen for $100 each. Various relatives and neighbors purchased 10 cows, 1 calf, 3 steer, 5 heifers, 5 bulls, 12 sheep and one wagon. The total value of items sold came to $1818.76 ½. This is in addition to the amounts paid from the estate listed above.
Signature of Abraham Drake
Sources: 1796 - 1800 tax lists, 1840 Carter, TN census, Donald Drake's Family History, Carter County court records, probate documents for Abraham Drake, Google and Robert Nave, Carter Co. historian.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Carrie Brooks Stover (1852-1916) My Great Grandmother on my Father’s Side

Carrie Brooks Stover Pattillo
Carrie was a middle child of David Lincoln Stover (See my first blog post dated June 28, 2013) and Joanna Gaines (see August 5, 2017). She had an older sister Sarah and an older brother William. She also had one younger brother David and two younger sisters Mary and Elizabeth. Carrie was born in Elizabethton, Tennessee on July 18th in 1852. She was born into a family of relative wealth compared to the neighboring families listed on the census. She grew up on a tobacco farm in a family that owned several slaves. Carter County is a beautiful area in Appalachia where dogwoods bloom in spring and native rhododendrons in summer. It has a mild climate year round. The population of Elizabethton was 737 in 1890 so would have been even smaller during Carrie’s childhood. When she was six years old her father David died and two years later eleven year old William also died.
Dogwood blooming in Elizabethton in 2012
Even though her father died when she was very young, he made provisions in his will that his children were to be educated – most likely by a private, family tutor. This would have been somewhat uncommon at that time.

Carrie is important because she was my initial lead to the Stover branch of our family. When I first started doing research on our family Mom and I visited Dad’s cousin Elma and her daughter Laine. Elma shared a letter from her mother Jo Pattillo in which Carrie was mentioned. I followed that lead to discover who Carrie’s parents and siblings were. Partly because of their connection to the family of President Abraham Lincoln it was relatively easy to follow the Stover line back several generations to Christian Stover (1750-1816). I learned of the Drake line, another branch on our tree, at the same time, but it took several more years of searching to find anything about Carrie’s maternal grandparents – the Gaines’s.
Doe River in Elizabethton, Tennessee

Carrie appeared on the 1860 census along with her mother Joanna who was 35 and a widow, her sisters Sarah 11, Mary 6, and Elizabeth 2 and her brother David 4. The family was still in Elizabethton living next door to Carrie’s aunt, uncle and their children – Carrie’s cousins. This was her father’s younger brother Samuel Murray Stover who was a physician. His wife Caroline “Carrie” Brooks was a cousin of Carrie’s mother Joanna. Samuel and Carrie had four children at that time – 3 girls and one son. Almena was closest to Carrie in age so they were probably best friends. It seems pretty obvious that Joanna named Carrie after her cousin Caroline.

Carrie had another aunt and uncle who also lived in Elizabethton, Daniel Stover and Mary Johnson. They had three children – 2 girls and a son.  Carrie’s grandparents, William and Sarah Stover also lived nearby in Elizabethton, so even though her father had died Elizabeth grew up surrounded by family and lots of cousins. Her uncle Daniel was her father’s brother and was the census taker for all three census areas where the family lived. Her maternal grandparents Hiram and Hulda Gaines both died in South Carolina in 1829, so Carrie never knew them.

When the 1870 census was taken Carrie was 17, her older sister Sarah 21, younger sister Mary 15 and brother David 14. At that time Ruth McCloud age 70, Carrie Cox 13, and Louisa Nave 15 were part of the household. Louisa was a family servant. Ruth McCloud was Carrie’s grandaunt and her grandmother’s sister. Elizabeth’s Uncle Samuel and his wife “Carrie” had moved to Bristol which is in the adjacent county to the north, Sullivan County, so they were still nearby but not right next door. The East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad built a bridge over the Watauga River to Bristol in 1855. During the Civil Was the Union soldiers threatened to burn the bridge to disrupt the flow of confederate supplies but it was too heavily guarded, so they burned a different bridge instead. I don’t know who Carrie Cox was or how she may have been related to the family.
Cover Bridge over the Doe River in Elizabethton
The Civil War was fought in the years between these two censuses and Carrie must have felt the strife of the war on a very personal level because while her Uncle Samuel Murray and grandparents supported the Confederate Army her Uncle Daniel fought for the Union Army. I have no records that indicate what side Carrie’s mother supported though it is very likely that she too was a Confederate sympathizer because she was born in South Carolina – the first state that seceded from the United States when war broke out.

Sometime after the war, when Carrie was a teenager, her sister Elizabeth must have died because she did not appear on the 1870 census with the rest of the family. I have not been able to find any records for Elizabeth Stover yet. In November of 1870 Carrie’s oldest sister Sarah married Winfield Scott Tipton, and six years later her younger sister Mary married William Cameron.
Carrie cropped from a studio family portrait

According to Mary Wallace who corresponded with me, a descendant of Carrie’s sister Sarah, the family migrated to Texas in 1877.  They would have suffered financial losses after the war and likely anticipated more opportunities in the west.

Two years after moving to Texas, when Carrie was twenty-six she married James William Pattillo on April 5, 1879. They were married in Tarrant County, Texas and lived in the town of Handley, which is now a historic district. For a long time I assumed that James and Carrie had met in Tennessee and made the decision to migrate to Texas together, but since they were married in Texas it is more likely that they met there after migrating independently – Carrie with her mother and siblings, and I believe James came alone – his father and brother Robert remained in Virginia. But three of Robert’s children followed James to Los Angeles.
Handley, Texas 2017. The top part indicates that
Handley is a Historic district
Carrie and James appeared on the 1880 Tarrant County census that was taken on the 22nd of September. Their newborn son Wirt W., who had been born May 23rd, was listed on the census as was Carrie’s mother Joanna. On September 18, 1882 another son was born and was named after his grandfather James. H. Pattillo. Sadly, James H. died 13 months later on November 11, 1883.

A third son was born on January 31st, 1884 but did not survive long enough to be given a name. All three of these children are buried together in the Handley Pioneer Cemetery. I visited the cemetery in spring of 2017 and had a new headstone made for the three boys because the original headstones were only barely legible.
This is the headstone I had made by Worthington Monuments
for James and Carries first 3 children
On February 22, 1885 Carrie gave birth to a girl and named her Jo. Jo’s granddaughter Laine shared that she’d heard a story that Carrie and William did not expect Jo to survive so they did not bother to give her a full first or middle name. Fortunately, they were mistaken – Jo lived to be 73. She married twice and had five children.
Mary and Jo Pattillo.

A second daughter Mary was born in 1887 in Texas. Shortly after Mary’s birth Carrie and James decided to continue moving west. Carrie’s sister Sarah and mother remained in Shackelford County Texas permanently, but she and James moved to Los Angles, California where they appeared on the 1900 census. The 1890 census was destroyed but I know they were in California by 1890 because my grandfather Lewis Wood Pattillo was born in Los Angeles on March 18, 1890.  After Lewis, Carrie gave birth to twins Maude and Ruby in 1893, and another set of twins Edward and Elmer in 1895. Elmer lived to adulthood (see my July 4, 2016 blog post) but Edward died before the 1900 census.
Maude and Ruby. This photo and several others were shared
by Maude's granddaughter Joyce.

Elmer and Edward
I inherited a small snapshot of the Carrie and James Pattillo family from my paternal grandparents, Lewis and Anna Pattillo. Based on the ages of the children I believe it was taken in 1902 when the family was living in Los Angeles. I particularly like this photo because it is informal. It shows the family gathered on the front porch of their home. The two oldest children, Jo and Mary have bicycles. James is seated in a chair while Carrie stands behind him. Her hair is pinned up as it is in every photo I have of her. The two older girls also have their hair up. Lewis has his thumbs tucked into his vest. Everyone is dressed up and James has a tie on. Maybe they were headed to church or possibly celebrating a family birthday.
Left - Mary on bike, twins Maude & Ruby, Jo standing with
bike, James seated, Elmer standing by James, Carrie and
Lewis standing behind James. 1902 Los Angeles
Carrie and her family were still living in Los Angeles at 1170 West 37th Place when the 1910 census was taken. In 2017 Google earth shows a house at that address that has rather bizarre architecture. If it is the same house William and Carrie lived in I suspect it has undergone a few misguided renovations. On the 1910 census it shows that William was not working at that time. Their two eldest daughters Jo and Mary were both working as exchange operators for the Telephone Company, and Lewis was listed as a cement contractor. The three youngest were in school.

In 1911 and 1912 Carrie saw three of her children get married. Jo and my grandfather Lewis were both married in 1911, and Maude got married in 1912. Carrie died on January 22, 1916 from pulmonary tuberculosis. She was 63.  At the time of her death she was living at 6124 Mineral Avenue in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. I have been unable to find this location using Google. According to her death certificate her body was cremated, but so far I have not been able to locate a cemetery where she was buried.

Carrie was a petite woman with brown hair and brown eyes. Her son-in-law Otto Baty who married her daughter Maude said of Carrie, “She was the sweetest woman he had ever met”. Jo’s granddaughter Laine heard that Carrie suffered from diabetes and that caused her to have very large babies and that is why so many of James and Carrie’s children did not survive to adulthood. Carrie gave birth to at least ten children of which six lived to adulthood.
Carrie on left, Ruby holding the family cat on right

During her lifetime Carrie was impacted by at least three major events – the Civil War, a massive wave to migration to the west and World War I. These things no doubt changed her life profoundly. Carrie was born the same year that the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published. She lived through the Civil War that followed and witnessed the end of slavery. By the end of her lifetime two film companies merged to create Paramount Pictures in 1916 – quite a range of events for a lifetime.  She and her family made two major geographical moves – first to Texas and then on to California. Each move was an effort to improve their lives – to find places where their children could find work, have careers, buy homes and raise their own families.

Carrie's death certificate I obtained in Los Angeles in 2016

Sources Include: Several US censuses, Carrie & James marriage license, information from Elma, Laine and Joyce, Carrie's death certificate, "Carter County and Its People: 1796-1996", and visits to Elizabethton, TN and Handley, TX.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Robert C. Land (1782-1847) My 4th Great Grandfather on my Father's Side

Boyd Tavern or Ordinary in Boydton, Mecklenburg County
from Land by the Roanoke, McClung Collection,
East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville
Depending on the source Robert C. Land was born in 1777 or about 1782. I tend to believe the latter date because that would make him 31 when he married Sarah – last name unknown. Robert is the son of John Land and Susan Rawlings. The book Some Descendants of Curtis Land by Frank Pickard Jr. says that John and Susan lived in Cumberland County, Virginia in 1780 and this jibes with the place of birth I’ve found for Robert.

I have found very little about Robert’s life as a young boy. In the book Ancestry of the Land Family of Mecklenburg County, Virginia the author Samuel B. Land tells us that Robert’s father John sold a 150 acre tract of land to Samuel Clements for 160 pounds.  This suggests that Robert lived in a farming household of relative wealth. Robert’s father died when Robert was 32 and his mother Susan died around the same time.

Robert married Sarah before 1813 in Buckingham County, Virginia. Currently, I have very little information about Robert’s first wife Sarah. I do know that they had three children – two daughters Louisa J. Land born about 1815 and Susan C. Land born about 1816, and one son Robert W. Land born June 18, 1818.

Susan is my third great grandmother.  She married James Henry Pattillo in December of 1845 and when she died during a smallpox epidemic James married her older sister Louisa in September of 1849, when he was 35. 
Historic photo of tobacco sales at the Chase City market.
Robert was a tobacco farmer. From Land by the Roanoke

I found a Robert Land living in Princess County, Virginia on the 1810 census but since very little additional information is shown on that early document I am not certain it refers to my ancestor. The 1820 census is more clear. At that time the census listed Robert C. Land with the characteristic middle initial. Also, this Robert was living in Mecklenburg County, Virginia where other documents indicate he lived until his death in 1844. In 1820 Robert’s household include 13 individuals 6 of whom were slaves. The tick marks on the census jibe with the ages of his three children and his second wife Elizabeth.

Robert married Elizabeth Brame Hutcheson in Mecklenburg County on April 5, 1824.  Elizabeth was the daughter of John Hutcheson and his wife Sarah. John Hutcheson was born and died in Mecklenburg County. John descends from William Hutcheson who was most likely English. He immigrated to the United States as a teen in 1618. Elizabeth was named after her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Brame. Elizabeth is my third great “step” grandmother, so while she may have a well-documented lineage she is not related by blood, so I will try to avoid being distracted by chasing her line.

Robert and Elizabeth had five children – three daughters and two sons. Sarah Ann Francis Land was born circa 1826, Helen M. Land circa 1827, and  Amelia Land in 1829.  I have the same birth date in 1883 for the two sons Alexander Wesley Land and John Braxton Land. This could mean they were twins or it could be an error. Interestingly, Helen married the brother of my great grandfather – Robert A. Pattillo, so between them James William and Robert Pattillo married three of Robert Land’s daughters.

My friend John Caknipe, a Mecklenburg historian found a deed dated June 24, 1821 in which Robert applied for a permit to use his home as an ordinary. In this document Robert had to swear that “he was a good man of moral standing, and not a drunkard nor gambler”. He probably also had to provide witnesses to attest to his upstanding character.  A subsequent document dated a year latter granted him the permit. A Google search provides this description of what an ordinary was.

Among the most important businesses in early America was the ordinary, also called a tavern, a public house of entertainment, or an inn. Colonial travel whether by foot, horse, cart, wagon, or riding chair-proved difficult and tedious. An ordinary along the road or in a town offered a welcome sight. It provided rest and refreshment for the traveler but meant much more. For people who lived nearby, the ordinary became a place to gossip, exchange news, transact business such as selling land, hold auctions for livestock, pick up mail, and talk politics. It might even be a place to scheme about independence from England.

The note from Caknipe also said that Robert was the “Keeper of the public ferry in Clarksville". The town of Clarksville is across an arm of Kerr Lake. Today there is a bridge that connects the two sides. Before the bridge the ferry would have made the connection. 
This is a photo I took in Clarksville during
my visit in 2014

During my first visit to Virginia in 2014 I found a set of records from a court case in the Mecklenburg Chancery Court titled Robert C. Land vs. William Burchette. The case was against William Burchette and Abraham Keene, merchants and partners in the firm Burchette & Keene. It seems the firm was insolvent and owed money to several men including Robert who was owed 15.78 pounds. Today’s equivalent is $2034.91. Robert went to court on the appointed day in 1822 and waited while a criminal case was presented before his. Finally near the end of the day he was advised that his case would not be called so Robert left the court and went home. Unfortunately, the court continued to meet and his case did come up at 8:00 PM – long after Robert had left. Since Robert was not there to present his case the court ruled against him and fined him the amount that Burchette owed Robert.

Robert then filed an appeal and asked to be relieved of the unjust debt. There are several documents in the file about this case that was on-going from 1820 to April 29, 1823 when it appears the case was dismissed without prejudice.
1830 Census showing Robert C. Land second from the bottom. The numbers in each column indicate the number of
persons in the household in that age / sex category
In 1830, when Robert 48, he and Elizabeth were living in Mecklenburg County. At that time in addition to his wife his son Robert W., two daughters from his marriage and his two daughters with Elizabeth were living in the household. There were also 4 male slaves and 8 female slaves indicated on the census. Robert and Elizabeth were still living in Mecklenburg County at the time of the 1840 census when they were living with two of their sons and five daughters.

Robert died sometime before April 19, 1847 which is when his estate was settled. His eldest son Robert W. Land served as the administrator of his estate. Robert W. prepared an inventory of his father’s estate that included 17 slaves valued at $4275 – the largest component of the estate. Each was named in the inventory by first name only.  The value of everything Robert owned including his slaves came to $5073. 

Other assets included 5 cows, 2 oxen, 11 hogs, 14 sheep, 4 horses and feed. He owned several sets of beds and furnishings, a bureau, a walnut desk, two folding tables, 13 chairs, a blue chest and trunk, a China press (china cabinet) and contents, and 3 looking glasses. An assortment of tools were listed including carpenter’s tools, shovels, tongs, irons, saddle irons, grub hoes, hill hoes, axes, wedges, sheep shears, saddles and saddle bags.  
This is a China Press and contents - one of the
items listed on the inventory of Robert's
A number of household items were listed as well – a loom and spinning wheel, a chest and trunk, a cradle, two dressing tables, one washbowl and pitcher, butter pots, a coffee mill, a churn and reel, one lot of oven pots, a grinding stone,  and two shot guns worth $7. The first item listed in the inventory was Robert’s tobacco crop. This was valued at $150 and was by far the most valuable item he owned other than the slaves. This is the only clue I’ve found that explains how Robert made a living and why he needed so many slaves. Growing tobacco is a labor intensive operation that would require labor plus the family would have needed help in the house. Presumably the income from the ferry business and the ordinary did not generate sufficient revenue to support the family. 

The probate packet also included a summary of Robert’s Current Accounts that detailed an itemized list of what he owed and what was owed to him. These records tell us that he dealt with two wagon companies – Branch & Brother and J. Davis Waggonage, he purchased his groceries in Petersburg, he bought hogsheads from Mr. Garner Boyd, paper from Mr. John F. Finch, shoes from Bob Thomas  and other items from Green & Jackson and the Rogers Dupree Company. One of the most perplexing things he purchased was 75 cents worth of cow hair from Mr. G. Green. Robert owed small amounts of money to several individuals including E.M. Pattillo, and payments to the Sherriff of Mecklenburg, but it is not clear what these were for. E.M. Pattillo was Edward M. Pattillo – a brother of two of Robert’s sons-in-law. 
The barrel in this photo is a hogshead. These were used to
store and transport commodeties

After his death Robert’s wife Elizabeth had a survey prepared of the 195 acres she then owned. She inherited one third of his 17 slaves and continued to manage the farm, probably with help from her sons. On the 1850 census her property was valued at $400 plus $50 worth of machinery and $185 of stock. The other slaves were divided equally among her children. Elizabeth died in 1855 – nine years after her husband. Their son Robert W. Land also administered his mother’s estate.

Robert C. Land's signature
Sources Include: 1820, 1830 and 1840 censuses; the two books referenced in the text; Mecklenburg County court records; and the estate inventory.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

David Gaines “Mule” Stover (1903–1968) My 1st Cousin Twice Removed on My Father’s Side

David Gaines "Mule" Stover dressing a pig. Photo from The
Portal to Texas History website
David Gaines Stover Jr. was born in Stephens County, Texas on July 31st 1903. His middle name is his grandmother’s maiden name and that is the name he used as an adult – he was known as “Gaines Stover”. Gaines was the son of David Gaines”Bud” Stover, Sr. and Nancy “Nannie” Williams Stover. He had an older sister Joanna who was also named after their grandmother, Joanna Gaines, and a younger brother Eugene.

His Youth
When Gaines was six years old he appeared on the 1910 census living with his parents, siblings, a Campbell cousin, and his Uncle, James Williams – his mother’s brother. At that time the family was living on a cattle ranch stock farm in the 8th Precinct of Shackelford County, Texas. Gaines left school in 1915 having completed the 7th grade.

According to Thomas Cisero Harris, age 90 and living about a mile from the Stover Ranch, Gaines had a prize mare when he was about 16 that he “thought the world of”. One day a Jack (mule) owned by his father bred Gaines’s mare. Gaines was so mad that one night he went to the ranch and castrated the Jack, and Gaines's Dad never found out who had done it. This story was relayed to Thomas by A.W. Tipton. The way Mr. Tipton told the story Gaines never told his father what he had done. Apparently Gaines's father was known to raise some of the best mules in the area and the castrated Jack was his best sire!

In 1917, his family moved to Crystal Falls which was probably near the family ranch on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River in Young County, Texas. His father still owned the ranch but they lived in town most of the year and spent summers on the ranch. They were living in Albany when the 1920 census was taken. Elizabeth Campbell, David and Nannie’s foster daughter was living with the family, as were Harvey and Geraldine Piper from Oklahoma who rented from the Stovers.
Rancher equipment on display in the Albany Museum

When I asked Thomas what he recalled about Mule he said, “Mule was something else – I remember Mule.” Then he told this story. “Gaines would go off drinking. He’d go to the Fort Worth Livestock show with his cousin A.W. Tipton, known as Tip, and he wouldn’t have much money. He’s go into a hotel, run up a big tab and then he’d skip out. He was ornery as hell evidently.” But Thomas added, “Gaines was very friendly and you couldn’t keep from liking him, but you couldn’t trust a word that he said.” “He was a fun guy but his character was a little loose.”

When the 1930 census was taken Gaines age 26 and his sister, Joanna age 27 were both still living with their parents in Albany.  This was during the depression and neither was employed. His brother Eugene had died on February 16, 1920 so did not appear on the 1930 census.  According to the census their father was raising cattle on his ranch.

First Marriage
On July 25, 1935 Gaines married Aleen Osborne “in a quiet ceremony at the home of their friends Mr. and Mrs. Howard in Eastland, Texas”. The news story that made the announcement said that Aleen lived in Hillsboro Hill, Texas and was the sister of Albany’s doctor Clarence Osborne. Aleen was the daughter of John E. and Hattie Osborne. She was born in Texas in 1909 and married Gaines when she was 26. I found no other stories or mentions of Aleen in the archived newspapers, or on the Ancestry or FamilySearch sites.

In April of 1940 Gaines and his mother were living together in Albany next door to Gaines’s sister Joanna and her husband Hugh Ayers. So, apparently the marriage to Aleen had ended by 1940. Gaines’s father had died in 1938 so Nannie was listed as the head of the household. On the census Gaines was identified as a manager at City Lake but I don’t know what that was. I do know that in 1936 Gaines was the proprietor of the Riverside Inn and he applied for a package store permit to sell liquor at the Clear Fork of the Brazos Bridge which was on Throckmorton Road in Shackelford County.
Jane Lenoir at the Fort Griffin Park told me about The
Portal to Texas History website

While visiting Albany in 2017 I learned about the website Portal to Texas History. It is a tremendous resource for information about the Stover family and Gaines in particular who was very involved in the community. While there I also learned about David’s nickname, “Mule”. Even though it had been nearly 50 years since he died, I encountered three people who were familiar with him – that nickname and the man were memorable. I entered “Mule Stover” and “Gaines Stover” into the online newspaper archive and a list of 87 entries came up.

Many of the news items were about quite ordinary events, for example the Albany News published an article listing the names of persons who renewed their subscription to the newspaper. Collecting these myriad tidbits about Gaines paints a vivid picture. He was single much of his life, had no children, he was very involved in civic and political activities, he had a lot of friends, he attended the Matthews Memorial Presbyterian Church, and he served as a pallbearer or “honorary pallbearer” at a remarkable number of funerals -13 were published, mostly on the front page.

At one point Mule’s ornery reputation was well known – so he couldn’t live in town. Instead Thomas Harris says Mule had a structure with a screened in porch on his family’s ranch where he lived. He didn’t own a car and relied on friends to bring him groceries. Gaines was a great cook and would cook anything anyone brought to him. Thomas recalled that Mule’s friends would come out to the shack and they’d spend two or three days drinking and eating what Mule cooked for them. Thomas also mentioned Mule’s sister, Joanna and said, “she was normal, she wasn’t anything like Mule.”

Civic and Community Life
Gaines was active in his community all his life. The Albany News reported on his involvement in several different civic groups. In February of 1934 he attended the Cow-Horse Races event sponsored by the Albany Lions Club. According to the news article races between horses and automobiles and horses and people took place with the horses typically winning. In 1954, Gaines was elected to the position of “Tail Twister” of the Lions Club, and he chaired the food committee at that same meeting.  Gaines was a member of the Hereford Association and frequently attended live stock events and auctions. In July of 1938 Gaines attended the rodeo in the neighboring community of Stamford. In 1943 he was the auctioneer at an event to raise funds for the local school athletic association. Gaines attended a steer roping contest in San Antonio with his friend Mrs. Lella Landers in 1964. In 1965 he paid $49.65 for a cow to help raise funds for the Youth and Livestock Association. In 1967 he attended the 4H and FAA (Future Farmers of America) Livestock Show for Shackelford County.  One year later, on February 29, 1968 the paper carried two stories about Gaines on the same day – one reported that he was one of the bidders at a livestock show and the other was his obituary.

One headline that struck me as rather cruel was a front page story headlined “Seven Men Fail Army Physical”. It listed the names of the local men who had failed the Army physical in July of 1942, so these men were ineligible to join the service and serve during World War II. The article made a point of saying, “… and the number will need to be made up by the county at another date.” Those who passed “… returned to Shackelford to take the 14-day furlough granted all selectees who asked for it. They were to return to camp July 27”.  This seems like a brutal humiliation for the men who would continue to live in their community during a time of heightened patriotism. Gaines was one of the seven.

So, how did he get his nickname “Mule”? One of the news stories that ran on February 18, 1965 was about the 13th annual Fort Griffin Fandangle celebration. This is quite an event in Albany that continues to this day – people I met there in 2017 encouraged me to attend “to get a real sense of the place”. The story about the Fandangle in `65 noted that “the backstage crew consisted of Mule, Mutt and Ox” – nicknames for Gaines and his buddies R.C. Hammack and W.M. Emmons. I assumed Gaines got his nickname because he was notoriously stubborn but when I talked with Thomas Harris about Mule, I asked, “How did he get his nickname?” Thomas told me, “Well, he could bray like a mule. He could make a mule ashamed of himself. Gaines would rear back and bray like a mule – you could hear him for miles.” 
President Lyndon Baines Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson
at the Lambshead Ranch owned by Gaines' friend Watt Matthews
while attending the Fandangle. Photo from The Portal to Texas
In 1949, Gaines was chair of the Fandangle Parade. A June 1950 headline claimed “Thousands in Albany for Fandangle Parade”, and said, it “was the largest crowd ever assembled in Albany.” Gaines and three other men had planned eight floats depicting different aspects of old times. “Each float depicted phases of frontier life in a humorous manner”. For example, there was “an old-time barbershop, complete with cowboy taking his Saturday night bath in the backroom.” Gaines managed the same event in 1950. In 1952 he hosted Mrs. Ragland who came to Albany to sing at the Fandangle that year. In 1953, Gaines and his wife Valma hosted Mr. and Mrs. Everett at that year’s Fandango.  Gaines and his friend Joe Cunningham were in charge of the event in 1954. Apparently, it was so memorable that year that the press was still writing about it as preparation was underway for the 1961 celebration.

One of the groups I was surprised to read that Gaines was quite involved in was the Albany Garden Club. Garden Clubs are typically chaired by and appeal primarily to women but Gaines was a member as early as 1951 when he attended a talk on “Flowers for Home” and saw a flower arranging demonstration at the American Legion Hall. In 1953 he attended an all-day Garden Club event at the G.B. cabin on Lake DeLafosse where the new club officers were installed. One of the reasons he may have participated in the Garden Club could have to do with the fact that he married Mrs. Valma Cramer who was also a member of the club.

Second Marriage
When Gaines was 46, The Albany News reported on their marriage and honeymoon in Mexico. They were married June 29th 1950 by Reverend J.A. Owen of the Matthews Memorial Presbyterian Church. The ceremony took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Willingham. Before the marriage Valma lived in Sweetwater, Texas and had worked in a hat shop in Dallas, Texas. She had also been married twice before. Her maiden name was Finnie. She first married a Wyatt, then L.C. Cramer on June 3, 1933. In the fall of 1951, Gaines purchased a lot in town from H.C. Arendt – possibly in order to have a home built for his new wife.

The paper carried stories about the new Mrs. Gaines Stover in 1953, `54 and `55 but none after that. They continued to mention Gaines Stover, but he attended events alone or with other family members – not with Mrs. Stover.

In the 1940s he attended a fundraising event to raise money for a new community swimming pool and donated $10. Gaines was a member of the Fort Griffin Know Your Neighbor Club and auctioned off pies and a Lone Star quilt made by Mrs. Grethe to help pay for improvements made to the club. That was in 1962. He sold tickets and collected donations to the President’s Ball to raise money for the March of Dimes. I recall my mother telling me about Dad taking her to the President’s Ball in Oakland when they were courting – she was quite impressed with Dad at the time.

Social Life
Gaines was very social. The Albany News frequently ran short stories about people who visited him, people he went to see and places he went. The first of these news items appeared on Christmas Eve of 1936 when the press reported that Roy Rodriquez had visited Gaines. In 1942, the paper reported on a quail supper that Gaines and E.Z. Jeters hosted for a group of their friends.  Mr. and Mrs. L.H. Hunt visited him in August of 1943. We know that he spent a few days with Mr. & Mrs. Reid locker in Woodson from a news clip dated July 20, 1944. 
Mule Stover fishing. Photo provided by Judy Compton

That same year Gaines accompanied Lt. Gene Maudlin to Cherry Point, North Carolina when Maudlin entered the Marine Corp. We know that Maudlin survived the war because of a story from October 1947 about a month long fishing trip at Eagles Nest, New Mexico that he, Gaines, Carroll Putnam and Hugh Martin enjoyed. The paper also reported Gaines’s 1961 fishing trip on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, where his father’s ranch was, with friends Tom Alston and Rassie Martin. Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Cauble of Snyder were guests of Gaines in October of 1948He had visits from Roy Hagin of Wichita Falls in `59, and from Mr. and Mrs. L.J. Hunt in 1965.

Gaines was also a guest at his family and friend’s homes. He spent a few days in Woodson at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Reid Locker in 1944, spent New Year’s Eve at his sister and brother-in-law’s home in 1962, and spent Thanksgiving with them and his foster sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Roberts in 1964.

Gaines was also politically active. I found 3 news clips listing Gaines as having endorsed candidates for political office  including Dan Moody for the US Senate, Omar Burlson for Congress, and George Bush when he ran for the US Senate in 1964. 
Another photo of  Mule from The Portal to Texas History site

Death and Burial
Thomas recalls that later in life Mule “straightened up” and moved to town, but he would drive out to the ranch to visit the Tiptons in a big Dodge car. He sold the family ranch to the Lester family. Jane Lenoir at the Fort Griffin Park had heard about Mule from her grandfather. He told a story about Gaines and a group of old men sitting on a bench in Woodson - they would sit there all afternoon talking. Some locals called it the “Dead Pecker Bench.”

Gaines died from a heart attack on February 26, 1968 – the same year I graduated from high school. Apparently he’d been sick for quite a while because the Albany News reported that he was admitted to the hospital on three occasions – in April of 1963, and in April and September 1964. His obituary appeared on page one headlined “Gaines Stover Dies Suddenly”. He spent the day before with his best friend Watt Mathews. They had dinner together at Gaines’s home. He was 64 when he died. The obituary said, “Mr. Stover had friends throughout West Texas, and was known for his wit, and as a friend said, “he had a genius for helping people”. The obituary included a long list of family and friends who attended his funeral service. Gaines is buried in the Stover plot of the Albany Cemetery with his mother, father, sister, and other relatives.
Watt Matthews in his family cemetery. Photo from The
Portal to Texas History website.

But, even after death the press continued to write about “Mule”. I found an article from 2002 in the Remember When column written by Joan Halford Farmer that featured Gaines’s best friend Watt Mathews. A fourth of the article was about their friendship. Watt was a member of the Board of the First National Bank. He would attend meetings there and then stop by Gaines’s home – “the best cook in town.” They’d have dinner then “sit and visit over a toddy after supper.” The news story went on to say, “When television was fairly new, Watt was very critical of the new pastime. But every time he came to Mule’s, he would avidly watch news and other programs flickering on the square screen. These two good friends sometimes had the hottest arguments I have every witnessed, but they loved each other like brothers.”
From all I’ve read and heard, I think I would have liked David Gaines “Mule” Stover and been proud to call him a cousin of mine.
Gaines's headstone in the Stover Family plot

Stover Family plot in the Albany Cemetery
Sources include: The Albany News, Shackelford County Leader, Breckenridge American, the US census for 1920-1940, his obituary and death certificate, a marriage record for Valma and L.R. Cramer, Ancestry and FamilySearech websites.