Green Family Move from Arkansas to Texas

Elizabeth Green Williams & husband Aaron Williams, Jr., in 1844

Her Brothers William Green & wife Hannah King,

James Green & wife Sarah Kitchell in 1846

Sister Mary Ann Green came later after death of 1st husband Benjamin King

 The following story of the move of James Green and his brother William Green to Texas in the Fall of 1847 was written in 1936 by William's descendant L. C. Christian and sent to Kim Savage in 1985 by Leland Smith.

Compiled by
L. C. Christian, Houston, Texas
September 3, 1936

My Maternal Great-Great-Grandfather, Richard Gray and wife, ______ Gray, originally resided near Raliegh, North Carolina. Richard Gray and wife had three children: Richard, Jr., Polly and Elizabeth. Elizabeth Gray (my Great-Grandmother) married Nathaniel King, at old homestead, near Raliegh, North Carolina, probably in about the year of 1823. Gray and family, in about 1825, moved from North Carolina to Kentucyk, and Nathaniel King and family accompanied them.

Nathaniel King and wife, Elizabeth Gray, had twelve children: Nancy, Hannah (my Maternal Grand-mother), Rebecca, Jane, Caroline, Benjamin, Jebedie, Addison, Carlton, Richard, Samuel and William. Hannah was born near Raliegh, North Carolina, on November 25, 1824. She was a mere infant when the family moved to Kentucky.

After Richard Gray and family, and Nathaniel King and family, had moved to Kentucky, as above related, King and family -- probably in about 1828 or 1829, moved to Perry County, Arkansas. My Grandmother, Hannah King, told me that, when she and her family left for Arkansas, she was a small girl, but that she distinctly remembered that her Grand-father, Richard Gray and family, lived in a big, fine home, and that they had many negro slaves. Her Father, Nathaniel King, however, did not get along very well with his Father-in-law. King came from a fine family, but was inclined to drink and gamble too much, like many young men of good family did in those days. King, being a well educated man, and very proud, decided to leave Kentucky with his family in order to get rid of the discord with his Father-in-law.

He, therefore, as above stated, moved to Perry County, Arkansas, about 50 miles northwest from Little Rock. Perry County was cut off of Conway County, or Conway County was cut off of Perry County, my Mother says, but she does not know which is correct. Nathaniel King, being a well educated man, served in the Legislature of Arkansas, but my Mother does not know whether it was as a Senator or Representative. After Nathaniel King and family moved to Perry County, Arkansas, they never went back to Kentucky, and neither did any of the family of Richard Gray ever visit the King family in Arkansas. After Elizabeth King, wife of Nathaniel King, died, Nathaniel King showed to my Grandmother (Hannah King) and the other King children, a letter that their Grandmother, wife of their Grandfather, Richard Gray, had written to her daughter, Elizabeth King. In this letter she begged her daughter to come back to Kentucky and claim her portion of the estate of her Father and Mother. She had only one brother, Richard, Jr., and Polly, and my Grandmother thought that her Mother's interest in the Gray estate must have been of considerable value. Since Nathaniel King never until after the death of his wife, showed his wife or any member of the family the letter (and possibly others) above mentioned, Elizabeth King died in ignorance of the desire of her Mother and Father that she return to Kentucky. She died in complete ignorance of the fate of her Mother, Father, Brother, and Sister.

All of the children of Nathaniel King and wife, Elizabeth King, were probably born in Perry County, Arkansas, with the exception of Nancy and Hannah (my Grandmother), the two eldest. Grandmother, Hannah King, told me that she distinctly remembered moving from Kentucky to Arkansas. She did not recall how old she was, but said probably five or six years.

Hannah King (my Grandmother) married William Green, in Perry County, Arkansas, in 1840, when she was about 16 or 17 years of age. William Green was born in Perry County, Arkansas, on May 10, 1818. His Father, _____ Green, came to Perry County, Arkansas, from Mississippi sometime prior to 1818 (when Grandfather, William Green was born). _____ Green was one-half Indian (Cherokee, it is believed). _____ Green first married (in Mississippi, it is presumed) a woman whose name is unknown, and had one son by her, whose name is also unknown.

_____ Green married, as his second wife (whether in Mississippi or Arkansas is unknown) a widowed lady named Wade. She had, when married to Green, three sons -- John, Edward and Calvin -- born to her by her husband, ________ Wade. _______ Green and wife, the widow Wade, had born unto them four children: William (my Grandfather), Jim (James), Elizabeth, and Mary Ann.

William Green and wife Hannah King resided in Perry County, Arkansas, from the time of their marriage in 1840 until the Fall of 1847, when they (with James "Jim" Green, brother of William) moved to Bastrop County, Texas, bringing with them their three children, Elizabeth (my Mother), born September 19, 1842; Sarah, born August 10, 1844, and William Polk, born May 12, 1846. Their oldest child, Mary Ann, born in Perry County, Arkansas, died in infancy. In Bastrop County, Texas, the Green family settled on Buckner's Creek, on the General Edward Burleson Plantation, about 2-1/2 miles westward from where the town of Smithville is now located, and near what is now known as State Highway #71. Gen. Burleson settled this plantation in 1831.

William Green and family moved to Bastrop County, Texas, because Aaron Williams, who had married Elizabeth Green (William Green's sister), was already living there, having previously moved there from Perry County, Arkansas.

After coming to Texas, William Green and his wife, Hannah, had born unto them eight (8) additional children, named as follows: Nancy Caroline, born in 1848; Rebecca Jane, born in 1850; Arkansas, born in 1852; Georgia Hannah, born in 1854; James Aaron, born in 1856, Christian Columbus, born in 1859; John Henry, born in 1861; Rosetta Lois born in 1866. These last named eight children were all born in Gonzales County, Texas, except, perhaps, Nancy Caroline, who may have been born in Bastrop County.

William Green and family resided in Bastrop County for two or three years, when a Minister named Plummer, who was acquainted with William Green (presumably in Perry County, Arkansas), and who then resided on the West, or South, side of Sandy Fork Creek in Gonzales County, Texas, came to Bastrop and persuaded William Green and family to move to his place of residence in Gonzales County. This was probably in the year 1850.

William Green and family resided with Rev. Plummer (supposedly in the same house) for about two or three years, and then moved to Copperas Creek, near Hopkinsville, four or five miles Northward from where the town of Waelder now stands, in Gonzales County. They resided on Copperas Creek for a few years, and then moved back to Sandy Fork Creek, and bought a place on the South side of Sandy Fork, and a few miles down the creek from the residence of Rev. Plummer. Green and family lived on this place a few years, and then moved to a place on Bee Branch, about two miles Eastward from little town of Hopkinsville. This was probably in 1858.

After all their children had married and left them, some time after 1870, William and Hannah Green moved from Bee Branch to Blanco County, Texas, near the town of Blanco. William Green was accidentally killed, in the spring of 1881, while living in Blanco County. He and his Nephew, Johnny King, were out hauling a load of wood, and he fell off of the wagon and was run over. He died before his Nephew could secure assistance. He was buried in Blanco City. Hannah Green, wife of William Green, died at the residence of her daughter, Rosetta Lois Tanner (wife of Raymond B. Tanner), in Flatonia, Fayette County, Texas, on October 6, 1901, and was buried in Flatonia.

Of the twelve children born unto William and Hannah Green, Mary Ann died in infancy; Elizabeth Victoria married Obed Mast Christian, at Thompsonville, Gonzales County, Texas, on March 22, 1860 (March 16?); Sarah, married George Lynch (a Captain in the Confederate Army); William Polk married Henrietta Lewis, and when she died (leaving one child, Rosa Lee), he then married Maggie Parks Robers (a widow); Nancy Caroline, died without issue; Rebecca Jane, married Edward Hill; Arkansas, died without issue; Georgia Hannah, married Frank Webb; James Aaron married Lou Branham; Christian Columbus, died without issue; John Henry, died without issue, in about 1885; and Rosetta, married Raymond B. Tanner, and died in 1956.

After my Mother, Elizabeth Victoria Green, married my Father, Obed Mast Christian, as above related, they built a residence about 400 or 500 yards westwardly from Thompsonville, and resided there until the Fall of 1867, when they moved to Denton Creek in Gonzales County, about 6 miles Northeast from Gonzales, on what is now known as the Gonzales-Waelder Highway, and also a part of the Old Spanish Trail from Houston to San Antonio.

Obed Mast Christian and wife, Elizabeth Victoria Christian, had born unto them twelve children, named as follows: William Willis, born, 1861, and died in infancy; Martha Jane, born March 16, 1862; Amanda Louellen, born December 27, 1865; Lueullus Forrest, born December 3, 1867; Mary East and Laura West (twins) born December 2, 1869; Sarah Dulcenia, born April 10, 1876; Lycurgus Cleburne, born September 5, 1880; Lybertas Green, born November 27, 1882; Bonnie Drucilla, born November 30, 1883. All twelve children, except the three oldest, were born at the old homestead, near Gonzales. The three oldest children were born at Thompsonville. All twelve children, exept the eldest (who died in infancy), are now living. A more complete history of the eleven living children can be found in Volume XV, No. 3, page #56, of William and Mary College (Virginia) Quarterly magazine, issue for January, 1907, by Dr. Lyon G. Tyler, at Williamsburg, Virginia. A copy of this Volume is now in the possession of L.C. Christian, Houston, Texas.

My Mother, Elziabeth Victoria Christian, is now (September 3, 1936) living, and resides at the old Christian homestead near Gonzales, in Gonzales County, Texas. She will be 94 years of age on Saturday, September 19, 1836.

Mother says that, when her parents moved from Perry County, Arkansas, to Bastrop County, Texas, in the Fall of 1847 (she was then about 5 years of age), she distinctly remembers many incidents of the trip. They (her Father and Mother and her Uncle, James Green) traveled in "covered wagons," each drawn by two horses. Her Uncle, James Green, was in one wagon (I do not know whether or not he had a family), and Grandfather and his family were in another wagon.

One evening, after camping for the night on the banks of a beautiful little running stream, Mother says she saw, just across the little stream, a large herd of the strangest looking cattle that she had ever seen. She called Grandmother's attention to them, and was told that they were Buffalo.

Mother also clearly recalls crossing Red River. They crossed at some small town (probably Texarkana), whose name she does not recall, one evening just before dark. The Red River was rising rapidly at the time, and local residents strongly advised Grandfather and his brother to not attempt to cross that night, but to wait until next day, or even later, until the water had receded. Grandfather and his brother decided, however, to attempt to cross immediately, and James Green drove his wagon into the river, followed closely by Grandfather and his family. When James reached the slippery, steep bank on the Texas side of the stream, his horses balked and refused to even attempt to pull his wagon out of the river to safety. After trying for several minutes to induce James's team to pull his wagon up the river bank and failing to get any results, they finally unhitched the balky horses from James' wagon and unhitched Grandfather's horses and hooked onto James' wagon and quickly pulled it up the bank and to safety. They then unhitched Grandfather's horses from James' wagon, and rushed back to Grandfather's wagon, which had been left, with his wife and three children in it, standing in the middle of the rapidly rising stream.

Grandfather finally got his team hitched up to his own wagon again, and soon had his wagon and family safely up the river bank, and in TEXAS. Grandfather had to leave his own wagon and family standing in the middle of the stream, as above related, because his brother's wagon blocked the road up the river bank. Mother says that, when Grandfather finally got back to his own wagon after pulling his brother's wagon out of the river, the water was up all over the body of their wagon, and the wagon was trembling all over, and about to be washed down stream. Mother says that, if they had not been pulled out when they were, they would have been washed downstream within a very few minutes.

During all this exciting period, the local citizens were gathered on the North bank of the River and yelling encouragement and advice; and when they all got safely across, the people gave a great cheer, and wished them luck on their journey. The scare that this crossing gave to Mother made a vivid impression on her memory, and she says that she can now recall, just as if it was yesterday, all the little incidents connected therewith.

My Mother, Elizabeth Victoria Green, joined the Methodist Church when she was about fourteen years of age, at Hopkinsville, Texas, and has been a member of the Methodist Church ever since. Mother was married to my Father, Obed Mast Christian, by the Rev. Farwell, a Methodist Circuit Rider. When a boy, I remember Rev. Farwell quite well, as he frequently visited my parents. Rev. Farwell was then an old, gray-haired man.

Marginal notes by Leland Smith were:

1. The Great-Great-Grandfather was Graves not Gray
2. Nathaniel King probably born in 1818 not 1823.