Showing posts with label Shelby County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shelby County. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Earl Sanford Richards - 1895 - 1954

Earl Sanford Richards Beside His Car in Weatherford, TexasEarl Sanford Richards
1895 - 1954

Earl Sanford Richards Obituary Newspaper Clipping

WEATHERFORD, April 5 (Spl) - Earl S. Richards, 58, a custodian in the Weatherford public schools, died early Monday in a hospital after several months' illness.

Richards was born in Shelby County but had lived in Parker County 45 years.

Survivors include his wife; a son, Eugene Richards of Weatherford; a daughter, Mrs. Guy Marshall of Weatherford; two brothers, Ross Richards of Wink and Bob Richards of Lockney; five sisters, Mrs. Kate Chambers, Mrs. Louise Proffitt and Mrs. Sadie Cronin and Misses Belle and Dewey Richards of Weatherford.

Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Cotton-Bratton Chapel. Burial will be in Zion Cemetery north of Weatherford.
Earl Sanford Richards Obituary
(Newspaper clipping of obit given to Judy Richards Shubert in April 2006 by Verdell Haws, husband of the late Mary Ella Richards Haws.)

Direct Descendants from James Richards to Earl Sanford Richards

1 James Richards b: in Wales, Great Britain
.. +Biddy Cunningham b: in Ireland
........ 2 Charles Harrison Richards b: Feb 29, 1780 in Blount Springs, Alabama d: Apr 04, 1839 in San Augustine Co., Texas
............ +Mary Elizabeth Polly Sapp b: Jul 30, 1797 in Atlanta, Jefferson or Richmond Co., Georgia d: Oct 10, 1879 in Buena Vista, Shelby Co., Texas
................... 3 John S. Richards b: Feb 19, 1819 in Blount Springs, Blount Co., Alabama d: Oct 06, 1875 in Shelby Co., Texas
....................... +Carolyn G. Conway b: Apr 26, 1829 in Tennessee d: Aft. 1910 in Shelby Co., Texas
............................. 4 Joshua Hooper Richards b: Apr 21, 1861 in Shelby Co., Texas d: Feb 25, 1939 in Weatherford, Parker Co., Texas
................................. +Mary Elizabeth Saphrona Arbella Saria Conway b: Mar 29, 1866 in Texas d: Dec 01, 1939 in Weatherford, Parker Co, Texas
........................................ 5 Earl Sanford Richards b: August 23, 1895 in Timpson, Shelby Co., Texas d: April 5, 1954 in Weatherford, Parker Co., Texas

Earl Sanford Richards was my granduncle, brother to my grandfather, John Robert "Bob" Richards.

Photograph provided by Debbie Lovelace, granddaughter of Earl Sanford Richards and Ida Mae Martin Richards.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Richards Ancestors Found Themselves in Midst of War

Researchers of the Sapp and Richards family lines indicate Charles Harrison Richards and Mary Elizabeth Polly Sapp moved into Texas in the year 1833 and settled near the town of San Augustine in east Texas near the border of Texas and Louisiana. Most of the settlers traveled into Texas by the El Camino Real, which begins in "Natchitoches, Louisiana and runs from Piney Woods through rolling hills to the arid lands of Old Mexico." It is now known as Highway 6 in Louisiana and Highway 21 in Texas and has existed for more than 300 years.

It is not my intention to give you a history lesson, but in order to give you a glimpse of where our first Richards ancestors found themselves in the early years of their residence in Texas, I feel it is important to repeat here some of the events and political questions which preceded the meeting of the first convention to form a constitution in Texas.

“Texas had been a portion of the Mexican republic under the constitution of 1824. That constitution had been overthrown; a military despotism established; troops were already in or marching on Texas from Mexico, to enforce the change, in October, 1835.” H. A. Alsbury said in an address in August of that year, “all those who had immigrated into Texas from the United States, since April 6, 1830, were to be driven from the country or dealt with by the military.” There was a long list of persons to be arrested and tried by “drum-head court”, and future immigrants were to be from Mexico only.

After a Mexican army marched on San Antonio, five hundred more were landed at Matagorda Bay and marched into the interior, all under orders from Santa Anna. A Mexican force was sent from Bexar to demand a cannon that had previously been given to the citizens for defense against the Indians. They refused to give it up, a fight ensued and the Mexicans retreated. The commanding official at Bexar wrote to Stephen F. Austin saying that, “unless the gun was promptly given up war would be commenced on the colonists.”

This roused all the people of Texas. Flight, extermination, or resistance were the alternatives placed before them. They prepared for the latter.

Our ancestors found themselves in the middle of this upheaval and in order to keep their land and the homes they had built and stay in Texas they had to join their neighbors in the resistance.

Mary and Charles had the following children:

1) William B. Richards, born 16 January 1814 in Rhea Co., Tennessee; died 21 December 1892 in Bosque Co., Texas; married Catherine Burch 4 December 1838 in San Augustine, San Augustine Co., Texas.
2) James S. Richards, born 11 December 1816 in Blount Springs, Blount Co., Alabama; died 2 May 1889 in Shelby Co., Texas; married Sallie after 1850.
3) John S. Richards, (MY ANCESTOR) born 1818 in Blount Springs, Blount Co., Alabama; died 6 October 1875 in Shelby Co., Texas; married (1) Nancy S. about 1844; married (2) Caroline Conway about 1851 in Shelby Co., Texas.
4) Stratford Wade Hampton Richards, born 14 August 1825 in Blount Springs, Blount Co., Alabama; died 22 July 1900 in Stephenville, Erath Co., Texas; married Elender Caroline Cooper 12 December 1845 in Shelby Co., Texas.
5) Eliza Jane Richards, born 4 September 1827; married William H. Bean Mays.
6) Charles Hampton Richards, born about 1832 in Alabama; died after October 1899 in Limestone Co., Texas; married Emily Wren.
7) Debby Ann Richards, born 1832 in Blount Springs, Blount Co., Alabama; married James A. Wills.
8) Elizabeth B. Richards, born 1834 in Texas; married Joseph Burns.
9) Susan Richards, born 1835 in Texas.
10) Matilda Richards, born 1836.

If you are a descendant of Charles and Mary Sapp Richards, I would love to hear from you. If you have new information or a correction to my post please let me know.


  • Baker, D. W. C. A Texas Scrapbook, Made up of the History, Biography, and Miscellany of Texas and Its People. Reprint. Originally published: New York: A. S. Barnes, 1875. Texas State Historical Association, Austin, Texas, 1991.
  • Richards, Phillip Wade Hampton. Autobiography of Phillip Wade Hampton Richards.
  • The David Rumsey Map Collection, s.v. “A New Map of Texas, With The Contiguous American & Mexican States”,-With-The-Contig (accessed March 13, 2009).
  • 1850 U. S. Census, Shelby County, Texas, microfiche. (accessed January 2007)
  • El Camino Real , s.v. “El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail” (accessed March 23, 2009).
  • Carol Carwile Head, a fellow Genea Blogger
  • Descendants of Charles and Mary Sapp Richards: Connie Johnston, Melinda Tillman, Sharon Wilson

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mary Sapp Richards Born in Georgia

I tend to wait until I have as many facts as I can gather before posting family information about a particular family line. But I find that I’m getting farther and farther behind. I want to put my family genealogy out there for distant cousins and those who might be interested in the migration to and settlement of my family’s home state of Texas. It is an interesting storyline but if I wait until I have all the bits and pieces I might never get it out there!

So if I post entries out of sequence, forgive me. I will try to piece things together for you all in good time.

Family legend says that my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth “Polly” Sapp, married the older Charles Harrison Richards, to escape her “wicked step-mother.” I am fully aware of the family frictions that can produce stories that are handed down to children that may not be entirely true. But there was a step-mother. And there was a very young bride. As a family researcher, I like to be aware of all of the family legends in order to make up my own mind about whether or not that skeleton in the closet is really there!

From a family tree researched by Kathy (Probably Katherine Ann Sapp) on Family the Sapp line to my ancestor runs as follows:

Ancestors of Mary Sapp (6)

1) John Sapp, born 1640 in Allegany Co., Maryland or England

2) John Sapp, born 1672 in Allegany Co., Maryland and died in Maryland

3) Henry Sapp, born 1698 in Kent Co., Delaware and died May 2, 1743. He married Alice Moore.

4) Benjamin Sapp first appeared in North Carolina when he entered 200 acres on the waters of Muddy Creek in Surry County (now Stokes) on April 2, 1779 and 100 acres also on the waters of Muddy Creek on January 27, 1785 through the Land Grant Office at the North Carolina Department of State. On the 1782 tax list of Surry County, Benjamin Sapp was listed with 2 horses and mules, cattle, 300 acres of land on Muddy Creek.

5) John Sapp, born about 1764 in Maryland.

6) Mary Elizabeth Polly Sapp, born July 30, 1797 in Atlanta, Georgia and died 1879 in Buena Vista, Shelby County, Texas. She married Charles Harrison Richards in Rhea County, Tennessee. He was born February 29, 1780 in Blount Springs, Alabama and died 1839 in San Augustine, Texas.

The Sapp line gets a little hard to understand past Mary and her parents and her father’s 2nd and 3rd wives. I will share what I have found in the different family trees online and from conversations with other distant cousins. But I must emphasize that you need to research this family and come to your own best conclusions, as I have no documentation on the family Sapp. I do know that Mary Sapp and Charles Richards are my ancestors because of family records matching the information from others.

I have been in communication with a Richards descendant who is from the area of Shelby County where our line of Richards settled. She remembers conversations with her great-grandmother who had first hand information and knowledge of the family.

Our John Sapp, Mary’s father, was a watchmaker and silversmith in Augusta, Georgia before he moved to Rhea County, Tennessee where he operated a grist mill. John advertized in the Augusta Chronicles in the 1790s. The area where the grist mill was located is now in the middle of a lake. John may have married two Elizabeths – a King and a Sanders.

Some say that John left one Elizabeth to run off with her sister-in-law, the other Elizabeth. Another theory has it that John Sapp, father of our John Sapp, married one Elizabeth, while our John, the son, married the Elizabeth, sister-in-law of his father’s wife. At any rate, our John’s Elizabeth died and our John married Winnifred Anderson who was remembered by her step-children as a wicked stepmother. Family lore has it that our Mary Sapp, age 13, married the older Charles Harrison Richards to escape Winnie.

Mary’s siblings are listed as:

  • Thomas Sapp, born August 1803, died between 1860-1870, Stokes County, North Carolina*
  • Benajah Joan Sapp, born 1801, died 1887, Shelby County, Texas
  • Stratford Henry Sapp, born January 1, 1802, Cooke County, Texas, died August 4, 1865
  • John Sapp, III
  • Hilliard Sapp, born 1811 in Tennessee, died about 1854
  • Benjamin Harrison Sapp, born May 9, 1813, Rhea County, Tennessee, died December 17, 1863, Mobile, Alabama
  • Alexander Sapp*
  • Serena Sapp*

John Sapp was gone from Rhea County, Tennessee by 1810. Some of his children went to Alabama. Perhaps John and Winnie did, too? But John and Winnie are in the 1850 census of Shelby County, Texas. Did they go back to Alabama or Georgia? Did some of the Sapp children go with the Richards families to Texas to take part in the adventure of taming a new land? Whatever the answer, my 3rd great-grandparents, Mary and Charles Richards, made their way with family members to the eastern border of what is now Texas. I will pick up their story in the next post.

CORRECTION: On June 13, a descendant of Stratford H. Sapp (brother of my Mary Elizabeth Polly Sapp Richards) wrote the following:

You have his [Stratford H. Sapp] death date wrong. He died in Marysville, Cooke County, TX and is buried there in the Marysville cemetery, along with his wife, Elizabeth HAIRGROVE Sapp. His death date is March 12, 1884. I do not believe Thomas is a sibling, nor Serena or Alexander.*

*My original files do indeed have his death date listed as March 12, 1884, and show only 6 siblings:
Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Sapp
Benajah (Benager) Johann Sapp
Stratford Henry Sapp
John Sapp
Hilliard Sapp
Benjamin Harrison Sapp

I appreciate all comments and corrections.


Picture of Mary Sapp Richards sent to me by Richards descendant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Connie Johnston
Melinda Tillma
Sharon Wilson
Carol Carwile Head, a fellow Genea Blogger, and I have discovered a family connection in the Sapp family and the Gailey family.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Freemason Lodges of Shelby County, Texas

Information on this site taken from the book “Freemasonry in Shelby County Texas, 1846-1900” by William Tellis Parmer and J. B. Sanders. The publication is very thorough and is on file in Shelby County Historical Society and Genealogy Library for view. Only a small amount of the narrative is recorded here. The Cumulative Rosters are taken from the pages in the publication. The book is divided into sections: The American Prelude, Early Texas Political Scene, Masonic Beginnings in Texas, Political Scene of Freemasonry in Shelby County.

Tenaha Lodge No. 737 – Tenaha – Shelby County Texas 1892-1903
Puckett, C. H.
Affiliated  12-28-1893
Demitted   03-16-1894

Truitt Lodge No. 149 – Truitt Store – Shelby County Texas 1854-1869
The third Masonic Lodge established in Shelby County was Truitt Lodge No. 149, which met at Truitt’s Store in the Northeastern portion of the County. (See the book “Freemasonry in Shelby County – 1846-1900” for additional information on the Lodges.)
Richards, C. H. 
Apprentice Degree     05-20-1854
Fellow Craft Degree   07-15-1854
Master of the Lodge   09-16-1854
Timpson Lodge No. 437 – (Golden Drain) – Shelby County Texas 1874-1908
The Golden Drain was located in Rusk County. The exact location of Golden Drain from 1874 to 1876 may not be exactly determined, it is clear, that is the year 1877 the lodge operated at Timpson in Shelby County. All minutes of Golden Drain and its successor, Timpson Lodge, were destroyed by fire in 1908.
Richards, John T.
Apprentice Degree    12-12-1891
Fellow Craft Degree  02-06-1892
Master of the Lodge  03-12-1892
Sapp, B. H.
Apprentice Degree      11-17-1888
Fellow Craft Degree    01-12-1889
Master of the Lodge    01-04-1890
Remarks             Died  11-26-1901

Newbern Lodge No. 97 and Buena Vista – Shelby County Texas 1851-1877
Burns, James 
E.A. no date – F.C. 04/07/1860 – M.M. 05/19/1860
Burns, William P
Petitioned 06/09/1860 – E.A. 07/07/1860 Died in Civil War

Conway, Alfred     
Affiliated 1855 – Demitted 1857
Conway, John
E.A. 03/10/1860 – F.C. 05/07/1860 – M.M. 06/09/1860 – Confederate Army 1862 – 1864 Died 1867
Conway, T.H.
Affiliated 1856
Richards, S.H.
Petition 09/27/1856, E.A. 10/25/1856 – F.C. 12/27/1856
Sapp, B.D. (DeKalb)
F.C. 04/07/1860 M.M. 05/29/1860 – Demitted 02/1867 – Affiliated 08/06/1870 Demitted 06/20/1872

Newbern Lodge No. 97 and Buena Vista - Shelby County Texas 1851-1877, under dispensation was instituted on Sept 29, 1851. On June 14, 1859 Newbern #97, be authorized to change their meeting place from Newbern to Buena Vista (a distance of about eight miles). The Lodge held no meetings from 1861 until March 31, 1866. Most of the books of the Lodge were destroyed during the Civil War. Newbern Lodge, which had met at Newbern and Buena Vista in Shelby County for slightly over a quarter of a century, was entered upon the list of demised Lodges. Its' members were transferred to the rosters of either Sam Houston Lodge No. 149, in Center or Jim Truitt Lodge, No. 345, at Willow Grove.
After finding this information online some time ago, I extracted names I knew to be in my family line. They were all in Shelby County, Texas, at this time. I became interested in learning how many of my ancestors were members of the Freemasons as I knew several of them to have received the rites of a Freemason at their burial. This is only a small number since I focused on Shelby County and I regret to say I did not record the website or the person responsible for this very informative review of “Freemasonry in Shelby County Texas, 1846-1900” by William Tellis Parmer and J. B. Sanders. Judy Richards Shubert

C. H. Richards on Indigent Families List (1863-1865)

Confederate Indigent Families Lists (1863-1865)
"On November 24, 1863, the Texas Legislature passed a Joint Resolution stating that the government pledged "support and maintenance of [the soldiers'] families during their absence from home." In accordance with this Resolution, an "Act to Support the Families and Dependents of Texas Soldiers" passed on December 15, 1863. The Act set aside $1,000,000 annually to be paid the "families, widows, and dependents of soldiers currently serving in State or Confederate forces, or of soldiers killed or disabled in service." Chief Justices of the counties, on or before March 1 in 1864 and 1865, submitted lists of servicemen and the number of their dependents eligible for relief. The County Clerk administered the money distributed to the county for this purpose. Please note that lists were not compiled in every county; those counties are not represented in the index.
"The information varies somewhat from county to county. While the number of dependents is always provided, additional information may include some of the following elements: name of the soldier; currently in service; disabled or killed in service; unit; acting head of household.
"Please be aware that only an index of names appears at this site. Linda Mearse has transcribed the records on file in the State Archives in her book, Confederate Indigent Families Lists of Texas 1863-1865. In order to help preserve the original records, please request the Mearse transcription through interlibrary loan. Please contact your local library for further details."
There is a C. H. Richards on this list. I have not studied it enough to know which C. H. Richards this was but know this name or family is from my line of Richards from Shelby County, Texas.

Rich, William | Dallas
Richar, Elen | Fayette
Richard, A | Liberty
Richard, A | Liberty
Richards, A | Liberty
Richards, Adolphus | Liberty
Richards, Apeneth | Dallas
Richards, C H | Shelby
Richards, Geo | Bell
Richards, Geo D | Bell
Richards, Henry | Shelby
Richards, J M | Denton
Richards, T M | Freestone
Richards, W T | Anderson
Richards, W B | Bastrop
Richards, White | Grayson
Richards, | Anderson
Richards, | Bastrop
Richards, | Robertson
Found on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission website at

Homsley Reunion, Seymour, Texas

Homsley Reunion, Seymour, Texas
Copyright (c) 2014 by Judith Richards Shubert