Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A History of Our McFarland Family - Part 3

Information submitted by: Mary Helen Haines

Arthur was too young (17) to stay in the CSA when the conscription law was passed in April, 1862; however, he joined the 31st Texas Cavalry in August 9, 1862 with brothers Newton and Jasper shortly before his 18th birthday. Arthur's granddaughter, Loma Patton, had a monument placed in the McFarland graveyard in the 1960s that commemorates his service, although he is buried in Oklahoma.

The 22nd, 31st, and 34th Cavalry Units appeared in most of the same battles in Indian Territory, Arkansas, and briefly in Missouri, as well as participated in the Red River Campaign in Louisiana toward the end of the war. This campaign was fought to keep the river open as a trade route through Shreveport, the capital of Louisiana for the Confederacy. All units participated in the Battle of Mansfield, in April, 1864, the last major victory for the Confederacy during the war.

The daughter of L. T. Cunningham and Mary Jane McFarland, Julia Cunningham Stoddard, related to Lola McFarland that Lee and Uncle Jim (which would have been James R. McF.) went to war together. L.T. Cunningham is on the roster for the 34th Texas Cavalry. He told his family that as they were trying to get home after the war had ended, they were starving. They were so hungry that Jim ate green corn from a field and died as the result. Albert McFarland died early in the war, in April 1862 of unknown causes. (For a more detailed account of their Civil War records and campaigns, see my article "Fannin County McFarlands and The Civil War.")

Even though the McFarlands were spared the horrors of the battlefields like Gettysburg and Shiloh, many of the men were affected by these times. Even if they did not die in the war, their lives were considerably shorter than previous generations. Newton died at 33, and Arthur at 55. The women, left alone with small children to raise and farms to plant and harvest, also suffered greatly during these trying times. S. (Sarah) Sebastian (3 in family), Harper (6 in family), as well as three Hulsey families appear on a list of indigent families applying for aid in February, 1865 in Fannin County.

Slowly things began to recover in the 1870s. Jackson, who kept every piece of written document that came his way, applied for membership to the local Masonic Lodge (Bethel #134) in 1867. He was accepted and his tombstone is inscribed with the Masonic symbol. The Jackson McFarland Co. General Merchandise Co. was established in Ladonia in 1877, which shows that the family was beginning to think about developing other pursuits besides farming. There must have been a connection with the land, however, because tokens were minted for use in purchasing goods from the store, and I imagine that employees and tenant farmers received at least part of their pay in these tokens. Jackson's son, Cyrus Sylvester "Bose" took over as manager and principle owner of the store from 1902 until his death in 1925.

In the 1870 census, Sarah McF. Sebastian (50) and 4 children: Franklin (17), Elmirey (6), and Jefferson (9) Sebastian, and James Tucker (17) the son of Cynthia Anne McF. and James Tucker, were with James and Jane McFarland, now 76 and 69 . Sarah's husband Elijah Scott died in 1863, probably in the war - he also served in Merrick's Company. Still neighbors were Anna, her husband Howard Etheridge and now 5 children, as well as Newt McF. (29) married to Sarah C. Tucker (28) and their 4, and then Arthur (26) on his land with wife Mary Ellen Terry Chamlee (30) and their 3 children (the two oldest from a previous marriage she had to J. Frank Chamlee). In 1878, Arthur's name appears as one of the original trustees for a school and cemetery to be established at Oak Ridge on land deeded from John Wesley Hulsey, Sr. (John Wesley Hulsey, Jr. married Lucinda Pettit, the granddaughter of John and Mary F. McFarland). Soon after, the Oak Ridge Church of Christ, across from the burial ground where John and Mary F. McFarland were interred, is established, with Jackson and Artemissa among the charter members.

The family endured quite a struggle when father James died in 1871 without leaving a will. Although he and Jane had dispensed most of the original land grant to their married daughters and youngest sons, there was still approximately 302 acres left. All the children came up with an agreement how they would dispense the inheritance, but Jane decided to write a will that left the land to her two youngest sons, Newton and Arthur. Jane died in May, 1872 and the "fun" began. Newton died in September, 1872, leaving his heirs and brother Arthur in the awkward position of trying to get the rest of the siblings to accept mother Jane's last wishes. Lawsuit after lawsuit followed involving all the children and the heirs of Albert and Newton. In the end, Jackson, who was the largest land owner of all, bought out everyone else's interests in the inheritance, and finally, in 1878, Arthur was ordered by the court to sell the contested land, which he did in a closed sale to Jackson. Jackson paid around $6.00 an acre (the going rate) for the 302 acres of the original land grant. The 302 acres, site of James and Jane's original home and the McFarland Cemetery, were given by Jackson to his son Newton Jackson, who passed it to his son, Ambrose Sylvester.

Arthur used his stake to move to Coleman County, Texas where he joined his Missouri cousin Charles Newton McFarland (grandson of John (4) McFarland), and Joel Thomas Hulsey from Fannin County. This area was just opening up for settlement and Arthur applied for a 160 acre grant in 1881. He received the grant in 1884 after three years of occupation and then quickly sold it. Mary E. McFarland purchased a land grant nearby in 1882, and Arthur served as Justice of the Peace, officiating at several marriages in the county. It seems the family moved on to Oklahoma soon after 1880. That is the year that Arthur grants 57 acres to his step-daughter. (A detailed accounting of the land issues of the McFarlands is included in a separate document, "Land Issues concerning James McFarland and his Children.")

In 1886 a railroad connection was built to connect Paris to Honey Grove to Ladonia to Dallas. This really helped Ladonia grow and it continued to run up through the 1950s. Lola McFarland (8th generation) made films of the grandchildren (10th gen.) arriving at the Ladonia station from Dallas for a visit to the farm and Lola's brother, Uncle Doc (James A. McFarland - brother of Lola), wrote entertaining stories about his adventures as a young boy riding the train into Dallas to visit the State Fair.

Jackson McFarland died August 14, 1883, and was buried near his parents in the McFarland Cemetery. The home place of Jackson and Artemissa passed on to Nancy Jane McF. Cunningham and part of the land is still in the hands of their descendants today, Rhonda Kay Cunningham Shinpaugh, her husband and two children. The original frame home was torn down and replaced with a modern structure. Artemissa's son, James Franklin, built her a small house in back of the house where he and Mary Jane lived so she would be near by, but not in the same house as the growing brood of the 8th generation. Her last years, however, were spent living with her daughter Nancy Jane Cunningham's family. Although the 1888 home of James Franklin and Mary Jane is still standing, like most of the other McFarland homes, the property has been sold and is in other hands. Artemissa's small house has been moved from behind the James Franklin homestead to a place across the road. Artemissa died July 6, 1907, sixty-eight years old, and joined her husband and in-laws at the McFarland Cemetery.

7th Generation:

James Franklin was born on the farm on August 9, 1847. He married Mary Jane Harper on February 4, 1872. Mary Jane was born February 26, 1852 in Knight's Prairie, Hamilton Co., near McLeansboro, Illinois, daughter of George Washington Harper and Susanne Mansell, both natives of Tennessee. They became the parents of 10 children, the nine who survived received college degrees in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and scattered like the winds over the years. The history of James and Mary Jane and their children has been very well documented by the 8th generation and I would refer any reader to A Collection of Facts and Fancies of the Family of James Franklin McFarland and Mary Jane Harper McFarland compiled by Lola Winifred McFarland Hill in 1966 for detailed information about these wonderful people.

GrandLola was like Jackson, she kept everything that referenced her forefathers, brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren. It is from that wealth of wedding announcements, obituaries, newspaper articles, and personal letters, organized in album after album, that I had as a starting place. I have loved pouring through this living personal history and trying to put together the pieces into a coherent story for our family. I also have relished the opportunity this project has given me to search out and meet more of our McFarland relatives. It has given me the opportunity to get acquainted with our Texas base in Ladonia, and appreciate how beautiful that country is and was to our forefathers who settled there.

he broader history of James Franklin's brothers and sister has yet to be written, and no one, as yet, has tackled the more recent history of the 10th, 11th, and 12th generations. What a project that will be!!


Burleson, Muriel. Ed. Recollections of Ladonia: The Town and Its People. Feb. 1991

Breedlove, Agnes McFarland. Personal recollections. 2002

Fannin County Folks and Facts. Taylor Publishing Company. Bonham Public Library, 1977.

Fannin County, Texas, Federal Population Census. 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880.

Hill, Lola McFarland. A Collection of Facts and Fancies of the Family of James Franklin McFarland and Mary Jane Harper McFarland. 1966

History of Fannin County, Texas, 1836-1843. Southwestern Historical Quarterly. pp. 296-297. (found at Samuel Rayburn Library in Bonham)

Ingmire, Frances Terry, compiled. Fannin County, Texas Land Titles. Bonham Public Library, 1979.

Ingmire, Frances Terry. Personal research of St. Francois County, Missouri public records. Shared with Lola McFarland in 1978.

Johnson, Frank W. "James Franklin McFarland" A History of Texas and Texans. The American Historical Society. 1914

MacFarlane, James. History of Clan MacFarlane. Clan MacFarland Society. Glasgow, Scotland. 1922.

MacFarlane, Kent. "Origins of the McFarland/MacFarlane Names." Article published in The Lantern. Newsletter of the Clan MacFarlane.

McFarland Family Bible is the source for many of the birth and death dates that are not available through other records. This Bible has entries recorded in hand by James McFarland and Artemissa Pence McFarland. It is presently owned by the Breedlove family descendants.

McFarland, Jackson. Personal documents: deed, tax receipts, Civil War service. Originals are housed at Barker Texas History Center in Austin and San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures.

McFarland, James A., Stitches in Time: The Myth of Sir John MacFarlane. Double Creek Production, Inc. Tulsa, Oklahoma. 2001.

Newhouse, Patricia Armstrong, Ed. Fannin County, Texas: Enlistees in the War Between the States 1861-1864. Bonham Public Library.

Raney, Don., "Ft. Lyday, Fannin County, Texas: Indian Raids on the Red River Frontier." DGS Newsletter. Volume 21, Number 1, January 1997.

Scott, Tom. Ed., Fannin County: The Early Years-Land Grants, Bounty Warrants, Muster Rolls, and Tax Rolls: 1836-1840. Fannin Co. Genealogical Quarterly. 1982.

The 1840 Census of Republic of Texas. Pemberton Press. Austin. 1966. Dallas Public Library

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