Lucy Anna STRAIN
1. Lucy & Abner were reported as living in Reno, Nevada, in 1969.
Camella "Cam" STRAIN
1. Camella, who was referred to as Cam, lived a confusing, interesting, rough, and very well documented life. Let me start with a revieew of events that lead to that life. As mentioned previously, her sister, Laura Lee Strain, married Robert Tate Strain who was a cousin. Robert and Laura had five daughters. Laura, we believe, died giving birth to daughter number five, Laura Lucy Strain. Robert was unable to make a living and take care of five daughters, so they were split up and raised by various members of the family. Laura Lucy remained in Fairfield, Texas, where she was raised by Robert's sister Willie Strain Huckaby. The other four, Agnes, Ada, Katie, and Emma, are shown on the 1880 Union County, Arkansas, Census under the care of William D. Strain age 27, who is listed as the head of the household, and Laura Lee's younger siblings, ie., Camella age 22, Alex H. age 18, and Bennie age 16. As William D. and his siblings begin to go their separate ways, they each took one of the girls with them. William D. and his wife, Bettie, raised Agnes and Ada. Cam and her husband, Vernon Lewis, took Emma, and Bennie and her husband, Thomas Keith, took Katie.
2. Cam married Vernon Lewis on Aug. 10, 1881 in Taylor Columbia Co., AR. They were taking care of Emma and had no children of their own. Sometime around January of 1883, Vernon got into some kind of trouble with the law and was put into jail. Cam and Emma had moved in with Vernon's folks who lived in Beauregard, Copiah Co., MS. On Sunday, April 22, 1883, they were hit with the fiercest most destructive tornado of the times. By the following Thursday, 55 people were known dead and over 200 were wounded and dying. Quoting from THE BROOKHAVEN LEADER dated Thursday, April 26, 1883, "On Tuesday evening we visited every house about Beauregard where we could hear of the wounded, and the following report is copied from our note book, just as written upon the spot;.....Emma Strain, 8 years old, orphan, thigh broken." We think that Emma was thought to be an orphan because so many families were totally wiped out by the storm. According to the following letter, Cam was also injured in the storm and had gone to Cross Roads, TX seeking help from her brothers Samuel D. and Alex. She knew Emma was being cared for in MS, but she indicates that Vernon had written to her (from Jail) and told her to get Emma to a good doctor. The letter is written to R. T. who we know is Robert Tate, Emma's father, and she is trying to explain to him that she is sorry for what has happened and that she has tried to help him, but now she desperately needs financial assistance. She will refer to Emma as Aunt Emma, but we know Emma was her neice. She also signed it" your siter", but we know she was his sister-in-law.
3. Cross Roads, Texas
June 22, 1883
Mr dear cousin Bob, I am going to write you a few lines today. Cousin Bob, I am going to write you about terrible conditions Aunt Emma and I are in. You know cousin Bob, you wrote a leteer to me and asked me for help and I done the very best that I could for you. Come a great storm in Miss. Blowed every thing that the people had away. Just before the storm, Mr. Lewis got into some trouble - He was taken away from me in January, and I am not able to go to see him. His trial will come off soon - Cousin Bob, he will not get justice some says that he will go to the Peneitentiarer. Why has this all fell on me, for he was so kind to me and Emma, oh, God, cousin Bob, I can't stand it. I feel like I never will see him again. In the storm Little Emma got her leg broke and was badly hurt - so many was killed and very near all of Mr Lewis' people were killed. Mr. Lewis wrote to me and told me to move Emma - put under a good doctor and I did so, she is improving very fast, will soon be able to walk ( )soon as we could get away from ( ) rascals ( ) pay for it but I am afraid never to get away, how come ( ) at Cross Roads. Soon as I got so that I could walk I come out here to get help but cousin Bob I can't get no help here. I am sick and have been for some time. I don't believe that I can live long cousin Bob - soon as you can send me money enough to go back to Mr. Lewis' mother's. You don't know the trouble I am in. Have mercy on me cousin Bob and send me the money immediately, do please send it to me. From your loving Sister Camella.
After receiving the above letter, Robert wrote to a Mr. J. D. Terrell, believed to be a neighbor of Vernon's parents, hoping to locate Emma and check on her condition. However, listed on the known dead in Beauregard was a Mr. J. S. Terrel and several members of his family. This was probably the same person that Robert had written, because his letter was passed on to Rev. H. F. Johnson, President of Whitworth Female College, Brookhaven, MS. The following is Rev. Johnson's response to Robert's letter.
4. Whitworth Female College
Rev. H. F. Johnson, D. D., President
Brookhaven, Miss., Nov. 24, 1883
Mr. R. T. Strain
Sir. I am in receipt of your letter addressed to Mr. J. D. Terrell. I found Emma in Beauregard, Miss., the night of the Cyclone, with a broken thigh. She was taken to Mr. Holliday's, from there bro't to my house. She was destitute, but Mrs. J. and my family took the best care of her possible. She wanted for nothing. Her thegh healed nicely all right. I intended to keep her but Mrs. Torry and her husband, Mr. John Torry begged for (her) and as they are well off and have no children, Mrs. J. and myself finally consented for her to go. They have adopted her as their own child and she will receive over half their estate. She is to be finely educated. As soon as she is old enough she is to enter this school.
She has a piano, pony, red saddle and servant to go with her, and everything that she can wish for. I was told that both you and Mrs. Strain were dead. I have written about that (so) you may know your daughter is in the best of hands.
Of course you have my sympathy, but I am sure that you will feel comforted in knowing that Emma has the best care possible. She is in better hands than she has been since you parted with her, and my advice is that you let her remain where she is, however you must decide for yourself. Will give you any further information I can.
H. F. Johnson
5. The next letter shows that Cam has moved to Sharmon, Arkansas. Sharmon could not be located near today's map, but Sharmon Cemetery is located at Bussey, Arkansas. This is where Cam's oldest child, Lou E. Lewis, is buried. She does not mention Emma or Vernon, but Vernon obviously gets out of jail in 1883 because their first child is born in 1884. Vernon's mother has also moved from Mississippi to Sharmon. I guess Cam is still hoping to get a share of her Granddaddy Barnett Hollingsworth's estate when she is asking William "to collect that money for me..."
Dec. 10th, 1883
Mr. William Strain,
My dear brother and sister I will write you a few lines. I am at Mrs. Lewis' and have been sick every since I have been here. I left all of people well in Texas, but that is the last place on earth to me. I would give any thing to see you all. I have nothing in this world that would interest you all for me to write any longer. Mr dear brother, I wish you would be so kind to me as to collect that money for me, it would be a great pleasure (the "pleasure" was marked out) help to me. Will you please send it to me soon as you can. My Dear Sister Bettie you and Will must writhe to me oftern for it would be a great pleasure to me to think you all cared enought (of me to ) write to me. Miss that darling little Agnes and Ada. I will write you all a long letter next time. I will have to close for this time for I can not sit up any longer. It looks like to never will get (to see them). Write soon ( ) of ( ) your loving Sister, Camellia
6. This next letter is the last letter that we hve fromCam and a good one to remember her by. It is an upbeat letter which indicates that here life is finally going in the right direction and that they are all well. She has moved again, but I don't hink very far from Sharman and not too far from Mount Holly. She and Vernon now have three children which indicates the year to be around 1889. She mentions visiting with her sister Bennie and Bennie's kids visiting her. She mentions Katie who lives with Bennie, but she never mentions Emma anymore. We know that Sharmon Cemetery is located in Bussey, AR and that the cemetery is only less than a half mile from the Thomas and Bennie (Strain ) Keith place. Cam has come home.
Glasgow P. O.
My Dear Sister Bettie and brother Willie,
I know you all think that I have forgotton you, but I have not. I so often think of you all and wish that I could see you all. We are all well. Bennie came to see me not long go. They are all well. She has a little babe but has not name him. Will, I thought that I would have written to you long go, but never did and I am ashamed of myself, but you all must excuse me, I have three little chidren, too boys and one girl. My little girl is going to school, learing very fast as named my little boy Willie after brother Will. Bettie I will let you give him a middle name. Bettie I don't know what I would give it I could see you all, but we are living too far apart. I do wish that we did live clost together, for I though so much of you. You must write to me and tell me all about your little children for I know that you will never have no more children. Will siad that last one would be the last, you know that to be so.
Bettie could you and Will come to see us this fall. If you cannot come to see us, meet me at Mr. McRae's in September. I thought Vernon and me would go to Mount Holly in September. I could not go before then because the teacher is boarding with us. His chool will not be out until (then). You must give my very best love to Agnes and Ada. I wish that they could come and stay with us this winter. Katie is not going to school now, she loves to come and stay with me some. Bennie has five children, Ella, Sam, Lucy, Perry and the boby is a boy. Bennie says she just knows she will have twelve.
I do feel so tiard and wore out. The big (revival?) thing is just over. Fourteen was Baptised. It lasted a week, and is not over yet. Just going to rest a few days and will atart a goin for another weeak. You come. My little boy Terrell is not very well. Going out to night. Preaching maid him sick. Willie has been sick all his life. It makes him cross. Every body says that he is the prettist child I have.
Bettie I had a fine garden a good garden yeat and a greate many chickings, and greate deal of nice fruit. I have not caned mush yet want to comence next weeak. I must close, Hoping I here from yuou soon. From your Sister Camella
1. In a letter which had a return address of Forrest Grove, Glasglo P. O. and dated 6 Aug 1889, Willie's mother, Camella, mentions having three little children, two boys and one girl. This would have been Lou, Terrell, and Willie.
2. She said that Willie was named after her brother, Willie [William D. Strain].
Vernon T. LEWIS "Jr"
1. Vernon never married.
2. Death benefit payment was sent to: Magnolia, Ark. 71753.
Lou E. LEWIS
1. Source: Sidney L. Barker [Bennie Keith's grandson], who reports that Lou is buried in the Sharmon Cemetery which is located less than a half mile from the Thomas and Bennie [Strain] Keith place.
Dalton Delmar MUNTZ
1. Dalton was killed action, World War II while serving in the Navy.
John M. LEWIS
1. John and his wife Iva L. were both killed in an automobile accident.
Alexander Hunter STRAIN
1. The following material was furnished by Strain H. Armstong....
Granddaddy Strain was only about 2-1/2 years old when his daddy died. His mother is shown to be he head of the household in the 1870 Arkansas Census with 8 children. When she died in 1876, the oldest son, William D. (not to be confused with his uncle, Dr. William D.) took on the responsibility of taking care of the farm and keeping the family together. We have a receipt dated 14 Dec 1877, that shows where he is paying the tuition and other expenses to send Aleck (Granddaddy Strain) and his sister Bennie to Mount Holly Academy. The money, $70, is being paid to Rev. George E. Eagleton, the pastor and teacher at the academy from 1868 to 1877. There are several other receipts that indicate that William's brother, Samuel D.Strain, Jr. was also helping make the living. On the 1880 Arkansas Census, William is shown as the head of the household. Listed are W. D. age 27, Camella age 22, Alex H. age 18, and Bennie age 16. With them are four nieces, daughters of their deceased sister Laura and her husband (cousin) Robert Tate Strain (cousin Bob)...son of Dr. William D. Strain.
2. The following is a chronological record of events that shaped the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander H. Strain of Cross Roads, McCord, and Frost, Texas.
Mother, Sammie Strain Armstrong, said that when granddaddy first came to Texas, he lived with his Uncle Sam and Aunt Effie Hollingsworth at Cross Roads. This was probably around the last part of 1882. We have a letter written by his sister Cam when she was in Cross Roads, Texas, and it is dated 22 Jun 1883. She had gone there to get some help from her brothers Samuel and Alex after having been injured in a storm in Mississippi. There is another one that was written by her on 10 Dec 1883 that says she "left all the people well in Texas." This one was written from Sharmon, Arkansas. There is a story told by mother that granddaddy and his brother, Samuel D. Strain, Jr. were partners in the cattle business. Samuel is supposed to have taken some cattle up to the Greenville area to sell. He sold them and was never seen again. No one ever suspected he stole the money, but rather that he met with foul play on the way home. Mark Smith remembers the story a little differently. His account of the story is that it was horses instead of cows, and they were breaking horses and selling them to the army in New Orleans and that Samuel met with foul play on the way back from down there. I guess we will never know exactly how that story went.
The next earliest date that I have been able to find associated with granddaddy after he came to Texas in 20 Mar 1884, when he registered his brand. The brand is under the registration of Strange, J. A. H., Cross Roads. The "Strange" isn't so hard to understand, but the "J" has a tendency to throw you off. However, I do have a copy of a list of granddaddy and his siblings where it is listed as James Alexander H. Strain. (This list was on loose leaf and inside the Strain Family Bible) On 23 Jun 1886, he bought 42-3/4 acres of land near the town of Cross Roads from George P. Utley for $367.50. He signed this deed J. A. H. Strain. George P. Utley was granddaddy's Uncle Nathan Hollingsworth's stepson. (For more on him, refer to the Hollingsworht section). On 7 Dec 1886, he bought 98-91/100 acres out of the H. B. Gotcher survey from Henry Jones for $1,483.65. This piece of land was known as Lot #1 in subdivision of "Jones Ranch". This deed was the last one that I found that he signed as J. A. H. Strain. On 7 Nov 1892, he bought 120 acres out of the Navarro County School Land (League) from Mr. and Mrs. T. P. Hightower for $1,200.00. Then on 15 Feb 1893, Granddaddy and Grandmother Strain were united in marriage. Three years later on 25 Jan 1896, an additional 15 acres were purchased from the Hightowers for $75.00, this being, however, out of the John B. McDaniel survey. On January 15th of the following year, he purchased 210-27/100 acres out of the Joseph Packwood survey from Mrs. Elizabeth Barry for $1,816.50. (At that time, Mrs. Barry lived in Ardmore, Indian Territory, Oklahoma.) Later, in 1903, this piece of land is designated as their homestead. On the 1900 Navarro County, Texas, Census, Alexander and Almedia Strain are listed with three daughters, Carrie L. age 6, Allie H. age 3, and Gladys age 1. (On either the 20th or the 26th of Aug, 1898, twins were born to Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Strain. The names of the twins were Fannie King and Gladys. Gladys died on 1 Oct 1898, however, a mistake was made and she was listed on the census instead of Fannie. Gladys is listed only as Infant Twin on her tombstone. Listed on the same census, just down the road, are Grandmother Strain's mother and daddy and her siblings, ie., Alonzo Greer and his wife Carrie L. and daughter Louisa W. age 29 and son Young H. age22. Now, getting back to the land purchases, on 30 Mar 1901, granddaddy bought 118-1/2 acres out of the Ed Rameriz survey from the Hightowers for $2,810.35. On 26 Dec 1902, two pieces of property were purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Hamrickfor $1,000.00...the first tract was 40 acres out of the Gotcher survey and part of it out of the G. W. Downing survey, and the second tract was 12 acres out of the same surveys. On 16 Jan 1903, granddaddy bought 116-1/2 acres out of the Ed Rameriz survey from Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Mimms for $1,000.00. On 3 Nov 1903, he pays Mr. and Mrs. B. S. Long $250.00 and agrees to pay a promissary note of $100.00 for a parcel of land out of the J. L. French survey....the acreage was not indicated. Granddaddy and Grandmother were ready to move from McCord and into town so on 18 Dec 1906, they purchased Lots 3 and 4 in Block 24 in Frost, Texas. They paid $650 to Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Robert. Granddaddy ventured into Ellis County and bought 200 acres out of the L. Garcia survey for $2,700.00 from P. R. King on 17 Dec 1907. Next came the place down at Raleigh. On 28 Dec 1907, he paid $3,450.00 to Mr. and Mrs. C. R.Barry for two tract of land. Tract #1 was 60 acres out of the J. B. McDaniel survey and Tract #2 was 173 acres out of the N. T. Byars survey. This was the farm that granddaddy used to get the pears from. According to mother, we have two crocks (heavy-inner-glazed clay jars) that they used to put up pear preserves in. On 8 Aug 1908, he purchased four tracts of land from Mr. and Mrs. Kuykendall for $3,900.00. Tract #1 was out of the W. M. Harris survey containing about 85 acres; Tract #2 was out of the D. W. Campbell survey containing about 9 acres; Tract #3 was out of the Luke McCloud survey containing about 7 acres; and Tract #4 contained about 3 acres. On 21 Dec 1908, it was back to Ellis County, and $2,750.00 for another 200 acres, but this was from John and Ella Scott. It was also out of the L. Garcia survey. On 27 Jul 1909, 1-31/100 acres out of the J. B. French survey (next to the Noah Kezzia survey) was purchased from Mr. & Mrs. T. S. Meredith for $600.00. On 15 Oct 1909, 50 acres out of the L. Garcia survey was purchased in Ellis County from H. M. and Manda O. Eddlemon for $600 in hand, and two notes; First note for $800.00 @ 6% and 5 small notes or coupons for $16.00 each for part of the interest on the $800.00; and the second note was for $200.00 @8%. On 1 Nov 1909, he bought 25 acres ouf of the L. Garcia survey from C. H. and Hessie M. Edsell for $700.00 in hand and $100.00 promissary note @ 8%. The 1910 Navarro County, Texas, Census now shows all kids except mother...she wasn't born until 1916. On 19 Feb 1910, J. M. Scott, Lenna Scott, H. A. (Amos) Scott, and J. B. Scott executed and delivered a certain General Warranty Deed to A. H. Strain, which is recoreded inVol. 161, pge 32 of the deed records of Navarro County, Texas conveying to him 197 acres of land more or less, out of the Thos. Harlow and M. Findley surveys. And finally, from Ellis County, granddaddy bought from Sam and Ethel L. Clons, etal, C. H. and Hessie M. Edsall, etal, 100 acres out of the L. Garcia survey for $600.00 in hand. -Strain H. Armstrong-
From the Frost Enterprise, dated April 3, 1942:
FROST PIONEER BURIED SATURDAY - Funeral services for A. H. Strain, aged 80 years, who died at his home last Friday morning following a six weeks illness, were held from the family residence Saturday afternoon at three o'clock. Burial was in the Frost cemetery. The rites were conducted by Rev. Jan McMurray, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Waxahachie, assisted by Re. D. P. Cagle and Rev. T. D. Ellis, both of Frost. The Masonic Lodge had charge of the service at the grave with the committal lecture of Noel Hollingsworth, of Teague, Texas.
A native of Arkansas, Mr. Strain had resided here about 60 years. He was a prominent citizen and large landowner. His home was a beautiful country place just West of the local city lake. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, a charter member of the local Masonic Lodge, having been a Mason of 55 years and served as a member of the city council for 30 years.
The funeral services were attended by many friends from this section of the county. The floral offerings were many and attested to the high ideals and honorable dealings with his fellow man.
Surviving are his wife of Frost; four daughters, Mrs. Carrie Anderson, Dallas; Mrs. Ross Smith, Waxahachie; Mrs. Brown Lee Stevenson, Stanford; and Mrs. Arnold Armstrong, Frost; three sons, Johnny, Jimmie and Chester Strain all of Frost, and ten grandchildren.
McCormick's Funeral Service was in charge.
Note: When I asked mother if Noel Hollingsworth was related, she said she was always under the impression that he was not. However, it was discovered in Bob Huggins material (book) that he actually was related, even though, it was a very distant relationship. He was the son of Daniel Barton Hollingsworth and Anne Sue Hudson who were from Mertens, Texas. Noel married Cecelia Stephenson on 10 Sep 1919, in Frost. H worked for a while at the Citizen's Stae Bank in Frost before moving to Teague. He later became the President of the Mexia Bank.
Almedia Thomas "Allie" GREER
1. FUNERAL SERVICES HELD FOR MRS. ALLIE T. STRAIN
Mrs. Allie T. Strain, aged 81, wife of the late A. H. Strain, Prominent banker and landowner of Frost, died in a Dallas hospital Nov. 13 following an illness of serveral months.
Funeral services were held in the family residence in Frost Nov. 15. Services were conducted by Dr. M. H.Knox, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Waxahachie, assisted by the local pastors of the Methodist and Saptist churches. Mrs. Strain was a Presbyterian.
A native of Natchez, Mississippi, Mrs. Strain, the former Allie T. Greer, came to Texas at an early age, and with her family settled near Frost.
One of the old mansions featured in the historical Natchez Trail was the home of her maternal ancestors.
Surviving are three sons, John B. Strain, Callas; Jimmie and Chester Strant, Frost; and four daughters Mrs. Carrie Smith, Dallas; Mrs. Allie Smith, Waxahachie; Mrs. Mary Stevenson, Electra; Mrs. Sammie Armstrong, Corsicana; several grand children and great grand children.
One grandson, Holmes Guthrie Anderson, whom she helped rear, of Dallas and Oklahoma City has recently returned from Europe.
Note: It is written in Grandmother Strain's obituary that she was born in Natchez, Mississippi, and that one of the old mansions featured on the historical Natchez Trail was the home of her maternal ancestos. Nancy & I researched in Natchez and could not find any mention of her or her parents or that any of the mansions had ties to her maternal ancestos. Until I find something to convince me that she was actually born there, I tend to believe that she and all her other siblings were born in Shuqualak, Mississippi, the hub of early activity for the Greers, Wiggins, and Nicholsons.
-Strain H. Armstong-
21 Sep 2000
1. Gladys was a TWIN to her sister Fannie and died in infancy.