Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rama Dye

This information on Rama Dye has been collected from various databases and web sites.  Not much of it was sourced and not all of it has been verified.

Rama Dye, the son of Fauntleroy and Elizabeth Young Dye, was born about 1821 in Kentucky. He married Sarah Jane Bradley on 16 Jan 1842 in Monroe County, Missouri. Rama moved his family to Texas about 1846 and was issued a land certificate as part of the Peters Colony by 1850 for 640 acres in Cooke County. His brother, Jacob, moved to Texas at the same time as Rama.

Rama Dye and Sarah Jane Bradley had the following family:
1. James Rama Dye was born in Missouri about 1842. James died after 1861.
2. Margaret Elizabeth Dye was born August 18, 1844. Margaret married Nathaniel Bullard. Margaret was a midwife.
3. Leroy Dye was born in Texas 1847. Leroy died February 1850 in Cooke County, TX, at 2 years of age.
4. Rachael Dye was born in Cooke County, TX March 1850. Rachael died after 1920 at 70 years of age. Rachel lived with her sister, Margaret, and brother-in-law, Nathaniel Bullard.
5. Thomas Dye was born in Cooke County, TX about 1855.

1850 Census
Source Citation: 1850 Federal Census; Census Place: Cooke County, Texas; Roll M432_910; Pages: 69-70; Household 23/24
In the 1850 Census, R. (Rama) Dye is on the bottom of  page 69 and his family continues on the top of the next page.

1856 Rama Dye gave land for use as school house to Cooke County on Nov. 7,1856. (Deed Bk 1, pg 593)

Rama's wife, Sarah, died before the 4th of July1860, because she is not listed in the 1860 Census, which was taken on that date.
1860 Census
1860 U.S. Census, Texas, Cooke, Gainesville, page 239

On 27 Jun 1861 in Cooke County, Texas, Rama married Mary Ann Dawson, daughter of Arphax Dawson.  Arphax Dawson was one of the victims of the Great Hanging.  Mary Ann lost both her husband and her father during the 'Great Hanging.'

Rama Dye donated land to the Christian Church in the SE corner of Cooke County.  He was a minister and farmer.

Rama was a second cousin to Martha Ellen YOUNG, mother of the future President of the United States, Harry S. TRUMAN.   Their common ancestor was John Young and wife, Ann.

1862 Cooke County, TX Deed Records: Ramy Dye sold 320 acres to J.B. and R.H. Ruryear July 26, 1862.

Rama Dye meeting for the rescue of M. D. Harper.
Rama Dye was a good friend to M. D. Harper.  Dye was upset when Harper was arrested for being a member of the Peace Party and called a meeting at his home to discuss the rescue of his friend, Harper, and others who were being held as prisoners by the viliante committee.  The following is from Tainted Breeze page 71:  "...nighttime meeting of settlers in the Eastern Cross Timbers who were 'noisy to be led on to the assistance of their friends'. They had convened at the request of Rama Dye, a former Peters Colonist who ironically had spent the day guarding prisoners in Gainesville. Dye was distraught about the arrest of M. D. Harper -- a "resolute and uncompromising" organizer of the Peace party -- and had called the meeting that night to discuss a rescue."
At that first meeting, the group discussed the options of rescue for Harper and the other prisoners, of fleeing, of surrender or a fight or bushwhacking campaign.  Dye was elected as their captain and they planned to meet again the next night to further discuss what to do after they had gathered more information. 
Diamond's Account of the hanging identifies as being present at the first meeting: William B. Anderson, Benjamin C. Barnes, Barnibus Burch, Henry Cockrum, Arphax R.Dawson, Rama Dye, Hudson J. Esman, James T. Foster, Curd Goss, William W. Johnson, David M. Leffel, John M. Miller, John W. Morris, James A. Powers, and Gilbert Smith.  All these men just mentioned who were present at that first meeting were later executed.  Others may have been present, such as Obediah B. Atkinson, William Boyles, Robert Duncan, Harry Gilman, Moses Powers, S. Snodgrass, John Ware, Isham Welch, and John Wiley.

Taken from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly Vol. LXVI, Jan. 1963, No. 3:
The State of Texas vs. Ramey Dye. Charge: Disloyalty or Treason.
Testimony of Arphax Dawson: (Arphax Dawson was born in Ga. in 1805. He was one of the first settlers of Cooke Co. His daughter Mary was married to Ramey Dye).
Witness: RAMEY DYE came to my house and told me that M.D. Harper had been arrested on the charge with being connected with our society and that there would be a meeting held that night (1 Oct. 1862) near Lattimer's and Ritchies steam mill for the purpose of consulting how to rescue Harper. He wished me to attend and bring my gun, which I did. The meeting was attended by RAMEY DYE, JOHN M. WILEY, ISHAM WELCH, WM. BOYLES, JOHN WARE, H. GILMAN, ROBT. DUNCAN, and others.He talked about the recue Harper. We came to the conclusion that the force at Gainesville was too strong for us to accomplish our purpose.
Testimony of Ben F. Barnes:
Witness: There was a meeting at the steam mill last Wednesday night. Some members observed we had better go to the Northern army where we could fare better. They were to hold a meeting the next night, somewhere. RAMEY DYE was appointed Captain.
Testimony of I.W. MORRIS:
Witness: I was at the meeting at Ritchie's Mill. Dr. Foster said the purpose of the meeting was to rescue Harper; and he wanted us to take our guns and go - myself and Ramey Dye. The reason we did not go to rescue Harper was a messenger, ESSMAN, told us that there were a great many soldiers in Gainesville and we were then afraid.
Testimony of GILBERT SMITH:
Witness: I was at the meeting on Wednesday night. Present: RAMEY DYE, JAMES POWERS, MOSES POWERS, JOHN WARE, JOHN W. MORRIS, Dr. FOSTER, H.J. ESSMAN, HARRY GILMAN, ARPHAX DAWSON, O.B. ATKINSON, and WM. BOYLES. We were all ordered to bring our guns. I loaded mine after I got there. I suppose there were 28 men in all.Our object was to come here (Gainesville) and rescue the prisoners. RAMEY DYE was chosen Captain. We concluded to get away when ESSMAN came and reported the number of men in town. We adjourned to meet again the next night and consult what to do. I understood we had spies out. Mr. Welch started up here to see how many men were in town. He was sent by the company. Some men were sent out two or three times to spy out and see if anybody approached. Old man COCHRAN went over to Red River to see how many members of the Order there, were over there in that section. SNODGRASS was there when I arrived. I understood that the signs would protect us when the Northern army came.
Dye was found guilty and hung.

Rama Dye Will
After Rama was found guilty by the citizens court and sentenced to be hanged, he wrote a will which can be found in the Cooke County court probate records. 

Cooke County Probate Records, Vol. 1, pages 327, 329, 330, 338 & 343.
Will Dated Oct. 13, 1862
The State of Texas. In the name of God, Amen, County of Cooke. I Rama Dye of the County of Cooke State aforesaid being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life, do therefore make, ordain, publish, and declare this to be my last will and testament, that is to say, first after all my lawful debts are paid, and discharged, the residue of my estate real and personal, I give, bequeath, and dispose of as follows, to wit. To my beloved wife, Mary Ann Dye, My Daughter, Margaret E. and Rachael Dye, and my son (s?) Rama J. Dye all my property, to be divided equally among my heirs above named.Likewise, I make, constitute, and appoint my Brother Jacob Dye to be executor of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.I further wish that my Estate may not be probated, but that an Inventory of all my property may be recorded in the Probate Court.In witness whereof I hereunto subscribe my name, and affixed my seal, using scroll?

this thirteenth day of October AD 1862
/s Rama Dye/seal/

Excerpt from "Ben Dye and County Line Community" article:
"Rama Dye was summoned to Gainesville, October 1862, charged with being a member of "the Clan", and was hanged for his political views. Ben R. Dye, oldest son of Jacob Dye, heard what had happened, so he hitched a yoke of oxen to the wagon and went to Gainesville, drove the wagon under the body of his uncle, cut the rope and the body fell into the wagon. Burial of Rama Dye was made on his farm. No men could be found to assist with the digging the grave, so some women brought a blanket and helped Ben bury his uncle. All of the men had "hid out" for fear of the infuriated hanging mob. No mention has been made that any sort of a coffin was made, only a blanket for a shroud. Rama Dye was County Treasurer of Cooke county at this time."

QUESTIONS concerning Rama Dye:
Did he have children with his second wife, Mary Ann Dawson??

Family members attend dedication ceremony

This newspaper article is from the GAINESVILLE DAILY REGISTER, Cooke County's only daily newspaper, Gainesville Texas. October 26, 2009 03:26 pm

Great Hanging victim's family members attend dedication ceremony
NATALIA JONES Register Staff Writer

— A special dedication ceremony was held Saturday, Oct. 24 to honor the Clark Cemetery where Nathaniel Miles Clark, a Great Hanging victim, and his family are buried.

An official Texas Historical Marker was unveiled during the ceremony. The marker tells a brief summary of the historic cemetery which was established by the Hatcher family and others sometime in the 1850s.

During the Civil War, the cemetery became known as the Clark Cemetery named for a pioneering Cooke County family.

Great-grandson of Nathaniel Clark, author L.D. Clark was present to retell his family’s past.

“This cemetery has been hallowed ground to the Clark family for 147 years,” he said. “I’ve been around for 87 of those years, so I have had an opportunity to learn a great deal about the history of this place...There’s a great deal of sorrow in it and there’s a great deal of tragedy in it, but there’s also a great deal of thanksgiving just for having this place to share with the family.”

Nathaniel Clark was among the unionists who were lynched in the Great Hanging in Gainesville, in 1862. He was buried in the Clark Cemetery by his widow, Mahuldah Clark, and their 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son.

Great-great granddaughter of Nathaniel and Mahuldah Clark, Colleen Clark Cari was also present to extend a warm welcome and introduction to guests.

Prior to the event, she said, over 125 members of the Clark family met at the Lone Oak Ranch and Retreat in Gainesville for a family reunion.

Special guests present for the dedication included Ron Melugin, chair of the Cooke County Historical Commission, Cooke County Judge John Roane and Commissioner Steve Key.

Boy Scouts Troop No. 668 of the First Baptist Church gave the presentation of colors, while Miles Nathaniel Shaffer, great-great-great-grandson of Nathaniel and Mahuldah Clark, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Music during the ceremony was provided by Dana Freeman, fourth great-granddaughter of Nathaniel and Mahuldah Clark; Larry Clark, great-great-grandson of Nathaniel and Mahuldah Clark; Pam Clark Boaz, third great-granddaughter of Nathaniel and Mahuldah Clark; and Mary Faye Jackson.

Nancy Blackwell, great-great-granddaughter of Nathaniel and Mahduldah Clark, also read a poem entitled “Dear Ancestor.”

Clark Cemetery is located at the intersection of Clark Road and County Road 220.

L.D. Clark also served as the guest speaker for the third annual Commemoration of the Great Hanging which took place Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. in Georgia Bass Park.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lydia Field McCool -- Her Story Continues

Lydia Field McCool suffered great heartache and much loss during the Gainesville Hangings. Both, her husband and father were killed in the fall of 1862. Henry Field, Lydia’s father, was the third man tried by the so-called "Citizen’s Court" in Gaineville and was executed by hanging on October 4th.  Lydia’s husband, William A. McCool, was captured by James D. Young , convicted by a court martial and hanged at Young’s Red River plantation in the later part of 1862, sometime after the Hangings in Gainesville.

Too add to the heartache and stress, Lydia was expecting a child when her father and her husband were hanged in the fall of 1862.  When her new baby boy was born Lydia named him William, after her deceased husband. Little William was born in 1863 in Texas.  It is hard to even imagine the grief, sorrow and fear, Lydia must have felt during this time.  The two men who were her protectors had just been killed by a ruthless mob when Lydia was left pregnant and alone on the Texas frontier.

Sometime after the death of her husband and prior to 1867, Lydia married a man by the last name of Tullis. Lydia had one daughter by this husband and named her Marietta. Marietta was born about 1867 in Texas. What happened to this second husband is unknown, but by 1870 he is no longer in the picture.

Prior to June 1870, Lydia left Texas and moved back to Iowa with her two young children. It would be interesting to know how she traveled from Texas to Iowa with her two young children.  In the 1870 census, Lydia had can be found living in Bellevue, Iowa, with her maternal grandparents, Daniel and Jersusha Potter, and her older sister, Laura Field. Her two children, William McCool and Marietta Tullis, are with her.

About 1876, Lydia married a third time to Robert Coulehan. They had two children, Agnes born 1876 and Lulu born 1884.

The Robert and Lydia Coulehan family can be found living in Bellevue, Iowa in 1880. Lydia’s children from three marriages are living in the household: Agnes Coulehan - age 2, Ettie Tullis age - 13 and William McCool – age 17.

The Coulehan family moved to Boulder, Colorado by 1900. Lydia's daughter, LuLu, is the only child still living in the home. Lydia states that she gave birth to six children and only 4 were still living in 1900.  Lydia and her husband Robert have a boarding house and four male lodgers are living in the home. Lydia’s daughter, Agnes, is living in Denver and working as a stenographer. The 1900 whereabouts of Lydia’s two older children, William McCool and Marietta Tullis is not known at this time and will take further research.

By the time Lydia is sixty-four years old, she is widowed again. She is found living in Long Beach, California with her daughter and son-in-law, Agnes and Claude Blakemore. One of Agnes Blakemore’s sons became well-known in the southern California banking world.

Thanks to a comment left, the burial place for Lydia has been found.  Lydia was buried in the Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles,  CA.  A picture of the headstone can be found on  The inscription on the bottom of the headstone reads:

Any additional information on Lydia and her son, William McCool, would be appreciated. Thanks

Monday, August 24, 2009

Photo of Eli Sigler Thomas & wife, Susan Mary Hedenberg Thomas

This is a photo of Doctor Eli Sigler Thomas and his wife, Susan Mary Hendenburg Thomas.
Doctor Eli Sigler Thomas was one of the men killed in the Gainesville Hanging. He was hanged on 19 Oct 1862, along with nineteen other men. He left behind a wife and two children.
Information on Eli Sigler Thomas can be found in several earlier posts:

Many thanks to the Dr. Eli Sigler Thomas descendant who sent this photo to the blog.  This is one of two known photos of a victim of the Great Hanging.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Henry Field

Henry S. Field, the son of Henry and Lucinda Frisbee Field, was born 12 Feb 1810 in Elbridge, New York. He settled in Bellevue, Jackson, Iowa in 1838. In 1842, Henry married Jane Augustine Potter. They had four daughters and one son: Laura, Julia, Lydia, Marcus, Jane. Henry's wife, Jane, died in 1848. Henry then married Mary Ann Bail on the 4th of July 1850 in Iowa. They can be found in the 1850 Census (Jackson County, Iowa) that was taken in September of that year.

Henry and Mary had five children, two sons and three daughters: Marcus, Gratia, Martyna, Willliam and Sarah. Sometime around 1857, Henry and Mary moved their family from Iowa to Texas. The youngest two children were born in Texas. They can be found in Cooke County, Texas in the 1860 Census. Henry listed his occupation as a shoemaker. He had $800 in personal estate and no real estate.

The following is from McCaslin's book:
"The Citizen's Court tried Henry S. Field, a shoemaker, after they condemned the Chiles brothers. Henry Chiles had admitted that he initiated Field, and a neighbor recalled a conversation in which Field unwisely asserted that if conscription were expanded to include men his age, he would rather hang than serve in the army. Field had also intemperately applauded General Benjamin F. Butler's infamous proclamation, made during his occupation of New Orleans, that any female who showed contempt for a soldier of the United States Army would be treated 'as a woman of the town plying her occupation,' and carried with him a newspaper containing the edict. Field denied being a member of the Peace party but, after being returned before the jury, admitted that he had taken the first degree from Chiles and 'afterwards did go through' a full initiation. He insisted he would have confessed earlier, before the arrests, but was afraid."

After being sentenced to hang by the Citizen's court, Henry wrote a will on 3 October 1862. Below is a copy of the will (transcript follows):

Cooke County Probate Minutes, vol. 1, 1857-1863; FHL US/CAN Film 1290682
3 Oct 1862
"I Henry Field of Texas in the county of Cooke..I desire to be decently and privately buried in the yard near my residence with as little expense as may be, also I give and bequeath my daughter Lydia C. McKool three cows and calves also one colt known as the Roan Filley for her own use and benefit, Also I give and bequeath my wife Mary Ann Field for her and my infant childrens benefit and maintanence consisting in the public land improvement where she resides, also two large mares and one filley, one yearling colt and one colt, also two wagons, also all the remainder of cattle and all movable effects, after paying all my debts. I do hereby appoint and constitute my said wife M.F. sole executrix of this my last will and testament...
the third day of Oct 1862
Henry Field (seal)"

Diamond's account of the trials states, "Fields was called by his neighbors a clever man, and a useful citizen. His implication in this secret and wicked plot astonished the people, more perhaps, than any others."
Henry Field was hanged on October 4th. He made a speech just prior to being hanged and confessed that he was a member of the Peace Party. He also pleaded for charity toward his memory and toward "those who bear my name and are attached to me by kindred ties."

A Field family descendant posted the following on's World tree (accessed 28 Oct 2007) contact unknown:
"Henry Field, Jr., son of Henry and Lucinda, settled in Bellevue, Iowa, in 1838. In 1854 they moved to Bolivar, Texas, where he resided at the breaking out of the rebellion of the slave-holding states with other northern families. He with eighteen of his neighbors were arrested for refusing to take up arms in the Confederate service, and being refused the privilege of returning north, were hung December, 1862. He wrote a farewell letter to his family of which his family ( Dorothy Dorchester Melville, his great, great niece) has a copy. He had five children by his first wife, Jane, and five children by his second wife, Mary Bail."
There are a few mistakes in the above family account, but it interesting to note the mention of a farewell written to his family.

Notes on the second wife of Henry Field, Mary Ann Bail Field. There is a marriage record for marriage record for Mary Ann Fields to Jefferson Anderson in Cooke County, Texas on 10 Dec 1863. But if this was the widow of Henry Field, then she changed her name from Anderson back to Field by 1900. Mary Field or Mary Anderson cannot be found in the census records for 1870 or 1880. But, Mary Field is found living with her daughter, Martyna, & son-in-law, James Jennings, in the Census records of 1900, 1910 & 1920. She gives her name as Mary Field in all three census records. Mary stated in the 1900 census that she gave birth to 6 children and only one (1) was still living in 1900 -- that would be her daughter, Martyna Field Jennings. Mary Ann Bail Field lived to be almost 92 years old. Her life was touched with hardship and sorrow -- she lost her husband in the Great Hanging of 1862 and five of her six children by 1900. But hopefully, she also experienced peace and joy during her life. Mary died 1 Oct 1921 in Lamar, Colorado, while living with her daughter, Martyna.
Question: Where was Mary living during the 1870 & 1880 census?

For a post about Henry's daughter, Lydia Field, click here.