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


Anonymous said...

In Henry Fields OWN WORDS: "I AM GUILTY . . . "

In George W. Diamond's Account of the Great Hanging at Gainesville in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly the testimony of Henry Fields: I was partially iniated by Dr. Childs, but refused to take the degree in full; but afterwards did go through."
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. After bieng sentenced he made FULL CONFESSION OF HIS GUILT. When brought to the place of exec ution, addressing Col. Chance, he said

I am guilty of hte charges against me. I am guilty of whatever criminality may be attached to this organization. I am guilty of disloyalty and treason against this government, of a purpose to subvert and destroy it. The punishment before me seems awful to him that is about to suffer it. But it id due for hte crimes I have committed. My crimes have been many and great; and I am sorry, that they have been so great that I cannot hope to obtain forgiveness from the injured people. I think the people and the jury have done their duty, so far. I hope they will continue their work, untile very one that belongs to this order shallb e brought to justice.

The the Jury their verdict is a just one approved by me and sanctioned by high Heaven. Tell them, I thank them, and accuse them of no injustice; but, that I acquit them, as I do all mankind, of any wrong done to me.
I hope the people will not remember my transgressions against those who bear my name, and are attached to me, by kindred ties. Let them rather favor the kind offices of charity in washing away the stain and rewarding memory with whatever virture there is in the deepest contrition of spirit; try to foget how I have lived, but remember that at least I died humbled and pentinent.

His last words to the people, were: "Go on with the work you have so fearlessly begun."

I truly do not believe this is an innocent man and we all feel for those who were left behind, but TRUTH MUST PREVAIL.

Anonymous said...

As a widow, Lydia Clark Field moved to California with live with one of her daughters from her third marriage to Robert Emmet Coulehan [1840-1908], Agnes C Couleran Blakemore. Lydia died 25 April 1912 and is buried in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles County, CA. Robert E Coulehan died in Boulder, CO 16 January 1901 and is buried in the Columbia Cemetery in Boulder, CO. Both are listed on FAG.

Anonymous said...

It would not be unusual in the slightest for a condemned man to write both a will and a farewell letter to his family.