Friday, February 17, 2017

William Lewis Booth, a patriarch

William Lewis Booth born on 17 Feb 1818 in Farmington, Ontario County, New York State, US.

I've already posted about him a few times.  But today I just want to honor a patriarch of the family.  Of course living till 1894 gave him plenty of opportunities to be a community and family leader.

Here are some of the posts I've already shared about him:
Yesterday in more-texans-who-lived-through-civil-war
 

2013 post about his son Richard R Booth as well as some of the Booth property owned by William Booth   I just found problems getting the fonts corrected on that last post, and tried reposting it last week, but the fonts stayed tiny. They even got smaller.  Sorry about that.

Attorney Booth did a lot of traveling, before he finally settled in Texas.  But it's interesting that he and his brother Charles, actually set up farms in Indiana and Illinois before they moved there.  So I assume that they might have had intentions of staying where they'd settled, but for some reason kept moving on.

Their father Isaac Booth (and wife Jane McElhany Booth) moved the family from New York to Ohio. Her parents and brothers as well as his parents moved to Ohio, following the War of 1812.  But William and Charles were the eldest Booth sons, and they kept on to Indiana and then Illinois, then Texas.

William married first in Indiana to Mary Ann McManus, and had 3 children, but his wife died 10 days following the death of her 5 month old third child   Seven months later he married Hannah Leak Conn and they had 6 more children.  The first one to be born in Texas was on June 8, 1854, so they must have settled there by that date.

I just discovered that my cousin (many times removed) Cheryl Richardson had shared another story on Ancestry about William Booth and his brother Charles, that they may have also gone to California to search for gold in 1850 (the gold rush started in 1848.)
"In May of 1850, Charles's and William Lewis's uncle, Robert C. McElhany and his son, William T. left Ohio headed to California to hunt for gold.  It is believed they may have stopped in Illinois to visit Wiliiam and Charles Booth and convinced Charles and William L. to go with them.  The History of Johnson and Hill Counties, Texas states that William L. Booth did go to California about 1852.  There is no 1860 census records found, as yet for Robert or Charles.  William T. McElhany is listed in 1860 in Visula, Tulare, CA. occupied as a stage driver.  Robert stayed in California for the rest of his life.  Charles returned to his family and followed his brother William to Hill county, TX. 
A Forty Niner panning for gold

Much of my information on the early Texas Booth families was posted on Ancestry by Cheryl Richardson.  Her own link to the Booths was one of William Lewis Booth's children with his first wife, Mary Ann McManus, about whom I know very little...because my link is through his second wife Hannah Leak Conn...and their first son Richard R.  His half brother William LeGrand "Billy" Booth was Cheryl's great great grandfather, while Richard was mine of the same number of removes.  So we have a great times 3 grandfather in common, William Lewis Booth.

But I can now add a few more facts to William's life thanks to Cheryl Richardson's research.

She spoke of a biography that William wrote 2 years before he died, where he listed various children, but left out his son Richard. He also gave his son Conn death dates that are conflicting (according to Cheryl), either 1864 or 1870.  Since Conn's headstone is missing, there's no way of knowing. I wish I could read the biography, A Memorial & Biographical History of Johnson & Hill Counties, TX  published 1892 by The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, IL.


William and his son Richard Booth were both convention delegates for the Texas Republican convention in 1873 from Hillsboro TX, to promote Davis as governor.



On Aug 3, 1882, a fire in Hillsboro destroyed a whole block of frame stores and office buildings, including the Booth building where the attorney offices were located.


On 31 Mar 1887 in Hillsboro, Hill County, TX, William Lewis Booth attended the meeting for the effort of Prohibition, petition signed by him and his son, William LeGrand Booth. published in the Hillsboro Reflector.




William's son Frank Booth, had become drunk one night and fought in a duel which killed him and the other young man who he had just apparently met.  This would certainly promote an affinity toward prohibition.

Dallas Weekly Herald, Feb 9, 1867


If a man lived to 76 in the late nineteenth century, I think  he was sure to be a patriarch!

Today's quote:



“Let silence take you to the core of life.” ~Rumi
 




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