Mrs. W. A. Thompson

Dedicated to my Children and Grandchildren

A brief sketch of our ancestors and from what was handed down from my parents. The names are from history as I know nothing of my people from across the sea. My father told me that our people came from Ireland and Scotland, they went to England then to America with a Colony.

I find these in history so I feel that I have linked together a very good biographical sketch of my father's people.

My mothers people were true Irish in ways and complexion. My mother had the Irish wit. Her people came from O'Molleys, O'Conners, and Lindsay in America..

Mother spoke of living in Tennessee and Mississippi while the Indians were there. I do not know the date they came to Texas.

I now give Scotland from the beginning. We find that two distinct races, the Picts and the Scots. We came from the Scots.

Our first view of the Scots is when they abandoned idolatory and became Christians, about the fifth century. They accepted the Roman rule but the Roman Church was not established in Scotland for nearly four hundred years. The first king reigned in 1034, King Duncan, the gentle Duncan of Shakespeare's Macbeth. The people spoke Gaelic and Latin and then English. Civilization, law, religion and the language of England gradually superseded the customs and language of the Scots, but did not change the race for they were loyal to their country.

The Scots were brave fighters as was shown in the defeat of the English. They fought with spears, the lance and arrows. Scotland became a free and independent country in 1372. In 1414 the first university was established. The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1560 and is the established church of Scotland today. We are told that in no country can people live more peacefully than in Scotland.

In 1609 the Scotish Parliament and the church were to cease to have any separate existence. The Scots formed colonies in Ireland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Then emigrated to America as we will see in the history of Ireland


Ireland is more fertile than Scotland. The soft air, the abundance of rain, the extent and fertility of the soil, and the food producing richness of Ireland all comprise to make life easy. There are twenty million, thirty-two thousand square miles in Ireland.

The history of Ireland begins with the Gaelic Celts. By tradition they are the oldest race in Europe west of the Alps. They are the longest settled on their own soil. Modern scholars agree that Ireland was first peopled by neolithic man, users of flint, they were dark, small people from the Mediterranean. They used bronze too.

Later Scotland and Northern Ireland were peopled by a race called Picts. In 350 B.C. the Celts came from central Europe. A tall race, red-blond of hair, speaking a language close to Latin. Today Ireland is the only Celtic state left in the world.

The religion of the Irish was Druidism, but when Christianity came to this powerful caste took on a veneer of new faith. When writing came in with Christianity , they were able to write down epics and records which they formerly kept orally.

In 500 the Latin tongue, the study of the Bible, and Catholic theology entered the country. Religion, learning and education flourished, the Irish Monasteries, at once, became the schools.

By 800 A.D. Ireland became a unity of civilization and law. No language save Gaelic and Latin were spoken.The Irish mind was fresh and vivid and seemed likely to achieve great things in poetry, prose and drama.

In all the conquests the Irish were brave, strong and self-willed, capable of ruling their country. No country has resisted invasion more successfully.

In 1560 the Prayerbook and New Testament were published in Irish, they had the Old Testament.A Protestant group grew up, the mass of the people were Catholic as firmly as the Scots were Presbyterian and the English Puritans.

The O'Neills, we are told, was the most noted name. They were known for their loyality to their country and for military service. O'Neill married a woman by the name of Fridola, a Highlander, known to the Irish as the Dark Lady. They had three boys. She brought thousands of Scots to Ireland and formed a colony.

We haven't sufficient proof of when some of the people went back to England. Scotland gained her independence from the English after years of war. For three centuries, until the year 1603, when the crown of England and Scotland were peacefully united in the person of James VI of Scotland and James I of England. During these three hundred years the two neighbors were quarrelsome neighbors.


In the year 1750, 258 years after America was discovered, the Scotch- Irish settled in the state of Pennsylvania. History says that they were different to the peace loving Germans who have settled in Pennsylvania. A life of uninterrupted peace did not appeal to them. To be sure these fighting Scotch-Irish were not easy to get along with. How could they be peaceful? For years they had fought the English domination in Scotland and when they moved over to Ireland they fought the Catholics.

The Scotch-Irish were staunch Presbyterians, so when they came to the new world they brought their hardy spirits and hatred for interference of any kind. They were sturdy men with a chip on their shoulder for Indians, Quakers, Germans and the English.

Such bold courage had these people in America that they soon swept westward across the whole continent. Most of them settled in the mountains on free land. They set to work at once clearing land, hewing the tress to build their crude cabins. They threw themselves into the life of the frontier. At first the homes were one room cabins. The stock that they brought over soon fell prey to wild animals or were driven off by the Indians.

Very different were the scenes of the first arrivals, they saw broad flat lands dense with tangled underbrush. Behind the shores were almost impenetrable uncut forests. No kindly tingle of a cowbell. They heard the wail of lonely winds through the tree tops, the cry of wild beasts at night, it was hideous and desolate wilderness of beasts and wild men.

In such a wilderness the first need was to make some kind of shelter from the crude materials at hand. Uniform legs were cut for the sides, shingles were made for the roof, the chinks between the logs were filled with sticks and daubed with clay. The big chimneys were made of sticks and coated with clay, they had puncheon floors.

Small farms were cleared at first for corn and vegetables. They made sugar by boiling maple sap. There were wild bees for honey, tallow candles and they made the cloth for clothes and knit their stockings. Life was an endless round of tasks .

Some of these families drifted into Georgia. My father told me that one of our ancestors joined the first society that John Wesley organized in Georgia. Then in 1817 a colony was given a grant of land in Alabama. They didn't prosper there, so they conceived the idea of moving to Texas. One hundred and twenty colonists settled on the Trinity River in 1820.

The people would remain in these forts for days, the men keeping watch. One of my relatives was wounded in a raid. They lived in constant dread, some of the men worked in fields while others kept watch with guns. Besides the Indians there were the wild animals such as bear, wildcat and panther.

But time marches on, when the people were safe from the Indians they began to move on to other places. My Grandfather moved to Anderson County and settled on a farm and lived there for years, he reared a large family of four girls and three boys. In 1849, during the gold rush in California, one of my uncles went. He wrote back that he had a large quantify of gold, as he was never heard from again it was supposed that he was murdered.

The Civil War came in 1861 and lasted four years. My father enlisted in the Confederate Army although his sympathies were with the North. He was never in a battle. None of his people were killed but two of Mother's brothers enlisted and were reported ill and sent to a detention camp and were never heard from.

After the death of my father's first wife, father moved to Rains County, Texas. My mother's husband had died during the war, she lived in Rains County, near Emory. My father and mother married in 1866. Mother had four children and father had seven, three were born to this union. A sister four years older than I, Mrs J.D. Fenley, living now in Ft Worth, Texas and a brother two years my senior, G.G. Killion, living in Santa Maria, Texas, this 1940.

I was born in 1870, I visited my grandparents in Anderson County. We went in a covered wagon, it took us days to go. I remember that we camped close to a railroad track so that we children could see the train, Iron Horse as they called it then. It came through during the night, when we saw the big light we ran back to the wagon, crying.

My father=s people lived close to the Parkers. Cynthia Ann Parker was stolen by the Indians in 1836 and recaptured twenty-five years later, she didn't live long. She died at her brother=s home in Anderson County. Her son by an Indian marriage, Quannah Parker, lived near Cache, Oklahoma. His home still stands, I have seen it often. I heard Quannah's son speak some five years ago in Snyder, Oklahoma. He was interested to know that my father knew his grandmother Cynthia Ann Parker.

In seventy years one sees great changes. I remember the old log house where I was born. It had two large rooms, a big porch in the front and a lean-on room on the back. The kitchen, as were all homes then, was off from the house, with a big fireplace to cook on. My father hewed the logs for the walls, made shingles for the roof, the floors were puncheon. It was a mansion in those days. A straightened wagon tire spanned the mouth of the fireplace for hanging pots over the fire to cook. There was a dutch oven for baking and how good were sweet potatoes cooked in it. Shelves of hewn boards were placed on pegs in the walls for dishes. The doors and window shutter were of the same kind of boards hung on wooden pegs for hinges.

The beds were four high posts with rope or rawhide strips woven back and forth for springs. So often these would slacken and would have to be tightened. Our mattresses were of straw, they had to be re-filled each year. Most people had feather beds on the straw ones. We did and how well do I remember picking time. I had to hold the heads of the ganders while mother picked feathers. The old gander often would catch me in the side and pinch me.

Father made the chairs, rope or rawhide seats. The talkes were handmade too. He made our shoes, he tanned the hides, for tacks he used wooden pegs.

They picked small crops of cotton, then at night, each child had his allotted pounds of seeds to pick out. The seed was fed to the stock and mother made clothes from the lint. We used gords for drinking cups, flat ones for lard and small ones for salt and for seeds. People gathered medicine from the woods. I enjoyed going with father to gather herbs, then helping him make pills. He would boil the juices to a gum then roll them into pills. I helped father mould bullets too. We made tallow candles, they were the only kind of ights that we had for so long except lard in a saucer with a string for the wick. We had little brass lamps later, without a globe

We made our sorghum, vinegar, dried our fruit, for canning was unknown then. Father cut his wheat with a mowing blade or scythe, thrashed it by tramping with horses then fanning it in the wind for biscuits which we ate on Sunday morning or when company came. Our sugar was made by letting our sorghum turn to sugar then dripping out the syrup. Coffee was too high after the war so we children drank bran and barley coffee. Our soap was made by dripping lye from ashes, adding grease and boiling into a jelly like substance then storing it in barrels.

Father butchered our own cattle and hogs. We lived close to a forest where wild turkey. deer, squirrel and quail were plentiful. The lakes and streams abounded in fish. We were a big happy family, our parents leaders in the community and church activities. Our house was always open to strangers and friends. Let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to man--that was my home until I was nine years old. At that time we moved to west Texas, Brown County, then to Hamilton County. We lived there until I was nineteen.

I married Willie Thompson in 1889 in the town of Hamilton. We lived in Hico, Texas until 1902 when we moved to Headrick, Oklahoma. In 1916 we moved to Snyder, Oklahoma.

In 1923 Mr. Thompson passed away. All our five children have high-school education, and some college education, they are all happily married.

Jesse, the oldest boy, married Cleo Clearwater of Snyder, Oklahoma, they have four girls, Phyllis, Margie, Janet and Emily. Dee, the second child, married George Williams of Headrick, Oklahoma. She has two children, Athena and George. Gladys married Bill Blanton of Altus, Oklahoma, they have one child, Betty and they live in Clinton, Oklahoma. Burnys married Clara Williams of Norman, Oklahoma and they have one boy, Tommy, and live in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Mattylynn married A.B. Carson of Bryan, Texas, they have one son Barrow, and live in Fort Worth, Texas.

My home is now in Hobart, Oklahoma

I stated before that some of my ancestors joined John Wesley's first church or society in America. I will add that I was a charter member of the first Aid Society organized in Hico, Texas, also a charter member of the first Missionary Society in Headrick and its first president. Now, in 1940, I am a charter member of the Society of Christian Service at the Riverside Methodist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.

This is a sketch of my life's history. Our lives are the strongest part of us, or else the weakest. One knows the least of the influence of his own life. Life is not mere length of time, but the daily web of character we unconsciously weave. Our thoughts, imaginations, purposes, motives, love and will are the threads. Our words, tone of voice, looks, acts and habits are the upper threads and the passing moment is the shuttle swiftly, ceaselessly, relentlessly weaving those threads into a web, and that web is life. It is woven not by our wishing or willing, unavoidably woven by what we are, moment by moment, hour by hour.

January 18, 1997

This life sketch has been reproduced by me from a typed copy of the original. I received the typed copy in the late forties or early fifties from my Grandmother Dee (Thompson) Williams, the second daughter of the author Henrietta Rebecca (Killion) Thompson.

The known ancestry of Henrietta Rebecca is as follows:

Goodwin KILLION was born on 9 Feb 1790. He was a Methodist Minister and farmer. He died on 14 Jan 1860 in Anderson Co., TX. He was married to Jane THARP on 9 Aug 1808 in Jefferson Co., Tenn. Jane THARP was born in 1784 in Tenn. She died on 3 Mar 1843 in San Augustine, TX. She was buried in Private Cemetery between Rush and Palestine in Anderson Co., TX. One of the children of this family was John Anderson KILLION.

John Anderson KILLION was born on 17 Mar 1806 in White Co., Tennessee. He died on 16 Oct 1895 in Anderson Co., TX. He was buried on 19 Oct 1895 in Palestine (Anderson Co), Tx. The exact parentage of John Anderson is an unknown as of this writing. It is known that he was the oldest child in the family and was a half brother or sister to all the children later born in the family. He was married to Nancy MOORE on 6 May 1824 in Blount Co. Alabama. Nancy MOORE was born on 31 May 1803 in White Co., Tennessee. She died on 28 May 1881 in Anderson Co., TX. Nancy may have been named Nancy JANE Moore. The third child of this couple was James M. Killion.

James M. KILLION was born on 13 Apr 1829 in Blount Co., Alabama. He died on 2 Aug 1915 in Stephenville (Erath Co), TX. He was buried on 3 Aug 1915 in Valley Grove Cemetery, Stephenville (Erath Co) TX. He was first married to Elizabeth C. Palmer on 7 Oct 1847 in Anderson Co., TX. Elizabeth C. Palmer was born on 18 Apr 1830 in Missouri. She died on 9 Aug 1863 in Erath Co., TX. Eight children were born of this union. He second married Eliza Lucinda (Lindsay) Mills KILLION in 1865 in Woods, TX. She was previously married to John Mills who died in the Civil War. Four children were born of her first marriage . Eliza Lucinda (Lindsay) Mills KILLION was born on 18 Apr 1830 in Tennessee. She died on 9 Mar 1925 in Snyder (Kiowa Co), OK. She was buried on 10 Mar 1925 in Fairlawn Cemetery, Snyder, (Kiowa Co) OK. Nothing is known of Eliza Lucinda's heritage as of this writing. Anyone discovering anything in this matter is asked to kindly contact me. In addition to Henrietta the following other two children were parented by James M. KILLION and Eliza Lucinda (Lindsay) Mills KILLION:

Martha C. "Matty" KILLION. She was born on 15 Sep 1866 in Rains Co., Tx. She was married to J. D. Fenley on 25 Feb 1884. Martha C. "Matty" KILLION and J. D. Fenley had no known children..

G. G. "Gip" KILLION. He was born on 8 Mar 1868 in Rains Co., Tx.. He was married to V. A. MORRISON on 31 Aug 1886 in Hamilton Co., TX. 1891. G. G. "Gip" KILLION and V. A. MORRISON had no known children.

Henrietta was married to William Alonzo THOMPSON. He was born on 26 Mar 1868 in Alabama. He died on 17 Jan 1923 in Snyder (Kiowa Co), OK There is NO knowledge of the ancestry of William Alonzo THOMPSON. Again, anyone with any knowledge on this is asked to please contact me.

Homer M (Pete) Simmons

This information remains the property of Mr. Simmons, who granted permission for it to be placed on these pages.

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