The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 476
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
David H. Fain was born November 11, 1847, in Bledsoe County, Ten-
nessee. His father was Louis R. Fain; his mother, whose name is not
known, died soon after his birth. Louis Fain's brother James migrated to
Texas in the 185os, and not long after the conclusion of the Civil War,
Louis, with his second wife and seven children, followed suit, settling in
Walker County, Texas. When the move to Texas was made, David was
in his late teens.
In 1874 David Fain married Margarette (Maggie) Knight. Before
Maggie's death in 1882, they had five children: Jennie, Mily (sometimes
spelled Milie), Reuben, Thomas, and Arthur. About two years after
Maggie's death David Fain married Martha Manuel Shermon, a widow
who had four children of her own: Lula, Minnie, Willie, and Eddie.
Four more children issued from the union of Martha and David Fain:
Naomi (who died at age three), David Crockett, Lillie, and Winnie.
Martha died January 29, 1892, with the birth of Winnie. David Fain's
correspondence with Jessie Bledsoe began almost seven months to the
day after Martha's death. At the time Fain was a farmer and half-owner
of a cotton gin in the town of Iola, Texas.
Little is known about Jessie Bledsoe's early life. She was born in 1865.
When David Fain initiated his courtship, she had been previously mar-
ried, apparently not a happy experience. No evidence has been un-
covered to indicate the fate of her first husband. In 1892 she was living
in the town of Shepherd, Texas. Given the domestic, but nonetheless
intense, drama of the letters, it seems a shame to spoil the reader's plea-
sure in guessing at the outcome of their linguistic sparring, but it must
be stated at this point that David H. Fain and Jessie Bledsoe were mar-
ried December 28, 1892. They had two children, Vernon and Leslie.
David Fain died August 15, 1902, and was buried in the cemetery be-
hind the Methodist Church in Shepherd, Texas. Jessie Bledsoe died in
1951; her remains lie beside those of her husband in the cemetery in
David Fain's courtship of Jessie Bledsoe in late 1892 was, as the
reader will shortly learn, conducted almost entirely by means of corre-
spondence. As previously mentioned, Fain lived near the town of Iola
in Grimes County, east of Bryan-College Station; Bledsoe resided in
Shepherd in San Jacinto County, southeast of Huntsville. The two com-
munities are, as the crow flies, approximately seventy miles apart-not
very far by today's standards-but given the rudimentary forms of
transportation and communication available to people, especially rural
folk, in the 189os, they may as well have been located at opposite ends
of the state. Obviously the only practical alternative for David Fain was
to allow the postal service to substitute for Cupid's bow.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/m1/546/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.