Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas) Page: 512
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his daddy's footsteps as a trader (it was said
he could guess the weight of cattle almost to
We remember on Alto's wedding night
sewing up her husband Ferrell's pant legs and
listening the next morning to see if he could
get in them.
We remember bad times when our cotton
patch got white, but fall time when the crops
were laid by and the turkeys gone to market
meant we'd all be going shopping. Spring
again brought storm clouds and sent us to dirt
storm cellers-seeing those mice and lizards
playing-and then remembering our parents
taking us to the storm celler afraid of stormy
Good times were memories of patient,
understanding parents. A 91-year old mother
with us today makes this writer know even
though we had bad times and sad times, there
have been many blessings that God has
showered on all of the family.
by Helen Blassingame
Dorcas Ann Massengale
Bob, in 1944
McMillan and pet dog,
James Archie McMillan (1855-1919) came
from Houston County to McLennan County
in the late 1870s. He married Dorcas Ann
Massengale (1861-1949) in 1880 in McLen-
nan County. They lived in Gohlson for a few
years, before moving to Bosque County in the
1890's. They had four children, two boys and
James Archie bought land, built a home
and moved his family to Bosque County in
wagons. There was little money for them to
make their crops and feed a family, but all
worked out fine. They farmed and helped
other people who were moving to the commu-
nity. They had lived on the east side of the
Brazos River before moving off of the river
land to Fairview in Bosque County on the
west side of the river.
In the spring of 1919, while threshing his
grain, he was struck by lightening. He later
died of a heart attack, which his family
always thought may have been caused by the
lightening. Dorcas Ann Massengale McMil-
lan (1861-1949) was born in Cherokee County
at Shiloh close to Alto in East Texas. Her
parents were Solomon B. (1925-1875) and
Ruth Boyd Massengale (1839-1868). She had
two brothers and one sister.
After the death of her parents, the family
was moved to McLennan County on the
Brazos. Her father, knowing that his health
was bad, had purchased land for his children
a home after his death. He had a brother
there who was to help them until they were
grown. The children lived together until they
were eighteen. The two brothers, James J.
and Marcus M., died before they were twenty.
Her sister, Mary, married James Hill; then
Dorcas Ann and Mary divided their land.
Dorcas sold hers and they bought land in
Bosque County. After the death of her
husband, she raised Alma Cyril, her youngest
daughter. Her other daughter and son-in-law
lived with them until they moved to Waco
after Cyril had married.
Dorcas Ann was a self-educated person.
She learned much from reading and always
said you could learn something each day if
you paid attention to the things around you.
She always said you could find some good in
everyone. She said there was nothing wrong
with wearing patched clothes, but there was
no reason to go dirty.
She fell before Christmas in 1949 and died
after a few months. Their children were
Pleasant Ment (1881-1953), married to Ethel
Williams (1877-1967); James A. (1855-1954),
married to Iva P. Bearden (1893-?); Ruth
(1894-1962), married J. B. Reeder (1889-
1967); and Alma Cyril (1905-1980), married
William Persie Downey (1901-?). Through-
out many hardships this family remained
close and had many friends.
by Fern Downey White
MCMILLAN, NEIL GALBRETH
Neil Galbreth McMillan came to Augusta,
Texas, Houston County, in 1867 from Sumter
County, Alabama. His ancestors had come to
America from Scotland in 1740 and settled in
Blanden County, North Carolina.
Neil and his wife, Mary K. Gibson, lived in
Augusta until their deaths and are buried in
Augusta Cemetery. Their children were
William, Neil Campbell, Molly, Margaret
Neil Campbell married Della Mae Long in
1886 in Augusta, Texas, and had these
children: William Neil, John Virgil, Wayne
Gibson and Hector.
In 1905 Neil, Della and children moved
from Augusta to the Cayote community.
After the six-day trip by wagon, they bought
land and began farming, raising cotton and
corn. William Neil later married Myrtle
White and moved to Levelland, Texas.
Hector married Aubrey Richards and
moved to Lamesa, Texas.
Wayne Gibson served in World War I and
came back to Bosque County.
John bought land and stayed on in the
Cayote Community the rest of his life. He
died in 1980 at the age of eighty-eight years.
He is buried in the Valley Mills Cemetery.
John married Mattie Mildred Bearden in
1914 and to this union seven children were
born: Arthor Virgil, Edna Wayne, Neil Nolan,
Mildred Florence, Johnnie Joyce, William
Edwin and Nelson Clark. John was active in
Cayote Methodist Church and served thirty
years on the school board.
The children of John and Mattie are all
living in the area. Virgil lives in Waco:
Mildred Sadler, Joyce Higginbotham and
Edna Wayne Gilmore are living in Killeen,
Texas. Neil Nolan (Jack), William Edwin and
Nelson Clark live in the vicinity of the home
place. Mattie Bearden McMillan, mother of
the clan, lives on the home place. This place
was bought from Tom Sears in 1919. Three
sons and four grandsons own and operate the
by Mrs. Jack McMillan
Hector McNeill from the "Isle of Barra"
was born in Scotland, 1785. He died 1812 in
Scotland Co., North Carolina. He married
Mary Graham in Scotland. Angus Arthur and
Sarah were born in Scotland. They came to
America, 1754, with the Graham family.
Angus Arthur married Margret McEachin.
Sarah never married.
A son, Laughlin McNeill, was born in
Scotland Co., North Carolina, 1756. His
brother, Arthur, supported "The King's
Men" but Laughlin sympathized and fought
with "The Patriots of North Carolina" for
three years during the Revolution in the
"Battle of Hillsboro," "Battle of Gilliford
Court House," and "Battle of Cane Creek."
Laughlin married Mary McNeill (no kin)
in 1790) and had one son, Hector, named for
his grandfather, in 1791.
Hector first married Nancy McEachin, and
they had six children. The youngest was
Daniel Alexander McNeill, born 1827 in
North Carolina, and died in Valley Mills,
Texas. He is buried in the Old Cemetery.
Danial McNeill married Harriett Jane
McArthur in North Carolina. They lived in
North Carolina and had five children.
As a cabinet maker and contractor, Daniel
brought his three sons, Arthur Angus, aged
17, Alexander, aged 9, and William Thomas,
age 6, to Texas in 1867. They all worked two
years in Brenham and Waco, Texas, then
moved to the new town of Valley Mills. In two
years Harriett Jane brought their daughter,
Anna Janie, and their little son, Hector, to
Texas and Valley Mills. Hector died at 3%
years and is buried in Old Valley Mills
Cemetery: Janie was ten years old. Daniel
built many buildings of wood and stone
quarried from the hills just back of the town.
Arthur began working in the Downing
Store and soon owned part of it. Then he put
in a Mercantile Store of his own, and Alex
kept books and helped in the store. Then
Daniel Arthur and Alex bought a store in
Cayote, and Alex lived there and managed it
for eight months.
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Bosque County History Book Committee. Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas), book, 1985; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth91038/m1/528/?q=campbell: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library.