MOON WILLINGHAM (38)
was born on Feb 9 1814 in COLUMBIA CO., GA.(39)
He died on Oct 8 1871 in KIMBALL, BOSQUE CO., TX.(39)
He was buried in BOSQUE CO., TX (KIMBALL CEM.).(39)
From Chester Willingham's book: We have no record of where they were married,
but we know that Brooks lived with his father and mother in Columbia County
(Georgia) when he was six years old. We assume that he was married in Columbia
County when he was twenty years of age.
The next location of record places Brooks and family in Walton County, Georgia, apparently on a farm six miles southeast of Atlanta, near Social Circle, at the birth of his second son, Isaac, in 1837. The family moved to Polk County before 1847, for in that year his sixth child, Thomas, was born on a farm near New Harley Creek, Polk County, Georgia. In 1851 the family moved to Van Wert and in 1853 to Cedartown, Polk County, Georgia. The next move was to Meridian, Bosque County, Texas, in 1859.
Brooks was one of the commissioners of Cedartown, Georgia, at the time a charter of incorporation was granted (Georgia Acts 18K53-1854 page 224). He was an early settler of Polk County, Georgia (Georgia Landmarks, Vol. I, page 859, by L. L. Knight). Brooks Moon Willingham is listed in the Walton County census of 1840.
Additional information was provided by a son's written statement made on January 6, 1895. We quote: "I, Thomas Brooks Willingham, was born in Polk County, Georgia, on a farm near New Harley Creek, February 16, 1846, the fifth son and sixth child of Brooks Moon Willingham and Mary Louisa Austin. My father woved to Van Wert when I was five years old. Two years later the county seat was moved to Cedar Town. We lived there seven years. There were eight children in the family, seven boys and one girl. Three of these are buried in Georgia, in Antioch churchyard; the sister, Martha Margaret, a baby, and Emmett Hezekiah.
John and Isaac, my older brothers, came to Texas in the spring of 1859. They came back enthusiastic about Texas and persuaded my father to make plans to move there. On September 18, 1859, four brothers, John, Isaac, Willson and myself, a young slave woman, Julia Ann Thompson, and our dog started to Texas in a hack or light wagon. We passed through Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Jackson and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Then to Shreveport, Louisiana, and Marshall, Corsicana, Hillsboro and to Meridian, Texas, our destination. We arrived there November 8, 1859. John had a clerkship with Joe Smith at Meridian. There was nothing for the others of the party to do but wait for my father and mother to arrive. In the spring of 1860 my father and mother came to Texas by way of New Orleans, Galveston and Houston. The Galveston, Houston and Henderson railroad was the only railroad in Texas and it was only fifty miles long. From Houston they came to Meridian. With them were my brother Augustus and his wife and baby. We stayed at Meridian six months. One of the incidents I remember there were that Indians came during the light of the moon and stole horses. On the fourth of July, 1860, my father bought a lot in Kimball, Texas, paying fifty dollars for it at auction. The family moved there on the eleventh of July. My father built a frame store house and went into the mercantile business. Also he bought some land and two thousand sheep. It was my lot (I was thirteen) to herd sheep; my brother Willson helped me. Wolves would attack them during the day. I shot them with a rifle and killed most of them. Sheep raising proved unprofitable and my father sold them. This left me free for my favorite pastime - hunting. I would take my gun and spend days in the hills and in the ravines near Kimball bringing home deer, antelope and wild turkeys."
We do not know how Brooks educated his children; most of their education may have been the Abraham Lincoln type, self education. In any case, all of his children were literate and by the standards of their time well educated.
He was married to MARY LOUISA AUSTIN on May 8 1834 in WALTON CO., GA.
(40) was born on Sep 9 1816 in GEORGIA.
(39) She died on Nov 8 1889 in KIMBALL, BOSQUE CO., TX.
(39) She was buried in BOSQUE CO., TX (KIMBALL CEM.).
(39) From Chester Willingham's book: Her father, Isaac Austin, was
believed to have been born in Massachusetts. He died in Georgia on April 23,
1833. Mary's mother was Margaret Whatly. She died on October 13, 1848. Mary had
a sister who married a Mr. Lewallen and they lived on Cutland Creek near
Clarksville, Texas Children were:
i. CASHWELL AUGUSTUS WILLINGHAM(41) (18) was born on May 20 1835 in WALTON CO., GA. He died on Mar 19 1879 in KIMBALL, BOSQUE CO., TX. He was buried in BOSQUE CO., TX (KIMBALL CEM.). From Chester Willingham's Book: Many of Cashwell's acquaintances knew him only as "Dr. Gus." He was a country doctor and was one of the few that was kept at home during the Civil War. He was also a merchant and owned an interest in the store established at Kimball by his father. The book "Without The Shedding of Blood" records theestablishment of the Kimball Academy, a school which taught subjects below college level, usually about High School level today. The directors, for the first year ending July 1, 1872, were as follows: Sam Caruthers, Hill County; B. F. Duvall, Kimball, Bosque County; W. E. Spalding, Kimball; A. Willingham, Kimball; I. V. Willingham, Kimball; L. Bateman, Kimball; H. H. de Cordova, Kimball; Richard Kimball, Kimball Bend, Bosque County, Texas. The By-Laws and charter of Kimball Academy are also contained in this book.
When the Whitney Dam was built it was necessary to move the Kimball Cemetery to higher ground. Dr. Gus had been buried in a lead casket with a glass top. When reburied the workmen reported that he looked as natural as the day he was buried. He was wearing a black serge suit with a stiff front shirt and celluloid collar.
6 ii. DR. ISAAC VANBUREN WILLINGHAM.
iii. JOHN AUSTIN WILLINGHAM COL.(42) was born on May 10 1839 in WALTON CO., GA. He died in 1900 in CLEBURNE, JOHNSON CO., TX. He was buried in CLEBURNE, JOHNSON CO., TX (CLEBURNE CEM.). From Chester Willingham's book: John was Secretary of the Cleburne Masonic Lodge Number 315 in 1869. He was one of the first Aldermen of Cleburne and also was City Treasurer. (An East-West street in Cleburne is named for him.) He was also one of the first merchants in Cleburne. He was Adjutant of the 10th Texas Infantry, having served
in Company F, 10th Texas. He was wounded at the battle of New Hope Church and was later in the battle of Atlanta.
iv. MARTHA MARGARET WILLINGHAM(43) (18) was born on Feb 23 1842 in WALTON CO., GA. She died on May 1 1854 in POLK CO., GA. She was buried in ANTIOCH CHURCHYARD CEM., GA.
v. INFANT (Unnamed) WILLINGHAM(44) (18) was born on Mar 3 1844 in POLK CO., GA. He died on Mar 22 1844 in POLK CO., GA. He was buried in ANTIOCH CHURCHYARD CEM., GA.
vi. THOMAS BROOKS WILLINGHAM(45) was born on Feb 16 1846 in POLK CO., GA. He died on Feb 3 1930 in DALLAS, DALLAS CO., TX. He was buried in BOSQUE CO., TX (KOPPERL CEM.). From Chester Willingham's book: Tom's family moved from Walton County to Van Wert, Georgia, when he was five years old, and two years later moved to Cedartown, Georgia. Tom with three brothers drove from Georgia to Texas in 1859. (See account under BROOKS MOON WILLINGHAM.)
On December 6, 1895, Tom prepared a written statement of his war experience for his daughter Mae. We quote: "In December, 1861, I joined the Confederate Army. I belonged to Company I, Tenth Texas Infantry. I was first stationed at Virginia Point, Galveston. During the summer my company was ordered to Arkansas. We marched from Milligan, Texas, to Little Rock, then on to Duval's Bluff on White River. Here we stayed one winter. We were transferred to Arkansas Post where a battle weas fought and we were all captured, January 11, 1863. We were put on transports (Tom was on the "Sam Gaty") on the Mississippi and taken to Alton, Illinois. There we were transferred to stock cars and carried to Camp Douglas prison, Chicago.
"I stayed at Camp Douglas prison sixty days until March 28, 1863. On that date my brother Isaac, our orderly sergeant, Norman S. Clardy, and I gave the guard four dollars each (twelve dollars) and he helped us over the prison walls. We did not walk two miles from the prison that night. For every time we made a start we would find ourselves in a neck of land on Lake Michigan and we would have to retrace our steps. Ice was everywhere. Finally we built a fire and waited for morning. The next morning each of us had a popcorn ball for breakfast and started to walk on the Chicago and Alton railroad tracks. We had twelve dollars left. At Joliet, Illinois, we got on a train and gave the conductor all our money and told him to carry us as far as he could. Yanks were sitting all around us. We passed through Springfield, Illinois at daybreak. The station platform was blue with yankee deserters who were going back to the Union Army because President Lincoln had issued a proclamation pardoning all deserters who returned by a certain date. The conductor put us off at Carlinsville, below Springfield. Again we walked on the Chicago and Alton tracks nearly to St. Louis, but avoided all large places, and turned to Lilly's landing on the Mississippi and a small boy rowed us across in a skiff. Clardy offered him fifty cents or a gold pencil for his trouble. The boy took the fifty cents. Another day of walking we reached the home of Clardy's uncle, Jeptha Johnson, near the old mines in Washington county, Missouri. He kept us hidden in his loft three days and bought us shoes and other articles of clothing.
"Jeptha Johnson put us on the Chip Trail. This trail was made by Confederate sympthizers by riding through the woods and cutting three chips on the east side of the trees. In this way we dodged through Missouri, avoiding all towns. Whenever we lost the trail we would hunt until we found it again. The Chip Trail was called the Secession
"Another favor of Jeptha Johnson was to tell us of a friendly place to spend the night about twenty-five miles away (as far as we could walk in a day). This party would tell us of another place to spend the night - this was the way we got through Missouri.
"Later we passed near Fayetteville, Arkansas, and found the Old Line Road. Near Dardenelles, Arkansas, we met a train of empty wagons going to Little Rock for supplies for Price's army. Isaac joined them and went to Little Rock. Clardy and I walked on to Clarksville (on Cutland Creek) to my aunt's house (Mrs. Lewallen). I spent two days there. My uncle offered me a pony to ride home but I thought I could walk faster.
"I came straight towards Dallas. I spent the night about two miles from Dallas with an old couple. I think their name was Cole. When I told them I had no money they said that did not make any difference.
"The next morning I stopped at the Crutchfield Hotel, Dallas, on the corner of courthouse square on the banks of the Trinity River. I was directed to the Cedar Hill road. From Cedar Hill I went to Buchanan. Clardy left me there for his home. I reached Kimball, Bosque County,May 10, 1863.
"In September, 1863, my father gave me a horse and I joined the Fifth Texas Partisan Rangers, commanded by Col. L. M. Martin. I was in the Indian territory and in Texas hunting deserters until the close of the war. I was discharged at Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas May 1865.
"After the war I worked for my brothers in their mercantile store. (The Willinghams operated general merchandise stores in Kimball, Morgan and Kopperl, Texas.) They gave me seventy-five dollars, and at the end of the year I had saved forty dollars. I considered myself a thrifty young man. Later I went into the mercantile business and spent about thirty years of my life selling goods, and I liked my work.
In another paper Tom stated: "We were guarded by the 65th Illinois, the 9th Vermont and the 108th Illinois, the latter I am not positive but the two former I am. The Post was commanded by Brigadier General Ammen. It is the crowning glory of my life that I was a Confederate soldier before I was sixteen years of age.
Tom spent thirty years in the mercantile business and buying cotton. He lived in Cleburne, Texas, on North Anglin Street in the early 1900's, moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1906. He gave his daughters, Velma and Mary Louise every advantage: schools, travel to Europe, etc. but he discouraged all of their suitors - they died spinsters in Boston, Mass. Tom was named after Uncle Tom Rollard.
vii. WILLSON WHATLY WILLINGHAM(46) was born on Jun 2 1848 in POLK CO., GA. He died on Feb 26 1873 in KIMBALL, BOSQUE CO., TX. He was buried in BOSQUE CO., TX (KIMBALL CEM.).
viii. EMMET HEZEKIAH WILLINGHAM(47) was born on Feb 20 1855 in CEDARTOWN, POLK CO., GA. He died on Jan 15 1856 in POLK CO., GA. He was buried in ANTIOCH CHURCHYARD CEM., GA.