picture

Terry Mason's Family History Site

Major lines: Allen, Beck, Borden, Buck, Burden, Carpenter, Carper, Cobb, Cook, Cornell, Cowan, Daffron, Davis, Downing, Faubion, Fauntleroy, Fenter, Fishback, Foulks, Gray, Harris, Heimbach, Henn, Holland, Holtzclaw, Jackson, Jameson, Johnson, Jones, King, Lewis, Mason, Massengill, McAnnally, Moore, Morgan, Overstreet, Price, Peck, Rice, Richardson, Rogers, Samuel, Smith, Taylor, Thomas, Wade, Warren, Weeks, Webb, Wodell, Yeiser.

 

Selected Families and Individuals

Notes


William Henry Peterson

Ruth York cite the following, " According to the 1986 Christian Fenter Family history book, William Peterson arrived in Jack County in 1852 from Illinois (page 115). He married Julia Ann Sackett three years later, in 1855."


Julia Ann Sackett

Ruth York speculated the following, " Grandmother Annie Fenter (Annie Celestal Stephens, wife of Charles, son of Martha Emiline Fenter) speculates about this Julia Ann Sackett in her oral history. She quoted Mattie's daughters Ada and Ruby as saying Julia Ann Sackett was the daughter of an Indian chief, Sackett. According to the 1986 Christian Fenter Family history book, William Peterson arrived in Jack County in 1852 from Illinois (page 115). He married Julia Ann Sackett three years later, in 1855. Interestingly, according to the 1860 census records, that would have made Julia 27 when they married -- a rather advanced age for a first marriage in that day, I would think. She would have been almost 30 when Martha was born, and 35 when William, Jr., was born. Nowadays they call that "advanced maternal age" and consider it a complicating factor in birth.
Also, the 1860 census, according to the 1986 Christian Fenter Family book, shows that Julia was born in Illinois. So was Grandmother right about her father being an Indian chief? If he was, it's possible he was from one of the northern or eastern tribes, and that makes it all the more plausible, don't you think, that Julia might have been well enough educated to write such a beautiful hand."


Andrew Hunter Fenter

BIOGRAPHY: Posted by Sherry Isbell Fox on April 22, 1998. When Andy was a youngster, his father, William Henry Fenter died. After selling the farm to a Mr. John Guest, his widowed mother, Elisa Fenter moved to Texas. Andy lived on his uncle Levi Dean's cattle ranch in Red River county until he was 17 yrs old. He moved with his mother in Jack County on the Texas frontier. Andy grew to young manhood on a farm north of the community of Jacksboro which began as a frontier settlement in 1855 as a stopping point on the old Butterfield Stage's mail route. The community was originally known as Lost Creek, but it was renamed Jacksboro when it became the county seat of Jack County when it formed from Cooke County in 1858. Jacksboro was a wild open town in Andy's day and frequented by trail cowboys, buffalo hunters, outlaws and cavalry soldiers who guarded the West Texas frontier from the ever present danger of Indian raids. Andy's mother had a farm north of town near a spring where they got their water.

Andy hired out his labor among the many ranches in the area and was learning to be a skilled cowboy when the War of the Northern Aggression broke out in 1861 between the Union and the Confederacy. Texas was a member of the Confederacy and Andy served the State by enlisting in Capt. Rutherford's Company, Texas Infantry. Many of his brothers and brother-in-law, Fate Rucker, were all in the same outfit and they fought the Union Army in Arkansas, their native state. After the bloody war was over, Andy returned to Texas and worked in Shackleford County near Albany on Fate Rucker's ranch. From there he drove cattle to stockyards in New Orleans when the cattle trails turned north in Kansas. As a young man he worked driving cattle across Indian Territory on trails originating at Weatherford, Texas.

Life on the Texas Frontier was not easy for the early pioneers such as were the Fenters. Besides trying to scratch a living from the land, they were plagued with Indian raids. Jack County had been the camping grounds for the Comanche and Kiowa Indians before they were pushed across the Red River into Oklahoma. Occasionally they returned to murder isolated families and thus Andy became an Indian Fighter as well as a cowboy. In 1867 a party of 300 to 400 Indian Warriors invaded Jack County, stealing horses and murdering families caught off guard. Many men, women and children, including Andy's youngest sister, Ellenfair Fenter, were massacred and farms burned down to the ground. Andy Fenter along with other settlers from Jack and surrounding counties, chased the Indians back to Oklahoma Territory. Devastated they petitioned the federal government for relief from the Indian depredations. In 1868, the government established Fort Richardson at Jacksboro which was the largest fort on the American Frontier in its day. It was occupied by the U. S. Cavalry from 1868 to 1878 and among the regimental commanders stationed at the fort was Col. Randall MacKenzie of the famed MacKenzie Raiders.

During the ten years of military occupation, Andy Fenter settled down at the age of 27 and married Miss Margaret Crawford, the daughter of Jesse Crawford. Maggie Crawford was born in Missouri on 11 April 1854 while her parents were moving from Kentucky to Texas. The Crawford family was originally from Kentucky, but in 1855 they settled in what became Palo Pinto County, just south of Jack County. Andy and Maggie were both members of the Jacksboro Church of Christ and they met while their families attended church meetings. They were married in 1870 by an Elder of the Church of Christ and never bothered to register their marriage at the Jack County Court House.

The 1870 census of Jack County taken on 19 July 1870 lists Andy as a single man but living with his mother. Andy and Maggie's first child was born in November 1871, therefore it seems likely that they were married after July 1870 and before February 1871.

After Andy and Maggie were married they set up housekeeping on a small farm about 8 miles north of Jacksboro. Andy built a "box & strip" house on a half dug-out. In the fall of each year after the harvest there was excellent hunting as Jack County was well supplied with dove, quail, water fowl, wild turkey, white tail deer and buffalo.

During the early years of Andy and Maggie's marriage in the 1870's, business and agricultural interests were dominated by the military post. Money was plentiful and times were very prosperous, but prices were so high that farmers and ranchers bought as few goods in Jacksboro as possible. With prosperity came the vices for which Jacksboro became so notorious. In 1874 when Andy's second child was born, Jacksboro had 27 saloons and drunken soldiers littered the streets. Jacksboro's prosperity ended in May of 1878 when the post was closed. The Indians had been subdued and the soldiers were withdrawn.

In August 1878 when Andy was 35 years old, he witnessed a total eclipse of the sun which made the sky as dark as midnight. He told how it was so dark that the chickens went to roost and the cows came home from the pasture.

By the 1880's the economy of Jack County had faded and a series of droughts made life poor for the farmers and ranchers. The strenous pioneer life soon took its toll of the family of Andy Fenter when his wife Maggie met an early death. Maggie Crawford Fentor died 1 June 1882 leaving behind five little children, the eldest being 10 years old and the youngest but two. Maggie was buried in the Fenter/Bunch Cemetery which is now located on the Lindsey Ranch (Jacksboro Cemetery). It rained as they lowered Maggie into the grave and many who knew her said that her death was the saddest day of their life. Hattie Fenter, Andy's youngest daughter was taken in by Martha Fenter Howard. The baby died about a year later and was buried beside her mother in the county cemetery.

Andy did not remain single long. After about a year he married a young widow with two children. After little Mattie died, Andy's household now included a new wife and six children. Andy Fenter married Mrs. Betty Bunch (nee Mattie Elizabeth White) 19 August 1883 in Jacksboro, Texas. She was the daughter of Mr. White and Martha Flora Langston. Mr. White and Martha Flora Langston were married prior the the War of the Northern Aggression. Mr. White died before Betty was born. Her mother, Martha Flora Langston White married an Indian Fighter named Neal McLeod in 1862 who was stationed at Fort Worth. Neal McLeod and Martha Langston White McLeod were both born in Tennessee but came to Texas at an early age. They had 2 children, Roderick Elihu McLeod, and Martha Flora McLeod, before Neal was killed during an Indian Campaign. Betty White spent her girlhood days on a farm outside of Fort Worth until her mother married for the third time. This time to Bill Bunch of Jacksboro where the family soon moved. Bill and Martha Langston White McLeod Bunch had one child before she died in August of 1880. Betty's youngest half-brother was William Jesse Bunch.

Betty White first married a cowboy named George T. Bunch when she was 17 years old. They were married 5 May 1878 in Jacksboro. What relationship, if any, between George T. Bunch and Bill Bunch is undetermined. Perhaps they were brothers or cousins??? Betty and George had 2 children before George died in 1882.

Andy became the step-father to Betty's kids and raised them along with his own. He and Betty Fenter had nine children of their own between 1884 and 1899 making Andy the father of 14 children. When Betty set up houskeeping, her half-brothers and sister, Rod, Jesse, and Flora moved in with Andy's household having been orphaned when their mother, Martha Bunch died in 1880, and Bill Bunch shortly after that. Also joining the household was Betty's grandmother, Elizabeth Langston. She made her home with Andy Fenter until her death in 1893. Andy kept an old trunk that belonged to Elizabeth Langston that contained many of her old clothes. A great grandaughter of hers remembered seeing a pair of shoes that belonged to Grandma Langston and described them as being the biggest pair of women's shoes that she ever saw. Elizabeth Langston had enough Indian blood to qualify for a land grant in Oklahoma, but she would never apply for it because she was ashamed of her Choctaw Indian heritage.

After a couple of years in this large household, Andy's eldest daughter, Mary Ellen Fenter married her step-uncle, Roderick McLeod and they moved out on their own. Mary Ellen Fenter and her step-mother, Betty White Fenter did not get along very well, and as soon as she moved out and was able, she made a home for her brothers, Lark, Newt and Mark. This relieved the tension and pressure on Andy of having so many mouths to feed. Because of Mary Ellen Fenter's marriage to Roderick McLeod, this made Andy Fenter both Uncle and Grandpa to the same kids. He has been referred to as "Grandpa-Uncle Andy".

He always felt that this marriage was incestous, even though there was no blood relation between Mary Ellen and Rod.
=========================
"Many many years ago when I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow who was pretty as could be.

This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, and soon the two were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law And changed my very life.

My daughter was my mother, for she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matters worse, Although it brought me joy.
I soon became the father Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle, Then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son, Who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson, For he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother And it makes me blue.

Because, although she is my wife, She's my grandma too.
If my wife is my grandmother, Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it, It simply drives me wild.
For now I have become The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!!"
======================================

In 1889 Andy Fenter along with several of his neighbors and relatives made the decision to pull up roots and move after a severe drought left the area so dry that the land could no longer support all the families living on it. Jack County had experienced bad droughts before such as the one in 1872 when it did not rain from April until October, but the 1880's saw a trend which yearly made the county drier and drier. In 1884 when Andy and Betty's first child was born, it was so dry no crop could be made and the cattle had to be driven to Lost Creek for water. In 1886 to 1887 bacon, flour and corn had to be shipped into Jacksboro for drought sufferors. But the drought of 1889 was the worst as far as the Fenters were concerned. Cotton and wheat withered before the burning sun. Cattle became lean, sickened and died. It was time to move to greener pastures. The Fenter families lived in Jack County for over thirty-five years, but now as their ancestors before them, they pulled up stakes to seek better opportunities on the American Frontier.

Jack County was never really considered good farming country. Cattle raising was the only practical industry in the area. While Andy lived in Jack County when he was not farming, he supplemented his income doing "cow work" for neighboring ranchers. Andy's small farm was 8 miles northwest of Jacksboro near his brother's, Henry, Mark, George and Bob's farms. As a farm family, they would enter the fields at daylight, have an hour off for "dinner" and then go back into the fields, staying there as long as there was light. Foodstuffs for the family consisted of almost all kinds of vegetables from the garden and meats were provided by chickens, beef steers, and hogs fattened on pecans and acorns. Wild plums and berries made up most of the families sweets and desserts.

However, now in 1889, the family sold off its farm, bought wagons and teams to haul family and goods to Indian Territory, the last frontier on the American West.

Before 1885 all of Oklahoma was Indian Territory which Andrew Jackson had "given" to the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Indians when they were forced to leave their ancient homelands in the South. In 1889 President Benjamin Harrison opened part of the Indian Territory up for white settlement. On 22 April 1889 Oklahoma Territory was opened for settlement and within one day all the valuable land was taken. The western part of Oklahoma was still considered Indian Territory but parts of it was opened by treaty to white settlers with sufficient Indian ancestry. Land was sold in tracts of 160 acres for $1.25 per acre to qualified homesteaders.

After disposing of his lands and personal property in Jack County, Andy and other families in December 1889 made up a wagon train of sorts and drove their teams and cattle over the Doan Trail crossing the Red River near Quannah Texas. There the ferry-men would not take the teams and cattle across the river so Andy, his sons, Lark and Newt and his son-in-law/half-brother-in-law, Rod McLeod had to drive the cattle and teams across the swollen river. It was hard work and they accomplished it with great difficulty due to the river level being so high. After crossing the river, Andy took his family across country to a county he knew well from the early days of his trail riding youth. However his son-in-law, Rod McLeod left the trail after a quarrel with Andy Fenter and he settled near Marlo in Stephens County. Andy Fenter continued on further north and settled on the Washita River near the town of Cloud Chief.

Cloud Chief was named after a Cheyenne Indian Warrior and was founded when an Act of Congress opened the Cheyenne and Arapaho Resevation to settlement. The whole area was designated as County H when the Fenters first arrived and was later named Washita County after the river which makes up the southern boundary between Washita and Kiowa Counties.

Andy Fenter settled on a farm not too far from the Washita River near other former Texas residents who from Cloud Chief south made up the majority of the homesteaders. Two hours after the county was opened to settlement, Cloud Chief was founded. It was a thriving "tent city" of grocery stores, gambling houses and saloons.

By 1892 there were 5,000 settlers in the county and the county had the reputation of being wild and reckless filled with notorious outlaws and horse thieves. In 1889, Mountain View townsite was located in Washita County and here a deputy sheriff was shot in a saloon. In 1894 there was a shoot-out on the streets of Cloud Chief between a sheriff and an outlaw, however, most of these killings had little effect on sober Christian minded men such as Andy Fenter who was hard at work on his farm making a living for his ever increasing brood.

During the Indian War of 1894-1895, soldiers out of Ft. Reno sent the word to settlers to fortify their homes. The Indian were subdued in one skirmish and this was the last indian uprising the Fenter family had to encounter since arriving in America in 1737. After the Indian War, Andy continued to farm and raise his family in Washita County until just after 1900 when he picked up and moved to another homestead near Mountain View in Kiowa County. Here after securing a good farm, Andy died on 12 August 1907 just short of his 64th birthday. He was buried in a cemetery near Mountain View. Betty Fenter was left with four children still at home. She went to visit Rod McLeod and shortly after returning home, she passed away just two months after Andy. She died 12 October 1907 after undergoing surgery for cancer. When the doctors saw there was nothing they could do, they just sewed her back up and sent her home. Both Andy and Betty are buried at Mountian View.

They left four children still at home when they died, Hugh Fenter, age 16, Otis Fenter, age 14, Grace Fenter, age 12 and Lambert Fenter age 8. Their older brother Albert Fenter was grown (23) and he stayed with them on the farm until they were old enough to care for themselves.

Andy Fenter was described as a dark complected man with a short cropped beard. He was slender of frame and short but he was known for also having a tempermental disposition. His first wife, Maggie Crawford was also a small woman, barely 5 feet tall but she was remembered as very pretty and of a loving disposition. Mattie Elizabeth "Betty" White Bunch, Andy's second wife and mother of nine of his children was described as a heavy-set woman with dark brown eyes and a true pioneer mother.


Margaret Crawford

Article sent to T.Mason on 3 Sep 2007 by Jeannette Brooks. "Margret Crawford was born 11 April 1854 in Maniteau County, Missouri youngest daughter of John and Fanny Howard Crawford originally of Kentucky. Margret Crawford was named after a Grandmother Maggie Crawford but not else is known about the rest of the family. John and Fanny came to Texas sometime after Maggie Crawford was born in a wagon train made up of realtives and neighbors from Missouri. Their destination was Northern Texas cattle country. John and Fanny probably settled in Denton County where the family were massacred, all except Maggie and her brother William Albert who were captured by the Indians. They were either ransomed or rescued sometime after 1861 and brought to live with some relatives thought to be their cousins in Denton County. Maggie and Albert were not well received by their relatives treating them second class from their own children. Albert worked as a cowboy as soon as he was able and worked on cattle drives to Kansas where he became friends with another young man by the name of Andy Fenter who was also working driving herds to Kansas. He met Maggie several times while she was a young girl and when she was 16 and old enough to marry, Andy went to Denton County and took Maggie for his young bride. He was 27 and she just 16. They set up house keeping in Jack County.
Maggie and Andy had five children before she died at the young age of 27. Her earlier ordeals among the Indians made her constitution fragil and after complications following her fifth child she died 1 June 1881. Her brother Albert moved to Jack County and lived beside Andy and Maggie thru their 11 years of marriage. She was the mother of five children: William Lark Fenter, Mary Ellen Fenter, Andy Newton Fenter, Mark Lafayette Fenter, and Harrietta Fenter."

BURIAL: Possible burial in Oakwood Cemetery, Jacksboro, Jack, Texas


Andrew Hunter Fenter

BIOGRAPHY: Posted by Sherry Isbell Fox on April 22, 1998. When Andy was a youngster, his father, William Henry Fenter died. After selling the farm to a Mr. John Guest, his widowed mother, Elisa Fenter moved to Texas. Andy lived on his uncle Levi Dean's cattle ranch in Red River county until he was 17 yrs old. He moved with his mother in Jack County on the Texas frontier. Andy grew to young manhood on a farm north of the community of Jacksboro which began as a frontier settlement in 1855 as a stopping point on the old Butterfield Stage's mail route. The community was originally known as Lost Creek, but it was renamed Jacksboro when it became the county seat of Jack County when it formed from Cooke County in 1858. Jacksboro was a wild open town in Andy's day and frequented by trail cowboys, buffalo hunters, outlaws and cavalry soldiers who guarded the West Texas frontier from the ever present danger of Indian raids. Andy's mother had a farm north of town near a spring where they got their water.

Andy hired out his labor among the many ranches in the area and was learning to be a skilled cowboy when the War of the Northern Aggression broke out in 1861 between the Union and the Confederacy. Texas was a member of the Confederacy and Andy served the State by enlisting in Capt. Rutherford's Company, Texas Infantry. Many of his brothers and brother-in-law, Fate Rucker, were all in the same outfit and they fought the Union Army in Arkansas, their native state. After the bloody war was over, Andy returned to Texas and worked in Shackleford County near Albany on Fate Rucker's ranch. From there he drove cattle to stockyards in New Orleans when the cattle trails turned north in Kansas. As a young man he worked driving cattle across Indian Territory on trails originating at Weatherford, Texas.

Life on the Texas Frontier was not easy for the early pioneers such as were the Fenters. Besides trying to scratch a living from the land, they were plagued with Indian raids. Jack County had been the camping grounds for the Comanche and Kiowa Indians before they were pushed across the Red River into Oklahoma. Occasionally they returned to murder isolated families and thus Andy became an Indian Fighter as well as a cowboy. In 1867 a party of 300 to 400 Indian Warriors invaded Jack County, stealing horses and murdering families caught off guard. Many men, women and children, including Andy's youngest sister, Ellenfair Fenter, were massacred and farms burned down to the ground. Andy Fenter along with other settlers from Jack and surrounding counties, chased the Indians back to Oklahoma Territory. Devastated they petitioned the federal government for relief from the Indian depredations. In 1868, the government established Fort Richardson at Jacksboro which was the largest fort on the American Frontier in its day. It was occupied by the U. S. Cavalry from 1868 to 1878 and among the regimental commanders stationed at the fort was Col. Randall MacKenzie of the famed MacKenzie Raiders.

During the ten years of military occupation, Andy Fenter settled down at the age of 27 and married Miss Margaret Crawford, the daughter of Jesse Crawford. Maggie Crawford was born in Missouri on 11 April 1854 while her parents were moving from Kentucky to Texas. The Crawford family was originally from Kentucky, but in 1855 they settled in what became Palo Pinto County, just south of Jack County. Andy and Maggie were both members of the Jacksboro Church of Christ and they met while their families attended church meetings. They were married in 1870 by an Elder of the Church of Christ and never bothered to register their marriage at the Jack County Court House.

The 1870 census of Jack County taken on 19 July 1870 lists Andy as a single man but living with his mother. Andy and Maggie's first child was born in November 1871, therefore it seems likely that they were married after July 1870 and before February 1871.

After Andy and Maggie were married they set up housekeeping on a small farm about 8 miles north of Jacksboro. Andy built a "box & strip" house on a half dug-out. In the fall of each year after the harvest there was excellent hunting as Jack County was well supplied with dove, quail, water fowl, wild turkey, white tail deer and buffalo.

During the early years of Andy and Maggie's marriage in the 1870's, business and agricultural interests were dominated by the military post. Money was plentiful and times were very prosperous, but prices were so high that farmers and ranchers bought as few goods in Jacksboro as possible. With prosperity came the vices for which Jacksboro became so notorious. In 1874 when Andy's second child was born, Jacksboro had 27 saloons and drunken soldiers littered the streets. Jacksboro's prosperity ended in May of 1878 when the post was closed. The Indians had been subdued and the soldiers were withdrawn.

In August 1878 when Andy was 35 years old, he witnessed a total eclipse of the sun which made the sky as dark as midnight. He told how it was so dark that the chickens went to roost and the cows came home from the pasture.

By the 1880's the economy of Jack County had faded and a series of droughts made life poor for the farmers and ranchers. The strenous pioneer life soon took its toll of the family of Andy Fenter when his wife Maggie met an early death. Maggie Crawford Fentor died 1 June 1882 leaving behind five little children, the eldest being 10 years old and the youngest but two. Maggie was buried in the Fenter/Bunch Cemetery which is now located on the Lindsey Ranch (Jacksboro Cemetery). It rained as they lowered Maggie into the grave and many who knew her said that her death was the saddest day of their life. Hattie Fenter, Andy's youngest daughter was taken in by Martha Fenter Howard. The baby died about a year later and was buried beside her mother in the county cemetery.

Andy did not remain single long. After about a year he married a young widow with two children. After little Mattie died, Andy's household now included a new wife and six children. Andy Fenter married Mrs. Betty Bunch (nee Mattie Elizabeth White) 19 August 1883 in Jacksboro, Texas. She was the daughter of Mr. White and Martha Flora Langston. Mr. White and Martha Flora Langston were married prior the the War of the Northern Aggression. Mr. White died before Betty was born. Her mother, Martha Flora Langston White married an Indian Fighter named Neal McLeod in 1862 who was stationed at Fort Worth. Neal McLeod and Martha Langston White McLeod were both born in Tennessee but came to Texas at an early age. They had 2 children, Roderick Elihu McLeod, and Martha Flora McLeod, before Neal was killed during an Indian Campaign. Betty White spent her girlhood days on a farm outside of Fort Worth until her mother married for the third time. This time to Bill Bunch of Jacksboro where the family soon moved. Bill and Martha Langston White McLeod Bunch had one child before she died in August of 1880. Betty's youngest half-brother was William Jesse Bunch.

Betty White first married a cowboy named George T. Bunch when she was 17 years old. They were married 5 May 1878 in Jacksboro. What relationship, if any, between George T. Bunch and Bill Bunch is undetermined. Perhaps they were brothers or cousins??? Betty and George had 2 children before George died in 1882.

Andy became the step-father to Betty's kids and raised them along with his own. He and Betty Fenter had nine children of their own between 1884 and 1899 making Andy the father of 14 children. When Betty set up houskeeping, her half-brothers and sister, Rod, Jesse, and Flora moved in with Andy's household having been orphaned when their mother, Martha Bunch died in 1880, and Bill Bunch shortly after that. Also joining the household was Betty's grandmother, Elizabeth Langston. She made her home with Andy Fenter until her death in 1893. Andy kept an old trunk that belonged to Elizabeth Langston that contained many of her old clothes. A great grandaughter of hers remembered seeing a pair of shoes that belonged to Grandma Langston and described them as being the biggest pair of women's shoes that she ever saw. Elizabeth Langston had enough Indian blood to qualify for a land grant in Oklahoma, but she would never apply for it because she was ashamed of her Choctaw Indian heritage.

After a couple of years in this large household, Andy's eldest daughter, Mary Ellen Fenter married her step-uncle, Roderick McLeod and they moved out on their own. Mary Ellen Fenter and her step-mother, Betty White Fenter did not get along very well, and as soon as she moved out and was able, she made a home for her brothers, Lark, Newt and Mark. This relieved the tension and pressure on Andy of having so many mouths to feed. Because of Mary Ellen Fenter's marriage to Roderick McLeod, this made Andy Fenter both Uncle and Grandpa to the same kids. He has been referred to as "Grandpa-Uncle Andy".

He always felt that this marriage was incestous, even though there was no blood relation between Mary Ellen and Rod.
=========================
"Many many years ago when I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow who was pretty as could be.

This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, and soon the two were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law And changed my very life.

My daughter was my mother, for she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matters worse, Although it brought me joy.
I soon became the father Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle, Then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father's wife then had a son, Who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson, For he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother And it makes me blue.

Because, although she is my wife, She's my grandma too.
If my wife is my grandmother, Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it, It simply drives me wild.
For now I have become The strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!!"
======================================

In 1889 Andy Fenter along with several of his neighbors and relatives made the decision to pull up roots and move after a severe drought left the area so dry that the land could no longer support all the families living on it. Jack County had experienced bad droughts before such as the one in 1872 when it did not rain from April until October, but the 1880's saw a trend which yearly made the county drier and drier. In 1884 when Andy and Betty's first child was born, it was so dry no crop could be made and the cattle had to be driven to Lost Creek for water. In 1886 to 1887 bacon, flour and corn had to be shipped into Jacksboro for drought sufferors. But the drought of 1889 was the worst as far as the Fenters were concerned. Cotton and wheat withered before the burning sun. Cattle became lean, sickened and died. It was time to move to greener pastures. The Fenter families lived in Jack County for over thirty-five years, but now as their ancestors before them, they pulled up stakes to seek better opportunities on the American Frontier.

Jack County was never really considered good farming country. Cattle raising was the only practical industry in the area. While Andy lived in Jack County when he was not farming, he supplemented his income doing "cow work" for neighboring ranchers. Andy's small farm was 8 miles northwest of Jacksboro near his brother's, Henry, Mark, George and Bob's farms. As a farm family, they would enter the fields at daylight, have an hour off for "dinner" and then go back into the fields, staying there as long as there was light. Foodstuffs for the family consisted of almost all kinds of vegetables from the garden and meats were provided by chickens, beef steers, and hogs fattened on pecans and acorns. Wild plums and berries made up most of the families sweets and desserts.

However, now in 1889, the family sold off its farm, bought wagons and teams to haul family and goods to Indian Territory, the last frontier on the American West.

Before 1885 all of Oklahoma was Indian Territory which Andrew Jackson had "given" to the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Indians when they were forced to leave their ancient homelands in the South. In 1889 President Benjamin Harrison opened part of the Indian Territory up for white settlement. On 22 April 1889 Oklahoma Territory was opened for settlement and within one day all the valuable land was taken. The western part of Oklahoma was still considered Indian Territory but parts of it was opened by treaty to white settlers with sufficient Indian ancestry. Land was sold in tracts of 160 acres for $1.25 per acre to qualified homesteaders.

After disposing of his lands and personal property in Jack County, Andy and other families in December 1889 made up a wagon train of sorts and drove their teams and cattle over the Doan Trail crossing the Red River near Quannah Texas. There the ferry-men would not take the teams and cattle across the river so Andy, his sons, Lark and Newt and his son-in-law/half-brother-in-law, Rod McLeod had to drive the cattle and teams across the swollen river. It was hard work and they accomplished it with great difficulty due to the river level being so high. After crossing the river, Andy took his family across country to a county he knew well from the early days of his trail riding youth. However his son-in-law, Rod McLeod left the trail after a quarrel with Andy Fenter and he settled near Marlo in Stephens County. Andy Fenter continued on further north and settled on the Washita River near the town of Cloud Chief.

Cloud Chief was named after a Cheyenne Indian Warrior and was founded when an Act of Congress opened the Cheyenne and Arapaho Resevation to settlement. The whole area was designated as County H when the Fenters first arrived and was later named Washita County after the river which makes up the southern boundary between Washita and Kiowa Counties.

Andy Fenter settled on a farm not too far from the Washita River near other former Texas residents who from Cloud Chief south made up the majority of the homesteaders. Two hours after the county was opened to settlement, Cloud Chief was founded. It was a thriving "tent city" of grocery stores, gambling houses and saloons.

By 1892 there were 5,000 settlers in the county and the county had the reputation of being wild and reckless filled with notorious outlaws and horse thieves. In 1889, Mountain View townsite was located in Washita County and here a deputy sheriff was shot in a saloon. In 1894 there was a shoot-out on the streets of Cloud Chief between a sheriff and an outlaw, however, most of these killings had little effect on sober Christian minded men such as Andy Fenter who was hard at work on his farm making a living for his ever increasing brood.

During the Indian War of 1894-1895, soldiers out of Ft. Reno sent the word to settlers to fortify their homes. The Indian were subdued in one skirmish and this was the last indian uprising the Fenter family had to encounter since arriving in America in 1737. After the Indian War, Andy continued to farm and raise his family in Washita County until just after 1900 when he picked up and moved to another homestead near Mountain View in Kiowa County. Here after securing a good farm, Andy died on 12 August 1907 just short of his 64th birthday. He was buried in a cemetery near Mountain View. Betty Fenter was left with four children still at home. She went to visit Rod McLeod and shortly after returning home, she passed away just two months after Andy. She died 12 October 1907 after undergoing surgery for cancer. When the doctors saw there was nothing they could do, they just sewed her back up and sent her home. Both Andy and Betty are buried at Mountian View.

They left four children still at home when they died, Hugh Fenter, age 16, Otis Fenter, age 14, Grace Fenter, age 12 and Lambert Fenter age 8. Their older brother Albert Fenter was grown (23) and he stayed with them on the farm until they were old enough to care for themselves.

Andy Fenter was described as a dark complected man with a short cropped beard. He was slender of frame and short but he was known for also having a tempermental disposition. His first wife, Maggie Crawford was also a small woman, barely 5 feet tall but she was remembered as very pretty and of a loving disposition. Mattie Elizabeth "Betty" White Bunch, Andy's second wife and mother of nine of his children was described as a heavy-set woman with dark brown eyes and a true pioneer mother.


Mary Elizabeth White

Article sent to T.Mason on 3 Sep 2007 by Jeannette Brooks. (See husband Andy's notes.)


George Washington Fenter

BIOGRAPHY: George Fenter worked most all his early life as a cowboy and a farm laborer on the local cattle ranches however at the age of 32 he settled down and married the step-daughter of his sister, Mary Jane Howard. Martha Emiline Peterson was born at Ft. Griffin in Shackleford County, Texas where her parents took refuge during the Indian depredation of 1857. Her mother died when she was about 16 and she was raised by her step-mother, Mary Jane to young womanhood. At the age of 19 she married George Fenter on the 10th of January 1877 at Jacksboro. George Fenter's sister, Mary Jane was opposed to the marriage however for a long tine but eventually she became reconciled to it even though this marriage made George, Mary Jane's son-in-law.
In the 1880 census of Jack County, George is listed as living ten households from his brother Andy Fenter and was the neighbor of Albert Crawford, Andy's wife s brother or cousin. The census lists George and Martha Fenter as farming near Jacksboro with a six month old baby girl at home. Their first child a daughter died at the age of eight months. Also living with George and Martha according to this census was Martha's brother Jake Peterson who was helping on the farm. After Andy Fenter's first wife died, George and Martha took in Andy's baby daughter to raise but the baby failed and soon followed her mother into the grave.

In the 1890's when the rest of the Fenter clan was moving on to Oklahoma, George Fenter and his brother Mark stayed behind in the county and lived out the rest of their lives there. George and Martha Fenter were the parents of nine children all born at Jacksboro, several of them still living as of 1978. George Fenter was an old time resident of Jack County and can be called one of its first settlers having come there In 1860. He lived the next 57 years of his life in Jack County having died on the 29th of July 1917 at the age of 72 years. His widow Martha Fenter remained in Jacksboro after her husband's death and lived some 15 years more dying on the 8th of February 1932 at the age of 74 years. George Washington Fenter was described by his daughter Mrs. Ruby Francis of Abilene, Texas as heavy-set and fleshy. Mrs. Francis was the second youngest daughter of George and Martha Fenter having first married J. Thomas Barr who died 18 Oct 1933 in Texas. Mr. Barr and his wife had a son Vernon Barr born the 21 Jan 1922 and who died young at the age of 17 on the 2nd of February 1939. Mrs. Barr remarried O.L. Francls on the 1 Aug 19~4 and was a gospel song writer in the Church of Christ. In a biography published in his music book "Songs of Hope" it states the following about Mr. Francis:

Onie Lee Francis was the last of eight children born in 1891 to his parents R.B. Francis and his wife Mandy Darter Francis. His father passed away when 0.L. was about 5 years old. The other six boys who did not marry left home at about the age of 21 years, in search of an opportunity, to make their own way, leaving the widowed mother with a daughter Etta, and the youngest son, O..L. The daughter four years older than O.L., and mother were left to take care of the farm and themselves. When O.L. was 13 years old, being the only man on the place, he dropped out of school, (typical school in those times, one room, one teacher).

Needless to mention, the hardships followed for a widowed mother with a 17 rear old daughter and a 13 yrear old son. But they made good, especially after O.L. had prepared to teach singing schools (on borrowed money). He attended some 10 week sessions in Waco, Texas, 100 miles from their home in Madison County, where many students learned to teach others how to do most anything about gospel singing, from rudiments to teaching and writing.

At the age of 29, O. L. was married to Viola Lewis. They lived happily together until she passed away from a cerebral hemorrage in 1943. Suffice it to say, it was grief at its heights. A year later he was married to another good lady, Ruby Fenter Barr, his present wife. He can truly say that he has been fortunate in that he had two good wives, when some men seem unable to find just one. O. L. Francis died the 22 of June 1973 at Abilene, Texas.


Martha Emaline (Mattie) Peterson

RESEARCHER: Information sent to T.Mason on 1 Jul 2005 by Ruth York citing, "The Fenter Family -- An American Frontier Experience by Edgar Hugh Williams, Jr."

In 1930 census with son Aubrey.


Julia Estelle Fenter

Her birth date was faintly entered in the Peterson Bible pages.


Guy Wilford Fenter

DEATH: Information for Oakwood Cemetery [HYPERLINK - http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/tx/jack/cemeteries/mortuary/hawkins5.txt ] Father listed as G.W. Fenter, mother as Mattie Patterson.


Hans Michael Finter

IMMIGRANT: To America in 1737


Martin S. Fenter

Information from Jeannette Brooks to T.Mason on 2 Sep 2007. "Martin Fenter is listed on a petition of squatters, 1883, Hot Springs County, Arkansas. He is listed with his father."