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Milam County, Texas

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The Life and Times
of
Agnes Elizabeth Porter
and
Richard Tyrus Blacklock
on the Texas Frontier

By their great great grandaughter
Reba Teal Parks
October 2004


Agnes Elizabeth Porter and Richard Tyrus Blacklock
ca. late 1860s - probably taken in Milam Co., Texas

Agnes Elizabeth Porter was born on 29 April 1825 in Butler Co., KY to Benjamin and his second wife, Matilda J. Wilson Porter. She was born the oldest of eight children in this family. The others being, Mary who married William Tharp; Sally who married Merrifield Phegley; Nancy Ann who married an unknown Thorp; Mattie who married Cortus Jackson; "JW" John Wilson who married J. Elizabeth Duncan, Ellen Gresham and Jennie McKinney; William who died in infancy; and, Martha who married John R. Frame.

The Porter brothers and descendants were very influential in the settling of Texas, fighting in the Battle of Velasco and dying in the so-called 'Black Bean Incident' with the Mexicans.

Agnes married Richard Tyrus Blacklock on 4 Feb 1841 in Butler Co., KY. He, too, was a native of Kentucky. They started their family in Butler Co., KY. Then her father, Benjamin Porter, decided to join his brothers in Texas, and according to The History of Butler Co. KY (page 236)

..... Benjamin and Matilda had lent money to his brother, John Wilson Porter, so that he could establish himself and family in Texas. John wrote Benjamin that he would repay him in land if he would come to TX. Brother, Beverly Porter, had been in Texas since 1830, it would be like having a family reunion. Benjamin, his wife, children, two son-in-laws and slaves made ready the wagons and provisions and began their journey in October 1845, choosing to travel in winter to avoid Indian raids as much as possible. They travelled slowly, camping long weeks where there was game and water, often camping because the weather made travel impossible. Thomas Lafayette Phegley, son of Sarah Ann and Merryfield Phegley, was an infant and only one year old when the journey ended March 1846, in Burleson Co., TX. John W. Porter had died and his widow knew nothing of the debt. They found meadow land that had a spring trees and before long there were three log houses built close together -- the Porter, the Blacklocks and the Phegleys. They became the parents of a host of Texans. Matilda J. Wilson Porter was an elegant person, conducting herself and family as if they lived in a place of distinction rather than in an unsettled wilderness. Benjamin Porter died on 9 July 1849 and is buried in Elizabeth Chapel Cemetary, Burleson Co., TX ... Matilda died on 2 October 1890 and is buried in the Macedonia Cemetery, Burleson Co., TX, with many of her children and grandchildren.

When they set forth from Kentucky Agnes was pregnant or was shortly to be, as they had the first Blacklock in Texas, John Henry Blacklock was born during their journey in April 1847, in Red River Co., TX, at Clarksville. They then travelled on to Burleson Co., TX. and ran into the problems, with Benjamin's brother's wife who knew nothing about the debt.

The following article, an interview between an elderly Negro and a descendant of the Merrifield Phegley family, was given to the Burleson County, Historical Survey Committee by Mr. J. C. Storm and Mr. James Connor of Corpus Christi. We wish to thank them and to express our appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Phegley and Mrs. Frank Stubbs for their help in researching it. The interview took place in 1941 and is surprisingly accurate, even though the old man was 88 years old at the time. He is speaking of the family in Kentucky and then in Texas.

My mother say that they lived in Butler County, in a big house with big posts in front and a long row of Negro quarters in the back that they had lots of sugar maples and made sugar. That the white folks went to Louisville to visit. They fished on Green River.

Old Master say that when he was a little boy he and his father went to Hardin County, KY., to see about some land he saw. A hard looking boy that was Abraham Lincoln but nobody would have ever guessed it then. Old Marse was born on April 1st, 1818. He say a boy is not like a horse which you can tell about whats in him, he say he had seen many a boy what had hardly no shirt but what had ambition, take up the lead when he was a man and he called Col. I remember the long row of smoke in the evening at sunset that gave the place a name, our row of smoke joined in a long smoky row, blue, gray-beautiful. (My mother say not so and we is remembering the Great Smokies)

When Marse Tom see it he say Smoky Row and that was what it was called.

Old Marster tell that when Marse Tom was little he say Mammy and Daddy. He say, but when the new cedar house is made I'll l say ----- and. And he did. Little miss Mattie was all of thems favorite cause she was so gentle and didnt say nothing or do anything to hurt nobody, just gentle. All of them was gentle but she was not meant for this world. Her baby boy was stillborn but miss Angie soaked him for an hour in warm water and he began to wiggle a little bit and catched his bref. Then there was little Annie the baby came-her Pa a preachin all the time.

Old Miss (Matilda Wilson Porter) she wear a black dress with a white lace collar what came from Nashville. Her sister Sallie Borroh gave it to her. Old Marster gave my old Miss a pin, it had a face of a girl on it. Old Miss was not ever well, and when I go out to the white folks cemetery and stand and look at their monuments, I wonder why they ever came to Burleson Co., them and the Porters-away from their place-to a wilderness. They and Miss Matilda and Mr. Ben and Miss Agnes and Mr. Blacklock-they built three little log houses in together-their slaves built them, and the white folks lived there for a long while. In 1845 they all with Bro.(Elder) and Sister Johnson organized the Macedonia Church at Fraimville. I remember well when oxen drawn and covered wagons passed on these roads going to the west and people passed through leaving only the ashes of campfires to mark the way they went. I can remember to when a man and women could marry and to out to a piece or land and start off with nothing but hard work and achieve a full life and be happy. Be prosperous in a few years started from nothing. That was in days before they was so much to want and everyone lived out of his own farm and garden-and had his own poultry and had to work. There was no relief from Gov. which has ruined all the workers and causes them to be so sorry and just sit! And let everything go to waste and ruin for need of laborers. Mr. Bob lived in Yellow Prairie, Mr. Walter married again and was in Caldwell in 1868. Mr. Lummie was a good man to. Mr. Colie, Mr. Clay and Marsters girls is all gone. Marse Tom too- but Miss Sallie is the last. Old Marster married again to Miss Mollie and they had three chiluns. Old Marsters sister, Miss America was born in 1812 a Mr. Martins in Kentucky. His other sister was Virginia. His brothers were Leo, Cicero, and Marion. His mothers name was Delilah. I remember bringing in wood for my mistress while my mother, Misy, and the other house girl cooked dinner. Its been a long time. The bells will all ring some day and I'll be there.

Nevertheless, they were in Burleson County Texas and made the best of it. Benjamin Porter died in 1849 of bilous fever, but Agnes and RT remained near her mother, helping and purchasing and selling land back and forth. In 1849 the Blacklock's moved on into Milam County, their first Milam county child Harber Luther 'Lute' was born at Davila. By 1866 all of the Blacklock children were born, the last was my great grandfather, Clark Wilson Blacklock born April 4, 1866 in Milam Co. In May of 1872 RT died and was buried in Milam County (we think the Pettybone or Adhall cemetery). Agnes stayed in Milam county until about 1890 when in 1893 she was in Lampasas Co., Tx, then 1900 she was in Williamson Co. TX until after 1900 when she moved for the final time to Hamilton Co. TX, living near her son Benjamin Thomas Blacklock and his family and son, Jefferson Davis Blacklock and his family.


[Back L to R] Benjamin Thomas, Clark Wilson, Jefferson Davis, Richard Carson
[Front L to R] Harber Luther 'Lute', Elizabeth Ann 'Lizzie (Jones), Agnes E. Blacklock and John Henry

The years had not been kind to Agnes and her family. In 1855 baby, Mary Henretta was still born. She lost son, William Honable during the War in Louisana to the measles. Her husband RT, in 1872 in Milam County. Daughter, Addie Blacklock Phegley, died shortly after childbirth in 1875, leaving son William Burch Phegley to be raised by Agnes. On May 7, 1892, her next to the last daughter, Mattie was murdered by her husband Charles E. Logan (see attachment from Cameron Newspaper) on the main street of Cameron, TX, leaving the five Logan children orphans. Agnes, widowed 20 years now, and still having the youngest child at home, along with Burch Phegley, stepped up and took the five children, at age 67, and raised them until she died in March, 1902, the youngest grandchild, Addie Logan, being 12 years old. During this time two grandaughters, Lela and Jewell, daughters of son, Jefferson Davis Blacklock died and were buried in Fairey, Hamilton Co. also in 1902. Agnes and the two grandaughters are buried in Fairey Cemetery, Fairey, Hamilton Co. TX

Yes, our grandparents were made of sterner stuff than we are, making do with what they had and picking up the load of other family members when felt they were obligated to. I'm certainly proud to be a descendant of this strong courageous woman and this pioneering family.



Unnamed or dated newspaper article provided by Reba Teal Parks

“Himself and His Wife”

“Murder and Suicide at Cameron Yesterday”

“Charley Logan Shoots His Wife Through the Head and Then Blows Out His Brains”

Cameron, Tex., May 7 – A most fearful and horrible crime was committed in this city this afternoon about 3:30 o’clock. The citizens in the residence portion adjacent to the San Antonio and Aransas Pass depot were startled by the reports of a revolver in quick succession at the residence occupied by Mrs. Emma Logan, wife of Mr. Charley Logan. Upon entering the house the horrible spectacle met the eyes of the spectators of both Mr. and Mrs. Logan laying upon the floor withering in their low life blood.

Mr. Logan came into the city from his mother’s home near Maysfield, about seven miles in the country, with a lady relative and only a few minutes before the tragedy had gone to see his wife at home. After talking a few minutes with her he requested the relative to take the children out for a walk as he wished to have a private talk with his wife to induce her to live with him again. Only a few seconds elapsed after all had gone and left the two together when the shots were fired. A young man across the street saw the shooting. Mr. Logan presented his pistol, which was a large Colt revolver, to shoot his wife directly in the forehead, but she gasped the pistol and dodged her head and the ball hit her nearly in the top of the head. Another shot hit her in the left arm just above the elbow. He then placed the pistol to the middle of his forehead and blew his brains out.

Several months ago, Mr. Logan had a long spell of sickness. The physicians who waited upon him – Dr. E. N. Shaw – gave it as his judgment that the effect of his sickness had unbalanced his mind. About three weeks ago he made an effort to kill his wife and he had frequently threatened to kill her and their children.

Upon the occasion of his former attempt to hill his wife he was put in jail, and would have been tried on a charge of lunacy but for an appeal by his relatives to permit them to take charge of him.

His wife had frequently expressed the fear that he would kill her and her children.

They leave in orphanage five children, the oldest being about 13 years of age.

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Created on 26 Oct 2004 and last revised on ____________