Gone To Texas

Woodson Coffee's Grandfather Came To Texas in 1842.
That is where Woodson's story begins.

"Logan Coffee with his family came to Texas in 1842. The other Coffees stopped in Titus County, Tex.  Logan came to Colorado County, Tex. & was the second (actually the 8th, KCS) Sheriff of the County. He later moved out to Lavaca Co where he bought a place."

(These are the stories written by Woodson Coffee in the 1930's and 1940's.
Note, Woodson often uses the letter F. for the word Father.)

The present generation failed to ascertain when and where they came from except back for about 160 years, according to genealogy picked up from others of older families. James Coffee immigrated to KY at an early date - raised four sons & one daughter. The sons moved from KY to Alabama after reaching manhood. Two of the sons married & raised families - Langston & Logan, the other two, Wm & Woodson died old bachelors. The sister married Green Morgan, a rancher. General Morgan who fought under Nathaniel Green in the Revolutionary War. While in Alabama, the eldest and third son married. Logan, the third son, married Mary Ragland. To the union there were eight children--seven reached maturity. In 1842 the brothers & sister moved to Texas overland in Ox wagons. They must have been a long time on the road. Winter overtook them in Ark where they stopped over until spring then trekked on into the NE part of Texas - about old Daingerfield. Logan and two bachelors continued on into S E part of the state - Colorado County - where Logan served as the Sheriff of the Co.
 
.1848 was the year
Uncle Bob said his father came to Texas and from Alabama, but the family formerly went from Ky. to Ala. The William Saunders Coffee we all visited with often is kin, called him Uncle Bill & his wife Aunt Betsy. They had three sons--Milton, John N., the baby, and another son I can't recall.  Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Catherine, Marietta & Margarett were the girls. We visited them often as they were all neighbors in my younger days.  "

   
Langston and other kinfolks remained in N. E. Texas and there many of progeny of the older set in various parts of that country now. Logan's & Mary's family consisted of
Minta, Mansel, Wm D, Cleave, Robert, Fanny & Thomas. The family moved into Lavaca Co just before the beginning of the Civil War. At that time supplies were largely freighted overland from Brownsville Tex. On one of those trips Logan Coffee died. Some of the family think he was murdered - left the widow with quite a family to raise and with only scant means - but GrandMother was a remarkable woman and Mother.

At that time in the 1860s, the early seventies, the people of the South spun & wove the cloth their clothes were made from. There were no places to go to blow your earnings had there been money, but there was none in the country except to pay taxes and buy the scant necessities, such as coffee and very little sugar - 95% of the bread was cornbread, raised at home - milk - butter - chickens & eggs with some garden vegetables composed the daily menu. For amusement there was school-house preaching about once a month and occasionally a country dance. And of course the 4th of July was most always celebrated with pink lemonade, watermelons and other doodads that would make young people & children happy.

My father
Mansel Coffee [this is the way the manuscript reads) Georgiana Reynolds a native of Mississippi who with her parents came to Texas in 1856 -

Mansel & my mother were married in the early part of 1861 and soon after their marriage my father enlisted in Whitfield Legion & Walkers brigade. He served the full four years except while he was at home on furlough recuperating from a bullet wound received in the battle of Mansfield, Louisiana. To Mansel & Georgiana Coffee there were seven sons & two daughters born who reached maturity
-- Woodson, Logan, Cleave, Henry, Hattie, Jim, Glen, Mansel Jr., & Mary -  and two babies who died as infants.

REMINESCENCES OF A COUNTRY BOY
I have been told that my visible arrival here was on March Ist 1862.  That much is hearsay evidence, but we will have to accept it as truth.   At least I am here, and I feel sure my mother and I were there at that time. Times were turbulent at that time--the North and South were at each others throats over the question of slavery.

History we studied in school does not so state. It taught us the war was on account of secession but secession was declared on account of slavery, then practiced in the South. The first recollection I have of my early childhood--a young lady gave me a red apple - my aunt recalled the event, and said I was three years old at the time - I don't know what became of the apple but suppose I ate a part of it. The young lady -
Callie Hughs - later married Oscar Woodly and lived to raise a daughter, so I have been told. And another recollection I have when very small was one of my Grandmothers had some geese and they would chase me and blow at me which was scary to me.


About that time my Father came home, as he was on the losing side of the Civil War. Of course, I had seen him previous to the ending of the war, as the records show he was furloughed after the battle [of] Mansfieid as he was wounded there in one of his legs. But on his last arrival home, I was near four years old and remember quite well how he looked. At that time, my mother was either visiting or staying at Grandmother Coffee's.  Father and two of his younger brothers tried their marksmanship with their cap and ball pistols. They fired so many bullets into a small oak tree it died. So I guess they killed the Charter Oak.


Not long after that time my parents moved onto a farm by the highway between San Antonio and Houston, Texas. As there were no railroads west of Houston then, the country west freighted their manufactured products from Houston. Some days there would be long trains of freight wagons and carts driven by Mexicans pass our place. The carts were of two big wagon wheels with a body balanced and pulled by two oxen. Early freighting in Texas was done with oxen on account of expense as oxen were cheap and they could feed at night off of the prairie grass.

The following year my parents moved into the western part of [the] county near the Mulberry School.
Uncle Billie - father's next of age brother - taught the school. Aunt Sally, Mother's youngest sister, attended the school from our house. She took me along for an escort. I was not required to study, but to keep mum if in the house during books - or school hours.

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