- (The following material was copied from THE BUMPASS FAMILY FROM PERSON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA. Compiled by Anne Shirley Bumpus and James Richard Townsend.)
"(MRS. JAMES BUMPAS)" (MOTHER OF HARRIETT BUMPAS CHAPPELL)
"The following data taken from Mrs. Cherry?s Book was contributed by Mrs. Anna Chappell Heal Tucker, Beaumont, Texas. THE STORY OF THE BUMPAS FAMILY, pages 73 - 78."
"Many Texans are proud of their male ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War and later found their way into new land and stood beside their grandsons and helped them, By their wise council build this grand New State of Texas our TEXAS."
"We can't claim this much for Sarah Franks, for she was born in South Carolina, on May 8, 1776, the daughter of Nehemiah and Mary Peake Franks one of 12 children. This birth took place as you see a couple of months only before the famous Declaration of Independence was signed, and in a colony whose people were noted for their bravery, their daring, a colony sometimes called a hot bed of rebellion."
"Her home was doubtless one of ease and plenty, for her father was rewarded as a man of wealth. Too old to be enlisted in that fight against the British, for active service, he was most heartily in sympathy with the colonists, helped them dream of the great nation they hoped to be and dipped without reserve into his private coffers in order that the war might be carried on."
"At some time during that struggle, the Tories, knowing that most of the men were a sent in the army, swept down upon Lawrence District destroying property, taking lives, heedless of any suffering of any form. Nehemlah Franks and his wife Mary, looked about their colonial home, gathered together the 12 children, placed them on horseback, two to a horse, sometimes, loaded behind each child a bag containing spoons, and knives and forks of silver, clothing and the more precious food stuffs, and put out across country, the Tory bullets already whizzing by them. A mile or so on the way, they met a group of Indians--they too alarmed over the whizzing bullets--hoping, perhaps, in their dumb way, that this white man, himself, boasted the protective gunpowder."
"With the flight at its height, Mary Franks discovered that her baby, even our Sarah, sound asleep at the time, had been left behind."
"She called out her dismay, appealed in her woman?s way with one mute glance at her husband, then sank against the pommel of her saddle, awoman indeed bowed down."
"One certain Indian, catching the play of grief across her white face, realizing from her one heartbroken scream just what had happened, primed his bow and arrow, put spurs to his own particular pony, dodged s whizzing bullet, took a lower bridle path through the woods, on and on, faster and yet faster; he reached the house, gathered the still sleeping child and started back a little more slowly to the distracted mother. The Tories paid him little heed, seeing he was only an Indian with a bundle in front of him, but we know he made the trip back in safety. For a long time afterwards, our Sarah was regarded as the passive heroine of that great event. We hazard a guess that when Sarah was restored to her mother's arms, she evinced no sign of pride in her heroic escape. We are sure, very sure that she raised her plaintive young voice and demanded food."
"When Sarah reached sweet sixteen, the girl who busied herself about her father's house in the care of things left undone by sisters older and busier, this same bright girl fell under the notice of a certain young man, Dr. James Bumpas. James claimed, of course, that love was the primary force that drew him so closely, so tenderly to Sarah, but subsequent events have a way of suggesting that this physician recognized in Sarah a possibility of great help. No matter the man's ability in the matter of character study, no matter his impulses, love or otherwise, it is a matter of history that Sarah was her husband's first aid. Over rough roads and smooth, she went with him many times when he knew an obstinate case awaited him. Her arms many times proved the first refuge for the newly born child. Many times she waited, detained there by needs of her own growing family, yet found time for the preparation of herbs, the combination of drugs her husband found so necessary in his practice. And can't you just see her standing with the large tablespoon of castor oil and the peach preserve or the quinine on the end of a spoon?straight, no sugar coating in those days. A small woman, inclined to be plump with jet-black hair and sparkling black eyes was Sarah."
"When it began to seem best to James Bumpas and several of his friends that they must desert this South Carolina home for the newer, richer country of Tennessee, Sarah knew that she must agree. She regretted the loss of her home, of her South Carolina friends, but she comforted herself with the idea that her doctor was sure to find work for them in Tennessee and that this work was the chief thing in his life. So they joined the group of pioneers bound for Tennessee in 1809."
"Tennessee and that this work was the chief thing in his life. So they joined the group of pioneers bound for Tennessee in 1809."
"For months and months they journeyed and worked, over mountains and by rushing streams until they reached a place which they called Crosswaters and there they made a settlement. A few years later they moved to Lawrenceburg and here they raised their family. In a log house at first to be sure, Sarah no doubt cooked upon an open fireplace but in that Tennessee home as the years came and went Sarah gave birth to 10 healthy, normal children and she lived to see them all grown."
"Had the people in that day and time dared, they surely would have addressed Sarah as "Doctor Bumpas" for the folks came to consult her as frequently and with as much confidence as they did her husband. But Sarah, in that day and particularly in that part of the world, had never disgraced her proud estate as wife and mother by allowing anybody to suggest for her the mannish title of doctor."
"In due course of time marriage descended on her big family. Three of her daughters married and moved to Texas. Emily married Douglas Hayden Stockton. Sallie married Hugh Mcintyre, a man who became quite prominent in Brenham, Texas, and who was the proprietor of The Mcintyre House, one of the first hotels in Texas. Her youngest daughter married James Mcintyre, a younger brother of Hugh's. Sarah would have been disappointed had her daughters remained old maids, but she did grieve that they all left the Tennessee home soon after marriage and settled in Texas. Letters, two months or more on the way reached her from these daughters. Harriet lost her husband and afterwards married William CHAPPELL, a son of the man for whom Chappell Hill was named. Her oldest son, Hartwell Jones Bumpas, joined Andrew Jackson and was with him a the Battle of New Orleans. In 1836 James Bumpas, her companion in work and its joy, died. For several years she carried on alone and finally she too decided to move to Texas."
"She found her children settled in that part of Texas now known as Washington County. She moved into the house of her youngest daughter and even her son-in-law WILLIAM CHAPPELL openly blessed the day of her coming. William Chappell's wife was a delicate woman, a "clinging vine" Sarah liked to call her in her talks with "CHAPPELL" as she dubbed her son-in-law."
"From this time on, Sarah rejoiced in the title of "Mother Bumpas". Many men, in the neighborhood, took on the use of the title with her son-in-law. She managed Chappell's home for him. She carried dangling on her belt the keys of closet and smokehouse and many times a switch was to be seen in her hands. The legs of her grandchildren and of the pickerninnies often felt the sting of that switch. Every Sunday morning she lined up all the children on the plantation, white and black and taught them a Golden Text."
"One of the most important phases of Sarah?s life in Texas was her attitude toward religion. Back in her South Carolina home she had been baptized into the Methodist Church by one of the first Methodist preachers in America. We think it was Bishop Asbury. We know that he was a close friend of her father and that he performed the burial rites for her father on November 7,1799."
"in her Texas home, her children settled about her, Sarah, called "Mother Bumpas by most of Texas Methodism, established a home that was always open to preachers. In 1847 the State Conference was held in Chappell Hill and nine preachers were entertained in her home."
"The circuit rider, burning with a desire to help the men and women in the new country made it a point to reach Sarah?s house whenever it was possible. He knew he would find comfort there. Good beds, plenty to eat for man and horse, and Sarah?s smile of welcome and cheery words always drove away every discouraged impulse. Littleton Fowler, Robert Alexander, H.S. Thrall."
"John Haynie and H.N. Kavanaugh were glad to be known as her friends."
"The Son of Tennessee, now the General Sam Houston of Texas was a neighbor end friend of the household. He lived only twenty miles away but what was twenty miles when one needs council and advice."
"It is now 1861 and turbulent times in Texas prevail. Civil War... must Texas secede? Many nights were spent in this house by SAM HOUSTON talking to WILLIAM CHAPELL and Mother Bumpas.
"An Indian of the tribe of Wacos heard of Sarah?s knowledge of medicine. He appeared before her one day with his squaw and a very sick child. Sarah understood at a glance. With her woman?s heart and skill she saw after several hours that the child was out of danger; she saw too the look of confidence come into the mother?s eyes. Today, in this year of 1937 in the home of Mrs. N.C. Erskine, in Temple, Texas, a great-granddaughter of Sarah's, is to be seen a beautiful pair of Indian moccasins. This great-granddaughter will point proudly to these moccasins and tell you the story in her own way, for she too, is proud that Mother Bumpas is included in her Texas Ancestors."
"Sarah Bumpas believed firmly in education, too. She was untiring in her efforts to have Chappell Mill Female College established. She was interested as well in the organization of Soule University."
"She died in 1865 and is buried in Chappell Hill."
(WILLIAM CHAPPELL, WAS BROTHER IN-LAW OF WILLIAM KEESEE SR.)
The Thorndale Thorn, Fri., Dec. 29, 1905 Milam County
Death - Mrs. William Chappell, more than 80 years old, a respected lady of Jones Prairie,
died at the home of Dr. Fontain yesterday and was buried at Little River Cemetery today.
Her husband came to this county many years ago from Washington county. The town of
Chappell Hill having been named for her husband. (Chappell Hill was named after the father of William Chappell. kp)