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Hargrove John Alexander
Male 1825 - 1906

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  • Birth  04 Nov 1825  Pickens County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  17 Sep 1906  Rockdale, Milam County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  Murray Cemetery, Milam County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I390  Keesee
    Last Modified  20 Oct 2011 
    Father  Hargrove William Dudley,   d. 21 Sep 1850, Chappell Hill, Washington County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Chappell Charlotte,   b. 08 Nov 1804,   d. 12 Mar 1879, Chappell Hill, Washington County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  1820  Pickens, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F11  Group Sheet
    Family 1  Murray Sarah Elizabeth,   d. Bef Aug 1860 
    Married  01 May 1854 
     1. Hargrove Charlotte
    >2. Hargrove Elizabeth,   b. 09 Mar 1855, Austin County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Dec 1921, Rockdale, Milam County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Hargrove Alexander,   b. 1858
    Last Modified  20 Oct 2011 
    Family ID  F111  Group Sheet
    Family 2  Murray Lucretta W.,   d. Aug 1860 
    Married  1858  Montgomery, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified  20 Oct 2011 
    Family ID  F112  Group Sheet
    Family 3  Blackwell Martha B 
    Married  04 Nov 1860  Milam County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Hargrove Bob
     2. Hargrove Lee
     3. Hargrove Sallie
     4. Hargrove Alma
     5. Hargrove Jack
     6. Hargrove Ola
    Last Modified  20 Oct 2011 
    Family ID  F113  Group Sheet
    Family 4  Clark Julia M 
    Married  24 Jun 1877 
    Last Modified  20 Oct 2011 
    Family ID  F114  Group Sheet
  • Photos
    Murray Cemetery Marker, Milam County, Texas
    Murray Cemetery Marker, Milam County, Texas
    J. A. Hargrove, Our Father, born Nov. 4, 1825, Died Sept. 17, 1906
    J. A. Hargrove, Our Father, born Nov. 4, 1825, Died Sept. 17, 1906
    Status: Located.
  • Notes 
    • This biography of my life was begun in the 79th year of my life 1903.
      John Alexander Hargrove
      Was born in Pickens County, Alabama on the 4th day of November, A.D., 1825. My father was William.
      Dudley Hargrove, a Methodist Preacher, whom the Tenneson Conference, away back in the 30's, in session at Kondres Church of Nashville, refused to elect to deacon orders because he was a slave holder. He had five sons and one daughter by his first wife; Benjamine, who was born and still lives in Hancock County, Georgia. Daniel J., father of the Bishop, who with his father and the rest of his family moved to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama in 1818. He married Dicie Harris of Georgia. John Hargrove, who lived in Tuscaloosa County until his death. He reared six or seven children. Next was my father William Dudley, and then a daughter who married Hardy Clements. Hardy Clements amassed a fine fortune before his death by farming and cotton, and by factories in Tuscaloosa and in Bibb Counties. The Clements had four children. Next was Hope Hull, and he too reared several children. My grandmother died and my grandfather married the second time and reared one daughter by this marriage (or rather my father did) as my grandfather was killed while raising some heavy timber of a barn. The daughter's name was Rebecca and she married Klrud Norsworthy years ago and moved to east Texas.
      I received what little education I have at the Lubbock Academy, ten miles north of Carollton in Pickens County and quit school at the age of fourteen. My father moved to Washington County, Texas in the fall of 1841, and settled west of where Chappell Hill is today. He owned or bought the land where the town is located and gave one hundred acres each to two of my sisters.
      My mother was the daughter of Robert Wooding and Nancey J. Chappell. They (my grandparents) reared six sons and two daughters. John, who died in east Texas in 1899. William, who died at Cameron some years ago. Robert died in Trinity County several years ago. Nimrod J. who was a lawyer, died in Riverside, Walker County years ago. Next was Mary J. and she married to William Keesee and lived and died near Chappell Hill. They reared a large family, of which seven sons were in the Confederate Army in different commands and not one was wounded during the war. Next was James, who reared four children. Both George T. and my grandfather Chappell are buried in the Murray Cemetery at Chappell Hill. My youngest sister Rebecca Cade, is also buried there, as well as two of my wives and four of my children, and soon I may be there.
      My father and mother reared eight children. The oldest was Martha Wooding, and she married Gideon Keesee of Tuscaloosa County and moved shortly after to Saline County Arkansas, then to Union County and there bought a farm on the Bayou Batholam. My sister died there leaving seven children. After several years the children moved to Washington County. My second sister was Permelia Ann. She married John A. Haynie. They had six children. She died in Chappell Hill. Next was John Alexander(myself). Then was Mary Elizabeth and she married first to Jacob Haller, and after his death with yellow fever, she married W.H.Baker and they moved to Galveston. Next was Robert W. who is if still alive, in Cerralue, Mexico. The next son was Alford Battle and he married Lucy Keesee. He died on his farm near where Calvert now stands. They did not have any children. Next was Rebecca Ann and she married J.C. Cade. They had two boys, Van and Gillie. She died at Chappell Hill and is buried at Murray School House. Next was William Henry Harrison and he died of grysipelas in his throat, choking to death in a few hours. He died on his feet with three or four men holding him. He died only a few days after my first wife died.
      My life has been a checkered one. In 1846, the year I was twenty one years of age, having worked my father's farm from 1839 until then, my first job was riding for the Champion Pill Company, which was run by L.D. Bragg. Later this company was known as Bragg and Haller. I started out on my first trip and had instructions to put the pills out with agents who were to sell them. My territory extended from the Nuccess to the Sabine River and from the Gulf to as far as there were white settlements. I went as far as Coffee Bend on Red River. My first trip from home I was gone six weeks before I put out all the pills. There was no Dallas nor Palestine, nor the many hundreds of other towns that have sprung up since then. I saw plenty of Indians and buffalo, and on my second trip out I killed a buffalo. I had some ten or twenty circuits over Texas. I was in and had pills in every settlement in Texas. I rode for this company for two years and saw all of Texas from the Gulf to the mountains that was safe to travel in. In 1848 I went to work as a clerk for J. Haller. Father gave my sister, Mary, who had married Haller, a hundred acres of land, on which Chappell Hill stands today. Haller and I went into the cedar brakes and cut the logs to build the first house to be built in Chappell Hill. The house was 16 foot square. We had finished the house and moved in before any other house there was started. Haller went to Jacksonville and bought out Lish Little's stock of goods. We moved the stock in the house and started selling goods in the same house in which we lived. You had better believe me, we were crowded! We cooked, ate, slept and sold goods all in that one room. Haller and I soon sold most of the goods, and so he went to Houston and bought a load of goods from T.W. House and others, and when he returned all the neighbors for miles around came to see the stock of goods (wonderful sight). We soon sold most of this stock too. Haller then decided to build a storehouse. When the storehouse was funished we moved into this (it still stands today) and I stayed there and clerked until 1850. In February 1850, I decided to go to California. I was the first to take a notion to go to California. I went to father's that night I concluded to do so. Somehow, I thought that I should have someone to go with me, so I talked to J.P. Ferrell about it that night. John Ferrell was living at father's and we were out by ourselves until midnight before he would agree to go with me. At last he agreed to go, provided he could raise the money, which would be between five and six hundred dollars. So the next morning we told father and mother our intentions. this was decided on Monday night and on Wednesday morning we left home. In the meantime John D. Rogers, Prior Kyle, Tom Martin, and Henry and Silas Stevens also got ready to go with us. We took a steamboat at Warren and went down the Brazos and around to Galveston. There we fell in with a lot more men, Frank and A.J. (Red) Terry, Tom Lubbock, Ed Bradley, Thad Boone, and others. We went from Galveston to New Orleans and was there several days before we took a steamer for Chagres River on Havy Bay on the Ismus of Panama. We went up the Chagres River 57 miles in a large canoe. There were over a hundred canoes and small boats with passengers of our crowd. On the steamer from New Orleans there were over a thousand passengers. When we got to the town of Gargana we had to walk 31 miles over mountains before we reached Panama. Finally eleven of us chartered Bark by paying $100.00 each and shipped out. We were 53 days out of sight of land on the Pacific before we reached San Francisco. We left San Francisco that evening on a small steam boat that could carry only thirty passengers. We went up to the San Waqueen River to Stocton. We paid $30.00 each for fare, and $2.50 for each meal we ate. We left Stocton in a day or two for the mines, paying $.16 per pound, per person to ride on a wagon about 60 miles over the mountains. The first digging, where we stopped and went to work, was on Woods Creek near Sanora. We arrived there about the middle of May, and stayed there until July. We did well, that is John P.Ferrell and I did, John D. Rogers did not like the work so he went back to Stocton. With the advice of Frank Terry we left there and went to Tawowaamy River. Forty one of us took a bar (sand bar) and after it was measured we cut a ditch 120 feet long, 15 by 16 to turn the water so we could get to the gold in the river. We finished our canal about 11:00 o'clock one day then turned the water into it and spent the rest of the day fixing our cradles and pans so we could go in to the bed of the river. Early next morning we found that luck was against us, our dam gave way during the night and all our labor for 118 days was lost. We took a vote the next day as to what we would do and eighteen of us decided to go to work and run a dam about half way across the river and drain out a small portion of the river bed. When this was done we went to work taking out the gold, which we found rich, but we were able to work at this only a day or two on account of the river rising. We took about $168.00 in gold to shore and then left there about the 1st of December and moved to Butns Dry Division to winter, expecting to return to the river the next spring. After fixing our tent as comfortable as we could for the winter. I turned my attention, as did J.Rambe, to hunting. We killed deer enough to last us the winter. Just about this time I received a letter from Chappell Hill stating that Father had died on September 21, 1850. The letter stated that his request was for me to return home and take care of his business. So that night John P. Ferrell and I got ready to leave the next morning. We left there the next morning and when we got to Stocton we found John D. Rogers and Tom Lubbock still there. John Ferrell and I then went on to San Francisco, took a steamer for Panama on the 14th day of December. On the 25 th of December a storm struck us and we came near to being lost. It was a fearful storm and we finally had to put in at Acapulco on the Mexican coast for repairs. After the repairs had been made and we had gotten provisions for over a thousand passengers, we left out again but on the night of January 1st our vessel was found on fire. John Ferrell and I saw we were practically gone so we picked out a door, aiming to take it out and try and save our lives, but in a short time, by everyone working, the fire was put out and we finally landed in Panama. We footed it to the head of the Chagres River, got a canoe and went down to the mouth of the river. There we took a small boat for Havy Bay. At Havy Bay we found a large steamer, so fourteen hundred passengers got aboard and left for Havana Cuba. We stayed there one day then left for New Orleans and arrived in New Orleans on January 8th just in time to see the fine old St. Charles Hotel burnt down. John Ferrell and I left New Orleans on a steamer for Galveston. We then left Galveston and went to Houston where we bought two ponies and got back to Chappell Hill within a few days of twelve months from the time we left. We had about the same amount of money as we had when we left. The traveling expenses alone had cost us over eleven hundred dollars, besides our other expenses. I found mother and all well at home.
      Our farm was one mile from Chappell Hill. I stayed on the farm and made two crops with the help of negroes. Mother went to Chappell Hill and she and Haller built a hotel there and brother Bob ran it, or tried to, but he lost money. Mother agreed to sell the farm and stock and divide it. I bought out Bob in the hotel and ran it. On May 4, 1854 I married Sarah Elizabeth Murray and we stayed on at the hotel until January 1, 1855. On that date we moved to Mr. Murray's and I made a crop for him that year and he went back to North Carolina on a visit. The next year I bought a place on New Year's Creek and went to farming. I made one crop and Nathan Bush persuaded me to go to the new town of Homestead and go into the commissary business. So I sold my place for $10.00 per acre and the very next fall it sold for $40.00. I bought a lot for $75.00 and built a good house and warehouse. Half of the warehouse was for Bush and Hargrove. There were no trains nearer than Hockley, which was fifteen miles away so we went ther and built a warehouse. Before we had the roof on the building it was full of freight and so was the platform. We did a fine business but my health failed and I took a cough and was advised to sell out or I would die. So I sold the business in the spring of 1858 and left Hockley for home. My wife died in the fall leaving Lizzie, Lottie and Alex, and also Mrs. Murray and Emily Murray, my wife's sister. Emily Murray died soon after my wife did. I then took the children to J.W. Chandler's and he and his wife took care of them, the Chandlers had no children. I wound up my business and got William A. Nichols to go to Mexico with me in the spring. That fall we returned with a drove of mules. In December I went to Montgomery, Alabama and married Lucretta W. Murray, double cousin of my first wife, we moved to Lavaca County the last day of December 1859. She died in August 1860, so I broke up housekeeping and went back to the Chandlers with the children. I then went to Navasota and bought hides and shipped to Peel and Souble at Houston. That fall Texas seceded so I had to leave. I came to the Chandlers and gathered what mules I could find and sold them. I lost eight or ten mules because I was unable to find them . On the 4th day of November I was married again. I married Mrs.Martha B. Blackwell near La Grange. We moved to my place in Lavaca County and I made a crop the next year. On November 4th I took the oath in the Confederate Army. Sold out everything and took my wife and children to Robert Chappell's and I joined Captian R.W. Hargrove's company at La Grange. Remained with this company until the fall of 1863, and then was detached to the hospital at Chappell as steward. I reamined there about three months but was not satisfied. There were over sixty cases of smallpox, so I went back to my company on Cedar Bayou, the head of Matagorda Bay. We were then ordered to Galveston. I had lost my horse so I got a transfer to the 20th Infantry Regiment (Elmore Regiment) and remained with this regiment until we were paroled at Richmond on the 25th day of May 1865. I moved back to my place in Lavaca County and went to work. I did not have a horse, cow , hog, nor any chickens. I made two crops and sold my place and moved to Milam County in 1867. I bought a small place from George Keesee in the post oaks, there was no house nor any field. I went to work and took in about 25 acres. I remained there until November 1, 1873 and sold out to a Dutchman and then I bought out another Dutchman near Mattox's in Milam County and spent my time farming. I lost my wife Martha Blackwell on December 26, 1876. I had six children by her, Bob, Lee, Sallie, Alma, Jack, and Ola. Three of the children are dead. On June 24th 1877 I married Mrs. Julia M. Clark and she died on the 17 th of October 1895. She had one son, Clyde.