Austen Newtin Yeats

Biographical Note

Contributed by Mrs. Austin Newton Yeats (Dee)

The following family biographical note was scanned from the
Hood County Genealogical Society Newsletter No. 24; November, 1989
Editor: Merle McNeese


As has happened in many, many families, the same given names are bestowed on children of succeeding generations. A pioneer settler in Hood County was the first Austen Newtin Yeats, the second Austen Newton was his grandson, and third Austen Newton is my husband.

Austen Newtin Yeats was born in Tennessee around Lemons Gap, Cocke County which is adjacent to Madison County, North Carolina. Why he moved to Texas is not known. His brothers and sisters remained in Tennessee. Nonetheless, according to family tradition Austen Newtin and wife, Frances Bond, came to Texas prior to 1858. They settled on Lambert Branch in what is now Hood County. There they built a log house sixteen feet square with a large sleeping loft and a fireplace of native stone.

This home apparently served as a kind of inn for travelers as not much was available in the way of accommodations for travelers at that time. This cabin was home for his family when Austen Newtin left to serve in the Confederacy. West of the Brazos at that time was very sparsely settled and subject to Indian raids. Yeats and his father-in-law, Amon Bond, were among the very earliest settlers.

In 1877 the Yeats sold their Granbury cabin to Major William A. Luke and moved to Lipan in the NW portion of Hood County where they purchased land and farmed and ranched. They also owned an inn in Lipan known as the Yeats Hotel which members of the family continued to operate until it was torn down in 1935. The Yeats were also actively involved in the Brazos River Baptist Association and attended the Kickapoo Church in Lipan.

The 1870 census lists Yeats as a house joiner, meaning that he was an expert in joining corners in the building of log houses. His expertise was proven in a dramatic manner over a hundred years later. Around the turn of the century the Luke family enclosed the original log house with a frame dwelling which included the addition of two large rooms. The fact that the log cabin was still there was forgotten through the ensuing years. Eventually, in the mid-1970″s it was re-discovered and was found to be in good condition because it had been sheltered from the weather for so long. The six children of Austen N. and Frances Bond Yeats were:

1. Henry b. 13 August 1849 m. Mary Ellen Winslett
2. Margaret b. 2 June 1851 m. J. H. Huffstutler
3. Amen C. b. 12 Nov. 1853 d. 12 July 1862
4. Sarah E. b. 2 June 1855 m. Leopold Stavenhagen
5. Nathaniel Crittington b. 2 March 1859 m. Martha Matilda Pruitt
6. Samuel b. 11 March 1861 m. Othella Malone 

The generation before Austen spelled their name YATES, also YEATS and YEATES. His brothers and sisters all spelled their name Yates and all lived around Lemons Gap, Tennessee. Their father was Nathaniel, and he remarried after his first wife died. Upon his death in 1876 there were a few problems apparently in working out the settlement of his estate. Following is one of several letters Austen received concerning the settlement from his brother who was also named Nathaniel:

Madison county N.C.
February 11/77

“Dear brother I recived your letter last mial stating that you were all well. these lines leaves us all un very good health. you stated in your letter that you would sign a deed for your part of the Land in the old place if I wanted it I will send you the Deed and you can sign it and I think you will have to go before the Clerk or Probate Judge in your county and acknowledge it I dent know Exactly how to have it done. you must fix it right so I can have it Regested here And then send it to me and I will send you the money I had rather sent you the Deed that the others signed But I suposed the dates would not suuit I will leave the dates Blank for you to fill I will tell why I am having the deed made to wife I had the others made to her she pays for it out of her estate now Austen I have half the money by me now and if I am not disapointed I will have all of it against the deed returns there will be something more going to you for the property I cant tell you Exactly how much Father had some depts to settle and I will have to see Justice he was to settle the debts in Tenn and we had to by the dwer(dower) as I wrote you before. I rece a letter some time back from you and it seemed that your feelings were hurt. Austen I have done the best I could and you are at liberty to write to whoever you chose we have not had the place in our possesion but two years and since we have had it the rent of the place has not more than paid the Taxes and kept up the place for it was in a bad codition Fences all down and growed up in briers I would not pay the money that I am paying if it did not lay where it does I have not seen Justice since I rece youre letter he will by your part he gave me $16.00 for my part of the mountain Land which is 8 1/2 Acres so I will close expecting reply you soon

Nathaniel Yates

“Beshre to have the fixed up
according to Laws of Texas”

Austen Newtin’s son, Nathaniel Crittington Yeats, was reared in Hood County and married Martha Matilda Pruitt (Aunt Tillie) on the 28th of October 1888. On 20 November 1889 their son Austin Newton was born. Sometime later, Nathaniel and Tillie bought a hotel in Calvin, Oklahoma, and moved there with their son, Austin Newton, Sr. and his wife, Ethel Key. Nathaniel and aunt Tillie lived in this area of Oklahoma until their deaths.

Austin N. and Ethel moved from Oklahoma to Slaton, Texas, sometime before 1922. There, Austin Newton owned a furniture store, expanded to Big Spring with a second store which his brother-in- law, George W. Key, operated. This store was lost during the depression. Later, the store in Slaton was sold or closed down, and Austin Newton served several years as the Chief of Police in Slaton. In his final gears he worked as a postman on a rural route. In 1946 he purchased a new Chevrolet for use as transportation on this job, and this car is now owned by his son, Austin Newton, Jr. who lives in Bedford, Texas.

In 1963, Austin, Jr. purchased a farm near Lipan. It is not the family farm, but one which had been owned by the Self family. Austin, Jr. bought the farm from a Mr. Followell and maintains it to this day. His family, especially his sons, Jeff and Chris, have enjoyed many, many “camp-outs” and hunting and fishing trips there with both family and friends.

The earliest member of the Yeats/Yates family for whom we have records is Samuel Yates born 24 August 1757 in North Carolina and who died 18 April 1844 in Cocke County, TN. He married Jane _______ in January 1787. Their children were:

1. Mary b. 7 October 1787
2. Jane b. 18 Oct 1789
3. Robert (?) listed on documents as having died in "servis of war" in 1814
4. Samuel b. 17 March 1798
5. Elizabeth b. 11 May 1801
6. Nathaniel b. 27 June 1803
7. Sarah b. 5 January 1810 

A copy of Samuel’s application for a Revolutionary War pension made the 27th of November In Cock County Tennessee states that he volunteered for service at age nineteen in Nash County, North Carolina, his home. He served a total of nine months, in three month increments. He further says that having to wade rivers and swamps during his service left him crippled, and that he removed to Cock Co., TN thirty Years ago and had remained there. He was granted a yearly pension of $30.00.

Contributed by Mrs. Austin Newton Yeats (Dee)
756 Bedford Ct., E.
Bedford, Texas 76022