by Johney Larned of New Braunfels, Texas
Captain Frederick Sylvester Larned was born July 21, 1823. He moved to Hood County, Texas from McLennan County, Texas about 1876 with two of his three children, Walter Franklin and L. Gertrude Larned. It is believed that Frederick S. Larned was born in Massachusetts and lived in St. Louis, Missouri and Detroit, Michigan as a child. He had served in New York as a “mustering officer” during the Civil War. His father, Colonel Benjamin Franklin Larned, was the Paymaster General of the United States serving under President Abraham Lincoln. Following the Civil War and the death of his wife Louise Genevieve Wooster Larned, Frederick S. Larned first moved to the Waco, Texas area in 1870. In approximately 1876 he relocated to Hood County in the little community of “Bald Knob.” For several years, F.S. Larned was successfully engaged in teaching in the Bald Knob, Nubbin Ridge, and Paluxy communities. In 1887, F.S. Larned became a Master Mason for the Granbury Lodge, No. 392. In 1890, the Larned family first turned their attention to mercantile pursuits, establishing a store in Paluxy, Texas that had been purchased from Phil Jackson. They carried a large and well-selected stock of dry goods and all general merchandise, including drugs and druggist supplies. A photo of the Larned Drug Store in 1902 can be found in Hood County History, 1970 which was published by the Junior Women’s Club, Granbury, TX. In a “History of Texas” biography, Frederick S. Larned is described as “a wide-awake and progressive merchant, who keeps thoroughly up to the times, and his large and constantly increasing patronage shows the confidence reposed in him by his fellow townsmen. Politically he affiliates with the People’s Party, and in religious belief, he is a Catholic.” F.S. Larned and his son, Walter, would also operate the Larned Mill located on the Paluxy River. Family members have a photo of the Larned Mill taken in about 1903. The Larned homeplace sat to the east of the mill about 200 yards, and the road across the bridge ran beside the Larned home. The bridge washed out in 1907. As Frederick Sylvester Larned grew older he lived with his son, Walter Franklin, and he died on November 8, 1914 in Paluxy, Texas at the age of 91. He was buried in the Rock Church Cemetery near Paluxy, Texas.
Walter Franklin Larned was born December 8, 1853 and married Anne Eliza Roberson in 1874. “Annie” Roberson was the daughter of Hezekiah K. and Elizabeth Roberson (who sometimes also used the name “Robinson”) of Hood County, Texas. Walter, like his father before him, was a successful teacher in the Bald Knob and Paluxy areas. He became engaged in business with his father operating Larned Grocery and Drug Store, as well as operating the Larned Mill – all located in the Paluxy, Texas area. W.F. Larned was appointed Postmaster of Paluxy, Texas on April 27, 1897, and he was the enumerator of the 1910 US Census in Paluxy. Walter and Annie Larned eventually sold the Larned Grocery and Drug Store, as well as selling the Larned Mill to Bob Crowell. Sometime after the death of his father in 1914, Walter and his wife, Annie, sold their properties and left Hood County moving to Douglas, Arizona. Anne Eliza Roberson Larned died on March 17, 1919 in Douglas, AZ during the 1919 flu epidemic. Walter relocated to Haskell, TX for many years, but then returned to Douglas, AZ before his death on November 19, 1947 at the age of 93. Walter Franklin and Anne Eliza Roberson Larned were buried in the Rock Church Cemetery near Paluxy, Texas. Walter and Annie had the following children who were all born in Hood County, Texas:
1. Gertrude Elizabeth Larned was born January 1, 1877 and died in 1915 in Hood County, Texas. She married William David Whitaker who eventually moved to Haskell, Texas after Gertrude’s death.
2. Arthur Frederick Larned was born August 2, 1878 and died February 6, 1961 in Granbury, Texas. He married Betty May Morrison on September 1, 1901 in Hood County, Texas. A.F. “Bud” Larned was a pharmacist, tax collector, City Secretary, Justice of the Peace, and Hood County Sheriff in the 1930’s, during his lifetime in Hood County.
3. Oscar Hezekiah Larned was born August 26, 1880 and died December 22, 1958 in Childress, Texas. He married Nora Bertie Ator on September 17, 1905 in Hood County, Texas.
4. John William Larned was born December 9, 1882 and died December 5, 1907 at 24 years of age. He married Nellie Murray. He was buried in Rock Church Cemetery in Paluxy, Texas.
5. Grover Cleveland Larned was born June 26, 1885 and died June 26, 1953 in Haskell, Texas. He married Martha May Allison in Hood County, TX.
6. William Edmund Larned was born December 24, 1886 and died in Haskell, TX. He married Minnie Lou Barett in Hood County, Texas.
7. Walter Andrew Larned was born December 28, 1888 and died January 7, 1959 in Granbury, Texas. He married Sarah Elizabeth Jackson on December 17, 1911 in Hood County, Texas. Walter served for many years as County and District Clerk of Hood County, Texas. Walter Andrew Larned served as Sunday School Superintendent at Rock Church near Paluxy. He was instrumental in the leadership capacity of maintaining the Rock Church Homecoming in the 1950’s. Walter Andrew loved to quote scripture during the homecoming each year about walking on “Holy Ground.” His daughter, Hazel Larned Cornell, continued this leadership role in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
8. Robert Burton Larned was born October 21, 1890 and died in September 1968 in Douglas, Arizona. He married Ora Merle Huston on September 17, 1911 in Hood County, Texas.
9. Thomas Albert Larned was born September 3, 1892 and died March 15, 1919 in Douglas, Arizona. He married Willie Mitchell in Hood County, Texas. Thomas died two days before his mother, Annie, during the flu epidemic and was buried with her in Rock Church Cemetery near Paluxy, Texas.
10. Norval Gordon Larned was born April 19, 1896 and died June 18, 1938 in Haskell, Texas. He married Darling Magnolia Tidwell on June 9, 1917 in Haskell, Texas.
11. Joe Larned was born May 28, 1897 and died November 1979 in Haskell, Texas. He married Florence Tidwell on December 4, 1920 in Haskell, Texas.
12. Ina M. Larned was born around 1909. She was not a biological child of Walter F. and Annie Larned, but lived with them until Annie’s death in 1919. Ina married Ernest Sphinx and moved to California and eventually Tennessee.
F.S. Larned’s daughter, L. Gertrude “Genevieve” Larned, married A.J. Roberson of Hood County. A.J. Roberson was a son of Hezekiah K. and Elizabeth Roberson and a brother to Walter Franklin Larned’s wife, Anne Eliza Roberson Larned. A.J. and Gertrude Roberson had a daughter, Dora S. who was born in 1879. They lived in the Paluxy, Texas area and at one time owned considerable property in Hood County.