1817 – 1893

From History of Texas Published in 1896

JESSE CARAWAY, deceased, was one of Hood County’s pioneer settlers, taking up his residence within her border in 1859. He lived in the beautiful and productive valley of Paluxy and aided in transforming its wild lands into rich and fertile fields. He witnessed almost the entire growth and progress of the region, living through the period when the Indians made frequent depredations in the neighborhood, and through the early day of settlement when the few homes were widely scattered over the trackless prairie. He left the impress of his individuality on the improvement and development of this region, and therefore deserves mention among the honored founders of the county which now takes its place among the best in the state. Jesse Caraway was a man whom to know was to respect, for his life was upright and straightforward in every particular.

He was a native of Duplin County, North Carolina, and a son of Bryant Caraway, who was born in the same state and was a descendant of a notable English family and a cousin of Rufus King, vice-president of the United States. His father married a Miss Reeves, and about the year 1830 removed with his family to Tennessee, becoming one of the first settlers of Gibson County, where he lived neighbor to Davy Crockett, the famed explorer and hunter; and between the two gentlemen there sprang up a warm friendship. Mr. and Mrs. Caraway spent their remaining days in that state and reared to maturity five children. He followed agricultural pursuits and died at an advanced age.

Jesse Caraway passed the days of his childhood and youth on the homestead farm and attended the district schools near by. He remained with his parents until his marriage, which occurred in 1838, when he espoused Miss Elizabeth Keathley. The lady is a native of Duplin County, North Carolina, and a daughter of Daniel and Lieuhamy Keathley, who were of Irish descent. With a wife to care for, Mr. Caraway now began farming, on his own account, and continued that pursuit in Tennessee until his emigration to Texas in 1859. He traveled with teams across the country, and after a journey of four weeks arrived at his destination. He purchased a tract of wild land in the Paluxy Valley and began the arduous task of making a home and developing a farm on the frontier. He also engaged in raising stock, but his business was largely interrupted through the period of the Civil War. He served as a member of a minute company engaged in protecting the frontier. On one occasion, while riding a spirited horse, he ran into a band of Indians, who fired upon him and he barely escaped with his life. When hostilities had ceased he resumed farming and stock raising, which he carried on continuously until his death. He placed one hundred acres under a high state of cultivation, transforming it into one of the best-improved farms in the Paluxy Valley. He was industrious and energetic, and was most honorable and upright in all his business relations.

Mr. and Mrs. Caraway were the parents of six sons and four daughters, as follows: L.J., of Thorp Spring; Bryant, of Alma, Arkansas; Adam, of Marshall, Texas; Archie, who is living on the old homestead; John, of Anson, Texas; William, deceased; Adaline, wife of J.R. Jones, of Erath County; Lieuhamy, wife of George McDermitt, of Erath county; Ann, wife of Albert Roberts, of De Leon, Texas; and Amanda, deceased, wife of Joel Counts.

Mr. Caraway was an active and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and also belonged to the Masonic fraternity, and strange to say he was never known to speak an unkind word to his wife. He took an active interest in all affairs that tended to promote the material, educational, social or moral welfare of the community, and was oneof the founders of the church with which he was so long connected. He left behind him the memory of a noble and well-spent life and an example that is worthy of emulation. He passed away May 18, 1893, and his wife, a most estimable lady who had a large circle of friends, is still living making her home on the old homestead.

Jesse Caraway was born July 11, 1817 and died May 18, 1893. He was buried next to his wife in the Rock Church Cemetery in Hood County, Texas.


History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.