Early Settler of Hood County
Colette Bird Thomas
The following family biographical note was scanned from:
Hood County Genealogical Society Newsletter No. 22, May 1989
Editor: Merle McNeese
McLIN (MACKLIN) BIRD
During the Civil War families living on the west side of the Brazos River moved back to the east side of the river because of Indian depredations and thievery of livestock. But, after the Indians retreated to Indian Territory after the war and were no longer a threat to settlers, Hood County began to receive a flood of settlers. Among them was the McLin Bird family, composed of McLin, his wife, Sarah Ann Skaggs, and five children.
McLin Bird and Sarah Ann Skaggs had married on April 11, 1845 in Green County, Kentucky. Two daughters, Mary Jane and Lucinda were born there, as well as three sons: William Henry, Edward Rush, and John Robert. After thirteen years in Kentucky they moved to Lansing, Michigan where their daughter Ella Isabelle was born on August ?3, 1858. James, Benjamin Franklin, and Macklin Davis were also born in Lansing.
No doubt they had heard reports of the good land which was avail- able in Texas for a very modest price, for in 1874 they arrived in Hood County and purchased a large farm on the Brazos River just south of the Parker County line, accessible now on present day F.M. Road 2580. Cotton was the money making crop in Texas and the Birds planted many acres in it as well as some corn and grain. Peach and pear trees grew well in the area, and of course there were many native pecan trees along the river and creeks. McLin and Sarah Ann’s last child, Sanford, was born here on February 21, 1875, but he only lived until October 30, 1875.
The eldest daughter, Mary Jane, had remained in Michigan when her parents moved to Texas. She had married J. W. Alien on May 7, 1865, however she joined her family in Hood County approximately nine years later. No information is available concerning Allen, whether he died or were they divorced. In Hood County Mary Jane met B.B. Borden, and she and her younger sister Lucinda travelled to Colvin’s Ferry in Oklahoma for a double wedding ceremony on December 23, 1870. “heir father. McLin, accompanied them. That was quite a distance, traveling by buggy or wagon, so they must have had a compelling reason to be married there. Lucinda was wed to Cyrus L. Edwards of Alton, Illinois.
Mary Jane was an early advocate of women’s suffrage, and she worked for and with Frances E. Willard to obtain the right to vote. Later she and her family moved to New Mexico. An interest in her family history led her to apply for admission to the Daughters of the American Revolution. She and two of her daughters were accepted on the war record of her maternal great-grand- father, Henry Shofner, born in Germany 1755, died in Kentucky 1845
William Henry never married, always lived with his parents McLin and Sarah Jane. He was twenty-five years old when the family moved to Hood County, and he became a business partner with his father. They bought and sold many farms and ranches; the records in the Hood County Courthouse always show both names on the deeds. McLin often times would sign “M. Bird” and William Henry would sign “W. H.” or “Will.” One of the larger acreages they owned was on present day F.M. Road 2580, now known as Rolling Hills Addition. One ranch on F.M. Road 4 west of Stroud Creek Estates was known as The Sonly Cook. They bought property in the Granbury city limits on the south side of Pearl Street in the one thousand block. This was their home until William Henry had a fatal heart attack. He was reading the newspaper to his father when he died; he was only 49 years of age.
Edward Rush went to Frio County, Texas, to buy horses with three other men. They were robbed and killed. Cowboys found the re- mains in 1876. Years later a man at Weatherford, Texas, was sick with small pox, and on his death bed he confessed to killing them for the money they were carrying. Before he left on the journey to Frio County, Edward had left a beautiful ring he owned with his sister, Lucinda Edwards.
John Robert married Cora Lee Douglas on May 26, 1889.
Ella Isabelle married Virgla Largent 26 December 1879, and they had nine children. They lived in Wise County, Texas, later moving to Oklahoma. Most of this family prospered in oil and real estate in the Tulsa area. Ella Isabelle’s mother, Sarah Ann, was living with her when she died 21 December 1920 at Eldorado, Oklahoma. They brought her back to the Granbury Cemetery for burial next to her husband, McLin, who had preceded her in death 8 August 1902.
James Bird married Mattie Duggar, and they made their home in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Their son, Tom, trained horses and lived there until he died ca 1882-89. Another son, Claude, took his family to California during the hard times of the Depression.
Macklin Davis married Louisia Delytha Archer 12 November 1897; they made their home in Granbury. He was a house painter. Louisia lived to be 1013 years old.
My grandfather, Benjamin Franklin, was twelve years old when his parents, McLin and Sarah Ann, with all the family came to Hood County. He loved to ice skate and he brought his skates with him. Unfortunately the weather was never too cold for him. No matter how cold it became he would run around the house barefoot and did so until the day he died. He married Evaline Herring 31 October 1886. They raised five boys and one girl on a farm located on present day F.M. Road 2580 that is now named The Hidden Valley development. Be died in his sleep when he was 69 years old; Evaline lived until she was 81 years old.
- (1) Their first son, Ira Derrell (Dock) married Pearl Mosley who died in childbirth in 1927. They had two sons and four daughters. Dock never remarried and reared the children himself.
- (2) their second son, William Edward (Fat) married Sarah Bryant; they both died in 1975. They had one daughter and three sons. Two of the sons have died, the youngest in 1982 and the oldest in 1986.
- (3)-(4) Twin sons were named Stephen (Steve) and Macklin (Mack). Steve and his wife, Bessie May Linthicum, are still living and reside at Valley View Nursing Home in Granbury. They have three daughters. My father was Mack and my mother is Frankie May Jones. She lives at the Granbury Care Center. My father died in 1900.
Colette Bird Thomas
1100 N. Lipan Drive
Granbury, Texas 76048