by Virginia Hale & J. T. Sears
One of the most distinctive features of northern Hood County is Peveler Valley. This valley carries the name of a true pioneer family in both Texas and Hood County. Meet the family for who the valley was named. Several of the Peveler sons served in both the Texas Rangers and the army of the Confederate States of America.
David Peveler, son of Peter and Savilla Myers Peveler, was born in Kentucky on March 10, 1800 where he met and married Sarah (Sallie) McCart. They were married on December 15, 1821 in Bath County, Kentucky. Sarah, daughter of John and Cloie Cauley McCart, was born on December 27, 1804 in Montgomery County, Kentucky. David and Sallie Peveler made their way to Missouri where several of their children were born.
The Peveler family settled in the Republic of Texas on a tract of land in present-day Fannin County which was granted to David Peveler in 1838. David Peveler had signed an oath of allegiance to the Republic that made him eligible for the land. Additional children were born in Texas. The number of children in the family eventually numbered 13. The family later moved to Parker County for a short time before establishing a home on Keechie Creek in Palo Pinto County in 1857. The next year the family moved to Young County and settled near the Brazos River where they established a ranch. The ranch was four miles north of frontier military post Fort Belknap and the present-day town of New Castle.
In 1859 the Indians became angry due to their forced moves to reservations and the slaughter of sleeping Caddo Indians four miles north of Golconda, present-day Palo Pinto, Texas. The reservation Indians began numerous raids against encroaching settlers. They inflicted damage and death to area settlers. In 1860 the State of Texas created a regiment of Texas Rangers known as Minute Men for Young County to control the situation. Captain John Cochran was the regiment’s commanding officer. Five of the Peveler sons served 12 months in this regiment. They were John, William R., James M., Samuel H., and Francis M.
Shortly after their year’s service was completed, the Civil War began in 1861. Three of the Peveler brothers enlisted in the army of the Confederate States of America. James M. Peveler served in Morgan’s Cavalry Division with brother William R. Peveler serving as captain. Francis M. Peveler completed CSA service with Company F, Harris’ Texas Cavalry. A fourth brother is reported to have served in the CSA, but no substantiating documentation has yet been discovered.
The Peveler brothers continued to engage the marauding Indians and outlaws on the frontier of Texas during their time of service in the CSA. All of the brothers survived the war with the exception of Captain William R. Peveler. Captain Peveler and four other men were surrounded on September 13, 1864 by a band of approximately 50 Indians. This attack, which was about ten miles north of Graham, resulted in two deaths. One man was killed instantly. Captain Peveler was mortally wounded and died on September 26, 1864.
By early October 1864, approximately 1,000 Indians raided the ranches of settlers in the area where the David Peveler family lived. The Pevelers and 12 other families moved to the head of Elm Creek and established Fort Murry; they lived in stockades they built for protection. These determined settlers survived the destruction and plundering of their ranches despite suffering, pain, and sorrow.
After the war, David Peveler and his family moved to the area north of Thorp Spring which was still a part of Johnson County. (Hood County was established in 1866). They settled in a bountiful valley that soon bore the Peveler family name. David Peveler died in this valley on December 31, 1867. He was buried in Long Creek Cemetery. His wife Sallie lived in Peveler Valley until her death on January 29, 1894. She was buried beside her husband.
Many of the Peveler children and grandchildren also resided in Peveler Valley. Their descendants continue to add to the legacy of the Peveler family that has contributed much to the history of Hood County.
- Texas Rangers, Frontier Battalion, Minute Men, Commanding Officers 1847-1900, Vol. 5, by Frances T. Ingmire
- Hood County History by Thomas T. Ewell, 1895.
- Military history research by Virginia Hale.
- Genealogical research by J. T. Sears.
- Notes by Tresa Tatyrek on Descendants of Christian Bohler.