Experiences Of Early Settlers

By: Vircenoy Macatee

The following family biographical note was scanned from the
Hood County Genealogical Society Newsletter No. 31; August 1991
Editor: Merle McNeese


Most of the following information is taken from “Sketches” which was written by Wilson Hopkins Barker in 1901 who was the grandfather of Fern May Barker Baker. The updated material is related by his great-granddaughter, Vircy Baker Macatee . “Sketches ” is on file in the Genealogy Section of the Hood County Public Library.

In the 1840’s the William Barker family began to migrate to Texas from Indiana and Illinois. William and his wife, Abiah Hopkins, had twelve children. Those that came to Texas were Eliza who married Isaac Banta; Pamelia who married Grant Clutter; Abiah who first married William Dyer and than Philip Jackson; Wilson Hopkins who married Mariah Mills and then Eliza Jane Brumley; Paline who married John Embree; Polly who married James Crowder; William Washington who married Almire Harlo and Henry.

Abiah Barker Dyer Jackson is referred to in the following Jackson-Deaver history.

Abiah and her husband William Dyer, lived in Mt. Carmel, Wabash County, Illinois. Dyer left his wife and two children in 1839; and in 1840 she came to Texas with her father, William Barker, stopping at Clarksville where she obtained a divorce and married Phillip Jackson. They moved to Polk County, AR and had eight children: Andrew, George, William, Philip, Henry, Samuel, Mary, and Marthy,

Philip Jackson, the father, died in Polk County Arkansas on November 4, 1860. In about 1870, Abiah, as a widow, moved with her six children to Hood County where she died in 1874.

In the meantime, Wilson Hopkins Barker and his family had moved to this area in 1859 and settled southwest of Glen Rose near the present Fossil Rim on Barker Branch. The area west of the Brazos River was in Erath County at that time and the area east of the river was in Johnson County. In 1866, Hood County, which included the area in present Hood and Somervell counties, was formed with the area east of the river being taken from Johnson County and the area west of the river being taken from Erath County. In 1875 when our third courthouse burned, the Texas Legislature formed the present. Hood County with Granbury as the county seat and Somervell County with Glen Rose as the county seat.

This is significant in the history of the Jackson-Deaver history because Abiah Barker Jackson is buried in George’s Creek Cemetery which is in Somervell County but was in Hood County in 1874 at the time of her death. Wilson H. Barker, his wife and his son, Benjamin Franklin known as “Dock”, had moved about one miles east of the Brazos River in the George’s Creek Community. This just across the river from Mitchell Bend and is where Abiah Jackson returned to from Arkansas.

In the meantime, Gabriel Deaver and his wife, Rebecca Cathey, had moved to the Mitchell Bend. Rebecca Cathey who died in 1863 is buried in the Mitchell Bend Cemetery. Her parents, Ben and Nicey Mabery, as well as other relatives are also buried in the Mitchell Bend Cemetery.

After the death of Rebecca Cathey, Gabried married Mary Jackson, one of the daughters of Abiah and Philip Jackson. More infermation concerning their move to Polk County Arkansas is in the Jackson-Deaver History. After Deaver’s death she returned to Bluff Dale with her daughter and married again.

Another child of Abiah Jackson was Philip who married Sallie Worley in 1887. Phil, whose nickname was “Cool”, became County Clerk of Hood County in 1890. He was then elected county judge in 1898 and in 1900 received more votes than his opponent who was a. law graduate, Cool was considered to be very comfortable, if not wealthy, being worth eight or nine thousand dollars.

Henry Jackson, the other son of Abiah Jackson lived in the Paluxy River area and worked for Mr. Caraway (most likely Jesse Caraway). Henry married Hepsy Jones, the granddaughter of Mr. Caraway and moved west of Bluff Dale.

The Jackson-Deaver family moved back and forth between Texas and Arkansas, eventually coming to this area and making a contribution to the early settling of Hood County. Zelma Deaver Draper of Corpus Christi, TX, has worked on researching this family for forty years, looking particularly for the grave of Gabriel Deaver which she finally found in April. In the same locale, Polk County, AR, she also found Philip Jackson’s grave. She has given us permission to use the following article on the Jackson-Deaver family history.

Contributed by Vircy B. Macatee
Granbury, Texas


Philip Jackson was born ca 11 April 1782 in Amelia County, Virginia. He was married ca 1841/42 in Clarksville, Grayson County, Texas, to Abiah Barker Dyer. As he would have been almost sixty years old at that time, this may not have been his first marriage. Census records show that Abiah was born either in Indiana or Iowa. She had been previously married to Dyer, by whom she had two children. One of the Dyer children-was Elizabeth, who was born ca 1838 in Illinois. Abiah came to Grayson County, Texas, with her parents, William and Mary Barker, and her first husband, whom she soon divorced.

Phillip and Abiah’s first child, Andrew, was born in Grayson Co. in 1843. They migrated to Polk County, Arkansas, before the birth of their second child, Mary, in 1845. They settled about three miles north of Cove on land now owned by Faye Davis. The 1850 Federal census for Polk County shows Phillip, a farmer, and Abiah in White Township with Jackson children Andrew, Mary, George, and William, plus Elizabeth Dyre.

By 1860 Phillip’s farmland was located in the newly-created township of Cove, The Federal Census of that year shows his real estate valued at $3,000. There are now eight Jackson children, Also in the household is Elijah Russell (age 25, born Tennessee), a blacksmith, and Mary J. Russell (age 21, born AR). At age seventeen, Phillip’s son Andrew no doubt did much of the farmwork, as Phillip was then 78 years old and would live only ยท a few months longer.

Phillip Jackson died 4 Nov 1860 in Polk County at the age of 78 years, six months, and 23 days. He was buried in the family’ burial plot on the Jackson homeplace. His date of death and age are carved on a field rock and is still quite legible. After his death, Abiah and six of her children moved to Hood County, Texas, where Abiah died in 1874. She is buried in George’s Creek Cemetery. The eight children of Phillip and Abiah were:
1, Andrew, b. ca 1843 in Grayson County, TX; killed in Civil War.
2. Mary (see below)
3. George, b, ca 1847 in Polk Co., AR; returned to Polk County.
4′. William, b. ca 1849 in Polk Co.; accidentally shot. He may be the J. Wm. buried in Jackson cemetery who died December 1885 at 34 years.
5. Phillip Jr. (Cool), b. ca 1851 in Polk Co,; stayed in Hood County, Texas, where he was a judge,
6. Martha b. ca 1853 in Polk County; unmarried.
7. Henry (Bud) b. ca 1855 in Polk County.
8. Samuel H., b. ca 1858 in Polk Ca.; went to Oregon Territory.

Mary Jackson Deaver

Mary was born ca 1845, the first child born to Phillip and Abiah Jackson after they moved to Polk County, Arkansas. She married a widower, Gabriel Deaver, in Hood County, TX. Gabriel was born 1 Seep 1810 in Hayseed County, North Carolina, the son of Richard Deaver and Mary Singleton. His grandparents were William Deaver and Susannah Birchfield.

Gabriel’s first marriage was to Rebecca Cathey. They had come from Polk County, Tennessee, to Cherokee County, Texas, in 1851 or 1852, where they stayed for about ten years, Rebecca died in 186’3 after they had moved to Granbury in Hood County.

When Gabriel became quite ill, Mary took him to Polk County, Arkansas, where he died in 1870. He is buried in the Jackson cemetery. His fieldstone is engraved Deaver, G., but there are no dates. After Gabriel’s death, Mary was remarried to a Mr. Ward. Mary and Gabriel had only one child, a daughter Addie, born on Christmas Day, 25 Dec 1869. Addie married E, T. Oaks. She died on her way back to Texas after visiting Polk County relatives and is buried in Paris, Texas.