Janice Williams

Tombstone Tuesday: Carrie Belle Cunningham Vaughan

In Gravestones, Second Generation Stories, Thomas Anderson, Tombstone Tuesday on November 29, 2016 at 12:21 am

One of these days I may take on the task of finding out which of the Cunningham grandchildren has the most descendants that we are still in touch with. It very well could be Carrie Belle Cunningham, the daughter of Tom Cunningham. I have received lots of updates of family information from the Vaughan, Atchley, Johnson, and Presley family members.

Tom and Lou Cunningham had 10 children. One son died before turning one year old, but the other 9 children all lived to be adults. Carrie Belle was the third daughter/third child in the family. She was born December 6, 1887, near Newburg.


Tom and Lou with their 5 girls. Carrie Belle is the middle one—in age and in this photo. (Thank you Sherry Perkins for this amazing photo)

Three days before her eighteenth birthday, Carrie Belle married Nathan Wesley “Bud” Vaughan, who was almost 19. He had been born in Admiral, Texas, near Baird in Callahan County, about 50 miles northwest of Newburg.

As they began their family, they lived in various places around Comanche County. Thomas Franklin Vaughan was born in 1906 in Sydney, in 1914 Maggie Winona was born in Gustine. David Wesley in 1910 and Susie Bell in 1912 and Essie Alleen in 1916 are recorded in Comanche County only (in my records). But by the time their youngest, Lois Mae, was born in February of 1921, they lived in Scurry County. Lois Mae’s birth is recorded as Fluvanna (west of Snyder), but they probably lived between there and the town of Arah, 7 miles away. Nathan Wesley Vaughan listed his residence as Arah when he registered for the draft in 1918 for World War I.

In 1930, the family was living in Bailey, Texas, which is northeast of Dallas in Fannin County… a big change from their Central and West Texas roots. But by 1933, Bud and Carrie and their oldest son Thomas and his wife Jewell had moved to Catron County, New Mexico, on the far southwest side in the Gila National Forest. Both of the men are listed as laborers on a road project, one of the earliest efforts of the Works Progress Administration under FDR.


From a larger photo of the family, here is Carrie Belle and Bud and their first son Thomas (sometime in 1907 probably).







I hope the Vaughan family descendants who grew up knowing Carrie Belle can tell me more about their lives in the new states of New Mexico and Arizona. They ended their days in Yuma, Arizona, right in the corner by California and Mexico. Nathan Wesley Vaughan died in 1960 and Carrie Belle in 1972. Here is her headstone in the Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Yuma.


Thanks to Chuck O Fortune, findagrave volunteer, for the photo of her grave.

Some of the members of the Vaughan family have made their way back to Texas, but it looks like most of them are still in Arizona, California, and Nevada, but many have come back “home” for the reunion in August over the years.

  1. Great stories. I’m proud of you for creating this priceless treasure. I’m not even a Cunningham (I don’t think!) and I love reading them!

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