Janice Williams

Archive for the ‘Second Generation Stories’ Category

Tombstone Tuesday: Jim Holmsley

In Elizabeth Holmsley, Gravestones, Newspaper articles, Oakwood Cemetery, Obituary, Second generation, Second Generation Stories, T.J. Holmsley, Tombstone Tuesday on January 17, 2017 at 12:01 pm


This is a great photo that comes to me from Ruth Adele Moore and from my great-grand-aunt Edrie Cunningham.

It is a souvenir photograph from Mineral Wells, Texas, taken around 1905. There are several photos similar to this one on The Portal to Texas History, a great source for research or entertainment.


Apparently photos like this were taken as people enjoyed the recreation available on East Mountain in Mineral Wells. According to The Portal, J.C. McClure, an early photographer, first owned the donkeys for the trail. He was killed while riding a wild stallion in town and J.L. Young and his wife took over the photography stand. The back of this picture advertises the Texas and Pacific Railway and also the Jericho Photo Co. with “Fine Photographic Productions and Mountain and Donkey Groups / View Souvenirs & Scenery of Minwells.” Little truly identifies this picture for us except in small handwriting it does have “Jim Holmsley” written above the man on the right side. No identification on the other man and I think he would be identified if he had been a family member.

The picture is of our cousin James Jefferson Holmsley, who went by the name of Jim. He was the youngest son of the Holmsley children, second youngest overall. By the time he was born, two of his older sisters were married and had children–Jim’s nieces and nephews–who were older than their uncle. 

Jim probably had the most advantages of the Holmsley children because he was born after the native Americans were no longer a threat and the Holmsleys were settled and prosperous in Comanche.

Jim was only 21 when his father T.J. Holmsley died. Jim continued to live with his mother, Betty Holmsley, in Comanche until her death when he was 40 years old. He had continued to farm and raise livestock, according to the censuses of 1910 and 1920.

After her death, at some point Jim moved to the Hotel Carter in Comanche and lived there for several years. He was working for the highway department in some capacity, too. Sadly, in the summer of 1932, the hotel burned to the ground. Fifteen other residents and guests were able to escape with their lives, but losing their belongings, but Jim was asleep on the second floor and did not make it out of the burning building.

He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery. He never married and had no children.

An article in the Abilene paper about his relatives living there notes that nephew T.J. Holmsley had immediately left for Comanche. T.J. (Tom) had lived with his grandmother Betty and Jim perhaps all of his life. He is listed at 6 and 16 years old with them in the census. He was Jim’s oldest brother Billy’s son, but Tom’s mother had died when he was born, so perhaps he came to live with Betty at that time.


Jim was only 49 years old when he died.


Thank you to findagrave.com contributor Russ Davies for this photo.


Tombstone Tuesday: Bertie Mae Cunningham Wynn

In Aaron, Gravestones, San Angelo, Second Generation Stories, Tombstone Tuesday on December 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm

It’s a busy time of year so we’ll keep this one short and sweet. That and I don’t have a lot of information about Bertie Cunningham, the second daughter of Aaron Cunningham and his first wife Minerva Montgomery. Bertie was only 3 years old when her mother died. She grew up with Amanda, Aaron’s second wife, as her mother. She was born September 20, 1880.

Jason W. Wynn was a surgeon in San Angelo who was 3 years older than Bertie. They married when she was 21.


She knew how to wear a hat! And what about that hatpin?

They lived in San Angelo where Dr. Wynn practiced. They had two sons and a daughter by 1907.

In the summer of 1911, Dr. Wynn died of tuberculosis. He was only 34. In the first 10 years of the 20th century, 4000 people a year died of tuberculosis in Texas. 1 Just after he died a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients was established near San Angelo.

There were 5 deaths in 6 years in the Wynn family, Dr. Wynn, 2 brothers, and both of his parents. His mother also died of tuberculosis.

After his death, Bertie stayed in their home in San Angelo. She did not remarry.  The children were 7, 6, and 4 when their father died.

Sadly, Bertie died just 13 years later when the kids were 21, 20, and 17.  She died of peritonitis.

Dr. Jason Wynn and Bertie Cunningham Wynn are buried in the Fairmount Cemetery in San Angelo where many of our family members were interred.



Dr. Wynn’s brothers, sister, and parents are all buried in the Wynn plot, too. It appears that his siblings never married.


Thanks again to San Angelo findagrave.com volunteer Steve Voss for the pictures of the Wynn tombstones.

Tombstone Tuesday: Eldora Jewell Cunningham

In Abilene, Gravestones, Obituary, Second generation, Second Generation Stories, Tombstone Tuesday on December 13, 2016 at 1:14 am

John Valentine Cunningham had three beautiful daughters. Here is his family in about 1895:


Our subject today is Eldora Jewell Cunningham, the second oldest in the family. I assume she is second from the left. She was born January 27, 1869, so she was about 26 in this photo. She went by the name Jewell.


Jewell was born in Bosque County when John V. and Mattie had moved there to ranch and he also served as the postmaster. The family moved to Buffalo Gap and her father became the second Sheriff of Taylor County. At that time, Buffalo Gap was a bustling town of 1200 and a Presbyterian College there gave the town the moniker “The Athens of the West.” Jewell was a student at the college.

The Cunninghams moved into the new county seat of Abilene in 1883 and John V. continued as sheriff of Taylor County.

I don’t know how Jewell met her husband Dick Bracken, but the story of their elopement to Anson, Texas, (23 miles north) became a family legend and was recalled for an article in the Abilene newspaper in 1956, many years after their deaths.

“The hack with two couples in it dashed up to the Star Hotel at 11:30 and after Bracken quickly obtained the license, he and 19-year-old Jewell were married in the hotel parlor by the Rev. J.H. Wiseman. Jinks Magee, the driver, later took them to Merkel to catch the train for the groom’s home in San Antonio.”

Dick was 9 years older than Jewell. Since her father was always well armed, maybe elopement was the best decision!

Dick Bracken had been raised in several places in Texas and his father had been a grocery owner in Lampasas at one time.

It looks like they lived in New Mexico in their early married life where he managed a ranch for a short time. They then returned to Abilene and Dick Bracken owned the Gilt Edge saloon and possibly another called Gray’s Saloon.

In 1893 they left Abilene and moved with their two children to Mineola, Texas. He was a cow buyer there and they had two more children and were there at least until 1900.

Dick Bracken died February 20, 1904, age 43, and is buried in Abilene. I am not sure if they were living there by the time he died and I don’t know what he died of. But I know that Jewell was left with children ages 13, 10, 8, and 4. She never remarried.

It appears that Jewell and her children lived at 342 Sycamore in Abilene, just a couple of blocks from the Courthouse. I wish Google Street View would go back about 100 years so we could see what the house looked like. Now that area is all warehouses and parking lots.

It must have been a very large home because in 1920 Jewell was running it as a rooming house. Her son (now in his 20s) is still living with her along with about 10 men and women that work at a hotel.

Jewell was a widow for 38 years and she died on her father’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, 1942, at St. Ann’s hospital in Abilene. She had been there for five weeks. She was 73.


So you don’t have to read the small print, here is the obit text:

Early Taylor County Resident, Indian Fighter’s Daughter, Dead

Funeral service for Mrs. Jewell Bracken, pioneer Abilenian, will be held at 5 o’clock this afternoon from Laughter’s Chapel with burial in the Masonic Cemetery. The Reverend J.H. Hamblin, pastor of the First Methodist Church of which Mrs. Bracken was a member will conduct the service assisted by the Rev. Willis P. Gerhart, rector of the Heavenly Rest Episcopal Church.

Mrs. Bracken died at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at St. Ann’s Hospital where she had been a patient five weeks. She had been ill since December. She is survived by 3 children, Mrs. H.O. Everts of San Angelo, Mrs. D.A. Winter, and Charles Bracken, and four grandchildren, Bob Kennedy, Jerry, Joe, and Jean Bracken. Mrs. Bracken died on the birthday of her father, the late John Valentine Cunningham, who had received his name from his birthdate Valentine Day. Cunningham was Taylor County’s second sheriff and tax assessor , an office which he held for 25 years. When he was 13 years of age he was an Indian fighter and with his two brothers and father Capt. James Cunningham he fought in the Dove Creek Battle in which his father was commander of the 500 white men who attacked 1000 Indians.

The Cunningham family moved from Comanche County to Buffalo Gap in 1880 and Mrs. Bracken was a student there in the old Presbyterian College. Sheriff at the time, the county seat was moved from Buffalo Gap to Abilene, Cunningham moved his family here at that time. He later served as a U.S. Marshall. Mrs. Bracken was born January 27, 1869 in Bosque County and was married to Dick Bracken on August 7, 1888, at Anson. Bracken died in 1904. Pall bearers will be Wylie Norwood, Art Faustgen, George Elliot, Earl Walker, Emmette Chandler, and Will Stevens.

Feb. 15, 1942 Abilene Reporter News Sunday


I think the saddest part of the story could be that her oldest son is not listed as a survivor. He was still alive and living in Washington State, but apparently had been out of touch with the family for many years. On his draft registration for World War I there is a blank for “someone who will always know where you are” (or something like that) and he wrote “None.”


Jewell is buried in the Abilene Municipal Cemetery by her husband, and infant son John Valentine Bracken. Nearby are her parents and sister Erie Ligon.



Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas J. Cunningham

In Aaron, Gravestones, Oakwood Cemetery, Obituary, Second Generation Stories, Tombstone Tuesday on December 6, 2016 at 9:40 am

I don’t have a lot of information on Thomas J. Cunningham, but the condition of his obituary led me to choose him as our subject today. I am the caretaker of a lot of Cunningham artifacts and I have not inventoried them very well (yet!). Going through a pile of loose, very old clippings, Tom’s was in pitiful shape, in tatters, and almost impossible to read.


So that you don’t have to read the tattered copy, here is a transcription.

Comanche Chief June 23 1939

Tom Cunningham Funeral Services Held Here Sunday

Tom J. Cunningham, 57, attorney and criminal district court reporter, died at his home in Corus Christi early Saturday morning following a heart attack. Funeral services were held at Corpus Christi Saturday evening at 7:30 and services concluded in Comanche Sunday afternoon. The services here were under the direction of Rev. C. ?Klingman and Rev. E.M. Shepard and were held at the Central Christian Church. Interment was in Oakwood Cemetery.

He was born in the Newburg community and was the son of Aaron Cunningham and Minerva Montgomery Cunningham. He made his home at Comanche until after he had graduated from Comanche High School. From Comanche he moved to Eastland. Mr. Cunningham served as county judge of Eastland County for two terms and later was elected a state representative. Mr. Cunningham and family moved from Eastland to Corpus Christi six years ago and [he] has worked as court reporter in the Corpus Christi, Brownsville, and Kingsville criminal court district. He took an active interest in church and fraternal life. He was a member of the Christian Church, the Lions Club, the Eagles, and the Knights of Pythias.

Survivors include his wife, Catherine, a daughter, Mrs. Frank Owens, and two sons James and Tom Jr., all of Corpus Christi. In addition to his immediate family, he is survived by a sister, Mrs. O.A. Chilton of Comanche and five brothers, John Cunningham of Comanche, George Cunningham of Austin, David Cunningham of Houston, Leroy Cunningham of Temple, and Joe Cunningham of Mineral Wells. Pall bearers here were nephews of Mr. Cunningham. They were Rector and Miles Cunningham of Mineral Wells, Dr. Paul Cunningham of Houston, Roy and Dick Henson of Newburg, and Carl Stewart of Comanche.

Out of town persons at the service here were Joe Cunningham and family of Mineral Wells, D.H. Cunningham and family of Houston, Dr. and Mrs. Paul Cunningham of Houston, Leroy Cunningham and daughter Kathleen of Temple, Mrs. T.M. Smalling of Pampa, Don Gillespie of Corpus Christi and Mrs. Welborn Dunlap of Corpus Christi and Mr. ad Mrs. Hugh Clark and daughter Bettie and Mrs. Connie L. Smith of Dallas.


Other than what is in the obituary, I don’t know a lot about Tom. He was the youngest son of Aaron and Minerva and she died when he was only 18 months old, so he never knew his mother. Aaron married Amanda when Tom was about two and a half, so she was the mother he grew up with.

I don’t have a picture of Tom, though since he was a State Representative I suppose I could find one on the walls of the state capitol.

When he died, he was buried in Comanche in the Oakwood Cemetery. His wife lived almost 40 more years after his death, and she is buried beside him there.


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.

Tombstone Tuesday: Willie “Stella” Cunningham Richardson

In Genealogy records, Gravestones, Second Generation Stories, Tombstone Tuesday, William Henry on November 8, 2016 at 11:06 am

She was “Aunt Ted” in my family.

Stella Cunningham was the youngest daughter of William Henry Cunningham (he was the son of James and Susannah Cunningham, one of the Original 12) and his wife Mildred. She was born March 7, 1884, on their farm in Comanche County near Newburg and not far from the original Cunningham home place on Mountain Creek. When she was born she had 5 older sisters, with the oldest, Mollie, at 15 years old, and one older brother. Only Jim, her brother born less than a year later, was younger.

Stella Cunningham

I don’t know a lot about Stella, primarily because she didn’t have any children to tell those stories to us. But what I have learned from my own aunts (her great-nieces) was that she was an “old maid” when she married. She was 25. Times have changed.

She married James Augustus “Gus” Richardson on October 9, 1909. He was 44 years old and a widower. He had two sons from his previous marriage, but only his 12-year-old son Guy was still living at home.

All her life, she called her husband “Mr. Richardson.”

They moved to Houston County, Texas (near Crockett in East Texas) early in their marriage, but not long after they came back to farm in Hamilton County near Carlton (now a ghost town west of Hamilton).


They had no children of their own. His son Guy married a local girl and they farmed in the Indian Gap area and had a son. They later divorced and he worked at a refinery in Houston.

Stella and Mr. Richardson are buried in the Carlton Cemetery, which is a lot bigger than you would expect it to be. I visited it after a Cunningham Reunion a few years ago. It does not have the beautiful shade trees of the Newburg Cemetery so it was blazing hot and the grasshoppers and grass burrs were thick. I did my best to find their grave, but did not succeed. Thanks to findagrave.com volunteer Hardy Morgan, though, we can have a photo of their tombstone.


Stella in about 1959.


Tombstone Tuesday: J.M.C.

In Gravestones, RIchard Tankersley Cunningham, Second Generation Stories, Tombstone Tuesday on August 25, 2015 at 1:59 am

Tuesday has come again and we find ourselves once more in the Newburg Cemetery.

DCF 1.0

This is the grave of James Mitchell Cunningham. It is near the “center” of the cemetery, near the graves of Captain James and Susannah Cunningham. James was their grandson.

But his grave was in the cemetery before their graves were. Sadly, he was just 17 when he died.

James was the first son of Richard and Louella Cunningham—Uncle Dick and Aunt Lou to most people in the family and the community. I believe he was the seventh grandchild in the Cunningham family, with Betty, Aaron, and John already having children. James was born March 20, 1866, less than a year after the last shot was fired in the Civil War and while Texas was under the Reconstruction government. He was likely named after his grandfather.

James died just before his 18th birthday on January 17, 1884.

Aaron and Dave had each lost a wife in the years before James died. Both are buried in the Albin Cemetery. Aaron and Minerva had 3 babies die and they are all buried in the Albin Cemetery. Betty’s daughter Zimarou had died in 1880 in childbirth. She also was only 18 when she died. She and the baby are buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Comanche. I believe James Mitchell Cunningham is the very first member of our Cunningham family to be buried in the Newburg Cemetery.

Imagine how the cemetery looked then with so few graves. And imagine Dick and Lou, their brothers and sisters and in-laws, James and Susannah, and probably every neighbor in the community there for the funeral (assuming there was a funeral).

I do not know the cause of James Mitchell Cunningham’s death. Maybe someone in the Richard family does and can inform me. The earliest photo I have of the Richard Cunningham family is from 1890 with their other 10 children that were born after James.

Tombstone Tuesday: Erie Palestine Cunningham Ligon

In Abilene, Genealogy records, Gravestones, Second generation, Second Generation Stories, Tombstone Tuesday on January 7, 2014 at 10:05 am


Erie Palestine Cunningham was the youngest of the five children of John Valentine Cunningham. He was one of “Indian fighting” sons of Capt. James and Susannah Cunningham; the son who moved on to Taylor County to become their longest serving sheriff.

Erie had two older sisters and two older brothers.


Erie married Lewis Preston Ligon when she was 18 years old and he was 22. I have read that he was possibly a confectioner and brought that talent over from his family in France (that fact from his great-granddaughter Kim Frost England, cited on the web).

Erie and Lewis had 8 children, but the first died as a baby and the second as only a 4-year-old. But Erie must have had difficulty with the birth of her youngest, John James Ligon, because she died only a month later, at age 38. She is buried in the Abilene City Cemetery near her daughter, Irene, her husband, and her parents. 

We have lost touch with most of her descendants, but it appears that they mostly live in California, Washington, and Oregon now.


Born: Feb. 22, 1876

Married: Nov. 20, 1894

Died: July 17, 1914

“Aunt Oat”

In Genealogy records, General Musings, Second Generation Stories on August 17, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I have a little mystery in our branch of the Cunningham family I’ve been trying to figure out with no luck. Maybe you can shed more light on the story somehow.

I come from the William Henry Cunningham branch of the Capt. James and Susie family. He was the sixth child in the family. I am descended from his daughter Henrietta.

But it is her sister Lottie Oatley Cunningham that I am curious about. I’ve been told she was called “Oat.”



That’s her with her husband Oscar Mason. They were married February 26, 1902 when she was – dare I say it – an old maid at 28!

Here is a picture of her later in life:



In her pictures she always looks rather fun-loving. She died in 1969, so I’m sure many of you knew her. I did not know her, but I knew her daughter Wilma – who we all called Bill.

But the mystery goes back to May 3, 1873, her birth. At some point a while back I found her death certificate. Everything on it appeared to be correct. It had the correct full names of her parents and the information was all given by her daughter, who I know would know whereof she spoke. But it listed her birth as “Kansas.” That made no sense to me in this family of Texans where the Cunninghams were firmly established in Comanche County and every child in their family appeared to have been born in Comanche County. Flukes of records happen all the time so I just assumed it was an error and wrote it down, but wrote down my doubts about it, too.

Just a few weeks ago I came across that notation and decided I could check census records as another source. I looked at the 1930 census after Oat was married and living in Cisco, Texas. It clearly shows her birth in Kansas (it has it spelled out and everything). In 1920 they were living out west of San Angelo in Mertzon, Texas, and, again, the census shows Kansas spelled out as her birthplace. In 1910 they lived in Stamford, north of Abilene, and again, yes, Kansas. Not only is her birth listed as Kansas on her line, on their daughter’s line, it has where her parents were born and clearly shows Kansas again for Oat’s birthplace.

Back to the 1900 census where Ota (as it was often recorded) was living at home and was single at 27 in Comanche County. Here the evidence really piles up because one would assume that the parents were the ones that answered the census takers questions. Again, Kansas is her birth next to Texas for her younger sister Maggie.

I’m sure you’ve concluded that Oat was born in Kansas and I suppose I have, too. Things are odd in the 1880 census however where she doesn’t exist! Her parents and her older sister Mollie and her older brother Thomas are listed in the census, but she is missing along with her sisters Henrietta and Maggie (all three under 10 at the time). I searched high and low and can’t find them in the census, so I don’t know where they were being hidden at that point.

But if we move on on the premise that she was born in Kansas… WHY? I’ve been reading up on the cattle drives to Kansas and she was born in 1873 at the very peak of the cowboy culture and cattle drives from the Comanche area straight up the Western Trail to Ellsworth, Kansas. Did her mother Mildred go along on a cattle drive? I found a Cunningham cousin’s family tree on ancestry.com and she has Oat born in Kansas City, Missouri, but with no source to verify it with other than census and our family’s 100th anniversary book. Neither say that where she was born with that town. Sure, there were trains in those days, but from what I’ve read, there weren’t any that extended toward Comanche at all and it was later in the 1870s before they were very prevalent in the northern part of the state at all. Mildred going out on the cattle drive makes the most sense, even though she had a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son at the time. Maybe they went along, too?

This is one of those mysteries that I doubt will ever be solved to my satisfaction. But if you have ideas on how to search or remember Aunt Oat once telling you all about her Kansas birth, please let me know.

Iva Christian

In David Houston Cunningham, General Musings, Second Generation Stories on August 14, 2011 at 5:53 am

There are so many stories in the Cunningham family. So many stories that might never get written down.

Last night at the reunion I stumbled up against one of those stories and I thought I would put it down before I forget . . . even though there are many details missing.

This is what I would like to include in this blog as much as the “big” stories of Indian fights and survival on the frontier of Texas.

Visiting with Virginia Wood last night, one of my favorite people to see each August, we were discussing which members of her branch of the Dave Cunningham family she manages to keep up with. She was naming names and discussing how long it had been since she had seen or heard from some of them. I opened up the computer program where all of this information is kept and was looking at the names of some of Dave’s children and their children. I happened upon Iva Christian (born March 20, 1890, daughter of Dave’s oldest daughter Mary Texana Cunningham and Daniel Webster Christian). I saw that we (as in “we” the family and our record) had no death date for her, but it noted that she died in England. That certainly seemed odd and out of place for this family, so I asked.

“Oh, yes, she died in England,” said Virginia. She went on to tell how Iva went on a cruise and met a man and fell in love. He was from England so she went to live with him in England. Checking our info, that must have been Fred Sintzel, who was 5 years older than Iva. They married in 1911.

Consider that for a moment… A member of our family on a cruise in that era and before she was even 21 years old. She meets a dashing 24-year-old on the cruise and comes home to tell her pioneering, Texas family that she is moving to England.

Of course, I’m jumping to all sorts of conclusions. She might not have come home, maybe she eloped and stayed with him. I have no idea of those details and that makes me even more curious.

But the story got even better. Virginia said her husband, dashing Fred, died at some point in their marriage. But Iva now was well established in England and married a member of the elite of England, a duke or a lord or earl or someone of that nature. But that husband died at some point, too, and she married even higher in the royal family.

Virginia said Iva never had any children, but she did send money back to the U.S. to family members. She may have done this as a safeguard (Virginia was saying) because all of her husband’s wealth belonged to the State rather than to him individually.

Lots of questions pop into my head about Iva…  What was her life like in England? How did she move into those royal circles? How beautiful and charming must she have been? Did she regale the royals with tales of her Indian fighting family back in Texas and play off of her heritage or was that left behind with her parents? We probably will never have the answer to those questions, but I’m glad we’ve got the beginnings of the story.