"A History of the
Vaughans and Descendants"
by Reuben Vaughn in 1891
While Living in Christian, Palo Pinto Co., Texas
Submitted by Flo Dickey

PLEASE NOTE: This is a combination of two submissions but one submitter.
Some of it may repeat but I believe there are different sources and each article
contains different/additional information.  Please contact me if you can sort this
out!!! THANKS, Linda 


by Mary Whatley Clark   page 16
"More about the Pioneers" Ė Uncle Reuben Vaughn
Submitted by Flo Dickey

     "In December 1891, Uncle Reuben Vaughan, the first settler in the county, was living in Christian, near Graford. His family urged him to write a sketch about his early days in Texas. Following are excerpts from that sketch which were loaned to the writer by Mrs. John Scudder of Graford, a ganddaughter."

     " I left Alabama for Texas October 27, 1852, landed in Denton County, Texas. I stayed there nearly two years. The state gave me 320 acres of land under the preemption law. I sold it for $500. 00. I then moved to the Keechi country in Sept. 1854. There was then no counties west of Cook, Denton, and Tarrant. My object for locating in a wild country was to raise stock. My nearest neighbors were then 24 miles east. There were plenty of Indians then roaming over the country, but all were friendly. They were mostly located on reservations along the upper Brazos. I found it necessary, for the safety of myself and family, to cultivate their friendship, give them something to eat, and trade with them. Sometimes I would loan them my gun and let them have ammunition. They never failed to bring my gun home at the time appointed. Sometimes when I would be out from home, cow hunting, I would meet up with banks of them. They would form a circle. I would go into it an smoke the pipe of peace with them. In those days I had many warm friends among those Indians.

     Mollie (Vaughn) Fryar was then our baby {Mary Whatley Clark note: 1855} There was one old Indian woman who seemed to love the child very much. She would come to our home, watch the baby and keep the flies off her. One time she was absent for sometime, then returned with a pair of moccasins all beaded in Indian style and took up the child and put them on her.

     There was one Indian that we hired to cow hunt with me, to show me the lay of the country, the gaps through the mountains, the crosing in the streams, etc.


Page 406:

     Reuben VAUGHN was born in St. Clair Co., Alabama 20 Dec. 1819. He was one of nine children of Stephen and Mary NAIL VAUGHAN. Stephen VAUGHAN was born in North Carolina in 1788, he was living in Fayetteville, Lincoln Co., Tennessee, when he enlisted in the army during the War of 1812. Mary NAIL was born in Tennessee in 1795, possibly Lincoln Co. Her father, Matthew NAIL was born in Amherst Co., Virginia in 1755 and served seven years in the Revolutionary War with General Washington's army and with the Georgia Militia during the Carolina campaigns. He was captured by the British and confined on a prison ship for several months before he escaped. Among the more than 125 men who signed the document in 1857 contending that Indian Agent Major Robert S. Neighbors had failed to keep the reservation Indians (mostly Comanches) in line and the frontier peace had not been maintained were: Oliver LOVING, Reuben VAUGHAN, John TAYLOR, William l. LASATER, etal.

     The maternal grandfather of Margaret VAUGHAN was Major Jonathan BIRD who came from Marion Co., Alabama to Bowie Co., Texas following the Texas Revolution and served with the Republic of Texas frontier forces. After General Edward H. Tarrant defeated large Indian Force at Village Creek (near present Arlington, Texas in 1841), he commissioned Major Bird to construct a fort. Bird's fort was established near the present site of Birdville, Tarrant Co., in 1841-42.

NOTE: On highway 157 in Tarrant Co. between Euless and
Arlington there is a Historical marker which states that it is the
site of Bird's Fort.

"A History of the Vaughans and Descendants" by Reuben Vaughn, son of Stephen Vaughan who was the son of William Vaughan &  Mary Upton Vaughan. Christian, Palo Pinto Co., Texas December 14, 1891
Submitted by Flo Dickey
(Original owned by Richard Williams of Albuquerque, NM)
{Typed as written other than bold & caps}

     Having been requested by relatives, also being desirous

myself to do so,  I will proceed to give a historical sketch of
the ancestry of the Vaughan family as best I can with some interesting incidents that have occurred  during their lives. I have but little knowledge of my great-grandfather  Vaughan - only this name was John.

     My grandfatherĎs name was William. My grandmotherís
name before   she married was Mary Upton. Their first son was named James, the  next one Stephen, which was my father, then Edmond, then Reuben, then John, then Sam, then Jonathan, then Upton. Their daughters  were Sarah and Mary. They had two children to die in childhood -  the boyís name was William and the girl Elizabeth.

     Uncle James married a Weeks, father married a Nail, and
Edmond a Bobbet and Reuben a Nail, and John a Spencer,
and Sam a  McGongill, and Upton a Dixson. Sarah married
an Armstrong and  Mary a Lowe.

     My father and mother had twelve children. The first was named James,  the next Nicholas, the next William, then Reuben, then Washington,  then Elizabeth, then Jonathan, then Jackson, then Sarah, then Martha, then Mary, then Loucinda. Brother James married a Gage, Nicholas a   Keenum, William a Tapley, myself a Trulove, Washington and  Jonathan - Ables, Jackson a Pullum, Sarah a Duncan, Martha a Houston, the other two sisterís husbandís names I donít remember  having ever seen them.

     My father was born in 1788 and lived to be 67 years old. My mother  was born in 1792 and lived to be 83 years old. They both died in  Marion County, Alabama.

     My grandfather Nail was named Matthew. My grandmother Nail's name before she married was Katy Swagarty. She was what we call Pennsylvania Dutch. Grandfather Nail was pure English. I can trace  his nativity back no furthur back than Ray {Rhea} County, Tennessee where he raised his family.  The fruit of their marriage was eleven children, six boys and five girls. The oldest boyís name was James, then Nicholas, then King, then Jefferson, then Washington, then Matthew. The oldest girlís name Lucinda, then Mary which was my mother, then Elizabeth, then Patcy, then Luvina. I never saw any of my motherís people but her and her youngest sister. I donít now who they all married, but James married a Hopkins, Kingís second wife was a Glass, and I think Matthew married a Glass. Lucinda married a Haynes and Patcy a Cantaberry.  Luvina, Uncle Reuben Vaughan, Grandfather Nail, and part of his family moved  to Madison County, Alabama. They both died there when very old.Grandfather and grandmother Nail were Methodist. I dont know whether any of there children were church members or not except aunt Luvina was Baptist and mother Methodist. Uncle James Nail had a daughter boron without any armes. I learned that she was beautiful and smart and could use her toes in writing and sewing almost as well as others could with there fingers.

     The furtherist back that I know anything about my grand
father and grandmother Vaughan was when they lived in
North Carolina when  their oldest children were small - my
father eight years old - they moved  to Knox County, Tenn-
essee when some of their children were born and  all grew
up to manhood and womanhood except the youngest. They
all  moved to St. Clair, Alabama before William or I were  I
born.  Brother William, myself, Washington were all born in
said county. My father  went to Blunt County and lived there
one year, thence to Marion County  where he lived the rest
of his time. My father always said he was a cross  of Scotch
and English."

     My father and mother embraced the Christian religion when I was very small, but I can remember it. They were convicted of sin under the preaching of a Methodist circuit rider whose name was Thomas Abernathy.  My father and mother used
to pray for the salvation of all their children. Father lived to
see them all converted but two to wit:  Washington and Jonathan  - and they were converted afterward. My  mother
lived to see all but Jonathan, and he was converted after

     William, Washington and myself used to when boys slip off
in the night, build us up a little fireóget down on our knees
and prayówe kept that up for a considerable time, finally Wash and I quit trying, William kept on until he was
converted. He was the first of all the children that  found
peace in believing. His conversion was at a Presbyterian
Camp Meeting in the north part of Fayette County, Alabama.
I was at the same altar of prayer when he was converted. He
had always been a timid boy, but on that occasion he went all
over the altar on his knees exhorting like a preacher. People
around said, "That boy will make a preacher." Two or three
years afterward James and Nicholas were converted at a
Methodist  Camp Meeting in Marion County called the Gold
Mine Campground.

     Some years afterward I embraced religion at a camp meeting on Beaver   Creek, Marion County, Alabama. The rest of the children were converted at different times and different places.

     Little sister Mary was killed by a fall from the top of a stable - a log fell on her and mashed her skull. Washington in time of the late war was  killed by home guards. Jackson was killed in Palo Pinto county, Texas  when he was unarmed. Sarah died in Young county Texas in 1861. I was present at the time. She was so happy on her deathbed she said it over came all her suffering. William visited Father on his death bed and while talking to him about his future state, Father said there was not a cloud in view. He appeared to be ready for the change - about 1855 - 1856. The last words Mother said to me when I was about to leave for Texas was that she put her trust in her Saviour. It was with such a deep earnest tone that it appears like I can almost hear those words today.

     My grandfather Vaughan's family was nearly all Baptist, my father and all of his family Methodist. Uncle Upton Vaughan was a Methodist preacher. Grandfather and Grandmother Nail were Methodist.

     I donít know whether any of their children were church
members or not except Aunt Luvina was Baptist and mother Methodist. Uncle James NAIL had daughter born without
any arms. I learned that she was beautiful and smart and
could use her toes in writing and sewing almost  as well as
others could with their fingers.

     My grandfather Nail was a soldier under Washington in the Revolutionary War, and fought the whole seven years through.
He was at one time taken prisoner and put on a vesel out at
anchor after a while he was taken sick and became very weak.
It appears that he was lying on the floor of the ship there was a Tory on borde by the name of Philpot - he came along  where grandfather was lying and ordered him to get out of his way - Grandfather made an effort to obey but he was so weak that
his movement  was slow while on his hands and knees - the
Tory struck him on the back with the back of his sword,
grandpa  fell as though he was shot, he lay in that condition
a considerable time at last they concluded to throw him over
borde in the sea, he begged them to take him to land for he
wanted  his bones to be on American soil. There was some on
borde that had pity on him and taken him to the shore and
laid him down . He had not lay there very long until he began
to feel better, at last he gained strength enough to crawl to
where a lady keeped a bakery she took him feed and nourished him until he got able to travel.

    He and two other escaped prisoners started for Washingtonís army all  knowing that if they were caught they would be killed. They came to a   creek that they had to swim one man plunged into the stream grandpa    next when they both got up the bank they heard a cry behind them for help. The hindmost man had nearly reached the bank when he taken  the cramps and was sinking. The other man paid no attention to it but  started on his run for life. Grandpa caught him by the hair and pulled him on the bank then started on a run. The man soon recovered and was up with them. They all got to Washingtonís army safely.

     Some of grandfather NAILS troubles with the Indians. After the war   he married and lived on some frontier. They had then but five children,  and they were small. There was a chief Indian by the name of   Doublehead - he and his band was a terror to the frontier settlers. One  night they heard him and his band coming up to the house to kill them  and no one there but he and his little family he screamed out to the  Indians to come on he was ready for them and made as much fuss as if  he had fifty men with him.  The Indians took a fright and left. At an  other time he heard of Indians in the country went over to a neighbors to give them warning. While he was setting on his horse telling them  to look out for Indians the Indians opened fire on them. His only chance of escape was to charge his horse over a tall fence and through a corn field the balls cutting the corn all around him. He got away unhurt but that family was all killed.

     In those days grandpa always rode a fine horse.  On another occasion he was passing through the county and heard the screams of a family being killed by Indians. The cryes of the dying family so aroused his sympathy that he would be in
full speed toward the scene of tragedy - then would think agin
that his own family would be killed if he did not get to there
aid but those pitious crys turned him in that direction  two or
three times and at last he concluded he must take care of his
own family. He went home and took his family down to the
river and put them in a canoe went down the river to a
projecting bluff and tied  up there all night and until he
supposed that the Indians were gone then taken all to a fort
or block house to safety.

     My grandfather Nail was a man of strong passion quick to
resent an   insult and was brave yet he had a sympathetic heart
four human  suffering. Grandfather Vaughan was man of
mild temperament  scarcely ever known to get mad. Spent his
life as a quiet and peaceful citizen. I can see some of the
disposition of those two men running  down through their
posterity to the present time. Grandfather Vaughan was never
in any war that I know of.

     The Swagaty family was suppose to be early immigrants from  Germany to America.

     My father, two of his brothers, and one of motherís were in the last war with Great Britian (War of 1812). All but Uncle James served   the whole term. He was taken sick and died with little active service. More than twenty years after the war the United States gave Father a land certificate for his service, but no land in the country where  he lived was worth locating. He sold it for a small sum of money.

     Most of the Vaughan family moved from Alabama to Mississippi in 1829 or 1830. Uncle James went there at an earlier date. They  settled in Holmes and Yazoo Counties. Uncle Edmond left St. Clair  County, and I donít think they ever knew where he went to.

     I will name my cousins so far as known and remembered.

     Uncle James Vaughan raised two children - both boys - the eldest named William - the other Charles. They had two to die
in infancy.  Uncle Jonathan never married. He, Uncle James,
and family started  from Mississippi to Arkansas. Charles died
on the way. They all died  in Arkansas but Uncle William.
Uncle Edmond had but one child -  a boy named James. I
donít know of but two of the names of Uncle Reubenís
children - the first a girl named Elizabeth - the boy named
William. He became wealthy - that is Uncle Reuben. He left Mississippi,went to California and died there.

     Uncle John moved to Texas when I was a child. I have seen
some of his children in Texas. The had one boy named Andrew, another James -both dead now. He had other children. I donít remember their names.

    Two girls lived and died in Palo Pinto County, Texas. He also had a son by second wife living in said county - the last I
knew of him, Uncle Sam   had several children. I donít
remember the names of any but one boy  named William. I
donít know anything about Uncle Uptonís and Aunt Maryís children. Aunt Sallie Aarmstron's eldest was named Mary,
then Loucinda, then William, then Lizzie.

     Names of my brothers and sisters children so far as known
and remembered: Brother James three oldest were girls; the
first Partheny,   then Mary, then Nancy, then next a boy
named William, then Reuben.He had another boy named
Matthew and another named Ephraim. If  there were others,
I donít know their names. Brother Nicholasís two first girls
were named Mary and Marthy. The next two were boys  - the
eldest named William and the next one Nail. He had another
named Asberry and another girl named Margaret. There may
be one  or two more that I donít know their names. Brother
Williamís sons will  give their own history.
{My note- I have not found brother Williamís sons history--flo}

     Then comes my own - my first a girl named Alpha who died
when a  babe. Then Claressa, then Lemuel, then Shaeffer,
then Mary, then Emma, then William, then John, then Ollie
who died from the effect of  a burn, then Allie, then Arthur
and Loren -twins. Clarissa married a Patterson, Lemuel a
Taylor, Shaeffer a Lane, Mary a Fryar. Emma a Robinson -
she is now a widow. William a Ingham and  John a Birdwell.
The three youngest are not married.

     I think Washington had for children all boys - one named
Levi and the   other Reuben - then George, the other one I
donít know. I learn that George is a doctor.

     Brother Jonathan has no children - I think.

     Brother Jackson had about fourteen - the first girl named
Drucilla, then Elizabeth, then Martha, then Wilmurth, then
Mary, then Nelly then Margaret, then Francis, then Harriet.
He had four boys named James, John, Reuben, and Watson.
I donít know the other ones.

     Milam was a Methodist minister.

     Sarahís first was a boy named Thomas, then two girls, the
eldest  named Margaret, then other Ann, then a boy named
Isaac, then an  infant that died when but a few days old.

     I donít think my eldest sister ever had any children. She
was married   twice and a widow. The second time when I heard from her last which   has been about twenty years ago - she was then in Arkansas - Union  County. Lisbon was her
post office. I have found an old letter that  shows her second
husbandís name - it was Chism, I think. Her first husbandís
name was Fulton. She thinks her second was killed  for his

     Lucinda married I think - his name was Cotton - they
separated,  and she has been with Jonathan ever since. I
care nothing about his name.

     There is one of Fatherís cousins who was an early settler of
Parker County, Texas. His name was Monroe Upton. He was
but a few   years older than myself. He was a highly respected
citizen. He and a nephew of his named James Hogan were
selling goods in Weatherford when the late war came up and
a little while after the war commenced. All of the old citizens of Weatherford will remember him. I have heard that he is dead.
He had a son named James - a little boy when I saw him last.
I have learned of late that he is a wealthy cow man either in
West Texas or New Mexico.

     Monroe Upton had a brother named James in Parker County at the  same time that he did - an older man than himself. I was acquainted  with Monroe in Alabama but never saw James until I met him in Parker County, Texas. They also
had a sister in said county. Her name was Lizzie. Her
husbandís name was John Right. They had three daughters.
The eldest married Lafayette Herd. A younger one married
Milton Herd. I think all the Herds lived in Clay County, Texas.

     Names of my grandchildren:

     Claraís three oldest boys: the first Reuben L., then John
M., then Sidany W. then a girl named Margaret C. then
a boy named Olivee C.,  than a girl named Lauoula B.

     Lemuelís first was a boy named Osker, then three girls
named Lelia, Millie, and Addie.

     Scheffer has two girls named Ina and Rela and two boys
named Dee and Guy and a young boy not named.

     Mollieís first is a girl named Annie M., then a boy named
Albin M.  then a girl named Ellen, then two boys named
Jacob and William -  twins, and another boy named Tod.

     William and his wife have no children.

     Emmaís two oldest girls are named Lizzie and Annie. Two
boys are Osker and Hary V.

     John has twins - a boy and a girl - the boy is named
Frederick B., the girl Susie E.

     I will now give a sketch of my own history. I left Alabama
for Texas October 27, 1852. I landed in Denton County,
Texas and stayed there nearly two years. The state gave me
320 acres of land under the  pre-emption law. I sold it for
$500 (dollars). I moved to Keechi Valley  in September 1854.
There were then no counties west of Cook, Denton and

     My object for locating in a wild country was to raise stock.
My nearest  neighbors then were 25 miles east. There were
plenty of Indians then roaming over the country but friendly-
mostly located on reservations  which is now in Young County.

     For the safety of myself and family I found it necessary to
cultivate their  friendship. When they came around my place,
I would treat them friendly,   give them something to eat, and
trade with them. Sometimes I would loan  them my gun and
give them ammunition. They never failed to bring my  gun
home a the time appointed. Sometimes when I would be out
from  home cow hunting, I would meet up with bands of them.
I would camp  with them and when they formed a circle, I
would go into it and smoke  the pipe of peach with them. In
those days I had many warm friends  among those Indians.
Mollie Fryar was then our baby. There was one old Indian
woman. When she was at our house, she would watch the
baby and keep the flies off of it. She appeared to love the child.  After being absent for some time she returned with a pair of Moccasins all  beaded off in Indian style and took up the child and put them on her.

     There was one Indian that we hired to cow hunt with me and to learn   the lay of the country gaps through the mountains and crossing the  river.

     A few years later some Indians supposed to be Commanches commenced  depredations on the frontier killing and scalping the white people -  killing cattle and driving of herds of horses.  After awhile a number of white people got suspicious of the friendly Indians and got up a war with them. The names of the friendly tribes were Caddos, Jrouneyes, and Anadarcos. Also Tankawyas. The United States then moved  them out of Texas.

     I think the war lasted between 18 and 20 years. When the
friendly Indians were driven out of Texas, they all became
hostile. The Indian wars at different periods in Texas have
gone down  into history or so much of it that I hardly know
what to write as I  donít wish to repeat that which is already
extant but will give a few circumstances that I am acquainted
with and personal trouble that I have had with them. It was
estimated in those early days that more  people were killed by
Indians than died from all other causes. I can now remember
63 men that were killed by them, and I think that there were
many more that I canít now call to mind besides a great many
women and children: but while they were doing their work of
carnage and devastation many of them fell prey to the rifles
and six shooters  of brave Texans.

From Ruebenís story we have:

William VAUGHAN & Mary UPTON

1. James, NC m. Miss WEEKS {is this Jane ? }
2. Stephen, b. 1788 NC m. NAIL {Mary NAIL-sister of
Luvenia} died 1855 in Marion Co., Alabama
3. Edmond, b. NC m. BOBBET {Polly BOBBIT m.
16 Dec. 1815 Rhea Co., TN}
4. Reuben born Abt. 1801 in AL; died in California.
m. NAIL {Levenia / Luvina NAIL-sister of Mary}
5. John, b. 1802 AL m. a SPENCER
6. Samuel m. McGONAGILL
7. Jonathan or John, b. ca 1805 AL
8. Upton, b. 1805-1806 AL {census rec.} m. DIXSON
{Marina DIXSON}

1. Sarah m. Mr. ARMSTRONG.
2. Mary m. Mr. LOWE
and two which died in childhood: William & Elizabeth.

Any questions, suggestions,corrections, and/or additional information,contact me, Linda CONAWAY Welden at:


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