Notes: XI. The Last Years

Notes for William Becknell: XI. The Last Years

Note 1. Franklin County, which would be formed out of Titus County in 1875, included Becknell’s Crossing. Therefore Franklin County records commence after the deaths of William and Mary Becknell and all of their children who had remained in Texas.

Note 2. See Part X Note 6 and accompanying text.

Note 3. Jones v. Keith, 37 Tex. 394 (1872).

Note 4. Ibid. John Becknell never renewed the charter, and by the 1870s no bridge remained at the spot, which by that time was known as McCrury’s Crossing. By 1870, the location had become part of the public highway right-of-way but was served by a private ferry. The court case involved the rights of the ferry operator after the Texas Legislature authorized someone else to construct a private toll bridge across the river as part of the highway. The Texas Supreme Court ruled against the ferry operator.

Note 5. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Titus County, Tex., Dwelling 324.

Note 6. See Part III Note 1.

Note 7. See Part III Note 1.

Note 8. See Part III Note 1.

Note 9. William B. Evans was deeded land in Missouri in 1839 by his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Prichard. See Part IX Note 9 and accompanying text. In 1847, he was a legatee of his paternal grandfather, Jesse Evans. See the page “1847 – First Annual Settlement of Jesse Evans Estate.”

Note 10. Red River County, Tex., Deed Book F, pp. 241-42 (William B. Evans and John K. Rogers to Edward West, trustee for Thomas J. Shannon, Nov. 25, 1845).

Note 11. Red River County, Tex., Deed Book F, pp. 242-44 (William B. Evans and John K. Rogers to Edward West, trustee for Thomas J. Shannon, Dec. 27, 1845).

Note 12. The fact that William and Mary Becknell’s youngest daughter was listed variously as Cornelia, Amelia, or Mary is a conclusion drawn from reviewing all of the available documents.

Note 13. See Part X Note 14 and accompanying text. The age 45 given for Martin in the deed between William Becknell and his son John more accurately corresponds to the 1840 date of recording than to the purported transaction date five years earlier.

Note 14. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Red River County, Tex., Dwelling 333. The census lists:

  • J.K. Roggers [sic] (40)
  • Mary Jane (35)
  • Edward (19)
  • William (17)
  • Sarah (14)
  • Clarissa (12)
  • Mary (10)
  • John (7)
  • Zack Taylor (5)
  • Samuel (1)

Note 15. Larry M. Beachum, William Becknell: Father of the Santa Fe Trade, El Paso, Tex.: Texas Western Press (1982), p. 67 (citing Red River County Tax Rolls 1838-1910, Texas State Library Archives Division, 6:2, 7:2, 8:27).

Note 16. Ibid. (citing William Becknell to Thomas Jefferson Rusk, Sept. 17, 1849).

Note 17. Mary Becknell Papers in Typescript Collection (C995) (microfilm), Vol. 6, No. 158, The State Historical Society of Missouri. The complete surviving transcription of the letter is included on the page “1860 – Mary Becknell’s Letter to Her Sister.”

Note 18. Red River County, Tex., Deed Book I, pp. 27-28 (John Becknell power of attorney to John T. Mills, July 8, 1850); Red River County, Tex., Deed Book I, pp. 44-45 (John Becknell power of attorney to Enos S. Look, Sept. 7, 1850).

Note 19. Red River County, Tex., Deed Book J, pp. 457-58 (John Becknell power of attorney to William Guest, April 14, 1853).

Note 20. See Part III Note 1.

Note 21. John Becknell, Claim No. 3100, Republic Claims, Reel 136, p. 443, Texas State Library and Archives Commission (available online at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/apps/arc/repclaims/).

Note 22. Red River County, Tex., Probate Records Vol. H, p. 151 (Voucher No. 22, Nov. 3, 1858).

Note 23. Mary Becknell Estate Papers in Typescript Collection (C995) (microfilm), Vol. 17, No. 477, The State Historical Society of Missouri. A complete transcription is included on the page “1862 – Will of Mary Becknell.”

Note 24. William Becknell, May 30, 1853, War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, compiled ca. 1871 – ca. 1900, National Archives and Records Administration.

Note 25. See Part III Note 1.

Note 26. Red River County, Tex., Probate Records Vol. H, p. 148 (Voucher No. 9, Aug. 25, 1858).

Note 27. William Becknell obituary, The Standard, Vol. 13, No. 16, Clarksville, Tex. (April 26, 1856), p. 2.