Vernon Parish's Founding Families, McRae – Mitcham
Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2021
McRae – The founding father of the McRae family was Farquhar Charles "FC" McRae (AL 1817 – LA 1900), born two years before Alabama became a state in 1819. He was the son of William "Billy" (NC 1798 – AL 1886) and Margie Cunningham (SCT 1791/92 – AL 1875) McRae. Margie was born in Scotland. FC married Mary Cameron (AL 1833 – LA 1880) in 1854 in Barbour County, Alabama. He was a farmer in Barbour County in 1850 and came to present day Vernon Parish about 1861. FC continued farming according to the 1870 and 1880 censuses. He died in 1900 in Vernon Parish.
All McRae homesteads lived in T3N, R9W except one. FC claimed 160 acres in 1877 on LA Hwy. 111 east of Anacoco on Prairie Creek. Sons William (1862 – 1931), Daniel (1866 – 1929), and John (1874 – 1955) also claimed land in the same section. William also claimed 160 acres in 1901 west of Evans on Yvonne Bonner Road in the Ward Three community. Perhaps Farquhar Creek in Ward Three, spelled Forker today, was named after William's father Farquhar McRae.
FC and Mary are buried in Self Cemetery in Anacoco with son William and 38 other Self burials. Daniel is buried in Silver Creek Cemetery in Kurthwood. John is buried in Old Anacoco Cemetery.
McWilliams – The McWilliams family was "headed" by William "Billy" Henry McWilliams, Jr. (MS 1855 – LA 1930). He was the son of William, Sr. (AL/MS 1822 – TX 1870) and Caledonia "Callie Donna" Johnson (MS 1828 – TX 1870) McWilliams. Billy married Winnie Mayo (FL 1852/54 – LA 1925) in 1876 in Louisiana. Billy was born in Itawamba County. He moved often. In 1860 he lived in Aberdeen, Mississippi. In 1870 he lived in Palo Alto as a farmer. Between 1870 and 1876 he moved to Louisiana. Between 1883 and 1888 Billy moved to Chester County, Texas. In 1900 he was a day laborer in Hardin County, Texas. In 1910 he was
enumerated as a Vernon Parish farmer. By 1920 Billy was in Beaumont, Texas as a mattress maker. Billy and Winnie returned to Louisiana to DeRidder where they died. Both are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in DeRidder.
Melton – George Washington Melton (TN 1820 – LA 1910) was the only Melton homesteader in Vernon Parish. He was the son of James (GA Abt. 1792 – AL 1865) and Mary Elledge (GA/LA 1801 – Unk. 1875) Melton. In the 1880 census George reported both parents were born in Georgia. In 1910 he reported his mother Mary was born in Louisiana. George married Eliza Rice (LA Abt. 1823 – LA 1890) in about 1840 in Alabama. He came to present day Vernon Parish between 1850 and 1860 from Leake County, Mississippi. In all enumerations he was a farmer except 1900 when he listed his occupation as a manager. In 1860 he was issued forty acres on Calcasieu Loop in the Slagle community and in 1904 forty more acres on Corley Road east of Anacoco. He and wife Eliza are buried in Melton Cemetery on LA Hwy. 117 between Leesville and Kurthwood in non-photographed graves.
Merchant – The founding father of the Merchant family was Jefferson Merchant (MS Abt. 1810 – LA Abt. 1849). He was the son of John (NC 1770/72 – MS 1860) and Nancy Mills (NC 1770/72 – Unk. 1855) Merchant. He married Louisa May (MS 1814 – LA 1892) in Mississippi in 1833. His earliest history in present day Vernon Parish was 1846 with the birth of his daughter, Martha Elizabeth. He died in about 1849 in the home of Rees Smart on a return trip to Hineston from Texas.
Neither John nor son, William (MS 1840 – LA 1922) claimed land, but grandsons Oliver (LA 1864 – LA 1961) and John (LA 1869 – LA 1953) did. Oliver claimed 160 acres in 1906 in Leander's section at the end of Boswell Road. John claimed 160 acres in 1901 on Sand Hill Road on Big Creek two miles west of Cora.
Merchants' burials are scattered. As stated, Jefferson is buried in Old Leesville Cemetery. His wife Louisa is buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Pitkin with son William and grandson John. Oliver is buried in Flactor Church Cemetery in Hicks.
Meybin – Milford Meybin could not be found.
Midkiff – The founding father of the Midkiff family was Pharoah "Hiram" Howell Midkiff (TN 1818 – LA 1843). He was the son of Isaac Preston (TN 1778 – AR 1822) and Susannah Howell (TN 1783 – TX 1875) Midkiff. Hiram married Elizabeth Lockhart Moseley (TN 1802 – LA 1860), state and year unknown. He lived in Rapides Parish in 1834. In 1836 he lived in Natchitoches Parish, present day Sabine Parish, which was founded in 1843. In 1843 he was shot by Henry Stoker while stealing a horse. He died in Ft. Jessup jail and is buried in the jail's cemetery under the picnic tables.
Hiram did not homestead any land but sons Isaac (1834 – 1905) and Pharoah (1842 – 1923) plus grandsons John (1868 – 1954), Oliver (1872 – 1938), Ira (1876 – 1934), William (1877 – 1949), Samuel (1878 – 1961), and Louis (1894 – 1941) claimed seventeen parcels containing 920 acres all in Cottonwood's township.
Midkiff burials are found throughout Vernon Parish. Miller Cemetery in Cottonwood contains 52. Rosepine Cemetery has eleven.
Miers – Miers should be spelled Myers. James S. Myers (LA 1873 – LA 1940) was the only Myers homesteader in Louisiana. He was the son of Ferdinard (DEU 1844 – LA 1903) and Barbara Armbruster (LA 1845 – LA 1900) Myers. Ferdinard was born in Germany. James married Susan Ella Tilton (LA 1876 – LA 1953) in Winn Parish in 1892. There's no record he ever lived in Vernon Parish. He was probably born in New Orleans where his parents lived. In 1880 they moved to Freestone County, Texas. In 1900 James lived in Sabine Parish as a farmer. In 1900 he homesteaded 160 acres in Beauregard Parish south of Anacoco Creek. In 1910 he
lived in Natchitoches Parish with the same occupation. In 1920 he lived in Many in Sabine Parish as a lie maker. In 1930 James lived in San Patrice in Sabine Parish as a farmer. James died and is buried in Sabine Parish in Paul Cemetery with wife Susan.
Miller – The Miller surname has three seemingly unrelated families in Knight, Neame, and Caney townships. In Knight's township African-Americans Willis (TX Abt. 1828 – Unk.) and wife Hannah Miller (TX/TN 1830 – Unk.) lived in Ward Three, Vernon Parish in the historic community of Sutton Junction (T2S, R11W). Little is known about them. According to the 1900 census their parents were born in Virginia. They lived as farmers on 200 acres they claimed in 1890 on Oakes-Allardyce Road on Dry Branch. Their deaths and burials are unknown.
In Neame's township the founding father of the Miller family was John A. Miller (TN 1798 – LA 1868), parents unknown. He married Elizabeth Barnett (GA 1798 – LA 1878) in 1817 in Mississippi. In 1850 John was a planter in Calcasieu Parish and in 1860 a farmer in Rapides Parish. John didn't move, but the parish line moved nine miles south in 1852 putting him in Rapides Parish. He is the first burial in Miller Cemetery in Cottonwood in 1868 in an unmarked grave. Elizabeth died in 1878 and is buried there also.
John did not received any land claim but grandson, Nelson A. "Net" Miller (TX 1852 – LA 1942) did. Net married Martha Williams (LA 1866 – LA 1902) in 1886 in Louisiana. In all enumerations he was a farmer. In 1897 Net claimed 160 acres on Poor Doo Road west of Pinewood on the east bank of Anacoco Creek. Martha died early in 1902 and Nelson died in 1942 in Rapides Parish. Both are buried in Cryer Cemetery in Neame.
In Caney's township the founding father pf the Miller family was Henry Jessie Miller (LA 1875 – TX 1930). He was the son of Henry Davis (MS 1845 – LA 1922) and Mary Ferguson (MS 1840 – MS 1912 (?)) Miller. Henry married twice to Mary Dowden (LA 1877 – LA 1963) in 1894 in
Sabine Parish, who he divorced in 1917, and Rena Moffett (LA 1886 – LA 1983) in 1918 in Winn Parish. Henry moved often between Natchitoches, Sabine, and Vernon Parishes as a farmer and sawmill worker. In 1908 he claimed forty acres of land on Rod Stevens Road at the head of Forker Creek in Caney's township. After 1920 he moved to Hill County, Texas where he died in 1930. He is buried in Itasca Cemetery in Hill County, Texas. Rena remarried Oliver Pannell and she is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Bastrop, Louisiana.
Milstead – Stephen Ellington Milstead (AL 1844 – LA 1932) was the only Milstead homesteader in Vernon Parish. He was the son of Ellington Arlington (AL 1813 – TX Aft. 1880) and Nancy Anderson (AL 1817 – AL 1849) Milstead. Stephen married Leander Cliburn in (MS 1842 – LA 1903) in 1874 in Tyler County, Texas. He moved often. He was born in Clarke County in 1844 and lived there according to the 1850 census. In 1860 he lived in Escambia County, Florida. He moved to Texas in early 1860s. In the Civil War he served in Cos. E and F, Ragsdale's TX Cav. Bn. In 1870 and 1880 he lived in Tyler County, Texas as a farm laborer. In 1900 Stephen lived in Ward Four, Vernon Parish. He claimed forty acres in 1905 in Savage Fork at the confluence of Anacoco and Castor Creeks. In 1910 he lived in Hardin County, Texas as a lumber mill night watchman. In 1930 he lived in Hornbeck. Stephen died in Sabine Parish and is buried in Cryer Cemetery with his wife, Leander.
Mims – Dr. Larkin Nabors Mims (SC 1812 – LA 1902) was the only Mims homesteader in Vernon Parish. He was born to David (SC 1791 – GA 1877) and Sarah Kemp (SC 1797 – GA 1847) Mims. David married Sarah in 1815, three years after Larkin was born. On the 1880 census Larkin reported both parents were born in South Carolina, even though records say Georgia. He married once to Lydia "Liddy" Glover (MS 1826 – LA 1908) in 1842 in Mississippi. Larkin moved to Rapides Parish between 1850 and 1860 from Hancock County, Mississippi as a farmer and doctor. In 1860 he claimed forty acres at present day Hicks Crossing
Road and LA Hwy. 28 intersection. In 1870 and 1880 he lived in Calcasieu Parish as a farmer. In 1890 he was appointed postmaster in Pine Hill in Calcasieu Parish. Larkin died in Calcasieu Parish is 1902 and is buried in Fountain Cemetery in Starks with wife Liddy.
Mitcham – John Thomas Mitcham (AL 1851 – LA 1935) was the founding father of the Mitcham surname in Vernon Parish. He was the son of Francis (SC 1824 – AL 1873) and Susan Hammond (AL 1835 – AL 1922) Mitcham. John married twice to Sarah Guest (GA 1837 – Unk.) in 1869 in DeKalb County, Alabama and Nellie Scott (MS 1854 – LA 1942) in 1883 in Hinds County, Mississippi. John moved to Louisiana and settled in Yellow Pine in Webster Parish between 1883 and 1885. . He then moved to Ward Five, Webster Parish between 1883 and 1885. Between 1900 and 1910 he moved to Ward Three, Vernon Parish. In all enumerations John was a farmer. John is buried in Evans Cemetery with wife Nellie and 21 other Mitcham burials.
John did not claim land in Vernon Parish but son Thomas Franklin Mitcham (LA 1888 – TX 1975) did. Thomas was born in Yellow Pine. He married Katie Scott (MS 1891 – LA 1981) in Vernon Parish in 1906. In 1910 Thomas was a Ward Four school teacher. In 1919 he claimed forty acres plus two lots of land on the Sabine River on Trails End Road. In 1920 he was a Ward Three merchant. In 1930 and 1940 he was a Ward Three postmaster. Between 1951 and 1953 Thomas moved to Jefferson County, Texas where he died in 1975. Thomas is buried in Evans Cemetery with wife Katie.
This article originally appeared on Leesville Daily Leader: Vernon Parish's Founding Families, McRae – Mitcham