Settlers had the harder time in moving


Editor’s note: This is the second of two columns highlighting a pioneer family that settled in Madison County.

After nine years, the McCorquodale family put down roots. Ephraim, Amanda, and their eldest son were united with the Rock Prairie Church of Christ. Ephraim was a church elder at the time of his death in 1900, and his grave marker shows that he was a Mason. He served as county commissioner for several terms, once when it was decided to build a new courthouse. Irate citizens threatened to run the commissioners out of the county for spending so much money on the building. It later burned. (I cannot make this agree with what I’ve researched on courthouse records, but facts get tangled with time.)

Six of Ephraim and Amanda McCorquodale’s children lived to adulthood. Their oldest son was William Duncan, who married and raised his family in Grimes County. Amanda Josephine taught school in our county for years, and Rufus Edgar farmed near Midway and remained a bachelor. All I learned about Rupert Lee is that he only lived to be 21. Daniel worked for years for the Texas Prison System; info about him was scarce, too. I have more details on the other two, Laura and Ephraim, below.

Ephraim Alexander McCorquodale Jr. (1873-1945), was the couple’s second-born but saved until here because I have more information on him, thanks to our county history book (No. 1). He went by the nickname “Kinch” and was a merchant in Midway. Like his father, he served as a county commissioner for several terms. He married Annie Lena Sowell (1881-1974). Husband and wife were both members of Midway Church of Christ. Their first child died in infancy in 1901. James Oran (1902-1965) was second and is buried in San Antonio. The youngest, Maurine, married a Gassiot, taught school for years in Houston and Woodville, and was buried in the latter. I thank Kinch’s oldest daughter, Alexandra (1907-2009), because she wrote lots of this history for our county’s first history volume. Some of you remember her. She married Henry Elmer Hardin and taught school in Madison County for 37 years. They had one daughter, Shirley Ann, who married Morris Lamb Jonas. They lived in Dallas for years and were active in Church of Christ there. He died in 2011, and he was buried in Midway.

Laura Katherine McCorquodale married Pleasant Kittrell Goree Jr. I wrote about Goree family history a while back but will include a bit now, and I hope it doesn’t tangle you too much. Laura’s father-in-law, the original Pleasant Kittrell Goree (1845-1933), went by the nickname “Scrap” first came to Texas in 1850. He built a home a mile west of Midway where descendants have been living since. His son carried the same name, went by “Ped” (1886-1979) and married Laura Katherine. Their son, Pleasant III (1912-1992), was called P.K, and he then named a son Pleasant IV (1936-2016). That one was called “Kit” and he and his wife, Marsha, were blessed with four daughters. One of them is named Amanda, like her grandmother a few generations back that rode horseback to Louisiana. The modern Amanda lives outside of Midway with her husband, Philip Carter. Their 2 daughters, Kit (named after Amanda’s father) and Khaki, attend our local school. Amanda teaches at Madisonville Elementary School. She and her family worship at Mount Tabor Church of Christ but sometimes participate in Midway’s Church of Christ events too.

I enjoyed reading about Ephraim Sr. and that first Amanda moving around so and about her dismantling her mattresses. That would sure simplify moving now. I love it when I find descendants of old families still living here. It fascinates me that some family traits, like school teaching and religion, carry down through generations.

Madison County Museum, at 201 N. Madison St., Madisonville, TX, is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Museum curator Jane Day Reynolds welcomes your visits. Memorials or donations may be mailed to the Museum, P.O. Box 61, Madisonville, TX 77864.