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Volume 3: The Newton County, Texas Stark Families

Part 6: The William Herrin & Prudence Jane (Stark) Herrin Family

Part 6 Appendix 4: Clovis Lee Vaso La Fleur & Hopestell "Hopie" Taylor

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Maude Herrin

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Rev. R. L. LaFleur

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Maude & Robert

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Clovis & Hopey (Taylor) LaFleur

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Page 1

Clovis Lee Vaso La Fleur & Hopestell "Hopie" Taylor

Parents of Rev. Robert L. LaFleur

Preface

More often than not, old family stories are lost and forgotten forever because they are not written down. Sadly, the thoughts and feelings of our predecessors are usually not shared for the benefit of posterity. Most of us live without a sense of deep roots. We know little about our ancestors or their experiences. Our ignorance is chiefly from simple inattention to family heritage, even though in the ways that we think, speak, act and generally live our lives, we are the genetic, cultural and social products of our ancestors, whatever their makeup may have been. {The Authors of this paragraph from, "The Story of a Lifetime; A Keepsake of Personal Memoirs," were Pamela and Stephen Pavuk; Published by TriAngel Publishers, Inc. 1995.}

 

My name is Clovis La Vaso La Fleur (Junior) and the Country of origin of this name is clearly France. This is the correct spelling of my name as it appears on my birth certificate and it does have five capital letters as illustrated.  It was intended that I be given the name of my Father who was given the name of his Grandfather. 

My Great Grandfather Clovis LaFleur was probably born in Missouri while his parents were most likely born in France. [This is not known with certainty. They may have been born in Missouri.] His parents or grandparents immigrated to the United States from France and my name, as presented above, probably came across the Atlantic to this Country; having survived to my generation. Clovis La Fleur married Hopie Taylor September 5, 1891 in Woodruff County, Arkansas this being the first proven document we have of the existence of Clovis. They were the parents of my grandfather, Reverend Robert Lee Vaso La Fleur. Clovis died April 6, 1937 in Oakdale, Allen Parish, Louisiana; two months before my birth in June of 1937.  But was my name correctly recorded on my birth certificate relative to the names of my Father and Great-Grandfather

As a child, I was told my name was Cloviece Leevaso La Fleur (Junior) and I enrolled in school using this name through High School. The family shortened the given name of my father to "Clo" and I was always referred to as "Clo Jr." Family members referred to my Father as Cloviece or Clo. I  introduced myself as "Clo La Fleur" or "Clo La Fleur, Jr." At a later date, my occupation involved overseas travel requiring a passport. It was at this time I learned my birth certificate recorded my name as previously reported. When I began to study my family genealogy, I obtained my fathers birth certificate and to my surprise found his name was recorded as Clovice Leevaso La Fleur. In the following publication, we will find that when my grandfather, Robert La Fleur, filled out his World War I Draft Registration Card, he spelled his middle name Lee Vaso. This document clearly recorded his middle name as two words, both words capitalized. However, my Father's middle name as recorded on his birth certificate was spelled the same as Robert's, but with the middle name as one word Leevaso

I believe the original spelling of our middle names was most likely intended to be Le Vaso or La Vaso; most likely the surname of a maternal ancestor of my great-grandfather. In many European Countries after surnames were commonly in use a child received a given name (Clovis); a middle name that was the surname of the child's mother (La Vaso or Le Vaso); and the surname of his father (La Fleur). For example, the traditional Old World French translation would have been; Clovis, whose mother was of the Vaso family and whose father was of the Fleur family. It is very likely a maternal ancestor of my great-grandfather had the surname La Vaso or just "Vaso.' The surname Vaso has Latin origins; more commonly found in the Italian or Spanish languages.

In the following text, the 1910 and 1920 census clearly spelled the given name of my great-grandfather as "Clovis." When he married Hopie Taylor in 1891, the license reports the marriage of Clovis Lafleur to Heopy Taylor. His signature was recorded as C. L. Lafleur. Therefore, I am inclined to believe his given name was "Clovis" and his middle name was either Lee Vaso, Le Vaso, or La Vaso. Clovis I (c. 466511) was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler. He was also the first Catholic King to rule over Gaul (France). The surname La Fleur originated in Normandy and some publications imply "Clovis" was a popular given name in France during the middle ages. The given names Clovice (Birth Certificate) and Cloviece (reported in the 1930 census and by family members) are most likely spelling variations of the given name Clovis. In this publication, I will refer to my great-grandfather as Clovis Lee Vaso La Fleur; my grandfather as Robert Lee Vaso La Fleur; my father as Clovice Leevaso La Fleur as reported on his birth certificate; and myself as Clovis La Vaso La Fleur as reported on my birth certificate.

We have a rich family heritage and the preservation of remembrances of our family in a historical context will enhance our appreciation of their lives and our understanding of them as human beings, though they lived in the past. My reflections about them honor them much more than simple, impersonal entries in the family tree. Perhaps more importantly, my descendants can benefit greatly from my personal knowledge of events surrounding our family through history and they will continue this family history of which this is only a beginning.

 

Clovis LaFleur

August, 2010

 

 

 

Page 2

 

Chapter 1

The Life & Times of Clovis & Hopie (Taylor) LaFleur

 

Clovis La Fleur's Early Years

Hopie Taylor's early years before she married Clovis La Fleur, are well documented. However, the activities and places of residence of Clovis before he married Hopie are not known with certainty. His year of birth was variously reported in the 1900 through 1930 census. The best than can be reported is he was most likely born between 1850 and 1860 in Missouri, the more likely years of birth being 1857 to 1859. 

During my research in Augusta, Woodruff County, Arkansas, I corresponded with Woodruff County Historical Society Representative Lola Knight Ashburn in November of 1998. She was kind enough to research the family name La Fleur and provided the following information found in the Society archives: "I looked in the Woodruff County Cemetery book and found the following: Page 37 - Augusta Cemetery, Frederic Clovice LaFleur, born Nov. 20, 1887, died March 26, 1926; Mrs. Emma LaFleur, born July 18, 1859, died Dec. 27, 1926. Page 125 - Union Cemetery For Civil War Veterans, Frederick Clovice LaFleur, born 1820, died 1900 Civil War."

Because of the middle names of "Clovice" for the two Fredericks, I believed them to be related to my great-grandfather. I theorized  Frederick (Born 1820) was the Father of my great-grandfather and Frederic (Born 1887) was a grandson of Frederick; Emma was most likely the younger Frederic's Mother married to a possible brother of my great-grandfather. If they were residents of Woodruff County in 1880, then it seemed probable the family of Frederic (the older) would have been recorded in the 1880 census. After a careful search of the 1880 census for Woodruff County, I could not find this family. The Woodruff County 1900 census reports Adrian Lafleur, born in 1843 in Missouri, was the father of Fred Lafleur, born in 1887. Adrian's wife was Emily in this census record. The family (Adrian & Emily with one child) was living in Benton County, Mississippi in 1880. Some family researchers report Adrian's middle name was Clovice or Clovise. While a promising connection, no reliable documented evidence of this family being related to my great-grandfather, Clovis La Fleur, has been found. He may have been a brother of Adrian, but this has not been reliably documented. 

 

 

 

 

Page 1

 

Chapter 1

The Life & Times of Clovis & Hopie (Taylor) LaFleur

 

 Hopie Taylor' s Early Years

In July of 1856, a daughter, Hopestell "Hopie" Taylor, was born to Abraham Taylor and Hopestell (Hardister) Taylor near the Southern border of Missouri in Taney County, Missouri.[1]

Abraham Taylor was born about 1791 in either New York State or the State of Pennsylvania.[1,2] From an earlier marriage, he had children named Ruth Ann Taylor and Alfred Taylor. The name of his first wife was Hannah Rizly. They were married September 27, 1825, in Vermillion County, Indiana. Hopestell and Abraham were probably married sometime between the years 1845 and 1848 in Arkansas.

Hopestell Hardister was born about 1816 in Tennessee.[1] She married her first husband, Benjamin Young Carnahan, about or before 1833. The Carnahan children, named in the 1850 census for Marion County, Arkansas, were: Samuel (born 1833); Green (born 1835); Sarah J. (born 1837); George (born 1839); Elizabeth (Born 1841); Martha A. (born 1843); and David (born 1845)  all most likely born in Washington County, Arkansas.[2]

In the Marion County, Arkansas 1850 census, A. B. Taylor was head of the house. He was 60 years old and reported he was born in New York and he and his Carnahan step-sons, Samuel and Green, were farmers. Hopestell's age was 37 in this census and her daughter, Mary A. Taylor the first born child of Abraham and Hopestell was 1 year of age. Other children born to Abraham and Hopestell reported in the 1860 census for Taney County, Missouri were John W. (born 1852), William F. (born 1854), and Hopestell (born in 1856). [1]

Marion County, Arkansas shared part of it's northern boundary with Taney County, Missouri during the 1850s. Sometime between 1854 and 1856, before Hopie was born, the family moved north into Scott Township, Taney County. This was a move of only a few miles. While the reason for the move is not known, by 1860, people of the South began beating the war drums of secession and the storm clouds of the Civil War were fast approaching, the people of the upper White River valley taking little note of the impending conflict.

Hopestell "Hopie" Taylor & Clovis Lee Vaso La Fleur

Contributed by Wendy Newbury Shiflett

 Elmo Ingenthron wrote [3]: "The issues of slavery, hotly debated in the nation's capitol seemed far away and of little concern to the people of the region. To them slavery was not an issue even though a big majority of them came, by way of Tennessee and Kentucky, from the southern states of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. They were sympathetic with the South, yet few were slave holders and those that were treated their slaves in such a humane manner that they usually held the respect of their non-slave holding neighbors. They looked upon slavery as being not altogether good, or bad, but certainly no cause for secession or war. On the eve of the Civil War there were not more than five or six hundred slaves in the upper White River Valley....In the impending conflict both the North and South realized the importance of winning and holding the border states, of which Missouri was one. So rapidly did the storm clouds break that the people of the upper White River valley were stunned and bewildered. They were torn between their blood and friendship ties with the South and their loyalty to the Union. Both the North and the South made a determined effort for Missouri, with the people of the upper White River valley in between."

__________

1) 1860 Census, Scott, Taney, Missouri National Archives Roll Roll M653_658, Page 0, Dwelling 313, Family 315. Hopestell 'Hopie" Taylor appears in this census, age 4, born in Missouri. Abraham reported his place of birth was New York and his age was 60.

2) 1850 Census, Marion County, Arkansas National Archives Roll M432_28, Page 325, Dwelling 223, Family 224. Abraham reported his age was 69 and he was born in Pennsylvania.

3) Ingenthron, Elmo, "The Civil War in the Upper White River Valley," appearing in Volume 1, Number 3, Spring 1962 White River Valley Historical Quarterly. 

 

 

Page 2

 

The Civil War began at 4:30 a.m., on the 12th of April, 1861, when the first Confederate shell smashed into Fort Sumter. Within weeks militia were being organized in both the North and the South.  The Battle of Bull Run was fought on July 21, 1861 and so rapidly did the chain of events occur that the next day (July 22, 1861) the Union and Confederate troops were engaged in battle at Forsyth, Taney County, Missouri. The Civil War with all its horrors was upon the bewildered people of the upper White River valley. The Bloody years of war that followed cost the lives of 600.000 men, two percent of the country's population. At the heart of the conflict, the issue of slavery divided states, nationalities, neighbors and even families. Arkansas seceded from the union and joined the Confederacy. Missouri had been admitted to the Union as a slave state but would stay with the Union during the conflict.

In this border area, guerrilla bands, some loyal to the North, others with allegiance to the South, engaged in unspeakable atrocities; individuals and families suspected of opposing sympathies were murdered; and homes and businesses were looted and burned. Men, women, and children were swept into the nightmare. This activity may have been the reason for the moves back and forth by the family between Missouri and Arkansas. Sometime between the years 1860 and 1870, Abraham died from unknown causes.

In 1869, Boone County was created from parts of Carroll and Madison Counties. The 1870 census for Boone County, Prairie Township, Arkansas shows Hopestell was head of the house.[1] She reported she was 54 years of her age born in Tennessee about 1816. Sometime during the 1860's, probably after the death of Abraham, the family moved back across the border to Boone County, Arkansas, this County sharing part of it's northern border with Taney County, Missouri. The census reports all of the Taylor children in the household along with Martha A. Carnahan, age 26.

Marriage records in Boone County show Hopie Taylor married William D. Jones on February 28th, 1874. when she was 16 years of age and he was 18 years of age. William D. Jones was the son of Jonathan and Margaret Jones. The following is a scanned copy and transcription of the original marriage record, located in the Boone County Courthouse, Book A, page 155.[2]

 

 

Transcription

Wm D. Jones  |

 
I, J. H . Hicks an acting and duly

Hopie Taylor  |

commissioned Justice of the Peace
in and for the County of Boone State 

of Arkansas do hereby certify that on the 28th day of

February AD 1874 I solemnized the rites of matrimony

between Wm D. Jones, aged 18 years & Hopie Taylor, aged

16 years, both residents of Boone County Arkansas.

By consent of parents (??? as I can learn) and here

& now declared them husband & wife.

Given under my hand this 1st 

day of March 1874.

J. H. Hicks, J. P.

 

__________

1) Source: 1870 Census, Prairie, Boone County, Arkansas National Archives Roll Roll M593_48, Page 463.

2) Author's comment: 1874 was not a leap year. Therefore, this marriage most likely occurred February 28, 1874. However, in the above original document, it certainly appears J. H. Hicks entered February 29th, 1874 as the date he declared William Jones and Hopie Taylor as husband & wife.

 

 

Page 3

 

While living in Boone County, William and Hopie had one son, Felix L. Jones, born in 1875. However, in the 1880 census, William and Hopie are reported living Williamson County, Texas.[1] The parents of William had moved to the region and were living nearby. A daughter, two year old S. A. Louisa Jones, born in Texas, was reported on the census.

 

  

The next known record for Hopie is the birth of William Herbert Jones on October 11, 1882 in Woodruff County, Arkansas. What happened during the intervening years? I review of the records indicate William Davis Jones did not die and continued to live in Texas. He married a woman named Abbie in 1887 and this family can be found in the 1900 census for Nocona, Montague County, Texas.[2] They had three children and living in the home were the parents of William, Jonathan Jones and Margaret Jones. Researchers of this family report William David Jones died November 28, 1932 in Henrietta, Clay County, Texas. The cause of death was an automobile accident. The only explanation would be sometime between 1880 and October 11, 1882, Hopie and William divorced. He remained in Texas while Hopie moved to Augusta, Woodruff County, Arkansas. No further records have been found on the children named Felix and Louisa. William Herbert Jones died  June 23, 1953 in England, Arkansas and was buried in the Mulberry Cemetery.[3] According to a 1900 Census taken in San Jacinto County, Texas (to be discussed later), Hopie apparently had 3 children while married to William Jones, two of whom most likely were deceased before 1900. Although William Herbert Jones could have been living with the family before 1900, he was not reported as a member of the family in the 1900 census.

A brother of Hopie, John Wesley Taylor, was living in Augusta, Woodruff County, Arkansas, as reported in the 1880 census. He was married to Louisa Virginia Duvall and they had three children at the time. After leaving William Jones in Texas, Hopie moved to Augusta, where the records report William Herbert Jones was born. 

January 14, 1885, Hopie married Joshua Davis. Joshua was 50 years of age and Hopie was 27. This marriage was very brief, for in the same year (1885), Hopie married William R. Stokes December 21, 1885. Joshua and Hopie had no issue and it is not known if Joshua died or if the marriage ended in divorce.

 

Joshua Davis / Hopie Jones Marriage License

 

__________

1) Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place:  , Williamson, Texas; Roll  1332; Family History Film: 1255332; Page: 450A; Enumeration District: 156.

2) Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Nocona, Montague, Texas; Roll  T623_1660; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 58.

3) Certificate Of Death from State Of Arkansas #7328, District #518, Primary District #3803.

 

 

Page 4

 

William R. Stokes / Hopie Davis Marriage License

 

Henry Bonaparte Stokes was born July 28, 1886, seven months after the marriage of Hopie and William. Could this have been the reason Joshua Davis and Hopie were no longer married in December of 1885? There are several possible explanations. Henry Stokes' birth was premature; Hopie was pregnant with Henry when Hopie and William Stokes were married; or the child was actually a son of Joshua Davis. No matter the circumstances, either William Stokes married the widow Davis or Joshua and Hopie were divorced before the marriage. No records have been found suggesting how the marriage to Joshua Davis ended. On December 22. 1886, the Woodruff County Probate Court records show; "Petition by Hopie Stokes for the sell of the personal property of William R. Stokes, deceased." [See scanned copy of original on the next page.] At sometime before this date, we can assume William R. Stokes was deceased. Hopie was a widow by December of 1886 with possibly 4 children at home, assuming the Jones children were living with Hopie.

Clovis Lee Vaso La Fleur and Hopestell "Hopie" Stokes were married December 5, 1891 in Augusta, Woodruff County, Arkansas.[1] Before this date of marriage, their first child, Robert Lee Vaso La Fleur, was born August 15, 1889 in Augusta. Their second child, Minnie Leona La Fleur, was born April 26, 1893 in Malvern, Arkansas. Sometime before 1893, the family moved to Malvern, Arkansas, located south of Little Rock. According to the notes of Mary Jeanette La Fleur, Minnie La Fleur was born in Malvern, Hot Springs County, Arkansas April 26, 1893.[2] Identical twins, Peter and Paul, born January 7, 1895 and Luke La Fleur, born in July of 1897, are all reported by this source to have been born in Malvern.

In 1870, a town site was laid out by the Cairo & Fulton Railroad. This site was named Malvern, after Malvern Hills Virginia. On October 15, 1878, Malvern officially become the county seat of Hot Spring County. Before that date the neighboring community of Rockport had been the center of the county government. Original inhabitants of the county were Native Americans, trappers, hunters, farmers and a few criminals who had escaped across the Mississippi River.

During this period people traveled by stagecoach, covered wagons, ox teams, and horses. When the railroad was in working order, merchants began to move near the modern transportation. The "Diamond Jo" railroad, built by Joseph Reynolds, a Chicago industrialist, transported travelers to and from Hot Springs, Arkansas. This was the only railroad into Hot Springs for 15 years.

Some of the first businesses were dry good stores, a ten-cent store, and a saloon. Later more businesses and saloons were opened. Due to the saloon's "shoot-up" episodes, Malvern held a reputation of being one of the roughest areas in Arkansas. Despite this reputation and the loss of the hot springs, Malvern and Hot Spring County were still able to grow with the prosperity of diary, livestock, timber, mining and manufacturing.

__________

1) La Fleur, Patty J.; E-mail Dated January 24 2002. "The info you have is mostly the same as mine. The Marriages are on tape there in Augusta. Also, I sent for the one of Clovis from the courthouse to see if it had any other info on the Application. The Marriage of Clovis Lafleur to Heopy Taylor dated 5th of Sept 1891. Performed by John D. Duncan and registered the same day. Was recorded on pg.477 of Book F. Both persons were listed as age 35. Bondsman; Morg Roddy; Signed on X C L Lafleur."

2) La Fleur, Mary Jeanette, daughter of Rev. Robert Lee Vaso La Fleur & Maude Mae Herrin; granddaughter of Clovis Lee Vaso La Fleur & Hopie Taylor. 

 

 

Page 5

 

William R. Stokes Woodruff County, Arkansas Probate Record

Date: December 26, 1886

 

 

 

 

Page 6

 

Sometime before 1900, the family moved to Justice Precinct 5, San Jacinto County, Texas this being their place of residence in the 1900 census.[1] San Jacinto County is located in southeastern Texas on the Trinity River and comprises 628 square miles of the East Texas Timberlands; the region heavily wooded with longleaf and loblolly pine, cedar, oak, walnut, hickory, gum, ash, and pecan.

The following is an excerpt from the Handbook of Texas: "The Texas legislature established San Jacinto County with Coldspring as the county seat on August 13, 1870; created from parts of Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, and Walker counties. Schools appeared soon after the settlements were established in the area. The early schools were conducted privately, and attendance was poor. Students often dropped out as soon as they were old enough to work or could no longer afford to attend. Next to be established were academies, which later became training schools for teachers. Just after the turn of the century there were 2,500 students segregated into thirty-one white and twenty-eight black schools. A graded high school in Coldspring had 100 students." [2]

In the 1900 census, the family was reported as follows:

 

Source: 1900 Census, Justice Precinct 5, San Jacinto, Texas; National Archives Roll: T623 1668; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 83 Enumerated June 15, 1900

Line 85 / Laflure, ?James? / Head / W / M / Sept 1850 / 49 / Married 9 yrs / ARK / LA / LA / Farmer / Renting Farm

Line 86 / Laflure, Hopey / Wife / W / F / July 1856 / 43 / Married 9 yrs / 10 children, 8 living / ARK / ARK / Georgia

Line 87 / Laflure, Henry / Son / W / M / July 1886 / 13 / Single / ARK / LA / ARK

Line 88 / Laflure, Robert / Son / W / M / Aug 1889 / 10 / Single / ARK / LA / ARK

Line 89 / Laflure, Minnie / Dau / W / F / Apr 1892 / 8 / Single / ARK / LA / ARK

Line 90 / Laflure, Peter / Son / W / M / Jan 1895 / 5 / Single / ARK / LA / ARK

Line 91 / Laflure, Paul / Son / W / M / Jan 1895 / 5 / Single / ARK / LA / ARK

Line 92 / Laflure, Luke / Son / W / M / Feb 1897 / 3 / Single / ARK / LA / ARK

 

 

Scanned Copy of Original 1900 Census

 

According to the 1900 San Jacinto County, Texas Census, all of the La Fleur Children and Henry Stokes are recorded as members of the family. The record reports this couple has been married 9 years and had married in 1891. The head of the house was "James Laflure". The given name of his wife was "Hopey" and all of the children's names, birth months, and birth years are correct leading one to believe this was our ancestral La Fleur family. As shown in the original, the Jones children are not reported to be living with the family.

While Henry Stokes was reported as a son of Clovis, we know he was actually a step-son, as will be reported later in the 1910 census. Observe Hopie reported she gave birth to 10 children and 8 were living.  Six are reported in this census record. Who were the other four children? Hopie married first, William D. Jones in Boone County, Arkansas and they had three known children; Felix Jones and Louisa Jones reported in the Texas 1880 census and one son named William Herbert Jones known to be living in 1900 but born in 1882. Apparently, in 1900, two of the Jones children were still living while two were deceased. 

__________

1) Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 5, San Jacinto, Texas; Roll  T623_1668; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 83.

2) Handbook of Texas. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ruth Hansbro, History of San Jacinto County (M.A. thesis, Sam Houston State Teachers College, 1940). Web Page at URL http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/hcs3.html.

 

 

 

Page 7

 

Closer examination of the 1900 census record reveals Clovis was renting the property on which he was farming. There appears to be either numerous errors made by the enumerator or in the information provided by the person questioned by the enumerator. The given name "James" for the head of the house is obviously an error. We know " Henry Laflure" was a step-son of Clovis.  The enumerator did make a notation that Peter and Paul were twins.  All of the children were reported as born in Arkansas as was their father. However, notice the father of all of the children was reported as born in Louisiana. The enumerator has obviously incorrectly reported the place of birth of their father.

Religious organizations were also important in the history of San Jacinto County. A Methodist Episcopal Church was established at Coldspring June 27, 1847. The original frame building stood a quarter mile from Coldspring until it was relocated in 1916. A Baptist Church was established August 11, 1855 in Coldspring; Presbyterians organized at Waverly in May of 1860; and the Church of Christ organized in Evergreen in 1888.

Robert most likely attended many "Brush Arbor Meetings" during his boyhood years.  They were usually held in the summer, attracting folks from all around. From a distance as one approached the Camp Ground where a meeting was in progress one would hear string instruments; perhaps an organ or piano transported to the meeting by wagon; and the crowd singing old gospel hymns. The brush arbor offered some relief from the heat of the day; but many in the crowd would have cardboard handheld fans with religious scenes painted on one side the fans usually provided free by businesses and politicians

Visiting Preachers would give their sermons from makeshift pulpits made of post with a board nailed on top of sufficient size to allow the Preacher to pound his fist to make a point. Benches were provided for those attending, usually hastily constructed for the event. Since many had come a great distance by wagon and buggy to attend, there wasn't time to go home; so tablecloths were spread on the ground and meals brought for the occasion and shared with others; the meetings sometimes lasting for weeks most members of the County communities attending no matter their religious denomination. They set aside their chores to make the meetings a priority; for this was an opportunity for many to consider the condition of their souls. They were called to the alters by the ministers to pray; many walking away, their lives forever changed by receiving Christ as their Savior, having found forgiveness and peace with God. Young Robert La Fleur was no doubt influenced by these meetings and the visiting preachers, for he would soon become an ordained Assembly of God minister September 15, 1911.

In the 1910 census, the family was reported as follows:

 

Source: 1910 Census, 5 th pct, San Jacinto County, Texas; National Archives T624_1587, part 2, page 93a. Enumerated April 26, 1910

Line 28 / Laflour, Clovis / Head / m / w / 50 / Marriage #2 / Married 21 yrs / MO / MO / MO / Farmer / Owns / Mortgage Free / Farm

Line 29 / Laflour, Hopey / Wife / f / w / 53 / Marriage #3 / Married 21 yrs / 6 children / 6 living / MO / MO / MO

Line 30 / Laflour, Robert / son / m / w / 20 / single / TX / MO / MO

Line 31 / Laflour / Minnie / daughter / f / w / 18 / single / TX / MO / MO

Line 32 / Laflour / Paul / son / m / w / 15 / single / TX / MO / MO

Line 33 / Laflour / Luke / son / m / w / 13 / single / TX / MO / MO

Line 34 / Stokes Henry / Step-son / 23 . single / TX / ARK / MO

Line 35 / Laflour, Peter / son / 15 / single / TX / MO / MO

 

 

Scanned Copy of Original 1910 Census

 

This document clearly reports the husband of Hopie had the given name "Clovis." It also reports his marriage to Hopie is his second marriage and in the census record, Hopie and Clovis had been married 21 years implying they were married in 1889. Clovis was reported to be 50 years of age (could be interpreted to be 58) while Hopie was reported to be 53 years of age, this being consistent with her birth being about 1857, as reported in several of the documents cited above.

__________

1) Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 5, San Jacinto, Texas; Roll  T624_1587; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 105; Image: 773.

 

 

Page 8

 

Between 1910 and 1914 (probably closer to 1914), Minnie LaFleur married Demosthenes "Demmy" Crabb. Demmy Crabb, was born in Dodge, Texas February 18, 1893. Their first child, Clara Ester Crabb, was born in Oakhurst October 20, 1914.

Robert received the Holy Ghost in 1910 in East Texas and was called to serve God at the age of twenty-one. Afterwards, he was first ordained a minister September 15, 1911 within the Assembly of God denomination. He gave his first sermons in Fort Worth where one of the early founders of the Apostolic Faith Movement, Reverend Arch P. Collins, was Pastor.[1]

While Robert was preaching in Fort Worth, Brother and Sister D. K. Morris and Brother and Sister Young were living and preaching between Cleveland and Conroe, Texas. Soon after, they took  their message to Leesville, Louisiana;  holding services and meetings in residents homes. At one of these meetings, Ellen Frost was the first to be baptized in Western Louisiana and soon after would marry William Earl Herrin, brother of Maude May Herrin.[2] Maude was persuaded to join this group of traveling evangelist in 1911. During the intervening years between 1911 and January of 1916, Robert and Maude came to know each other and were married January 4, 1916 in Elton, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana. Their first child, Clovice Leevaso LaFleur, was born November 8, 1916 in De Quincy, Louisiana where Robert eventually became the Pastor of the 1st Pentecostal Church of De Quincy. 

On his World War I Draft Registration Card (processed June 5, 1917), Robert reported: he was a Minister living in De Quincy, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana; was born August 15, 1889 in Augusta, Arkansas; his occupation was Minister in the Assembly of God denomination; he was married and had one child. He signed his name: "Robert Lee Vaso LaFleur." On this same date, Pete LaFleur reported the following on his WWI Draft Card: he was living in De Quincy; was a Lumber Laborer working for Singer Lumber; he was single. Although not known with certainty, he may have been living with Robert.

The 50 years from 1880 to the beginning of the Great Depression has been called the "bonanza era" in Texas Lumbering and was instrumental in the development of San Jacinto County. On their World War I Draft Registration Cards (processed June 5, 1917), Henry Stokes and Demmy Crabb reported they were laborers working for the Palmetto Lumber Company in Oakhurst. Demmy reported he was married and had one child while Henry reported he was single. [Click HERE to see scanned copies of original WWI Draft cards.] Soon after, Henry Stokes either joined the army or was drafted, for he served for two years and saw action in France, returning home suffering from what was called at that time "Shell Shock."[3]

The settlement of Palmetto, San Jacinto County, Texas, was named after the Palmetto Lumber Company, which built a sawmill at the heavily forested location in 1902. A post office was established in 1904, and a tram line eventually connected the area with facilities in adjacent Walker County. In 1908 the company acquired the Columbia Lumber Company plant at Oakhurst, two miles south of Palmetto. The company soon consolidated its operations at Oakhurst, which was also the headquarters of the Trinity Valley Railroad Company.

An article in the "Handbook of Texas Online" had these comments [4]: "For the Texas worker the early lumber industry was one of long hours, low pay, and frequent accidents. The United States census bureau listed logging and saw milling as among the most hazardous of occupations. Until 1913, when the Texas legislature established a workmen's compensation system, any payment for job-related injuries depended on the personal policy of the mill owner or a successful suit in the courts. Hours of labor averaged eleven a day until about 1900, ten until World War I, and nine until World War II. Employers classed most of their workers as common laborers and paid wages averaging $1.50 to $2.50 per day from around 1900 until the early 1920s. Only a few skilled employees-sawyers, edgermen, trimmers, planers, and saw filers at the mill, and fallers, scalers, loaders, skidder operators and railroad personnel in the woods earned more than common laborers' wages."

Paul was also living in Oakhurst, reporting on his WWI Draft Card he was married and a self-employed laborer. Luke LaFleur's WWI draft card was quite interesting. He reported his home was in Oakhurst, that he was single, and working for Stout Lumber Company in  Thornton, Calhoun County, Arkansas. He reported C. L. LaFleur was his nearest relative and lived in Oakhurst, Texas. Luke's draft card was processed July 5, 1918 in Calhoun County, Arkansas. Therefore, on this date we know Clovis and Hopie were still living in Oakhurst. [Click HERE to see scanned copies of original WWI Draft cards] However, by January 12, 1920, Clovis and Hopie were residents of Oakdale, Allen Parish, Louisiana; located about 30 miles south of Alexandria, Louisiana.

 

Robert LaFleur WWI Draft Registration Card

 

Pete LaFleur WWI Draft Registration Card

 

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1) Arch P. Collins; an early founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement along with H. A. Goss, W. F. Carothers, and E. N. Bell that progressed into a strong Pentecostal nucleus in the southwest.

2) Edd & Georgian (Zachary) Herrin Bible; original in possession of Clovis LaFleur: William Earl Herrin married Mary Ellen Frost (b. 05/02/1888 in Lufkin, Texas). Sister Maude Herrin married Rev. Robert LaFleur in January of 1916.

3) Shell Shock was a term used during the First World War to describe the psychological trauma suffered by men who experienced the intensity of the artillery battles fought on battle fronts in France and Flanders; hence the tag popularly applied to the disorder. This battle field experience often caused neurotic cracks to appear in otherwise mentally stable soldiers. Treatment for shell shock was primitive at best and dangerous at worst; psychological theories governing its treatment developed only gradually. Comment by Clovis LaFleur (Junior): I knew Uncle Henry as a child and observed he never fully recovered from the symptoms, eventually being admitted to the Biloxi, Mississippi  Veterans Hospital in 1947, where he died March 8, 1960. He was buried in the Oakdale Cemetery; his tombstone next to that of  Robert La Fleur and his spouse, Maude May Herrin. 

4) URL: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/drl2.html. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ruth Alice Allen, East Texas Lumber Workers: An Economic and Social Picture, 18701950 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961). Paul Burka, "The King of the Forest," Texas Monthly, August 1982. Robert S. Maxwell and Robert D. Baker, Sawdust Empire: The Texas Lumber Industry, 18301940 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983).

 

 

 

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Demmy Crabb WWI Draft Registration Card

 

Henry Stokes WWI Draft Registration Card

 

 

Paul LaFleur WWI Draft Registration Card

 

 

 

Luke LaFleur WWI Draft Registration Card

 

 

 

Page 10

 

In the 1920 census, the family was reported as follows:

 

Source: 1920 Census, Police Jury Ward 5, Allen Parish, Louisiana; National Archives T625_603, page 16a, Enumeration District 23.

Enumerated January 12, 1920

Line 65 / Lafleur, Clovis / Head / Owns Home / Free of Mortgage / m / w / 62 / married / Louisiana / France / France / Laborer / Saw Mill

Line 66 / Lafleur, Hopie / wife / f / w / 64 / married / MO / Unknown / Tenn.

Line 67 / Stokes, Henry / step-son / m / w / 33 / single / ARK / Unknown / Mo / School Teacher

Line 68 / Lafleur, Luke / son / m / w / 22 / single / ARK / ?Unknown? / MO / Laborer / Saw Mill

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Source: 1920 Census, Police Jury Ward 5, Allen Parish, Louisiana; National Archives Roll T625_603, page 16a, Enumeration District 21

Enumerated January 12, 1920

Line 18 / Lafleur, Pete / Boarder / m / w / 24 / single / Arkansas / Missouri / Arkansas / Laborer / Saw Mill

 

 

 

Scanned Copy of Original 1920 Census

 

As reported in the 1910 census, the given name was Clovis for Hopie's husband. They owned a house that was mortgage free in the western part of Oakdale, perhaps located on Seventh Street north of Highway 10. Henry had returned home after the war and was employed as a teacher. Luke had returned from Calhoun County, Arkansas and with his father, Clovis, was working as a laborer in one of the Oakdale sawmills, most likely one of the two owned by the Industrial Lumber Company. 

Pete LaFleur was also living in Allen Parish, a boarder at the Industrial Lumber Company Sawmill owned and operated Hotel located on Main Street in Elizabeth, Louisiana. Pete was working as a laborer in Industrial's sawmill in Elizabeth. Sam Park organized Industrial Lumber Company in 1907 and built a town to support his mill operations in the heart of a piney woods located about 8 miles from Oakdale. He named the town "Elizabeth" after his daughter of the same name. Elizabeth became the Company Headquarters and continued to operate in Allen Parish until 1921, at which time the pine forest around Elizabeth had been depleted. 

While working in Elizabeth, Pete most likely met his future wife, Dalton "Dot" Cavert, daughter of John W. and Margaret A. Cavert of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Sometime between the above 1920 census enumeration date of January 12, 1920 and September 8, 1920, Pete moved to Jackson County, Missouri for  on the latter date, with the permission of Dalton's parents, he applied to marry Dalton L. Cavert of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. Dalton's father gave his permission in Louisiana September 3 and Dalton most likely traveled to Kansas City by train, arriving with the notarized parental permission marriage license. 

Because the lumber operation in Elizabeth was surely slowing by 1920, Pete most likely decided his fortunes may lie in Kansas City. While in Kansas City, he may have received barber training and experience, for sometime in the year 1922, Pete and Dalton arrived in Houston, Texas where Pete got a barber chair at the Houston Cotton Exchange Building, located at 820 Franklin Street. [1]

Sometime between 1917 and 1920, Paul LaFleur died, most likely in San Jacinto County, Texas. The name of his spouse, reported on Paul's WWI draft card, is not known. It is believed they had no issue.

   

 

 

Pete LaFleur & Dalton Cavert Marriage License

 

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1) Potterfield, Bill; Houston Chronicle Reporter; article entitled; "Pete the Barber Rues Gone Glory of Skid Row." Published Houston Chronicle November 15, 1964, Section 1, page 12. Click HERE to see the complete article with photograph of Pete LaFleur.

 

 

 

Page 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pete the Barber Rues Gone Glory of Skid Row." Published Houston Chronicle November 15, 1964

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 12

 

 

By January of 1920, Minnie (LaFleur) Crabb and Demmy Crabb had also moved from Oakhurst. In the 1920 census, they were residents of Coleman, Coleman County, Texas, located 62 miles south of Abilene, Taylor County, Texas. They are last known to be residents of San Jacinto County, Texas when their son, Nathan Ray Crabb, was born January 17, 1918. Nathan died soon after his birth.

Demmy, Minnie, and Clara were reported in the 1920 census as living between house numbers 52 & 53 on Santa Anna & Burkett Road. They appear to be newcomers to Coleman for they are not reported as renters or owners of their residence and Demmy's occupation was reported as "none," implying he did not have a job when the census was enumerated in January of 1920.[1] Minnie was about three months pregnant with Ola Mae; born in June after the census was taken. All of their children, excepting Clara and Nathan, were born in Coleman County, Texas between 1920 and 1933.[2] In the 1929 Coleman City Directory, Demmy D. Crabb and his wife, Minnie, were residing at 815 High Street in Coleman, Coleman County, Texas. 

Rev. Robert LaFleur was still a resident of  De Quincy in 1920, minister of the then named Apostolic Church.[3] His four children, born between 1916 and 1924, were all born in De Quincy.[4]  

Rev. Robert & Maude (Herrin) LaFleur

 

By 1920, all of the members of Clovis & Hopie's family had removed from San Jacinto County, Texas. Robert and Maude moved to Oakdale about 1929 where Robert became pastor of the 1st Pentecostal Church. He was pastor for 34 years, 

Hopie and Clovis lived out their final years in Oakdale, living near their son Robert. Hopestell "Hopie" Taylor died September 27, 1933 in Oakdale. Clovis Lee Vaso La Fleur died April 6, 1937 in Oakdale. Their place of burial is not known.

 

Demmy & Minnie (LaFleur) Crabb Family - circa 1923 

Children: Clara Standing; Ola Mae sitting; & Baby Tyson

Contributed by Wendy Newbury Shiflett

 

Rev. Robert L. LaFleur & Family - ca. 1947, Oakdale, Louisiana

L-R: Rev. R. L. LaFleur; Maude May (Herrin) LaFleur; Clovice L. LaFleur; Robert Lee LaFleur; Arthur L. LaFleur; Mary J. LaFleur

 

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1) Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by Family Search. Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Coleman, Coleman, Texas; Roll  T625_1788; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 46; Image: 26. Enumerated in January 1920.

2) Demmy & Minnie (LaFleur) Crabb's children were: 1) Clara Esther Crabb / b. 10/20/1914, San Jacinto Co., Texas; 2) Nathan Ray Crabb / b. 01/17/1918, San Jacinto Co., Texas; 3) Ola Mae Crabb / b. 06/29/1920, Coleman Co., Texas; 4) Melvin Tyson Crabb / b. 1922, Coleman Co., Texas / 5) Calvin Donald Crabb / b. 08/27/1924, Coleman Co., Texas; 6) Mary Lois Crabb / 01/02/1927, Coleman Co., Texas; 7) Earnest Raymond Crabb / b. 10/22/1928, Coleman Co., Texas; 8) Barbara Fay Crabb / b. 12/13/1933, Coleman Co., Texas.  

3) Source: 1920 Census, De Quincy, Calcasieu, Louisiana; National Archives Roll: T625_606, page 14b, Enumeration District 51

Enumerated February 23, 1920 (Census name index has transcription error. Reports family surname as La Flena or La Flens)

Line 88 / La Fleur, Robert / Head / Owns Home / Mortgage / m / w / 30 / married / Arkansas / Missouri / Arkansas / Minister / Apostolic (Later became Pentecostal)

Line 89 / La Fleur, Maud / Wife / f / w / 28 / married / TX / TX / TX

Line 90 / La Fleur, Cloviece / Son / m / w / 3 / single / ?TX? / ARK / TX (Was born in Louisiana. Name index reports given name as "Clovins.")

Line 91 / La Fleur, Robert L. / Son / m / w / 1 year / 10 months / single / ?TX? / ARK / TX (Was born Louisiana)

4) Robert & Maude (Herrin) La Fleur's children were: 1) Clovice Leevaso La Fleur / b. 11/08/1916, De Quincy, Calcasieu. LA; 2) Robert Lee La Fleur / b. 04/15/1918, De Quincy, Calcasieu. LA; 3) Arthur Lavelle La Fleur / b. 06/17/1920, De Quincy, Calcasieu. LA; 4) Mary Jeanette La Fleur / b. 11/25/1923, De Quincy, Calcasieu. LA.

 

 

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Copyright

Other than that work created by other acknowledged contributors or sources, the articles presented were authored and edited by Clovis LaFleur and the genealogical data presented in this publication was derived and compiled by  myself and others; Copyright 2010. All rights are reserved. The use of any material on these pages by others will be discouraged if the named contributors, sources, or Clovis LaFleur have not been acknowledged.

Disclaimer

This publication and the data presented is the work of Clovis LaFleur. However, some of the content presented has been derived from the research and publicly available information of others and may not have been verified. You are responsible for the validation of all data and sources reported and should not presume the material presented is correct or complete.

 

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