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The Story of Hooper Lewis' Gravesite And How It Was Identified!





In 2001 while searching for family grave sites in the Walnut Grove Cemetery near Rhea Mills in Collin County, Texas. The above grave stone of Hooper Lewis was found. It was almost totally covered with grass and earth. It was directly across the road from my ggggrandmother's grave, Winnie Lewis. Winnie Lewis was the first person buried in this cemetery in 1881. She died July 20, 1881. The date on Hooper's gravestone was December 9, 1881 making him the second person buried in the cemetery.

I wondered if Hooper Lewis was a part of our family. I did the searches and found nothing to link him to our family. So I kept him in the back of my mind as the time passed and I continued to search for family members. For about three years I did not find anything to link Hooper to the family. I had noticed that his parents were A & A. R. Lewis but still did not connect them to the family.

In 2004 while going through the Collin County, Texas Cemetery Inscriptions Volume I by Mrs. Alice Pitts I noticed that there was an Abigail Ruth Hall Lewis and Anderson Lewis on page 296 of this book. They were the only two Lewis' in this Cemetery and I felt they were husband and wife but the birth date in the book said 1885 while that for Anderson said 1837. At first I thought this too much a difference, but then I began to suspect that a mistake had been made.

I contacted Aurora Chancy, the President of the Collin County Genealogical Society and ask her if she might be able to check this for me when she was next at the cemetery. In a few days she got back with me and even sent me the pictures of the tombstone shown here. Sure enough Anderson and Abigail Ruth Hall Lewis were husband and wife and Abigail was born in 1835 and not 1885 as listed in the above book.

So Now I had a A. & A.R. Lewis who were the right age to have had a son of Hooper's age and they too were buried in Collin County, Texas.

With this information I went back to the Cocke County, Tennessee Census list of Lewis families who were residing there with my family in 1850 to see if I could locate someone with a boy named Anderson who was the right age.

On that census I found a man named John B. Lewis whom I believe to be an uncle of my ggggrandfather Martin Lewis and John's wife was Nancy. They had 6 children listed on that census the 5th child a boy was named Anderson who was age 12 in 1850. This meant that he was born between 1837 and 1838 so he was in the ball park. In fact he turned out to be the only Anderson listed.

Next I turned to searching that same census for A Hall that had a daughter named Abigail who might have inherited a middle name of Ruth.....possibly from her mother or grandmother. At first I thought that Abigail was the daughter of Royal Hall who had a wife Ruth Hall whose 5th child was named Abigail. However, I was contacted by two different kin that gave the name of the real mother and her family.

This information from Patti Kruger one of our cousins. Abigail Ruth Hall, was the daughter of John Wesley Hall and Martha Denton. John Wesley Hall was born about 1797, NC. About 1824, he married Martha Denton in Cocke Co. TN.

In the 1850 census, John Wesley was listed as a Methodist Clergyman, age 53, born NC, with land worth $4000. His wife, Martha (Denton), was listed as age 48. There were eight children, including Abigail, age 14.

Then, there was a deed that ties Abigail to John W. Hall. On 7 August 1875, John W. Hall et al (Anderson Lewis and wife Abigail R. Lewis; Mary J. Jack; S. J. Campbell and wife, Ellen; Martha Hall Orr, widow; John E. Mitchell and wife, Sarah A.; James Napoleon Hall and wife Nancy; Alexander Hall and wife, Josephine; Wiley W. Hall and wife, Sarah; and John W. Hall and wife, Matilda) sold 60 acres of land on Sinking Creek in District 7 to C. B. Starnes for $150.

I think that Hooper is Lucius Hooper Lewis, the 7th child of Anderson and Abigail. In the 1870 Cocke Co. census, Anderson was listed as a farmer, age 31, property valued at $200. Abigail was 34. Their children were William 11, George 9, Charley 7, Theodore 5, Lucius H. 2, and Bomada 11 months. In the 1880 census, Anderson was listed as a shoemaker, age 42. Abigail was listed as age 43. Their children were Walker W. 20, George A. 19, Charles A. 17, Horace T. 15, Hooper 13, Bruney? 11, Benjamin 8, Leodocia 5 and Samuel 3. Their two oldest children were probably married. Walker was listed as a shoemaker. Anderson, Abigail and family moved to Texas after 1880. I believe that they lived in or near Plano.

From THE DEMOCRAT (McKinney newspaper) of 8 Mar 1900, Anderson died 4 March 1900, age 65, "an old and respected citizen of Plano".

Now we had a grave stone of Hooper showing his father and mother as A. & A.R. Lewis. We have a grave stone in the same county with the names Anderson & Abigail Ruth Hall Lewis. We have both Anderson and Abigail listed on the same census in Cocke county Tennessee for the year 1850 and they both have ages that match within a year of those on the tombstone in the Plano Cemetery, in Collin County.

In 2005 that I received an E-mail from ,Aurora Chancy, President of The Collin County Genealogical Society, she had the piece of evidence that was needed to seal this case. She sent me the 1880 Federal Census from Collin County, Texas, and it showed Anderson and Abigail R. Lewis and they had nine children with 5th child being Hooper Lewis who was listed as age 13 in 1880. This census was taken just a short time before the death of Hooper Lewis as he died in December of 1881 and would have been 14 at the time.

Abigail's family as well as Anderson's is listed below. It comes from the 1850 Cocke County Tennessee Census.

John B. Lewis 50
Nancy Lewis 50
Louiza 23
Marion 20
Harriet 17
Henderson 15
Anderson 12
Margaret 9

John Wesley Hall 53
Martha Denton 48
They had 8 children including Abigail Ruth Hall

More to come on the John Wesley Hall family soon!

If you have any additional information on this family please E-mail
Page Updated 09-19-2005


page designed by jlewis 11-30-2004