Chasing Our Tales - Galen Gann and the Gann Clan
This column was made possible by Galen Gann (http://www.Galen.Gann.com) who did all of the research. Check out his website, and if you have questions or comments, please email Galen at <Galen@Gann.com>. Thanks, Galen, for the information!
The Gann Family from 1786 to 1997: Samuel Gann was born in Tennessee in 1786. His wife, Sarah, was born in South Carolina in 1786. One of their children was Anthony Smith Gann IV, born in Marion County, Alabama in 1832. His wife was Sarah Minerva White, the daughter of Andrew and Sally White. Records indicate that Sally White was born in 1802 in South Carolina.
Sarah Minerva White was born in 1832 in Marion County, Alabama, to Anthony and Sarah who were married in about 1854 in Marion County, Alabama. Four children were born to them. One child died prior to 1900, and the others were Eliza, Sarah M., and Bayless Pinkney. Anthony Smith, a confederate soldier, died at the end of the Civil War after walking home in the rain with the measles. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Alcorn County, Corinth, Mississippi, in June, 1865.
Mrs. Sarah M. Gann then married James Holmes of Mississippi. Mr. Holmes was born March 1805. They came to Stephens County, Texas, in 1868, bringing with them a Mrs. Mary Reed and her two sons, Jim and Caroll. Her husband, their father, also a confederate soldier, had also died of the measles. These families settled east of Ivan, Texas, near the mouth of Cedar Creek where it empties into the Brazos River. They lived for some time in the covered wagons, then added a tent for more living space, and finally built a one room log house. Mr. Holmes died in February 1896. His wife Sarah M. Gann Holmes died in March 1908. Both are buried in the Veals Creek Cemetery.
Bayless Pinkney Gann was the fourth and last child born to Anthony Smith Gann IV and Sarah. He was born 13 June 1858 in Alabama. He came to Texas 1868, with his mother and in July, 1886, he was married to Laura Etta Hunt. Laura was born March 22, 1869, in Alabama. Her parents were Dee Hunt, a confederate soldier, born in Mississippi, dying in 1922, and Emily Goforth, born in Mississippi, dying 1907. Dee and Emily Hunt are both buried in the Necessity Cemetery. He was a farmer and worked in the Necessity cotton gin.
Bayless and Laura purchased the Gann place, about two miles south of the Veals Creek Cemetery. They paid $30.00 cash plus a wagon and team, plus a note for $280.00. Their children were Sarah Emily, Smith Monroe, Lilly Pinkney, John Worth, Melvin Leroy, Wilburn Andrew, James Earnest and William Riley.
Bayless was a farmer, black smith, his forge is still on the W. A. Gann place at the junction of Veals Creek and Cedar Creek, and raised horses. He was an active member of the local school board. Records show he served the Harmony School as a trustee in 1907. In 1909
Bayless purchased property on Duff Prairie and built a house, now known as the Jim Stone place on the county line between Stephens and Young.
They soon sold this property and by wagon and hack, the family journeyed to Louisiana for about three months. Earnest became extremely sick with a fever while in Louisiana, so Bayless sold everything and put the family on a train and returned to Stephens County.
In 1911 in three covered wagons they traveled to Port Lavaca, Texas, where they paid $500.00 down on some ground for farming. After a brief stay, they traveled to Tyler, Texas, visited Laura's family there, and then returned to Veals Creek. The old home place was occupied by kinfolk's, so Bayless and his family lived in a half dugout in the canyon just south of Veals Creek cemetery. In late 1912, Bayless and his family moved to Malvern, Arkansas. From Arkansas they journeyed to Florida by covered wagon, but stayed there only briefly. They then returned to Tulip, Arkansas, sold out there and returned again to the Veals Creek Community. The family then rented a farm south of Ivan, Texas. In 1927 Bayless and Laura moved into Graham, Texas. He died in 1928; she died in 1941. Both are buried in the Veals Creek Cemetery.
Children and family stories follow Sarah Emily Gann and Elzy Layne Cretsinger. Sarah the first born to Bayless and Laura Gann. She was born May 6, 1887 in the Veals Creek area of Stephens County where the family first settled. She married Elzy Layne Cretsinger in December 1903. His family was also early settlers in this same area.
Elzy was born June 18,1878. Their farm was a few miles up Veals Creek. Elzy and Emily had eight children. They were Columbus, born August 31, 1904 on Veals Creek and died March 19, 1977, and was buried in the Veals Creek Cemetery; Edna (Kennedy), born December 24, 1907, on Veals Creek; Thomas, born April 11,1906, on Veals Creek, who served in the Army in World War II; Henry, born July 9, 1911 on Veals Creek; Estus, born June 13, 1914, on Veals Creek; Lillie (Harrison) born January 18, 1918 on Veals Creek and moved to Arizona in 1935); Charity (Stringer), born September 16, 1922 on Veals Creek; and Hall, born April 6, 1928 at Ivan, Texas.
Elzy and Emily lived in what originally was called the Sorghum Flat community, later changed to Veals Creek school and cemetery. He had a syrup mill there on Veals Creek. He was a farmer and active in community programs. Elzy died July 6, 1939. Emily and Thomas then moved to Ivan. She died July 20, 1969. Both Elzy and Emily are buried in the Veals Creek Cemetery.
Smith Monroe Gann was the second child born to Bayless and Laura Gann. He was born September 22,1889, in the Veals Creek Community. He married Zelma Martin May 16, 1920, at South Bend. She was born February 16, 1902 in Somerville County (near Glen Rose). Smith was in the Army in World War I. They had 8 children, James Monroe, born August 25, 1921, at Ivan, Texas, in the Air Force in World War II; Rose Mary, born/died July 6, 1923, and is buried in the Veals Creek Cemetery; Annie Jewel (Goez), born April 2, 1924 at Ivan, Texas; Vernon, born May 31, 1929 at Ivan; Raymond Lee, born September 15, 1930, at Ivan; Floyd Aaron, born September 21, 1935, at Ivan; David, born October 11, 1939, in South Bend; and Joyce (Smith), born February 22, 1944, at South Bend.
Smith lived in Ivan, South Bend, Tonk Valley, and Graham. He worked as a teamster with freight wagons and with his brothers as stump pullers in clearing ground in Stephens and Young counties. He was also a trucker and kept the ranchers supplied with cattle feed, especially through the winters when cake would be in demand. Probably no one made more miles on the Graham to Fort Worth highway in a truck hauling cattle to market and returning with feed than did Smith Gann.
In his early years the brothers worked as butchers during the oil field boom days around Ivan, Caddo, and Breckenridge. They would buy cattle, drive them to the camps, and then butcher them to supply fresh meat to the oil field camps, boarding houses, and grocery stores. Smith died December 29, 1967, and is buried in Veals Creek Cemetery.
Lillie Pinkney Gann the third child of Bayless and Laura. She was born February 13, 1892, in the Veals Creek community. She married Lewis Barron in August, 1907. His family were pioneers to this area. They lived on several farms in the Veals Creek community before moving to Graham. They had one son, William Adrian Barron, born June 28, 1910. He was lost at sea during World War II. Lillie died July 1955, and is buried in the Oak Grove cemetery in Graham, Texas. Lewis died June 1956, and is also buried in Oak Grove cemetery.
John Worth Gann the fourth child of Bayless and Laura. He was born November 16, 1894, in the Veals Creek community. He was wed to Bonnie Marie Storm on September 23, 1920, at Pickwick, Texas. She was born April 27, 1899, in the Pickwick area. Their children are : (twins): Veva (McCoy) and Vearon, born July 18, 1921 in Caddo, Texas. Vearon died June 30, 1985. He is buried in the Indian Creek Cemetery West of Mineral Wells, Texas; Vera Nell (Phillips), born October 14, 1923, in Pickwick; Cecil, born June 9, 1938, in the Fortune Bend community.
John Worth served in the Army in World War I. Vearon served in the Navy in World War II. The son-in-law Euther Phillips, retired U.S. Army, served in World War II, the Korean War, and in the Vietnam War. John and Bonnie lived in Pickwick, Caddo, Fortune Bend, and Mineral Wells. John was a farmer, rancher, and did custom hay baling. He moved to Mineral Wells in 1940 and set up an auto salvage business. He died July 24, 1972, and is buried in the Indian Creek Cemetery west of Mineral Wells, Texas. Bonnie died April 1997, and is also buried in the Indian Creek Cemetery.
Melvin Leroy, the fifth child born to Bayless and Laura Gann, was born May 23, 1897, in the Veals Creek Community. He married Margaret Bullock June 11, 1916, in Manning , Arkansas. She was born July 26, 1898, in Willow, Arkansas. They left Stephens County in the early 1930s and moved to Sinton, Texas. They had nine children, a son born February 1, 1918, died February 2, 1918 in Manning, Arkansas, and is buried in Manning; Monice Leroy, born November 13, 1919, in Manning, Arkansas; Milton Coy, born January 7, 1922, in Willow, Arkansas; a still born child born died March 12, 1925, in Graham, Texas, and buried in Veals Creek Cemetery; Beuran, born May 13, 1926, in Malvern, Arkansas; Laura May, born September 6, 1928, in Sparkman, Arkansas; Elzie Andrew, born September 16, 1931, in Sinton, Texas; Donald Ray, born July 17, 1933, in Sinton, Texas; and Harold Dean, born June 4, 1936, in Sinton, Texas.
In 1950 Melvin returned to Palo Pinto and Stephens Counties to live the rest of his life. He died October 22, 1956, and is buried in the Veals Creek Cemetery. Margaret died June 26, 1966, and is buried in the San Patricio Memorial Garden, Portland, Texas. Melvin served in the Army in World War II.
Wilburn Andrew, the sixth child of Bayless and Laura Gann., was born August 21, 1899, in the Veals Creek community. He worked for several ranchers as a young man. While working for Mr. Willie Corbett in 1919, he married the bosses daughter, Iva Lee Corbett on December 21, 1919. Iva Lee was born February 19, 1904, in the Ivan community.
Wilburn and Iva lived in Ivan, Caddo, Eliasville, member the Masonic Lodge there, and Hamlin Texas. He was a ranch hand, butcher, truck driver, blacksmith, and oil field worker. He worked for Phillips, Mid-Kansas, Ohio, Marathon and T. P. Oil Companies, most of this on the Hill lease West of Eliasville. He was an active booster of youth activities. Born to Wilburn and Iva Lee were Georgia Fern (Pappas), February 7, 1922, at Ivan, Texas; Ola Marie, stillborn April 23. 1924, buried at Veals Creek cemetery; W. A. Jr., April 7, 1926, in Caddo, Texas; Arthur Lee, born May 15, 1928, in Eliasville, Texas; Virginia Ellen (Elzie), born February 10, 1932, Eliasville, Texas.
Wilburn and his brothers cleared fields surrounding the Stovall Hot Water Wells at South Bend, Texas. Wilburn's job was keeping firewood in the steam tractor. With early life experience in driving cattle and butchering, he was the community butcher, helping neighbors and fellow workers kill and process their animals for family consumption. He raised large gardens each year and freely gave of his harvest to the elderly and needy. He enjoyed calf roping and training horses. He was affectionately known among friends as "Cowboy", but to many he is remembered as the rattlesnake hunter, a past time he enjoyed as long as his eyesight permitted. After his retirement Wilburn and Iva Lee moved to a cabin on Veals Creek where it runs into Cedar Creek close to the old Veals Creek school ground. Truly they had come home. At this home there was no need for television and other modern conveniences.
Many old timers and relatives came to visit Wilburn and Iva and sit in the shade relating incidents of the past. One night a community gathering took place at the Veals Creek school house. As smaller children fell asleep, mothers would carry them out and place them in the family wagon. The "big boys" then exchanged the children and vehicles. Imagine, as a mother, when you arrived home only to find the sleep child was not your own. Oh well! boys will be boys! Iva Lee died in 1972, and Wilburn in 1992. Both are buried at Veals Creek.
James Earnest, the seventh child of Bayless and Laura Gann, was born March 12, 1902, in the Veals Creek community. During his lifetime he worked for several rancher in the Ivan- Breckenridge area. Earnest married Emma Evalene Deavers in June 1928. Emma was born in 1901, in Ivan, Texas. They lived South of Eliasville in Stephens County; in Ivan, in Veals Creek, on the Texas Lakes on the Clearfork River east of Crystal Falls, Texas, on a ranch south of the Caddo to Breckenridge highway, and briefly on Randle Wright's property south of the Kirkland Hill. Children born to Earnest and Emma were two daughters, Etta Adell, born July 24, 1928, near Eliasville, who married on November 3, 1945, Pickwick, native Theron Durwood Seber, born January 13, 1920, . Adell and Durwood lived on Hubbard Creek west of Breckenridge.
The second daughter, Laverna Maybell, was born January 5, 1932, at Ivan, Texas. She died September 9, 1932, and is buried in Bee Branch Cemetery. Emma died December 16, 1971, and is also buried in Bee Branch. Earnest died January 7, 1983, and is buried in Veals Creek Cemetery.
The youngest of Bayless and Laura is William Riley, born October 12, 1904, in the Veals Creek community. He was wed to Dollie Pearl Thomas March 12, 1930. She was born in Graham on February 28, 1912. Their children are William Gordon, born February
15, 1931, in Graham; Richard Dean, born October 28, 1934: Galen Thomas, born January 9, 1941, in Graham, and Sandra Annette (Wilson), born January 20.1944, and died May 19, 1984. Riley and Dollie lived in Graham for several years. He worked as a city - county road grader operator. In his younger days he worked with his brothers on the stump puller, hay balers, and threshing machines in the Ivan area. Riley and Dollie moved to Fort Worth in 1943 where he worked as a carpenter and house builder. Riley died June 2, 1984, he is buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth. Dollie is still alive as of September 26, 1997. She is the last living of her generation in either family.
Galen Gann's line goes back to Samuel Gann, born 1786, married Sarah; to John B. Gann, born 1750, in Halifax County, Virginia, and married Hannah Smith; to Adam Carter Gann, who married Jane, and died in 1812, in Jefferson County, Tennessee; to Samuel Gann who married Elizabeth, and died about 1762, in Rockingham County, North Carolina.
I certainly appreciate Galen supplying this wonderful account of his family tales. Remember to contact Galen with questions and comments. And if you wish to reach me, you may do so at P. O. Box 61, Mineral Wells TX 76068-0061 or <email@example.com>. Hope to hear your tales, too. You all come back now, real soon, and God bless us everyone!
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