W F Guthrie Biography

Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Tom Guthrie

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates – used by permission

My grandfather, W. F. Guthrie was born in Coweta County, Georgia, May 24, 1841. His family came to Texas in 1846, and settled in that part of Upshur County that is now Gregg County. In 1849, his family moved to Williamson County, where he grew to manhood. He enlisted in March 1862, joining Company A in Morgan’s Battalion, Parson’s Brigade of Cavalry. He mustered out in May 1865, and came to Coleman County with his wife, Mary Ann (Mullis) Guthrie and three children, ages six to ten, and two other families. Between the three families, they brought quite a herd of cattle and horses with them (see J. L. Vaughn, Jr.). They arrived in Santa Anna in December 1879; turned south a few miles and turned their herds loose. They pitched their tents on what was known as Dry Creek. This is where they spent their first winter in Coleman County.
In March 1880, my grandfather said he had one old cow left that he knew where she was. It came a hard freeze, and killed her, so he did not know but what he was out of the cow business. The other two men came to him and said, “Bill, we are broke; let’s go back to Williamson County.” Granddad said, “No, I left Williamson County in good shape; when I go back, I will be the same way.” They asked him what he would give them for every thing he could gather in their brands, both horses and cattle. He gave them $100.00 each. That was enough to get them back to Williamson County. When spring broke, he started his roundup and gathered quite a herd of cattle and horses wearing three brands.

He found a 160 acre farm listed as improved, had a 1-room log cabin and 10 acres in cultivation. This farm was on Mukewater Creek, five miles south of Trickham. He gave two ponies and $90.00 for it and started buying land right around this 160 acres until he had 7,000 acres in that tract. In 1901, he rounded up more than eight hundred head of horses wearing his brand. In eary summer of 1908, my granddad and grandmother remodeled their home at Trickham and built a $3,500.00 barn, which was more than most homes in the county cost at that time. This was all completed in one week. The next week (early July) on Friday the home caught fire and burned to the ground.

On August 20, 1908, my mother Ola (Jenkins) Guthrie died and left 6 small children, ages 12 down to 2. That fall, our grandparents went to Brownwood and bought them a 9 room house and took us children to Brownwood to put us in school. They didn’t stop with just the 6 of us; they had 6 more grandchildren on the ranch at Midland so they brought the two older ones in and put them in Howard Payne College. They also had 3 more at the little town of Brookesmith and they brought the oldest one – a granddaughter – in and put her in Howard Payne College also. That made 9 grandchildren they had with them.
Grandfather was engaged in livestock and mercantile business. He maintained his interest at Trickham, when he moved to Brownwood, a more central point from which to handle his business.

Almost 5 years later my dad, Lee Guthrie, married (2) Margaret Dibrell, a sister to Joseph B. Dibrell, who was a lawyer in Coleman (see Joseph Burton Dibrell). My grandfather, W .F. Guthrie, died September 13, 1915, and my grandmother, May 3, 1927, both in Brownwood. My dad, Lee Guthrie, inherited one-third of the old ranch. He sold it to Taylor Motor Company of Coleman in 1942. I came to Abilene in 1946. My stepmother died in 1949, and my dad in 1955, both in Brownwood.


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