Thursday, April 21, 2011

Family Photos

Children of Jerry and Martha Wilkins (Grandfather/Grandmother)

 Children of Jerry Cravin and Martha Wilkins

(1) JAMES HOWARD WILKINS, b 28 Dec 1871, Smithville, Tx, d 5 Jun 1942, Pelly, Tx, 71 years of age.

(2) MARY IRENE WILKINS, b 20 Aug 1873, Bastrop Co Tx, d 30 Apr 1938, Eagle Lake, Tx, 65 years of age.

(3) MANNING BART WILKINS, b 24 May, 1876, Smithville, Texas, d 6 Mar 1947, Waller County, Texas.  71 years of age.

(4) WILLIE WILKINS, b 26 Aug 1878, Bastrop Co, Tx, d 7 Jul 1904, Bastrop Co, Tx. 26 years of age.

(5) RICHARD WILKINS, b 17 Mar 1880, Bastrop County Tx d. 23 Mar 1880, Bastrop Co Tx.  6 days of age.

(6) CHARLIE WILKINS, b 8 Mar 1881, Bastrop County Tx, d 11 Sep 1890 Bastrop Co Tx  9 years of age.

(7) MELLIE WILKINS, b 11 Jul 1884, Bastrop County Tx, d 19 Dec 1964, Houston Harris county, Tx  80 years of age.

(8) LUCINDY WILKINS, b 15 Aug 1885, Bastrop County Texas, d 21 Apr 1886, Bastrop County Tx 8 months of age.

(9) NATHAN LEONARD WILKINS, b 29 Sep 1890, Smithville Bastrop County Texas, d 6 Jun 1969, Baytown Harris County, Tx.  79 years of age.

(10) LEE WILKINS, My father,  was born in Smithville, Texas, Bastrop County on 27 August 1893. He was the youngest of 10 children. He served in the US Army in WWI.  He married my Mother, Daisy Isabelle White who was born on Nov 8, 1904 in Mississippi and raised in Humble, Tx.  My father died on May 18, 1964 in Baytown, Tx at the age of 71 (esophageal cancer)  and is buried in Memory Gardens on
Garth Road
in Baytown, Tx.  My father was an independent grocery store owner and operated stores in Pelly, Tx at three different locations; 2 on Pruitt St and 1 on W. Main.
My mother died on Jul 8, 1962 in Baytown, Tx at the age of 58 (breast cancer).  She is buried beside my dad in Memory Gardens on
Garth Road
in Baytown, Tx.


My father went to live with his brother, Manning Bart Wilkins who was 17 years older than my dad. No recollection of how long my dad lived with Uncle Manning in Smithville, Tex.  In 1920 they moved to Pelly, Texas (Now known as Baytown, Texas).  Dad would have been 27 years of age.

PELLY, TEXAS. Pelly, thirty miles east of Houston in southeastern Harris County, received its name from its first mayor and principal landowner, Fred T. Pelly, a native of London. Pelly and his wife, Lucy (Wiggins), owned a seventy-one-acre tract of land near the Goose Creek oilfield.  On his land oilfield workers and their families settled after a number of gas explosions and oil-well fires in late 1916. Unable to buy land because of oil leasing activities, the oilfield squatters became renters, and the new community adopted the typical look of a rough and temporary oilfield boomtown. The original settlement along Tabbs Bay was known as Old Town, and the new inland village became Middle Town (later Pelly) in 1917, after Ross S. Sterling,  founder of Humble Oil and Refining Company, began developing New Town a mile north alongside his railroad project. When New Town residents decided to incorporate on January 28, 1919, they took the name Goose Creek and asked for a post office. One night they jacked up and moved by wagon the small frame post office in Middle Town, which had been moved there by residents of Old Town. The move was planned and approved but carried out overnight to minimize business interruption. The story was circulated, however, that New Town "vigilantes" had stolen the post office, and over time the story became legend. Fearing it might be devoured by the new settlement, Middle Town incorporated as Pelly on January 19, 1920. At the time of its incorporation, Pelly had its peak population of 7,500. By 1929 the population dropped to 4,000, due to a decrease in oil production. Those who stayed went to work at the new Humble refinery in nearby Baytown and built a permanent community. Reluctant oil companies and landowners finally sold lots to homeowners and businessmen, streets were laid out, and city services furnished. Pine-boarded, single-walled shacks yielded to neat cottages and brick homes, and timid bond issues built schools and paved streets. The oilfield town gained some respectability through the organization of a housing authority, which cleared a slum and provided low-cost housing to its citizens. The community also built a brick two-story city hall and developed a volunteer fire department.
Despite several consolidation attempts the Tri-Cities of Goose Creek, Pelly, and Baytown existed as separate entities until late 1945. Fearful again of being swallowed by its old rival, Goose Creek, which had been annexing territory for five years, Pelly adopted a home-rule charter in December 1945 and immediately annexed the "contiguous and unincorporated" territory of Baytown. A year's court fight ensued over whether a city could annex a water district, since the problem had no precedent. The Texas Supreme Court finally ruled Pelly's action to be legal and in the best interests of the citizens.  
After many meetings and discussions, consolidation elections were held in both Pelly and Goose Creek on February 15, 1947. Consolidation carried by a large majority, and a straw vote showed most citizens preferred the name Baytown for the new city and a new charter. The question of who was to annex whom was decided by a special federal census in the spring of 1947, which showed that Pelly, now including old Baytown, had a population of 11,030 to Goose Creek's 9,928. At that time Goose Creek was merged with Pelly. In January 24, 1948, a new city charter was approved by the voters. Two days later the city of Pelly became the city of Baytown.

Wilkins Photos


Generation No. 5:  MARY FRANCIS HERNDON - Daughter of James Herndon   
                            and  Isabella Thompson.  Born 1780, died in 1836 at the age
                            56.  She married RICHARD CRAVEN WILKINS  in 1799 in
                            Bowling Green, Ky.  He was born in 1769 in Chatham Co., N.C.
                            and died in Oct 1816 at the age of 47.  They had 4 boys and 2

Mary Francis Herndon Wilkins/Richard Craven Wilkins would be my Great Great Grandparents.

Generation No. 6:  DR. JAMES HERNDON WILKINS - Son of Mary  Francis
                             Herndon and Richard Craven Wilkins.  Born 21 Apr 1802 in
                             Simpson Co., Ky and died 05 Feb 1880 in Bastrop Co., Tx at
                             the age of 78.  He married Melvina Mills Salmons 05 Jul 1826.
                             She was born Oct 17 1809 in Simpson Co., Ky and died Nov
                             8, 1855 in Bastrop Co., Tx at the age of 46.  They had 10
                             children. He then married Mary Grimes, widow of R.H. Grimes
                             who was the son of Jesse Grimes, a signer of The Texas
                             Declaration of Independence.  His brother was killed at the Alamo.

                             As his title implies, James Herndon Wilkins was a medical
                             doctor when he arrived in Bastrop County but soon found it
                             more profitable to grow cotton and he already had several
                             children and about thirty slaves to do this with.  He owned the
                             8th largest plantation in Bastrop County.  And as you might
                             have guessed by now, Dr James Herndon Wilkins was my
                             Great Grandfather.

Generation No. 7:   JERRY CRAVIN WILKINS - Fourth child (3rd Son) of Dr
                             James Herndon Wilkins and Melvina Salmons.  Born 11 Dec1833 in
                             Simpson Co., Ky - died 22 Mar 1895 in Alum Creek, Bastrop Co,
                             Texas at the age of 62. He married Martha Walker in 1870.  She was
                              born in 1855 in Texas, and died Feb 1899 in Bastrop Co., Tx at the
                              age of 44.  They had 10 children, 3 girls and 7 boys.  My Dad Lee
                              Wilkins being the youngest.

Notes on my Grandfather Jerry Cravin Wilkins:  He was sheriff of Bastrop County in 1862 and 1863.  He also served the Confederate States of America; first as a private in Terry's Texas Rangers, mustered in at Houston, Tx on Sep 7, 1861.  Then as Capt of Co. D, Baylor's 2nd Regt., Texas Cavalry.  His brother Robert Thomas joined him in 1864 and was elected Lieutenant.  This is all verified by letter dated Aug 14, 1930 from the U.S. War Department signed by Harvey W. Miller, Colonel, A.G.D.

My Grandfather is buried  in Fairview Cemetery in Bastrop, Tx

Generation No. 8:  LEE WILKINS - Youngest child of Jerry Cravin Wilkins and
                                                          Martha Walker Wilkins.  Born 27 Aug 1893
                                                          in Smithville, Tx, Bastrop County.  Married
                                                          Daisy Bell White, born Nov 8, 1904 in
                                                          Mississippi and raised in Humble, Tx.  My
                                                          father died on My 18, 1964 from Cancer in
                                                          Baytown, Tx at the age of 71.  He is buried
                                                          Memory Gardens on Garth Road in Baytown,
                                                          Texas.  My father was an independent grocery
                                                          store owner and operated stores in Pelly, Tx
                                                          at three different locations; 2 on Pruitt St and
                                                          1 on W. Main.  My mother died on Jul 8, 1962 in
                                                          Baytown Texas from Cancer at the age of 58. 
                                                          She is buried next to dad in Memory Gardens.

Jerry and Martha Wilkins
with my aunts and Uncles

Dr. James Herndon Wilkins

Lee Wilkins