Joseph A. Kirgan
of Navarro County, Texas


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A stone marker


The Dawson Cemetery, Dawson, Texas





Husband of Mary Burleson

Co E  7th Texas Cav. CSA



Joseph A Kirgan was first found as an enlistee into the Army of the Confederacy.  He enlisted at Rusk, Texas in 1861 as a First Sergeant (shown also as private) and was assigned to Company E….Seventh Texas Mounted Cavalry.    The company commander was Capt. Dr. William L Kirksey.    Kirgan was thirty-one…Dr Kirksey was thirty-two.


Several other names appeared in the ranks of Company E that appeared years later in Western Navarro County, Texas.


History records that Trinity Co Texas was heavily divided on the issue of seceding.  Many of the citizens were Union sympathizers and it was said that the desertion rate of enlistees from that area was high.


E M L Kirgan…born in Greene Co Illinois…enlisted at Cold Springs, Texas in 1861, but deserted in East Tennessee in November 1862.   He took the Union oath in December of that same year.


Shadrack Kirgan, born 1803, married Nancy Duff Williams in Rockingham Co. VA and settled at Burkesville KY.    Their son,  Joseph McDonald Kirgan, , deserted from the CSA Kentucky Infantry.   He, later, changed his name to Joseph Carrigan.


Arthur Kirgan lived in Kentucky in 1818, but migrated to Illinois in 1832  and purchased land in Green Co Illinois in 1835.   Martha Kirgan married William H Smith in St Claire Co Illinois.   The two families were  found in the 1850 Cherokee Co Texas census.


Joseph A Kirgan was, probably,  a son Albert & Mary  Kirgan who migrated to Texas from Greene Co Illinois and settled in Trinity Co Texas.   Both were buried in Cherokee Co….in 1907 and 1932 respectively.


Joseph, apparently, did not serve throughout the war.    The Marshall (Texas) REPUBLICAN printed in 1863 that “J A Kirgan” was publisher of a newly organized newspaper at Crockett, Texas….and wished him well.


Joseph was located in the town of Livingston, Polk Co. Texas  serving as Postmaster  for a brief period between December 1867 and June 1868.    Arthur Kirgan and Mrs Mary Kirgan had served previously in that position.


Joseph Kirgan does not surface until the late 1880s when he was found in Milford, Ellis Co. Texas.    He was editor and publisher of THE MILFORD GASETTE, a newspaper that ceased publication by December 1890.


Joseph A Kirgan began a newspaper in Dawson, Texas after 1890…THE DAWSON TIMES.       He would have been sixty years of age at the time.


A single edition,….Saturday, October 24, 1898 exists.   The largest story, apparently written by the editor, concerns the break up of the Williams Eldorado Ranch which was located immediately south of Dawson.  The article describes the north  boundary of the 18,000 acre ranch to be six miles long and parallel to the railroad.    Information and prices could be obtained from Col. Williams in Dawson.


What had brought him to Dawson?   


One contact may have been James Alexander Tullos who, at age eighteen, had served in Compan E during the Civil War.    J A Tullos  married twice…first to Cornelia Priut, and second, to Lila Bell Culberson.    He was a son of Alfred Tullos.      J A Tullos is buried at the Frost Cemetery.


Another contact was, probably, Dr.  William H Kirksey, whose uncle, Dr. William L Kirksey,  had been company commander of  Company E.    Dr Kinsey had come to Dawson between 1880, when he was listed in the census of Talladega Co MS, and 1883…when his wife Amanda Groce was buried in theDawson Cemetery.


Carrie Sarah Kirksey, daughter of Dr Kirksey, married John H Dalton Westmoreland, son of one of Dawson’s early school teachers.   He operated a clothing store in Dawson and served as Dawson Justice of the Peace for many years.    Their daughter, Carrie Mae Westmoreland, married Clarence Holt.   Many will remember their children…Adlena, Mary Dalton, and Claude L.






And this….is….The Story Behind the Stone


REVISED   Sept 16, 2005

Harold Tanner emailed the missing information on the marker…thanks.


Navarro County TXGenWeb
© Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox