William Nelson Pittman
Navarro County, Texas


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Researched and Compiled by Dana Stubbs











William Nelson Pittman was born 24 May 1822 (according to Winnie Pittman’s Bible) in Alabama (according to census) in South and North Carolina. He was one of 10 known children born to Matthew and Mary Y. (Harkey) Pittman both originally of North Carolina.

William married 12 August 1847 in Mississippi to Winnie Christina Pryor the daughter of Samuel Odle and Unity (Fox) Pryor. Winnie was born 20 Nov 1830 in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.


At the out brake of the 1860’s war the family was living in Choctaw County Mississippi. William enlisted into the Confederate Army on November 2, 1861 at Greensboro, Mississippi. At the organization of the Choctaw Rough and Readies, October 25, 1861, he was elected captain and served in what became Co D, 3 MS Inf. CSA. He fulfilled his tour of duty through the four years of conflict without much injury but came out worn, dirty and tired. It was told by one of William and Winnie’s sons that his mother ran the plantation during the war with the aid of the slaves and her children. As this son was reminiscing of his mother he said he could almost hear the noise the spinning wheel made as she spun fabric for their clothing late at night.


The family moved by wagon train to Texas and is first found in 1868 on the Anderson County tax list with a total value of $3,100 and taxed in the amount of $5.15. The next year, 1869, he is listed on the Navarro County tax list. Here William had obtained four parcels of land amounting to over five hundred acres.

Navarro County was also where Isaac Pittman, William’s brother, had died and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Corsicana in 1859.


1870 Navarro County Texas US Census

W. Pitman, age 48, Farmer, born South Carolina; W. C., age 39, born Alabama; M. E., age 21f, born Mississippi; J. N., age 18m, born Mississippi; T. H., age 16m, born Mississippi; J. M., age 14m, born Mississippi; S. U., age 10f, born Mississippi; F. B., age 12f, born Mississippi; M. E., age 8f, born Mississippi; R. L., age 4m, born Mississippi; J. W., age 2m, born Texas; B. F., age 2m, born Texas; G. W. Price, Farmer, age 21, born Mississippi


Corsicana Observer, November 26, 1873


To the Voters of Navarro County—I am a candidate for Justice of the Peace of Beat No. 1. I have served fifteen years as a Justice, and feel competent to discharge the duties of the same. W. N. Pittman


Corsicana Observer, May 6, 1874


Pittman says that his cabbage head alluded to in the Dresden locals was not bitten by the late frost but was bitten many years ago while in his youth & has taken the big head.

Wise men think they know but little and fools think they know it all.


Several letters by William can be found in the Corsicana newspapers.


Corsicana Observer, June 3, 1874


Eds. Observer:

Are farmers selfish in Texas? Or do they know all? Seldom do I see an agricultural article communicated in your columns. I recollect well when I was about 25 years of age, I flattered myself that I was a scientific farmer, and I have lived 27 years since and I now see and know that I did not know the first rudiments of agricultural science. It is a deep and profound science that is continually progressing. There is a commendable spirit of enterprise growing up in this country. Many Granges have already been organized in this county, and I understand there will be an agricultural store opened in Corsicana this year. If farmer’s clubs were also organized for the discussion of questions of practical value, and for the interchanges of opinions founded on individual observation and experience-as I hold experience to be the best taught wisdom-many good ideas might be imparted in this way. One might give his experience on the proper distance to cut out cotton, how many stalks of corn should be left to the acre, &c.

If our farmers could be induced to abandon only universal prejudices of daddy’s custom of carrying the pumpkin in one end of the bag and a rock in the other, it would be much better for them. The prevailing custom should be onward. Cotton is called King, and it must be related in some way to a Kingdom, for it always keeps its subjects pressed down, as a cart loaded with many thieves. We have not been troubled a great deal with the King’s evil since the revolutionary war until recently with King cotton.

It is ruinous for our country to purchase all their supplies with cotton. We shall never be prosperous while we do it. A few more panics will cause our people to raise their own meat, horses and mules cheaper than we can raise cotton to buy them with; but as I remarked before, it takes time to get out of daddy’s old groove in which daddy has run so many years.

The cotton question reminds me of an old corn song I used to hear the negroes sing at corn shuckings: “Negro make de cotton and de white man get de money.” So the farmers toil and labor, exposed to the beating storms and burning sun, deprived of time even to worship his Creator, for the speculator to get the money; for he bets more of it than any man in proportion to the amount invested and labor done in raising it. The people often and emphatically declared that they will cease raising so much cotton. They remind me of the sinner’s return to his Savior, after hearing the devil’s dark dungeon depicted in all its benighted black forms. He resolves to abandon his evil ways and seek life. Just so with the cotton raiser. After all the evil is portrayed and laid before him, when planting time comes around he steps over and loses all sight of his former vows.

It is true the agricultural prospect in this section is quite gloomy. The farmers are the most independent people on earth, if they will only unite, and I think this work is rapidly progressing and will soon be completed, when they will not need a drummer to run around and hunt up business, or like the candidate when he meets you-“Howdy, howdy, howdy. How do you do? Tolable. How do you do? Tolable. How is all your folks? Tolable. How is yours? Tolable. How is your neighbors? Tolable. How is yours? Tolable. All going for me this time? Sorter tolable.” And after the election, no go.

Notwithstanding that farming is an honorable pursuit, a great many boys and young men desert the labor of the farm and turn their attention to other pursuits less useful and much more demoralizing.

Hogs cannot be raised on the range in this country, and corn is too costly a crop to feed them on entirely; therefore, we should endeavor to raise more grain. Rye and barley are excellent food for hogs. Until our farmers stop following the flowing tide to financial ruin, in planting nothing but cotton, times will get no better but still grow worse. If the people would raise only half the amount of cotton it would only require one-half the labor, and they would realize the same amount of money for it.

I will not intrude any further on your space. The Legislature has adjourned and the Legislators returned home. After a session of four months they passed a yearling and fish law, and received $800,00 to each one.

Respectfully, W. N. Pittman

Record of Marks and Brands, Navarro County Texas

June 29, 1874 William filed his cattle brand at the Navarro County Courthouse in Corsicana, Texas.


Corsicana Observer, July 8, 1874


Ed. Observer:

My attention has been called to the notice of Wm. Croft, Chairman of Precinct No. 1, calling the Democrats to meet at the Court House of Navarro county on the 4th day of July next.

It has been ninety-eight years since the signing of the declaration of independence, and my mind never reverts to the 4th of July but what my heart glows with gratitude and adoration, and is inspired with patriotism. My mind then enters the channel of reflection and travels back to the days of Washington’s administration, and even to the days of the great struggle for independence. After the dreadful struggle was over,-the tramp of the warrior, the clangor of arms no longer echoed through our valleys, and the survivors lived to enjoy the rich boon of freedom which was purchased by the blood of our forefathers. This epoch extended from 1787. The adoption of the constitution to 1861 to the breaking out of the civil war, and during this period the States increased from thirteen to thirty-two, and grew in population and wealth until the United States became the most prosperous nation in the world; though the seceding States has been restored to their rights in the Union; that is the object of calling the party together in order that they may nominate a candidate for the 3rd district.

I agree with “Citizen”-the people cannot be too careful in the selection of delegates to this Convention. He states that the party is too much disposed to cavil one with another over vital interests in selecting delegates. The work of caution should commence at home in Beat No. 1, and running up to the county and then to the State-select men who have the interest of their country, their character, civil and political, and almost their birth right for money. We want men who will render justice to all, laying aside the sin that doth so easily beset them.

I will suggest one proposition for the mediation of the Convention, that is, to do away with the two-thirds rule and adopt the majority rule in nominating delegates and candidates. It will add prosperity and give more general satisfaction to the party. This old parliamentary usage has been kept up a long time and said to have originated from Jefferson, the chief apostle of liberty. I am not certain that it was invented by Jefferson. From a close examination of the history of Jefferson’s political career, you will find that he advocated a majority rule. And we have another example on record where a majority ruled, in the case of Mr. Cobb. He was declared Speaker of the House, though he did not received a majority of the whole House, as the law required, but a majority of the members present. The will of any assemble, party or people can only be known by a majority, and a majority much declare its will. I therefore contend that a majority is the very essence of Democracy, and should ever rule.

I should like to know very much who “Citizen” is. I am well pleased with his remarks on the subject of Conventions, and I am perfectly astonished at men of talent and influence hiding their light under a bushel. We are commanded to let our light so shine that others seeing our good works will be constrained to glorify God. He that violates one of my commandments is guilty of all. “Citizen,” come out’ you are condemned.

I hope the day will roll up when the lamb and the lion will lay down together, and put the political ship afloat in a smooth sea, and our financial condition greatly improved.

Respectfully, W. N. Pittman

(This communication came too late for our last issue.)


Corsicana Observer, July 15, 1874


Ed. Observer:

Mr. Jno. J. Walker deserves three loud and vociferous cheers for his railroad article published in your last issue. He is a man after my own heart. He comes out and lets his light shine so that others may see his good works and act likewise. I well recollect the time he makes mention of when he was in Corsicana last fall, when a remonstrance against the unjust discrimination addressed to the authorities of the Central Railroad.

If this contemplated tap road is built, it will bring some men to the knowledge of the truth as it is in the rates of freight; as you have already seen from the figures made by Mr. Walker, which is wholly unnecessary for me to repeat. I will venture the assertion that if this tap road is built from Corsicana to Palestine, Anderson county, and connect this place with the Mississippi river trade, our rates of freight will be reduced from 50 to 150 per cent., and the road will lead right through the most elegant pineries in the East. Are Navarro and Anderson counties the only parties to be benefited by this road? By no means; the entire United States to some extent may profit thereby, and more especially the great West that is destitute of timber.

Texas is only in her infancy; but behold her rapid and gigantic march within the last ten years in internal improvements beyond opening ordinary roads. However young Texas may be, she has begun to turn her attention in that direction. This State has facilities for both internal and foreign commerce. According to the census of1850, Texas only had two colleges with 165 students; 349 common schools with 7,946 pupils, and 97 academies, schools and churches. Man’s course is onward, whether he will or not. Texas is destined to stand at the head of the list of the United States. Texas is a new State; has but few manufactories, nor until her rich and beautiful prairies and fertile lands are streaked with railroads, which are marching on with gigantic strides as buffalo and Indians give way white folks and railroads follow. What a career of prosperity and glory must be the destiny of Texas! The period of ten years has almost been to her an e_ to some countries in building up railroads, and she has been rescued from poverty and danger and placed on a footing as high and firm as any Sate in the Union. She came not alone, but was the happy precursor of our national advance to the shores of the Pacific to a land richer than the Opher of the ancients, and to a position that we can stretch forth our hands and seize the commerce of the East, now ten fold greater than it was when it built up Tyre, Sidon and Babylon, and made those nations which controlled the masters of the world. If application had been made to the last Legislature for a charter to build this contemplated tap road from Corsicana to Palestine, it would have been granted, and the work would now be going on. It is true that any proposition to tax generally alarms. So far as the freight is concerned, we, the farmers, have it to pay. It is always added to the profits and charged up, and if by building the road it will get up competition and reduce freights, we will be the class profited. I have often said that the President and Congress rule all, and the preacher prays for all and the farmer pays all. We have a superabundance of evidence to this fact. Nearly all classes outside of the farmer are growing rich, and nine-tenths of the farmers in this country are growing poor; and I will make witnesses of them to prove my assertion. Outside of what cattle and mustang ponies that they raise, they just about make a support for themselves and families, and a great many are not doing it. You can all do as you please, and I will do as I can and say what I please. I am in favor of the road. No road will ever profit a people more than this tap road. It will build up our town, increase our population and enhance the value of our lands.

Respectfully, W. N. Pittman


Corsicana Observer, August 19, 1874

Our Resources

Ed. Observer:

Corsicana, Navarro Co., August 5th, 1874}

Mr. C. C. Cohron,

Dear Sir:-I have just read your letter of the 5th ult., in the Observer, stating that there is now brewing the greatest war of immigration from Kentucky to Texas ever known. I am pleased to heart this and heartily concur with the Observer in welcoming them with outstretched arms.

You speak of having heard a Dutchman say not long since that if he was sentenced to the lower regions with the privilege of ten minutes protection in Texas that he would tell them to shust carry him to where he belonged.

I say that he was a peddler passing through the country, and lodged with one of our citizens who, having supreme contempt for his sort, demanded money instead of goods for his bill; and for this reason he gave our county and people a bad name.

No country under the wide spread canopy of heaven has ever been blessed with better society than Texas in proportion to population. Churches of every denomination are represented. A ten days protracted meeting has been going on in our settlement, held by the Baptists. About 35 were added to the church. This is an evidence that society is good.

These Dutch stories hunted me for twenty years before I immigrated to Texas. It is all bosh and too thin to hold water.

Come on; you will never find a more hospitable, honorable and intelligent people on earth. There is every description of soil to suit the varied tastes of men and it is unsurpassed in the world.

Corsicana, the county site of Navarro county, is a prosperous city, growing up like a green bay tree planted by the water’s side. It is also a railroad town.

True we have been visited by a severe drought, and crops are short, especially cotton, which is almost a failure, but corn in some places is good.

You say that you are forced to the conclusion that emigration to some new country is the only safe remedy to get rid of the monopolizing cliques that are ready on every hand to crush the honest laboring man beneath the iron heel of an almost tyrannical monopoly.

You need not be too sure of this; they are everywhere. The Government is faithfully performing her duty in arresting the Indian depredations. This region of our country will fill up with unprecedented rapidity.

The ease and cheap rates at which plantations can be opened and families subsisted, give our country advantages for settlement with which few is any sections in any State can pretend to compete.

For the purpose of sugar and cotton growing the most striking inducements are presented; both are more certain crops than in any other part of the United States.

Many planters immigrated from Louisiana with all their slaves before the war, to this country, and they found the land far cheaper and preferable to that which they left.

The most serious inconvenience is a scarcity of timber; but this can be easily supplied. A few years will exhibit a surprising increase in the population. There will be a net work of railroads, and lumber will be, and is already shipped by the millions.

It is altogether likely that in a few years measures will be taken to divide Texas into at least two States. Probably the Trinity river with be the line of separation.

The public debt is said to be paid, and the Federal Government will be in future protect our frontier counties from Indian depredations.

With a public domain unparalleled in extent, fertility and variety of productions, and a climate genial and attractive as any on earth, what a career of prosperity and glory must be the destiny of Texas!

My space is too limited to give you even the outlines of our county. In short, a Texas prairie in spring  is the very paradise of a botanist, or indeed of any lover of the beauties of nature.

The forest trees are live oak and other varieties. No room to mention. Will in my next.

Respectfully, W. N. Pittman


Corsicana Observer, October 21, 1874


Ed. Observer:

I am glad that you called the attention of the people to the building of water tanks, one of the most necessary improvements that can be made in our county. It is said that bought wisdom if the best, if not too dearly paid for, but I am of the impression that the people are paying dear, and very dear for their whistle, in the neglect of duty in this matter in many particulars. As you stated in your editorial, the buzzard tax that is now paid by stock raisers would be more than sufficient to build a tank on every five miles square of land, still the people will go on blindfolded to their better interests. We are wonderfully well blessed with water facilities in our neighborhood. We have a large public tank near the old Jones tank, large enough to float a ship, and I do not think that it would be exaggerating to say that it has furnished water for ten thousand head of stock during the past summer, and drinking water for a large number of people. This tank was built by parson Grantham, and the worst feature I see in the whole matter is, that after he had furnished them with much water and preached the un-searchable riches of Christ to us, we have failed to pay him by some $14.00. Mr. editor, this really leads me to the conclusion that your suggestion to tax the people to build tanks is a good one, and the only one on which they will be built, although, I am as much opposed to taxation as any man living. If I was in the legislature I would introduce and advocate a bill to this effect, for reasons too numerous to mention in a newspaper article. Water is one of the greatest blessings of God’s creation, and with a small effort on the part of the people, a superabundance of water can be produced in this county. God has furnished the means of the people will put them in operation. He has made the earth to hold water. In all other countries the water would sink? After God has furnished the means to supply the poor dumb brute with water, and we fail to do it, we will be held responsible. If a tax was levied of this character, the people would see and know exactly what went with their money, it would be directly spent for their interest. Take off about four thousand dollars of the jail tax and apply it for the purpose of building tanks, it would have met the approval of the citizens, and been much better for our county. It would have built forty splendid tanks which would have supplied the county with an abundance of water, and the poor weary traveler would not have to ride half across the county to water his horse. And this is not all the advantages to be derived from tanks. They would supply the people with an abundance of fine fish, and would draw more immigration to this county than any other improvement that can be made, and still this is not all. I concur with your opinion in regard to super inducing rain, and I believe you are correct. Although, this is a sublime question of the human mind, it will require a gigantic mind and untiring genius to lecture on this subject. We can only give circumstances connected with the idea at this time, we see directly under our knowledge during the summer rain, rising in almost any place and seems to drift around with Richland or Chambers creeks, and I know of many other striking circumstances that I will not have space to mention. If this idea be correct as stated, what a tremendous effect it would produce in the agricultural world. It would pay them five fold in one year. Instated of their land producing one bale of cotton to five acres, it would produce a bale to one acre, and instead of producing fifteen bushels of corn it would produce thirty. Now you see this would be five fold in an extreme dry year and at least three fold in a common or average year. By the increase of the agricultural interest and the great saving to the stock raiser, the tax would be a small item, not only to the farmer, but the merchant. The stock raisers, mechanics, and all classes will be greatly profited by this enterprise.

I hope the people will not pass this by as a matter of conversation and give it no reflection or action. It is a matter of great importance, not only to this county, but to all western counties. There is nothing to prevent this from being an extensive watered country, only laziness and for want of an effort on the part of the people. Good and substantial tanks can be built for one hundred dollars, and kept up with a trifle for a life time by making a good strong dam and a proper waste way, and by planting the common willow on the dam.

Respectfully, W. N. Pittman


Corsicana Observer, Nov. 11, 1874

Letter from W. N. Pittman

Ed. Observer:

I am like the little boy that went to mill. On being asked by the miller what his name was, he did not know. What is your daddy’s name? Don’t know. Where do you live? Don’t know. You don’t know anything? Some things I know, and some things I don’t know. I know a miller has fat hogs; don’t know whose corn he feeds them on. Some officials get rich, but I know whose money they get rich on. Our county is prospering and growing like a green bay tree planted by the water’s side, and if we could only have the proper financiering, we would soon get out of debt, and our county scrip would soon be at par with the currency of the country. Then our poor farmers and Grangers would not be forced from their plow, handles to sit on the jury, take fifty cents on the dollar for their scrip, pay two dollars per day for board and horse feed, perhaps never getting anything unless their scrip fits one-fourth of their tax, the balance goes to feed the miller’s hogs, and paying fourteen thousand dollars for building a county jail, when the said can be duplicated for seven thousand. This kind of financiering will ever keep the citizens pressed down, as a cart loaded with many sheaves, with heavy burdens of taxation.

It used to be the custom to let out bridges and public buildings to the lowest bidder, but I am somewhat inclined to think that our officials turned it off to the highest bidder for cash; for certainly no true Democrat or lover of his country could have the conscience to ask more for building a house of this character. There is a lame place somewhere. The jail was let out and operations commenced without the knowledge of but few. If there was any publication or notice made, I, with many others, never saw it. All agreed with one unanimous sentiment that we were bound to have a jail, but we were not bound to pay one hundred per cent to get it built. Two and a half per cent would break any party, much less one hundred. It is the people’s money, and they must and will bring their representatives to a correct knowledge of the truth as it is in taxation.

Our country is bound to be renovated, and the only glimmering hope that I have in the salvation of our country is in a Constitutional Convention, to change the constitution so as to enable the Legislature to pass laws to protect the general good of our country; to cut down our Courts to two terms in each year, and limit the term to two instead of four weeks, which will curtail the gas of the heavy charged lawyers at the expense of the poor peasant. Also limit the Legislature to a short session, and reduce the salary of members to a per diem that the poor farmer will be able to pay, without taking the bread out of children’s mouths to pay dignified characters to sit on cushion chairs and smoke fine cigars. There are many other amendments too tedious to mention in this communication.

Some may think this is very plain talk, but nevertheless true. We are compelled to wake up to a sense of our interest. We are sinking yearly, and must finally go down unless a rapid and speedy change takes place. If you will suffer your mind to run out, you will see at once where we are going to. Think for yourself, act for yourself with judgment, and look around and see who are growing rich and who are growing poor. Why is it that it requires so much more money to run this government not that when we had more property?

Respectfully, W. N. Pittman


Corsicana Observer, Sep. 29, 1877


Editor Observer—My attention was called to a letter written from Springfield partly in answer to Hon. R. Q. Mills, on the “Situation and its Causes.” The writer, J. C. W., says that the Colonel “has aired himself quite thoroughly on his subject of Free Trade.” His communication reminds me of the great and mighty bull that was once feeding on a pond, when an amphibious animal called a frog crawled out of the water and concluded he would attack the bull and commenced swelling up. After enlarging to an enormous size in his imagination, he asked his brother if he was as large as the bull. Answer—No. He commenced swelling again, and swelled till he bursted. He says he recollects there is a “species of gold known as fools’ gold, which is quite liable to deceive.” I suppose the writer is well supplied. He also says that he has been informed that Col. Mills was a “ranting ‘Know Nothings.’ Is it true?” Evidently not. He has ever been knowing something since my acquaintance with him; his intelligence has been felt and appreciated throughout the United State of America. When the great question came up for consideration, to provide for and regulate the counting of the votes for President and vice President, where did he stand? When he was almost alone, his enemies oppressing him and his friends deserting him, the ponderous weight of the violation of the constitution of the United States pressing him as a cart loaded with many sheaves, and his oath to support the same-he stood up in the face of Congress, with that patriotic nerve that characterizes a brave and Christian statesman, and declared that he felt like one alone and all but him departed-departed from that great and glorious constitution that has borne us along through storms as well as calms, that has carried us victoriously through wars and through the most gigantic civil insurrection ever known on earth. It is the nerve and brain combined that constitute a man, and Col. Mills has both thoroughly developed. However, J. C. W. has the same right to his opinion that Col. Mills has to his; but he has no right to accuse the Colonel of “pretension,” for he is not a man of pretentious. He comes square up to the trough, and will tell it to the face of the world through he is beheaded for the same.

I fully understand his position in regard to free trade and sailors’ rights. The very class that J. C. W. is advocating is evidently the one that pays the tariff on all commerce, as they pay the occupation tax imposed on the energies and industries of the country by our late Legislature. If “the already starved labor of the United States” that J. C. W. speaks of will go to work there is no necessity of starvation in this rich land. There are to many hunting around for easy places. J. C. W. says that labor is today “just as much the slave of capital as the negro was to his master before the war.” This is not the case, for the price of all commodities is governed by the demand and supply. Today I cannot get a hand for less than one dollar per day and his board, and in two months I can hire good hands for $12.50 to $15. per month, and each party will take the advantage of the other. I am forced to pay his price when I can’t help myself, and he is forced to taken mine when he can’t help himself,

Respectfully, W. N. Pittman


Corsican Observer, October 27, 1877


Mr. W. N. Pittman is selling boots and shoes for Mr. J. T. Sullivan and is happy in consciousness, that he can fit and please everyone.


Corsicana Observer, November 3, 1877


Pitman is on the streets, talking boots and shoes all the time. He represents the boot and shoe house of J. T. Sullivan, and swears by the name of General Jackson nobody shall go barefooted if he can help it.


Captain William Nelson Pittman died 21 May 1879 in Navarro Co TX and was buried at the Hamilton Cemetery now known as the Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery in Navarro Co.


Will, 1879

Navarro County Courthouse, Corsicana, Texas

In the name of God Amen, I Wm N. Pittman of Choctaw County in the State of Mississippi do make and ordain this my last will and testament after my funeral and testamentary expenses first properly then my Just Debts.

I will and bequeath to my wife Winnie C. Pittman for and during her natural life my entire Estate both real and Personal.

It is my will if she can keep the property together and pay off my debts if not to sell off such property as she can spare best I leave it all to her for the purpose of raising and educating my children and at her death I desire all my Estate to be sold and equally divided between my children. I nominate and appoint my wife W C Executrix of this my last will In Testament whereof I hereinto set my hand and affix my Seal this January 10th A.D. 1862

William N. Pittman (Seal)

Signed sealed and Published by the testator as and for his last will and testament in our presence at his request and the presence of each other and so by is witnessed the day of the date hereof, A. G. Young (Seal), M. E. Pittman (Seal), Benj. Savage (Seal)


Proof of Will

Est. of W. N. Pittman, Deced. On Probate of Will} In County Court of Navarro Sept. Term 1879

Now at this Term of the Court in open Court came Bryan T. Barry and Ely. H. Forman two credible witnesses, who being first duly sworn each testify in open court as follows, to wit We known that testator William N. Pittman he is dead he died on or about the 22nd day of May A.D. 1879 that at the time of his death the said was a resident citizen of said County of Navarro and died in said County. That the said William N. Pittman was at the date of his death and also on the 18th day of January A.D. 1862 more than twenty one years of age. Those witnesses are acquainted with the handwriting of the said William N. Pittman and the signature thereto is the signature of the said William N. Pittman. Signed Ely. H. Forman, Bryan T. Barry

Sworn to and subscribed before me in open Court this the 23rd day of Sept. 1879, signed J. L. Harle Co. Judge, Navarro County Tex

Est. of W. N. Pittman, Deced.} This cause coming onto be heard upon the application of Mrs. Winnie C. Pittman to Probate the last will and testament of W. N. Pittman, Deced. and it appearing to the Court that said application was regular that legal notice thereof had been given and the court having heard the evidence of witnesses offered in proof of said will it is considered by the court that said W. N. Pittman died in said County on the 22nd day of May A.D. 1879 that the will offered for probate in the last will and testament of the Deced. that it is in the handwriting of the Deced. and signed by him. It is therefore ordered by the Court that said will be and the same is hereby recognized and admitted to probate as the last will and testament of the said William N. Pittman Deced. and that the same be recorded by the Clerk of this Court together with the Evidence taken in Court in proof thereof. It is also further ordered that letters of Executorships issue to said Winnie C. Pittman upon her filing a Bond in the sum of Five hundred dollars Conditioned as the law directs and that Sam Hamilton, M. T. Clary and W. B. Taylor be and they are hereby appointed appraisers of said Estate.


Petition to Probate

Winnie C. Pittman, Extrx. Of Wm. N. Pittman} Winnie C. Pittman field her Petition to Probate the Last Willa and Testament of W. N. Pittman, Deceased, which was Examined by the Court granted and Ordered to be recorded.


The State of Texas County of Navarro} In County Court, July Term A.D. 1879. To the Hon. County Court of Navarro County Your Petitioner Winny C. Pittman respectfully represents to your Honor that she resides in Said County of Navarro. That heretofore To wit on the 22nd of May A.D. 1879 William Nelson Pittman then a resident Citizen of Said county departed this life in Said County leaving an Estate Situated in Said County.

That the said Deceased left a written will which disposes of his said Estate and in which your petitioner is named as Executor.

That said Will can be proven as requited by law, Premises Considered your petitioner prays that after notice of this application shall have been given that said will may be admitted to probate as the last will and testament of said Deced. that letter testamentary issue to your petitioner and for general relief, sign Frost and Barry Atty’s for Petitioner



The State of Texas} To the Sheriff or and Constable of Navarro County Greeting. You are hereby commanded to cause to be posted in three of the most public places in your county one of which shall be at the Court House door copies of the following notice. The State of Texas To all persons interested in the Estate of William N. Pittman Deced. Winny C. Pittman has filed in the County Court of Navarro County an application to Probate the last will and testament of Wm N. Pittman Decd. and for letters testamentary on the Estate of William N. Pittman Decd. which will be heard at the July Term To wit on the third Monday in July A.D. 1879 at the court house thereof in the city of Corsicana at which time all persons interested in said Estate may appear and contest said application if they see proper. Herein fail not under penalty of the law and of this unit make due return Issued the 30th day of June 1879

Witness L. H. Kerr, Clerk of said Court and the seal thereof at office in the City of Corsicana the 30th day of June 1879 L. H. Kerr, Clerk County Court, Navarro County (Seal)



Came to hand on the 30th day of June A.D. 1879 and executed on the 30th day of June A.D. 1879 by posting written notice of the within in three public places in said County—one of which was at the court house door, E. E. Dunn, Sheriff N.C.


Appraisement of Property

W. C. Pittman Extrx Of W. N. Pittman Decd.} W. C. Pittman Executrix of the Estate aforesaid filed her appraisement of the property of said estate which was examined by the Court Approved and ordered to be recorded.


Seven Acres land on McNeal League Val.              $35.00

7 Promissory Notes given by M. M. Dixon

and T. W. Carpenter for Eighteen Hundred

Gold Dollars Interest at the rate of

ten per cent after Dec. 25th 1878 until

paid on above Note are the following

Credits One Seven Hundred Dollars

June 9, 79 Six hundred Dollars Dec. 13, 79          $18.00

___ Note Executed by Lewis Penny and

M. M. Dixon for twenty three Dollars and

twenty three cents                                  $23.23

1 Note Executed by J. N. Martin & G. W.

Martin for $250.00                                 $250.00

Due Jany 1st 1880 1 Note Excu. By J. N.

Martin & G. W. Martin for $250.00                  $250.00

Due Jan. 1st 1881                                   $250.00

1 Note on B. E. Knolts for $21.00 Dollars        <valueless

1 Note on Thos. Richardson for sixt-four Dollars <valueless

1 Note on P.J.L. Davenport & W. N. Crew 3.40     <valueless

____ on J. L. Stock horses $25.40                <valueless

20 Head of Stock horses                            $200.00

2 Mules                                            $150.00

2 Match horses 40 per head 1 work horse $20.00     $100.00

1 Stallion                                          $50.00

150 head of Stock Cattle                           $750.00

8 head of Beef Steers                              $100.00

1 Set Black Smith Tools                             $20.00

4 Log Chains                                         $5.00

3 Harrows                                            $7.00

Plows hoes &                                        $27.00

C Reaper and Rake                                  $125.00

Harness                                             $17.00

Cultivator                                           $5.00

Ox Wagon                                            $25.00

1, 2 Horse Wagon                                    $70.00

1, 2 Horse Wagon                                    $65.00

We the undersigned appraisers do solemnly Swear that the foregoing is a true and correct appraisement of the property belonging to the Estate of W. N. Pittman Decd. to the best our knowledge and belief, Signed, Sam Hamilton, Wm. B. Taylor, M. P. Clary

Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 15 day of Dec. A.D. 1879 signed S. H. Kerr, cccnc, by _ Kerr, Deputy


Winnie (Pryor) Pittman was left a widow at the age of forty-nine years with six children under sixteen, the youngest age two years. She managed the estate of her husband and ran the farm while raising the rest of her children alone. She had moved to Ellis County to be close to a son by the 1880 census and the 1900 census she was in Hamilton County Texas where she was living with a son, Robert Lee Pittman. Robert Lee Pittman and his mother eventually moved to Estancia, New Mexico where they died and were buried at the Estancia Memorial Cemetery in Torrance County; Winnie died August 8, 1910.


Monument Sought For Confederate

Corsicana newspaper clipping, June 22, 1940

Monument Sought For Confederate

A few miles south of Corsicana in the old Hamilton Cemetery is a grave almost lost by age. It is the grave of a gallant officer of the Civil War, the late Capt. William N. Pittman. Upon organization of Company D, thirty-sixth Regiment of Mississippi Infantry, he was elected Captain, a position he held during the four year struggle between the states. Following the close of the Civil War the young Captain came to Texas and was prominently connected with the early development of Corsicana.

A photograph in possession of a grand-daughter shows him as he stopped his wagon loaded with lumber and drawn by six oxen as it arrived in Corsicana with a load of lumber from Jefferson. Captain Pittman died here in 1879 and was buried in the old Hamilton Cemetery in that part of the cemetery where rests the first settlers to die here.

Descendants of his two sons, John and James Pittman, who died in Hill and Ellis Counties, with the assistance of R. E. Sparkman, Italy, have arranged with the War Department for a Confederate monument which will soon mark the grave of the gallant Capt. William N. Pittman.


CORSICANA DAILY SUN, September, 1993

Saturday September 18, 1993 the family of Captain William Nelson Pittman and the Sons of Confederate Veterans met at the Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery to co-host the dedication services of a Confederate grave marker for the Captain.

William Nelson Pittman was born on May 25, 1822. He was born in Alabama [sic]. He married on the 12th day of August 1847 to Winnie Pryor. She was born on the 30th day of November 1830 in Alabama [sic]. After they married they moved to Mississippi. Nine of their children were born in Mississippi, five were born in Texas. William Nelson moved the family to Texas after the War and into Navarro County in the early 1870's. Here he farmed and ranched the land until his death on May 21, 1879. Sometime after 1900 Winnie moved to New Mexico where she died on August 8th 1910.

Children of Captain and Winnie Pittman were; Mary, William, James, Thomas, John, Fannie, Sallie, Martha, Robert, George, Frank, Nora, Cora, and Nannie.

William Nelson enlisted in the Confederate States Army on November 2, 1861 from Greensboro, Mississippi. He served as Captain of Co. D, Third Battalion Mississippi Infantry Volunteers, whose nickname was The Choctaw Rough and Ready's.

As the some 75 guest arrived, part in period dress, the 9th Texas Infantry, from the Dallas area, marched in under the command of Paul Castles. The services were well attended by the Sons of Confederate Veterans as the event was part of the Brigade wide meeting which was held at the First Baptist Church in Richland, Texas afterwards. The local SCV, J. L. Halbert Camp, was host under the command of David Franklin, with a Barbecue dinner catered by Tom James and the Sam's Restaurant from Fairfield, Texas.

Also in attendance at the cemetery dedication were the DAR, DRT, and the UDC. The salute and flag pledges were lead by Penny Jones, UDC and Ines Waggoner, DRT with America the Beautiful, Texas Our Texas and Dixie lead by Bill Owen.

Special guest there of the SCV were, Texas Division 1st Lt. Commander, Greg Hector of Austin; the Central Texas Brigade Commander, John Perry of Temple, Texas, 1st Lt. Commander David Franklin of Richland, Texas, and 2nd Lt. Commander Charles Oliver of Waco, Texas, with representatives for the Hillsboro, Temple, Waco, and Corsicana Camps. From the Daughters of the Republic of Texas were Irene Davenport, president of the Jose Antonio Navarro Chapter with other members, Ines Waggoner, Dana Stubbs, and Eddie Truitt all of Corsicana.

The ceremony was very beautiful and moving. The History of Captain Pittman was read by Bobby Dan Bell of Corbet, Texas, a great-great-grandson. The Vacant Chair was performed by Sherry Franklin and Bill Owen and the Rebel Soldier by Bill Owen. There was not a dry eye there after the music had ended. Charles Oliver, SCV, of Waco and Greg Hector, SCV, of Austin held the dedication of the monument for Captain Pittman, While Dana Stubbs, great-great-great-granddaughter and Megan Hutt, great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Captain Pittman laid the wreath and unveiled the monument. All there that wished, honored the Captain by laying a red rose on the marker. The 9th Texas Infantry saluted the grave with a very exciting Infantry Salute. Amazing Grace was sung by all and Benediction was given by David Franklin, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Richland. To end the occasion Greg Hector played an impressive Taps.

The Honored family members that were present; Frances Malcolm of Bedford, Texas, Peggy (Pittman) Webb of Lewisville, Justin and Lucas Pittman of the Dallas area, Harold and Johnnie Bell of Blooming Grove, Bobby and Jettie Bell of Corbet, Norman and Dana (Bell) Stubbs of Corsicana and Sherri (Bell) Hutt and children Megan and Zachary all of Corsicana, Katie (Wimberley) Blankenship of Houston, Jim and LaDonna Pittman of Waxahachie, Marcia (Pittman) McFarland and Robert, Anita, Michael and Samantha Armstrong of Stephenville, and Linda (Higgins) Schardein of Burleson.

The fourteen known children of William Nelson and Winnie (Pryor) Pittman

1. Mary Ellen Pittman

Mary Ellen Pittman was born 14 Feb 1849 in Mississippi, married 1) 4 Oct 1874 in Navarro County Texas to John R. Weaver. John was born 16 Mar 1841 and died 22 Sep 1878 in Navarro County Texas and is buried at the Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery.

Marry married 2) to John A. Holmes.



The three known children of John and Mary Ellen Weaver:

  1. Dick Weaver born 7 Aug 1875 and died 3 Aug 1878 in Navarro County and is buried at the Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery, Navarro County Texas
  2. Ada Weaver born 13 Nov 1876 and died 29 Jun 1877 in Navarro County Texas and is buried at the Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery, Navarro County Texas
  3. Tom Weaver

The four known children of John and Mary Ellen Homes

  1. Edgar Holmes
  2. Pryor Holmes
  3. Ruth Holmes
  4. James Holmes

2. William Joseph Pittman

William Joseph Pittman was born 26 Sep 1850 in Mississippi died 22 Mar 1921 in Sweetwater, Nolan County Texas. He married 30 May 1872 in Bell County Texas to Hannah Norcisus Dixon. Hannah was born 30 Apr 1851 in Bell County Texas and died 16 Mar 1935 in Sweetwater Nolan County Texas. They are both buried at the Sweetwater Cemetery in Nolan County Texas.



The eight known children of William and Hannah Pittman:

  1. William H. Pittman
  2. Nannie Ellen Pittman
  3. John Henry Pittman
  4. Fannie Pittman
  5. Mary Pittman
  6. Alice Pittman
  7. Virginia Norcisus Pittman
  8. Gertie Pittman

3. James Nelson Pittman

James Nelson Pittman was born 23 May 1852 in Mississippi and died 21 Nov 1917 in Italy, Ellis County Texas. He married 1) 15 Jan 1873 in Navarro County Texas to Emily Virginia Little. Emily was born 9 Aug 1854 in Alabama and died 24 Aug 1888.

James Nelson married 2) 25 Aug 1891 in Ellis County Texas to Cinderella Phoebe Chambliss. She was born 13 Dec 1858 in Louisiana.

James and Cinderella Pittman are buried at the Italy Cemetery in Ellis County Texas.

The six known children of James and Emily Pittman

  1. Robert Asa Pittman is buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Navarro County Texas
  2. May Ellen Pittman married Mr. Brewer
  3. William Nelson Pittman
  4. Claudius Preston Pittman
  5. James Ollen Pittman
  6. Samuel DeWitt Pittman

The six know children of James and Cinderella Pittman

  1. Jim Cary Pittman
  2. Alma Jewell Pittman
  3. Winnie Lee Pittman married Jesse David Tittle
  4. Walter Kenneth Pittman
  5. Whitt George Pittman
  6. Joe Pittman

4. Thomas Henry Pittman

Thomas Henry Pittman was born 24 Feb 1854 in Mississippi and died 8 Nov 1919 in Bell County Texas married Nattie Brock. Nattie was born 17 May 1860 in Texas and died 30 Sep 1946 in Hamilton County Texas.

They are buried at Hico Cemetery, Hico, Hamilton County Texas.


The seven known children of Thomas Henry and Nattie Pittman:

  1. Hattie Pittman married Mr. Davis
  2. Ralph King Pittman married Lillie Pearl
  3. Joe Pittman
  4. Tom Pittman
  5. Porter Pittman
  6. Pitt L. Pittman
  7. Samuel Herbert Pittman

5. John Manley Pittman

John Manley Pittman was born 11 May 1856 in Mississippi and died 13 Jan 1922 in Irene, Hill County Texas and is buried at the Richland Cemetery near Martins, Hill County Texas. He married 23 Dec 1877 in Navarro County Texas to Laura Elizabeth Bishop. Lizzie was born 11 Jul 1858 in Navarro County Texas the daughter of John Green and Mahala (Crocker) Bishop and she died 1 Sep 1893 in Bosque County Texas and is buried at the Iredell Cemetery, Bosque County Texas.


The seven known children of John Manley and Laura Elizabeth (Bishop) Pittman

  1. Annah Winnifred Pittman married Robert Lee Higgins
  2. Katie Lee Pittman married Frank Wimberley
  3. Fannie Belle Pittman married Oscar Perry Bell
  4. Edwin Bishop Pittman married Parrie Hancock
  5. Laura Glenndora Pittman married James Cicero Dale
  6. Mary Angieline Pittman married Herman Claude Bell
  7. Nellie Grace Pittman married Walter Samuel Hollingsworth

6. Fannie Belle Pittman

Fannie Belle Pittman was born 24 Dec 1858 in Mississippi and died in Torrance County New Mexico, married 10 Oct 1877 in Navarro County Texas to Isaac William Meador. Isaac was born 1855 in Navarro County Texas the son of Obediah James and Bathsheba (Lindsey) Meador. They both are buried at Hamilton County Texas.



The 11 known children of Isaac James and Fannie Meador:

  1. Orue Meador
  2. Vines Nelson Meador
  3. John Meador
  4. Myrl Meador
  5. Virgie Meador
  6. W. Rex Meador
  7. Ettie Meador
  8. Frank C. Meador
  9. Winnie Meador
  10. Erma Meador
  11. Bruce Meador

7. Sallie U Pittman

Sallie U. Pittman was born 30 Oct 1860 in Mississippi and died in El Paso County Texas married Daniel Monroe Hamilton. Daniel was born 7 Sep 1855 in Texas the son of Samuel and Nancy T. (Daniel) Hamilton. He died 16 Jan 1812.

The 10 known children of Daniel Monroe and Sallie Hamilton:

  1. Nannie Belle Hamilton married Mr. Young
  2. Willie Elizabeth Hamilton married Charles Stallings
  3. Samuel Daniel Hamilton
  4. Winnie Mae Hamilton married Harry Berry
  5. Ora Orthar Hamilton
  6. Maury Hamilton
  7. Bobbie Ruth Hamilton married Mr. Brantley
  8. Lillian Bertha Hamilton married Mr. Taylor
  9. Jim Hamilton
  10. Raymond H. Hamilton

8. Martha Eugenia Pittman

Martha Eugenia Pittman was born 17 Aug 1863 in Mississippi and died 20 Dec 1930 in Mangum, Greer County Oklahoma. She married 1) 9 Feb 1881 in Ellis County Texas to Rusk Blasingame. Rusk was born 28 Jul 1857 in Texas the son of Benjamin F. and Sarah Jane (Treadwell) Blasingame. Rusk died 27 Apr 1898.

Martha Eugenia married 2) Solomon Rushing.


The seven known children of Rusk and Martha Eugenia Blasingame:

  1. Arthur Lee Blasingame married Lucy Williams
  2. Ernest Blasingame married Clara Mae Condon
  3. Winton Wood Blasingame married Donnie Gibbons
  4. Sam Houston Blasingame married Clara Sanders
  5. Roger Mills Blasingame married Mabel Barnet
  6. Franklin Rush Blasingame married Helen Osman
  7. Winnie Jane Blasingame married Hugh Monte Spencer

The one known child of Solomon and Martha Eugenia Rushing:

  1. William Joseph Rushing

9. Robert Lee Pittman

Robert Lee Pittman was born 4 Nov 1866 in Mississippi and died 10 Mar 1911 in Estancia, Torrance County New Mexico and is buried at Estancia Memorial Cemetery in Torrance County New Mexico.



10. George P. Pittman

George P. Pittman was one of a set of twins born 30 Sep 1869 in Navarro County Texas and died 11 Nov 1893 in Bosque County Texas and is buried at the Iredell Cemetery in Bosque County Texas.

11. Frank P. Pittman

Frank P. Pittman was one of a set of twins born 30 Sep 1869 in Navarro County Texas and died in Sweetwater, Nolan County Texas, married Laura McCarty.




The four known children of Frank and Laura Pittman:

  1. Raphael Pittman
  2. Joe Pittman
  3. Floy Pittman
  4. Roy Pittman

12. Nora Dozen Pittman

Nora Dozen Pittman was born 9 Feb 1873 in Navarro County Texas and died 6 Mar 1873 in Navarro County Texas.




13. Cora Elizabeth Pittman

Cora Elizabeth Pittman was born 28 Feb 1875 in Navarro County Texas and died in Sweetwater, Nolan County Texas married 1891 in Texas to Robert Henry Scales. Robert was born 16 Aug 1866 in Washington County Texas and died 9 Feb 1950 in Sweetwater, Nolan County Texas.

The ten known children of Robert and Cora Scales:

  1. Clarence Scales
  2. Beuna Scales
  3. Forrest Scales
  4. Ernest Scales
  5. Mary Scales
  6. Eula Scales
  7. Emmet Scales
  8. Claude Scales
  9. Walter Scales
  10. Louie Scales

14. Nancy Virginia Pittman

Nancy Virginia Pittman was born 17 Sep 1878 in Navarro County Texas, died in Bell County Texas, married William L. Sims.




The three known children of William and Nacy Sims:

  1. Bryan Sims
  2. Aubrey Sims
  3. Kermit Sims




This Page Last Updated on 05/09/06
Navarro County TXGenWeb
© Copyright 2001 Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox