Warren E. Sidwell - William Warren Turner - James Ramsey
of Navarro Co., TX




Spring Hill Cemetery
Dawson, Texas
by Carl W Matthews 

The stone marker at the Spring Hill Cemetery near Dawson, Texas bears a simple inscription….


M A Sidwell
(Margaret Ann)


Wife of W E

Three additional Sidwell markers are located nearby…

Mary E Sidwell              1857-1859

Indiana Sidwell                        1859

Henry H Sidwell              1861-1865


The “W E” Sidwell….husband of “M A” ….was Warren E Sidwell who was listed in the 1850 Navarro Co Texas census.   He was born in 1822 in Ohio…..probably, Morgan Co which is located in the far eastern area across the river from West Virginia.

An early Navarro Co. map reveals that he owned a plot of land immediately south of a plot owned by David O McCandless….in the Liberty Hill area.   A history of the Methodist denomination in Western Navarro Co Texas presents him as one of the early leaders of the church.

The 1850 Navarro Co Census listed:


          Warren Sidwell      28  Ohio      Farmer
          Margaret Ann        25  Ohio
          Emily  Jane            7     MO
          Daniel J Ramsey    2      IL       

Daniel J Ramsey lives with them.    He was two years of age and had been born in Illinois.   

INTERESTING:      Emily Jane Sidwell was born in Missouri.     Warren and Sidwell families were living and dying and intermarrying into the 1900s in Windsor Twp, Henry Co. Missouri….many are buried at Laurel Cemetery there.

Warren E Sidwell had descended from a family of Quakers who had fled England…migrated to North Carolina…then became part of a Quaker community in Georgia.   The family relocated to an area of north-central Tennessee,  originally a part of Kentucky.      Quakers were opposed to slavery and as The South grew more “pro slavery,” many Quakers began to move to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.   Nathan Sidwell first migrated to Ohio.   Later, the family was found in Indiana and Illinois.   Afterwards, some members of the family were found in Washington Co Arkansas.

Thomas Sidwell, a Quaker, organized the Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC in the 1800s.    It remains there today and has become one of the most prestigious  school in the area.

Daniel J Ramsey, born 1848 in Illinois, was, apparently, the child of M A Sidwell by a former husband whose name was Ramsey and lived in Illinois.


The Ramsey family may have been one of the Shenandoah Valley Quaker families.    Robert Ramsey,  born 1750, was in Henry Co. Tennessee by 1834.  Two of his sons were in Navarro Co Texas prior to 1850.  

Hugh Ramsey…..1786

Hugh & his sons James and Ezekiel…were listed in the Navarro

Co Mortality schedule 1850…all three died of Cholera.

John Ramsey Sr….born 1798 in NC

          Is listed in the 1850 Navarro Co Census as a farmer & wheelright 

He was married to Jane, born 1895 in GA. 

The family had lived in AL in 1827 when son William was

born and in KY by 1832.   They had remained there until 1843 when they were found in IL.

His son…William Ramsey married Bristinia Lemley, a relative of Aaron Roberts. Jacob Lemley b. NC had married Catherine Roberts…came to Navarro Co TX from Union Co IL.

Mary Ramsey…a widow, lives next door.   She was born 1813 in GA.  She had lived in KY…then moved to IL in 1843.

A nephew…Seaborn  Thomas Ramsey II…born 1837  (buried at the Hamilton-Beeman Cemetery)

                   Married Elizah J Hardman who received a CSA Widow’s pension In Navarro Co Texas

John Ramsey…born 1798…had married 1st 1818…..Rachael Snead.. daughter of a prominent Tennessee family.   Rachael had borne a son…John Ramsey Jr…born 1825.

An uncle of Rachael Snead Ramsey, Joseph Perkins Snead..born 1804…came to Western Navarro Co Texas in 1847…and purchased eight thousand acres of land near Liberty Hill.   Joseph’s daughter, Bethena Perkins Snead, married John Randolph Ogilvie.  


Their daughters married …..

Gersham Alexander (Gary)  Bills

Robert Dysart Bills

John Franklin Freeland

James Benjamin Slater

 J Harry McReynolds.

John & Rachael Snead Ramsey were living in Illinois in 1842, but, probably, went to Texas with Rachael’s uncle in 1847.   John Ramsey Jr, meanwhile… may have married “M A”…and they had a child whose name was Daniel J Ramsey, born 1848 in Illinois.    John Ramsey II must have died near the time of the birth of Daniel J Ramsey in 1848.   He and his family may have come to Texas  after the birth of Daniel and he  may have died soon thereafter.

His…was one of two deaths near 1847-1848 that created this “Story Behind the Stone.”

          M A Ramsey became a widow with a baby son born 1848.

          Warren Sidwell became a widower with a daughter born 1844.

          Warren Sidwell’s daughter…. Emily Jane Sidwell, born 1844, married

Sam Jetton  July 26, 1865    Their son, H L Jetton..born 1867 at Spring Hill, Texas married Sallie Follis whose sister, Jennie Follis, married Dr Harvey Lee Matthews.    Emily Jane Sidwell Jetton died 1873 and was buried at the Spring Hill Cemetery.   She was twenty nine.

Warren Sidwell and M A Ramsey needed each other and they were married by the time of the 1850 Navarro Co Texas census.     Their marriage was not found recorded in the Navarro Co. marriage records.

Tragedy would visit the family. 

Mary E Sidwell was born in 1857, but died in 1859.  

Indiana Sidwell  was still born the same year. 

Two years later, Henry H Sidwell was born, but died young in 1865.

Warren E Sidwell enlisted in the Army of the Confederacy August 1, 1864 as a member of the Dresden Cavalry..   He was listed as a farmer, 5’11” tall, fair complextion, blue eyes, black hair.   He died November 18, 1864.  No cemetery marker bearing his name has been discovered in the area.

M A Sidwell died in 1879 and was buried with her children at Spring Hill Cemetery.



This could be….”the end of the story”….and it would have been except for the for the fact that an 1862 wedding license was discovered for W W Turner and Rachael Sidwell.     W W Turner was born 1847….near the time that the first wife of Warren E Sidwell died….possibly in childbirth.   Warren E Sidwell had a sister whose name was Rachael and, if a daughter survived after the death of his wife in childbirth….he may have named her…Rachael.

When prospects for a civil war in the United States began to approach reality, many of the southern families who had migrated to the Midwest began moving south…not to the “Old South” where their ancestors had lived, but to less settled areas of Arkansas and Texas.  

The Jesse Sidwell Family had moved from Illinois to Washington Co Arkansas.   His son, Warren Sidwell, had moved on to Navarro Co Texas.



Buried Wheelock, Texas


W W Turner was born April 4, 1847 at Union Co  Illinois.   He was only fourteen in 1861 when the War Between the States began, but family legend states that he left Illinois, came to Texas, donned a Confederate uniform, and is believed to have participated in the final battle of the war…..a skirmish in south Texas…and…may have fired the final shot of the war…according to one story.

The war ended in 1865.    Eighteen years would elapse before W W Turner would Mary Olivia Wheelock in 1878.

A marriage license… in Washington Co Arkansas… was issued for W W Turner and Rachael Sidwell in 1862.   William Warren Turner would have been fifteen years of age at that time.   However, we must remember that many young people in those days married at a young age….especially girls.

William Warren Turner could have been large for his age, and was, apparently, very mature to have made his way from Illinois to Texas, to have enlisted, and to have participated in a military engagement.

John Sidwell   migrated from KY to Fayette Co IL

He was a son of Nathan Sidwell

Rebecca Jane Sidwell…m. 1833   Fayette Co IL

Mahala Sidwell…dau of William &  Mary Key Sidwell…

…….m.   1830 Adam Allen Guthry Fayette Co IL

Warren Sidwell…by 1847…was married, has a daughter born in 1844.   His wife dies near 1847 bearing a baby girl who survives.   Could Warren Sidwell have named this daughter..Rachael…after his sister?    Could he have returned to Arkansas with both babies to permit relatives to care for them until he could make other arrangements.   The girls were not shown in the 1850 census, but could have returned to live with their father and his new wife at a later date.

And…William Warren Turner, on his journey from Illinois to Texas…could have stopped to visit the Sidwells in Arkansas and Rachael was still living there in 1862.     William Warren Turner was, perhaps, a fine looking young man for fifteen…and….Rachael Sidwell had, perhaps, bloomed into a very beautiful fifteen year old.    The two would naturally be attracted to each other, but the fact that a young man was about to “ march off to war” fanned the hot flames of teenage passion even more.

No record has been found in Navarro or Robertson Counties to support the above.   However, the two  may have returned to Arkansas after the war.   It must be assumed that they visited the widow of Warren Sidwell from time to time at Spring Hill for she continued to live there until the 1880s.   Rachael Sidwell Turner would have died at some point prior to 1878….perhaps in Arkansas.

William Warren Turner, alone…perhaps, despondent….wanders back down to
Texas.   He visits relatives in Robertson Co Texas.    There…he meets  Mary Olivia Wheelock, daughter of a prominent family….he is thirty-one…she is sixteen.

The couple married at Wheelock, but lived in the Dawson area for almost thirty years.    William Warren Turner was buried at the Wheelock Cemetery in Robertson County in 1919.

This Page Last Updated on 06/19/06
Navarro County TXGenWeb
© Copyright 2001 Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox