Texas Lies, Legends, & a Little Gospel Truth
by Carl W. Matthews Jr.
Dawson, Navarro County, Texas


Community of Dawson || Dawson Stories

TEXAS Lies, Legends, & a Little Gospel Truth
Carl Matthews
Cedar Hill TX



The final chapters of historical and genealogical
Research can never be written until all questionable
Family stories and all transcription errors are resolved.



The Savage Family has left their significant footprint throughout their rather diverse and migratory history, touching and changing in their own "Savage" way continents, countries, and local societies – participating in or near some significant historical events.

The Savage Family has been a major financial force behind the preservation of the Historic Hubbard High School structure, but their leadership, dreams, and hard work have served to develop much of what is offered there today. This family is typical of their ancestors who, for centuries, have been achievers in fields of adventure, glass making, military, ranching, horse breeding and racing, rodeo, business, education, and more.


The Savage Family name always had special meaning for little boys in the town of Dawson, Texas during the 1930s. The Savage name was related to ranching and cattle and rodeos and horses. They came to town with the smell of new leather, shop made cowboy boots, heavily starched shirts, large brimmed hats, and soft words that became their trademark and their bond.

The ranch house faced north, near the main road, and there was a long side porch that faced south. Two manmade stock tanks, defined by growths of Willow trees and stocked with nice bass and crappie, were just south of the house.

This was the ranch of Walter Lawrence “W. L.” and Jennie Effie Petty Savage and their family. His father, George Washington Savage, who died in 1899 when W. L. was thirteen, had been owner of a much larger ranch located a mile and one half to the south.

It was exciting in the late afternoon, 1930-1932, to hear the rumble of running horses approaching, and to have riders race to a stop near the shaded side porch. The riders were the older Savage boys, Pat, Bates, and Charlie. Macca was then too young to ride.

The boys would yell as they approached the house, bring their horses to a stop; and make for the dug cistern to draw a bucket of cool water, but first, they would cordially greet any guest present. Jennie Savage always insisted that her children exhibit proper manners and show respect for their elders.

The Savage girls were pretty and lively, always ready for a party to break the isolated routine of depression era ranch life.

Members of the Savage family were not frequent visitors to the nearby little towns of Dawson, Malone, and Hubbard for ranch life demanded much work from each member of the family. There was, also, strong emphasis by the parents that each child have a good education, and preparing lessons for school was always equally important as the required chores.

But, when there was a rodeo in Dawson, the Savage family came to town in full force with all their laughter, pats on the back, “hurrahin,” and the telling of tall stories. No rodeo parade would have been complete without a full complement from the Savage ranch.

Frank Savage produced a rodeo in Dawson in the 1930s on a leveled site used by McCullough's Gin to store bales of cotton in the fall. Earlier, the site served as Dawson’s baseball park where the baseball great, Tris Speaker, played when the Hubbard team came to visit. The area is now the Dawson school complex.

Frank directed workmen to construct the bucking chutes, the holding pens, and the rodeo arena; planned publicity; organized the events; obtained the bucking stock; and kept the rodeo moving during several performances.

There were ticket sellers and ticket takers. Guards were posted to wave off those seeking to watch the rodeo without paying admission. The WMU of the Baptist church sold sandwiches for a dime. Grafton Knuckles supplied the bucking stock.

Fred Matthews, who had won calf roping first prize money at the Cotton Palace Rodeo in Waco in the 1920s, was on the rodeo committee. John and Frank Fraley from Silver City entered the bronc riding events. Freeland Wells and Carl Holiday entered the steer wrestling events. Alpha Holiday rode her black and white horse in the parade. “Shortcapper” Hoge entered the saddle bronc riding event.

Charlie Savage remembered paying his entrance fee for the saddle bronc riding event, and being bucked off before the eight second whistle sounded.

Every member of the Savage family arrived well dressed despite the fact that W. L. and the older boys would be participating in steer wrestling, bull dogging, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, all dirty, sweaty effort. And, it was remembered that the Savage family always carried home their share of the prize money.

Uncle Carl Savage, who had married Florence Barber, and who had lost an arm, performed at the rodeo with his trained ponies and a goat that walked on a two-by-four supported by two 55-gallon barrels.

When Macca was about five, he joined his older brothers as they rode in the rodeo parade and in The Grand Entry that signaled the rodeo was beginning. Macca sat astride a large horse, and rode as if he were glued to the saddle. Macca and his riding skills were the envy of every little boy in town.

Dawson was quiet when the rodeo was over, and the Savage family returned to the ranch for another year.


who made such impressions over Western Navarro Co. and Southeastern Hill Co. Texas?


Bates Savage of Hubbard, Texas, now deceased, interviewed in 1995, stated that he did not know where, “Grandpa George Washington Savage” had come from. Bates would not have known Grandpa who died in 1899, thirteen years before Bates was born. Bates did, however, remember Grandma Savage, and his keen mind was filled with the stories she often told her grandchildren. One story involved her father killing a Yankee soldier one evening in a Spring Hill saloon.

Bates mentioned that Grandpa had a sister whose name was Mary. Someone had said his father was Kendall Savage, and that his mother was Sarah Price. And, Bates remembered that Grandpa Savage had served in the Civil War.

Few facts were known about George Washington Savage beyond his birth in 1826, his death in 1899, and that he had married Ann Eliza Lawrence in 1877.

Ann Elza was a daughter of George Thompson and Macca Orange McCandless Lawrence. She was twenty-four, he was fifty-one when she and Savage married, an age disparity of twenty-seven years. In fact, George Washington Savage was a year younger than her father, five years younger than her mother.

There were many questions. Who was George Washington Savage? Where was he born and where had he been those fifty-one years? Had he been previously married? Where had he served during the Civil War? Was his father Kendll Savage, and, was his mother Sarah Price?

A preliminary search of Hill Co. records available on the internet revealed nothing. The same was true of Navarro Co. with the exception of his burial at the Lawrence Cemetery near Liberty Hill.

However, Ellis Co., Texas records revealed that G. W. Savage had married Sarah Elizabeth Sutton, January 12, 1859. Could she have been a daughter of Solomon Dill Sutton who was listed in the 1860 census?

The internet search for information about the Savage Family was expanded to Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, England, and France.


The Savage Family, first recorded in the Normandy area of France as, "Le Savage," was said to have migrated to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and settled in the Devonshire area.

Additional Savage migration to England occurred when France began to persecute Huguenots, a religious group embraced by the Savage family. Huguenot ministers were given two weeks to leave the country, but their followers were not permitted leave. All written material of a religious nature was burned. Huguenots were permitted no civil rights. Marriages were not permitted, and Huguenot women were not permitted to wash clothes in the rivers of France.

Two million Huguenots were said to have fled France, many of them of noble birth. Many others were artisans and tradesmen…cloth makers, ship builders, glass makers, etc.

The Savage Family, skilled glass makers, brought that skill to England, and settled in central England in the county of Staffordshire, an area containing vast oak forests, suitable for use in the glass furnaces.


Some Savage genealogist begin with four brothers who lived in or near Chester, England in the 1500-1600s, and whose names were Thomas Hamilton Savage, Richard Savage, William Savage, and Levin Savage. These names appear in generation after generation of Savage families.

Chester, England is located on the Dee River in Western England and served as one of the major seaports of the world for many years. It is, also, located near Wales, just across the Irish Sea from Ireland. There is a high degree of likelihood that the family may have lived earlier in Ireland and made a migration to England as to later date.

The name, "Sir John Savage," was found on a beautiful stained glass window of a church located in the village of Broughton, near Horton, Straffordshire , where a "Norman" church still exists.

Sir John Savage, son of John Savage, was born at Rock Savage, Cheshire, England in 1550. His children were: John, William, Elizabeth, Thomas, Richard [born c1588], Grace, George, Phillip, Christian, and Edward. , Thomas built Savage Chapel and, later, became Archbishop of York.

Savage families began to migrate to the plantations of North Ireland in the late 1600s. Many families bearing the name Savage were found in Co. Down. Some sources state that some of the antecedents of Levin Savage were from Ireland.


Richard and Thomas Savage, whose ancestors are unknown, sailed from England as passengers on the second ship to Jamestown, Virginia. "The John and Francis," under the command of Capt. Christopher Newport, arrived at Jamestown in 1608, two years after Jamestown was founded.

Some of the original planters in early Jamestown included: Richard Savage, laborer; Thomas Savage, boy laborer, Ensign; George Kendall, Captain, Gentleman; Henry Bell, artisan; George Hill, Gentleman; and William Love, tailor.

When Capt. Newport learned that Capt. John Smith had been released by the Indian Chief, Powhatan, he took a party of thirty, including thirteen-year-old Thomas Savage, to meet the Chief.

When Capt. Newport suggested having an Indian return with him to England, Chief Powhatan agreed that his top aide return with Capt. Newport, but only with the condition that Thomas Savage remain with the Chief as surety for the aide's safe return.

Three years would pass before the ship returned. During that period, Thomas Savage learned the Indian language, assisted with trading between the Indians and the settlement, served as an interpreter when Powhatan met the Governor of Virginia, and was present at the wedding of John Rolfe and Pocahontas.

John Pory, Secretary of Virginia, reported that one of the Indian chiefs had requested that Thomas Savage interpret , and added that Thomas Savage had,

“with such honest and good success (he) hath served the publike without any publike recompense, yet had an arrow shot through his body in the service.”

Young Thomas Savage so endeared himself to the Indians that one Indian leader, said to have been Chief Esmy Sichans, gave Thomas Savage nine thousand acres of land on the Accomack Peninsula. The area, later known as Savage Neck, was patented in 1628 as, "Ensign Thomas Savage his divident."

Genealogical research indicates that additional Savage families migrated to the Accomack peninsular from both England and North Ireland. The Savage Family, still found today on the Accomack Peninsular, spilled across Chesapeake Bay to the southern counties of Virginia and northern counties of North Carolina.

Levin Savage, a son of Capt. Rowland Savage, and a grandson of Hamilton Savage, was born in Accomack Co., Virginia c1750, served in the American Revolution, then settled in Surry Co., North Carolina. He married Mary Sarah Martin there c1772 and may have had other marriages. He fathered sixteen children.

Two of his sons, John and Kendall Savage, settled near Sparta, White Co., Tennessee in the early 1800s. Their father migrated to the area later, and settled in the Jackson-Clay Co. area.

White Co. was originally located in the Kentucky Territory, but when the boundary between Kentucky and Tennessee was established, the area was in Tennessee. White Co., a huge area, was partitioned from Smith and Jackson Counties. Many Tennessee counties were carved from White Co., including Warren, Grundy, Putnam, Overton, Clan, and others.

Records of the Pleasant Run Church, established 1827 on McFarland Creek, recorded that Levin Savage had died, but his son, Levin Savage II was a member there. Other names mentioned in the church recorded: several Sims, John Savage, Jesse Savage, Polly Savage Richey. A Sely Martn had been excluded from the church.

The name Kendall came into the Savage family in 1667 with the marriage of Susannah Savage to Thomas Kendall on the Accomack peninsular. The name, Kendall, would be found many times in Savage family genealogy. Levin Savage named a son, Kendal who married Sarah Jarvis. Levin’s son, John Savage, named a son Kendall. Kendall Savage’s daughter, Lucy, who married William Linville, named a son Kendall Linville.

In North Carolina

Sterling Savage, born c1758, a widower, lived in Edgecombe Co., North Carolina with his two sons, Jesse Savage and Sterling Savage 1755-1854.

Sterling Savage was re-married to Susannah Swales, but died after the birth of their daughter, Britiania in 1793.

Susannah, then married Henry John Alexander Hill. The family, including the two sons of Sterling Savage, migrated to Georgia and lived there for several years. Later, the Hill family settled in Warren Co., Tennessee. Warren Co. had been carved from White Co. in 1807, and White Co. was carved from Jackson Co. Families could have lived in two or three different counties without having moved.

When the Hill family made the move to Tennessee, sixteen year old Polly Johnson was with them, and began a long and, apparently, a community accepted relationship with Henry John Alexander Hill, despite his marriage to Susannah Swales Savage Hill. Present day street talk in the area suggests that Polly Johnson was a mulatto.

Henry John Alexander Hill built two residences side by side on his property, one for Susannah, one for Poly. Children were born to both women and their names placed in a common family Bible.

One child of H. J. A. Hill and his paramour, Polly Johnson, was Dr. George Washington Hill for whom Hill Co., Texas was named. Dr. Hill died in 1860 without issue. SEE BIOGRAPHY OF G. W HILL, M.D.

In Tennessee

The Savage and Hill families were found together in Warren Co., Tennessee where 1807 records stated, “Ordered by the Court that Henry J. A. Hill and John Savage be and they are hereby permitted to erect a Grist Mill on Indian Village Creek near where Jesse Savage now lives.

John Savage was a son of LeviN Savage. Jesse Savage was the son of Sterling Savage, and a stepson of Susannah Swales Savage Hill, wife of Henry J. A. Hill.

Families bearing the surname Savage, Hill, Jarvis, were found living in Warren and adjacent counties of White, Grundy, Jackson, Clay, and Bledsoe in the early 1800s.

John and Kendall Savage, who had lived in Surry Co., North Carolina, settled near the community of Sparta, White Co., Tennessee, immediately northeast of Warren Co. William Savage was listed as a juror in White Co., Tennessee in 1807.

Kendall Savage had married Sarah Jarvis, in 1802 in Surry Co. North Carolina, and had migrated to White Co., Tennessee the following year. Sarah was a daughter of John Jarvis who was shown on the 1775 Surry Co., North Carolina tax list.

Descendants of this Jarvis family came to Texas, settled in the present day Tyler area, and intermarried with the Weatherby family. Members of both Jarvis and Weatherby families came to Hubbard, Texas in the 1880s. The families were engaged in banking and business, and were always leaders in civic and religious causes for decades.

Kendall Savage was serving with Andrew Jackson's army during the War of 1812 when he died in New Orleans in 1815. He served with the 3rd Regiment of the West Tennessee Militia.

Court records of White Co., Tennessee 1819, reveal that John Walker, who had married Sarah's sister, Elizabeth Jarvis, was named guardian of the Kendall Savage children

"John Walker was this day appointed guardian to George F. Savage, William R. Savage, Permilia V. M. Savage, Leroy R. Savage, and Elizabeth Savage heirs and minor of Kendal Savage. And there upon interred into bond with Elisbeth Jarvis and William C. Brittain entered."

Family tradition, in conflict with the guardian document, listed the Kendall Savage-Sarah Jarvis children as:
Levin born c1803 m. Ann Nancy Salusbufrg
John G born c1804
William R. born c1806 m. Sarah Price ??
Lucy born c1810 m. William Linville
Pamelia born c1812
Elizabeth born c1813 m.William Linville ??

William Linville, born 1805, actually married Lucy Savage c1830. The family was found in the 1850 White Co. census. Spouses were added when known.
William Linville Hear of Household
Lucy w/o William
Kendall m. Amyh Cass
Mary Jane m. James Downing
Narcisus m. Morgan D. Teaff
Winfield Scott
Tennessee m.William Edwards
Jasper b. 1835
Ammon b. 1836
George Wm. B.1844 m. Annisabel Burney
Lucy Ann m. Jesse Black

One source states that William was a son of Moses Lineville. Some members of the Linville family had lived in Surry Co., North Carolina prior to migrating to White Co.

Morgan Decatur Teaff 1845-1933, was born in Morgan Co., Arkansas, and died at Springfield, Missouri. He married Narcissa Penelope Linville in 1860 in Marion Co., Arkansas.
Narcissa was born 1851 in Tennessee and died 1901 in Dade Co., Missouri. She was a daughter of William and Lucy Linville

NOTE: William M. Savage lived at Buffalo Fork, Marian Co., Arkansas and was a land owner in 1861. He was listed #639 in the Marian Co. census of 1860. Could he have been a son of one of Lucy’s brothers, perhaps a missing brother of George Washington Savage? Family lore mentions a child of William and Sarah Price Savage whose name was unknown.

NOTE: “The name, “Linville,” appears nine times in the Cottonwood Cemetery north of Hubbard, Texas. The oldest date is 1872. Non of the Linevile markers bear any information beyond names and dates.

The name, “ Levin Savage,” as a child of Kendall and Sarah Jarvis Savage is suspect based on the guardian document, census records, and the Sarah Jarvis Savage pension application which is mention below.


NOTE: The initial "R" in the name of William R. Savage is most interesting. George Washington Savage named one of his sons, Frank Rubia Savage. Could the name Rubia, a name rarely seen, have been the middle name of William R. Savage. A single Rubia Savage was found in the genealogy of a very old French or Spanish family.


Sarah Jarvis Savage, born 1774, was seventy-nine in 1853 when she made application for a pension. The document stated that she had married Kendall Savage in Surry Co., North Carolina. She received a War Pension of $3.50 per month and was given an 80-acre land warrant. She listed her children as follows: John, age forty-seven, born 1806; Lucy, age forty-three, born 1810; and Elizabeth, age forty, born 1813.


The 1820 Census of White Co., Tennessee listed "Sally" Savage as a Head of Household. The name “Sally” was often a nickname for someone whose given name was Sarah, in this case, the wife of Kendall Savage. Sarah Jarvis Savage had married a Mr. Ingraham in 1819, but he had died soon after the marriage.
Two males 10-16 William age c14
John age c16

One female under 10 Elizabeth age c7
Two females 10-16 Pamela age c8
Lucy age c10
One female over 45 Sarah age 46
Levin, who would have been c17, is not listed , but could have married, died, or had been working away from home.

Ten years later, the 1830 census listed Sarah Savage as Head of Household with only two people living in the residence, one a female 15-20, and one female 30-40. Elizabeth would have been c17, but Sarah would have been 56. The sons would have been in their twenties, Lucy and Pamela eighteen and twenty, are not shown. Her neighbors included Mary Howard, Stephen Farley, John Weaver, Elisha Cameron, and William Weaver.

The 1840 White Co. census did not list a Sarah Savage, but did list Elizabeth Savage as Head of Household. The census listed Elizabeth Savage who was born about 1815, a son born about 1833, two daughters born about 1837, and a female born about 1775, Sarah Jarvis Savage, born 1774.

Elizabeth Savage, born c1813, would have been twenty when her son was born in 1833. Two daughters were born about 1837. She had three children, but remained unmarried.

White Co. court records show that Elizabeth Savage had filed a “Bastardly Bond” suit against James Scott in the 1830s, and was awarded funds for child support. The “arrangement” was, probably, accepted by the community. Henry John Alexander Hill had side by side residences for his wife and his paramour, and was so well accepted by the community that he served in the state legislature for several terms.

One James Scott b. c1815 lived in the same census area as Elizabeth Savage. His residence listed a son born c1830, two daugheres b. c1830, and a wife b.c1815.

Another James Scott lived in the adjacent census area. He was Head of Household, had a wife born about 1815, a daughter born about 1837, owned one slave, and employed two free blacks. His neighbors included: Pleasant Farley, and William Price.

"Bastardly Bonds," were prevalent in many frontier areas to protect the legal jurisdiction from having to support a child. When a child was born to an unwed mother, the mother was brought into court and asked to name the father of the child. A named father was required by the court to post bond. When no father was named, the mother's family posted bond.

A Scott Cemetery is located in White “Co. Some family names found there include: Golden, Nash, Pistole, Scott, Shockley, and Weatherford. Elias and Mary Savage Cash who are buried in the Cottonwood Cemetery four miles north of Hubbard named a son, Golden. “Goldie” Cash was often present on the street of Hubbard in the 1930s and 1940s.

Interesting…. Several Scott names were found in the Cottonwood Cemetery. There is a Dan Scott without any markings. Robert Scott 1843-1923; Elizabeth Scott 1847-1934; and Eddie F. Scott 1876-1882.


Jarvis names listed in the 1820 White County census included: Samuel Jarvis, Eliphelet Jarvis, John Jarvis, and Cornelius Jarvis.

Other family names appearing in the Census, and known to have lived early in Southern Hill Co. included Hargis, Walling, Walker, McDaniel, Miller , Farley , Cash, Pistole, Womack, Huddleston, and Rigsby.

Charlie Savage, age ninety-five in 2010, recalled traveling
with his father to Sparta, White Co., Tennessee and
visiting the site where the Savage Family operated a ferry


No evidence has been discovered that William R. Savage ever came to Texas. Family lore holds that he married Sarah Price born 1810, a daughter of Thomas Price, and had three children, George Washington Savage, Mary Savage, and an unknown child. William Savage died prior to February 21, 1839, when Sarah married James Poteet in White Co. Mary Polly Cash was mentioned in the 1861 will of George Price as a granddaughter. James Poteet died in 1857.

Mary Savage, a daughter of William Savage and Sarah Price, had married Elias Cash in White Co., Tennessee, and migrated to Hill Co., Texas . One source stated that the Elias Cash family migrated to Hill Co., Texas at some point after 1860.

Elias Cash was a son of Simpson and Edith Flannery Cash. Elias Cash,1826-1877, and Mary, his wife, are buried at Cottonwood Cemetery, located four miles north of Hubbard on the Penelope road. They named their first child, “George Washington Cash.”

The Cash plot at Cottonwood Cemetery is fenced. Inside the fenced area is another fence without a gate. The marker inside reads,

"Sarah E., 1727-1874
Wife of G. W. Savage
Mother and Babe Sleep Here"

Cottonwood Cemetry


George Washington Savage, son of William R. Savage, was born 1826, and, according to family legend, had come to Texas in 1847. He was married at the time, and his wife was content to ride a “Jack,” loaded with supplies, while her husband rode his , “Favorite Steed.” The legend mentions that the couple rode to Kentucky to purchase breeding stock for a horse ranch in Texas, led the breeding stock to a site near Mexia, Texas in Limestone Co. and, later, moved to Hill Co.

No documentation has been discovered to substantiate this family legend, but the details mentioned point to some degree of reliability.


A recently discovered obituary of George Washington Savage, printed in The Hillsboro and Corsicana newspapers more than one hundred years ago, corrected inaccuracies created by a century of family stories being repeated. However, the obituary was, “Written by a Friend,” and may have had some inaccuracies.

The obituary stated that Savage was born in 1829 [not 1826] in White Co., Tennessee, and came to Texas in 1852. He lived for four years in Limestone Co., then moved to Hill Co. in 1856. The obituary stated that his, “first wife,” Miss Sarah E. Sutton was from Hillsboro, Texas, and had died in 1874.

Someone had scratched through the words, “Hillsboro, Texas, and made a note that the 1860 Hill Co. census stated that she was from Tennessee. However, the reference in the census was to where she was born, not where she had been living. This issue will be addressed more completely later.

[Sarah Sutton “May” have been his first wife. However, strong suspicion suggests that he brought a wife from Tennessee to Texas who was someone other than Sarah E.Sutton.]


Charlie Savage recalled that George Washington Savage brought his mother, Sara, and her husband, James Poteet, to Limestone Co. during the time Savage resided there.

One source stated that James and Sarah Price Savage Poteet lived at Springfield, Texas, first county seat of Limestone Co., located inside present day Ft. Parker State Park. James Poteet was said to have died in Limestone Co., Texas October 18 57. No gravesites for James and Sarah have been located.

Sally E. Poteet, daughter of James and Sarah Poteet, was born in 1850, probably, in Tennessee. Sally Poteet married Geroge W. McNeese. Both are buries in the Cottonwood Cemetery north of Hubbard, Texas.

The Cottonwood Cemetery census revealed the following McNeece names.
G. W. McNeece 1840-1909
Sally E. McNeece 1850-1909
w/o G. W.
Infant McNeese 1873
c/o G. W. and S. E.

Carrie McNeece 1876-1904
w/o Hugh S. McNeese
Carrie Louise McNeese 1896-1897
d/o H. S. & Carrie McNeese
Guy Sayers McNeese 1898-1899
s/o H. S.
Stella McNeese 1879-1907
w/o of O. Lusk

NOTE: The site for the Cottonwood Cemetery was a gift from George W. McNeese. John Dawson 1838-1863 was the first to be burial there of record. .


While there is no documentation that Savage was married prior to coming to Texas, that he made a side visit to Kentucky while on his way to Texas, or that he was in Texas in 1847, there is ample evidence that he brought some good race horse bloodlines to Texas and expanded his herd to more than one thousand horses.


Could his visit to Kentucky have been to Barren Co. It was in Barren Co. that William Whilley, in the 1790s, constructed the first circular horse racing track in America, and horses raced counter clockwise, a means of expressing anti-British feelings.

William Savage had migrated to North Caroling from Ireland, married Mary Robbins in North Carolina, then settled in Barron Co. Several members of this Savage family settled in Grayson Co. , Texas after living for a time in Missouri. One member of the Grayson Co. Savage family settled in Erath Co., Texas in the 1850s.

Thomas Jefferson Walling of White Co., Tennessee, born
1811, had married Nancy Ann Price; settled in Rusk Co., Texas in the mid -1830s, then was settled near Whitney, Hill Co., Texas by 1857. Some members of his family migrated to Barren Co.

George Washington Savage surely had reason to visit Barren Co. He was interested in horse racing. He was interested in purchasing race horse breeding stock. He had family and White Co. friends in Barren Co.


The area of present day Hill Co. had few settlers prior to 1853 when the county was created from Navarro Co. There were at least two reasons why.

First, the area had been involved in a dispute between Sterling Clack Robertson and Stephen F. Austin, involving land grants provided by the Mexican government. Settlements in Limestone Co. and Navarro Co. were made to the boundaries of the contested area where any land patents given could have been challenged. When the courts of The Republic of Texas resolved the issue in Robertson's favor, the state legislature, within days, passed a bill creating Hill Co. The year was 1853.

Second, several Indian villages on the Brazos River north of present day Waco were inhabited, for the most part, by peaceful Indians, but their presence deterred the creation of nearby settlements. Dr. George Washington Hill was appointed, in 1852, to move the Indian villages to Young Co., Texas and he began that task almost immediately.

Present day Hill Co. was a part of Navarro Co. until 1853, and would have been covered by the 1850 Navarro Co. census that extended north and west to Ft. Graham. A search of the 1850 Navarro Co. census produced no Savage or Cash names. No Cash, Savage, or Sutton names were found in the 1850 Ellis Co. Census.

The census findings give indication that Savage came to the Hill Co. area at some point after 1850, but prior to 1859 when G. W. Savage married Sarah E. Sutton. Savage had been in the area sufficiently long by 1860 to accumulate 5400 acres of Hill Co. land.

One of the first Hill Co. residents with White Co., Tennessee ties was Thomas Jefferson Walling, born 1811 on Walling Ridge Mountain, White Co., Tennessee. He had married Nancy Ann Price, and came to Texas between 1835 & 1837, settling in Rusk Co. He was living in Whitney, Hill Co., Texas in 1857 when a son was born.

NOTE: Could Nancy Ann Price, wife of Thomas Jefferson Walling, have been a sister of Sarah Price, who married William R. Savage? Walling's age and his birthplace are compatible with such conjecture.

John Walling posted a one thousand dollar bond with Rusk Co. in 1844 for a permit to operate Walling’s Ferry with the following charges per each crossing.
Road Wagons One dollar
Small Wagons Fifty cents
Man and Horse Twenty-five cents
Cattle, hogs, sheep Three cents
Footmen Six & one-half cents

Early deeds recorded in Rusk Co., Texas included many names found later in the Hillsboro-Hubbard-Waxachie triangle including: Joseph English, Sarah English, several Chisums, L. B. Outlaw, several Wells, William Frisby, John Womack, John T. McDaniel, John Cash, several Prices, Alfred Walling, John Walling, Charles McKnight, Jesse Walling, Thomas J. Walling, William L. Culbreath, Robert Ross, Daniel Walker, G. W. Meredith, J. L. P. Meredith, John Pevehouse, Frost Thorn, Hartwell Frazier, and Thomas Loyd.

Thomas Jefferson Walling’s family had intermarried with members of the Howard and Chisum families of White Co. Some members of his family settled in Barren Co., Kentucky.

1860 Limestone Co. Census

John Chisum was found in the 1860 Limestone Co., Texas census. He was born 1806 in Tennessee, but had been in Texas since before 1841 when his son, Elijah, was born. Chisum, with assets of more than $40,000. was one of the wealthiest men in Limestone Co. Multiple Chisum families were listed in the census.

The Howard family from Tennessee was listed, as was John Wallilng,


Horse racing was a popular sport in Tennessee in the 1800s. Andrew Jackson had raced horses there in 1801, and was the first president to own race horses. Horse racing, however, did not really thrive until after the civil war. There were over three hundred horse-racing tracks in the nation by 1890.

Savage had grown up in a state where horse racing had a long and rich heritage. He was only twenty-six, but he had, apparently, accumulated a vast knowledge about horses and horse racing. His experience, knowledge, and business acumen led him to formulate a plan that included the purchase of the best breeding stock, creating a horse ranch on inexpensive land in Texas, practice careful breeding, train young horses to race, move them to the large tracks to race, win races, then sell all the horses and return home with the proceeds.

It may have been that he had engaged in a similar operation in Tennessee on a smaller scale, but with sufficient success to create capital to expand into a much larger operation.

He was, obviously, a man of considerable means when he came to Texas. He was financially able to support a wife; invest in expensive breeding stock, journey to Texas, bring his mother and step-father to Texas, purchase land, construct a log cabin, and live until profits were realized from his horse operation.


No record has been discovered of Savage being married in Tennessee beyond what has come from family legend. He was thirty-three when the 1859 Ellis Co. marriage license was issued for him and Sarah E. Sutton, and could have had another wife by a previous marriage.


The Walling family was very prominent in White Co. Thomas Jefferson Walling was in the Whitney area of Hill Co. when his son was born in 1857. George Washington Savage was said to have settled near the Walling Farm in Hill Co. located east of present day Malone, Texas.

Reference to Savage settling near the Walling farm may have been that he settled on a site that was near where the Walling farm was located in later years. Family lore states that the racetrack where the Savage horses were trained to race was located at the site of the present day Walling cemetery. Savage may have owned the site, and sold it to the Walling family.

Alonzo Dru Walling was said to have settled 480-acres east of present day Malone in 1883. The community called Walling Village developed around the Walling residence. The community moved two miles east in 1902 and renamed the community, Walling. Later, when two railroads intersected several miles west, the community moved there and the new town given the name Malone. Walling owned land where all three communities were located.

Research is beginning to reveal that more than a few White Co., Tennessee families migrated to an area triangle formed by present day Hillsboro, Hubbard, and Waxahachie. However, most appear to have come to the area following the Civil War.

The Cottonwood Cemetery is the resting place for many whose families came from the White Co., Tennessee area, including Barnes, Cash, Downey, Farley, Howard, Moore, Phillips, Poteet, Chisum, and Walker.

Thomas Walker, current Hubbard resident 2010, is a descendent of John Walker of White Co., Tennessee who became guardian of the children of Kendall Savage after he died during The Battle of New Orleans. Kendall Savage had married Sarah Jarvis, John Walker married her sister, Elizabeth Jarvis.


James Farley, born in White Co. in 1879, was living in Hubbard in the 1930s. He, and Belle Farley, born 1853, are buried at Fairview Cemetery. There was a Farley-Savage marriage in Co. Down, Ireland.. Mary Farley married Thomas Womack and had several children who lived in White Co. The Womach family, who lived in Dawson in the 1930s, often visited the Hubbard Farley family. Elizabeth Farley, who married Christopher Wilhite, was living in White Co. in 1880.


The Julius and Margaret Wilhite family had lived in the White Co. area where their children intermarried with members of the Etter and Phillips familes. One of the Etter daughters married Rev. William Cunningham who was serving as a missionary to China in 1854. Cab Cunningham, a member of this family, lived in Hubbard in the 1930s.

Dr. Livingston Barnes of Hubbard married Lemma Etter. Their daughter married Wylie Wilhite whose family lived near Liberty Hill.

The Salem Cemetery, near the community of Irene, is connected to White Co. Tennesse with names of Downey, Graham, Keathley, McDaniel, Phillips, Pierce, Prater, Sparkman, and York.


Savage had his larger-than-usual log cabin constructed on a prominent hill that overlooked the low lying bottom land several miles east of the Hubbard-Malone highway. Charlie Savage remembered that Grandpa Savage purchased a 160-acre track south of the main ranch, and in a low lying area where water was always available for his many horses. The 160-acre plot contained several natural lakes needed to supply water to his horses. Later, he purchased additional acreage one mile east of the original log cabin.

This was during a time when all stock roamed the unfenced prairie. The occupation of, “herdsman,” was often found in the census lists for most of Central Texas, including two at the Savage residence. Brands for each rancher were registered at the county seat. Animals bearing the rancher’s brand were considered his legal property.

However, the “open range” began to change in Texas with the arrival of “Barbed Wire.” Small areas for gardens and livestock had previously been fenced with sticks, branches, even by ditches. A favorite in Texas had been to plant hedges of bois d’arc , often called, “Board Ark.” The hedges grew quickly and their thorns encouraged livestock remain some distance away.

Barbed wire began to be used extensively in Texas in the late 1870s, and changed land use and land values immediately. Someone said that barbed wire was, “lighter than air, stronger than whisky, and cheap as dirt.”

It may have been in that time period George Washington Savage realized the need for more land for his expanding herd of horses. Family lore stated that he purchased or leased land in the open areas in or near Erath county to breed, foal, and gentle his horses. Yearlings were brought back to the Savage Ranch in Hill Co. , approximately one hundred miles, for special training on a racing track created at the site now occupied by the Walling cemetery. The location of this site would indicate that the Savage Ranch, at that time, was located around the present day Walling cemetery.

Charlie Savage remembered the area where the horses were sent to have been between Abilene and Post, Texas, perhaps in Scurry Co. Scurry Co. was little more than wilderness until the late 1870s when Pete Snyder, a buffalo hunter from Pennsylvania, built a trading post. He was soon joined by other hunters who lived in dwellings framed with tree branches and covered with buffalo hide. The community was often called, “Hidetown,” and, “Robber’s Roost.”

No land purchases by George Washington Savage in the Erath Co. area have been discovered to date. However, there is a record of a John Thomas Savage settling in Erath Co. in 1852.
James Monroe Savage was born there in 1853.

This Savage family descended from William Savage who migrated from Ireland. He married Mary Robbins in North Carolina, then , settled in Barren Co., Kentucky. Members of the family migrated to Missouri, later to Grayson Co., Texas. This family may not have been closely related to the Levin Savage family, but frontier families had a history of staying in touch with relatives, and migrating to where even distant "kin" lived.

The best of the Savage racing stock was moved on foot to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a distance of more than four hundred miles, where horse racing was king and very lucrative.

Savage always managed to have his horses at the track well in advance of the races to permit them to rest from the long drive, to be perfectly groomed, and readied for the races. His theory was to deliver the horses, race, win the races, sell all the horses and return to Texas all the richer.


Marriage records of Ellis Co., Texas reveal that George Washington Savage married Sarah Elizabeth Sutton on January 12, 1859. Savage was thirty-three, Sarah was thirty-one. No children of record were born, but Sarah and a baby both died in 1774. Sarah was forty-six.

The 1860 Hill Co. census lists G. W. Savage as a Head of Household. He was 35, born in Tennessee, owner of 5400 acres. Sarah E. Savage, is listed at age 33, born in Tennessee and her occupation was given as a, “ weaver.” No children are shown, but two boys, William Perking, age sixteen; and John Richards, age fourteen, were shown as herdsmen.

When Sarah Elizabeth Sutton Savage and her baby died, they were first buried in the yard at the Savage Ranch, but, in 1912, when Ann Eliza Lawrence Savage moved to Hubbard, the bodies were re-interred at the Cottonwood Cemetery, just inside the Elias Cash family plot and surrounded by an iron fence without a gate.

Savage family lore holds that George Washington Savage and Sarah Elizabeth Sutton came to Texas in 1847, and lived together as man and wife until her death in 1874, a position that may well be correct. However, no documentation has been discovered substantiating that position.

Solomon Dill Sutton was listed in Ellis Co., Texas in the 1860 census, and had, probably, settled there in the 1850s. He and Sarah E. Sutton were children of John Sutton, who according to minutes of the Baptist church he attended in South Carolina, migrated to White Co. in 1804. Baptist families in the mid- 1800s would not have approved of a daughter who chose to, “live in sin” with a man who was not her husband.

The fact that Sarah Sutton Savage was listed in the 1860 census as having an occupation of, “weaver,” suggest that she may have remained single until her marriage to Savage, and provided her livelihood weaving for the public.

She may well have been living with George Washington Savage during the 1850s, but frontier housewives with meals to prepare, a house to keep, outside chores to perform, would have had little time to engage in the occupation of weaving for the public.


Much of Ellis Co. history appears to
Have a connection with
George Washington Savage


Martha Savage Rogers was there 1877
Mary Elizabeth Waddell who was
born 1869 in White Co., Tennessee
was married there;
Reziah Jarvis Banks his cousin, was living in Auburn;
Auburn had a track for racing horses;
John Russell Waddell, also born in White Co., was married there; one of the Savage sons married a Waddell;

The names of two men serving under Capt. Savage in the Civil War bore names of early Ellis Co. families

His 1859 marriage license was issued there.


On source reported that Martha Savage had married John Rogers, had a new baby whose name was George Daniel Rogers, and was living in Waxahachie, Ellis Co., Texas in 1877. Assuming Martha was twenty in 1877, her birthdate would have been 1857, two years prior to the marriage of Savage and Sarah E. Sutton in Ellis Co. Who was Martha Savage?

James Franklin Rogers, born 1866 in Tennessee, and Mary Elizabeth Waddell, born 1869 at Shady Grove , White Co., Tennessee, were married 1888 in Ellis Co., Texas. Her family migrated to Alabama and remained there for 2-5 years before settling in Ellis Co.

The first Ellis Co. court sessions were held in the residence of Emory W. Rogers until the courthouse was constructed. Emory W. Rogers was listed in the 1850 Ellis Co. census. He may have been from North Carolina, but had lived in Kentucky and Alabama.

Resiah Jarvis Banks, a cousin of George Washington Savage, was living in the Ellis Co. community of Auburn during the Civil War. The Auburn community was sufficiently interested in horse racing that a track was built there.

And, John Russell Waddell, born 1870 in White Co., Tennessee, and Rosa Lee Rogers, born 1874, were , married in Ellis Co. in 1895.

The names of the three men reported to have accompanied Capt. Savage to Corsicana during the Civil War were from families shown to have lived in Ellis Co. during the 1850s.


Reziah Jarvis Banks 1817-1899, a cousin of George Washington Savage, was a son of Susannah Rose Jarvis and Thomas Robert Banks . Thomas Banks was born Surry Co., North Carolina in 1784. Susannah Rose Jarvis Banks was a daughter of Reziah Jarvis, brother of Kendall Savage,

Reziah Jarvis Banks married Minerva Trimble, came to Texas in the 1830s, settled first in Nacogdoches Co., but was in Ellis Co. prior to the Civil War. Reziah, from a strong Methodist family, deeded 20.5 acres in 1865 to the Auburn Methodist Church to be used for a school, church, and cemetery. First burials at the site were in 1856, and could possibly be the burial site of James and Sarah French Savage Poteet.

Auburn is located in southwest Ellis Co, sixteen miles southwest of Waxahachie. Early settlers were attracted to the area by the water supplied by the North Fork of Chambers Creek. A track for horse racing was constructed at Auburn in the mid -.

Jabez Banks, born 1825, and Hilkiah Banks, born 1823, brothers of Reziah Banks, came to Texas after the Civil War. Benjamin Banks, son of Jabez Banks, is buried in Comanche Co.


Two years after his marriage to Sarah Sutton, the Civil War began. The Archives Division, Texas State Library recorded that George W. Savage, 1st. Lt, had enlisted in the 28th Brigade, Texas Militia, in August 1861. He served under Capt. J. W. Dyle in Res Co. Beat #4, Hill Co. He may have been promoted to the rank of Captain by 1862.

Calvin McKnight, also served as captain of Hill Co. Mounted Volunteers of the 28th Texas Militia. He resigned and enlisted with a cavalry group at Dresden. A son of Calvin McKnight, was the first love of sixteen year old Ann Eliza Lawrence.


Savage family oral history mentioned that George Washington Savage, at age thirty-six, had an option to serve in the regular Confederate army or become part of the home guard to prevent Indians from raiding the area. He, apparently, chose to serve in the home guard which permitted him to protect the frontier from Indian attacks, and supply horses needed for the many cavalry units formed in Texas.

During the Civil War, the name, "Capt. Savage," appeared in the journal of Jacob Eliot of Corsicana, and may be assumed to be that of George Washington Savage.

December 9, 1862:
"Ten bushels of corn have been collected
for Capt. Savage."

December 10, 1862:
"Capt. Savage and the following members of his
company arrived at Corsicana: William Lindsey,
John Adamson, and Billingsly.

NOTE: 1850 Ellis Co. Census
Peter Apperson from North Carolina had married
Eliza who was born in Kentucky. Their son,
James, had been born in Tennessee in 1829
John Adamson was born in Mississippi in 1842.

There was a huge Billingsly family with Kentucky ties.
Elbert Billingsly was born in Tennessee in 1825.
John Billingsly was born in Arkansas in 1830.
Billingsly name were found in Marion Co.
Arkansas where William Savage lived in the 1850s.


Family oral history records that a friend and neighbor, Joseph Thompson Lawrence, who later, became his father-in-law, borrowed one of the Savage horses when he rode off to the Civil War. Four years later, Lawrence returned the horse to Savage.

After the war, when Federal troops were occupying the area, Lawrence was in a Spring Hill saloon to, as he told his wife, to, “Drown His Sorrows,” after a day when he had been feeling low.” Three Yankee soldiers walked in, and began to intimidate Lawrence. A warning given the soldiers by the bartender went unheeded, and they, as Bates Savage once related, "probably continued to 'goose' him and tip his hat, etc..”

When Lawrence had his fill of what was happening, his six shooter came out of its holster and moments later, one of the soldiers lay dead on the saloon floor. The other soldiers made no attempt to draw their weapons, but fled out the back door of the saloon.

Lawrence raced home, gathered a few clothes and some food, borrowed the same horse he had ridden to war, and fled to the heavy timbers where he remained in hiding for two years.
[SEE....."Mama, I Killed a Yankee."]


After the Civil War, George Washington Savage returned to the racing of horses. Broadway Street at Spring Hill had been surveyed as a wide street, and Sunday afternoon horse races were known to have been held there regularly. Corsicana, also, became a center for horse racing. Savage had his own track and there was the track at Auburn.

Jean Savage, in 2010, remembered her father telling that his father had raced his horses as far away as Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Adolphus Martin, a small, wiry black man had arrived in the area in 1878 to work for Brit Dawson. Louis Martin, a son of Adolphus, remembered his father commenting about riding race horses for George Washington Savage, and, winning quite often as well. Adolphus lived early in the Spring Hill area, but, eventually settled at Pelham, not far from the Savage Ranch.

Family oral history states that in1899, the year George Washington Savage died, he owned one thousand horses, some for breeding stock, some to sell, and some for racing.

A copy of an 1876 Bill of Sale executed in Hill Co states that Wyley Curry and his wife, M. J. Curry had sold two hundred and ninety-five head (295) of, “stock horses and mules, all branded with the Bar-C brand,” to George W. Savage and Joe Williams. The date was January 15, 1876 and the selling price was $2,900., approximately $10. for each animal.

Charlie Savage recalled that his grandfather was constantly trading for anything and everything, horses, land, even hogs. Once, he traded for five hundred(500)hogs located at Buffalo, Texas, approximately seventy miles from the Savage Ranch. The hogs were moved on foot to the ranch, led by an old sow that followed a trail of corn distributed from a wagon as it was driven to the ranch.

Charlie, also, commented that George Washington Savage, who owned 5400-acres of land at the time of the 1860 Hill Co. census, had increased his land holdings sufficiently to give each of his nine living children 160-acres, a total of 1440-acres.


Three years following the death of Sarah Sutton Savage, George Washington Savage had spent the night with his old friend, Joseph Thompson Lawrence, after a day at Spring Hill conducting business. He was having breakfast the following morning when he noticed that, Ann Eliza Lawrence, daughter of his host, and the cute little girl that he had known in the past, had suddenly become a beautiful lady. They were married April 10, 1877. He was fifty-one. She was twenty-four. Savage was a year younger that her father and five years older than her mother.

The couple lived in a small log cabin on the Lawrence farm for a year, then moved seven or eight miles northwest to the Savage ranch and into a much larger log cabin. Later, on a hill a mile east, the family constructed a clapboard residence sufficiently large to house the growing family plus a room for the teacher at the Savage School. Prof. Tatum served as teacher during the week and preacher on Sundays.

George Washington Savage, not only housed the school teacher, but gave land and had a school building constructed in 1885 that was known as Savage School. Later, he had a school building constructed in the Walling community that remained until the Malone school opened. The Savage School continued until 1950. The Savage School building no longer exists, but the old school bell was recently donated to the Malone City Hall Museum by Charlie Savage.



Born April 10, 1878.
Married Laura Thorn, had four children,
became mentally ill.

Born November 22, 1879
Married Verna Thompson, a school teacher.
They had two sons, Lynn and Emmie.

Born January 10, 1881
Died in infancy

Born January 18, 1882
Died 1906
Married Jim Johnson,
Their sons were Milburn and Sam Johnson

Born January 6, 1884
Died Muleshoe, Texas 1959
Married Ida Barnes
Her family was from White Co., Tennessee
Daughter Clara, with a Masters from
Columbia, taught riding at the prestigious
Hockaday School in Dallas

Born April 22, 1886
"Champion Bronc Rider"
Married Jennie Petty
Father of nine children, several of whom
attended Hubbard High School

Born September 17, 1887
Never married
U.S. Army career
Died 1957 in Glendale CA

Born July 4, 1889
Died in infancy

Born January 7, 1891
Married Florence Barber
Trained ponies and goats for
performances at rodeos.
Died 1942

Born February 20, 1893
Died 1974
Married Nettie Pierce of Malone
Her family was from White Co. Tennessee
Henry and Frank Savage broke and trained
horses, became rodeo directors, and established
a successful riding academy in San Antonio.

Born November 13, 1894

Born October 17, 1895
Married Hattie Mann of Malone
Frank and Henry Savage broke and trained
horses, became rodeo directors, and established
a successful riding academy in San Antonio.

Born September 26, 1898
Married Wilson Waddell
His family was from White Co. Tennessee
Their children were Martha (Smith) Waddell
and Robert Waddell

George Washington and Ann Eliza Lawrence Savage were surrogate parents of two other children.

Born July 24, 1875
was a son of Mary Jane Lawrence Long, sister of Ann Eliza Lawrence. Mary Jane died eighteen days prior to the marriage of Ann Eliza to George Washington Savage. Roy became the first child of the new family and was loved throughout his life by all members of the family. Roy never married.

Born July 1854
in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
was found as an orphaned teenager at the Baton Rouge Race Track by George Washington Savage at some point after the Civil War. The two bonded, and Abb's older sister gave permission for Abb to return to Texas with Savage. He lived with members of the Savage family all his life and is buried in the Dawson Cemetery next to Karl O. Savage.


George Washington Savage was at the Baton Rouge races in 1898 when he learned that his jockey was planning to "throw" a race for some gamblers. He could not let that happen. He chose to ride himself, and, at age seventy-two, won the race. However, when the finish line was crossed, the horse refused to stop and ran into some nearby woods, and fell. Savage's leg was caught under the horse's left flank and fractured. He would never mount a horse again.

George Washington Savage died the following year.


William Lawrence Savage, thirteen at the time of his father’s death, was permitted to go with the wranglers and chuck wagon crew to Erath Co. to "cut" one hundred of the best horses from the herd and return with them to the Savage Ranch.

Ann ElIza Lawrence Savage became a widow with more than one thousand horses, an undetermined number of other livestock, more than 1400-acres of land, and ten fatherless children, ages one to twenty. She remained on the Savage Ranch until 1912, when she moved the family to Hubbard.

Hill Co. court records show that an application was made to probate the “Community Estate of George W. Savage, deceased, and, Annie E. Savage, survivor, on the 29th day of May, 1899.” The court appointed J. V. Matson, James A. Graham, and S. D. Parrot to appraise the estate.

Court records show that on the 6th day of June, 1899, the court ordered Annie E. Savage to, “take charge of, manage, control, and dispose of said community property. The inventory and “appraisment” included 500-acres of the M. Fisher survey valued at $5800. The total estate was valued at $11,625.

Annie E. Savage was required to post a probate bond in the amount of $12,275. The following, in addition to Annie E. Savage, served as, “Sureties,” that she would properly administer the estate: J. S. Cash, M. O. Lawrence, H. C. Saylors, W. J. Lawrence, and J. A. Them.

The above was transcribed from the original hand written records. Several errors are noted.

Another document. Dated 2nd day of May 1864 recorded a deed to three hundred thirty-six and one-half acres of land conveyed from J. H. Grover to G. W. Savage. The price shown was $500.

Another court document, dated 29th of March, 1920, showed that G. A. Hutchinson and J. A. Barr stated under oath that George W. Savage took possession of and fenced the Chas. Watson survey prior to 1883 and that, “together with his wife and children have had continuous possession of said lands, subjecting them to visible and notorious use under substantial enclosure, and to our knowledge his right of possession and the right of possession of those claiming under him has never been disputed.”

The Savage Ranch was divided between the surviving children. The ranch was situated the original Moses Fisher and Charles Watson Surveys and was measured in, “varas.” The “vara” used in Texas was thirty-three and one-half inches in length. The contract between Stephen F. Austin and the Mexican government required the use of varas as a means of measurement.

One survey indicated that Joseph Neely Savage received 140-acres, Lydia Thelma Savage received169-acres, Karl O. Savage received 90-acres, Henry Wood Savage received 15-acres, and Frank R. Savage received 169-acres. Grandma Savage, apparently, reserved the balance that appeared to have been three or four hundred acres.

Grandma Savage, also, owned a seven hundred acre farm in the south Navarro Co. community of Eureka on which she owed $7,500. Charlie Savage related how Grandma gave the farm to her sons, Karl O. Savage and William Lawrence Savage, provided they assume the indebtedness.

Later, during the days of the Corsicana, “oil boom,” the boys were approached by a broker to lease the farm for oil rights for $7,500. A well being drilled a few miles north of the farm was one day from being,” brought in.” The drilling firm was confident the well would be an oil producer, and should that happen, the lease price would increase dramatically. The boys refused the offer.

When the well, “came in,” it was a “gusher,” but with salt water, not oil. The farm was damaged when the salt water flowed into the creek that ran through the property. The boys sued the owner of the well and received $7,500. in damages.

Karl Savage, later, traded some of his Savage ranch land for W. L.’s half interest in the farm, and, it was said, traded the farm for three sections of land in West Texas on which gas was discovered.

Yep, these Savages are…….


Dedicated to
The Memory of
Whose research provided much material and whose life inspired its writing.

Carl W Matthews
1130 Madlynne Dr
Cedar Hill TX 75104

972 293 9309


Navarro County TXGenWeb
© Copyright February, 2020
Edward L. Williams