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Our Hinsons

An Edited Transcription:

Bob Leahy

Deloise Catherine Bumpous McKnight
discussesthe Hinson Family

Date: @1990

From a tape made by
Elizabeth "Sissy" Peden.

Originally transcribed by
Becky Gibbs



[Items in red are people/places/things I need to identify--RML 10 SEPT 99.]

On Martha [Clampitt] Hinson's Death

Mama [Jewell Elizabeth Hinson Bumpous Hendrick Bailey1 Gilbert] had twin brothers [Onie and Otis] who died from pneumonia [26 & 27 APR 1900, respectively] after the boys had gone swimming in a pond. [They may have also had measles at about the same time.] They were buried there [in Titus County].

Sister Martha [Clampitt] Hinson, who had a baby every nine months2, died giving birth to "Little Martha" [8 APR 1902]. The baby was a blue baby, and the family did not know what that condition was or what to do about it, so Aunt Dora [Aldora Hinson Smiley, Needham "Daddy Bud" Hinson's sister] took the baby and cared for her. It was a big job.3 And Mama [Jewell] went to stay with her grandparents [Levi and Lula [Evans] Hinson].

Little Martha's grave, as well as those of the twins, Onie and Otis, are unmarked in the Masonic Cemetery in Mount Pleasant, Titus County, Texas. I can show you where that is. I would like to put markers on all those graves. Uncle John Monroe Nugent died the same year4 during the hot weather.


Aunt Tinnie [Mary Ann Clampitt] Nugent

[The trunk of Big Mama Olive Hinson triggered the next bit of the narrative:]

Aunt Tinnie married a man who kept a store over at Hagensport. At the end of the year, he would write his diary on the back of the ledger pages. His ledger with the diary is in that trunk. In the diary, he tells about the people that came to the store and what they bought--thousands and thousands of names, they came from miles around to trade with him. He was a likeable man, and he gave a years' credit--you know, you charge items for the year, and then, at the end of the year, you owe quite a bit.

One day, I asked Aunt Tinnie, "What was S E R?" She said, "Honey, that was a sheep that had been operated on." I didn't know that was what it was. She said they had to take it to town to be dressed, and then they would sell it as fresh meat. And that's what it was, an S E R.

There were so many things like that. I'm glad I wrote them down when Aunt Tinnie told me what they were. There was another time. I asked, "Aunt Tinnie, what's lemon sugar?" "Oh," she said. "It was citric acid and sugar--a teaspoon of sugar and a little citric acid. Everybody had Malaria," she told me. "Everybody had malaria because they all drank from the same branch [spring]

--the horses, the cattle, the hogs…everything drank the same water. And the mosquitoes just bred like mosquitoes will. We all had high, raging fevers in the summer from malaria. That lemon sugar in a glass of cold branch water sure did taste good."

She told me many things like that. There are lots of things like it in that old book. And we would go through it together. I would usually ask her about it after breakfast. I'd say, "Aunt Tennie, tell me about the old times." And she sure told me about them.


The Clampitts

Steve [Bumpous] said, "Auntie, you never told me you had the history of Welcher County." I said, "Well, the Earps and the Clampitts came from there. The Clampitt boy died when he was nineteen at Goliad." You know, Goliad was one of the places like the Alamo. Goliad was where our Texas heroes died.5 Well, there was a Clampitt boy among those that died there that day in the church. There were 200 and some of them. So, what did he get for his death? He got about 3000 acres of East Texas land.

All those Clampitts had come across the Cumberland Gap, come into Tennessee, drifted down from Tennessee into Alabama, crossing the Tennessee River up there in the corner of Alabama. Well, I knew Aunt Tinnie had always said they were from Alabama."


Doing Research, Cemeteries and Burials

Well, I never did think you would have to go back to the census. That census is a wonderful thing to check. But you can't get it at court houses--they won't let you in…they don't want to be bothered with you. You have to go to the library. But you can check with the old Red River County Court House. It's the original, and everything in it is original. It's a wonderful place to do research.

I have the cemetery records there. The first cemetery records: People would come into town and tell you somebody had died a year ago! They would just come and report it. That's all they did, saying, "So-and-so died."

Aunt Tinnie said that everybody kept a fresh, new quilt and new lumber on hand. And when anybody died, the body would be rolled up in the quilt and a new box would be made; the body would go in the box and be buried. That's how it was done down in Hagensport. Rosalie is due south of Bogota [to the SSE, more accurately.] And due south of Rosalie is Hagensport. You cross Sulfer Bottom.

Aunt Tinnie used to say, and I heard Big Mama [Olive Hinson, "Daddy Bud's" second wife] say that when she and Daddy Bud married, they would go down on Sulfur fishing.

Aunt Tinnie said the men would go down there two or three days before the fish fry and catch fish, keeping them pliable and nice for the fish fry. The women and children would all go down on a certain day and get ready for the fish fry that evening. Oh, she said it was a big todo. All the kinfolk would gather for miles for that fish fry. And that was down on Sulfur. Oh, I have heard of down on Sulfur all of my life.

Daddy Bud always talked about the Fullinghams. You know, John K., Buddy Coke and Bunch. Well, their mother Aunt Bet was a Fullbright, but she was raised by Aunt Edie McCreary, who had a saloon down on the Sulfur. And she was quite a character, that Aunt Edie McCreary was. All those Irishmen, you know--tough. And she was tough. They were shanty Irish, and they were tough

--really tough. They would kill you just as soon as to look at you. So, anyway, Edie was that way. She ran that saloon. She rode a big white stallion bareback.

And she would go out to the Sulfur and swim it at high tide to pick up those little round kegs full of whiskey to bring back to that saloon.

I sat up all night long, once, listening to Aunt Tinnie and Fuchesses6 talk about her [Edie McCreary]. I finally asked, "Aunt Tinnie, how was she kin to us?" I could see getting into the DAR vanishing right there. And Aunt Tinnie began to laugh. She knew what I was about. She said Edie really wasn't no kin to us. But she married candy kin. See the Fullbrights married. Dr. Fullbright was one of the boys--one of the older ones. Edie was Mama's age. Dr. Fullbright had a whole community over in Red River County named for him. And they were always well thought of.

Anyway, the full story is something like this. Aunt Bet was born out of wedlock--on the wrong side of the bed, is what I imagine. And they farmed her out. They didn't want it known who she was. But you know Aunt Bet was always tough as a boot.

Now I remember her. I remember going to her funeral. She loved Daddy Bud, and she was a great big, fat woman, big nearly as John K [Fullingham]. She used to come over to the hotel. And they would lay her there in the front bedroom. Mama said they would strip her off just as naked as the day she was born and take wet towels--soak them wet as water--and spread them over her like you would the fattening hog to keep her alive.

Anyway, Aunt Bet was quite a character. She was the mother of John K., Betty Coke, Buddy Coke and Bunch [Fullingham]. And the step-daughter of Murphy. She moved from Arkansas. Mattye Murphy--Mattye Murphy was her adopted daughter.

Well, [Aunt Bet] died. And, oh, they gathered from miles around. She was a very old, sanctimonious hypocrite, Aunt Bet was. She's buried in Lorenzo. I'll show you if we ever get over to her grave one day. They had to make the coffin special for her to fit into, just like for John K.

They had to cut his car open--John K's. You know he died in his car. And they had to cut the car in half with a torch to get him out. Then they had to make the casket. It took about a week to make a casket big enough for John K. I don't remember how we went to his funeral. I don't remember his funeral.

The first funeral I remember was for Aunt Anna [Davis Hinson] Benton.7 I remember going to her funeral. I think it was one of the first people…. She was Uncle Dave's [David Houston Benton's] wife. I was just a little child.8

Daddy Bud had a hack--seats on either side. He used to go over to Sedrick--where the train stopped--and pick up the people. Daddy Bud would pick up the people and bring them to the hotel and show them the land. He was one of the land agents that showed the land.

Anyway, we went to Aunt Anna's funeral. She was named for her Jewish grandmother, Anna. It's in the records--the genealogical records. She was buried at Ralls. I don't remember what she died of. But she had been sick, and it was summer time [1 SEPT], I remember.

I remember all us children--they told us we would have to wait for the second table--went out and played. There was a big earthen tank out there. And it had willows all around it. It was beautiful home place. And it had a lot of white ducks. It just fascinated me to see all those ducks--and goldfish. We played out there nearly all day. Then, late in the afternoon, everybody loaded up and we went to Ralls and buried Aunt Anna.

Her oldest daughter, was that Mrs. Strange…? What was her name? Alice? Not Alice…. Alice's mother-in-law? Anna's oldest daughter…her name was [Lou Ella Benton]…she married a Strange--he had almost as much money as Uncle Dave [Benton] did.

They had a falling out over a section of land she was supposed to get when she got married. Uncle Dave bought eleven sections of land when he came to Ralls--one for each child, he had eleven kids. One was supposed to go to her. But she didn't get it some how or other. She died pretty soon after that. Mr. Strange never remarried.

She had a whole bunch of children. She looked like--I'll tell you who she looked like. They must go back to the Birds or the Ransoms because, when Mama [Jewell] and I went to see that Nathan Hinson's daughter [Mary] by his first wife9 [Lucretia] out there in New Mexico at Truth or Consequences and she came to the door, Mama said, "Why, I would know you anywhere. You look just like my cousin."

This woman looked just like Ella Benton. She looked just exactly like her. And they all looked that way. All the Benton women did--had those little, short legs, and looked just exactly like that.

Daddy Bud had a sister that looked just like her. Aunt Dora [Aldora Hinson Smiley] looked like them. Aunt Dump [Dumpia Allen Hinson Garren], now, didn't. Aunt Dump looked more like the tall, handsome, German people.

Anyway, I remember going to Aunt Anna Benton's funeral.

I don't remember much other than we went to the cemetery then about one day a year and cleaned the lot, cleaned the weeds, and mowed the grass. And we always did that.

Then Uncle Dave married again. You know…after a while, he married again. But I don't think he married sisters. I don't think they were kin…. Now let's see….

She was the best thing to Uncle Dave always. And, you know, his children loved her just like they were hers.


Pictures of Levi Hinson and Others

She [Anna Benton?] gave me this picture. That is the original frame. That is Levi Hinson and his first wife, Emily Helen Ransom. She put it in the basement there in Ralls, and when I got it, it was all warped and just in terrible shape. She gave it to Aunt Ella [Lou Ella Strange]. Ella didn't want it, so she gave it to Helen. Helen didn't want it, so she gave it to Mama. Mama tried to give it to Milburn.10 Milburn didn't want it. I said, "Mama, if you don't shut up, I'm going to kill you. I want the picture myself." I was working on the frame then. And she said, "Well, you're welcomed to it." So, I rescued the picture.

[On to other pictures:] Now this is Daddy Bud [Needham] and Big Mama [Olive Hinson]. Now this is Mama's real mother [Martha Clampitt Hinson], baby sister of Aunt Tinnie [Mary Ann Clampitt Nugent]. See how much Mama looked like her own mother.

Now that frame is original. That other one is not. I bought the frame and had the picture put into it. This one's original. It had all the brass fall off of it. I had new put on.

But the identity of who they all were….


Family Origins

So many of the Germans… I often said I believe I have Jewish blood. Jon [Jon Hughes, Deloise's best friend] asked me a time or two, "So you have any Negro blood?" I said, "Jon, I don't think I do. I don't believe I have any." She said, "Well, the reason I ask is because nearly all of us have a little Negro blood because our ancestors all came from the islands." You know, they were shipped to the islands to clear the land before they came to the new world.

So, in my later research, I found where there was a John Hinson from Jamaica, who came to Charleston, South Carolina with a load of sorghum syrup, ale, brown sugar, and honey to exchange for medicine. He said they were half-starving and they were having some kind of terrible illness on the islands and he needed medicine to take back and that is what he wanted to trade.

[Greatly reduced and paraphrased:] He brought men to work on the islands. They were bonded for ten years to work off the cost of bringing them to the new world. But when the ten years was up, they were free to do as they pleased. John Hinson became very rich over night just bringing people to the islands.

I always said I believed I was just a little Jew because I always had a knack for trading, and I always knew a bargain when I saw it. Still do.

When I told Jon all of this, she just looked at me. She didn't say anything. We talked about that. We do that in genealogy. She said, "Well, I just thought you might know if you had Negro blood." And I said, "No, I don't, but I do think that I have some Jewish blood."


William Hinson

[William Hinson fought in the American Revolution:] Went along several years. And one time I wrote up to Washington to the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is at the end of the capitol where they print all the official government documents. Then, at the very end, down there, is the genealogical section where the war records are kept stored and everything.

Well, I said, "Send me all the Hinsons," and I spelled it H-E-N, H-A-, H-I, H-Y-N-S-O-N. There are lots of ways to spell Hinson. I said, "Send me all the spellings of every man who fought in the American Revolution named Hinson."

He wrote back and he said, "Do not send money now. I will bill you for what I find." He sent me a packet about that thick. In there was old William Hinson, an original soldier, the grandfather of William Hinson. There was his wife, Anna. Before he died, he applied for a pension, but he had to give his military record and his children's names. But the meat on the bones is the widow's pension application.

He inherited. It took him twenty years to get the land that he worked for in the American Revolution--and guess where he got it? Knoxville, Tennessee. He had a son living over there. And that is where it was a bounty state--that meant they had free land to give to the men who earned it. So he got free land in Knoxville, Tennessee.

His [William's] son, Robert--Levi's grandfather--went right south of them over in Georgia and bought Cherokee land--15 cents to 25 cents an acre.

So they lived there. Wasn't far--just down the road, you know. But still, different states--just south across the border.

He [William] died. So Anna inherited it. And the son went right on farming it to make them a living, like they had to do. Because we didn't have any government dole to take everybody on, the children had to take care of their parents. And the parents had to take care of the kids.

He [William] died. And she had to file for this widow's pension application, which was something like six dollars a month or every three months. It was very little. But it was a lot of money back in those days.

[Anna] said she had six or seven children before the American Revolution. Then she had six or seven after the American Revolution. She said she had their birthdays and their records in an old book of Josephus, which is the Bible for the Jews. She said it was all written down in this old book. But the wagon [carrying the book] and teams were all washed away in a flood one day and lost forever. She said she could never remember their names and birthdays after that. Or how old they were. That's true, with that many children. It is easy to do--to get them mixed up.

That's how I found out. She said they were married, and they were English. Bans were posted--they didn't have any licenses then. They didn't have any records--no hall of records. The church records were for baptisms, when someone joined the church, when they died, and when they married. That's all that's on record. So, she said that they posted bans and they were married some place in Virginia.

The climate in Virginia was severe, so [the Hinsons] moved further south. They crossed all those rivers in North Carolina, and they kept going until they got to South Carolina. Part of [the Hinsons] left South Carolina, and part of it stayed. You know, there were lots of Hinsons over there. They were all foreigners. And they were all slave owners.

[William] in Tennessee died. And his wife [Anna] died. Then Robert died [@1860]. And then the war came on. And they left there--all the Hinsons left.

Well, the South--a lot of people don't know this: the South lost the war and the Federal government never paid a pension to any southern soldier. No one ever got even one acre of land or anything. No, the only assistance they got was from the states. And so, one day, I was talking to Jon, and Grandma--that was Levi's second wife [Lula Evans Hinson]--drew a pension from the state of Texas. [Levi] died just before she started collecting the pension.

Levi Hinson, when he came in 1870, took up land.11 There were Irish people all around him. And they never did believe in buying land or anything.

[A portion of the narrative is deleted here. End of Side A of tape. ]


Joe Wheeler

You know, we are related to old Joe Wheeler. And Joe Wheeler lived on the Tennessee River. And, in the most northeastern part of Alabama, there was Wheeler Dam, Wheeler Home--very illustrious place. But I forgot to ask Aunt Tinnie which of the Earps or the Clampitts married into the Wheelers. See, that would have been a line for me to explore, had I known. Now, I couldn't do it because of my eyesight--because I can't read any more.

Anyway, I rode over there. I went to Montgomery. And I told [Aunt Tinnie] I was doing Hinson research, Clampitts, Wheelers. She said, "Well, maybe I can help you." And I said, "Well, if you can help me, I would be glad to pay you." We went along for several weeks. And, finally, one day I get a letter from her, and in it, she gave me the marriage bond of one of the Clampitts, which gave me several lines. They had married on this man's bond. You used to have to put up a hundred dollars to get married. And they didn't have any money, you know. And a hundred dollars was a lot of money.

Grandpa [Levi Hinson] always carried a ten-dollar gold piece with him. He said you would never go broke if you carried a piece of gold.

Uncle Bud Lee inherited [the gold piece], then [his son] Milburn. I don't know, I guess Milburn's son [Bobby Hinson] inherits it now. Mama always wanted that ten-dollar gold piece, but she knew she would not inherit it as long as there was a male line. She never asked. But she wanted it. I saw that she had a ten-dollar gold piece. I guarantee. And I've seen that all my children [nephews] have a ten-dollar gold piece. I said, "You'll never be broke--just like Levi Hinson said--as long as you have a ten-dollar gold piece." And now it's worth four hundred dollars!

Anyway, I forgot to ask Aunt Tinnie which one of the Earps or the Clampitts was kin to us through Joseph Wheeler--how we were related.12 That's why you need to carry a notebook and write down the questions you need to ask. I didn't do it. I had too many questions to ask, and not enough time. I got started too late.

[Becky Gibbs' transcription ended at this point. The foregoing was an edited version of her work. I have added background on names. The quality of the recording on Side B of the tape is poor. I was able to work a bit further in the tape, but there is much that I could not decode. What follows is paraphrased.]


The Earps in Texas

The Earps came from Alabama. They moved here for the bounty land. But the men all wanted to get married before they got here because married men got twice as much land as single men did. The Earps moved to Upshur County [TX], and soon they spread across the entire county.

The Earps were tough. They were all sheriffs; they were men of authority. They had been in the army I have a letter from one of them written during the war. He says they had to practice with sticks because they didn't have any guns.


The Frontier Service

My grandfather, Elisha G. Clampitt, was in the Frontier Service, which was the first Texas Rangers. The Frontier Service men were the Indian Fighters, and they extended all the way from Oklahoma down to Colorado City.

Well, Robert Whiteside was….

[The tape is unintelligible here. And it goes blank for a while. When the narrative continues, Deloise Bumpous McKnight is talking about the genealogy materials she has collected.]


Genealogy Material

Well, it's all very interesting. Robert [Bumpous] has promised to take care of the genealogy. He's promised to keep it in a cool, dry place. It's here in Big Mama's trunk. But I am going to put it in smaller trunks and lay them flat, and I am going to write on them: Store in a cool, dry place."

All the Chances want it. But I say, "No. I want it to be where everybody can have access to it." By Robert's having it, everybody will have access." Robert is the oldest of the Bumpouses. I was the oldest. And I always had the responsibility to keep everything. Now, I am too old. And, so it is time for Robert to take it.

It's all here: All the Bentons. All the Hinsons. As far back as I can go. Somebody else will have to carry on. I can't do it any longer. Someone will have to check into our Jewish ancestry.

[Some more garbled material.]

Valley Forge is where they [William and Anna Hinson] were married. That's where Robert is now. But I think he'll move back here someday. He doesn't like it there. But he's thrilled to be where the family got its start in America. It's where our ancestors helped to build our country. That's where they helped to lay it out. Henry's in Virginia, too. Of course, Virginia and West Virginia were just one state. They cut it in half during the war between the states.

[More garbled tape.]

There's something wrong with the tape. Well, I think I better stop. I'm all talked out now, anyway.

[End of tape.]


1From a note received from Bob Bumpous 10 SEPT 1999, there is some question as the placement of the name Bailey. Randolph Bailey, in one file of Deloise Bumpous McKnight genealogy, he is listed first on the list. There are no dates accompanying his name. Bob Bumpous lists him as probably the third husband. I am still checking on this point--RML 10 SEPT 1999.

2The births actually occurred about every two years: Onie and Otis 26 FEB 1890; Jewell Elizabeth 1 FEB 1892; Charlie 7 NOV 1894; Bryan "Elmo" 30 SEPT 1896; Layton 13 AUG 1898, and Little Martha 8 APR 1902. Information based on genealogical records provided by Bob Bumpous, based on the research of Deloise Bumpous McKnight. Corrections for birth date of Little Martha by Bob Leahy.

3Little Martha died a month later, 8 MAY 1902.

4Deloise Bumpous McKnight said it was 1900; the Clampitt/Whiteside Bible records John Nugent's death as occurring in 1902, and that was the same year Little Martha Hinson and her mother died. Deloise also thought his death occurred in July, but it was June. Jewell Hinson Bumpous Hendrick Bailey Gilbert copied the Clampitt/Whiteside records. Information courtesy of Mary Sue Hinson Vanderhoef.

5So far, no ancestor in direct line to Martha Helen Clampitt has been found who served with Col. James Fannin or other companies at Goliad. There is record of one Francis Clampitt serving in the Company of Rangers, 1 JUL 1836 - 1 OCT 1836, but he does not appear in any of the genealogical information I have--RML 16 SEPT 1999.

On 27 MAR 1836, three weeks after the battle of the Alamo, a force of more than 300 Texans, commanded by Col. James Fannin, surrendered to Mexican troops at the presidio in Goliad, TX. Over three hundred of the Texans (figure runs as high as 342) were then executed on orders of Mexican General Santa Anna.

6The Fuchess family is related to the Hinson clan through the Clampitts. Thaddeus Stewart Fuchess married Alabama Clampitt. Information Courtesy of Bob Bumpous.

7The funeral took place in early SEPT 1916; Anna was an older sister of Needham "Daddy Bud" Hinson.

8Deloise Bumpous McKnight was seven.

9I don't have a second marriage recorded for Nathan--RML 9 SEPT 1999.

10Milburn Hinson was the son of Leondas "Bud Lee" Hinson.

11The originally family homestead was in Red River County near Rosalie.

12Alabama Clampitt (See note 5.) was the daughter of James L. Clampitt and Afrha Earp. Information courtesy of Bob Bumpous.