During the period when what is now Maine and its islands were being explored by Captain John Smith, and named the region "New England" with the approval of Prince Charles, a young Phillip Babb appeared on Hog Island by November 1692, when his name first appears on record there. During this same time period, the town of Kittery in the Province of Maine developed as a result of a town meeting held March 19, 1648. On Nov. 24, 1652, the town commissioners appointed Phillip Babb as Constable for the Isles of Shoals to assist in preserving order and in collecting taxes.
On May 18, 1653, Phillip was among the original petitioners of the Isles of Shoals to plead to the Massachusetts Court for local government on the Isles, including a separate Court and a distinct company of militia.
Even though no marriage record has been found for Phillip, we know his wife's name was Mary. Evidence of this is through a bond in 1671 against Lawrence Carpenter for cruel usage of Mary Babb's servant
Mary died in 1674, soon after Phillip who died in early 1671 without leaving a will. Apparently some of the children were indentured to families on the mainland. On July 4, 1671, Letters of Administration were granted to Mr. Nath. Fryer to bring a true Inventory of the estate to the next Court of Associates.
Phillip and Mary had the following known children:
William mar. Deborah
Thomas mar 1)Bathsheba Hussey and 2)Elizabeth (Conway) Booth
Philip mar. Lydia Bragdon
Sampson mar 1) Elizabeth, 2) Sarah, and 3) Grace Taprill Hoit
Peter mar. Sarah Cate
------------------------------------------------- William Babb and Deborah
William Babb, was born ca 1662, and died Feb 20, 1690. He was the son of Phillip and Mary. If born in 1662,he would have been about nine years old when his father died in 1671. It is believed he was apprenticed by a local family after his mother died in 1674. More than likely he was born on Hog Island, now called Appledore.
Apparently William and brother Thomas planned to "Go South" as they were listed on the tax list of Constable Philip English of Salem, MA on Apr. 16, 1683 for two shillings each. Also the books of Philip English, who was a Salem merchant, have a charge against William Babb & Co (Thomas Babb) "To goods sold them to carry to the Southward." The account runs to 1684.
William died before he could "go South," and his wife Deborah was named his administrix June 30, 1691 in Essex Co., MA Probate Records.
(Sources: History of Salem, Massachusetts by Sidney Perley, Vol. 3, p 419; Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire by Sybil Noyes, Charles T. Libby, and Walter G. Davis, p. 71; Essex County Probate records 1690/1)
Peter Babb and Sarah Cate Peter Babb, son of Phillip and Mary Babb, was born Sept. 29, 1671, St. Michelmas Day, presumably on the Isles of Shoals. As both his parents were dead by 1674, young Peter was apprenticed out to Joseph Hall until the age of 21. In 1696 Peter leased the Hall farm, but a year later he is found living in John Westbrook's house.
He married Sarah Cate, the daughter of James and Alice Cate. By 1714 she was referred to as the "Widow Babb" for taxing purposes.
In 1698 Peter was named on the Greenland section of the Portsmouth tax list, however, he is last found on the tax list in 1713.
They had the following children:
Philip b ca 1700
Priscilla b ca 1702
James b ca 1704
John b ca 1706
Isaiah bapt. Oct 1710, North Church, Portsmouth
Sarah b Sept 8, 1711
Mary bapt. in Greenland, NH 1713
Sampson Babb and Wives: Elizabeth, Sarah, and Grace Taprill Hoit
Sampson Babb, son of Phillip and Mary Babb, was born about 1668. His first wife was Elizabeth. In 1697 an Elizabeth Babb, age 23, testified for Peter Babb (brother-in-law). His second wife was Sarah who died around 1721. She was the mother of Esther . Sampson's third and final wife was Grace Taprill whom he married ca. 1722. She was the widow of Israel Hoit and the daughter of Robert and Abishag (Walton) Taprill. Grace served as Executor of Sampson's will. Each child received 20 shillings.
Sampson had the following children by Elizabeth:
Mary Babb b ca 1700 mar. Jeremiah Hodson in Newington, NH
Sampson Babb, Jr. b ca 1705 mar. Dorothy Hoit/Hoyt, (His stepsister; dau. of Israel and Grace Hoit Babb.)
Elizabeth Babb mar. John Altimes
Alice Babb - In Covenant South Church, Portsmouth Feb 9, 1729. Not named in father's will
Philip Babb, son of Phillip and Mary Babb, was born about 1666, probably on the Isle of Shoals, then a part of Massachusetts and died by 1699.. In 1692 he married Lydia Bragdon, the daughter of Arthur and Lydia (Twisden) Bragdon of York. She was also the granddaughter of Arthur Samuel, who was a soldier from Amesbury, MA.
On Dec. 29, 1691, Sessions of the Peace at York presented Philip and Lydia for fornication. They were to receive seven stripes each on the bare skin or pay 40 shillings.
Thomas Babb and Wives: Bathsheba Hussey (Cindy Casey's line) and Elizabeth (Conway) Booth Thomas Babb , son of Phillip and Mary, was born ca. 1664 on the Isles of Shoals, what was then part of Massachusetts. Thomas was about 7 years old when his father died. In April 1675 he was indentured until the age of 18 to Henry Green of Hampton, NH. It was there he probably met the Perkins and Hussey families, but the date of his marriage is unknown.
His first wife was Bathsheba Hussey, daughter of John and Rebecca (Perkins) Hussey of Hampton, NH. Bathsheba was born Sept. 21, 1671 and died by Oct 1713 at New Castle Co., DE. She was the mother of Thomas' children. Her father and uncle Stephen became Quakers and found it desirable to leave the NH area because of persecution of Quakers there. John and his wife relocated to New Castle Co., DE.
Apparently Thomas followed the migratory path of his father-in-law. On Dec. 17, 1695 he was conveyed 100 acres of land and 20 acres of "mash" in Rocklands by Timothy Atkinson. (Records of the Court of New Castle, DE, Vol. II, 1681-1699)
Thomas has sizeable land holding. In 1735 he obtained a Patent to 600 acres of land in Frederick Co., VA. He sent two of his sons, Thomas, Jr., and Philip to occupy the acreage and to carry out the provision of the Patent. The other sons are believed to have relocated to Chester Co., PA
On Aug. 13, 1751 his will (dated Aug 17, 1748) was proved in New Castle Co., DE. He bequeathed the home place in DE to his oldest son Peter and left the VA lands to Thomas, Jr. and Philip. He made other bequests to his daughters Mary, Rebecca and Lydia, as well as to three children of his deceased daughter Hulda--John, Rebecca and Lydia Gregory
On March 25, 1720, Thomas married a second time to Elizabeth (Conway) Booth. She was born July 9, 1687 to Thomas and Mary (Hollingworth) Conway. She was a widow of Charles Booth.
Thomas and Bathsheba had seven known children:
Thomas Babb, Jr. b: Abt 1697 mar. Sarah Foulke (Cindy H. Casey's line)
Peter Babb b: 1695 m. Mary Lewis
Philip Babb b: Abt 1699
Mary Babb b: Abt 1701 m. James Swaffer
Rebecca Babb b: Abt 1703
Lydia Babb b: Abt 1705 mar. John Morgan Oct 17, 1735
Peter Babb, son of Thomas And Bathsheba (Hussey) Babb was born ca 1695. He was raised in the Quaker faith and his certificate of membership was moved from the Newark MM to the Concord MM after he moved to Chester Co., PA about 1725.
He married Mary Lewis ca 1728 in Chester Co, PA. She was the daughter of Evan Lewis, and the descendant of Henry Lewis, who in 1682, immigrated from Pembrokeshire, South Wales. On April 19, 1734, Peter received a grant of 400 acres of land from the Penns in West Caln Township for which he was to pay fifteen pounds ten shillings for each hundred acres and a yearly Quit Rent of one half-penny Sterling for every acre. He had inherited his father's home plantation in Brandywine Hundred, DE, however, he in turn gave the plantation to his son Thomas.
He and Mary had the following children:
Mary mar Samuel Wilson
Ann mar. Mr. Piersol
Bathsheba mar. Jeremiah Piersol and second to Benjamin Trego
Elizabeth mar. John Bishop, (b. Dec 12, 1746 in Lancaster PA. Son of William Bishoff and Ann Steinmann of Rineland, Prussia
Hulda Babb was the daughter of Thomas and Bathsheba. She was born in Brandywine Hundred, New Castle, DE and was raised a Quaker. On March 6, 1726 she married Simon Gregory, also a Quaker, son of William and Rebecca. Because they were married by a magistrate, they were censured by their congregation but not disowned. The Gregory's were living in Baltimore Co., MD where Simon's will was proved Sept. 30, 1736. Hulda's father Thomas, served as the executor. Three grandchildren were named: John, Rebecca and Lydia Gregory
---------------------------------------------------- Cindy H. Casey's line Thomas Babb, Jr. and Sarah Foulk
Thomas Babb was born ca 1697 to Thomas and Bathsheba (Hussey). He grew up on the New Castle County, DE region. On June 26, 1729 he married Sarah Foulk in the Holy Trinity Church (Old Swedes) in Wilmington, DE under a Governor's license. They moved to Bethel Township, Chester Co., PA, where he purchased land. Sarah was born in the Bethel Township ca 1708 to William and Elizabeth (Cope) Foulk.
In Nov 1735 Thomas received a Patent to 600 acres of land on Applepie Ridge in Frederick Co., VA near Winchester. (Frederick Co. Land Records) He chose his sons Thomas Jr and Philip to carry out the provision of the patent; to wit: the occupation of land and three acres of every fifty cleared and cultivated; and certain yearly payments made to an agent of the King.
Like his father, Thomas was a Quaker and in 1736 his certificate of Membership was transferred from the Kennett Monthly Meeting to the Hopewell MM, located near Winchester, VA.
Thomas Babb, Jr.
Phillip Babb b: Aug 26, 1731 d: 1813 mar. Mary Perkins (cindy h casey's line)
Joseph Babb and Mary 'Polly' McCool Donated by Bill King, descendant. (BillKing@houston.rr.com)
Joseph W. Babb was born about 1735 in Frederick Co, VA to Thomas Babb, Jr. and Sarah Foulk. He died around 1780 in Laurens District, SC. He married Mary 'Polly' McCool born 27 Nov 1743 in Frederick Co, VA and died before 03 Jun 1816 in Laurens District, SC. They had the following children:
Abner Babb Born Abt. 1763 Frederick CO, VA Died 18 Sep 1847 Henry CO, GA mar. Martha Kellett Born Abt. 1768 Died 18 Nov 1838 Laurens District, SC. They had the following children: Jane Babb Born: Abt. 1786 ; Kellett Babb Born: 09 Feb 1791 Laurens Co, SC Died: 1879 (mar. Rebecca Abercrombie); Martha Babb Born: 09 Mar 1799 Laurens District, SC Died: 18 Dec 1867 Alabama (mar. Christopher Garlington Coker); John Abner Babb Born: 14 Oct 1804 ;Elihu Babb;3 Joseph Babb; Louvena Babb; Malinda Babb; Nancy Babb
Second Wife of Abner Babb: Nancy Cook Born Henry County, GA :
Thomas Babb Born: Abt. 1764 Frederick CO, VA Died: Abt. 1803 Laurens District, SC mar. Mary Kellett Born: Abt. 1762 Died: Unknown
Sampson Babb Born: 11 Aug 1766 Frederick Co, VA Died: 01 Dec 1851 Babbtown, Laurens District, SC mar. Anna Kellett Born: 01 Jul 1772 Laurens District, SC Died: 19 Jan 1838 Babbtown, Laurens Co, SC. Their Children: Martha, James Kellett, William, Thomas, Sampson, Abner Babb, Alston Babb, and Polly Babb
Nancy Babb Born: Abt. 1767 Frederick CO, Virginia Died: Abt. 1827 Laurens CO, SC mar. James Culbertson Born: 1770 Virginia Died: 1845 Laurens CO, SC. Their children: Captain John Culbertson
Mary 'Polly' Babb Born: Abt. 1768 Laurens District, SC Died: Bef. 1853 Laurens District, SC mar: Daniel Fuller
Joseph Edwin Babb Born: 15 Jul 1772 Laurens District, SC Died: 29 Apr 1843 Laurens District, SC mar. Mary Shaw. Their children: Joseph, Mercer, Mary Ann,and Frances Babb
Joseph Edwin Babb's second wife:Margaret McNeese. Their children: Robert Newton Babb and Narcisse Babb.
Third wife of Joseph Edwin Babb was Mary Ann Cook Glenn. Their children: Josephus Cook Babb and Thomas Jefferson Babb
James Babb Born: Bet. 1776 - 1779 Laurens District, SC Died: Apr 1859 Near Brenham, Washington Co, TX married Elizabeth Crisp Born: Unknown S.C. Died: Aft. 1814 TN. Their children: Zilpha Babb; Drucilla Babb; Mary Babb; Mancil Babb; James Alford Babb
Second Wife of James Babb: Elizabeth Money Born: Abt. 1790 TN Died: Mar 1865 Near Brenham, Washington Co, TX. Child: Amanda F. Babb
Philip Babb was born Oct. 26, 1731in Chester Co., PA to Thomas and Sarah Foulk Babb. In 1752 he married Mary Perkins (possibly the daughter of Isaac Perkins and Mary Booth, grand niece of Rebecca who married John Hussey 1659) She was born in 1730 in Frederick Co., VA and was the mother of Philip's children. In 1787 Philip moved to Green Co., TN and located near present Greenville where he erected a mill for grinding wheat and corn, known as "Babb's Mill." The mill burned and was eventually rebuilt by his son Philip, Jr. Philip also had a sawmill.
In 1803, Philip married a second time to Nancy Hannah (Hines) Antrim, widow of Godfrey,by whom she had 10 children.
Philip died 19 Jan 1813 and is buried in the BABB Cemetery in Greenville, TN. As he did not name his children in his will, there has been some confusion in the research. There are records in the Hopewell Monthly Meeting which give births for children SARAH, JOSEPH and THOMAS. Then son SETH gave his birth date in his pension records; in addition he was disowned by the Quakers in 1779 along with his mother Mary and sister Phoebe for joining the Methodists. Then in 1784 the Quaker records show a request of Phillip Babb's children PHILIP, STEPHEN, MARY, ELIZABETH and TAMAR for a certificate to New Garden, NC MM. The next month the Friends of New Garden stated they were not willing to accept the above children. (Source: Babb Famililes of American by Jean A. Sargent)
In 1785 Philip purchased land in Greene Co., NC. In 1787 Philip sent a recommendation from Frederick Co., VA stating:
" Frederick Co., Virginia. To all Whome it May consarn. We whose name are under written do Certify that PHILIP BABB and his family, has lived in this County for a Number of years and hath behaved them Selves as Peaceable People with their Nibors and honest in their dealings with all men as far as we know or believe until they moved them Selves to North Carolina to witness where of we have hereunto set our Names this 14 Day of July 1787. Signed by: ( 18 neighbors including brother PETER BABB.)"
Meanwhile in 1790, 7th month 5th day, the Hopewell MM records of VA state: "This meeting is informed that PHILIP BABB'S children - PHILIP, STEPHEN, MARY, ELIZABETH and TAMAR, removed with their parents within the verge of Westfld M.M. in North Carolina and had no certificates and several of them since gone out in marriage. Richard Ridgway and James Steer are appointed to write to that meeting requesting their assistance in treating with those who have misconducted, also some information concerning the others and report when ready."
Children of Philip and Mary Perkins Babb:
Sarah Babb b: 1754 Frederick Co., VA
Joseph Babb b: 1756 Frederick Co., VA
Thomas Babb b: 1758 mar. Martha Ewing m: Mar 10, 1785 in Frederick Co., VA
Seth Babb b: Oct 2, 1760 mar. Mary McClellan
Philip Babb b: 1762
Phoebe Babb mar. William Ford
Mary Babb mar. Jonathan Humbert
Elizabeth Babb b: 1774 mar. John Morrison m: Oct 23, 1798 in Greene Co., TN
A recently found cousin, James R. Babb, (firstname.lastname@example.org) gave me a quick outline of his descendancy from Seth and Mary McClellan Babb:
1 - Phillip and Mary 1--2 Thomas Sr. and Bathsheba Hussy 1-2-2 Thomas Jr. and Sarah Foulk 1-2-2-1 Philip and Mary Perkins 1-2-2-1-4 Seth and Mary McClellan 1-2-2-1-4-2 Hiram and Polly Crabtree 1-2-2-1-4-2-2 Isaac and Elizabeth Letsinger 1-2-2-1-4-2-2-3 Issac B. and mary E. Chamberlain 1-2-2-1-4-2-2-3-2 Ronald P. and Dora Bradley 1-2-2-1-4-2-2-3-2-1 Walter E. and Katherine Stocksdale
Stephen Babb was born ca. 1764 Frederick Co., VA to Philip and Mary (Perkins). He married Sarah Morrow Feb 12, 1788 in Greene Co., TN and then moved to Buncombe Co., NC for a few years. By 1810 he was in Kentucky and by 1820 in Crawford Co., Indiana with his son William M. The 1810 Census shows three sons and three daughters, and there were probably other children as well, but presently only information is known on the three sons. I have no information on Sarah Morrow
William M. Babb mar. Temperance Shipman
Phillip Babb b: 1800 Buncombe Co., NC mar. Elizabeth b: 1805
David Babb and Elizabeth Provided by Ann Babb Shaw ABabbS@aol.com
David Babb, son of Stephen Babb and Sarah (Morrow) was born Mar 1803, NC. He mar. Elizabeth --P.---of SC and they settled first in Hardeman Co, TN which had been created in 1823, named for Col Thomas Hardeman, first county clerk. It had been part of Hardin Co, established in 1819, after Col Hardin surveyed 2000 acres on the east side of the Tennessee River in 1815. The land had been purchased from the Chickasaws for $300,000 and without roads the settlers had a primitive and perilous journey to get there.
1. James C. -b. May 1821, mar. Eliza J. b. Apr 1820. Ch: (1) William P. b. ca 1844 (2) Nancy (Lucinda?) b. ca 1848 (3) Phillip T. b. ca. 1850 (4) E.A. b. ca 1855 (5) Sarah A. b. ca 1858 2. Matthew G. - b. ca 1823, mar. James Lambert 5 Feb 1852; mar. 2nd Juliann Paterson 9 Oct 1854 Ch: (1) David b. ca 1856/7 (2) Sarah R. b. ca 1858 3. Margaret E. - b. ca 1828, mar Andrew Thomas Henson 19 Jan 1850. 5 ch. 4. David W. - b. 1830, Hardeman Co, TN mar. Rachael Murphy 29 Jan 1852 Ch: (1) David E. b. ca 1854 (2) Rachael E. b. ca 1856 5. Mary E. - b. ca 1834, d. 10 Apr. 1888 6. Rebecca I. - b. June 1836, mar. Hiel Gibson from Tippah, MS. no ch. 7. Stephen Oliver - b. 22 Apr 22 1838, mar. 3 May 1858 Malinda E. Mayfield in Hardeman Co, TN. They both died in Madison Co, TN Ch: (1) David F. b. ca 1859 (2) Mary A. b. ca 1861 (3) R. F. b. ca 1863 (4) J.R. b. ca 1868 (5) Leonard d/y (6) Lora Ella b. 6 Sep 1875,mar. John Wesley Gilbert 22 Dec 1898; d. 15 Oct 1948 8. William F. - b. ca 1840 , mar. Mary M. Cooper 29 Mar 1860 Hardeman Co, TN Ch: (1) E.E. b. ca 1860 , TN (2) J Thomas b. ca 1865, TN (3) A. R. b. ca 1865, TN (4) Willie F. b. ca 1874, TX (5) Dora F. b. ca 1877, Faulkner, AR. (6) Henry R. b. ca 18880, Faulkner, AR 9. Isaac Crockett Babb
This information is from: Babb Families of America by Jean A. Sargent and Babb Families of Hardeman Co,Tennessee by Ernest Lloyd Babb.
William M. Babb was born ca. 1790 Greene Co., TN or Buncombe Co., NC. to Stephen Babb and Sarah Morrow. He died Feb 22, 1842 in Stoddard County, Mo, Bloomfield, MO. He married Temperance Shipman, daughter of Daniel Shipman and Phoebe Staton, on May 2, 1808 in Barren Co., KY. Temperance was born Dec. 17, 1792 in Warren Co., KY and she died ca. 1850 in Stoddard Co., MO.
William and Temperance had possession of her mother's lands in 1818 when they sold 100 acres. By 1820 they were living in Crawford Co, IN. (William's father was living there then). By 1826 their son Stephen had been born in Tennessee. By 1830 they were in Cape Girardeau, MO.
When William died in Stoddard Co, Mo in 1841, he did not name his children in his will. It was up to the surrounding Babb families to fill in the blanks. By 1850 Temperance was living with her son Stephen in Stoddard Co. Her death date is unknown
The following can be found in Deed Book F, page 334, Barren County,KY
This indenture made this 25th day of February 1818 between William Babb and Temperance his wife of the county of Barren and State of Kentucky of the one part and Hezekiah Davidson (Guardian or trustee for a free man of colour by the name of Sampson) of the other part witnesseth that the said William Babb and Temperance his wife for and in consideration of the sum of three hundred dollars current money in hand paid by the said Sampson to the said Babb the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have bargained and sold and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto the said Hezikiah Davidson in trust for the aforesaid Sampson and his heirs a certain tract or parcel of land situated in said county of Barren containing one hundred acres be the same more or less it being moiety (Latie for one half) or one equal half of a survey supposed to contain two hundred acres and bounded as followeth to wit: Beginning at a post oak marked D.S. Daniel Shipman and beginning corner thence west 204 poles with his line to four hickorys thence south eighty poles to two black oaks in Conways line thence with his line south 63 degrees east, sixty poles to his corner two sweet gums and hickory thence with another of his lines south eighty poles to a black oak and chestnut in said line thence east 34 poles to a post oak and black oak corner of a Military survey thence with said line east 155 poles to a stake in said line thence North 11 degrees west 190 poles to the beginning which contains the two hundred acres aforesaid whereof the said Sampson and his heirs is entitled to one equal half to have and to hold the aforesaid moiety or half of the aforesaid tract or parcel of land unto the said Hezekiah Davidson his executors administrators in trust for the benefit of the said Sampson and his heirs forever and said William Babb and Temperance his wife for themselves and their heirs doth covenant and agree to warrant and defend unto the said Davidson in trust the aforesaid moiety or half of the aforesaid tract of land against the claim of all persons in witnesseth whereof the said William Babb and wife have hereunto set their hand and seal the day and year above written. William Babb/ Temperance (her mark) Babb
Barren County--To wit County Court Clerk's office February 25, 1818. This indenture from William Babb and Temperance his wife to Hezekiah Davidson was on the dy of the date hereof acknowledged before me in office by the said William Babb and wife to be their act and decision. The said Temperance being by me privately examined apart from her said husband saith that she thereby intends to convey her whole estate in the said land and designs never to retract nor reverse the same and there upon the same was entered of record in said office.
(This land was originally a part of Warren County until the new County of Barren was formed. The free man of colour that the deed mentions (Sampson) was a slave inventoried in the estate of Daniel Shipman when he died in 1798. Apparently Phoebe had him set free at her death or sometime after her husband's death in 1798. After selling the property in Barren Co., William and Temperance Babb moved to Crawford Co., IN.)
Their presumed children:
Daniel S. Babb b: Feb 27, 1809 Barren Co., KY
William H. Babb and Elizabeth Bradley
Sarah Babb b: Abt 1812 Barren Co., KY d: Apr 22, 1837 in Washington Co., Illinois mar. Vincient R.B. Gray m: Abt 1829 in Cape Girardeau Co., MO *2nd Husband of Sarah Babb: mar. Thomas O. Ellis m: Jul 22, 1830 in Cape Girardeau Co., MO
Elizabeth Babb b: Abt 1814
David Waldon Babb b: Nov 18, 1817 Barren Co, KY d: May 26, 1881mar. Tabitha b: Abt 1824 d: Aug 31, 1851 m: 1838 *2nd Wife of David Waldon Babb: Sarah Elizabeth Walker m: 1852
James W. Babb b: Mar 22, 1823 mar. Margaret b: Abt 1827 Missouri
Stephen P. Babb b: Abt 1825 Tennessee mar. Martha b: Abt 1827
Andrew Jackson Babb b: Abt 1830 Cape Girardeau Co., MO d: Dec 10, 1867 mar. Rhoda Eliza J. m: Abt 1849 in Stoddard County, MO *2nd Wife of Andrew Jackson Babb: Lucy A.M. Long m: Feb 22, 1864 in Stoddard County, MO
Francis Babb b: Abt 1831 Cape Girardeau Co., MO mar. Nancy Adaline Cline m: Abt 1849 in Stoddard County, MO
William H. Babb was born Dec 23, 1811 Barren Co., KY to William M. and Temperance Shipman Babb. He married Elizabeth M. Bradley in Cape Girardeau Co., MO on December 3, 1829. Little is know about Elizabeth. She is believed to have been born Feb. 2, 1811 in Alabama.
William and Elizabeth moved to Hot Springs, AR by 1850 and then on to Coryell Co., TX. Williams died in Hamilton Co., TX on Oct. 3, 1881.
George W. Babb b: Aug 21, 1831 Cape Giradeau, MO d: Oct 20, 1833 in Cape Giradeau, MO
Mary Ann Temperance Babb b: Oct 14, 1833 Cape Giradeau, MO d: Jan 14, 1841 in Cape Giradeau, MO
William M."Cherokee Bill" Babb b: Nov 7, 1835 Cape Giradeau, MO d: 1911 in Concho County, TX mar. Sarah Shipman
James M. Babb b: 1838 Cape Giradeau, MO d: Apr 17, 1866 in Hamilton Co., TX
Daniel S. (Shipman?) Babb b: Aug 28, 1840 Cape Giradeau, MO d: Oct 31, 1908 mar. Sara Ann Sellers
Elizabeth Walker Babb b: 1844 mar Christopher Columbus (Kit) Sellers
David S. Babb b: 1846 Cape Giradeau, MO mar. N.E. Webber
Sometime during the last decade of the eighteenth century, Samson Babb found his way up Pine Creek and settled on a tributary of that stream. The territory then belonged to the county of Northumberland, and it was exceedingly wild and forbidding. There were no white settlers for many miles. The country was mountainous and broken. The stream on which he settled came to be known as Babb's creek, out of respect to him who had the courage to brave the terrors of the wilderness and pitch a cabin in its depths.
Samson Babb was courageous and bold. He liked solitude. He congratulated himself that he had found a place where he could bury himself from the world. He was then past middle life, but he went to work and cleared a farm. He acquired more land and soon laid another farm. Near the close of the century he built a rude sawmill and displayed great activity. Lycoming county had been organized and embraced his settlement. In 1804 Tioga county was erected and Samson Babb found himself in Lamar township. He did not mind new-comers, but continued to improve his land. The region was still sufficiently wild to shut him out from the world. About the beginning of the present (19th) century Benjamin Morris and others, who had become interested in founding the town of Wellsboro, conceived the idea of building a road through the wilderness from Williamsport to the proposed new town. It was surveyed and pushed through, touching the settlement of Samson Babb. He favored the improvement and assisted in its construction.
Who was Samson Babb? He came of an old family that once lived in Delaware. His great ancestor, Thomas Babb, married Bathsheba Hussey, daughter of John Hussey, near Newcastle, prior to 1700, and lived in Brandywine Hundred. His parents were Peter Babb and Mary Lewis
In 1767 he married , Ann Way, daughter of John and Ann (Hannum) Way . She was born March 23, 1742 and died April 14, 1834 and is buried in the old Kennett Quaker burying grounds. Sh accompanied him to his wilderness home and remained with him a few years, but tiring of the wilderness she returned to her friends in Chester county, where she remained. (Source: Notes and Queries Relating Chiefly to Interior Pennsylvania
Samson Babb was brought up in the old Quaker faith, but he was disowned by the Society in 1767 for "Keeping and using a fiddle." It was on that account, it is thought, that he became worldly. On the removal of the county seat (1786) to West Chester he became a tavern keeper there for several years. When he left the tavern he made his way to the Pine Creek region and settled in the wilderness.
After more than twenty years of seclusion and hard work Samson Babb died in October, 1815. He left a will, now on record in Tioga county, in which he requested "to be buried in the northwest corner of my garden and walled in." His request was complied with, however, his headstone, found in a barn years later, has been erected in the Lewis Cemetery in Morris.
His will, which bears date May 13, 1814 directs that his sons, William and Samson, shall serve as executors. They gave bond in $4,000. Provision was made for his wife during her life. His two farms were divided among his sons, who were made executors. According to the will he had children as follows:
William d 25 June 1866 in 87th years.
Samson, Jr. b 29 Jan 1786
Mary b 1768 mar Thomas Bird
John b 5 Mar 1773 d 21 Jan 1852 mar Lydia Clark
Caleb mar Rebecca Parke
Jacob mar. Mary Carney
His son, Samson Babb, became sheriff of Chester Co October 21, 1819 and served one term.
John Babb, a younger brother, was for many years proprietor of the "Black Bear" tavern in West Chester, and others.
On Babb's creek, Lycoming county--or in its vicinity-- are still some residents by the name of Babb, who are descendants of Samson Babb, the pioneer. It is not likely the name of the stream will be changed soon, and it will remain to perpetuate his memory--the memory of the man who was dismissed from the Society of Friends for "keeping and using a fiddle.".....J.F.M., Williamsport, PA.
(Source: Notes and Queries , Historical, Biographical and Genealogical , Relating Chiefly to Interior Pennsylvania; 1896-Vol. XXXVIII pg 205)
John William Babb was born in the eastern part of Arkansas, August 15, 1867. His father died in 1873 when John was only six years old; his mother having died 2 years earlier, John was raised by an uncle. John's mother was Mandy Parker, sister of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was stolen by Indians and made wife of the chief and mother of Quannah Parker, which is written up in history.
When John was 13 he decided his uncle required more work than he could do so he put a blanket on the back of a white mule and using a rope for a bridle, he rode off, working his way from Arkansas to Texas. He ended up in Center Point working for wages on farms until he joined a railroad crew and worked to Wala Wala, Washington. After working on the railroad, he decided to return to Center Point and bought a farm with his savings in 1889 and raised cotton, corn, wheat and oats until 1910.
He then sold this place and moved his family to Edwards County and purchased the Headquarters ranch of 7 sections joining the townsite of Rocksprings heading west, and in 1915 he purchased ranch #2, of 12 sections sixteen miles north of town. On these two places he ran forty-five hundred head of high- grade Delaine-Rambouillet cross-breed sheep, forty-five hundred head of Angora goats and two hundred head of white-faced Hereford cattle. He also bought a garage which he operated for a time and later sold it.
Mr. Babb was married in Kerr County, TX, December 4, 1890 to Miss Johnnie Welborn (1869-1935), a native of Kerr County, daughter of S.H. and Kate (Miller) Welborn. S.H. Welborn, a native of Tennessee, came to Texas as a boy, locating in Gonzales County, where he engaged in farming. Following this, he came to Kerr County, where he died. Mrs. Welborn was born, reared and married in Gonzales County. Mr and Mrs. Welborn had ten children, three sons and seven daughters.
Mr and Mrs. Babb had six children:
Eula Babb b. Sept 20, 1890 Center Point, d Jan 17, 1971 Port Arthur mar Hartwell King Goodwin (1885-1973)
Richard "Dick" Clifford Babb b Mar 23, 1892-June 16, 1974
Louie Babb Jan 7 1894-Jan 9 1957, mar. Loletta Dibrell
Bryan William Babb Aug 1 1896-June 11, 1953
Burnett Babb b Aug 29, 1900, killed in Rocksprings cyclone April 12, 1927
Howard Clarence Babb, Sept 14, 1904 d Feb 24, 1971
Mr. Babb served from Jan 1, 1921 until 1926 as a commissioner of Edwards County. During this time he worked constantly for the improvement of the roads which were nearly in an impassable condition. He also helped all of his sons start in the ranching business. Mr. Babb passed away in 1941at the age of 74. (Source: Edwards County History Book)
Margaret Jane Babb was born Aug 13, 1846 to William H. Babb and Elizabeth Bradley, who came to Texas in 1859 . She was born in either Arkansas or Campe Girardeau Co., MO.
In 1860 in Coyrell Co., TX she married John "Jack" Russell Pancake who was born Jan. 9, 1836 in Hampshire Co., West Virginia to John McNeal and Parthenia Parsons Pancake of Hampshire Co., W VA. Margaret died Oct 15, 1900 in Coryell Co., TX,and John died April 27, 1888. Both are buried in the City Cemetery.
(The following is from the Bell and Coryell Counties History Book, published year unknown)
John Russell Pancake, was for many years prominently identified with the farming and stock interests of Coryell county; and as a pioneer of the State was well known throughout many of the adjoining counties as well as Coryell.
He was born in West Virginia in January 1836, son of John McNeal Pancake, also a native of Virginia. The Pancakes are descended from one of the oldest and most prominent families of the "Old Dominion." Some members of the family still reside there and, like their distinguished ancestors, are honored and highly respected citizens.
John R. Pancake came to Texas in 1858 and located on the line between Hamilton and Coryell counties. He bought a tract of 1476 acres and began stock- raising. He fenced his land, it being one of the first pastures fenced in this section of the country, built a fine residence and otherwise improved his property. This residence is still considered one of the best and most attractive homes in all the country around. As the years rolled by Mr. Pancake added to his original purchase, and at the time of his death, in 1888, his estate comprised 8,000 acres, one of the finest ranches in the county. In early times his home was a point of gathering for the ranchers in this, Hamilton and Bosque counties, and here true hospitality was dispensed to all. Mr. Pancake was largely interested in stock-raising. He often contracted the Northern dealers, and drove large herds to Kansas. In later years he gave much attention to improving the grade of his stock. A thousand and two hundred acres of his land were under cultivation. He had a steam gin on his ranch, also did a large mercantile business here, the largest in fact, done in the northern part of the county.
In political affairs Mr. Pancake took a prominent part. For a number of years he served as a Justice of the Peace, his district extending over a large territory. He entered the Confederate army in 1861,as a member of Col. Burley's regiment, and served with him till the war closed. The community of Pancake was a thriving village made up of a store, a gin, two churches, a school and a post office.
After Mr. Pancake's death their eldest son, John McNeal, was appointed administrator of the large estate, and as such has displayed much business ability. He was educated in Virginia, is a young man of push and enterprise, and, like his worthy father, makes friends with all who know him.
Margaret and John Pancake had thirteen Children:
John McNeal (Jack) Pancake
Betty Parthenia Pancake b: 1886 Neils Creek
Isaac Parsons Pancake b: Sep 3, 1872 d: Jun 27, 1959 in Gatesville, Coryell Co., TX City Cemetery
Joseph Russel (Dutch) Pancake
William Andrew (Pat) Pancake
Charles Pancake b: Oct 26, 1879 d: Apr 15, 1897 in Gatesville, Coryell Co., TX City Cemetery
Elizabeth Walker Babb was born to William H. Babb and Elizabeth Bradley in 1844 possibly in Cape Giradeau, MO. She married the first time to a James Green and had two children by him; a daughter Sarah Elizabeth (Pinky) Green who married Rev John H. Humphreys and a son, Jesse Green.
Elizabeth married a second time to Christopher Columbus Sellers. "Kit" as he was called, was born in Tallahassee, Florida to Almond Lewis and Mary Ellen Wilson.. He married Elizabeth on May 1, 1860 in Coryell Co., TX. He died Jan 27, 1912 in Eastland Co., TX and is buried at the Midway Cemetery at Gorman, TX
Frank Marion Sellers b: 1861 Coryell Co. TX
Almond Sellers b: 1863
Solomon Sellers b: Jun 11, 1864 Coryell Co. TX d: Jan 6, 1954 mar. Media M Huffman 2nd Wife:Meg Jones
Prudence Sellers b: 1865
Daniel L. Sellers b: 1869
James Sellers b: Jan 19, 1870 Coryell Co. TX d: Sep 25, 1952 mar. Elizabeth Leary 2nd Wife : Josie Orlie Osburn
Temperance Sellers b: Oct 30, 1874 Coryell Co. TX d: Sep 1, 1958 mar. John Ralph Hagan Sep 1888
Sarah "Sally" Sellers b: 1875 mar. Doc Tankersly
John C. Sellers b: Jan 16, 1878 d: Sep 2, 1971 in Seagraves, TX mar. Mattie Bell Henley
The Babbs were early settlers in Coryell Co., TX. The town of Babbville was built on the Thomas Birtrong Survey, and was named after William Babb who came to Texas in 1859. Bill Babb was an early merchant in Babbville and married Sarah Shipman. Sarah Elizabeth Shipman was the was the second daughter of Samuel Shipman and Elizabeth Betsy Pully Shipman.
She was born in Tennessee in 1834 or 1838. The 1880 census list her age as one year younger than her husband, Bill Babb. Bill was born about 1830. The 1900 census gives her birth date as 1834.
William (Bill) Babb and Sarah Shipman were married in Red River County, Texas on February 6, 1855. They had at least 6 children:
William Isaac (Bill Ike) 1856-1934
David Shipman 1858-1928
Sarah Elizabeth 1859-
Rose Etta Jan 28, 1880 mar 1897 to Fred Taylor
Per Shirley Runnels: On the Census for Coleman County 1900 William is listed as being born in May of 1830 (tombstone says 1831) in Missouri and Sarah is listed as being born in June of 1834 in Tennessee. The 1880 census for Coleman County has William 46, Sarah 45, William I. 22, David S. 19, Alice 15, Doran 4 and Rosetta 2. Doran is listed as a daughter age 4 on 1880 census and a son age 22 on the 1900 census. Dates on the 1880 census seem to be a bit off but that is not anything unusual.
After further research, William M. Babb was born May 29, 1830 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He was the son of William Babb and grandson of William Babb (the son of Stephen Babb and Sarah Morrow) and Temperance Shipman (daughter of Daniel Shipman and Phoebe Staton). His mother was Elizabeth Bradley.
In 1879 Bill Babb sold his store to his sister Margaret Jane Babb who was married to John Russell Pancake. The town was then named Pancake.
Bill Babb was born William H. Babb and Elizabeth Bradley on May 29, 1830 and died in 1911 in Concho Co., TX
The following article appears in the Gatesville Messenger, Gatesville, TX July 7, 1967:
Experiences During Civil War May Have Embittered Babb Writing in the Dallas News in 1942, Dr. J.B. Cranfill told a story that well illustrates the complete confidence that Bill Babb placed in his friends. Dr. Cranfill wrote:
“Babb, for that day and time, was a rich man. He had the largest general store west of Waco and did his banking with a private baking firm in Waco. The bank went broke and notified its depositors that it could pay nothing. Babb hurried to Waco, rented a hotel room and notified the bankers that he wanted to see them in his room at once. They both came.
“Babb locked the door, put the key in his pocket and said: “Gentleman, I have come to Waco to get my money which you had on deposit--$6,000. I don’t want to make any trouble for you, but if that money is not here in my hands in 30 minutes, I’ll kill both of you. My suggestion is that one of you go out and bring that money here, and if he is not back in 30 minutes, I’ll kill the one here and then hunt up the other and kill him.’
“The released banker was back in 20 minutes carrying the $6,000 in $20 gold pieces in a shot sack. They counted out the money to Babb and he smilingly told them good-bye. He then took the money to an old timer in Waco, John T. Battle, dropped the money at Battle’s desk and said, ‘Jack, keep this money until I call for it.’”
A short time before his death in 1936, W.B. Friend gave this theory of the contradictory character of Babb.
“I was a small boy when my father was sheriff and lived at the jail, but I can very distinctly remember Bill Babb, for he was the kind of person that you do not forget. He always wore white shirts while he was in jail, putting on a fresh one almost every day. Once a week, some of his family brought them in freshly washed and ironed. He had some kind of stomach trouble and could not eat any and everything, so my mother always tried to fix something at each meal that would be easily digested, so he could eat it. He was so grateful for this that he wanted to pay her, but my father would not let him do so. One afternoon, he called to me from the window and told me that he had a very fine black saddle horse and he had told one of his friends to saddle it and bring it in the next time that he came to town; that he was going to give the horse to me for my very own. I was afraid to tell my father for fear that he would say ‘no’ to that also. The next day a man brought in the horse, the most beautiful horse that I ever saw. I was playing in the yard when he came and I swelled with pride, because I just knew that Pappa could not turn down that horse, but he did and he also told me to quit talking to Bill Babb. My father felt sorry for Bill Babb. He was a member of one of the finest families that Coryell County has ever produced and my father always said that he was embittered by his service in the Civil War and turned to crime to satisfy his grudge. When he went into the service, his neighbors promised to look after his wife. After much hard service and a term in a Union prison camp, he came home to find that these neighbors had cheated her, stolen her stock and farm products and it was then that Bill Babb turned outlaw. My theory of this case is that if Bill Babb had lived until modern psychiatry was developed, he would have been treated and that charm and force that he naturally possessed would have been turned into channels that his family would have been proud of.”
The late Mrs. J.P. Kendrick, the former Miss Maris Suggs told this story about the house where Bill Babb was supposed to have killed John Stull, the deputy U.S. Marshal.
“In the Spring of 1879, my grandfather Green Suggs, bought a farm on the Waco Road north of Turnerville and moved into the house where a mob had murdered two men in December 1878.
“I was only four years old so the horror of the crime did not affect me, but I was fascinated by the story of the pile of sticks, half burned, at the corner of the house that gave the fire alarm that brought the men of the family out of the house. One of the men had two children in his arms when he was shot and killed, but the children escaped. The owner of the house ran out with a bucket of water and he met the same fate. Another bullet made a great jagged hole in the door and crippled Mrs. Stull who was hiding behind it. A little girl hid under the kitchen table, where one of her long curls was shot off, but she was not hurt.
“My sister and I entertained the neighborhood children by running around the house and seeing who could count the most bullet holes. Twenty was the highest count.
“There were great bloodstains on the floor that would not fade out. After repeated scrubbings they came back after the floor was dry. Grandmother finally had rag carpets woven by a neighbor who had an old time carpet loom.”
Though Dr. Cranfill lived in Coryell County and even in the Turnersville community at the time that Babb was accused of committing this crime, he had this to say about him: “Bill Babb was noted throughout Coryell and the surrounding counties as one of the most generous-hearted men that West Texas ever knew. He did an infinite number of quiet charities, sending food and clothing in abundance to the needy widows and helpless orphans.
What became of Bill Babb? Tradition says that he went to West Texas, settled down, abandoned his gang, and became the kind of man that he had been in his early years; that he became great friends with the county officials, especially the county judge. One day he surprised the judge by walking into his office with tow very beautiful pistols. As he laid them on the desk, he said, “I am giving these to you” and quietly walked away.”
(Note: Some of the members of Bill Babb's gang were: Dave Ware, Jasper Whitley and Bill Ike Babb, his son. Dr. Cranfill described Bill Babb as 5 ' 10", a veritable athlete, and wore a long black beard. His eyes were keen and piercing, and as black as a raven's wing")
Another story written by Dr. J.B. Cranfill regarding William "Cherokee Bill" Babb:
More Bloody Days
December 8, 1878 fell on Sunday. The day was clear, cold and crisp. Sunday Night was distinctly chilly. Before sunup Monday a messenger came to our home and told us a terrible murder had been committed. Father and I galloped to the home of John Stull, one and a half miles below Turnersville. When we reached there a ghastly sight confronted us. Lying in the front yard was the body of John Stull, stark and cold in death, and near him lay the body of a man named Smith, who had been Stull’s guest overnight, and who had met with him a common fate. The murder of Stull and Smith was diabolical. in the improvement of his place, Stull had piled up in front of his gate a large stock of cedar posts. In the commission of the murder, a contingent of the assassins had concealed themselves behind these posts, while another contingent, apparently two in number, had slipped around behind the Stull home, and saturated the rear walls with coal oil and had set the house on fire. Stull apparently had no idea whatsoever that he was to be assassinated. He likely thought that his house was on fire. A water bucket lay near his body. He had evidently jumped out of bed, run for a water bucket and then to the front to see where the blaze was strongest. As he had emerged from his front door he had been shot to death by the posse of men concealed behind the cedar posts. The assassins had not calculated upon an extra man and family there. The Stull family consisted of Stull, his wife and a young stepdaughter of Stull’ s, who afterward married a dear friend of mine, David Morgan.
Girl Misses Death by Hair
One of the strangest features of this assassination was that, while Smith was shot to death, being almost riddled by bullets, neither of his little children, who were in his arms was touched. Mrs. Smith, who followed her husband out from the shed room, was shot in one of the lower limbs. She afterward recovered. Mrs. Stull and her little girl were unharmed, but it was evident from the surroundings that this band of assassins meant to kill Stull, his wife and daughter and burn their dead bodies in the house. When they found they had a large contract on hand, they refrained from carrying out their original plan. As an evidence that they meant to kill all of the Stull family, one of the mob took dead aim at the little girl as she crouched under the kitchen table and sped a bullet through her hair. It cut of one of her raven ringlets, which was afterward picked up on the she room floor. That Sunday Night the moon was full. The assassins worked in a light almost as bright as day. They waited until all sounds ceased and all of the Stull family were sound asleep and then this terrible crime was perpetrated. The House was never really on fire. The coal oil made a big, quick blaze, the wall of the house was not ignited.
Reign of Terror Follows
A reign of terror began with the Murder of Stull such as I never witnessed before or since. Every man in that vicinity who heard a noise around his home at night feared that the same fate was to be visited upon him and his that had befallen Stull and his family. No one burned lights after dark unless they had impenetrable window shades. That entire section of Texas, including practically all of Coryell County felt the terrible blight of this calamity. There was not a man in Coryell County who did not believe that Stull had been murdered by BABB and h is gang, but no one spoke a word. The reign of terror was as complete and abject as it ever could have been during the terrible, bloodcurdling days of the French Revolution. No immediate arrests were made in connection with the Stull murder. The populace was stunned. They did not know which way to turn. None of us knew whether BABB would be able to control the courts and officers. Every man kept his own counsel in order that he might preserve his live. Men went armed to the teeth. There was premonition of terror and danger in the very atmosphere.
Father felt it and so did I, but I was a newspaper reporter, and I did my duty. I sent the account in full to the Waco Telephone, and that publication gave the world the first news of the Stull tragedy.
News Sped to Nation
The report which I sent to the Waco Telephone was telegraphed from Waco to all the great dailies in the United States. In many of its features the Stull murder was the most remarkable ever known in the Southwest. In Waco there were enterprising news gatherers and correspondents of the metropolitan dailies who were intimately familiar with the Vaughan murder, Stull’s arrest of the Babbs and with the sentiment in the Turnersville country to the effect that the Babbs were connected with the Stull affair. These correspondents adapted my report of the details of the crime and when they sent their stories to the metropolitan dailies, the names of Babb and his lieutenants were published, along with the grim recital of the tragedy. That precipitated upon the Western correspondent of the Waco Telephone and one of his good friends, P.R. Hobin, a very serious situation. The news quickly reached Babb that I had sent the report of the Stull gunning to all these papers, and that I had been aided by Bob Hobin, who, until quite recently, had been the trusted manager of Babb’s big store at Babbville. A slight misunderstanding had ensured, with the result that Hobin had resigned, and at the time of the Stull killing, he was clerking and bookkeeping at Turnersville in the store of Uncle Johnnie Henderson, Babb’s chief competitor. Hobin and I heard that this piece of malicious news had reached Babb. He and I had a council of war. I was reporter for the Waco Telephone and the village doctor. I took the course that always has been mine when confronted with a crisis. I told Hobin that the only safe procedure was to go to Bill Babb and tell him all the facts. Hobin was adverse to making the visit. He was an Irishman, having received his training in Ireland and England. He was an accomplished businessman of high character, but although he had been in the West even then for several years, he had not become accustomed to wild Western ways. However, upon my earnest insistence he agreed that on the following day he and I would visit the home of Babb and tell him our story.
It was a beautiful spring day. It had been now some two months since the murder of Stull, an while spring had not yet burst upon us in full bloom, the day was one of those rare February visitations when the birds were singing and the trees and flowers were seeking to burgeon into bloom. I carried with me a copy of the Daily Telephone containing the only account of which I was the author. Hobin had sent out absolutely nothing to any paper whatsoever, s he carried no journalistic literature in his baggage. We were both armed with Colt revolvers. We knew that Babb was surrounded by his confederates and we would stand no show whatever if a battle were precipitated, but we held to the traditional habit and were prepared for either peace or war. As we approached Babb’s spacious grounds, he was out in the front yard wrestling with a large pet bear. He was a man of unusual appearance in every way, was then in the prime of life and a most impressive figure. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, a veritable athlete and wore a black beard. His eyes wee keen and piercing and as black as a raven’s wing. And there was a devil-may-care atmosphere with which Babb was perennially surrounded.
Babb knew us quite well and welcomed us most kindly. Very soon Dave Ware came up and we all sat, cowboy fashion, out on the grass on the front lawn. We made no concealment of the purpose of our visit. I was the spokesman. I told Babb without circumlocution, all the facts. If he had felt that Hobin and I were the authors of the stories involving him in the Stull killing, he would have been vindictive, but after my recital he showed a very friendly attitude. I never shall forget the kind expression on his face as he extended his hand to both of us and said: “Boys, don’t be uneasy, I now know all the facts. I believe every word you have told me, and you need never fear any harm from me.”
We knew that that meant coming from Bill Babb. It was his declaration of friendship. There was no compulsion to bind him to his word, but whatever his faults, no one ever charged Babb with betraying a friend.
Later Babb, his son, Bill Ike, Dave Ware, Jasper Whitley, and some others of the Babb clan wee arrested, charged with the Stull murder. Babb and his crowd, on being taken to Gatesville, the County seat, were bound over to the sheriff.
Arrest Proves Sensation
The arrest of the Babbs, and the awaiting the action of the grand jury, created great excitement throughout Coryell land Hamilton Counties, and there was a suppressed feeling of uneasiness, even as far as the edge of McLennan County. Stull had a brother, Hi Stull, who lived some distance from the John Stull home down toward Waco. Beyond a doubt, he had instigated the complaint against the Babbs for the murder of his brother. A little later Hi Stull was waylaid and killed, no one ever knew by whom. This completed the extermination of the Stulls.
More About Bill Babb The Babbs appeared before the Coryell County grand jury, of which N.G. Buchanan, for whom Buchanan’s Spring was named, was foreman. Buchanan had settled there in the early sixties, and held in high esteem and was a deacon in the Missionary Baptist Church. He was not only a citizen of high standing, but was very prosperous and enterprising in every way. He was a typical frontiersman and cowman. He was a man of very few words, but was as true as steel in every relation of life.
All of the accused were present. Bill Babb was the spokesman. This is the speech he made:
An Amazing Statement: “Mr. Buchanan and members of the Coryell County Grand Jury: I am before you to answer a complaint that has been filed against me and my friends for the killing of John Stull. I make no answer to that complaint whatsoever, but I have come to have a friendly talk as man to man about our situation. Whether I am guilty of the Stull killing or not is of no immediate consequence in the statement I am now to make. All of us are citizens of this county. We have had much trouble. Many men have been killed. The time has come when all of us should wish the period of bloodshed to terminate. I heartily agree to this just view. All of you know that if you indict me and my friends for the killing of John Stull, we can never get through with the trial of the case without the sacrifice of many other lives. I may be killed; my men may be killed, but while this is going on, other men will also die. You know us and we know you. You know that we are dead game, that we are good shots and that we are quick to avenge a wrong. All of this we all should greatly desire to avoid. If you will listen to me and heed my plea, none of this bloodshed will occur. If you will listen, gentlemen of the jury, and not indict me and my men, we will within ten days gather up our cattle, close out our lands and belongings and leave Coryell County forever. I leave the subject with you, gentlemen, and await your decision.”
A Pledge Violated
The members of the grand jury were amazed and stupefied. Here was a man who had the nerve to ask every one of them to violate h is official oath. It was an invitation to them to override the law. At first Babb’s proposal was treated with scorn and indignation, but the more the members of the grand jury discussed the matter, the more sane and sensible Babb’s suggestion seemed. At last, after deliberating upon the question two hole days, the grand jury notified Babb that they had accepted his suggestions, and they expected him to be absolutely bound by his agreement and within ten days leave Coryell County and take all of his lieutenants and belongings with him.
But Babb didn’t leave Coryell County as agreed. They had defeated the indictment, but they lingered at Babbville and continued their traditional activities. By some means, the agreement Babb had made with the grand jury filtered out through the country and upon a memorable night in the summer of 1879, there was a remarkable gathering of 500 citizens at what was called Four-Mile Spring. Grizzled veterans of the Civil War, old-time cowboys, former sheriffs, and other public officials mingled in this meeting with the younger set, and with one accord the citizenship thus roused to action, resolved that the Babbs must leave Coryell County.
Ringing resolutions wee adopted which, in substance, set out that if the Babbs did not leave the county within ten days, this same 500 men would march out to Babbville and wipe the Babbs, root and branch, off the map. A discreet committee was appointed to notify Babb of this action and to carry to him a copy of the resolution. All of this was carried out according to the program, with the result that in a few days, even in a briefer time that was stipulated, Bill Babb left Coryell County and never returned.
A Premature Obituary
I would not have any reader understand me to allege that Bill Babb and his men assassinated Stull and Smith. I am simply setting down here a chapter out of the colorful life of Coryell County over sixty years ago. It is a chapter which in many respects is unmatched in Texas frontier life.
Bill Babb was noted throughout Coryell and adjoining counties as one of the most generous hearted men West Texas ever knew. He did an infinite number of quiet charities, sending food and clothing in abundance to needy widows and helpless orphans and he never betrayed a friend.
In 1884, when I was editor of the Gatesville Advance, news reached us that Bill Babb was dead. I wrote a romantic obituary of this cercurial, active, adventurous man, minimizing his virtues. It was longer than one of these stories in The News and was my leader on the first page. Two or three weeks after this article appeared, I saw Dave Babb, youngest son of Bill Babb, jaywalking across the street in front of my office, smiling from ear to ear. As he approached me with outstretched hand, he said: “Pa told me to tell you he enjoyed the death notice you wrote about him immensely and will always love you for it. He did have some trouble out West, but he was not the man that got killed.”
Mr. Babb Collects
Babb, for that day and time, was a rich man. He had the largest general store west of Waco, and did his banking with a private banking firm there. The bank went broke and notified its depositors that they could pay nothing. Babb hurried to Waco, secured a hotel room and sent word to the two bankers that he wanted to see them in his room. Both came. Babb locked the door, put the key in his pocket, and said: “Gentlemen, I have come to Waco to get my money, of which you had on deposit $6,000. I don’t want to make any trouble for you, but if that money is not here in my h ands in 30 minutes, I’ll kill both of you. My suggestions is that one of you go out and bring that money here, and if he isn’t back in 30 minutes, I’ll kill the one here and then hunt up and kill the other one.” The released banker was back in 20 minutes carrying the $6000 in $20 gold pieces in a shot sack. They counted out the money to Babb, he smilingly bade them goodby and then took this money to an old-timer in Waco, John T. Battle, dropped it at Captain Battle’s desk and said: “Jack, keep this money till I call for it.”
Bill Babb died at the age of 86 at the home of Perry Johnson on the Gansel Ranch in Concho County near the line of McCullouch County in 1911. He came to Johnson’s house carrying a satchel in his hand, and when Johnson asked him what he had in the satchel he replied: “My two Colt 44’s”. He is reported to have said to the friend who nursed him as he neared the end: “ I have killed twenty-three men.”