Wincy Louisa Titsworth Calk

Wincy Titsworth Calk with her grandchildren.
Wincy Titsworth Calk with her grandchildren.

When Wincy Louisa was born on May 20, 1855, her family was living in Bonham, Fannin County, Texas. She was the second child of Levi Nicholas and Julia Clementine Daniels Titsworth. Bonham is located in northeastern Texas, and at that time was primarily a small farm community where the majority of its residents depended on agricultural products as a means of support, with livestock being the predominant product. Information on census records indicates that like many others in the area, Levi was a farmer.

In 1860 Wincy is listed with her family on the United States Federal Census and by this time the family had two more children. The four children recorded are Tennessee P., age 7; Weney I., age 5; Jo, age 2 and Clory Titsworth, age 5 months. Note that three of the children’s names are misspelled. Joseph was born October 19, 1857, and Clave was born January 5, 1860. The Titsworth’s were on their way to having a large family.

During the 1860’s the United States was engaged in the Civil War. Texas was aligned with the Confederacy and Fannin County was considered an important supply center. A Confederate commissary was located in Bonham and hosted the military headquarters of the Northern Sub-district of Texas, C.S.A. Confederate Civil War Records indicate that Wincy’s father Levi was enlisted in the Texas 11th Light Artillery Battery. Like many other families, the Titsworth’s were personally impacted by this terrible war.

The Titsworth’s had a son named Levi who was born September 27, 1862, but unfortunately, he died March 7, 1864. That must have been a sad time for Levi and Julie. Undoubtedly the situation was made more difficult in a time of war and social upheaval.

It is interesting to note that by the time the 1870 United States Federal Census was taken Wincy’s father, Levi, gave his occupation as “Chairmaker.” However, following the Civil War many people were hard pressed to support themselves and their families. It is quite likely that with the assistance of his wife and older children, Levi also continued farming. There were a lot of mouths to feed in his large family. With the addition of Clement Rogers, born March 23, 1866; and Charles Carlton, born September 14, 1868, Levi and Julie had six children.

Even though no records have been found, sometime in the early 1870’s, Wincy may have married a man by the name of Bell. We do know that she gave birth to a son January 29, 1875 in Bonham, Texas, and named him Levi Carlisle. If Wincy did, in fact, marry a Mr. Bell, either they divorced or he died. However, it is also possible she had the child out of wedlock.

At some point in time before 1880, Wincy met Early Jackson Calk. The date, place, and circumstances of their courtship remain a mystery. Nevertheless, both Wincy and her son Levi were found on the 1880 United States Federal Census and using Wincy’s maiden name, Titsworth. They were living in the household of John L. McCaleb and family in Atascosa County, Texas. The relation to the head of the household was given as “cousin” for both Wincy and Levi. It begs the questions – when did Wincy move to Atascosa County and why did she go there?

WINCY MARRIES EARLY JACKSON CALK

Early J. Calk is also recorded on the 1880 United States Federal Census in Atascosa County, Texas, and was living near the McCaleb family. The census was taken on June 12 and that same day a marriage license was issued in Medina County for him and Wincy Titsworth. The wedding ceremony was performed by William C. Newton on June 20 in Castroville.

Following their marriage Early Jackson adopted Wincy’s son, Levi, because in later records, he gives his surname as Calk.

After their marriage Early and Wincy moved to Bonham, Fannin County, Texas and it was there they had their first child. A daughter, Ethel Cleora, was born September 19, 1881. Over the next years their family continued to grow. I obtained the names of several of their children from information shared by other Calk family researchers. Clementine was born about 1882, followed by Maude in 1884, Helen in 1886, Granvill C. in 1889, and Early Jackson III on January 1, 1894. I have verified that Ethel and Early Jackson III were born in Bonham but have no information about the other children.

When the 1900 United States Federal Census was taken the Calks were in Bonham, Texas. They were recorded as follows. Note the misspelled names. Early J. Call, age 53; Nincy Call, age 45; and Early Call, age 4. Early’s occupation is “Farmer.” I do know that Levi, Ethel, and Clementine married before 1900, but since none of the younger children were listed, it makes me wonder if perhaps they were no longer living. If that was the case, Early and Wincy faced a lot of sadness in their married life.

I do have information on four of their children. Levi married Martha Dell Davis; Ethel married George Franklin LeBus (my maternal grandparents); Clementine married John Ervin LeBus, George’s brother; and Early “Earl” Jackson III married Zora Maurice Taylor. Listed below are the known children, spouses, and grandchildren of Early and Wincy Calk.

Levi Carlisle and Martha Dell Davis Calk – Parents of Cleora Parilee Calk, Elizabeth “Bessie” Louise Calk, Mildred Bernice Calk, Daisy Dell Calk, William Carlisle Calk and James Ralph Calk.

George Franklin and Ethel Cleora Calk LeBus – Parents of Frank Leyburn LeBus, Hazel Annabelle LeBus, Archie Carlisle LeBus, Jack Blackburn LeBus, Irene Clementine LeBus, Roy Henderson LeBus, Laura V. LeBus, George Franklin LeBus, Jr., Ethel Marie LeBus and Donavel Calk LeBus.

John Ervin and Clementine “Clemmie” Calk LeBus – Parents of John Ervin LeBus, Jr., Margaret LeBus, Annabel LeBus and Johnnie LeBus.

Early “Earl” Jackson III and Zora M. Taylor Calk – Parents of Earl Calk, Jr. and Jesse William Calk.

Sometime after 1900, the Calks moved to Nocona, Montague County in far north Texas. It was there that Wincy’s husband, Early Jackson, died at age 58, a young man by today’s standards. His tombstone gives his death date as May 15, 1906 and he is buried in the old Greenbriar Cemetery in Montague County.

Regrettably, I do not know how Wincy spent the last years of her life. Family information found on the internet gives her death date as January 28, 1908. If that was the case, she died when she was only 52 years old. Her husband was buried in Montague County. There is a partial tombstone next to his in the Greenbriar Cemetery, but it is too badly deteriorated to detect any inscription and there was no cemetery record of her burial there. Some undocumented family information says that she may have died in Madill, Marshall County, Oklahoma. Her brother-in-law, William Calk, lived in Oklahoma, so it is possible she lived with him and his family. However, when I applied for an Oklahoma death record, they were not able to find one. Verifying her place of death and burial will require more research.

We do have a wonderful photo of Wincy with eleven of her grandchildren. Two of the youngest in the picture were born in 1906, so perhaps the 1908 date of death is correct. Seeing this lovely portrait is a testament to the fact that she had much for which to be thankful in a life that may have been filled with hardship and sadness.

Sources

Ancestry.com.1860 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003.

Ancestry.com. 1880 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

Calk, Wayne, “Personal Family files of Wayne Calk,” WayneCalk@tds.net

County Court of Medina County, Texas, Marriage License for E.J. Calk and Wincy Titsworth, issued June 12, 1880, License no.13370.

Greenbrier Cemetery, Montague County, Texas, US Cemetery Project, http://www.uscemeteryproj2.com/texas/montague/greenbrier/greenbrier.htm

The Handbook of Texas Online, “Fannin County,” www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcf02

“Texas in the Civil War,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas-in-the-Civil-War

Written by Lucy Ann Nance Croft

Wincy L. Titsworth Pedigree Chart (click link) wincy-l-titsworth-pedigree-chart