I was very much surprised and pleased to find the History of Staples on the web when I googled the name of my grandmother's aunt, Anna Spraggins. My grandmother was born in Staples on October 12, 1870 to Charles Hazelwood and Sarah Vance Acklin McGehee Word. She spent the better part of her childhood there before the family moved to a farm close to Kyle, TX. She told us grandchildren many stories about life on the San Marcos River in the 1870s and early 1880s.
In order to update the information on the Word family in Staples, let me offer some facts that I learned from her as well as from other descendants of Charles H. and David Alexander Word (my cousins).
David Alexander Word (also known as Alex and as Lex) apparently moved to Staples before 1866 for that is the year my great-grandfather, Charles H. Word, brought his widowed mother, Jane Bailey Word, two of his war-widowed sisters, Sarah Frances Word Roberts and Jane F. Word Crutcher, and his yougest brother, Benjamin N. Word, to Staples. His third sister, widowed in 1873, was Anna Word Spraggins who was a poet and a teacher in the school near Luling. Sallie Roberts brought two children and Anna brought her two children.
The father of David and Charles, whose name was also Charles, had died in 1858 in Madison County, Alabama, leaving Jane a widow with three grown sons. One of these sons was killed in the Civil War as were two of her sons-in-law. She died in Hays County in 1880 at the age of 77. Jane sold about 500 acres of land in Madison County, AL in November 1866 when she and those members of her family came to Staples, TX.
I might point out that David Alexander Word and Charles Hazelwood Word married sisters. David married Mary Acklin Elizabeth McGehee and Charles married Sarah Vance Acklin McGehee.Their father was Charles Lewis McGehee who migrated from Madison County, AL about 1848 coming to Bastrop where both he and his wife, Sarah, died and presumably are buried. Charles died in 1852 in Bastrop and David Alex Word was awarded custody of the three children by the local court. David married the older sister and moved her brother and younger sister to Staples sometime after 1852. I have no independent record of the date of that move. I do know for sure from probate records for the father of David and Charles about the sale of the land and their move to Texas following the harvest of the cotton crop planted in the spring of 1866.
Charles H. Word was released after 19 months in a federal prison at Rock Island, IL in August 1865 according to his memoir written in 1917. He scrounged enough money to build a small house so that the family could move from the slave cabin after their big house was burned by federal troops in retaliation for the death of a Union general in the neighborhood. He planted a crop of cotton in 1866 which together with the sale of their homestead enabled them to set themselves up when they arrived at Staples.
One other point that might add some interest to your story concerns David Alex Word's enlistment in the 32nd Texas Cavalry under Col. Peter Cavanaugh Woods. He enlisted when the unit was formed at Salado and was in training at Camp Clark until a medical condition required his discharged. The San Antonio Public Library has a file of Compiled Service Records which contains the medical evaluation on D.A. and the discharge signed by Col. Woods in 1862.
Much of this information is documented in a book recently published by myself and Wynette Word Barton of Kyle, both us us great-grandchildren of Charles H. Word.
Thank you for the interesting insights into the history of Staples, TX. I have driven around that neighborhood and found it to be a lovely place to be.
Caron Richard Waits