Lanson and Edith Clark

 

Lanson Clark was a colonel in the militia and a business man in Tennessee until 1845, when he came to Texas as a Peters Colonist and settled west of Plano near White Rock Creek on what later was known as the Daffron place.  He brought with him his wife, Edith Rogers Clark, and their children Matthew Rogers, Alvin Cullum known as Tobe, Richard Calhoun, Matilda, from whom I descend, and Elizabeth.  They came down the Mississippi River to New Orleans and from there to Shreveport and Texas.  Lanson thought his ox wagon was the first to come to Peters Colony via Shreveport.

 
The Clark cabin was located near the Shawnee Trail along which cattle were herded north even in those days.  White Rock Creek had plenty of water so Lanson built a gristmill and used water for power.  He charged a fee of one peck for every 2 bushels of grinding.  People came from miles around to get their wheat and corn ground.  The Indians still roamed the country and at one time more than one hundred surrounded the mill and Clark home.  The family became very frightened but the Indians finally left without doing any damage.  Lanson also farmed and operated a store.  He is said to have had slave help.
 
Lanson was of Irish descent, a large, fine looking sandy-haired man of some 250 pounds.  He was so strong that he could take an anvil by the horn and lift it off the block or take a 40 gallon barrel, roll it up his knees, and drink out of the bunghole.  One day when he caught a man stealing wheat at his mill, he ran the man out of the mill and across the dam and threw a short handled ax which missed the mark but stuck fast in the opposite bank of the creek until finally it was washed away.
 
Lanson's wife, Edith, died and was buried on the farm and within a year (preceding the taking of the 1850 census) he married a twenty-two year old girl named Eliza.  In 1850, after working in water all day starting a gristmill in Denton, he took pneumonia and died.  He and his first wife, Edith, were buried together in graves marked only by a verse of poetry.  The graves were enclosed by a wire fence.  They were buried right by their home and mill, in a subdivision called Willow's Creek.  Their home and burial plot were located where there is an empty lot at York and Harvard right by the spring.
 
In the time Lanson's widow married W. H. Slack.  His daughter Matilda married Richard Howard/Hayworth Lyles, my great-great-great-grandfather, who was of Indian descent.  His daughter Elizabeth married Robert Andrews.  R. W. Carpenter, who came to Texas in 1852, eventually took in the three boys, Matt, Alvin, and Richard, and he and his wife treated them as their own.  Richard Lyles joined the CSA-Martin Rgt. under Gen. Cooper & Carpenter, co. C, I.
 
Alvin was a trail boss on the Shawnee Trail.  During the Civil War he and his brothers volunteered for service in the Confederate Army at Trinity Mills near Carrollton, Texas.  They were assigned to Grand Squadron, Company B under General Morgan's Cavalry and served several years before being taken prisoner.  They were imprisoned in Camp Douglas, Illinois, for eighteen months and suffered from lack of food and warm clothing.  Alvin became so critically ill that he would not have survived except for his friend from home, Wayne Robertson.  Eventually the brothers dug their way out under the 16 foot plan fence and made the dangerous trip home from Illinois each choosing his own route.  All three made it safely back to Texas.
 
Alvin and Matt went into the freighting business and hauled lumber from Jefferson for the first courthouse in Dallas.  Alvin married Mariah Frances Rogers and bought a tract of land south of Lebanon which in 1974 was awarded a certificate of honor by the Texas Department of Agriculture for a century or more of farm operation by the same family owners.  A descendant, Adelle Rogers Clark, wrote the delightful "Lebanon On Preston" which includes material on the neighboring Plano area.  Richard became a wagoneer and married Matilda Clark and moved to Hall county, Texas, where they rest in Dreamland Cemetery in Turkey.   They are considered the progenitor of most all of the Lyles in West Texas.
 
Richard married Beril Catherine Matthews, daughter of Ben Matthews and settled on a farm west of Plano.  The Richard Clark High School is named for him.
Lanson was issued a certificate by Ward in 1850 and his heirs patented 600 acres in Collin County (Fannin Third Class No. 1379).  The remaining 40 acres of the certificate were patented in Denton county.

 

I am not sure as to the exact reference of this story.  I copied it out of a book in Ft. Worth...just wanted to let you know. 

 

I wanted to mention also that Lanson is credited with starting and naming Lebanon.  Also I don't know if I mentioned it, but Edith is believed to be second cousins of the Rogers who owned that land. 

Justin Padgett

5/5/04

justinpadgett@austin.rr.com