Floyd T. Overton (1854) and Laura E. Overton (nee Carr) (1866)

Some Records of a Farm in Hale County, Texas by Joe Payne

Just exactly when Floyd T. Overton (1854) and Laura E. Overton (nee Carr) (1866), purchased the 640 acre farm in Hale County, Texas I have yet to determine. The 640 tract was known as survey No. 15 in block C2, Certificate No. 704, by cer. Texas R.R. Co. original grantee, patented to Chas. Fechter on the 11th day of May A.D. 1880 by patent No. 635, Vol. 35. 

 Floyd T. Overton was son of William Taylor Overton (1819) and Rachel Caroline Fugate (1821).  But, as seen by the original deed dated January 4, 1909, M. B. Carr (1870), son of James M. Carr (1823) and Charlotte Cloud (1823) purchased ½ or 320 acres of the farm.    M.B. Carr was the younger brother of Laura E. Overton, wife of Floyd T. Overton.

My grandfather, Joseph Phillips, who had been partners in several businesses with local businessmen in Tazewell, including M.B. Carr, purchased ¼ (80 acres of 320 acres) of the ½ Section in 1914  That being the same ½ of the 640 acres M.B. Carr purchased in 1909 from F.T. Overton.  Again, as seen in the original deeds that I will post at some point.  The transfers go on until 1954 when my father, Al Payne and grandfather Joe Phillips purchase from Barbara R. Carr the remaining part of the 360 acres.  It is important “here” to remember that my father, Al Payne, was Chairman of the Claiborne County Library Board for many years.

Descendant Register, Generation No. 1

1. James Overton was born 04 JUN 1794 in VA, USA, and died 28 OCT 1878 in Claiborne County, TN, USA. He married Mary Ritchie 04 FEB 1818. She was born 11 FEB 1798 in Hawkins County (area now Hancock County) TN, USA, and died 31 MAR 1874 in Claiborne County TN, USA. 

Although I cannot find anywhere online that Mary Ritchie was related, daughter or sister of three brothers James, John or Robert born 1804, 1806 and 1811, respectively, all sons of Alexander Ritchie and Elizabeth Daughtery, I can't help but think she was very closely related. Robert Ritchie's first child was named Taylor Overton Ritchie, born 1847. I located a Rootsweb Database of Alexander Ritchie's lineage. If you have primary source information connecting them please let me know.

Children of James Overton and Mary Ritchie are:

  2   i. William Taylor Overton was born 03 APR 1819 in Claiborne County TN, USA, and died 18 MAY 1860 in Claiborne County TN, and was married to Rachel Caroline Fugate, born 1821, daughter of Henley FUGATE, born in 1761 at Frederick Co., Va, and Rachael CROXDALE

               a. Floyd T. Overton was born May 1854  in Claiborne County, TN, and married Laura E. Carr born March 1866.   

 3   ii. Mary E. Overton was born 24 APR 1834 in Claiborne County, TN, USA, and died 09 OCT 1864 in Hancock County, TN, USA.

  4   iii. Melbourne Overton was born 15 SEP 1821 in Claiborne County TN, USA, and died 15 JUN 1857 in Claiborne County TN, USA.

               1850 Claiborne County Census

William T Overton   M 31 Tennessee
Rachill Overton   F 28 Tennessee
Rufus Overton   M 9 Tennessee
Robert Overton   M 7 Tennessee
Albert Overton   M 5 Tennessee
Melbern Overton   M 3 Tennessee
Henly Overton   M 2 Tennessee

1860 Claiborne County Census

Rachael Overton   F 39 Virginia

Rufus Overton   M 19 Tennessee

Robert R Overton   M 17 Tennessee

Robert D Overton   M 15 Tennessee

Melbourn Overton   M 13 Tennessee

Henly Overton   M 11 Tennessee

James Overton   M 9 Tennessee

Floyd T Overton   M 7 Tennessee

Mary E Overton   F 3 Tennessee

Rachael C Overton   F 1 Tennessee


Much of the William T. Family are “farmed out” after his death and with other families in the 1870 Hancock and Claiborne County Census.

1870 Claiborne County Census

Reuben Kesterson   M 45 Tennessee

Garrett Kesterson   M 18 Tennessee

Clinton Kesterson   M 16 Tennessee

Heal Kesterson   M 13 Tennessee

Martha Overton   F 20 Tennessee

Hallie Overton   F 1 Tennessee

Mary A Williams   F 21 Tennessee


1870 Claiborne County Census


Rachel Overton   F 37 Tennessee

Henly Overton   M 21 Tennessee

James Overton   M 19 Tennessee

Floyd T Overton   M 16 Tennessee

Mary Overton   F 13 Tennessee

Cornelia Overton   F 11 Tennessee

Martha Williams   F 19 Virginia



1870 Hancock County Census

William Riley   M 56 Tennessee

Elizabeth Riley   F 39 Tennessee

Headasia Riley   F 11 Tennessee

Amanda Riley   F 5 Tennessee

William Riley   M 3 Tennessee

James C Overton   M 20 Tennessee

Milburn Overton   M 18 Tennessee

Millard T Overton   M 16 Tennessee

Joseph Parkey   M 78 Virginia

Mildred Parkey   F 78 Virginia

Margaret Ayers   F 21 Virginia

Hilery Ayers   M 3 Tennessee

William Riley   M 12 Tennessee


1980 Hancock County Census
(We have two Milbern – Melborn Overtons, one in Hancock and one in Claiborne)


James Overton  Self M 30 Tennessee

Martha Overton  Wife F 25 Tennessee

Creola Overton  Daughter F 2 Tennessee

Milbern Overton  Brother M 28 Tennessee

David Blevins  Other M 14 Virginia

Ira Overton  Son M 5 Tennessee

Anjaline Riley  Other F 18 Tennessee


1880 Claiborne County Census

M Overton  Self M 33 Tennessee

M F Overton  Wife F 27 Tennessee
Halley Overton  Daughter F 12 Tennessee

Mary Overton  Daughter F 8 Tennessee

James Overton  Brother M 26 Tennessee

Adline Overton  Daughter F 10 Tennessee


1910 Claiborne County Census

Melbern O Overton   Head M 63 Tennessee

 Mary Overton   Wife F 58 Tennessee

 Lula Overton   Daughter F 28 Tennessee

 Julia Cornelia OVERTON  Daughter F 28 (married  Lyde (Lied) Thomas5 JENNINGS)

 William Overton  Son M 23 Tennessee


1920 Claiborne County Census

Melburn Overton  Head M 76 Tennessee

Mary F Overton  Wife F 67 Tennessee


1930 Claiborne County Census

William Overton   Head M 42 Tennessee

 Patsy Overton   Wife F 39 Tennessee

 Billie Pat Overton   Daughter F 9 Tennessee

  Douglas Overton  Son M 7 Tennessee

 Heneretta Overton   Daughter F 6 Tennessee

 Charles Overton   Son M 2 Tennessee

 Greta G* Overton   Daughter F 0 Tennessee

 Mary Overton   Mother F 80 Tennessee


1940 Claiborne County Census

William Overton  Head M 53 Tennessee

Patsy Overton  Wife F 49 Tennessee

Billie Pat Overton  Daughter F 18 Tennessee

Douglas Overton  Son M 17 Tennessee

Heneretta Overton  Daughter F 15 Tennessee

Charles Overton  Son M 12 Tennessee

Greta Overton  Daughter F 10 Tennessee

Anna Lou Overton  Daughter F 8 Tennessee



+ 5   iv. Nervesta Henerietta Overton was born 17 APR 1820 in Claiborne County TN, USA, and died 14 MAY 1861 in Hancock County, TN, USA.

  6   v. Elbert Overton was born OCT 1828 in Claiborne County TN, USA, and died AFT 1900 in Claiborne County TN, USA.
               a. Warren D. Overton was born Nov. 4, 1856 in Claiborne County, TN and died  Mar. 16, 1917 in Claiborne County, TN, USA and married Almeda "Allie" Riley,  born Feb. 10, 1865 in Claiborne County, TN and died Oct. 1, 1928
                              (1.)  William Elbert "Elbert" Overton, Sr was born Oct. 4, 1882 in Claiborne County, TN and died  Jan. 11, 1967 in DeBaca County, New Mexico, USA  
                                             (a) William Elbert Overton, Sr. filed a “Proof of Heirship” to F.T. Overton August 31, 1928 in Hale County, Texas. It states:

               “ELBERT OVERTON of Buchannan, N.M., formerly of Hale Co. Texas, being duly sworn, says on his oath that he was acquainted with F.T. Overton during his lifetime, and knows to his own personal knowledge that the said F.T. Overton was never married to anyone else other than Laura E. Overton, and that he had no children by any wife other than Laura E. Overton.”

(a) The following is posted on FindAGrave.com : William Elbert Overton, Sr. was born to "Can" and "Allie" Riley Overton in 1882 in Claiborne County, Tenn. He grew up there and inherited his grandfather's farm. In 1908 he made a trip to Hale County, Texas to visit friends and relatives. He was so impressed by the area that he went back and sold his farm and moved to Texas. He married Gladys White about 1912. There were two sons born to Elbert and Gladys, Ralph Warren born in 1914 and William Elbert, Jr. in 1916. Just 7 months after William Elbert, Jr. was born Gladys suddenly passed away. Elbert's father had passed away just a month before his wife so his mother came to Hale County to help Elbert with his two young sons. Not too many years later Elbert sold his farm and moved to Clovis, NM and got into the house building business with his brother-in-law who lived in Portales, NM. In 1926 a friend told him about a ranch West of Ft. Sumner that was in bankruptcy and going to be sold. Elbert went to take a look at the ranch and decided to purchase it. By that time his two cousins, Eva "Jim" and Bobbie Overton had moved from Tenn. to help him with the two boys and running the household. Elbert found himself having to switch from being a farmer to being a sheep and cattle rancher.

Elbert became a successful rancher and added more land to the 45,000 acres by buying up smaller ranches and running as many as approximately 13,000 sheep and 1500 head of cattle. The ranch is still being run by Elbert's family.

El Yeso Ranch – A Working Cattle Ranch

Descendant Register, Generation No. 2

5. Nervesta Henerietta Overton (James Overton1) was born 17 APR 1820 in Claiborne County TN, USA, and died 14 MAY 1861 in Hancock County, TN, USA. She married William Riley ABT 1837 in Claiborne County TN, USA. He was born 28 FEB 1815 in Claiborne County TN, USA, and died 02 JUN 1879 in Claiborne County TN, USA. 

Children of Nervesta Henerietta Overton and William Riley are:

  7   i. Martha Jane Riley was born 03 MAY 1838 in Claiborne County, TN, USA, and died 11 JUL 1861 in Hancock County, TN, USA.

  8   ii. John S. Riley was born 30 MAR 1840 in Claiborne County TN, USA, and died 27 AUG 1862 in Hancock County, TN, USA.

+ 9   iii. Mary Anne Riley was born 23 APR 1842 in Hancock County, TN, USA, and died 15 MAY 1911 in Claiborne County, TN, USA.

  10   iv. Elbert Riley was born 10 DEC 1846 in Hancock County, TN, USA, and died 23 JAN 1923 in Fort Worth, Johnson, Texas, USA.  Elbert Riley leased the 360 acres in Hale County, Texas from M.B. Carr and Joseph Phillips for many years.

  11   v. Allen Riley was born MAY 1847 in Hancock County, TN, USA, and died ABT 1905 in Hunt County TX, USA.

  12   vi. Matilda D. Riley was born 27 JAN 1849 in Hancock County, TN, USA, and died 21 JUL 1897 in Claiborne County TN, USA.

  13   vii. Ellen Nervesta Riley was born 10 OCT 1855 in Hancock County, TN, USA, and died 14 JUN 1935 in Tazewell, Claiborne, TN, USA.

  14   viii. Robert E. Riley was born 02 FEB 1857 in Hancock County, TN, USA, and died 02 AUG 1880 in Claiborne County TN, USA.

  15   ix. Theodotia "Docia'" "Dosia" Riley was born 20 FEB 1859 in Hancock County, TN, USA, and died 26 MAR 1942 in Morristown, Hamblen, Tennessee, USA.


I will be adding scanned copies of some original deeds as well as correspondence between M.B. Carr, Joseph Phillips, Barbara R. Carr, James P. Kivette, John P. Davis, Douglas “Beverly” Carr, Al Payne, Texas lawyers, property lessee’s and some other things of interest.
Another son of William Taylor Overton and Rachel Caroline Fugate was Robert R. Overton who was born January 31, 1843 and died August 19, 1903. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, enlisting for three years on June 12, 1863 at Barbourville, KY. He was assigned with the rank of private to Company G, 8th Reg., TN Cal. and served his enlistment rising to rank of 2nd Lt before his discharge Sept. 11, 1865. Robert married Mary Ann Parkey, daughter of Willaim Parkey and Mary Ann Martin. Children are:

William Taylor Overton (1867-1916)
Leonidas "Lon" Overton (1869-1952) Matilda A. Southern (1890)(3 ch)
Charles Overton (1872-1907) Martha Jane Thomas (1891)(3 ch)
Isaac Tipton Overton (1873- ?) Emma Snodgrass
Sally C. Overton (1875- ?) William Crockett
Dora J. Overton (1879- ?) William Crockett (?)
Henley Floyd Overton (1882-1949) Ida Grace Surgener (1911)(9 ch)
James Albert Overton (c. 1884- ?)
Robert Frank Overton (1888-1947) Lula Weston (1911)(1 ch)

In January 1927 Stanley Rudman, Pres. of D.T.&I Railroad, owned by Ford, and his wife visited LMU and arranged to give them $4,326.53 worth of material consisting of tractors, an automobile, and Estry organ, farm equipment, fertilizer, a Radiola, and Victrola. In February 1927 Ford bought the use of a 200 acre farm owned by Lon Overton, the consideration being $40,000.00 plus $451.98 expenses.
This property was conveyed to the University in 1933. LMU in 1936 received a new school bus from Ford, who by then had disbursed about $50,000.00 in their behalf.


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