The Sanders Family

The Sanders family is buried in the oldest part of the Pate Cemetery (or Pate-Sanders Cemetery) in the back, right corner. While exploring the Chaparral Genealogical Library in Tomball, Texas, I found the following (fantastic) story.

THE SANDERS FAMILYofMontgomery County, Texas

Thomas Augusta Sanders was born in Alabama in 1835. Amanda Evelena Collier was born in 1839, also in Alabama. Early in life this couple heeded the advise of the day: "Go West, Young Man." After traveling to Texas they got married in Montgomery County. Their first child, Thomas Augusta II, was born January 15, 1857. Less than two years later Amanda (Evelena as she was known), was expecting a second child when Thomas Augusta was killed in a bar-room brawl, leaving Evelena a widow at age 19 with a small boy and another child on the way.

She moved in with her mother to await the birth of her child. LLOYD WINFIELD SANDERS was born May 24, 1859. Evelena and her two boys, Thomas Augusta II and LLoyd Winfield, stayed on with her mother for several years. In 1861, at age 22, she married John Warren Davison. To this union was born two children, a son, John Howard, November 17, 1864, and later a daughter, who was killed by an Indian woman as an infant.

In 1873 Evelena divorced Davison, their son John Howard was 9 years old at the time. The two Sanders boys, Thomas Augusta II and Lloyd Winfield, were 13 and 11. Mr. Davison was extremely cruel and abusive to his wife and two stepsons. So cruel, in fact, the youngsters actually left home prior to the divorce. The eldest, Thomas A. II, was found to have lived with a Spiller family and attended school near Coldspring, Texas. LLOYD WINFIELD SANDERS, the younger boy, was not located through research and little or nothing is known about his childhood. However, the fact that his mother was a school teacher, it is assumed that Lloyd attended school early in life, or was taught at home by Evelena, who seemed to have vanished from earth after her divorce.

Thomas A. Sanders II married Martha A. Dobson. To this union were born eight children; four girls - Evelena, Irene, Jewel, and Carry; and four boys - Arthur, John, Clyde, and Edd "Dot". Thomas A. Sanders II died in November of 1916 at age 59. His wife, Martha, lived to the age of 83, passing to her reward on December 9, 1944. Most of the above named children of Thomas A. Sanders II lived in or near Montgomery County, Texas, and have now passed on, leaving few sons to perpetuate the Sanders name.

LLOYD WINFIELD SANDERS, the central figure of this story must have grown up in Montgomery County, but little is known about where or how. At age 18 he joined a wagon train headed for the Colorado Gold Mines. However, he had fallen in love with Nancy Goodson of Goodson's Prairie and they were engaged to be married. When he left Lloyd said: "I'm going to seek my fortune, I don't know how long I'll be gone, BUT I WILL RETURN and then we will be married."

At that time communication between Texas and Colorado was non-existent. As the years passed and Nancy Goodson did not hear from Lloyd Sanders, the man she had promised to marry, she received several proposals of marriage, but always said: "No, I promised Lloyd I would wait until he returned." After NINE YEARS, Lloyd did return to claim his bride. Lloyd and Nancy were married on July 13, 1886; Lloyd was 27 and Nancy was 26. To this union were born five children: Thomas A. "Tommie" born May 27, 1887; James Walker "Jimmie" born October 18, 1889; Delta, the only girl, was born August 1, 1894. In 1896 another boy was born but died as an infant. Rufus Fred, the baby of the family, was born October 18, 1899.

Lloyd Winfield Sanders, (Uncle Lloyd as he was known by his friends) built their home in the Oklahoma Community of Montgomery County. The Oklahoma Community is located some eight miles East of Decker Prairie. This house was typical of Nineteenth Century farm homes, the kitchen and dining area being separated from the living and sleeping area.

No one ever knew how much money Mr. Sanders brought back from Colorado, but he started buying land when he returned to Texas. Then, like now, LAND WAS THE BEST INVESTMENT ON EARTH. By shrewd business decisions Mr. Sanders continued to increase his holdings. During the 19th and early 20th Centuries small town banks were practically non-existent. Most sales or deals were cash, or barter oral agreements. Two or more individuals would agree to buy, sell or trade certain land or commodities, shake hands and go about their way, without so much as a scratch of written evidence. Yet, rarely did anyone lose on a deal. Most people were honest, the dishonest ones were soon weeded out.

As did most successful businessmen of that era, Lloyd Sanders had a fireproof safe in his home to keep money and other valuables and he always had money to loan for a good cause. Surprising as such business transactions would be today, many of the loans he made were unsecured oral agreements.

During this time era MOST OF TEXAS WAS OPEN RANGE. Over the years, Lloyd Sanders, like many others of that time, had cows and hogs ranging over the tri-county area of Harris, Waller and Montgomery Counties. How many, no one probably ever knew? But one thing was for sure, Lloyd Sanders and his two older boys spent most of their time RIDING THE RANGE.

With far-flung farming, livestock and other business interests, as possessed by Lloyd Sanders, it was only natural for human interest stories to be created and kept alive over the years. For instance, one morning as Mr. Sanders was rounding up a crew to go to the woods for the day, a neighbor gave him a sack of turnip greens, he brought them to the house and handed the sack to his wife, Nancy. After looking then [sic] over she asked, "Lloyd, how do you want me to cook them?" He looked straight at her and said, "Why don't you just fry them?" And rode away.

Grandson, Pete Hirsch, tells this story: "I was staying with my grandparents to attend school and as was the rule, at that time, no one was too young to help with farm chores. One of my jobs was to go up in hay loft each evening after school and fill the manger for the horses and mules. One evening when Grandpa Sanders came in for the day very little hay was in the manger. He called to the house: 'Pete, you didn't put much hay in the manger, why?' I answered, 'Grandpa, as I was forking hay down a big rat run out and scared the living daylight out of me. Have you ever been scared?' Grandpa said, 'Yes, one time I was coming home from Coldspring and it was after sundown when I got to the San Jacinto River. The river was running bank full so I decided to camp for the night and cross the next morning. During the night I awoke so thirsty I just had to have a drink of water. It was so dark I couldn't see my hand before my eyes and as I got near the river I heard the darndest splashing noise you ever heard in the water. It scared me so bad my HAIR pushed my hat off my head. I pulled my hat back down and let go a blast from my Forty-Five-Revolver in the direction of the splashing noise. Later I heard the noise again further down the river. Remembering I was still thirsty, I went on to the river to get a drink.' Then Pete interrupted with: 'Grand Pa if it was so dark you couldn't see your hand before your eyes, how could you tell when you got to the water?' Grandpa answered, 'When you are crawling on all fours and one hand touches the water, that's where you drink.' The next morning Grand Pa found what had caused the commotion by the tracks in the sand at the waters edge - A COUPLE OF RACCOONS."

It's a beautiful Indian summer weekend in October of 1930, five of us boys decide to go to Lake Creek on a fishing and hunting trip. This group consisted of Everett, Wheeler and Ed Coe, Kirth Oualline, and me, W.E. "Bill" Schweinle. Lake Creek was noted for its good fishing and hunting. Although we left Decker Prairie early Saturday morning and expected to be gone until Sunday evening, Ed Coe suggested taking only fishing tackle, guns, plenty ammunition, bread, cooking oil, and seasoning. We would get all the fish and game we could eat.

However, the summer had been dry, the creek was running lower than ever we had seen it. Although, we lined the creek with set hooks, by sunset we had caught nothing. The hunting wasn't any better. We could not even jump a swamp rabbit out of any brier patch along the creek. After eating bread and water for lunch, this bunch of growing boys was, (as Wheeler put it), "Hungry as a bitch wolf suckling nine pups."

About that time an old sow with a bunch of nice-sized pigs came along. Everett immediately recognized the earmark as that of Lloyd Sanders. I looked at Ed, and asked: "Are you thinking what I am?" Ed answered, "I'm afraid so, Schweinle." Without further conversation I picked up my 12-gauge shot gun loaded with squirrel shot and at point blank range let go at one of those pigs. And, that's when all hell broke loose. That pig, with blood going everywhere, started backing in a circle and squealing loud enough to be heard five miles and that old sow dared anyone to get near that pig. Finally, Ed found a good club with which to keep that sow at bay and, with revolver in hand, I caught the pig and put the muzzle of that .38 Special to the back of his head and fired. That stopped the squealing.

Ed and I dressed the pig and cooked up the best ROAST PIG anyone would want to see, or smell for that matter. The aroma was so good we could hardly wait until it was done. When we started eating Wheeler joined Ed and me, but Kirth and Everett WOULD NOT TOUCH IT. Everett kept repeating, "You'll killed one of Uncle Lloyd's pigs."

Several years later Ed Coe was back at the same camp ground and Uncle Lloyd rode by. Ed said, "Uncle Lloyd, several years ago five of us boys were camping here and we could not catch any fish or kill any game so we killed one of your pigs and roasted it." Uncle Lloyed just laughed and said, "Well, you boys were hungry weren't you."

I rather doubt Uncle Lloyd Sanders had an enemy in the world. He most always had his Levi Garrett Snuff handy and a good word for everyone he met. No one knew how much money he had. He didn't have much faith in Banks, but he always had enough available cash to help anyone in need.

You old-timers who can remember the Depression of the Thirties, probably remember in '32 and '33 that banks were failing right and left. As the story goes a run was starting on Guaranty Bond State Bank of Tomball, Texas. As the line got longer and longer that afternoon Uncle Lloyd rod into town. He walked into the Bank and Mr. Keefer, the President, said: "I guess you want your money too, if so, you'll have to get in line." Uncle Lloyd said, "No, I don't want any money. I just wondered how much money you needed to stop this run?" After regaining his composure, Mr. Keefer said, "Twenty-five thousand dollars should do it." Mr. Sanders said, "I'll be back within the hour, " and rode away. True to his word, in less than an hour Uncle Lloyd rode up to the Bank with two bags of money tied to his saddle. As he started to carry those heavy bags into the Bank several of those at the head of the line came over to help. Needless to say, this stopped the run and those waiting in line to take their money out dispersed. Many of those who had got their money and were still in town started putting it back.

Lloyd Winfield Sanders died October 9, 1941, at the age of 82 years, four months and sixteen days. His wife, Nancy, who was born December 23, 1860, died January 30, 1948, at the age of 87 years, one month and seven days. Tommie A. Sanders, their first child, was born May 27, 1887, and died July 23, 1967. Tommie's wife, Lura A. (Woods) Sanders, died May 7, 1959.

Tommie and Lura were married February 11, 1912, and to this union was born one son and three daughters: Lucy (Sanders) Hirsch born November 23, 1913; Gussie (Sanders) Ashley Rudel born October 31, 1915; Winfield W. Sanders, the only son, born February 3, 1919, and died January 11, 1955, leaving no children; Fannie (Sanders) Scott Sansom was born December 21, 1921, and died February 13, 1985. Fannie and Mr. Scott had four children, two girls are living today.

Lloyd and Nancy's second child, James W. Sanders, was born October 18, 1889, and died February 6, 1989 [sic], just eight and one-half months short of the CENTURY MARK. James, Jimmie as he was known, and his wife had no children.

Delta (Sanders) Hirsch, the only girl born to Lloyd and Nancy Sanders, was born August 1, 1894, and died September 30, 1984, two months after her 90th birthday. Delta and her husband, Fred "Fritz" Hirsch, raised two children, Lloyd Pete Hirsch and Bessie (Hirsch) Polk.

Rufus Fred Sanders was born October 18, 1899, and died March 31, 1984. Rufus and Mrs. Sanders had one child, who died as an infant.

Living today are four grand-children of Lloyd and Nancy Sanders; Lucy (Sanders) Hirsch, Lloyd Pete Hirsch, Gussie (Sanders) Ashley Rudel and Bessie (Hirsch) Polk. Lucy, Lloyd, and Gussie were blessed with children. Lucy and Gussie are grandmothers and, would you believe, Gussie, the youngest grandmother, has SIX Great Grandchildren, BUT, there are no living male descendants to perpetuate the SANDERS name. Looking on the bright side, maybe that is just as well because THERE COULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ANOTHER LLOYD WINFIELD SANDERS.

Part of this story was written from memory as Delta (Aunt Delt, as we knew her) married my father's half-brother, Fred Hirsch (Uncle Fritz to us), so naturally, I did get to know Uncle Lloyd quite well over the years. Lucy, Pete and Gussie filled in the details, names, dates, etc., of their grandparents, LLOYD WINFIELD & NANCY GOODSON SANDERS. Thereby, making it possible for us to fill you in as to how RURAL TEXANS LIVED IN THE DAYS OF YESTERYEAR.

By: /s/ W. E. "Bill" Schweinle

1 The Sanders Family of Montgomery County, Texas, W.E. "Bill" Schweinle, Decker Prairie Pamphlet, Chaparral Genealogical Library, Tomball, Texas

2 Bill Schweinle (17-JAN-1908 - 10-JUN-2002); SSN: 463-09-5154; last residence: Plum, Fayette, Texas (