James Wesley Lovell was a hard working farmer. He died of
tuberculosis on July 22, 1859, after an illness of 56 days. He was buried in
a private cemetery plot on his farm. A document of settlement for James W.
Lovell appears in Giles County records 16 August 1859.
In the fall of 1869, around ten years after the death of her husband,
Mary Hannah Wilcoxson Lovell and ten of her children, two daughters-in-law
and three grandchildren set out from Giles County in covered wagons toward
Collin County, Texas. They traveled with other residents of Giles and Maury
Counties for the purpose of buying and settling on land that was selling for
a very attractive price. From more than one source we had heard of the long
journey of six weeks in the wagon caravan. Mary Hannah was a very devout and
strict Methodist and would not permit her family to travel on Sundays. The
wagons came to a halt by noon on Saturdays and the preparation of food for
Sunday and some of the days that followed began. The men folks greased the
wagons and took care of the stock. Then on Monday mornings they continued
their journey. By the middle of each week they caught up with the other
travelers who journeyed seven days a week. Some of the descendants tell the
story that Mary Hannah and her family were the first to arrive at their
It was perhaps in the month of October, 1869, that the journey to
Texas was made because Roll No. 49, Giles County, Vol. 2, page 205, states
that on September 25, 1869, the following transaction took place: "This day
came Mary H. Lovell, guardian of Jefferson F., Thomas R., George W., John
W.B., William H.C. and Mary H. Lovell, renewed her guardian bond in sum of
$2000.00 with James P. Lovell and James L. Montgomery as her securities which
by the court was approved." Page 217 states: "The clerk reports partial
settlement with Mary H. Lovell, guardian of Sina Spencer, Sarah Montgomery,
J. Fr., Thos. R., George W., Jno w., W.H.C., Mary H. Lovell, Margaret A.
Hickman, children of Jas. W. Lovell, dead, which was by the court examined
and approved and ordered to be recorded. Oct. 11, 1869." James L.
Montgomery was her son-in-law whose wife was Sarah Minerva Lovell and James
P. was her son, James Polk Lovell.
They were not without funds on hand when they arrived in Texas. They
settled about a mile and a half west of Farmersville, which is some 45 miles
north of Dallas. Mary Hannah Lovell, soon after their arrival, bought 125
acres of land for $3000.00.
In 1882, Mary Hannah (called Aunt Polly) contracted typhoid fever
while nursing one of her sons. She died in her sixty-first year on 3 March,
1882. She was buried in the family cemetery near Farmersville. Some years
later, her son, Jefferson Franklin, had her mortal remains exhumed and
interred in the IOOF Cemetery in Farmersville.
We take great pride and rejoice in the Christian heritage that has
been transmitted to us through our ancestors who were deeply devoted
Christian men and women and who showed great courage and faith in moving from
one place to another convinced that God had something better for them. We
pray that we may be humble enough and sufficiently dedicated to walk in their
Submitted by: Alice Montgomery
Excerpts taken from a book written by Marshall W. Lovell