(1829 - 1906)

7. Wilson "Wilse" Lumpkin WILLINGHAM2(Archibald1) was born 06 Nov 1829 in Kings Gap, Harris County, Texas, USA and died 15 Jan 1906. He married 27 Feb 1868*  in Washington County, Texas, USA to Elizabeth Jane YARBERRY who was born 23 Sep 1848 in Independence County, Arkansas, USA and died 28 Apr 1903 in Bell County, Texas, USA. They are both buried in Killeen, Texas, USA.  The above picture was taken at the Reunion of the Old Settlers' Association of Bell County in 1902.   Courtesy of Mrs. W. L. Oliver.


Wilson, Katie, Nellie, Rosa

Children of Wilson and Elizabeth Willingham were: 

i.  William Archibald "Archie" WILLINGHAM3(Wilson2Archibald1) was born 24 Jun 1874 in Bell County, Texas. USA. and died in 1961 in  Bell County, Texas, USA , Texas, USA.  He married 1st to May BURKS who died of TB.  He married second to Beulah MCGLOTHLIN who was born in 1878 and died in 1951. Residence 1880 in Precinct 2, Bell, Texas, United States.

i.  Mary Eleanor WILLINGHAM3(Wilson2Archibald1) was born 24 Nov 1874 in Bell County, Texas, USA.[8] and died 28 Dec 1905 in Salado, Bell County, Texas, USA. She married 14 Jul 1895 in Bell County, Texas to George Washington BIRDWELL.


iii.  Wilson WILLINGHAM3(Wilson2Archibald1) was born 06 Nov 1878 and died Oct 1965 in Bell, Texas, USA [8]Residence 1880 in Precinct 2, Bell, Texas, USA]. (Never married)

iv.  Nellie WILLINGHAM3(Wilson2Archibald1) was born on Sep 15, 1882 in Bell, Texas, USA [8] and died Aug 1972 in Comanche County, Texas, USAShe married (1) G.F. ELMS.  He died and she married (2) John D. Lancaster. 

Child of Nellie and G.F. Elms:


.Rosa Lee ELMS was born 1903.  She married Mr. KEELE who died 1961.  They had no children.

v.  Katie WILLINGHAM3(Wilson2Archibald1) was born on Sep 20, 1886 in Bell, Texas, USA [8] and died on Oct 12, 1966 in Salado, Bell County, Texas, USA where she is buried.  Katie married John Jay BURRIS.  They had no children.  Residence 1900 in Justice Precinct 8, Bell, Texas.

Source: Betty Birdwell

*This date of marriage came from family records.  The Washington County transcription says the date was 26 Feb 1868 which is most likely the date of the issuance of license and the ceremony was performed a day later.  This is a common error in marriage transcriptions.
1.  Wilson is listed on the 1851 Tax List of Bell County, Texas Tax list showing one poll and a total value of $107.  He was granted a patent of 160 acres in Bell County and continued to live in Bell County until his death.  The family said he homesteaded the land.
2.  Wilson donated the land for the Willingham Spring Baptist Church outside of Salado.
3.  Wilson served as a private in Company H, 6th Texas Cavalry, of the Confederacy, and was shot through the hips in a battle during the Civil War.  Lottie Oliver Holaday tells of Wilson's return from the war:  "My great-grandpa (Joe Essary) and some more men were robbing a bee tree when they saw Wilson coming over the hill.  He was very gaunt and was bleeding--he had walked all the way.  The men gave him a little honey, lifted him upon their wagon because he was so weak and took him home."
4.  Tuberculosis was a dreaded killer around the early 1900's.  Wilson contacted the disease and his wife, Elizabeth, nursed him until her death.  His oldest daughter, Mary Eleanor nursed him, even though she was pregnant with her son, William Sidney and had a six year old daughter.  She died of tuberculosis Dec, 1905 and Wilson died less than three weeks later.  Tuberculosis had wiped out father, mother, and oldest daughter in less than three years.

Family Legends:  
1.  Wilson and Archie had the first cotton gin in Temple.  It was raised on the Willingham ranch near Salado.  They hauled the cotton 28 miles to Temple in an ox-wagon with solid wooden wheels.
2.  The Willinghams hauled butter once or twice a year to Austin, after putting it up in brine in crocks.
3.  Wilson Willingham, Sr., grandfather of Wm. Sidney Birdwell, was shot in the groin in the Civil War; crippled, stiff-legged; defended self with a gun which he kept near him at all times. In cattle rustling time, he said, "I say, I say, I think he ought to be shot, he ought to be shot, right where his galluses cross." Later the man was found on his ranch shot "right where his galluses crossed". Wilson was suspected of the shooting, but never proved.
4.  Wilson Jr. said his father was losing cattle.  Salado Creek ran through the Willingham ranch.  Many people rode down the creek as a short cut.  Neighbor boys, after a dance, riding down creek in wee hours of morning.  One said, "This sure would be a good night to steal some of Uncle Wilson's cattle."  The old man was out and heard it, raised up and said, "I say, I say, go right ahead, go right ahead and steal 'em."

5.  It is thought Wilson (Wilse) Willingham helped to break ground for the capitol building in Austin, Texas in 1853. (not proven)
6.  When Wm. Archibald (1874-1961) was about 18 years old, he walked barefooted 28 miles to a cotton gin close to Temple leading a two-wheel ox wagon loaded with cotton.  When he got to the gin he was in a long line of other wagons which was next to a train track.  A train came by and the men in the cab blew the whistle just as it was next to Archie.  It frightened him BADLY and he took off running!
7.  John W. Birdwell, Sr. has an old 36 caliber Navy Colt handgun that belonged to Wilson Willingham during the Civil War.  
8.  Mrs. Holaday also said that her grandfather, Robert Birdwell, and Wilson would drive into Salado together with the wagon (no one had buggies there because the ground was too rocky).  They would always stop at the Salado Inn to have a cup of coffee and let the horses rest.  (Note:  The Salado Inn (Stagecoach Inn) is still in operation as of September 1992 and has a reputation for some of the tastiest food around. (ref: TEXAS HIGHWAYS).


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