Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameElizabeth Helen Cowdon
Birth2 Nov 1915, Corsicana, Navarro Co TX
Death7 Aug 2003, Austin, Travis Co TX807 Age: 87
MotherQueenie Mai Bell (1885-1976)
Spouses
Birth25 Sep 1900, Buda, Hays Co TX
Death13 Jun 1982, Austin, Travis Co TX Age: 81
BurialBarton Cemetery, Austin, TX
Marriage15 Mar 1941, Corsicana, Navarro Co TX
ChildrenJoseph Bryan (1941-)
 Virginia Ann (1944-)
 Linda Sue (1949-)
 David Michael (1951-)
Notes for Elizabeth Helen Cowdon
Following written by Clayton Heathcock, Jr.:

In the 1970s, I knew Albert Judson Adair and visited him in Austin a couple of times. I also corresponded with him in the late 1970s and followed up some tips when he got too weak to do it himself.

My last letter to him is dated May 28, 1982. Three weeks later, I received the following letter from Elizabeth:

“Dear Clayton,

Your letter arrived on June 6 while Albert was still able to enjoy my reading it to him. He died Sunday, June 13th, and was buried among your relatives in Barton Cemetery which you must see to appreciate.

If you find any other family history that Albert would have liked, please pass it on. I suspect some of our children will appreciate it. Our recent newest--twins born prematurely to David and Elizabeth (Betsey) on March 11--were baptized on Sunday. They are fine and Albert was proud of them.

Sincerely, Elizabeth”
Notes for Albert Judson (Spouse 1)
The following family history was written by Albert Adair and given to Clayton Heathcock by Nell Lewis:

THE ADAIR FAMILY HISTORY
by Albert Adair

Grandfather Adair was a Confederate veteran. He signed up for service on March 16, 1862 at Rutherford, Tennessee in Gibson County. His wife, Frances Ann Gannt, and two children, Laura and Cordelia, went with him to Rutherford. They were to stay with the Gannt family while he served in the army.

During the war, Grandfather Adair was a wheelright in Co. G., 3rd Confederate Engineer Troops of Co. I, 34th Mississippi Inf. CSA.

When the war was over, Grandfather was in southern Virginia. He began walking, returning to his family in Gibson County. On his way he encountered an old horse running at large and in a poor physical state. He captured the old animal and rode bareback until the horse died of prostration due to years of neglect.

Everyone living today whose grandfather served in the Army of the Confederacy knows the story of the Reconstruction period and of the poverty and hardships encountered by all in the Old South. Grandfather Adair continued to live in Mississippi for twenty years following the war, during which time six children had been added to the family. Grandmother Frances Gannt Adair died November 7, 1882 and was buried at Tyro, Tate County, Mississippi.

Grandfather Adair came to Texas in 1886 and settled in the Goforth community. His chosen trade was carpentry and cabinet making but he also engaged in farming.

His oldest daughter, Laura, had married W.I. Hargis, a Baptist minister. She remained in Mississippi. Cordelia had married C.M. Harris, and they came to Texas with their two children. The other members of the family were J.W. ‘Jim’, E.L. "Edd.’ Pearl, Coral, Arthur, and Lula. Jim, Edd and a friend, Jim Bently, went on an expedition to the Indian Territory where they prospected for some eighteen months. While there, they witnessed the "Big Run" for land on April 22, 1889.

When Jim and Edd returned to Goforth, they still had a yen for further adventure. They went to Bee County where they farmed near the town of Skidmore. Before leaving for Bee County, Jim had become acquainted with Martha ‘Mattie’ Howe, daughter of Thomas Howe, whom he looked upon with great fondness.

Once when the Howe family was in Austin, Grandmother Sarah, mostly through pure curiosity, had her fortune told. Grandmother was told that she would give birth to fifteen children and then upon the birth of the fifteenth she would die. Grandmother gave little thought to the matter but as years passed and the thirteenth child was born, then the fourteenth, she began to think of what the fortune teller told her. She began to dread the future.

In March the following year Grandmother gave birth to her last child, Rachel. The infant was born March 8, 1890. On March 26th 1890 Grandmother passed away. Rachel lived until September first when she too died. Both mother and child are buried at Barton Cemetery near Buda.

The death of Grandmother was a terrible blow to all in the Howe family, leaving Grandfather with nine children. My Mother, Mattie Jane Howe, was then nineteen years of age and it was her duty to do the cooking and housework for her father and eight boys ranging from age eighteen down to age four. She carried on for four years when she started to think of other possibilities. Tom had married in 1893.

One day in 1894 my mother decided that it was time for a change and accepted the proposal of marriage to Jim Adair who had recently returned from Bee County. The Howe boys who were still at home were John, Walter, Arthus, Charles, Will, Fred and Barney--all of whom knew of my mother’s forthcoming marriage. All were faithful in keeping the secret from grandfather.

Although grandfather was suspicious of mama’s activities, he was unaware of her full intentions. Interrogating the boys brought him no information. Even the little tykes professed to know. ‘Nuthin’.

Benjamin Franklin, a brother, who all in the family called ‘Bud’ lived only a mile away and mama made arrangements to be married in his home. The seven brothers still at home were enjoying the excitement as much as mama.

To keep her father from finding her trousseau, mama had allowed her brothers to take it to the hayloft in the barn and cover it with hay.

On the day of the wedding and while grandpa was on a trip to Austin, the boys caught a dozen chicken hens and a rooster and took them to Bud’s home a short distance away. The hens and rooster were the foundation flock for Mama’s future poultry project.

Mama prepared supper and baked a cake for her father, then walked across the field to her brother Bud’s home where she was to be married later in the evening. When Grandpa returned from Austin a few hours later and found that his daughter Mattie had left home to get married, he was furious.

About the time the wedding was to take place, Grandpa appeared at his son Bud’s home with the intention of breaking up the wedding. He was met at the front gate by his son, Bud and by his brother-in-law Will Gandy.

When Grandpa approached the front gate, he was obviously angry. His brother-in-law beat him to the draw by opening the conversation and saying, "Glad to see you, Tom. Have you come to see your daughter get married?"

Grandpa said, "Hell, no! I have come to take her home."

Will Gandy said, "Tom, if you have come over here to raise hell, just turn around and go home or I’ll give you a damn good ass kicking."

Needless to say, Grandpa went home and the wedding proceeded as planned. This event occurred on the evening of November 6, 1894.

Grandpa’s frustration lasted only a short time but his road was pretty rugged for the next few years. My father, Jim Adair, made Grandpa understand that he was always welcome in our home and all the Adair children who knew Grandpa Howe loved and adored him.

He visited in our home quite a few times before he died in 1908. Grandpa married his second wife, Annie Ward, in 1897. They continued to live in the Science Hall Community until 1900 when they moved to Sweetwater.

In 1900 Grandpa sold the last of his holding in Hays County, a 215 acre tract to his son-in-law, Jim Adair. When my father bought the farm, Grandpa knocked off a thousand dollars on the price of the property as a gift to his beloved daughter, Mattie.

Now that Jim Adair had married Mattie Howe, a lot was taking place in Grandpa Andrew Adair’s home also. Arthur had died October 26, 1892 and was buried in the Kyle Cemetery. Pearl had married Joseph J. Franks, a Methodist minister on November 9, 1893. Coral married Robert Stewart November 22, 1892.

My father, Jim Adair, was a tenant farmer when he and my mother Mattie Howe were married in November 1894. He also hauled freight from Austin to the Goforth Supply Company to supplement his farm income.

A year later he moved to a farm that Granada Howe had purchased from W.T. McKinney. My father bought the land from Grandpa Howe and this is where we made our home until 1913 when we moved to San Marcos.

All the children in the Jim Adair family were born on the old farm about 2 miles from Goforth and about five miles from Buda. The children went to Science Hall school except for Ernest who was a victim of cerebral palsy.

There were five children in the Jim Adair family: Mary, Irene, myself, Elizabeth and Ernest. Mary and Irene attended Buda High School in 1911-1912 and 1912-1913. Grandpa had come to live with us about the time Edd and Margaret Frances Cleveland, Aunt Maggie, were married in 1896.

In those days Goforth was a prosperous little village and the surrounding countryside was filled with progressive people. Farmland was fertile and productive. Farmers in the Buda area were generally prosperous.

During cotton harvest time the cotton gins operated night and day and cotton was bringing 10 cents to 12 cents per pound. Happily, property taxes were low, there was no income tax and few government regulations to interfere with one’s legitimate activity.

On November 15, 1903, Lula married Buck Rylander and Grandpa witnessed the marriage of the youngest child in our old home on the prairie near Goforth.

Our old home was filled to overflowing by the families of Edd, Joe Franks, Robert Stewart and several of the Rylander family.

I remember the event clearly. We had ice cream and cake following the ceremony.

This was a happy moment in Grandpa’s life in knowing his children had chosen well in selecting their life’s companion. Grandpa died July 18th, 1911, still affirming his allegiance to the Confederacy. His body was prepared for burial by Denis Foster, Dave Cleveland and Frank Allen. He was laid to rest near that of his son who had died in 1892. My father and mother were buried in the Kyle Cemetery near my beloved Buda.

In my lifetime I have seen many changes. I cherish the memory of the past, accept the present and fear the future. Blessings on those who must carry on.
Notes for Albert Judson (Spouse 1)
I (Clayton Heathcock Jr.) knew Albert Adair and visited with him several times. He got me started on the Adair family with material from his own research, including family bible inscriptions. My last letter to him is dated May 28, 1982. Three weeks later, I received the following letter from Elizabeth:

“Dear Clayton,

Your letter arrived on June 6 while Albert was still able to enjoy my reading it to him. He died Sunday, June 13th, and was buried among your relatives in Barton Cemetery which you must see to appreciate.

If you find any other family history that Albert would have liked, please pass it on. I suspect some of our children will appreciate it. Our recent newest--twins born prematurely to David and Elizabeth (Betsey) on March 11--were baptized on Sunday. They are fine and Albert was proud of them.

Sincerely, Elizabeth”
Last Modified 20 Nov 2019Created 21 Aug 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh
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