My Family Forest

Genealogy and Family History Site

William "Bill" Alexander Ribble ( aka Uncle Billy, Poo, and W.A.) was the fourth son of John and Susan Hunter Ribble. He outlived three wives and had five children and eighteen grandchildren that lived to adulthood. Maurie Jarnagin Taylor was one of his grandchildren. She interviewed her grandfather about his life in 1937. Most of this is taken from her interview. I have added an introductory paragraph with facts and dates. I changed misspelled words. As was the fashion when she wrote this, she refers to him as Mr. Ribble. He was William Alexander Ribble, whom the county folks called Uncle Billy and the family called him Poo. She also uses the term Mrs. Ribble often. Most of the time she is referring to Bill’s mother, Susan Hunter Ribble. Sometimes it is one of his wives. When it is not his mother, I have put in parentheses who it is. Other parts of his stories come from history books, newspaper articles, and family stories.

Maurie states that he has lived in the county for 65 years. She is going by the county’s reorganization date of 1874. He moved to the area with his parents when he was 4 in 1855 and was actually living there in 1856 when they first established Young County. Due to Indian Depredations and the Civil War the majority of citizens left the area and the county was dissolved in 1865.

William Alexander Ribble (Bill) was born April 8, 1951 in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas. His parents were born in Indiana, his father, John Ribble, on December 5, 1810, and his mother, Susanna Hunter, on June 15, 1821. They were married on September 13, 1838 in Salem, Washington County, Indiana and moved to Texas in 1844.

Texas county map of 1851

At the time they only had three children, Edward Jefferson Ribble, Ellen Ribble, and Harvey Washington Ribble all being born in Indiana. They travelled down the Mississippi River to New Orleans and from there came to Texas, settling at Clarksville. Four more children were born in Clarksville, Texas; John Ribble, Jr, William Alexander Ribble, Thomas Jefferson Ribble (Tom), and James Ribble (Jim). Around 1854 Bill's family plus his Ribble grandparents and several aunts and uncles move to the community of Honey Grove in Fannin County, Texas.

Sketch of steamboat ca early 1800s artist unknown

From Clarksville the family moved to Honey Grove. In Indiana, John and his father, Joseph, ran a gristmill. They had one in Honey Grove, but must have been looking to do business in other areas. In 1855 John Ribble brought a consignment of flour to the government agents at the Brazos River Indian Reservation (BRIR) in the southern part of Young County.

Grist Mill

Example of a gristmill in a historically area of Canada

At that time the Caddo, Waco, Anadarko, Shawnee, and Tonkawa tribes were under government regulation in the Brazos River Indian Reservation. During that trip, John Ribble decided to relocate in an area close to the reservation on Rock Creek, which is a tributary of the Brazos River. John Ribble built a double log cabin in 1855.

Example of double log cabin

Then he went back to Honey Grove to get his family and move to their new home. At that time the land was all a part of Fannin County which is the same county that Honey Grove is located.. They moved into it in spring of 1856. Bill was 5 years old. In 1856 Texas made smaller counties out of what was Fannin County. Once the county lines were drawn, John’s log cabin was located in Jack County and his adjoining land was in Young and Palo Pinto County. Therefore the Ribbles paid taxes in 3 counties. Jack County history does state that the Ribble cabin was the first built in Jack County; however, another man built a cabin after John, but moved his family in immediately. Hence Jack County gives that family credit for having the first residence there.

Texas county map of 1856

Just a few weeks later, in July 1856, John Ribble went back to Honey Grove to bring his father, Joseph Ribble, to their new home. He found his father ill with typhoid fever, and while attending him contracted the disease himself. Joseph Ribble died, and fourteen days later his son succumbed to the disease. At that time there was no mail service, all messages having to be sent by people passing, and it was a month before Susanna Hunter Ribble, his wife, knew of her husband’s death.

Joseph and John are buried next to each other at Vineyard Grove Cemetery close to Honey Grove, TX

Edd, their oldest child, had accompanied his father to Honey Grove, but he was too small to drive the ox team and wagon back alone. His uncle, Dr. Bill Gambill, hired a man to drive back for him and he reached home again several weeks after the tragic death of his father and grandfather. In the meantime Johnny Woods, a neighbor living six miles from the Ribbles, had heard the sad news from someone passing by, and had told Mrs. Ribble [Susan Hunter Ribble].

The fear of Indian raids was one of Bill’s most vivid memories of his childhood days. Several times his mother fled with her children to temporary homes elsewhere, and finally moved to Parker County. Bill’s sister Ellen was “afflicted”. It has been assumed that this was a mental affliction. On Rock Creek and the Brazos River by their home there were very high rugged cliffs. Below the cliffs close to the water there would be some areas that looked like caves where the rocks jutted out. Many times Susanna would take all her children to the cave like areas and hide from the Indians. Bill would tell a story about how they had to stay extremely quiet and they could see sand and rocks falling into the creek from where the Indians were moving about on top of the cliffs about them. It was hard to explain to Ellen and the babies why they needed to be quiet and still.

Picture of the rocky steep cliffs in the area

Some of the Indian tribes were friendly, however, and Mr. Ribble recalls many interesting and some amusing incidents. There was a Caddo Indian on the Brazos River Indian Reservation known as “Scabnose John” because he always had a patch on his nose. One cold day Scabnose, who had been indulging in “firewater”, rode up to the Ribble home. He rode up to the chimney and said, “Fire, fire”, whereupon Harvey Ribble invited him to come into the house and warm. When he came in the boys noticed that the Indian had the hiccoughs, but that was soon cured. Pulling a butcher knife from his belt, Scabnose strode over to the fireplace, cut a piece off a coal of fire, tossed it in his mouth and chewed it up. It stopped his hiccoughs. Soon he mounted his horse and rode away, without bothering anything.

One Sunday, Mrs. Ribble (Susan Hunter Ribble) took the children to Caddo Village, at the spot known as Gilmore Springs on the land owned by Mrs. A.F. Kimbrel. A man named Church was in charge of the Indians there. He lived in a log cabin, about which were grouped wigwams of the Indians. When the Ribbles arrived at the village, the Indians were all sitting under a brush arbor. With them was a Comanche squaw, who had been captured during a fight between the Caddoes and Comanches a few days previously. She made no effort to escape. After dinner the visitors walked down to the bank of the river, which was full of Indian children. The children, that were too small to swim, were dipped up and down in the water by the squaws.

Most of the Indian women wore clothing similar to that worn by white women, as the government furnished calico for their dresses. In the winter they wore buckskin leggings.

On one occasion four squaws made a visit to the Ribble home. One of them had a buckskin string, ornamented with silver disc, hanging from her braid of hair. The silver pieces were of various sizes, the largest being about the size of a silver dollar. She also had silver rings in her ears. By signs she indicated that she wanted to give her red handkerchief to the baby in Mrs. Ribble’s arms, and tied it around the baby’s head. The Indians could not speak English, so they just conversed with each other. They were with a group camped on the creek for fishing, about 200 yards from the house.

Each autumn the Caddoes gathered sumac leaves to smoke in their pipes. They also made cigarettes by rolling the ground sumac leaves in shucks.

Susan Hunter Ribble

Living was never easy for the white residents of this sparsely settled country, and ingenuity was often used to provide variety in their food. In 1857, Bill went with his older brother Harvey for a load of watermelon which their mother boiled down to make molasses. They got the melons at the home of Jack Flint in Sand Valley, where Pickwick is now located. After they moved temporarily to Parker County their mother often boiled wheat, which they ate with molasses.

The first Indian massacre that occurred during the residence of the Ribble family was near the present site of Jermyn, when the Mason and Cambern families were killed in April 1859. Their graves are in a cemetery on the Graham P Stewart ranch, near Jermyn. The Masons’ and Cambern’s homes were fairly close together and they looked out for one another. William Cambern was a farmer and lived with his wife and 5 children. Cambern and his 16-year-old son were around 300 yards from the house working on the farm when a large party of Indians began attacking them. They both ran for the house, but were immediately shot down. Mrs. Cambern saw it from the house holding a baby in one arm she grabbed a six-shooter in her free hand she started toward her husband. Then realized that the gun was unloaded she turned and tried to hide in the cow lot. The Indians quickly found her and hit her in the head with an ax splitting her head open, but did not touch the baby.

When Mrs. Ribble (Susan Hunter Ribble) heard of the massacre, she loaded her wagon and took the children to Betty Prairie, about five miles northwest of Mineral Wells. They stayed there during the summer, and then moved up to Keechi, the other side of Graford, in Palo Pinto County, where they spent the winter. The following spring they returned to their Rock Creek home.

ca 1898 Ribble family front row seated Jake Cross, unknown child, Tom Ribble, Susan Hunter Ribble,
standing Elizabeth Ribble, Harvey W Ribble, Ellen Ribble, Edward J Ribble, W.A. Ribble -
back row - Horace L Ribble, 3 unknown Ribble cousins, Eddie Ribble

It was during this same spring, 1859, that the first stage line from Weatherford to Fort Belknap was started. The contract for the stage line was let to a man named Duckworth, and the first stage drivers were Ike Smith and Jack Simpson. They stopped at the Ribble home to eat dinner and change horses, and changed horses again at the Oliver Loving ranch.

During the next few months the Comanches and Kiowas were a constant source of terror, both for the settlers and the stage drivers. Jack Simpson, driving the stage on one trip, saw some Indians crossing Dillingham Prairie shortly after he had passed a man named Budhoff. He went on to the Ribble home. Shortly afterward “Uncle Bill” Kutch came to the house, bringing the body of Mr. Budhoff, who had been found slain. A posse was formed to follow the Indians, but the trail was soon lost.

The first census that Bill is on is the 1860. Between the 1850 census and the 1860 census many things changed in Bill's life. His family moved across Texas which was pioneer country with settlers and Native Americans didn't always get along. Then his father and grandfather die from typhoid fever which is an infectious bacterial fever with an eruption of red spots on the chest and abdomen and severe intestational irritation. It is generally caused by contaminated water. His mother, Susan Hunter Ribble, remarried to Jacob Cross and had another child, Jake Cross.

1860 Federal Census Jack County, Texas
Below is a breakdown of census questions.
Age: 28
Birth Year: abt 1821
Gender: Female
Birth Place: Indiana
Home in 1860: Jack County, Texas
Post Office: Salt Hill
Dwelling Number: 607
Family Number: 615
Household Members:
Name: Age:
  J.H. Cross 48
Susan (Ribble) Cross 38
Jacob Cross 2/12
Edward Ribble 21
Washington Ribble 16
John Ribble 11
William Ribble 9
Thomas Ribble 6
James Ribble 4
Ellen Ribble 18
Elizabeth Ribble 14
Ansue Russell 42
William D Clingan 26
Jonathan M White 27

The Ribble family stayed at Rock Creek during that summer and fall, but because of increasing danger from the Indians, moved to Parker County in December 1859, just before Christmas. When the Civil War started the two older boys, Edd and Harve joined the confederacy.

Two years after her husband’s death, Mrs. Ribble had married Jacob Cross, but they separated soon after moving to Parker County. In 1862, Cross went back to Jack County and, against the wishes of his wife, traded their cattle for horses, making a deal with Charlie Goodnight and Alf Lane. He took the horses to Parker County, and then drove them to Denton County to winter in Big Elm bottom. The following spring, in 1863, the horses ran off and were taken by the Indians.

With the older brothers away in the war, 12-year-old Bill Ribble was the “man of the family” and his mother depended on him for aid in her struggle to provide for her little family. During that trying period the friendship of “Uncle Johnnie” Parker, a cousin of Cynthia Ann Parker, meant much to the family. He had settled on land owned by the Leon County school district, building good houses, and when he moved to a place 15 miles below Ft. Worth, he had Mrs. Ribble and her children move into one of his houses. A man employed by Leon County officials brought suit for possession soon afterward, and 12-year-old Bill was sent to Denton County to get Jacob Cross (his stepfather). He made the trip alone, riding a little roan horse.

There were only two houses between their home in Parker County and Ft. Worth, and only one store in Ft. Worth. The first night out Bill stayed at Johnnie Parker’s, rain fell during most of the next day, but he continued his journey. At Witt’s mill, about 18 miles north of Dallas, he stopped and tried to dry his clothing, then went on. As night came on he stopped at a house to inquire the way to the Fouts home, his destination. He was told to go to a light, which was then visible from a house some distance away. Before he could reach it a door was closed, shutting off the light. He went on and found a rail fence, which he followed until he located the house. The hospitality of the Fouts family was very comforting to the tired lad, but the thing he remembers most vividly was a barrel of brown sugar, which was stored in the room in which he slept that night. Mr. Cross (Jacob Cross, Sr) went back to Parker County with him, helped his mother win the suit, and then returned to Denton County.

In 1864 Harve Ribble got sick and came home from the war. That summer he went with his mother and Bill to their old home at Rock Creek to try to locate some of their missing horses. While there they stayed with some neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Alf Ross. The following year Mr. Ross and his oldest son Ike, and his brother in law, Sid Hightower, were killed by Indians who swooped down upon them while they were working in a truck patch near their home.

A group including Bill and Edd Ribble, Cleb Williams, and Tom Waldon made a trip to Cedar Creek, 18 miles south of Graham, in 1867 to make salt.  After making their salt, they went up to the old Brazos River Indian Reservation (closed in July, 1859) where they hunted buffalo until they got all the meat and hides they wanted. They had started out in January, and returned home in April 1867.

During his youth and early manhood, W.A. (Bill) Ribble engaged in various kinds of work. When he was 14 and his brother, Tom, was 12, at the close of the Civil War, they got a job cutting cordwood for L. McJilton, who had a grist mill on the Parker – Hood County line. Mr. McJilton a brilliant scholar and teacher, was the father of Mrs. John Dowdle and Mrs. A.C. Anderson of Graham. Before the boys left for work each morning their Mother would cook a dodger of cornbread for them to take. Then, with the help of their own two dogs, they would catch a rabbit to broil for their dinner.

In 1868 Bill worked two months on a ranch in Littlefield Bend, in Parker County, for a man named Keenan. One morning as they went out with the cattle they saw two Comanche Indians. “They didn’t bother us, and we didn’t bother them”, Uncle Bill said. A few nights later, while sleeping under a big cottonwood tree, he was awakened by a commotion. It was Indians trying to stampede the horses, but they were chased away by the dogs. They started on a cattle drive, but when they were about five days out Bill Ribble got sick, and he and his brother turned back. In Comanche County, through which they passed, they saw only one ranch. Later he worked for a short time as a cowboy for a man named Hirshfield.

One of the most interesting experiences recalled by Mr. Ribble was his work as a freighter under Dan W. Wristen, who later became a prominent civic leader in Abilene. Wristen was deeply admired by young Bill, and exerted much influence over him. At the close of a day’s drive, after the oxen were bedded down for the night, they would talk, and Wristen often said: “Bill, a boy can make a man out of himself if he wants to, regardless of whether he has an education.” They freighted from Weatherford to Millican, the railway terminal near Houston, using three wagons with oxen. Young Ribble drove three yokes of oxen, Wristen five, and his brother, Frank Wristen, drove four yokes.

The 1870 census shows that the Ribbles have temporarily moved to Parker County due to massacres and murders between the settlers and Native Americans. Sometime between 1866 and 1870, a rabid dog bit Bill's older brother, John. He suffered a long time with rabies. Eventually, his brothers had to tie him to a four-post bed, a different limb for each post, to protect him and others from his aggressive behavior. Most of the time, he was delirious and not sure what was going on around him. When he had lucid moments he would beg his brothers to shoot him. None of them could bring themselves to kill him, although he was suffering greatly and they knew it. He finally died on March 6, 1870.

Bill's mother, Susan, had kicked Jacob Cross out of the house. No record of divorce has been found, but Susan went back to using the Ribble name. LDS records have John Ribble as Jake Cross's father even though he had been dead 5 years before he was born. Edward and Mary Baker married in 1861 and had several children. Edward and Harvey had fought in the Civil War. Harvey married Sarah Jane Harrison in 1867. Bill's sister, Elizabeth, married Isaac Holly in 1867. Ellen, Bill's "afflicted" sister was raped and had a baby, Alice, around 1865. Ellen would live with her mother the rest of her life and Susan raised Alice.

1870 census
1870 Federal Census Parker County, Texas
Below is a breakdown of census questions.
Age in 1870: 45
Birth Year: abt 1825
Birth Place: Indiana
Dwelling Number: 388
Home in 1870: Precinct 1, Parker County, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Occupation: At home
Personal Estate Value: 500
Household Members:
Name: Age:
  Susan Ribble 45
William Ribble 19
Thomas Ribble 17
James Ribble 15
Jacob Cross 11
Ellen Ribble 24
Alice Ribble 5


When Bill Ribble returned from Millican he had saved $15, which he used to make a payment on his first horse, a two year-old bay colt, which he broke himself. He cut wood to finish paying for the animal.

Gradually the railroad came nearer, with terminals successively at Calvert, Bremond, Waxahachie, and Dallas. In December, 1872, Bill Ribble went to Shreveport with some cattle, and on his way home was in Dallas when the first train came in there.

Texas & Pacific passenger train, Dallas 1870s, Dallas Public Library

In 1873 Bill Ribble came to Young County and took up a claim on the old Indian reservation, then went back for his bride. He was married to Miss Annie Davidson of Hood County on November 13, 1873, and soon afterward they moved to his claim, arriving on February 11, 1874.

Annie Davidson Ribble

Driving a yoke of oxen, they had their wagon half full of corn, with their furniture on top. They went to housekeeping with three chairs, a table, a feather bed, and quilts that his mother had given them.

Example of yoke of oxen pulling a wagon

With the help of two old friends from Parker County, John and George Fore, they built a log cabin, using round poles for rafters and spilt poles for lathing.

Log Cabin Bill Ribble built in 1872

He did not make a crop the first year, but worked cutting poles and rails in the hills and built a crooked fence. With oxen he hauled out enough rails to fence 40 acres. After the fence was built he started grubbing, plowing, and cutting out mesquites to clear his land. That fall he cut timber and spilt rails to earn a living, walking two miles to his work each day.

Birth of Annie and Bill's first child, Thomas E. "Eddie" Ribble happened on July 18, 1874 in the log cabin.

During those early years, Mr. Ribble and his close friend, John Fore, frequently went on buffalo hunts. On one trip up near the present site of Haskell, they located a herd of buffalo immediately after making camp, at a distance of about three miles.

Herd of Buffalo

They killed four cows and skinned them. Before the work was finished a cold norther blew up, and they decided to spend the night there. After quartering the meat, they piled it on one of the hides. Then they spread one hide on the ground to sleep on and used the other two for cover. They slept warm, but the next morning the hides were frozen stiff in the shape of their bodies.

Texas blue norther coming in close to Haskell - photo by Choctaw

For the buffalo hunts they used cavalry “needle guns”, with cartridges about three inches long. These guns had been secured as protection against the Indians.

Dreyse needle gun Wikipedia

The government provided the guns when a company was organized with Frank Kutch as captain, in 1874, as a protection against marauding Indians. The last Indian trouble reported in this county was in 1875, when a band of twelve went through Gooseneck Bend, killing a calf at the home of Boy Byrd and a colt owned by Dick Whittenburg. The Indians were trailed to the Frank Harris Prairie the next morning. As the posse started down a hill they saw Indians going up a hill opposite, but they never got within firing range. They followed them until nearly night, lost the trail on Caddo Creek, 30 miles south of Graham, and came back to the McAdams ranch in Sand Valley to spend the night. Two boys were living on the ranch, and they killed a calf for the visitors. They had beef and roasting ears for both supper and breakfast, but no bread.

Young County had been organized in 1856, but because of Indian troubles the organization was not maintained. Plans were made to re-organize the county and election was held in October 1874, in Belknap (now a ghost town), to select the county seat and county officials. Belknap was across the river from Gooseneck Bend. On the day of the election the river was up, bank full, but the Gooseneck Bend settlers were not daunted by a small thing like a rampaging river. Eighteen men crossed the river on a skiff and eight others swam their horses across. Bill Bartlett met them on the opposite bank to take them to Belknap to vote, but there was not room in his wagon for all. Three of the group, W.A. Ribble, Tom Ribble, and John Fore, walked 15 miles or more to cast their votes on the county seat and county officers.

The only thing left of the town of Belknap

Hon. A.J. Hood was the first district judge; W.T. Ditto, district clerk; Richard Kirk, sheriff; and A.T. Watts, district attorney, pro tem. The first business of the court was the granting of a license to Clark W. Johnson, admitting him to the bar as an attorney and counselor of law, on November 8, 1875.

W.A. Ribble was a member of the first petit jury that served in Young County. Others on the jury were; W.L. McCornett, foreman; R.M. Kutch, I.N. Smith, George Kisinger, W.M. Clark, William Wadley, H.C. Dozier, J.B. Whittenburg, C.O. Joline, Henry Ledrick, and W.A. Tackett.

Newspaper article about first jury trial – they found him not guilty

The first grand jury included: J.G. Tackett, foreman; John Proffitt, J.M. McBrayer, A.A. Timmons, W. T. Bunger, R.E. Byrd, F.L:. Thomas, Richard Jewell, A.L. Denton, William Lard, A. W. Coffman, George Hill, James Fulkerson, A.H. McCombs, S. T. Seddon, J.E. Jones, and George Guinn.

As danger from Indian attack decreased, more settlers came in and Young County and its county seat, the small village of Graham grew steadily. Mr. Ribble and his neighbors in the Gooseneck Bend area were leaders in development of the county, establishing schools and churches and fostering cultural as well as material advancement.

In 1875, he did get some more land across the Brazos River close to the Gooseneck community.

1875 Land Preemption Papers
Land Platt
Map of places where he owned land before 1900

Sorrow came to the Ribble home when Mrs. Ribble (Annie Davidson Ribble) was claimed by death on November 22, 1876, leaving a two-year-old son, Eddie. Annie was pregnant and the baby also died.

Headstone for Annie Davidson Ribble and her infant.

Two years later Mr. Ribble was married to Miss Nannie Kutch on September 16, 1878. Her family lived close to them in Jack County, and also moved to Parker County when the massacres got so bad. Bill built a bigger house beside the log cabin. Nannie raised Eddie as if he were her own. Nannie's father, Bolin Lafayette Kutch, and her grandfather, Daniel Kutch came to Texas around 1841 when it was part of Mexico . They lived in several areas of what would become Texas and finally settled in Jack and Parker county.

Marriage License for Bill and Nannie
Bill and Nannie Marriage License - Parker County, Texas

Bill started building a bigger house next to the log cabin.

This is the bigger home that Bill built. The log cabin can be seen to the right of the new house. This picture was taken a
few years after Bill died. His daughter, Della, bought the home and land from her siblings. She did
improvements on the home and her husband added the front fence that is shown in this picture.

This is the bigger home that Bill built. The log cabin can be seen to the right of the new house. This picture was taken a few years after Bill died. His daughter, Della, bought the home and land from her siblings. She did improvements on the home and her husband added the front fence that is shown in this picture.

1880 census for Nannie and Bill
Below is a breakdown of census questions.
Name: William Ribble
Age: 38
Birth Date: Abt 1852
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1880: Precinct 1, Young, Texas, USA
Dwelling Number: 492
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Nancy
Father's Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother's Birthplace: Indiana
Household Members: Name: Age:
  William Ribble 28
Nancy Ribble 18
Eddie Ribble 6


Above is the 1880 census which shows Nannie and Bill living between Bill's mother and his brother, Edward. Edd did own property close to Bill and Bill built a house for his mother, Susan, and sister, Ellen, very close to his log cabin.

Nannie Kutch

Nancy "Nannie" Kutch Ribble
Bill Ribble
William Alexander Ribble (aka Uncle Billy, Poo)

Bill and Nannie had another son, Horace Lafayette Ribble, and three daughters, Ora, Josephine, and Della. They went the lower grades of school at Henry Chapel. June 5, 1885, a daughter, Savilla, was born. She died July 4, 1885.

Savilla's gravesite
Savilla Ribble's headstone. She is buried in the
Ribble plot in Gooseneck next to her half-sister
Ora, Eddie, Horace, and Josie
From L to R - Ora, Eddie, Horace, and Josie
From L to R standing: Horace Lafayette Ribble, Ora Ribble, Thomas Edward Ribble, in front of Ora
standing is Josephine and in front of her is Della. Seated is Nannie Kutch and Bill Ribble.

1900 census showing Nannie with and all the children except Eddie.
Below is a breakdown of census questions
W.A. Ribble
Age: 49
Birth Date: Apr 1851
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1900: Justice Precinct 1, Young, Texas
House Number: 8
Sheet Number: 13
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:
Family Number: 225
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Nancy Ribble
Marriage Year: 1877
Father's Birthplace: Indiana (but it's really KY)
Mother's Birthplace: Indiana
Occupation: Farmer
Months not employed: 0
Can Read: Yes
Can Write: Yes
Can Speak English: Yes
Home Owned or Rented: O
Home Free or Mortgage: F
Farm or House: F
Household Members:
  William A Ribble 49
Nannie Ribble 38
Ora Ribble 18
Horace Ribble 16
Josie Ribble 13
Della Ribble 11

This article was the Graham Leader, newspaper from Graham, Texas the county seat of Young County, Texas. W.A. Ribble is John's 4th son born in 1851 and lived to be 97.

John Ribble's knife

John Ribble's knife


1910 Census - Young County, Texas - W.A. Ribble family including his mother and sister 2 pages
Below is a breakdown of census questions.
W.A. Ribble
Age in 1910: 59
Birth Year: Apr 1851
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1910: Justice Precinct 1, Young, Texas
Street: U J R
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Nannie Ribble
Father's Birthplace: Indiana
Mother's name: Susie Ribble
Mother's Birthplace: Indiana
Native Tongue: English
Occupation: Indiana (but it's really KY)
Industry: Far
Occupation: Farmer
Industry: Home
Employer, Employee or Other: Own account
Home Owned or Rented: Own
Home Free or Mortgaged: Free
Farm or House: Farm
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Years Married: 32
Household Members:
  William A Ribble 59
Nannie Ribble 48
Josie Ribble 23
Susie Ribble 88
Ellen Ribble 68

For several years Bill's elderly mother, Susan Hunter Ribble, and his "afflicted" sister, Ellen Ribble lived with him and Nannie. On July 27, 1912, Susanna Hunter Ribble died at 91. On July 28, 1912, Ellen Ribble died at 71. Since they had lived together all of Ellen's life the decision was made to bury them together.

Susan and Ellen headstone
Susan and Ellen headstone. They were buried in
Gooseneck Cemetery in Young County, Texas
Nannie Kutch
Nannie Kutch

In the Graham Leader of October 24, 1912 they report that Mr. and Mr.s W.A. Ribble and Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Ribble went to the Texas State Fair in 1912.   

On the August 28, 1913 of the Graham Leader W.A. Ribble tells them about them about a fine neighborhood picnic. Someone took some pictures of the fish fry. The fish were caught at Rock Creek where his father, John Ribble, built their first home in 1855.

Fish Fry

1913 Fish fry at Ribble Park

On April 9, 1917, Bill’s second wife died of complications from gall bladder surgery. She is buried at Gooseneck Cemetery in the family section along with his first wife, Annie Davidson Ribble.

Nannie Kutch Ribble's gravesite
Nannie Kutch Ribble's gravesite

Sometime in the early part of the 20th century, Bill bought a place closer to Graham, Texas. It was on the outskirts of Graham and still land that had been the Brazos River Indian Reservation.

1920 Census - Young County, Texas - W.A. Ribble
Below is a breakdown of census questions.
W.A. Ribble
Age in 1910: 67
Birth Year: Apr 1853
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1910: Justice Precinct 1, Young, Texas
Street: Finis Road
Resodence Date: 1920
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Widowed
Father's Birthplace: Indiana
Mother's Birthplace: Indiana
Home Owned or Rented: Own
Home Free or Mortgaged: Free
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Household Members:
  William A Ribble 69


On June 20, 1920, Bill Ribble married Mrs. Nannie Carter. They were married around 47 years. She died on July 7, 1947 and is buried beside her first husband in Henderson County, Texas.

On March 10, 1925 Bill's younger brother, Tom, and his wife, Kitty Gibson, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in their home in Parker County, Texas. Bill and his 3rd wife, Nannie Murry Carter, attended. This gave Bill and Tom and their half brother, Jake Cross, a chance to have a reunion with old friends. One of them being John Fore who was Bill's age and helped him build his first log cabin before he married his first wife, Annie Davidson. According to the newspaper article of the event they considered John as one of their brothers. The article below appeared in the Graham Leader of March 19, 1925. By this time W.A., Tom, and Jake are the only children of Susan Hunter Ribble (Cross) still living.

Newspaper picture of parade
Bill enjoyed riding his horse in a town parade.
The date of this parade has been lost to history.
Dapper Bill
Dapper Bill ca early 1900s

1930 Census - Young County, Texas - W.A. Ribble and his third wife
Below is a breakdown of census questions.
William A Ribble
Birth Year: abt 1852
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Texas
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1930:
Precinct 1, Young, Texas, USA
Map of Home: Henry Chapel Road
Dwelling Number: 3
Family Number: 3
Home Owned or Rented: Owned
Home Value: 2500
Radio Set: Yes
Lives on Farm: Yes
Age at First Marriage: 22
Attended School: No
Able to Read and Write: Yes
Father's Birthplace: Indiana
Mother's Birthplace: Indiana
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Farmer
Industry: Farm work
Class of Worker: Working on own account
Employment: Yes
Household Members:
  William A Ribble 78
Nannie Ribble 61

Bill with Jarnagins
Bill's home closer to Graham. He is posing with his last wife
and his daughter, Ora Ribble Jarnagin and her family
4 generations of Ribbles riding in parade together
Lining up for a parade ca 1932 from L to R: Billy Loyd Ribble (Bill's great grandson),
H.L. Ribble (Bill's grandson), Horace Ribble (Bill's son), Bill Ribble

Ft. Worth Star Telegram had this article from May 4, 1936 about the annual meeting of the West Texas Historical Association on Sunday, May 3rd. W.A. was one of the guests and is pictured by the chuckwagon.

Star Telegram May 4, 1936

Click on picture for larger version of article

The Graham Daily Reporter - 6 October 1938


This series of pictures are of the cemetery that W.A.(Bill) Ribble, his brother, T.J. (Tom)
Ribble, his son, H.L. (Horace) Ribble, Horace's wife, Zuma Tipton Ribble. The burial date is August instead of July.

1940 Census - Young County, Texas - W.A. Ribble and his third wife
Below is a breakdown of census questions.
William A Ribble
Respondent: Yes
Age: 88
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1852
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940:
Young, Texas, USA
Street: Bunger Road
Farm: Yes
Inferred Residence in 1935: Rural, Young, Texas
Residence on farm in 1935: Yes
Sheet Number: 2B
Number of Household: 32
House Owned or Rented: Owned
Value of Home or Rent: 400
Attended School: No
Highest Grade Completed: None
Weeks Worked in 1939: 0
Income: 0
Income Other Sources: Yes
Household Members:
  William A Ribble 88
Nannie Ribble 71


Poo and Clark

ca early 1940s W.A. Ribble with his grandson, Clark Jarnagin
1945 birthday party
Bill's birthday party of 1945
His 94th birthday party made the newspaper

94th birthday party

Sunday, April 7, 1946 turned 95 years old. His family and friends came to his home to celebrate. This is the newspaper article about the day.



Birthday Cake
One of his birthday parties when he was in his late
90s where he is holding a cake with many candles.
ca 1947 W.A. Ribble visiting his youngest daughter,
Della Ribble Bigham, and her family in Lubbock, Texas
95th birthday
ca 1947 a birthday party for W.A. Ribble. seated W. A. Ribble and his third wife, Nannie Carter Ribble.
Standing from L to R is Horace Ribble, Josie Ribble Caldwell, Ora Ribble Caldwell, Della Ribble Bigham, Eddie Ribble

Bill lived to be 97 years old. His children gave him birthday parties nearly every year of his nineties.

TE, Poo, and Ida
Bill's oldest son, Ed and his wife Ida, came with his family
from New Mexico to celebrate his father's birthday.
Bill on his horse in his 90s
Bill on his horse in his 90s
Bill in his 90s
Bill in his 90s


Click on article for readable view

5 generations of Ribble men

June 6, 1948 - W.A. "Bill" Ribble, Horace Ribble (Bill's son), H.L. Ribble (Bill's grandson),
Billy Loyd Ribble (Bill's great grandson), Wayne Ribble (Bill's 2nd great grandson)

Bill died on September 28, 1948 and is buried in Gooseneck Cemetery between his first two wives.

Daughters at cemetery
His daughters at the cemetery
W.A. Ribble's funeral pallbearers were his grandsons and one great grandson.
first one on the back side Norman Carson Ribble I, the next one is hidden, William Clark Jarnagin on the far side of the flowers, behind him is H.L. Ribble, Jr., next coming around to foreside is Billy Loyd Ribble, in front of him is John W. Caldwell, Jr. in front of John is Croft Bigham, in front of him is Verlon Bigham.
The pallbearer hidden is either Ross Bigham or one of Carson's brothers.
Bill's headstone
Bill's headstone
Bill's Death Certificate
Bill's obit
Bill's obit

Obituary transcribed:

The Graham Leader Thursday, September 30, 1948

Rites for W. A. Ribble, Young County Pioneer, Held Wednesday Afternoon.

W. A. (Uncle Billy) Ribble, 97, citizen of Young county for the past 90 years, died Tuesday morning at 7:20 a.m. at his home on Cherry Street where he had lived for the past 38 years. Funeral services were held for Mr. Ribble Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. from the First Baptist Church in Graham with Rev. J. Dale Thorn of Alvord officiating. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Morrison Funeral Home, with interment in the Gooseneck cemetery.

Survivors include the following children: T. E. (Eddie) Ribble of Los Lumas, N. M .; Mrs W. H. (Ora) Jarnagin, Graham; H. L. (Horace) Ribble of Breckinridge; Mrs. J. W. (Josie) Caldwell of Terrell; and Mrs. H. V. (Della) Bigham of Lubbock; 18 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.

Pallbearers were the following grandsons: W. C. Ribble of Abilene; N. C. Ribble, Ira Ribble, T.E. Ribble all of Albuquerque, N. M.; H. L. Ribble, Jr. and Billy Loyd Ribble both of Graham; J. W. Caldwell Jr. Ft. Worth; W. C. (Croft) Bigham, Verlon Bigham, both of Lubbock; and Ross Bigham, San Antonio, Texas.

Honorary pallbearers were Z. A. Hudson, Chas. Hutchison, R. V. Tidwell, D. D. Cusenbary, Lum Hinson, J. P. McKinley, J. T. Washburn, Will Seddon, Dick Whittenburg, Will Whittenburg, Dr. D. O. Padgett, Dr. K. D. Oates, Dr. W, H, Logan of Lubbock, Boyd Street, J. T. Rickman, Ed Graham, W. S. Farmer, C. A. Russell, Henry Driver, G. H. Wolfe, Jess Wright, Furman Christopher, Ben Johnson, Sam Criswell, Gus Eddleman, Henry Criswell, Chastain. Joe Ford, Miller Hubbard, Geo. Parsons, Will McCain of Lubbock. W. Alleern of Lubbock. Edgar Steele, Bert Bunnell, John S. Steele, Rual and Emmett Young, Lewisooks, Willie Wadley, George Fore, Ed Lisle, Tom Bunger, Tom Lisle, Clay Anderson, Judge Cantwell, Bill Barney and Rob Oakly of Weatherford and F. M. Bowron and Spencer Mayes and Stanley Peavy.

Mr. Ribble was born in Red River County near Clarksville in 1851, and moved to Young County with his parents in 1856, having lived in Young County for more than 90 years. The Ribble family first settled near Finis and lived there until the Indians became so bad that they were forced to move to Parker County in 1859. In 1864 the Ribble family returned to the homestead in this county.

Mr. Ribble was married to Miss Ann Davidson on November 13, 1873. His wife died on Nov. 22, 1876. Later he was married to Miss Nannie Kutch on Sept. 26, 1878. She preceded him in death on April 9, 1917. He was married to Mrs. Nannie Carter on June 20, 1920.

Mr. Ribble recalled that in "1867 there were only two places in the county where white people were living and settlers were living at Archie Medlans place and Fort Belknap." The beloved pioneer told of his experiences in making salt on Cedar Creek with his brother in the early days and hunting buffalo, wild turkeys, deer and wild hogs about 10 miles north of Graham. Mr. Ribble said, "the woods were full of them." Mr. Ribble was one of the leading pioneers who helped shape the destiny of Young County and he saw many changes in this section of the state since the early frontier days of Indians, stagecoaches and buffalo hunts. He took an active part in the early days stagecoaches and participated in all civic affairs of the county. Mr. Ribble had been subscriber to the Graham Leader for 72 years and saw the first issue of the paper come off the press on Aug. 16, 1876, when the late Major Graves established the paper.

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