I cannot thank you enough. That is a HUGE help!! Thank you so much for finding all of that out for me! I will continue to dig around to find out what happened to M F Hawkins, but it would appear that perhaps he passed away around 1880. Who knows.
The story always was that he moved west from Kansas to some place like California and was never heard from again, but maybe it refers to him moving to NM and his family ending up in CA. Or maybe he died in Kansas. Quite the mystery.
Thank you again! I really appreciate it.