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Robert Calvert / Texas

Replies: 5

Re: Robert Calvert / Calvert, Texas

Posted: 23 Jul 2004 9:35AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Calvert Rutherford Keesee
Calvert is north of Bryan / College Station on Rt. 6, south of Waco. It has an historic main street of Victorian vintage structures. You can just visualize even today, the city as the turn of the century approached, with dirt streets and horse drawn vehicles or later a mixture of the two.

There are photos available on line. I have been planning a photo survey myself for the town and Cemeteries. It is about 1 1/2 hours from my home.

I haven't really looked into this family per se. Roberts father was William whom I believe was born in GA or AL? But lived in TN. Robert apparently migrated from TN to AR to TX. You can see via the Census 1860 that Robert was b in AR but Mary was born in Texas. so around 1850 Robert arrived at Sterling which is near Calvert and we know from historical records that the city of Calvert was founded by him. He was a Judge and State Legislator.

The census of 1860 shows:

US CEnsus 1860 Robertson Co Part 3 Sterling Roll M653-1303, p 176 image 8 and 9:

Robert 58 Farmer 43,000 75,500 b TN
Mary 54 Hkp b TN
William 30 Farmer b AL
Robert C Rutherford 16 Clerk b AR
William T 14 b AR
Mary E 12 b AR
Pauline Rutherford 9 b AR
Robert 10 b AR
Mary 8 b TX
Nelson Vosburgh 52 Stockman b NY?
Barnett Thomas 25 Overseer b AL

From the census it would indicate that he was b 1801 to 1803
depending upon the month of birth and date of the actual enumeration. I have seen the date elsewhere as 1806.

Family cemetery, now Sterling Cemetery outside of Calvert:

A fenced-in area is visible from the road. This is the Calvert Family cemetery plot, which is only a small portion of the cemetery. Other markers can be found on several acres in the surrounding fields which are now somebody's pasture.

An historic marker reads: "Burial place of some 400 Texas pioneers and descendants. On land granted (1835) to A. J. Webb; bought in 1850 by Judge Robert Calvert, a civic leader in Sterling, a town named for Empresario Sterling Clack Robertson. Calvert dedicated 11.1-acre cemetery and built adjacent Cumberland Presbyterian Church of his own plantation timber. In 1867, Judge Calvert died and was buried near cemetery gate. The church building was moved by oxen to new town of Calvert (2 mi. E). In 1868, his wife, Mary Keesee Calvert, and their three daughters deeded cemetery site to the Cumberland Presbyterians." (#10950/1973)

CALVERT, JUDGE ROBERT, 2.19.1802 - 9.20.1867, b Wartrace, TN, s William & Lucy Rogers Calvert, w Mary Keesee, came to Little Brazos Valley in 1850, Calvert named after him, died in yellow fever epidemic

CALVERT, MARY KEESEE, 10.11.1807 - 12.16.1873, h Judge Robert Calvert, c William, Lucy (Mrs. George W.) Rutherford, Pauline (Mrs. J. Tom) Garrett, Mary (Dr. Peter) Smith

CALVERT, WILLIAM, 9.6.1826 - 12.13.1864, s Judge Robert & Mary Keesee Calvert, suffering from a malady contracted in the Mexican War, unable to serve CSA, c Robert (killed in action CSA)


Here is an Article on Calvert Texas:

Ancestry Magazine

May/June 1998 vol. 16 no. 3

Calvert, Texas: Preserving a Town's Heritage
– Sunny Nash
Family historians with a desire to preserve historic towns could model themselves after the residents of Calvert, Texas, a town that celebrates its past by developing profitable historic programs that boost its economy.

The Calvert Chamber of Commerce and Robertson County Historical Commission advertise annual events to attract visitors from the region who participate in a variety of activities. Aside from the economic benefits—sales of gifts, souvenirs, and antiques, as well as restaurant, ticketed event, and concession business-historic programs promote a strong sense of fellowship and pride among the community's residents.

King Cotton
Calvert's multifaceted past provides a great deal of raw material for creating these intriguing historic programs. In the midst of the nineteenth-century Old West, Calvert-assaulted by the sounds of gunfire and cotton gins-began as a collection of saloons, outlaw hangouts, farms, plantations, and homesteads scattered among 156,000 acres of some of Texas's most productive cotton fields. Before the Civil War, plantations of the fluffy white commodity, produced by slaves and poor white laborers, supported the economy of the entire area.

Cotton production was still so important to the area after the Civil War that early in the 1870s, the Gibsons of Galveston transported a story-and-a-half European flywheel on a twenty-oxen cart to Calvert. After a trip that took several months, the Gibsons built the world's largest cotton gin in the town. Until fire destroyed the structure in 1965, Calvert residents lived, worked, ate, and slept to the slow, churning rhythm of steam (and, later, diesel) engines turning the flywheel.

The Railroad Arrives
The cotton economy in Calvert was still king when rails began crawling across the Texas plains. (Eager to connect its interior territories, the United States began building railroads through old Native American hunting grounds in the mid-1800s, using the cheap labor of former bondsmen and imported foreign workers.) By 1869, the railroad had arrived in Calvert. The first train blew into town in June carrying passengers, supplies, farm equipment, building materials, and luxuries for new homes. In the hot Texas sun, hundreds of wagons awaited the train, loaded with equal amounts of raw materials to be shipped back to Houston factories. In the months that followed, some 30,000 Civil War refugees found their way to Calvert looking for work—low-paying work in the cotton fields and cotton service industries, or slightly better-paying railroad work.

The two-hundred-mile stretch of track from Houston eventually made Calvert the railhead from the Texas Gulf Coast. When people had first learned of the planned railroad to Calvert, they had eagerly bought land in the vicinity to develop and sell. Once the railroad arrived, adventurous and ambitious settlers and merchants flocked to the flat Texas wilderness behind the Houston and Texas Central Railroad to build homes, start families, and open businesses. These settlers constructed churches, schools, opera houses, ladies' auxiliary groups, men's fraternities, Bible clubs, parks, and theatres. Soon Calvert's exploding economy supported a shift from frame buildings to permanent masonry structures.

Arrival of the railroad in Calvert caused a number of social and economic changes. One development was the seedy characters that followed the railroad tracks to town. Shoot-outs along muddy Main and Railroad streets often interrupted family dinners in nearby homes. In mid-chew, the frightened people of Calvert abandoned their exquisite meals on fine porcelain china, crystal stemware, and silver services to scramble beneath expensive furniture or take cover behind imported lace curtains that had been mail-ordered and special-delivered by rail.

Banks and Saloons
French immigrants Bertrand and Jacques Adoue were the town's first bankers. These financiers built Texas's first power and ice plant in Calvert. Adolph Busch of St. Louis warehoused his beer at the Calvert Ice, Water, and Electric Company. (Unfortunately, in 1975, two weeks after the National Historic Registry recognized the building that held the ice house, the building was destroyed by a tornado.)

Rowdy saloons lined each side of the sixty-four-foot Main Street, which was wide enough to allow wagons and mule teams to turn around and for horses to be hitched on either side. (Muddy Main Street was eventually improved with concrete and a layer of bricks. Iron stop markers lay embedded in the brick intersections until road construction eliminated the artifacts in the late 1980s.) Main Street's most notorious saloon, because of the number of killings there, was Jake's Place. Downstairs Jake sold a mug of beer and a slice of ham on rye for five cents, and regular customers hung their personal mugs by the bar. The gambling rooms were located upstairs.

Bandits and Outlaws
Railroad and stagecoach prosperity-and local watering holes such as Jake's Place-invited such outlaws as Belle Starr, John Wesley Hardin, Sam Bass, and others who terrorized train and stagecoach passengers, robbed banks, and stole horses. Texas Ranger Leland McNelly chased these and other bandits from Burton through Calvert to the wooded area called Robber's Roost, a few miles north of Calvert near Bremond.

One of the most notorious of these outlaws was Belle Starr (born Myra Bell Shirley), who was believed to be a Confederate spy. Myra came with her family to Calvert from Missouri during the Civil War. Soon after the Shirleys had opened a livery business, young Myra took up with Frank and Jesse James. Then she joined the Younger brothers and bore Cole Younger's daughter, Pearl. Afterwards, Myra joined the Reed gang and had Jim Reed's son. When Reed was killed, she rode with thieves to Cherokee Territory, where she married Sam Starr and received his name and Cherokee citizenship. When Sam Starr was killed, Belle married the Creek Jim July. After a violent quarrel with her new husband, the bandit queen was hunted and killed by a hired gun.

Victorian Texas
As unlikely as it may seem, amidst what appeared to be complete chaos, many of Calvert's wealthier residents hired the best architects from around the world to design and build grand houses and public buildings. These residents, striving for refined lives, acquired possessions that would become heirlooms, dating back to a time when Texas was a nation.

Because of its gracious style of living, Calvert acquired the nickname "Victorian Texas." To complement the town's regal lifestyle, Frenchman J. P. Cashimir designed and constructed the Calvert opera house, equipped with a large stage, several dressing rooms, and box seats. The theatre presented productions from Houston and Dallas and hosted Jewish worshippers who were without a synagogue. Some of these Jewish worshippers were merchants who operated stores and ran the Grand Hotel, which was torn down and sold for its lumber and bricks during the Second World War.

In the mid-1870s, when railroad construction continued north to Dallas, Calvert went from railhead to an insignificant whistle stop along the route between Houston and Dallas. The end of railroad prosperity, technological advances in the cotton industry, and the introduction of synthetics halted Calvert's economic growth. Finally, a ghostly quiet covered Calvert when yellow fever hit the town in 1873. Three hundred people died and thousands fled. However, boom times had left their mark permanently on Calvert's architecture and landscape.

Preserving a Heritage
Not much has been collected or written about Calvert, which, with a population of 15,000, was the fourth-largest city in Texas at the end of the last century. Even the Texas State Archives lack a single photograph of Calvert-historic or present. But the dwindling population of Calvert (about 1,500 people today) does not seem alarmed or anxious to parcel out the town's history to the highest bidder and risk losing its identity. In fact, Calvert's senior inhabitants have taken the responsibility of preserving local history and sharing it with one another and with visitors in a number of ways: through monthly meetings of historical groups, annual Christmas tours of historic homes, and pilgrimages to historic homes and buildings during the city's Spring Festival.

Deeply rooted families such as the Anderson, Barton, Cain, Cochran, Conitz, and Wiese families are among the descendants of Calvert's original settlers. "Little towns like ours must preserve and honor themselves," says Pauline Burnett, former chairperson of the Robertson County Historical District. Burnett is a descendant of the town's founder, Robert Calvert, who was a wealthy Robertson County landowner with enough influence within the circle of state, federal, and railroad officials to secure himself part of the contract for the Houston and Central Texas Railroad. Burnett recognized more than twenty years ago that the city's future could be resurrected from its rich architectural past.

For several generations, Calvert families have kept heirlooms, ancestral photographs, period furniture, documents, and artifacts in the same arrangement their great-grandparents kept them more than one hundred years ago. This quietly preserved past is then transferred to the next generation. Even newcomers who purchase historic homes and buildings in Calvert eagerly maintain period standards in restoration and furnishings.

At the same time other towns its size have been leveling century-old shingles, bricks, and mortar to make room for pre-fab modulars, Calvert has been raising funds to restore and preserve original architecture that has not been destroyed by fire or storm. The town recently restored Virginia Field Memorial Park, deeded to the city by German immigrants in 1868. This monument to the memory of the woman who supported the park for many years contains a pavilion designed by a New York architect. At the turn of the twentieth century, the pavilion bounced with dancing to the music of the Calvert Coronet Band; teens carved their initials in the wood to declare eternal love; and, for years, local, state, and national candidates campaigned from that public forum.

A Historic Legacy
No other town in Robertson County—or other town of its size in Texas—can match the number of Calvert's historic structures. Many houses, facilities, and public buildings constructed between 1870 and 1900 were officially declared historic in 1978 and are listed in the National Historic Register. "Calvert has fifty-nine homes still standing that are more than one hundred years old," says LaVerne Smith, secretary of the Calvert Chamber of Commerce. These homes, she adds, are in addition to one-hundred-year-old churches, hotels, coach houses, the cotton weigh station, City Hall, pavilions, the cemetery, and storefront buildings that line Main Street. Calvert's fire bell and antique fire engine and a relic of a water fountain, donated by the civic league in 1912, are examples of the artifacts Calvert maintains.

"We are as important to American history as any of the celebrated locations in the United States," Pauline Burnett says. "And we have the proof."

Sunny Nash, photojournalist and author of the family memoir Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's, consults with those who are compiling family histories, memoirs, heirloom photographs, and old documents for collection, reproduction, or publication.
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From other sources I find the following...William Calvert and Lucy Rogers were Robert's parents, William born in VA. I cannot attest to their accuracy but this was found online and was placed by Helen R. Flach kwflach@aol.com. See my note on the William Nodding below and the potential relationship of this family line to William Calvert b 1757 according to O'Gorman. I am working with another Calvert researcher on this family and from what I have found I believe that the actual birthdate for William is 1754, that he is the William who came to Maryland from PA to join the Flying Circus Squardon of MD during the Revolutionary War and may be the William who received bounty lands in Mercer County PA afterwards--my speculation only, so take the above inference with a grain of salt except for the apparent locale of Wm. Nodding and association to the William, father of Robert of Sterling and Calvert Tx.

Washington County Tennessee Index to Early Land Owners, 1780 - 1820, compiled by Oveda Meier, SLC, UT, 1989, page 9 lists William Calvert, 1787, with property in Washington County TN.

William Calvert is also listed on tax lists 1792-1799, county court minutes, inventory, will, deeds, Supreme Court Minutes, and county pleas for Washington County, TN, as cited in "Tennesseans Before 1800" by Marjorie Hood fischer.

East Tennessee History, reprinted from Goodspeed's History of Tennessee, reorganized and indexed by Sam McDowell, Utica, KY, page D29: "The first Baptist Church organized in the county was the Cherokee Creek Church, constituted in 1783 by Tidence Lane. Among its first members were James Keels, John Broyles, John Layman, William Murphy, Owen Owens, William Calvert, Reuben, John, and Thomas Bayless, Thomas and Francis Baxter."

Tennesseans in the War of 1812, transcribed and indexed by Byron and Samuel Sistler, Nashville, TN, 1992, page 107 lists two William Calverts: (1) Calvert, William, 1st Lt., Col. Ewen Allison, Capt. Samuel Allen, E TN Mil, Res omitted.; and (2) Calvert, William, Pvt, Maj. William Russell, Capt. Isaac Williams, Separate Bn of TN Vol Mtd Gunmen.

Washington County Tennessee Deeds, 1775 - 1800, by Loraine Rae, page 167, lists the following entry on May 19th, 1796: p. 325-7, 11/7/1795: Daniel McCray & William Calvert, executors of the estate of William Noding, dec. to George Stearmore/Stearmer: (1) 88 acres on Cherokee Creek. ADJ: Widow Sherfy (Sherly?) Chambers. FOR: Joseph Pinson's entry 832, CONS: $86 -2/3. (2) 50 acres on the south side of the north fork of Cherokee. CONS: $50. ADJ: John Bayless, Joseph Pinson, Moffit, John North. FOR: grant #866 of 7/5/1790. SIG: Daniel McCray X, William Calvert. WIT: Jacob Brown, Samuel Wood, John Hunter X. CT: Feb 1796.

p 85 of the same source lists: p. 118-9, 8/20/1789 Jonathan Bird, Hawkins Co. to William Calvert: 127 acres on Pinson's branch of Little Limestone. CONS: 60 lbs NC money. ADJ: Samuel Wood. SIG: Jonathan Bird X, Rachel Bird X. WIT: Samuel Wood, Gabriel Philips, Charles McCray.

Washington County Tennessee Deeds, 1797-1817, Vol. 2, by Loraine Bennett Rae, p 116 lists: p. 226-8, 4/20/1809 Tenn. #455 to William Calvert: Entry in the Sixth District #40 dated 3/19/1808, founded on Warrant #826 issued from Adam's office to Michael Montgomery for 640 acres 12/18/1792, assigned by Montgomery to Thomas King, by King to John A. McKinney and by McKinney to John Kennady, 76 acres of which were assigned by Kennady to William Calvert; the Enterer; 76 acres on Pinsons branch of Little Limestone joining his other land. SIG: John Sevier, by R. Houston, Sec. ADJ: Colvin Finch, Samuel Bayles, Cas. REG: in land office 4/20/1809 by Edward Scott, register of E. Tenn. land office. REG: Wash. Co. 4/24/1810.

Washington County, TN Records transcribed by Mary Hardin McCown, Vol. 1, Washington County Lists of Taxables, 1778-1801, lists Capt. William Calvert as Capt. of his company; his taxable land for 1791 is 127 acres, 1 White person, for 1792, 1795, 1796 and 1797 is 127 acres, 1 White and 1 Black person; for 1799 is 277 acres, one White and 1 Black person; for1801 is 352 acres, one White and 2 Black persons.

Spent boyhood in Rogersville (Hawkins Co. ) TN. Was living in 1802 near Wartrace (Bedford Co.) TN. Moved to Tuscaloosa AL in 1813, and spent the rest of his life there. James used to say 2 of William's brothers went to Texas. There may be more children.

Death Notice for James Calvert, his son, dated Mar 9, 1878, speculated that they came from around Rogersville, TN, then to AL.

From notes from Ellen Calvert:

The father of Robert Calvert b. 1802 was William Calvert and his mother, before marriage, was Lucy Rogers, both reared in Tennessee, and the latter a native of that state. His ancestry on his father's side is traced to Ireland and on his mother's side to England. His parental grandfather emigrated from Ireland to America towards the close of the last century and settled in Winchester, Virginia, whence he moved at a later date to Tennessee. He was a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian and was amply endowed with the rugged virtues and strict religious views for which his people were distinguished.
[side note here: It is readily obvious that this researching is indicating the relationship to William Nodding. I do not have the validity of proof for this family tree. I do know that there is a William Calvert b 1757 according to EFG in Descendents of Virginia Calverts, This William born MD but married wife in VA and migrated to TN. I had known that the Noddings (sic) ended up there. The compiler of the data does not make an association of William Calvert, father of Robert Calvert of Calvert, TX but it is at least geographically significant. In this genealogy, Thomas b 1750 in VIrginia is the Grandfather of Robert

I do know that the Descendents of William Calvert and Elizabeth Nodding end up in Missouri--DEB 7/23/04)

Robert was reared to the practice of these virtues and schooled int he same religious faith, never departing from them in after life. He grew up in Tennessee and North Alabama, his parents moving to the latter state during his boyhood. In Bibb County, Alabama, on the 28th day of August 1823, he married Miss Mary Keesee and, settling on a farm, resided there until 1838.

From letter from Elizabeth Calvert McIntyre: "William Calvert born in 1775, died Aug 23, 1823, was the brother of Jane Calvert from tombstones near Mt. Moriah Church (this church was established May 1, 1852). Also from church records. These records are in the possession of Hosea Allen. William Calvert bought a place near Mt. Moriah Church and later sold it to Allen, grandfatehr of Hosea Allen. This farm is now know as the Allen Place. See records, Centerville, County Seat, Bibb Co. AL.
Change Date: 12 MAR 2002

Father: Thomas Calvert b: ABT 1750 in Virginia

Marriage 1 Lucy Rogers b: ABT 1775 in Tennessee
Married: ABT 1800 in Tennessee
Children
Robert Calvert b: 9 FEB 1802 in Wartrace, TN
Jane "Gensy" Calvert b: 8 MAR 1804 in Tennessee
Mary "Polly" Calvert b: 26 JUN 1806 in Tennessee
James Calvert b: 11 DEC 1808 in Washington Co TN
Nancy Calvert b: 22 JAN 1811 in Tennessee
Lucy Calvert b: ABT 1812
Paulina Calvert b: 28 NOV 1818 in near Mt. Moriah, Hills Stlmt, Bibb Co AL
William Calvert
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Regards,
David Bell

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
GailAnnHuggin... 23 Jul 2004 1:45PM GMT 
daipdq 23 Jul 2004 3:35PM GMT 
GailAnnHuggin... 23 Jul 2004 4:49PM GMT 
calvertlindsa... 30 Apr 2006 6:30AM GMT 
bhjai60 9 Mar 2011 3:13AM GMT 
dai_sca 10 Mar 2011 1:15AM GMT 
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