Daniel Webster Bynum (29 January 1832 – 17 August 1920)

Daniel Bynum appears in the records as “Daniel W.” and D. W.” with no middle name identified. One of his grandchildren, the son of Jesse Ellis Bynum of Mt. Pleasant, Texas, was named “Daniel Webster Bynum”. He told me in 1979 that he was named for his grandfather, whose middle name was Webster. This is certainly plausible, as Daniel Bynum was born near the height of Daniel Webster’s career.

A family Bible, mostly in Daniel Bynum’s handwriting, records his birth and death dates, and those of his wife and children.1  The Bible entries say he was born in Jackson County, Alabama and married in DeKalb County on 20 August 1857 to Sarah Louisa Slone. Another entry in the Bible says he came to Texas on 2 March 1860. Sarah Louisa Slone’s birth and death dates were given as 9 September 1840 – 12 January 1926.

The Bible records are supported by census records. Daniel Bynum appears in the 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910 censuses of Titus County, Texas. His age is consistent with the Bible record, and both the 1900 and 1910 censuses list him as having been married about 1859.

His family Bible also says he joined the CSA on 29 May 1862 and was discharged 1 June 1865. Daniel Bynum applied for a pension for his Confederate service on 11 August 1909.2  Interestingly enough, his brother James Bynum applied for a pension on the same day and his application is consecutive with Daniel’s. Daniel’s application states he was age 77, a farmer, was born in Jackson County, Alabama, had been in Texas since 1860, and resided at the time in Cookville, Titus County. He stated that he served as a private in Company A, 22nd Texas Infantry Regiment from 1862 to 1865. This unit was actually the 8th Brigade of the Texas Militia at the time Daniel joined it. Since the application was “for use of soldiers who are indigent circumstances”, the Titus County tax assessor certified that D. W. Bynum’s taxable property value at that time was $660. The War Department’s response to the Texas Commissioner of Pensions was that D. W. Bynum enlisted on 7 May 1862 and was present on the last company roll on file on 29 February 1864. His brothers James and Isaac Bynum served in the same company, and Daniel Bynum witnessed both their pension applications.

The cemetery at Cookville, in the late 1970s, had stones for both Daniel and his wife. Daniel’s stone read “D. W. Bynum” with his birth and death dates and “Co. A, 22 Regt Texas Inf., CSA”. Louisa’s stone read: “Louisa, wife of D. W. Bynum” with her birth and death dates as given in the Bible. The cemetery also had a stone for his brother James (with no dates) and for Jesse E. Bynum, a son of Daniel.

Sarah Louisa Slone’s death certificate says her father was John Slone and her mother’s maiden name was Mary Isbell. This was presumably John Slone and Mary Isbell of Marshall County, Alabama. Mr. D. E. Bynum told me in 1979 that she had a brother (sic) named “S. B. Slone” who was a lawyer. I have a letter from Jesse B. Slone of DeKalb County, Alabama (father of Samuel B. Slone) written to Louisa in 1898 which calls her “niece”. [See SLONE pages for more detail.]

I have copies of several letters written by Daniel Bynum to his wife and parents during the Civil War. Daniel served in the same unit as Jesse Bynum Easley (son-in-law of his aunt Mary Isabelle Bynum Evans Shelton), his brother James Bynum, and Elihu Southerland, husband of Rebecca Bynum, all of whom he mentions frequently. He also mentions his brother Isaac Bynum, and in one letter tells “Sus and France [his sisters] to be good children.” There are also references to Uncle Solomon Stephens and Uncle J. B. Stephens, both brothers of his mother, and to Uncle Isaac, his father’s brother. In one letter to his parents dated 4 December 1864, he refers to three other people as “uncle”

I saw some of our connections at Camden. I saw somebody I never expected to see. Mother knows one of them. One of them was uncle Tuck Bynum’s Hiram Stephen. The other was uncle Jesse Bynum’s son James and the other was uncle Allen Baggett’s son. They belong to Churchills Div. And James Bynum and Baggett belongs to McNairs Brigade, Arkansas first Regt. James is a very polite and handsome young man and says he thinks he will go see you this winter. His father lives on Ark. River. He moved from Tennessee in 1859 to Ark. and has been living their ever since…Uncle Tucker lives in the state of Illinois at this time. Uncle Tucker’s Stephen married a woman by the name of Halcom. 3  She now lives in Titus Cty Texas with her father Mr. Halcom…can’t tell you where abouts she lives but sure is a fine looking lady. I saw her at Camden, Ark…

His references here to “uncle” may not necessarily prove the relationship, but the other people he calls “uncle” in his letters were brothers of his mother or father, so I strongly suspect Tucker and Jesse were his father’s brothers. Allen Baggett is probably a brother-in-law of Daniel’s father, since the Proctor Papers include the statement that Allen Baggett married a Bynum.

According to the family Bible, there were ten children, three of whom died in infancy. The 1900 and 1910 censuses confirm this, since Daniel’s wife is shown as the mother of ten children (seven of whom were living in 1900, and six in 1910). The ten children were:

  1. Sarah Melvina Bynum (30 June 1860 – 17 Oct 1860). She is shown in the family Bible s having died at the age of four months.
  2. Unnamed Bynum (a female stillborn in June 1861).
  3. Mary Elizabeth Bynum (22 November 1863 – 20 January 1903) She married Posey M. VanZandt.
  4. Andrew Jackson Bynum (16 March 1866 – aft1910) He married Jennie M. Norrell, who had been divorced from a Hamlin, on 12 January 1896 according to a correspondent. However, the 1900 census suggests that the marriage date was more like 1892. Andrew and Jennie M. Bynum appear in the Titus County 1900 census as having been married eight years. Three children seven and under are in the household, and Jennie is shown as the mother of three children, all living. (The children were Hattie E., Lilly May, and Bertha E.) He and Jennie also appear in the 1910 Titus County census, when she is listed as the mother of eight children, seven of them living.
  5. George Washington Bynum (7 March 1868 – 21 October 1870) Died at the age of two years.
  6. Martha Is(a?)bell Bynum (19 September 1870 – 3 March 1903?) It’s not clear whether her name was Mary Isbell (after her grandmother) or Mary Isabell. She was called “Belle” by her sisters and parents. She may have been named after her great-aunt.
  7. Jesse Ellis Bynum (6 December 1872 – 19 February 1919) Called “Polk”, he married Lula Bratton about 1898. They are listed in the 1900 and 1910 censuses consecutive with his father. In 1900 they are listed as married two years, with a one-year old named Bertha L. By 1910 they were parents of seven children. In 1920 he was again adjacent to his parents and listed with eleven children.
  8. Georgia Ann Bynum (15 June 1875 – 17 August 1959) She married Andrew W. Witt in 1893. They were my great-grandparents. (See WITT pages.)
  9. William Lafayette Bynum (17 December 1877 – 25 November 1926) He was still at home in the 1900 census, which gives his birth date as December 1878, not 1877. The 1920 census shows him as “Willie”, still living at home, aged 44.
  10. Daniel Edward Bynum (3 September 1880 – 16 January 1963) He was in his father’s household in 1900. In 1910 he was living with his brother Jesse Ellis Bynum, listed as “Eddie”, age 27. In 1920 he was adjacent to his parents, age 39, with a wife named Bettie and a son named Arvin Bynum, age 8.
  1. In the possession of Daniel E. Bynum of Bogota, Texas as of 1979. He was the son of Daniel Edward Bynum, Daniel W. Bynum’s youngest child. He told he had photos of Daniel and Louisa, but I have not seen them. []
  2. Texas Confederate Pension File #16687 []
  3. The “Halcom” who married Hiram Stephen Bynum was Martha Holcomb – they were in the 1880 census of Limestone County, Texas. Uncle Jesse Bynum’s son James was James H. Bynum, who was later in the 1880 Erath County, Texas census. []