Andrew William Witt kept a family Bible in which he recorded information about himself, his wife, their parents and their children.1 According to the Bible, he was born 12 May 1874 in Cookville, Titus County, Texas and married Georgia Ann Bynum on 23 July 1893. The Bible also identifies their parents. Both were found in the 1880 census in their respective parent’s households in Titus County.
Although both Andrew Witt and Georgia Bynum were from Titus County, they were married in Ellis County. Their marriage license was recorded in Ellis County, and the Bible lists the place as Maypearl, Texas. (This is a bit odd. The Handbook of Texas says that Maypearl didn’t acquire that its name until 1903, ten years after the marriage.) My aunt recalled her grandmother saying they married there because one of Georgia’s uncles lived there at the time.
They are in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses of Titus County, living in Cookville. Andrew registered for the civilian draft in 1918, signing his full name and listing his wife as “Georgie Annie”. He listed his occupation as a self-employed farmer, as he did in each census, and was described as having brown eyes and red hair. By the 1930 census they were living in Brown County with Jesse and Andrew Jr. still in the household. Just after the 1930 census they moved to a community which would later be called Haltom City, just outside Fort Worth in Tarrant County.2 I recall visiting them in the 1950s, at their house at 5701 Wall Street in Haltom City.
They were still living in that house when Georgia died on 17 August 1959, at the age of 84, and when Andrew died, at the age of 91, on 16 August 1965. His death certificate listed his parents as G. W. Witt and Louisa Cook.3 Cause of death was peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix and exacerbated by senility. Georgia Annie Witt’s death certificate lists her cause of death as “coronary occlusion”.4 Interestingly, neither had ever applied for social security.
Both Andrew and Georgia were buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth. His stone reads: “Andrew W. Witt ‘Gone but not forgotten’ May 12, 1874 – August 17(sic), 1965”. Hers reads: “Georgia A. Witt ‘Gone but not forgotten’ June 15, 1875 – August 17, 1959.” Four of their seven children are buried in the same cemetery.
Listed in the family Bible are seven children, all born in Cookville. Much of the following information was supplied by Passie Louisa Witt Taylor, Sandra Wilson, and by the family Bible.
Ira Leonard Witt (14 June 1894 – 11 March 1930) He married Lalor Louisa Ann Pate (1897-1978) on 5 August 1917 in Cookville. His wife was the daughter of William Marcus Pate, stepbrother of Louisa Slone Bynum, and his wife Susan Alice Bynum – and thus related in two ways to his mother Georgia Ann Bynum. [See these families elsewhere on this web site.] They had two children: Marjorie Lee Witt who married Leo Murphy, and Leonard Delton Witt, who died as an infant of seven months in 1918. “Lenard” as he was sometimes styled, was divorced from his wife when he died in Mills, Mills County, Texas after being shot in a field. (The death certificate called it a homicide.) Lalor had by then remarried to Bertrum Esaw Dupree, and is in the 1930 census of Brown County with Dupree and her daughter Marjorie Witt. Leonard was buried in Zephyr, Texas according to the death certificate, but he has a stone near his parents in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth.
(These were Sandra Wilson’s grandparents. Sandra has been a great help over the years.)
- Effie Witt (18 July 1895 – 25 February 1977) Her death certificate calls her “Effelean”. She married Jesse Benjamin Cheek Sr. (15 August 1893 – 17 April 1968) in Cookville on 10 March 1915. They were living in Red River County for the census in 1920 but later moved to Tarrant County, where they appear in the 1930 census living in Ft. Worth. Both Jesse and Effie died in Fort Worth, but Jesse was buried in Mt Pleasant. I did not locate a grave for Effie. They had one child: Jesse Benjamin Cheek, Jr.
- Jessie Lois Witt (31 December 1896 – 6 March 1953) He never married. He is listed in the 1900 census as a daughter (sic) named “Lois”.5 In 1910 he was “Jessie L.” but in 1920 he was “Lois” and living with his older brother Leonard Witt. In 1930, again listed as Lois” he was in his parent’s household. He signed his World War I draft registration card in 1918 as “Lois”, giving his full name and date of birth as above, and an address in Red River County. He evidently followed his parents to Tarrant County, where he was living when he died in 1953. His death certificate (which gives his full name as Jesse Lois) gives his year of birth incorrectly as 1897, and says he died of “coronary occlusion” at the age of 55.6 He is buried with his parents in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth, with a stone matching his father’s which gives his full name and birth and death dates.
- Passie Louisa Witt (13 March 1899 –13 October 1991) She married Wilson Van Buren Taylor in Cookville on 30 March 1918. They had two children: my mother Mildred Louise Taylor, and my aunt Virginia Van Taylor. After my grandfather’s death Passie remarried to Norman Beasley, who died in 1975. She died in a nursing home in Longview in Gregg County, but is buried near her home in the Omaha Cemetery in Titus County.
- Sylvia Witt (21 December 1900 – 26 April 1982) She married Otis Dewey Butterfield in 1920. They appear in the 1930 census in Fort Worth with two daughters. Otis Butterfield (15 March 1899 – 3 February 1948) died in Fort Worth, where he is buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery, and Sylvia later married Robert Campbell. Sylvia died in Shreveport, Louisiana but is buried with her parents in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth (as “Sylvia Butterfield Campbell”). Sylvia and Otis had two daughters: Glyn Deen Butterfield, who married Raymond Voight “Jack” Stice, and Betty Ann Butterfield, who married Ernest Harvey Salling, Jr.
- Duane Witt (10 January 1906 – 24 December 1986) He was called “Buster” by his father. He married a woman named Allie about 1928, but evidently had no children by her. They appear in the 1930 Mills County census. He later married Annie Marie Austin (11 August 1917 – 23 November 1984) by whom he had two children: Charles Duane Witt (7 January 1942) and Susan Lynn Witt (26 August 1950). Duane died in Fort Worth, according to the Social Security Death Index and the Texas State Death Index (though he evidently lived in nearby Haltom City). Duane and his wife Marie share a stone in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth.
- Andrew Weldon Witt (28 January 1913 – 13 April 1994) He was living with his parents in Brown County, Texas in the 1930 census. He married Grace Shields on 21 January 1938 in Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas. They had one child: Timothy Raymond Witt, who died unmarried. Andrew enlisted in the army on 5 June 1942, declaring his occupation as an automobile repairman, and giving his height as 5’8” and weight as 135. In 1992, several years after Grace’s death in 1986 he married a high school sweetheart, the widow Mary Helen (Little) Roberts, in Brownwood.7 He died in Brownwood, Brown County, in 1994 and is buried next to his brother Leonard in the Zephyr Cemetery.
- The Bible was apparently kept by his son Andrew Weldon Witt. Copies of its pages were provided by Sandra Wilson of Colleyville, Texas. [↩]
- Andrew’s death certificate says he had resided in Haltom City for 35 years when he died in 1965. The same informant stated that Jessie Witt had resided there for 20 years when he died in 1953. Georgia Witt’s death certificate says she had lived in Haltom City for 25 years when she died in 1959. [↩]
- Certificate No. 53372. The informant was Sylvia Butterfield, his daughter. [↩]
- Certificate No. 47163. The informant was her son Andrew Weldon Witt. Her parents were listed as D. W. Bynum and “Luisa” Sloan. [↩]
- This is probably an error introduced when the census was copied. The person who copied the raw data probably read the name as “Lois” and assumed it was a female. [↩]
- Certificate No. 16095. The informant was his sister Sylvia Butterfield. [↩]
- The marriage record calls her Mary H. Little. [↩]