Monday, February 2, 2009

Quinn Family Tragedy

The information below from an email believed to be from Kay Dawes Knee as received by Cyenthia Clepper. The picture is of Belle Zeora Quinn.


Personal Notes for Emiline Goodwin and Isaac L. Quinn
*This is a Family Story and has not been documented*

Emiline “Em” was the daughter of Elizabeth “Betsy” Coon and Benjamin Franklin Goodwin. Isaac “Ike” was the son of Rosale Analacia Palmyra Lindsey and Green Berry Quinn.

They were married about 23 years, in which time they had 13 or 14 babies. Two died as babies one as a young child and 2 as young adults, but 8 lived to produce their own families and insure a living legacy to the two. Their last child, born in San Augustine Co, TX, on 22 JAN 1894 was Belle Zeora. According to family stories, they owned a trading post which was similar to a general store. Ike’s father, Green Berry Quinn, had received a league of land as an early settler. He also served in the Civil War. He had given some of the land to his wife, Rosale's parents, Isaac and Ester Lindsey. Apparently Emiline’s family was angry that they had not been given land or as much land, so Isaac had a blood feud going on with some of the Goodwin family members. He was taunted and even beaten on occasion by the 'reportedly' radical in-laws

On 17 May 1895, when Belle was about a year and a half old, tragedy struck their family, according to family researchers Doris Medlin (of Lydia Julia Quinn Brewster) and Delight Nelson descendant of Allen Goodwin),. According to family legend Ike occasionally drank. He is reported to have ingested some bad liquor, given to him by persons unknown. There was strong suspicion that some of the Goodwins had done it. They got into a fight. Apparently he died from the beating, and was found in the woods the next day. He left 10 children and a distraught wife with no means to care for themselves. Those who attended Ike's funeral recall, little 1 ½ year old Belle Zeora running freely throughout the area around the casket. Quite naturally, Emiline wanted to know who had taken the life of her husband and the father of her children. Supposedly the lawmen some of whom were related to the Goodwins) weren’t interested in bringing the perpetrators to justice. The more they turned a blind eye, the more vocal she became. Eventually, Emiline had a nervous breakdown, and in attempt to silence her they had her committed to the Terrell State Hospital for the Insane. She was most assuredly distraught over the loss of her husband, but family members all assert that she was not insane when she was committed and her confinement was for questionable cause involving disputed land, and livestock. Wade Butler and W.G. Pate were the trustees of her estate, which mentioned land and cattle. Interestingly, the order of commitment papers, were signed on the same day as Ike’s death is recorded. On the back of the papers however, it said Rec’vd May 31, 1898, even though the warrant for her commitment was dated 1895, on the same day Isaac died. The papers from the hospital indicate that she could have been released from there about 6 or 8 months after her ‘admittance’ but no one came for her, and as a result, she was confined for 18 years.

After "Ike" died and "Em" was placed in the mental institution, the children were all farmed out to family members. The oldest son, Calvin took some of the older ones to live with him. By the time of the census of 1900, Calvin, Stanley, Rosaline, & Jennie had married and had homes of their own. Jennie and her husband Joe Moore lived next door to Calvin. Mary Martha and Elvena Dee lived with Calvin in 1900. Wavie Emiline lived with Ellie Britton “Britt” Goodwin, Em’s nephew. They were listed as their servants and not nieces. Thomas “Tom” and Isaac “Bud” apparently were staying with their Aunt Esther and her son Marcus Quinn Butler when the 1900 census was taken. Liddie Julia stayed with Em at her Uncle Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Goodwin’s until they came and took her mother away to Terrell. Liddie Julia then lived with Charlie Holloway Sr afterwards. She would later marry Charlie Holloway Jr. and remain married for 4 days.

In a note from Liddie Julia (Em’s daughter) to Doris Medlin, she stated what she remembered as a 12 year old child. “Mama (Em) and me (Liddie) lived at Uncle Frank’s when they sent her away to Terrell. “They had me to go live with a family that needed me. I didn’t want to go. The woman came after me three times before I finally went. I was 12 years old. She (Em) stayed up there 18 years, and finally Uncle Tom and Uncle Bud (Isaac L Jr) went up there and got her . She (Em) stayed with Jenny for a while and got her mind back. “Aunt Liz” stole Belle & gave her away.”

John and Sarah (Moore) Loustaunau took Bell to live with them in Etoile, Nacogdoches Co., TX. Sallie and Belle were located on the Nacogdoches Co. 1900 census living with Sallie’s father, William Moore who was born July 1818 in Alabama.. Sallie (Sarah) Moore Loustaunau was born December 1861 in Alabama. At that time of the 1900 census, Belle was 6 years old, having been born in 1894. The birthplace for her mother was given as Alabama, probably the birthplace of Sarah Loustaunau, since Bell was 1 ½ years old when she was taken from her mother and too young to remember her. Emiline wasn’t born in Alabama. Sarah stated that she was married. John was living on the job at Clinton Shipyard. Where he was a ship builder He obviously died between 1900 and 1903. Later Sarah married Arthur Sanders. Belle always referred to him as “Ole’ Aus Sanders.” She said he wasn’t worth shootin’, and obviously didn’t care very much for him. It appears, however, as if she may have named her first son after him Cloyed Arthur Johnson. The fact that she didn’t get along with “Aus” probably contributed to Belle’s marriage to John Wesley Johnson at 14 years of age (one month before she was 15). Apparently their union was a strong one. They had 13 children and stayed married until John Wesley died in 1960.

Arthur and Sallie Sanders are located on the 1910 Montgomery Co. TX census, taken 2 years after Belle married in 1908. On that census Sallie stated she had no children, born to her or living at the time.

Belle told the story to all her children of a dream that she had as a young wife and mother. In the dream she saw that she had a family out there somewhere. Some time after that she received a letter from her brother Ike. They made contact and visited with each other. She grieved until the end of her life that she had not been allowed to at least know of her family. She did however get to at least meet her mother before Emiline’s death.

Emiline is reported to have been extremely withdrawn and mentally fragile, after her release from Terrell. She was confined for 18 years, when her sons Ike and Tom “TOOK” her from there, making her release in 1913. By that time Belle was married and given birth to 3 children. Em stayed with Jennie and Tom. Arline stated that she remembered Aunt Julia and Aunt Jennie bringing her Grandma Emiline to see them in Oklahoma Community where they lived as children. Alma said “ We went up there to see her and she just sat and rocked, staring into space and not saying a word or acknowledging anyone’s presence. Other grandchildren have said that she taught them, songs and dances that she had learned during her confinement.

Several facts exist that are puzzling: Liddie Julia said she and her mother were staying with Uncle Frank Goodwin until they took her away to Terrell. Where was the baby, Belle at that time? Why didn’t some of the older brothers and sisters take her and care for her or try to find her? Who was Aunt Liz? There was a Frances Elizabeth Goodwin Wise who was living next to Isaac and Emiline on the 1880 census. She was Emiline’s sister. If she was called Liz that would make her “Aunt Liz” to Lyddie Julia. Another curious fact begs an answer; Belle is reported to have not even known of the existence of her birth family, yet she named several of her children names consistent with known naming patterns for the Quinn’s, Coon’s, and Goodwin’s. Emma, Ethel, Ada, Lavenia and Allen were all frequently used names. One is left to wonder if she wasn’t at least told of their existence and possibly not their location. Also she never used any other last name but Quinn. Sarah/Sallie’s maiden name was Moore, then Loustaunau, and finally Sanders. One has to wonder what Belle thought was the origin of her last name.

Emiline's father died in 1893 and he mother died in 1889, so that must have only added to the stress when her husband was murdered in 1895.

No comments:

Post a Comment