CHARLOTTE AMELIA GIBBONS HISTORY
as found on ancestry.com
This is the story of my great grandmother, Charlotte Amelia Gibbons Beach, as she told it to me. I was seated on the floor by her chair with pencil and paper ready to write every word. It’s a beautiful story of courage, adventure, sorrow, greed, love and hate. A story of 2800 words. I wish I could tell the whole story, as she told it to me when I was only fourteen. Charlotte Amelia (Gibbons) Beach was born in London, England, July 6 1846 in a house located on the same street as her father’s large hotel, known as the Gibbons Hotel. Her father was the founder of the law known as the “Sons of Tempons (Temperance)” --- a law preventing anyone to drink beverages stronger than tea or coffee. He came to America after leasing his business until 1860. Leaving his wife, a son Joseph and daughter Charlotte, he promised to return for them, if he liked America. In 1848 Mr. Gibbons sailed to America. He was six months on the voyage. A few months later Mrs. Gibbons (Sarah A. Blake Gibbons) wrote her husband, and told him a cousin was sailing to America, and she and the children were coming with him. They were to meet in New Orleans. Charlotte was a beautiful child, everyone noticed her. The gypsies on the boat tried many times to steal her. They were on the boat three or four months, landing in New Orleans as planned. They went by boat up the Mississippi to Hannibal, Missouri, and took a stagecoach to New London, in Ralls County, Missouri. A short time later, Mrs. Gibbons became ill and passed away in 1849. She was buried in a little church yard in Missouri. Mr. Gibbons was running a tanning yard at the time of his young wife’s death. He was heart broken, restless and lonely and decided to buy a farm 6 miles from town. They lived on the farm until 1851. He bought a camping outfit, after selling the farm and started for Texas, with plans to go on to Oregon, if he didn’t like Texas. His friends told him the Indians were on the warpath and that his family would be killed and scalped. It was during this trip to Texas that he became infected with “sore eyes” and could not see to travel. They made camp by an old woman’s place. The woman, knowing a little about his illness and the nature of it, soon had him almost cured with her home remedies. (my note: hair from the animals (oxen or horses) would blow into, and accumulate in the eyes, while driving the wagon.) A few days later they were on the trail again. About dusk two men rode up and told him he was now in Indian Territory, just over the border of Kansas. They warned him of the hostile Indians. The next day they made camp by an old half-breed Indian woman’s place, who had one of the finest houses they had seen since they left home. She seemed to be a very kind and friendly person, and she would bring milk and butter to their camp, always trying to get Charlotte to come and stay with her. The old Indian finally offered to buy her. That’s when they broke camp and left. They crossed the Red River into Texas in 1853. It had been a hot dry summer, and on the way to Sherman they ran out of water. Like all good frontiersmen, he shared the water he had left with his horses. They arrived in Sherman a few days later with two tired thirsty children, and horses about to drop from thirst. It seemed the whole town was at their camp the next day to welcome them. A Dr. Brooks told them of the farm he had about three miles from town and wanted them to move out there. Mr. Gibbons accepted the offer. He set up a shoe shop and worked three years in it. During this time he had let Charlotte stay with a couple in town to attend school. She was so unhappy away from her brother and dad, that he came to get her, after he had built a house in town. Charlotte became a little housekeeper and attended school, too. A short time later her father sold everything, and bought another camping outfit, and headed for San Antonio, Texas, with a friend. In 1856 they filed on some land there, 160 acres and lived there 4 years. Mr. Gibbons met and married a widow with a little girl about Charlotte’s age (Kitty and Sarah)….They lived here four years and Charlotte’s and Joseph’s half brother was born. They named him Jim. Mr. Gibbons wanted to go back to Sherman. Selling everything, they went back to Sherman where they lived until the Civil War broke out. He was well liked in Sherman, and was the Justice of the Peace for four years. He was soon appointed Captain of the militia. His wife wanted to go back to Milford to stay during the war. So Mr. Gibbons, Charlotte, Joseph and four year old Jim started on the trail back. Charlotte was now fifteen and beautiful. She had coal black hair and dark blue eyes that smiled at you from a delicately fair and flawless skin. The first night they made camp, eight men rode up. They were drunk and mean. They told Gibbons they wanted to talk to him. He knew they would kill him, because several Englishmen had been murdered in that area because they were considered Northerners. He told the men to kill him there so his family could bury him. Charlotte had been listening to their conversation and jumped from their wagon, stood by her Dad, and told the gunman to kill her if they must kill someone, because his little son needed him. They only laughed at her, and grabbed her Dad carrying him into the woods. That was the last time she saw her Dad alive. She loved her Dad very much, and would try to slip off to look for him. One day soon afterward a man rode up to their camp to tell them he had found Mr. Gibbons. Hanging from the branch of a tree where the outlaws had left him. (See my story, on subject of the times.) He was laid to rest (buried) under a tree wrapped only in a blanket. They built a log fence around the grave, so it could be found. As years passed, she wanted to go back to find the grave of her Dad. But, was never able to find it. She said he would be found on the great resurrection day. After Mr. Gibbons’ death, young Joseph joined the army. The last letter Charlotte had from him was just before the Battle at Gettysburg. She soon learned he was killed in the battle. An old man went on to Milford with Mrs. Gibbons. Many long and hard days were ahead for Charlotte. But she was a survivor and was finally rescued…. by a handsome young man named George Beach. A beautiful love story began, that ended in their marriage and continued, through many beautiful years together. They were married in Hill County moving to the Elbert community shortly after. They had eight children (Charlotte and George). Seldon Beach, W.E. Beach, known as Uncle Bud and father of Floyd Beach of Throckmorton, Ethel Beach, Becca Beach (Evans) who was Mae Self’s mother of Throckmorton, Frank Beach, Lee Beach, George Beach and Mable (Beach) Stroud my own grandmother, born July 4, 1866. Mable (Beach) Stroud raised her family on a farm on Boggy Creek Valley. Throckmorton, Texas and also made a home for Grandma Beach (Charlotte) until her death in 1938. All of Mabel Stroud and Terrell Stroud’s children lived within walking distance of their home. Jim Stroud, Beacher Stroud, Frank Stroud, Hattie (Stroud) Partney, Gladys Stroud. A granddaughter Grace Stroud raised in Olney, Texas after the death of her father Chester Stroud.Grandpa Beach served as Corporal, Company K 12th, Texas infantry C.S.A. He enlisted May 4 1862 and served until the end of the war. He passed away Sept. 21, 1912, was buried in the old Oak Grove Cemetery, Throckmorton, Texas, one of two Confederate soldiers there. My great Grandma Beach passed away Sept. 18, 1938. And was buried in Throckmorton Cemetery.Since threat war, descendents of Mrs. Stroud served in every war in which the USA has been engaged –World War I, World War II, Vietnam and Korean war. She has 445 descendents living.