WILEY AMMON MATTOX AND SARAH CARRUTHERS MCDONALD
Sarah Carruthers McDonald's father Andrew was the first of the family born in Franklin Co. (1799) after his father James McDonald emigrated from Isle of Skye, Scotland and moved to Georgia. Sarah was apparently named after her paternal grandmother, a Carruthers, who died when Andrew was a youth in 1812 in what was then Franklin Co., GA. She was commonly known as Sallie. Before becoming Sarah's mother Elizabeth Baker moved to the vicinity of what is now Banks Co. in time to meet and marry Andrew McDonald in 1823 in Habersham.
Sarah Carruthers McDonald was born on February 11, 1830, possibly in Franklin Co. She was the third of six children born to Andrew and Elizabeth Sarah was only a child when her mother Elizabeth died in 1836 in Cass (Co.?), GA. By 1845 Sarah's father Andrew left Georgia.
Fifteen-year-old Sarah moved with her father Andrew and five siblings to Center Point, a community in an area near Greenville, TX, all of which became part of Hunt Co. in 1846. In 1848 Andrew was elected the second Chief Justice (county judge) of Hunt Co. One month before Sarah turned eighteen, she married 27-year-old Wiley Ammon Mattox, on January 7, 1848, in Greenville in Hunt Co. Wiley had come to Texas in 1847 from Sumner Co., TN. By 1856 Wiley had also been elected (fourth) Chief Justice of Hunt Co.
In her sketch in the Bowman Papers of her father, (located in library of East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas) Mrs. T. A. Smith stated that "In 1858 [Wiley and Sarah] built a home a mile east of Caddo Mills, where Mr. Mattox engaged in farming, stock raising and speculating in lands." The town of Caddo Mills had not yet been founded. The 1860 census gives the post office of Wiley A. Mattox as "Caddo Villa" at which people living in southwestern Hunt County got their mail, located somewhere on or near Caddo Fork of the Sabine River, between present Caddo Mills and Quinlan, which had also not yet been founded. While living in the Mattox Community, east of present Caddo Mills, Wiley was chosen as a delegate from Hunt County to the Secession Convention in Austin in 1861. This convention issued a Secession Proclamation which was adopted by a majority of the voters of Texas on March 2, 1861, and Texas withdrew from the Union and joined the Confederacy. The original proclamation is in the State Archives at Austin and shows Wiley A. Mattox as one of the signers.
Sarah's father Andrew died in about 1869 in Greenville, TX, only a couple of years before Sarah's eleventh child with Wiley was born. Wiley died in Greenville at age 79 about twenty years later, on August 20, 1889. Wiley's obituary: "Judge Mattox was universally popular, and we have never heard an unkind expression pass the lips of anyone regarding him. In the years gone by he was elected by the people to fill positions of honor and trust, and at public as well as private life was true to himself and the people." Sarah was 76 and still living in Greenville when she died on March 30, 1906: "Mrs. Mattox was a devoted and conscientious Christian lady and all her influences were for good. She had been a member of the Christian church for fifty years. In the departure of such a lady the surviving relatives have the sympathies of the whole community, for she was known, loved and respected by all."
Contributed by Kevin Walters
copyright 2004 © Vicky Chambers and Jackie King