The Year Was 1869...
October 15, 2013
Tom and Eliza Felps lived in a cabin on Miller Creek in Blanco County, Texas with their two children (Callie, aged 2 and Tom Jr., aged 6 months). That summer, Tom and Eliza took their children to the White ranch to stay with her mother while Eliza’s father, a county judge named Simeon Tracy White, was away on court duties. On July 21, Mrs. White kept the children while Tom and Eliza went to Cypress Creek to catch fish for dinner. There, they were attacked and killed by Comanches.
A posse was formed to search for the intruders. One of the deputies was Sam Ealy Johnson, Sr. While they were away, Sam’s wife (also Eliza) saw Comanches riding towards her cabin. She grabbed her infant daughter, squeezed into a cellar beneath the cabin floor, and pulled a rug over the door. She tied a diaper over the baby's mouth to keep her quiet. Their cabin and barn were ransacked. Because Eliza stayed hidden for hours, she and the baby were safe. The Comanches, who took part in both raids, were never caught.
Tom and Eliza Felps’ two young children were raised by relatives in Blanco County. Around 1915, Tom Jr. went west with his wife and children, settling on a farm in the Arkansas Valley area of southeastern Colorado around Holbrook Lake. One of Tom Jr.’s sons, William Trace Felps, was my father-in-law.
Sam and Eliza Johnson remained in the Blanco County area. Sam became a very successful trail driver until bad luck and bad weather dried up his fortune. They had eight more children, one of whom was Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. Sam Jr. married Rebekah Baines, became a farmer, and served in the Texas state legislature. One of Sam Jr. and Rebekah’s sons, Lyndon Baines Johnson, became the thirty-sixth president of the United States.
We all have stories that have passed down through the family. Some contain more truth than others. When you start researching, you may be able to verify the story, as I did, and you might also uncover some connections you never knew.