Monday, April 7, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge - Week 14 - Benton Rogers (Jake) Holcomb - Lynn County, Texas

B.R. "Jake" Holcomb
Photo taken about 1941-1945
I can't believe the 52 Ancestors Challenge is already a quarter of the way completed!! The weeks are passing quickly, and I just know I'm going to have several ancestors left to talk about once its over. Maybe I'll have to work on my own 52 Ancestors Challenge part 2! I want to thank Amy Johnson Crow for developing this idea, and letting me be a part of it. It has been an exciting journey, and has awakened my love of family research!

This week is all about Benton Rogers Holcomb, also known as B.R., or as Jake, to family and friends. In this post, however, I'm going to refer to him as Benton...I've always loved this name! He was my great grandfather, father of my grandmother Tennie Belle Holcomb Gibson.

B.R. Jake Holcomb on right, probably
with one of his brothers
Coburn, Alfred, or Charlie

Benton was born December 9, 1885 in Bell County, Texas. He was the youngest child of Thomas William Holcomb and Hannah Jane Coburn. By 1900, Benton, his sister Eva, and their parents were living in Precinct No. 6 of Milam County, Texas. According to the 1900 U.S. federal census, he was 14 years old, and attending school. Other siblings, who were already out of the house were Mary Willie, Zetha Roberta, Wilburn Coburn, William Alfred, Charles Andrew, and Barney (I believe Barney passed away as a young child).

July 21, 1908, in Tarrant County, Texas, Benton married Mamie Estelle Locke. She was born June 15, 1888 in Rosebud, White County, Arkansas and was the daughter of Francis Marion Locke and Nancy Elizabeth Vines. My mother remembers a story about how they met. It seems they both attended a barn dance one evening, where he was playing the fiddle. According to my grandmother, he was quite a fiddle player. Her favorite song was "Faded Love." He even wrote a song for his wife Mamie.

Benton with his siblings and father:
Coburn, Alfred, Zetha, Thomas (father), Eva, & B.R.
Photo may have been taken about 1913-14

By 1910, Benton and Mamie moved to Justice Precinct No. 4 of Shackelford County, Texas. According to the 1910 U.S. federal census, he was a farm laborer. It states the industry he was in was "working out." I'm not sure what this means, but I'm guessing he may have been working on a farm that wasn't his own. Next door to them was Alford Holcomb age 34, widowed, and his son Barney age 7. I believe this was Benton's older brother William Alfred.

Early photo of B.R. "Jake" Holcomb
Standing in the center - not sure who the other 2 men are.

By 1918, Benton was farming for himself, according to the U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 found on The card itself is difficult to read, but it says he was living in Lueders, Shackelford County, Texas. The description given on him says he was of medium height, medium build, and had brown eyes and black hair.

The 1920 U.S. federal census shows him, Mamie, and two of their children still living in Precinct 4, of Shackelford County.  Lueders is in Precinct 4. Benton and Mamie's oldest 2 children were Clyde, born in 1913, and Mary Inez (we called her Inie), born in 1915. Something odd about this census is it doesn't list their 3rd child Jake Jr. Jake, or Buck as we used to call him, was born October 29, 1919 and would have been born when they took this census. Of course, Benton's mother's birthplace is listed as Sweden (just as the household listed next door), and we definitely know she was not born in Sweden. This must have been an oversight of the census taker.

Two more children were born to Benton and Mamie: Chester Lee (I remember him as Chet), in 1922, and Tennie Belle (my beautiful grandmother), in 1927. The family remained in Shackelford for a brief time before moving west to Lubbock, Texas prior to Chet's birth. Not sure the exact date they moved, but I do know they moved once again, to New Lynn, Lynn County, Texas. Tennie Belle was born in Tahoka, the county seat of Lynn County.

Benton and son Jake Jr. "Buck" in front
of the store and gas station he owned
Somewhere in my records, I have written that Benton worked as a deputy sheriff in New Lynn, or Tahoka, around 1929. I don't know where this came from, so I'm unable to say its 100% accurate. But I do remember hearing he was a deputy for a short time. He did run for sheriff, but did not get it.

In 1930, he was working as a farmer, according to the 1930 U.S. federal census. The family was living in Justice Precinct No. 2, which I believe was New Lynn or Tahoka. In 1940, they were still in Lynn County, but this time it was Precinct No. 1. By this time the two oldest children were married and living out of the house.  However, they were still living in the same precinct. In fact, Clyde lived right next door with his wife Birdie.

Then around 1941, Benton and Mamie bought a grocery store and gas station. However, by 1946, Benton was suffering so bad from asthma that he had to go elsewhere to find some help. According to his obituary, he spent about 4 weeks in Ruidoso, New Mexico to try to find relief for it.  Unfortunately, it didn't help, and he passed away suddenly, March 11, 1946. His son, Buck, was with him.

Benton was buried at the Tahoka Cemetery, in Tahoka, Lynn County, Texas. He is buried next to his wife Mamie, who passed away some 26 years later in California.

Grave of B.R. "Jake" Holcomb and Mamie Estelle Locke Holcomb
Tahoka Cemetery, Tahoka, Texas

Obituary found in family files

If you have any questions, or concerns, about the information in this post, please leave me a comment. I'd be happy to answer any questions, or share what information I have on the individuals listed above. Thanks for reading!!

1 comment:

  1. I am trying to find information on a Thomas Alvin Holcomb, would he be in any of your research?
    B.1859 D. 1906
    Married a Nora Causey