The Agnews


    Allen Agnew [1818-80] ... a native of South Carolina [Judge Evans wrote]. He lived awhile in Alabama, and was married to Miss Parmelia Smith in that State. He moved to Fannin County, Texas, in the later part of the year 1853, and settled about twelve miles north of Bonham near Red River. He  purchased a large tract of land and put it in cultivation. He was a successful planter and succeeded in acquiring a handsome fortune, but much of his property, however, consisted of negro slaves that were emancipated and set free in 1865.

    With the exception of five years, (from 1870 to 1875) he lived on his plantation from the time he came to Fannin County until his death, which occurred in November, 1880. He lived in Bonham on the same lot now owned and occupied as a home by his son, Gid Agnew.  In the latter [part] of 1875 he moved back to his plantation on the river.

    Mr. Agnew was a genial, warm hearted man, always appeared to be in a good humor, and he was very popular with the people of Fannin County. He had an extensive acquaintance and made many friends. Though often solicited to do so he would never permit his name to be used as a candidate for any office. He preferred the association of his family and friends and the quietude of home life to any official position....

    There were born unto him and his wife twelve children, five of whom died when quite young.

    The “surviving” Agnew children were John, Gideon, Eugene, Millie, Fannie, Edwin and William.

    Fannie married Dr. John Cunningham, “Old Roustabout,” of Ravenna.

    Eugene married Willie Reid, daughter of Dr. James M. and Sarah (Lightfoot) Reid in June 1874.

    1855 November 12: Nathan Smith purchased 25 acres in the Jeffries survey from William H. C. Johnson, “agent of Abraham Johnson.” In a Deed of Gift (September 24, 1860) he provided for division into “five equal parts” of an additional 1,050 acres. This deed relates four families in the early history of Mulberry: Smith, Agnew, Deupree and Oliphant. In addition to his sons, Gideon and John C. Smith, Nathan named his daughter, Parmelia (Mrs. Allen Agnew); his wards, Joseph and Anabella Deupree (she will be the first Mrs. William D. Oliphant); and Franklin and William Smith (heirs of Elbridge G. Smith). They will share “a certain tract...on Red River...crossing Caney Creek...also 25 acres.” Proceeds from a sale will be divided five ways, “taking into account several amounts” which the beneficiaries “heretofore received.” In 1862 Allen and Parmelia Agnew sold their share to Gideon Smith but continued to own land in Mulberry.

    1882 August 1: The year before he died, Dr. Reid deeded Eugene “all...[his] 1000 acres...sold by virtue of a certain execution issued out of the Justice Court...for the benefit of Fannin County Bank vs. J. M. Reid on a certain judgment rendered Dec. 10th, 1877.”

1889 October 3: L. A. Agnew became postmaster at Mulberry.

1892 June 20: Servis A. Agnew became postmaster.

    1908 May 18: “Pictures Lost” At Ravenna R. R. Station, seven unframed oil paintings. “Alva Agnew” on one of the pictures. Please return....

    1909 January 5: Miss Alva Agnew will return to her art and music studies in the Chicago University some time in January.

    1912 May 24:  While on the river country this week we visited the hospitable ranch of E. V. Agnew. Jean was in his usual happy mood, surrounded by about 400 baby chickens and turkeys; also 30 or 40 baby porkers, preparing for a big corn crop and crops. Things smacked of future prosperity around Jean’s ranch.

    1913 December 18: Mr. Jean Agnew has sold his river farm out of the old Agnew farm to Mr. Fred Cain, consideration $7,500. (Roustabout in Bonham News)


    “Traveller” writing on September 28, 1917: “The Mulberry Country Great....”

    ... a neighborhood known as Mulberry. Here, in days gone by lived several families who helped to make Fannin County. They were the two Smiths, Dr. Smith and his brother, Gideon. Dr. Reid, Capt. Lightfoot, and Mr. Agnew....

    Near the Mulberry store stands the Agnew old homestead, where this splendid family was reared. The house is one of the old-fashioned sort, with a hall running through the middle and chimneys on the outside, at each end of the building. Here the Agnews lived for many years, and when the mother and father passed on to the Great Beyond, Eugene Agnew, who died awhile back, lived at the old home place.... To his mind no cloistered retreat of ancient or modern times could compare to his old homestead....

   Edwin L. Agnew.  Born December 4, 1855, son of Allen and Parmelia (Smith) Agnew; sixth of seven children still living in 1889. Educated at Carlton College in Bonham; also attended Trinity University at Tehuacana, Texas, graduating with a law degree in 1877. Practiced in Bonham. Elected mayor of Bonham in 1886, re-elected in 1887. Married Belle Evans, daughter of Judge W. A. Evans. Member of the Christian Church. “...prosperous and progressive, attentive to all his duties...endowed with excellent natural abilities... possessing the esteem and confidence of all who know him...he has before him bright prospects for a useful and successful life.”

    photo: Edwin Agnew