The Genealogy of the Beddow Family (and others)

Thomas Flinn Sweazea

Male 1848 - 1928  (79 years)

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  • Name Thomas Flinn Sweazea  [1, 2, 3
    Born 15 Jun 1848  Shelby Co. Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Died 29 May 1928  Bellvue, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Person ID I1144  Merged Tree

    Father Mathias Sweazea,   b. 1823, Wayne County, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1865, Shelby County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Mother Hannah Lucinda Stephenson,   b. ABT. 1825, Wayne County, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. AFT. 1907, Clay County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Married 3 Jun 1847  Panola County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Family ID F477  Group Sheet

    Family Candance Ann Bryant,   b. 15 Jul 1848, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jun 1936, Bellevue, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 26 Nov 1865  Shelby Co. Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
     1. Thomas Mathias Sweazea,   b. 3 Feb 1868,   d. 16 Nov 1906, Bellevue, TX Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years)
     2. Amanda Sweazea,   b. 18 Jun 1870,   d. 18 Nov 1870, TX Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     3. Modelia Sweazea,   b. 17 Sep 1873,   d. 10 Feb 1893, Bellevue, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 19 years)
     4. Jeff Sweazea,   b. 5 Apr 1878, Bellevue, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jun 1943, Wichita Falls, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
     5. Stella Sweazea,   b. 18 Oct 1881, Bellevue, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Dec 1966, Tulia, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
     6. Elbert Sweazea,   b. 8 May 1884, Bellevue, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1965, Austin, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     7. Odie Sweazea,   b. 12 May 1887, Bellevue, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Feb 1937, Henrietta, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
     8. Berta Sweazea,   b. 4 Feb 1893, Bellevue, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Apr 1971, Henrietta, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    Family ID F497  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • [18212.ged]


      From a history of North and West Texas about 1907.

      Thomas Flinn Sweazea, The gentleman whose life achievements and whose family genealogy are treated in the following article is one of the substantial citizens and successful farmers of Clay County. On his advent hither in 1878 he pre-empted a tract of land five and a half miles northwest of Bellevue and, with his limited means, began its improvement and cultivation. His industry and his thrift worked marked changes in it during the twelve years he occupied it and when he deserted it to take possession of his present home it had the appearance of a Clay county farm.
      In 1888 Mr. Sweazea bought three hundred and sixty-four acres of land two miles northwest of Bellevue, which has been transformed, under his magic touch, into one of the most attractive and valuable farmsteads near Bellevue. Good land was only worth four dollars an acre when he purchased his, and this tract, together with the one he entered from the state, gives him a holding of more than six hundred acres in the county.
      Thomas F. Sweazea was born in Shelby county, Texas, June 13, 1848. His father, Mattias Sweazea, was a Wayne county, Missouri, settler and located in Shelby county about 1846. The latter's birth occurred in Missouri about 1820 and his death in Shelby county, Texas, in 1865. He left brothers in Wayne county, Missouri, and had a brother, Jeff, who passed his life in California. Mattias Sweazea was a Confederate soldier, having served intermittently under several enlistments, and died in the prime of life at the close of the war. He married Hannah L. McFadden in Wayne county, Missouri, who, at the age of eighty-one, is active and is in the enjoyment of life among her several children. She was married to Mr. McFadden prior to her union with Matthias Sweazea and had the following issue: Nancy J., who died in West Texas, as Mrs. Fernando Wheeler, leaving children: Artemissa, who passed away in Robertson county, as Mrs. Joe Bolton, also leaving children: Mary Ann, Mrs. Charles Bolton, who died in Robertson county, was the youngest child and she also left heirs. Thomas F. was the first Sweazea, and the others were: James F., of Castro county, Texas; Elizabeth, wife of Nathaniel Wilson, of Indian Territory; Amanda J., who resides in Greer county, Oklahoma, as the wife of James Watson: Matthias, who died in Oklahoma, leaving a family, and Laura, wife of Rankin Clark of Portales, New Mexico.
      The school advantages of Thomas F. Sweazea were poor. He grew up during and just after the war when conditions were very unstable and when facilities for educating the young were very meager. The log schoolhouse with slab benches was the natural habitation of the children of the war period and the teacher's occupation was, oftentimes, that of keeping school instead of teaching it.
      Mr. Sweazea became acquainted with work very young in life. He began life at "cropping" about the first years of the '60s, and his efforts had won him an eighty-acre farm before he left Shelby county. He pocketed the proceeds of its sale in 1873, when he started west, and had spent the most of it in search of the "right place" before he concluded his four years of wandering. After he finally settled down "he made up for lost time" and is today in a financially healthy condition. Grain, feed and cattle-raising has he devoted himself to and with what success the county tax rolls will positively reveal.
      In Nacogdoches county, Texas, Mr. Sweazea married, in December, 1865, Candace A. Bryant, a daughter of Mrs. Clarissa A. Bryant, Texas settlers from Georgia Mrs. Sweazea was born in Georgia in July, 1848, and is the mother of Thomas Matthias, Modeline, a Wise county teacher who died at twenty years of age: Jeff, who married Ida Mills, has children, Loma and Edith, and farms the old family homestead; Elbert, Stella, wife of Walter Mills, of Castro county, Texas, with one child, Jay, and Odie and Bertie.
      Although nearing his sixtieth year, Mr. Sweazea appears in robust health and it is evident that his years of unremitting toil have not imperiled his constitution. His efforts here have redounded to the substantial development of Clay county and he deserves credit for his success.

      Sweazea family History by J. E. Sweazea [1968]

      Thomas had begun his farming at an early age, had proved up on 80 acres of land. By the time the family determined that they should leave Shelby County, Thomas was married, and had sold his 80 acre tract. There were three families in the move, Thomas and his family, James headed up a wagon [it is not known whether James was married at this time] and Elizabeth and her husband, Nathaniel Wilson, headed up another wagon [Hannah moved with Elizabeth] and possibly there was a fourth, Mary Ann [Bolton], first born Sweazea by Matthias and Hannah [1845].
      Their move led them, first into the hill country of Texas, later into Tarrant County, Wise County, some went into Oklahoma, Mary Ann and her husband, Charles Bolton, eventually wound up in Robertson County, Texas, and the end of the trail, after four years, for Thomas and James, was Clay County. They forded rivers, braved the weather, suffered the storms, the cold and the heat, each in search of their "utopia". They stopped and stayed in one place for only a short time, slept with guns, at reach, with someone on guard at all times, in fear that the Sapp clan might locate them.
      Thomas and James "drove up stakes" in Clay County, the date and time cannot be accurately determined, but by the time they reached Clay County, Thomas and his wife Candace, had one son, Thomas M., and had lost one baby girl, Amanda, in 1870, another girl was born, Sept. 17, 1873 [Delia]. It is not known whether Delia was born before or after they reached their new home. It is known that their new home was a "dug out" [cellar], and their son Jeff, was born, May 5, 1878, in this cellar, and spent the first few years of his life there. It is known, to this date, the exact location of the cellar [ by some or at least one of the descendants of Thomas F. Sweazea ]. By the time Thomas, et al, reached Clay County, he had used up most of the money he had received when he sold his 80 acre tract in Shelby County, but with his limited means, he began cultivation and improvements. His industry and thrift brought about marked changes in the property, and he so occupied this land for 12 years before acquiring other property, retaining the original property until the early 1920's, when he sold it to his son Elbert [Ebb].
      In 1888, records show that Thomas acquired 364 acres of land, about 3 miles northwest of Bellevue, Clay Co., Texas, increasing his land holdings, at that time, to more than 600 acres. It was on this newly acquired land that he spent the remainder of his life, and died at the age of 79, about 15 days before his 80th birthday. (June 15, 1848 - May 29, 1928).
      Thomas Flinn Sweazea was one to be reckoned with. Seeing his father shot in the back at the age of 15, married at the age of 17, proving up on 80 acres of land by the time he was 18-19, avenging the death of his father at about the age of 18, wandering about for 4 years, until about the age of 25, recovering from the expenditure of what little money he had left when he reached Clay County, recovering from the theft of every horse he owned, by the Indians, and sometimes, theft by "white" horse rustlers, withstanding sickness, death and providing for a large family.
      There were times when Thomas and his wife (Candace) would hear the Indians "stealing" his livestock during the night, and being the wise man that he was, would not make a sound to alert the Indians that he was aware of what was going on. His philosophy was, " I can get more horses, or maybe get these back, but if the Indians are a mind to, they might kill my entire family, and I can't get my life (or that of my family) back."
      Fencing, or no fencing. was a problem during his early days in Clay County. There were no fences, and realizing that he had to protect his crops, his livestock and his boundary (from open grazing), Thomas and a man by the name of Gaines, traveled with team and wagon, from Bellevue to Gainesville, bought barbed wire, hauled it back to Bellevue, and with same, built the first barbed wire fence west of Fort Worth. Needless to say, his popularity waned for a time, but it soon became evident to others that barbed wire fences had to come, with the opening of the west.
      Another problem Thomas faced, was, his farm (#1) was nestled in among large ranches. One, in particular, joined his land on the east, and was owned by a family by the name of Carr. This Mr. Carr had an old boar hog that was rather roguish, and would come to his corn crib and root his way into access to his corn. Thomas was a good farmer, the land was "new" and fertile, and he raised, mostly, small grains and corn. His early cribs were slatted, thus, the boar hog had very little problem gaining entrance, for he could root up or into just about anything he wanted to. Thomas told Mr. Carr to keep his boar Hog from his corn crib, for if he didn't keep him away, he was going to kill him. Mr. Carr didn't keep the boar hog away and Thomas did kill the hog. Mr. Carr was irate, rode his horse to Thomas' house, fully intending to give him a sound beating. Mr. Carr wore top hat and tails all the time, and was quite a sight, horseback. Thomas saw him coming and felt he knew what was up, so he mounted his horse and took chase. Thomas couldn't quite catch up to the point that he could drag Mr. Carr off his horse, but they were going at such speed that the "tails" of his coat were flying aft. Thomas managed to get one of the coat tails into a good grip, thinking he might pull Mr. Carr off his horse by this means. The coat ripped up the seam, out through the neck, and at that point, Thomas wound up with "half a coat", including the sleeve. The half coat hung on one of Thomas' tall - lot fence posts until it rotted and fell, but that was the end of that problem.
      Thomas Flinn Sweazea was a man to be reckoned with. Don't shake his tree, step on his toes or blow smoke in his face!
      In his earlier days in Clay County, there was no medicine. If illness occurred, either use kerosene or whiskey, and that was it. On one occasion, Thomas had sent for a bottle of whiskey, strictly for medicinal purposes. By this time the railroad had moved through Bellevue, and the whiskey was to arrive by train, and to be picked up at the depot. Someway, somehow, word was sent out to Thomas that his whiskey had arrived, so he and his son Ebb (then 17 years old) rode horseback into Bellevue to get the whiskey. (Thomas never owned an automobile, and up until his death, hadn't ridden in but a few.) Thomas and Ebb went to the depot and got the whiskey, then rode their horses to the back of a general store. In that day and time, every store had a coal bin "out back", and that is where they tied their horses, then laid the whiskey over into the coal bin. For some reason, they needed to go into the store, and weren't in there very long, but as they were leaving, one of the local preachers came in the back door and claimed to have killed a rattle snake "out back". Thomas didn't take that very seriously, until he reached into the coal bin to get his whiskey - it was broken! He still didn't tie the "rattle snake" story and the broken whiskey together, but on the way back to the farm, BINGO, he put the two together. Upon arriving at the horse barn he told Ebb, "Saddle us two fresh horses, we are going back to town."
      As they rode their horses back toward town, rather "pertly", Thomas told Ebb that he was going to "whip" that preacher for breaking his whiskey. They arrived back at that same coal bin, tied their horses and entered the back door to find the preacher still lecturing about killing a rattle snake. Ebb's assignment, and part in this, was to keep anyone from interfering with the scuffle. Thomas told Ebb on the way back to town that he didn't intend to "hurt" the preacher badly, only scratch him up and give him a proper lesson about not killing rattle snakes. Thomas kept his finger nails trimmed and cleaned, immaculately, for a farmer/rancher. The preacher held a pipe in his mouth, as he talked, and Thomas approached, hit him one blow with his fist that sent the pipe sailing catapult into space, and at the same time knocking the preacher to the floor. Thomas straddled him and took his neatly trimmed finger nails and scratched his face as if a mountain lion had attacked. This ended that problem, except, the following Sunday morning, the preacher included in his sermon the reason for his facial problem, and from that day forward, he would not take it upon himself to extend his judgement too far into other people's personal life. [J.E. Sweazea] 1968.

  • Sources 
    1. [S01463] 1850 - 1860 Census Shelby Co. Texas Family Records.

    2. [S01648] sweeze.
      Date of Import: Aug 1, 1999

    3. [S12068] 18212.ged.
      Date of Import: Jun 7, 2001

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