Alexander Hyden




Posted by Ron Hyden <> on Sun, 06 Dec 1998  (4/28/06--not a current email address)

Surnames: Hyden, Anglin, Sharp, Gentry

I really don't know alot about the man who was my great great grandfather Alexander Hyden. I do know some details about him as I've been doing research on Alexander for the last year and have found him to have been a very interesting man. What I do know is that Alexander must have been a very loving and respected man. In searching the census for Alexander I quite often found his newly married children living either next to him or very near him. For the first part of their time in Limestone Co., Alexander's younger brother Abner also followed him when he moved. Abner had not moved to Limestone until after serving in the War with Mexico with the Texas Rangers.

Alexander was born in the hills of Virginia in Lee Co. along Wallen Creek about 2 miles south of the Kentucky Hiway. The area is a beautiful valley nestled between Wallen Ridge and Powell Mountain. Alex lived with his dad James G. Hyden and mother Lydia Anglin on the land that James had inherited from his father-in-law Abner Anglin. Until about 1818, Alexander had also lived next to his grandfather William Hyden. About 1818, William moved to Tennessee with his new wife Martha Baldwin.

William who served in the Revolutionary War had moved west in the early 1780's to western Virginia. There were still trouble between the Indians and the encroaching settlers when William moved west.

A young Alex probably saw many people heading west to Kentucky. Quite often we glamorize the Oregon Trail, but years before the Oregon Trail there was the Kentucky Road. It is estimated that several hundred thousand people in the 1700's and early 1800's took this road through Virginia and through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky and points west. Alex witness the movement and in 1830 moved west most likely through the Cumberland Gap.

While Alex saw many people going west, he went west with many people from Virginia. If you looked at the tax list of early 1800's Lee Co and the phone book of Limestone Co, you would swear it was the same town. It was not just Hydens and Anglins that moved west from Virginia, but there were families named Cox, Wilson, Hughes, Sims, Sadler, Baldwin, Eaton and many many more.

In 1830, when Alex was 18, James moved his family to Illinois to join his in-laws the Anglins. The family lived in Edgar Co., Illinois surrounded by Anglins. When the Anglins moved to Texas, the Hydens stayed in Illinois. Later instead of moving to Texas, the Hydens moved to Crawford Co., Missouri where Alexander married Ellender Glenn in 1837.

The move to Missouri was most puzzling to me until I did some research on Alex and the Glenns. I found the Glenns in Virginia and then in Illinois near the Hydens. It looks like Alexander followed his beloved Elender from Illinois to Missouri instead of going to Texas with his relatives the Anglins. James G. and his family went along with Alex.

In Crawford Co., Alex and Ellender lived in the mist of several families of Glenns. His father James G. and family lived nearby. Alex and Ellender had three children in Missouri. The children were Jemima D., Lydia Lucinda and James A. Hyden.

Finally about 1846, the Hydens made the move from Crawford Co., Missouri to Texas. James G. Hyden, Lydia and family moved south with the Alexander family. I don't know if anyone else moved south with them. It must have been a tremendous decision on Alex's part to move his wife Ellender with a 7 year old daughter, a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter from her family in Missouri down to Texas. While it takes less than a day to make the trip now, it took weeks and maybe months to make the hazzardous trip from central Missouri to Texas.

I don't know which path the family took to Texas, but the end of the road was in the quiet community of Dallas along the Trinity river. There in Dallas, Ellender took sick and died. Alex took some boards from the wagon and buried Ellender there along the banks of what is now down town Dallas.

Alex then continued his trip on to Limestone Co., where he first lived with his children in a house near Springfield owned by his cousins the Anglins. Due to some unknown reason, James G. Hyden and family did not move to Limestone Co. but settled down somewhere between Dallas and Limestone Co.

Alex had not lived in Texas too long when he met the young widow Wilmoth Jane Sharp Gentry who had moved to Texas with her family. Alex and Wilmoth married sometime after 1850.

Several years after his marriage, Alex and Wilmoth sold their land near Springfield and bought some land in the timbers east of Town near the current community of Box church. Abner followed shortly thereafter. The Hyden/Hughes cemetery is on part of the land orginally owned by Alex.

Alex and Wilmoth had a number of children with the exact number not known for sure. Their children were William Alexander, Mary S., Rowland A., Bailey Hawkins, and Eady Penitha. The 1880 census listed Cornelia and Pinkney but both were of an age that they should have been listed in the 1870 census. Pinkney was most likely Eady as she was not listed and they were the same age. Cornelia could have been the child of his James A. Hyden who died in the 1860's and whose family lived nearby in 1870.

Jemima married a F.M. Goff and then Short Will Rasco. Lydia married James Edward Cledennen. James A. married Nancy Adeline. William Alexander married Sarah Herrod. Bailey married Daisey Dean Ellis. Eady married Jake Hughes. Each of these raised families in Limestone and central Texas with many descendants still around.

Family living nearby seems to be a trait of Alexander. In the 1860 census, the Clendennens are living nearby. In the 1870 census Nancy Adeline and family lived nearby. In the 1880 census, Mary Hyden Ingle and husband lived next door.

While I know a great deal of facts about Alex, I really don't know much about the man. Wilmoth was a devout Christian who went to church every Sunday. Their first son William Alexander was an Elder in the Church of Christ both in Texas and Oklahoma. There grandson Oscar Rasco was a church of Christ preacher for many years in Limestone Co. I have no proof but I believe Alex was a Baptist and probably a primitive Baptist.

Alex built one of the first cotton gins in the county with a broad axe that he brought with him from Missouri. The axe is now in the Limestone Co. Museum donated by Otis Durham a grand son.

According to Hampton Steele, Alex served as a County commissioner for 4 terms. When his last daughter married, Alex gave his permission by placing his "x" on a piece of paper written by someone else. The family has wondered how Alex could have served as a commissioner for so many different terms if he was illiterate. The 1850 census indicates that Alex was not illiterate. In a photo taken of Alex and Wilmoth near the end of his life, Alex looks like he is blind. I've been told that when he died a blood vessel broke spurting blood pass the end of the bed.

After his death his land was divided between his children William Alexander, Bailey, Jemima and Lydia and Wilmoth, his wife. Alex is buried along with his wife Wilmoth in the Hyden/Hughes cemetery along road 937 near Box Church. Burried with him there are his beloved daughters, Mary Ingle, Eady Hughes and Jemima D. Rasco and his son Rowland. Lydia moved west with her husband and is burried most likely in Motley Co., Tx.

There are most likely descendants of Alex who still live in Limestone who could compile a much better story of his life in Limestone Co. I hope someone does. I've tried to tell the story of my ancestor who moved west when the nation was still very young. Alex lived near the Kentucky Hiway and most likely saw many people who went west before him. Alex lived near the area where Daniel Boone's son was killed by the Indians. Alex and family moved to Illinois only a few years after the area was settled. Alex and family moved to Missouri even before there were cowboys on the plains and many years before the James Gang. When Alex started moving west the fur trappers were in there prime in the west. When Alex and family came to Texas it was a struggling young state with alot of land and not much money.

So when you read or study about people moving west, just remember that your ancestor Alex and family were there and did that.