8 Nov 1840 - 8 Dec 1919
Burnet's Battalion, First Texas Sharpshooters
By Dr. Bill George
My Great-grandfather William Huddle was born in Wythe county, Virginia, November 8, 1840. He was son of John Huddle, a Virginian. John was a son of Gideon Huddle of Pennsylvania. William Huddle's mother was Margaret Wisley, also of Virginia. William was the eldest of four children, William, Isaac, Jacob and Robert.
The family came to Lamar county Texas in 1855.
William married Nancy Angeline Huddle (Lamar Co. Marriage Record Book 3, p. 116). Her last name was Huddle and was a cousin of William. She was the daughter of Stephen and Mary A. (Boyd) Huddle. They were married 19 February, 1861 in Lamar County, Texas.
In July, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Alexander's Second Texas regiment of calvary and served west of the Mississippi. He was in the Quartermaster's department. He then transferred to Captain Smith's Company C, First Texas Sharpshooters in the Indian Department under General Sam Bell Maxey. We were told that this Battalion was one of Maxey's favorites. My Grandmother, Berta Huddle Hathaway said that her Daddy was a blacksmith and therefore, the most important soldier in the Company. He took care of the horses. He was paroled May 30, 1865.
Mr. Huddle was a member of the Albert Sydney Johnson Camp No. 70 of Confederate Veterans. The United Daughters of the Confederacy Lamar Chapter #258 awarded the Cross of Military Service to William on Feb. 1, 1904 for his service as Private, Co. C, 2nd Regiment, Texas Volunteers.
His home overlooked the city lake [of Paris], now Lake Gibbons. He sold the land to the city of Paris to build the lake in 1899. He had named the community Hopewell after Hopewell in his native Virginia.
Mr. and Mrs. Huddle were both members of the Methodist Episcopal church South. His chair was never vacant during the 35 years of service in the district conference.
Mr. Huddle died at is home near Hopewell, December 8, 1919 and was buried in the Hopewell Cemetery.
THE PARIS NEWS
Tuesday, December 10, 1919
"William Huddle, one of Lamar county's oldest and most highly esteemed farmers and citizens, died at 10:40 o'clock Sunday night at his home at Hopewell, six miles northwest of Paris. He was a sufferer from Bright's disease and had been in failing health for two years.
He was born in Wytheville, Va., November 8, 1840, and was in his eightieth year. He moved with his parents from his native state when he was a boy sixteen years old. They located near the present site of the city lake, and when he married in 1861 he moved to the farm adjoining his father where he had resided continuously for fifty-eight years at the time of his death. This year he made his fiftieth crop. Besides being a farmer he was a blacksmith, he having learned the trade in Virginia, and ran a shop all the time that he farmed. He was also one of the oldest ginners in the county. When he first started ginning he used oxen to pull the levers. He also had a mill to grind wheat at the gin.
During the Civil War he made nails and shod horses for the army part of the time and served as a soldier part of the time. He was a hard worker all of his life and was regarded by those who knew him as one of the best men who lived in Lamar county.
He was for many years a faithful member of the Methodist church and was a steward for forty years. It was exceedingly rare that he failed to attend the annual conference.
He is survived by his wife and by three sons and two daughters. Two of the sons, W. E. and J. C. Huddle, are farming in the Hopewell community and the third son, Dr. G. H. Huddle, lives in Dallas. The daughters are Mrs. J. V. Caviness of Caviness and Mrs. J. C. Hathaway of Brookston. He also leaves several grandchildren.
Texas Historical Commission Medallion marker on his home reads:
"William Huddle Home - Built by William Huddle, owner-operator of cotton gin and grist mill. He came to Texas from Virginia in 1855. First house, built in 1870's, was destroyed by fire. This one built in 1880's has same floor plan--the ell-shape typical of farm houses in mid-19th century. Has 7 doors opening onto galleries on 3 sides. Heat is from 3 fireplaces on ground floor. Contains no closets. Water supply was cistern at rear. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1968."
The following is the application and background summary for the Texas Historical Commission marker on the Huddle home written by Mrs. Morrison George, February 3, 1968. William Huddle Home - Hopewell community, Lamar County, Texas (now in 1968, owned by a grand-daughter, Mrs. Morrison George, 607 Clarksville, Paris.)
This is a late nineteenth-century house situated on ten acres on the south side of Lake Gibbons, about seven miles northeast of Paris. It is a story-and-a-half frame farm house built by William Huddle, probably in the late 1880s. William Huddle is not to be confused with his cousin, William Henry Huddle, prominent nineteenth-century Texas artist. The house was built before the construction of Lake Gibbons, formerly the water supply for the City of Paris. Mr. Huddle sold the acreage to the city for the lake (per minutes of City Council 1-10-1898 in Minute Book #D, page 297), retaining ten acres surrounding his existing home. This ten acres today remains the only privately-owned property between Lake Gibbons and FM Road #2820. Gambill Game Preserve is on the north side of the lake and Camp Gambill (Girl Scouts) on the east.
"In 1862 William (Huddle) enlisted in the Second Texas Cavalry and was later transferred to Smith's company of Texas sharpshooters under Sam Bell Maxey in Indian Territory. Returning from the wars he turned his attention to making a living and so well did he succeed by steady work that before his death he was the owner of 900 acres of land and operated a gin and grist mill and baled hay from his meadows." (Ruins of the boiler of the cotton gin still remain east of the house).
The original home of William Huddle on this site was build in the early 1870s, deed of the property to him of record in Lamar County, Book V, page 330, 1-9-1871. Other lands deeded to Huddle appear in Book 131, pages 44 and 45, dated 2-3-1867. The first Huddle home was destroyed by fire, probably in the late 1880s. Mr. Huddle immediately rebuilt the present house on the same location and after the same floor plan as the original. It has undergone two restorations with no changes in the original structure. Built in the L-shape typical of farm houses of that era in this locality, it has seven doors opening onto galleries on three sides of the house. Heat is from three fire-places on the ground floor, and in order to conserve this heat, there are no connecting doors between the downstairs front rooms. There are no closets in the house. The two upstairs bedrooms were allotted to the children of the family, one for boys and one for girls. A large collection of square nails has been accumulated during recent repairs to the house. Water supply was from a cistern at the rear of the house, and the original well-house has been restored. William Huddle died in December, 1919, and his wife a few months later. Before his death, he deeded his property to his five living children and the home place when to a son, W. E. Huddle (Lamar Co. deed records, Book 185, page 33, 10A, "ten acres of W. H. Hobbs survey being homestead tract of William Huddle," dated 11-5-1919. W. E. Huddle subsequently sold his property and it remained outside the family until William Huddle's daughter, Mrs. J. C. Hathaway and her husband, bought it in 1931 (Book 232, Page 390, Lamar County Deed Records, 10-10-1931). They did an extensive restoration with repairs to chimneys and foundations at that time. At the death of Mr. and Mrs. Hathaway, the property came into the hands of the present owners, their daughter, Mrs. Morrison George and Mr. George.
Verification of the exact age of the house is unobtainable but the following persons can attest to the fact that the house was built in the late nineteenth century: Mr. J. M. Caviness, 559 Church, Paris; Mr. M. Otto Stephens, Rt. 2, Sumner; Mrs. Linnie Cloud, 516 4th NW, Paris; Mr. Louis Huddle, Rt. 1, Sumner.
Editors Note: William Huddle does not appear in the US National Archives microfilm M323-260 & 261 - Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in the Organizations from the State of Texas, Burnett’s Battalion First Texas Sharpshooters. However, this does not prove that he did not serve with the unit in that the unit’s written records are incomplete and stop in 1863, two years before the end of the war.
©Ron Brothers and Dr. Bill George, 2006. All Rights Reserved