US Post Office McLeod,TX est 1937

The Road to East Texas

Our Family Re-union

Eds. Debra Buster & Nedra Chandler

The Road to East Texas, Our Family Re-Union celebrates our family's history in East Texas. To request copies of Issues 7 please email request to the Editor at bottom of this page.

John Parker, Revolutionary War Patriot and Sarah Gordy

Alabama Bound Thomas M. Harris and Martha Almand

Gone to Texas Joel C. Harris & Paulena Moore

Issue 1: Joel Chandler Harris and Paulena Elizabeth Moore

Issue 1A: Susie Ida Harris & Luther Noah Parker and James Edward Swearengin

Issue 2: John Wesley Swearengin & Mary Frances Bowen

Issue 3: Grover Cleveland Harris & Margot Swearengin

Issue 4: Arrie Myrtle Harris & Harvey Broome & Joe Lewis

Issue 5: Alonzo David Harris & Ida Harris

Issue 6: A Tribute Alma Augusta Parker & Solomon Long

Issue 7: A Tribute Nora Willie Mae Parker & James B. Forbes

The Unveiling,

The Unveiling, a Memorial Service held for Luther Noah Parker of Woodmen of the World Lodge 2228, known as Herring School Camp at Bivens, Cass Co. TX, 1909. Susie Ida (Harris) Parker seated with her sister-in-law Willie Long Parker and John Powell Parker. Susie surrounded by her children. Eunice, Alma, Verna (on the left). Nora "Willie" Mae (on the right) and Morris Luther on her lap. Standing on her left, is her brother-in-law George Parker.

To 6 Steps to Writing a Successful Gen Query

Issue 8: John Thomas Harris

Issue 9: John F. Moore & Elizabeth Hodnett


Issue 12: Julia Harris

To Alabama History on-line

To Acadian Origins

To Railroading History

To Connect with Surnames and the CWS Web Ring

Point Lookout Civil War POW camp

National Archives--Regional

ToMore MASK Reseach

To Family Trees, of East Texas

To TSDAR Home Page

To Yahoo!Club "Cass Co Texas"

To USGENWEB Cass Co Texas


To Moore Family News

To Hodnett/Moore Research


To Liberty A Revolution-Game

Grover Cleveland Harris sitting on Barrel at the Barrel Stave Factory in Bloomburg

Sugarcane harvest--Terry, Grover C. Harris, Talmadge Head, John Westbrook.



1944 Graduating Class of McLeod High School Mildred Perry, Herschel Williams, Doris Faye Forbes, Una Peacock, Rosa Lee Wade, Ula, Janet Bumgardner, Dorothy, Dorothy Lee Daniels, Melba Lee Moore, S E Long Jr, Doris, Marie

Working in the Rodessa Oil field.

They wagon, by train,......they came west.......from Alabama, Georgia, & Louisiana.

The Joel Harris and Elisha Parker families left established farms in Alabama to grasp new roots in a small corner of the Piney Woods of East Texas. The end of the Civil War brought devastating economic changes to the South. The Reconstruction Years following the Civil War, failed return the previous economic success to Alabama and Georgia. Farms were lost because of high taxation, neglect during the war, and mostly, a lack of confidence in the old agricultural institution. Concern that farmers could not rebound in the aftermath of Emancipation. This led to a new institution of tenant farming. As a result, the numbers of tenant farms began to rise and soon became the norm. However, new promise and hope awaited those who would dare to take a chance on beginning anew, in the Piney Woods of East Texas.

Greater promise of prosperity was offered by the shear vastness of the Texas landscape. Texans who had settled earlier were not beyond the grasp of War's revenge, they suffered during and for some time after the War between the States. The Reconstruction Years in Texas were faulty in political theory, fallible in practice and subject to great abuses by the Carpetbaggers in power. However faulty, progressive development of East Texas came with swift railroad expansion of the 1870's and 1880's and discovery of the noble pine.

East Texas was a central hub, connecting many east-west and north-south railroad lines. The building of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company in 1873, through Cass County was responsible for the establishment of several Cass County towns and ultimately for the success of the mining and lumber industries. Atlanta, named for its many Georgia folks, was established in 1872 on the T&P line and served as a hub for railway traffic. In 1877, Queen City was established on the T&P line, and became a mining town when resources of iron ore were discovered. Bivens was established when JK and Frank H Bivens built 2 sawmills on the T&P line in the early 1880's. It became a shipping center for farmers and lumbermen. Hughes Springs named for Reece Hughes an early settler, was formally established off the East Line & Red River Railroad and served its area as a supply center down the line from Atlanta.

By the end of 1880, Jay Gould, infamous railroad magnate, had acquired several of the railroad companies operating in Texas. He developed the southern railroad system, mainly operating under the Missouri Pacific Railroad name, crisscrossing the most northeast corner of Texas bringing entrepreneurs like Temple and Kirby, to the vast untapped resources of East Texas pine forests. With railway access, lumbering became the number one industry.

This was the beginning of the 'bonanza era' for East Texas lumber companies, peaking by the early 1890's. The prevailing policy of noted lumber magnates of the day was "cut and get out". There were no laws on selective harvesting of the noble pine. Mass harvesting of the great pine forests were quick. The East Texas pines were known to be 150 feet tall and 5 foot in diameter or more. A sight I would never have the opportunity to see. And, within a few years the lumber companies were ready to "get out" and sell the land they had plundered.(Sources, The New Handbook of Texas, Texas Historical Society. 1996. Various works of Robert S. Maxwell.)

New opportunities opened for families seeking new beginnings. And here, my Mother's family's journey began, down 'the road to East Texas' from Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana.

The earliest members of our family to arrive in East Texas were Joel Harris and Paulena Moore. Their daughter Susie Ida Harris was my great-grandmother. They brought their family by train from Chambers County, Alabama, in 1889-1890. There were cousins, John W. Megginson, and Tom Roberson and other family already settled in Texas. ;Joel and Paulena settled in Bloomburg, Cass County. They also had holdings in Queen City. Paulena's sister, Minnie Moore and Benjamin H. Hammock Jr. soon followed and settled in Bloomburg.

Elisha Parker and T. Henrietta Searcy and five of their sons, John, Luther Noah, George, Charles, and Thomas came to Texas in 1893 by wagon from Butler County, Alabama. Luther Noah Parker, my great-grandfather, married Susie Ida Harris. At least one of Elisha's brothers, Benjamin Wilson Parker preceded him to Texas, about 1888. Elisha's uncle Peter Parker & Ann Tool Parker were already settled in Shelby Co. TX. Their arrival was around 1844. Elisha's cousins Noah B. Parker, Peter Parker, Wilson Ashley Parker, and Miles Sessions Parker were also early East Texas settlers. (ed. Debra Buster)

My earliest Family ties to Cass County, Joel C. Harris (1856-1929) & Paulena Elizabeth Moore (1860-1921); Elisha Parker (1831-1909) & T. Henrietta Searcy (1844-1907); John Wesley Swearengin & Mary Frances Bowen,

The Road to East Texas is mostly a quarterly issue. Keep in mind it is a hobby, also, an as "spare time" allows proposition. There are eight issues to date and most of the information is documented through biographical research, however, not all of the information is documented by certified source. This was intended as a vehicle to solicit interest in family heritage by sharing family stories, memories, events and general information.

Active Research about Thomas M. Harriss and Martha Almand and their son Isham David Harris and Julia Elizabeth King Megginson can be found in Issues 5,6,&7.

See our newest information on Paulena Moore's parents and siblings in Issue 9. Her father was John F. Moore and her mother was Elizabeth Hodnett.

Our Family Researchers


Related Family Surnames


Debra Buster

Parker Harris, Parker-Searcy, Parker-Eddyn/Eddyns/Eddings, Parker-Gordy,

East Texas, Alabama, Georgia, N. Carolina, Maryland and Deleware.

Nedra Chandler

Harris-Swearengin, Swearengin-Bowen, Swearengin-Chandler, .,Swearengin-Corely, Corley-Paul.

Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia,

Becky Fayazzi

Parker, Sexton,

East Texas, Alabama, Georgia,

Debra Buster

Harris/Harriss-Parker, Harris-Moore, Moore-Hodnett/Hodney, Harris-Megginson-Mask-Barr, Harriss-Almand, Harriss-Lansford, Harriss-Rickles

East Texas, Alabama, Georgia, N.Carolina, Va.

Debra Buster

Parker-Forbes, Forbes-Pittman, Forbes-Murphy, Murphy-Buster,

Murphy-Evetts, Goodwin, Murphy-Coon

Buster-Erickson, Erickson-Darby, Darby-Spyrer, Darby-Loisel, Darby-Pellerin, Darby-Segre


Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, VA




Rev. E. Strong



Betty Mitchell



Blest be the tie that binds, our hearts in Christian love

John Fawcett 1740-1817

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Created May 30, 1997, last update August 26, 2001.

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