• The Homestead's History

    The Colony of Kent

    The Colony of Kent The failed Colony of Kent is a fascinating part of the Woods’ story.  It was here, we believe, that they meant to settle.  We are basing this on a couple of bits of information.  One, Lt. (or Capt.) Charles Finch MacKenzie was in charge of leading their group of settlers.  The Colony of Kent articles included here both indicate that MacKenzie was still engaged with that endeavor when the Woods arrived in the spring of 1851.  Also, the Wood family were taken to Fort Graham, very near the site of the failing/failed colony. The news article below by John Banta indicated that “within a year” the…

  • The Homestead's History

    A Long Way From Home: The Elisha Smith Wyman Story

    Elisha Smith Wyman It is a long way from Maine to Texas, and yet, that is the path of the life Elisha Smith Wyman.  He was born in Livermore, Androscoggin, Maine on May 15, 1811.  His parents were Thomas and Susannah Smith Wyman.  On August 8, 1833, he enlisted in the U. S. Army in Boston, Massachusetts for a three-year term.  By 1846, Elisha Smith Wyman had made his home in present day Hill County. What we know of his military career comes from his enlistment records.  Wyman was stationed at Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma in May of 1836.  On November 2, 1836, he was at Camp Nacogdoches, Texas.  Wyman enrolled…

  • The Homestead's History

    Isabella Wood’s Letter Describing Their Journey to Texas

    Click here to be taken to the Heart of Texas Tales website where the images of the original letter are found. Copy Mrs. Wood’s Letter Received Oct. 1851   Sent away an answer to Mrs. Wood Letter on the 27 Oct 1851 Copy Mrs. Wood’s Letter Ft. Grame Texas America 1st Sept 1851 Dear Mr. & Mrs. Smith. No doubt it will alarm you My writing in place of Mrs. Park, your daughter who died on the 15 June at a Mr. Lamb’s in Leon county on their way up the country 30 miles from the place where I was taken sick and three of my family.  They thought me…

  • The Homestead's History

    James & Isabella Wood and Family

      James and Isabella Wood Scottish immigrants, James and Isabella Wood, arrived in Texas in 1851.  They, and their children, contributed to the success of Hill County and are an important part of Texas frontier history. James Wood (b. 1799) and Isabella Riddell (b. 1806) married in 1830.  They had ten children.  One child, James (their first son to be named James, another would follow) drowned in their native land of Scotland.  When they immigrated to Texas in 1851, they traveled with their nine children: Margaret (b. 1831), Jane Mason (b. 1832), Hugh (b. 1834), Isabella (b. 1835), Christina (b. 1836), Martha (b. 1838), John (b. 1841), Jeanette (b. 1848),…