John Paxton Elliott
Thomas Forbis Elliott
Rebecca Bell Hoyle
William Christopher Elliott
REMARKS: William Christopher, "William", Elliott was born on November
on his father's farm in Cleveland County, North Carolina, the son of
Forbis, "Tommy", Elliott and Rebecca Bell, "Bell", Hoyle. He was the
eleven children, who were born in the following order: Susan Ola,
Tressia, "Sarah"; Mary Forbis, "Mary"; Margaret Gordon, "Mag"; Julia Ann,
"Julia"; Alice Hoyle, "Alice"; John Paxton, "John"; William Christopher,
"William"; Florence Belle, "Florence"; Virginia Wells, "Ginny"; and
Belle, "Belle", Elliott.
On January 17, 1904, William's mother died shortly after giving birth to
In 1908, four years after his mother's death, his father married Carrie
"Carrie", Withrow. William has a half brother, Valentine Jason Elliott,
from his father's second marriage.
The family lore includes many stories about Tommie Elliott's pack of
In his autobiographical notes, William adds to this lore, relating that
father had planned to go fox hunting with Joe Blanton, Walter Lattimore,
Charles Lattimore on the Old Sweasey place; that his father had to send
Stockton, a hired hand, to Cousin Walter's with the hounds because his
had to stay home; and that his father got a son instead of a fox that
William grew up on his father's farm, which was in Number 8 township, near
Polkville, about 12 miles northwest of Shelby, the county seat. He had
relatives in the area. Martin Elliott, who fought in the Revolution,
North Carolina from Virginia in 1806, and his son, John Crenshaw Elliott,
William's great grandfather, purchased 1300 acres on Hinton's Creek in
After John Crenshaw died, his wife deeded the community an acre for the
and an acre for the church. The acre for the school was adjacent to the
for the church.
John Crenshaw had six sons: William Martin, John Paxton, Thomas F., Edward
Donoho, Andrew Jackson, and James Finch Elliott; and four daughers: Susan,
Elizabeth Donoho, Nancy, and Mary F. Elliott. William was descended from
Paxton, who had six sons: Christopher Beam, Thomas Forbis, Oliver Beam,
Daniel, Andrew Jackson, and Robert Lafayette Elliott; and four daughters:
Donoho, Margaret Gordon, Ann Elizabeth, and Susan Elliott.
John Crenshaw and many of his descendants are buried in the Elliott family
cemetery about two miles west of Polkville. The descendants of John
Elliott have a family reunion at the Elliott Church about one mile west of
Polkville on the Saturday preceding the fourth Sunday in August.
The family secretary posts the family trees on the side of the church; the
cousins share their potluck picnic lunch; discuss family business,
operation of the Elliott Cemetery and maintenance of the Elliott Church;
family ties; and refer to the family trees when they want to trace
ships with the many cousins.
According to William's autobiographical notes, written in November 1954,
Thomas Forbis Elliott farm had 140 acres more or less, containing two
four good springs, the family's house, seven small houses for the
hired men, and a tanyard. In his notes, he states that it was a large
with plenty of room and that it was a good warm house for the time.
had a fire place in every room and it had a water pump in the kitchen.
William and the other children went to the one-room, one-teacher Elliott
when the children could be spared from the farm; i.e., from the end of the
cotton-picking season in October until the beginning of the planting
March. School started at 8:00 a.m. and closed at 4:00 p.m. He had to
or more miles to school. In his autobiographical notes, he writes that
fortunate in that he had older sisters and a brother to help him get to
because November, December, January, and February are not always sunny and
warm, and it was possible to get water bound, since they had to cross the
on a foot log.
The Lattimore children, including Lula, Macie, Rhea, and Nancy, also
the Elliott School. Blanche attended it until Fairview school opened in
and the Elliott School closed. On 8/22/93 Blanche related that the
school building was just west of the Elliott church and it was the same
the Elliott Church. She said there was a large wood stove in the middle
room, two rows of desks on each side of the stove, and a blackboard at
of the room. They hung their coats at the back of the room.
They only had three subjects: reading, spelling, and arithmetic. She
have history or English classes until she started school at Fairview.
were no "grades". There were sets of books, and when a student completed
of the books, the student had completed the equivalent of the 7th grade.
students completed them in less than seven years, others took longer.
Although the students were required to recite from time to time, they
studied at their desks at their own pace. On the days that they were
to recite, they sat on the benches in front of the front row of desks and
waited their turn to recite. They normally wrote on tablets.
On 9/21/93, his sister Belle Coble related that there were no public
until Fairview School opened in 1922. The were two private academies in
area: Boiling Springs (now Garner Webb) and Piedmont, near Lawndale.
went to Piedmont. He dropped out because he had a hoarse voice, and he
Callahan, Florida, near Jacksonville, where he worked on the Sauls farm,
they grew pecans and scuppernong grapes.
Although they had church services only once a month, the preachers made up
for it with long sermons. Some of the preachers talked for two hours. In
his autobiographical notes, William wrote that his father always said
preacher should be able to deliver a sermon in an hour to an hour and a
quarter. Everybody said that Cousin Bob Hoyle, a Methodist preacher, and
Cousin Abe Dixon, a Baptist preacher, were the best preachers, because
laid their watches on their Bibles when they started to preach, and they
talked for more than half an hour, which was about the time it took him
William worked on the farm and in his father's tannery. He also helped
harness; worked in the commissary; and traded harness, hides, wool, dry
tobacco, and produce from wagons. His sisters said that he never liked
and that his big complaint was that cotton and corn didn't grow in the
In his notes, he said the tanyard consisted of a tan shop, Beam house, Can
house, hide house, two bark sheds, two lime vats, two bathing pools, four
coloring vats, and a number of tanning vats. A vat is a hole in the
feet deep, four feet wide, and eight feet long, lined with mortar. A
eight feet wide, four feet deep, and eight feet long.
The tanyard was some distance from the house, because the process stinks.
First, the skins are washed and dipped in a lime solution to loosen the
Then the flesh is cut from the underside of the skin, which is spread on a
rounded board, called a beam. Then the skins are soaked in liquid
tannic acid, a brew that is chemically very much like strong tea. The
acid comes from the bark of certain trees, including oak and hemlock
After tanning, the leather is split and shaved to an even thickness. The
leather is then soaked in a solution of dyes. After it comes out of the
(coloring) vats, the leather is drained and run through a wringer to take
the excess water and wrinkles. The skin is then tacked on a big board to
It stretches flat and firm as it dries. After it dries, the rough edges
the tack holes are trimmed. The leather is then "finished" according to
way it is to be used. For example, sole leather is packed firm and solid
According to his notes, after the hides were tanned, the leather was
in the shop where collars, bridles, liners, and full sets of buggy,
plow harness were made, as well as saddles for men and side saddles for
Least, as well as last, they made shoes for the family and leggins for
there was always a bunch of whips to be plated. The collar stuffing shop
a house apart from the rest as they used wheat straw to stuff collars,
was a fire hazard.
The Commissary was a kind of store where the kept the books and such
fat back, corn meal, flour, salt, coffee, and tobacco (plug twist and
both sacked and bulk. There were also dry goods, including jeans, hickory
shirting, factor white cloth, and calico. Kathleen Elliott Lambert has
the old journal where they recorded the business transactions.
Cleveland County is on the East side of the Appalachian Mountains. In the
spring they took the wagons on the road and traded leather goods for
was taken to a mill to be washed, carded, and spun into yarn. In the
they took the wagons into the mountains and traded for feathers, wool, and
hides. In the fall they got the wool yarn from the mill where they had
wool in the spring, and they went into the mountains to trade for
apples, chestnuts, and meat. In the winter the wagons went south and
trade for cloth goods, coffee, and tobacco.
On 9/21/93, William's brother Val related that their father bought and
other farms and had various business interests. Val said they had two
one traded in South Carolina and the other in North Carolina. He also
mill was a combination saw, shingle, corn, and wheat meal. The milling
and wheat was seasonal activity, while the milling of lumber and shingles
year-round activities. Val also related that he was much younger than
and the school year had been extended by the time he started to school.
started in July, closed in August for cotton-picking season, and resumed
October, after the cotton was picked.
In 1911, William went to Florida for his health and lived with the Sauls
family. His health got worse, rather than better, and he went back to
Carolina in March 1912. In September 1912, he went to Oklahoma, stayed
his sister Margatet, "Mag", and her husband, Matt Lattimore. After he
his health, he got a job at the livery stable (in Minco), which was owned
Johnson and Wall.
Mag and Matt had packed up lock, stock, and barrel and headed west to
after the 1909 floods washed away all the crops. On 8/21/93, William's
Belle Coble recalled her brother John and her cousin Coleman Elliott went
Oklahoma on the train with Mag and Matt to help with the children. John
a year, but Coleman returned in six months. A friend had advised Matt to
farmland southwest of Oklahoma City. They took the advice and settled on
Johnson Ranch, eight miles northeast of Minco. Belle recalled Matt and
boarding the train in Lattimore. She also stated that Matt and Mag did
the land when they were living on the Johnson Ranch.
At Christmas 1913, Sam Lattimore and Doc Gold came to visit Matt and Mag,
they told William that his father could not live very long. William
to North Carolina, and his father died in June 1914.
William remained in North Carolina and married Lula, "Lula", Lattimore,
daughter of John Daniel, "John Daniel", Lattimore and Vertie Irene,
Mooney on January 15, 1915. In his autobiographical notes, he remembers
as a rainy Sunday afternoon. Macie, "Macie", Lattimore Covington, Lula's
sister, remembered William coming for Lula in a buggy with two mules.
Coble recalls William hitching two mules up to a buggy. They were
the preacher's house in Polkville, and the preacher came out to the buggy
perform the ceremony. The preacher didn't want Lula to get wet. Belle
recalls William and Lula living at the Elliott house for the rest of the
winter. In the spring, they moved to the mill house.
William's father owned a flour, corn, shingle, and lumber mill and a
house about a mile up Hinton's Creek from the John Daniel Lattimore house,
near the Thomas Forbis Elliott house and tanyard. After their marriage,
they lived in the house, and William operated the mill until it was
in the Big Flood of July 1916.
William's sister Belle thought they were very happy together until the
She remembers them coming to visit in a little red Buick that William had
acquired. The chassis was bare except for two seats and the gas tank.
so exciting, because nobody except their Uncle Bob Elliott and two other
their township owned cars.
The Charlotte Observer reported five dead, eighteen missing, and
railway, telegraph, and telephone communications after a hurricane struck
South Atlantic Coast and caused the worst floods ever known in the area.
his November 1954 autobiographical notes, William recalled the heavy rains
started on the 14th of July; the mill washed out on the 16th; Lula went
labor; and his oldest daughter, Kathleen, was born on the morning of the
The heavy rains didn't end until the 18th.
Kathleen's birth certificate lists their address as Route 1, Hollis, North
Carolina. According to the birth certificate, William was 23, his
was "Miller", Lula was 19, and the attending physician was L. V. Lee, M.D.
Kathleen, who was born two and a half months premature, wasn't expected to
live. They fed her with the blatter from a fountain pen, used her
handerkchiefs for diapers, and put her in the oven to keep her warm.
According to his notes, he took a night millers job for the Colfax Milling
Company in Ellenboro, about nine miles south of Hollis, after they lost
everything in the flood. He worked there for a short time, and then he
told by his doctor that he had miller's tuberculosis or an abcessed lung
that he would have to quit the milling business.
He returned to Oklahoma in September 1916 to "cut leather" (make and
harness. In December 1916, Lula and Kathleen came to Oklahoma on the
accompanied by William's sister Susan, who carried Kathleen, who was
tiny bay, on a pillow, and William started work at the "Johnson & Wall
& Stock Barn" in Minco. This was the beginning of a long association
B. Wall family.
The Railroad Museum at Old Fort, North Carolina, has an old Southern
route map. According to the map, they caught the "Southern Railways"
Lattimore and traveled through Shelby to Blacksburg, South Carolina,
changed trains, getting on the main liner from Charlotte to Atlanta. They
changed trains, catching one that went through Birmingham and Sheffield
of Florence) to Memphis, where they changed to the "Chicago, Rock Island &
Pacific", which went through North Little Rock, Arkansas, and McAlister,
Oklahoma, to get to Oklahoma City.
In January 1917, after Johnson & Wall sold to Bennet & Son, William
a job as a mechanic in Chickasha at Barton Brothers Garage, operated by
and Earl Barton. The job offer came from Earl Barton, who was dating one
Wall's daughters. The family moved from Minco to 216 South Eighth Street
in Chickasha. His oldest son, William C., Junior, "Billie" as a child and
"Bill" as an adult, was born in the Chickasha Hospital on July 17, 1918,
Kathleen's second birthday.
In December 1918, after B. Wall bought out Bennet & Son, the family moved
to Minco, and William went to work for B. Wall in what was then "The Brick
Garage" on Main Street. Later, he acquired an interest in the garage.
purchased the house at Burt and Railroad Streets, next to the B. Wall
and on the same block as the Brick Garage. Later, he purchased the lots
across the street for a garden and cow pasture.
His third child, Vertie Belle, "Vertie" or "V.B.", named for her
Vertie Mauney and Belle Hoyle, was born in November 1921. His fourth
Annie Lou, "Ann", was born in October 1923, the same year he sold 20
land from his father's estate and fixed up the house. According to his
autobiographical notes, he got sick while working on a tractor in August
1924 and had to give up automobile work.
On January 10,1924, Service Battery, 189th Field Artillery, Oklahoma
Guard, moved to Minco, under the command of Captain Thomas W. Brown. The
year he was employed as caretaker mechanic, responsible for maintenance
National Guard armory and equipment. The armory was in the old brick
Main Street. The new armory was built as a WPA project in 1936.
to his discharge certificate, William enlisted in the National Guard on
1925, as caretaker mechanic, with the rank of sergeant. His November 1954
notes state that the physical examination was waived for the good of the
service. His discharge certificate indicates that he was discharged on
1928. Kathleen has his discharge certificate.
Throughout his adult life he made up for his limited formal education
study and by taking correspondence courses, including courses on
repair and other subjects. His specialty was overhauling carburetors,
replacing sparkplugs and points, and adjusting the timing as necessary to
the engine. He also took correspondence courses for the National Guard.
was one of the first people in Minco to have a radio receiver, having
crystal set. Vertie recalls the excitement of listening to country music
headsets. She also recalls her father telling her that he had attended
in the same classroom that she had taken an accounting class at OCW,
College for Women, in Chickasha.
His biograhical notes state that he resigned his job with the National
try research work, with C. W., "Charlie", Lindsay; B. Wall; and Kirk
as his financial backers. Charlie Lindsay was the local agent for the
Island Railroad; B. Wall ran the local Ford garage and had farming
and Kirk Woodworth ran the local hardware store. B. Wall's given name was
"Brun", but he was always called "B. Wall". Even his tombstone says "B.
During this period William developed and patented a number of products,
water pump control equipment, including the control equipment for the
pumps in the municipal water well in Minco. Although they had some
with Cutler-Hammer, which marketed this type of equipment, they never
money off the patents. He was doing business as the "Elliott
Company", and Kathleen Elliott Lambert has one of his business cards. He
developed equipment to convert coal stoves to burn kerosene. He
in the living room stove in the house in Minco, and it was much
Patent Number 1789620, "Liquid-Pressure Controls and Dampening Devices",
issued to William C. Elliott on January 20, 1931. The application for
patent, serial number 265,495, filed on March 28, 1928, described his
invention, a device for starting and stopping electrically driven pumps
supplying water to elevated tanks or standpipes.
Patent Number 1780179, "Adjustable High and Low Pressure Switch Alarms",
issued to William C. Elliott and Earl S. Henry on November 4, 1930. The
application for this patent, serial number 290,237, filed on July 3, 1928,
described their invention, a device for adjustable alarms for electric
controlled and operated by the pressure of oil, liquids or gases, and are
especially adapted for use for alarms and for starters and stoppers of
devices in which electric circuit breakers can be used.
Patent Number 1855880, "Pulsating Pressure Stabilizers", was issued to
C. Elliott on April 26, 1932. The application for this patent, serial
408,084, filed on November 18, 1929, described his invention, a device for
stabilizing the pressure in gauges and in automatic pressure governing
upon a pump line.
The data regarding these patents was copied from the patents, which were
to me on 8/11/93 by Vertie Elliott for review and transmittal to William
Christopher Elliott, III. The documentation for each patent consisted of
patent with an impressive cover with signatures, seals, and ribbons; a
of the device; and a technical description of the invention; and a copy
contents of the Patent Office file with a file wrapper.
His second son, John Thomas, "J.T.", who was named for his grandfathers,
Daniel Lattimore and Thomas Forbis Elliott, was born in January 1925; his
son, Frank Wall, "Frank", was born in February 1927; and his fourth
Julia Mae, "Judy", was born in November 1928. Frank is a common Lattimore
family name. The "Wall" was for B. Wall. Julia is a common family
"Mae" is for a family friend.
In 1929, he remodeled the house and made it modern; i.e., modern
wiring and light fixtures, modern bathroom with hot and cold running
modern kitchen with an electric range and oven. He also rejoined the
Guard and resumed his caretaker mechanic duties.
According to his discharge certificate, which is in Kathleen Elliott
possession, he enlisted in the National Guard on November 1, 1929, as
mechanic with the rank of Master Sergeant. According to his biographical
notes, he passed the physical when he enlisted. He remained in the
Guard until it was mobilized on September 16, 1940.
As caretaker mechanic, his duties included maintenance of the building
equipment in the old armory in the old Brick Garage on Main Stree,
World War I FWD trucks, until the new armory was constructed in 1936 and
trucks were replaced with modern 4-wheel drive trucks and command cars.
made frequent trips to checkup on the construction of the new armory,
constructed by the Works Project Administration (WPA). He also made
the armory in Chickasha and to Oklahoma National Guard headquarters in
City. As caretaker mechanic, he was a civilian employee of the War
As the senior noncommissioned officer, he was responsible for
matters, including preparing the schedules for the weekly drills, the
two-week training periods at Fort Sill, and other activities. Since he
the only full-time employee, he routinely received the mail, read it,
what action was required, and prepared an appropriate response for the
signature. In the process, he became an expert in military regulations
procedures as well as operation and maintenance of the equipment.
His son Charles Lattimore, "Charles" or "Buddy", was born in March 1930;
his daughter Mary Lee, "Mary Lee", was born in June 1931; his daughter
Faye, "Faye", was born in August 1932; his son James Emmett, "James" or
was born in April 1934; and his son Aaron Cornwell, "A.C." or "Aaron", was
born in May 1935. "Charles", "Mary", and "James" are common Elliott and
Lattimore family names. "Lattimore" is Lula's family name. "Lee",
"Emmett" are names in honor of friends.
Although Aaron was named for the attending physician, Dr. Aaron Little of
and Dr. Frank Cornwell Lattimore of Kingfisher, who was called to assist,
"Aaron" is a common Lattimore family name, and both the Elliotts and the
Lattimores are related to the Cornwell family. Dr. Frank Lattimore was
William's nephew, the son of his sister Margaret, "Mag", Lattimore. He
Lula's cousin, the son of her Uncle Matt Lattimore.
All of the children started to school in Minco, and Kathleen, Bill,
Ann, J. T., and Judy graduated from Minco High School. Frank graduated
Abilene High School; Charles and Mary Lee from Killeen High School; and
James, and Aaron from Vian High School. Bill and J.T. played basketball,
baseball, and football in high school, and Ann played clarinet in the
band. Frank and Charles delivered newspapers.
William continued his research activities in his spare time, developing
patenting miniature field artillery pieces. The spring powered
designed to fire ball bearings at miniature targets in a sand box 20 feet
using a scale of one inch to 10 yards.
The miniature guns and targets allowed field artillery officers to look
miniature targets through their regular field artillery sights, observe
impacting "shells", and order the "fire" to be moved up or down and right
left, using conventional field artillery fire control procedures. The
barrel" version allowed them to practice "spotting fire" from individual
artillery pieces, and the "four barrel" version allowed them to spot fire
He demonstrated the miniature field artillery pieces at Fort Sill and, in
at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The demonstrations were well received
neither the National Guard nor the Regular Army could afford to use "live"
ammunition for training in peacetime.
The 1930s were tough years, and it wasn't just the depression. After
years of drought, Oklahoma was part of the "Dust Bowl". In the fall, the
blowing dust was so bad that they kept the windows closed, even on hot
keep out the blowing dust. Many farmers abandon their farms, packed up,
moved to California in hopes of finding a better life. Fortunately,
had a "good Government job" with a regular pay check.
Although they didn't have much time for leisure activities, William had
the Masonic Lodge, and Lula was a member of the Eastern Star. Lula went
church regularly, and encouraged the children to do so. William
played dominos with his friends, but most of the time he was busy at the
or taking care of things around the house. Their little free time was
listening to the radio and reading.
William liked fine cars. Although he could never afford a new one, he
work on them. He kept banker's car tuned up, and, when the banker bought
car, William usually managed to buy the old one. In the early '30s he
1928 Lincoln town car, later he acquired a 1935 Hudson Terraplane, then
the banker's 1937 Chrysler Imperial, which he drove until the new cars
out after the war, and he acquired a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr.
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and the Russians invaded
on September 17th. After Poland was partitioned, the Russians forced
Latvia, and Lithuania to accede to their demands, and then attacked
After Finland capitulated and the Germans invaded Norway and Denmark,
and France entered the war. The Germans invaded the Netherlands and
in May 1940 and started their drive for the Channel. France fell in
the Battle of Britain started in August 1940. It was evident that the
States would sooner or later enter the war.
Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which was signed on September
1940, authorizing the first peacetime military conscription in American
In addition to drafting men for one year's service, the National Guard was
mobilized. The local unit was mobilized as Service Battery, 189th Field
Artillery Battaltion, 45th Division, with 16 officers and noncommissioned
officers (including one Captain, one First Lieutenant, two Second
an attached Master Sergeant, one First Sergeant, one Technical Sergeant,
Staff Sergeants, four Sergeants, and three Corporals); 12 Privates First
24 Privates; and 34 Recruits. The unit moved to Fort Sill, about 60 miles
south soutwest of Minco, and remained there until after Pearl Harbor,
maneuvers at Camp Polk, Louisiana, in 1941, when the Army experimented
evolving war plans and tactics.
William became a Master Sergeant in the Army of the United States with
of rank of November 1, 1929, upon mobilization. There were very few
Sergeants, the highest enlisted rank, in each Division. William had this
because he was the "Battalion Motor Sergeant", attached to Service
Normally, the "First Sergeant" is the senior noncommissioned officer in
field artillery batteries and infantry companies. After the unit arrived
Fort Sill, William operated the motor pool.
His son Bill joined the unit with the rank of Private shortly before it
mobilized and was promoted to Corporal after the division arrived at Fort
the complement was increased from 42 to 76, and they were authorized
noncommissioned officers. Bill was promoted to Sergeant when the original
Supply Sergeant was discharged. Father, son, and most of the division
the winter of 1940-41 in tents. The family remained in Minco. Since it
so close, father and son got three-day passes and came home about once a
In April 1942, William was transferred to Camp Barkley, Texas, about 15
southwest of Abilene. Bill went to Officers Candidate School at Camp Lee,
Virginia; was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps
graduation in May 1942; and was assigned to duty with the Army Air Corps.
MUCH OF THIS RESEARCH IS FROM MERGED RECORDS.
TO INSURE ACCURACY YOU WILL NEED TO VERIFY THE DATA BUT YOU WILL KNOW WHERE TO START. I HOPE IT IS OF SOME HELP.