The Braswell Book Table of Contents



William Francis BRASWELL was born August 28, 1870 in Barren Plains, Tennessee. In those early pioneer days, many children did not receive a formal education, therefore William received very little while growing up. He had to help support the family as his father was an invalid. So great was his desire to be able to read the Bible, that he studied with his own children under the supervision of his good wife. How he rejoiced when he was able to read a chapter. He always enjoyed his Bible and studied it daily. He was a devout Christian. Throughout his long life he maintained his family alter and each morning and evening had family worship. In these seasons of prayer he began with the eldest child and prayed for each by name. He became a minister and pastored churches of the Nazarenes in Texas towns. He was always assisted by Ada who he called "Doll". He was proud and thankful of his religious heritage, and often told his family about one of his grandparents who refused to "swear in court" and was punished. In the WILLIAM AND MARY QUARTERLY pg. 170, from the Assessors Book for WILLIAM FRANCIS BRASWELL 1778 Isle of Wight County, Virginia, it is stated, "The following persons were classed as "recussants", who had declined or neglected to take the oath of allegiance to the State, and were therefore subjected to double taxes: WILLIAM BRASWELL, Rev., William Duncan, William Hollowell, William Outland, Thomas Scott, George Scott, Josiah Outland, Dick Bowzer, Thomas Bowzer."

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(mother's maiden name V. Scroggs)




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William Francis was twenty-four when he participated in the Oklahoma Land Run which started at noon on April 22, 1889. He settled in Cleveland County where he met and married Ada Bertha WAGNER, a woman of good sense, humor, and education on August 29, 1895. They were married in her father's house. William and Ada had sixteen children (eight boys and eight girls) the first nine of which were born in the Oklahoma Territory prior to it's obtaining statehood on November 16, 1907. To support a family of this size required a lot of hard work, planning, and sacrifice, but the parents managed to rear fifteen of those children to maturity. They lived in many places during those years, Oklahoma Territory, Territory of New Mexico, and Texas. After the children were grown and married Ada and William BRASWELL lived in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Here they found living easy. They always had a good garden and fresh fruit.

They bought a place in Carrizo Springs, Texas, and it was here they spent the last few years of his life. They made trips to Amarillo, Brownwood, and southern California. William died May 30, 1951, in Carrizo and was buried in the Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas.

After the death of her husband, Ada BRASWELL sold her home and lived with some of her children- sometimes in Texas and then in California. The last few years of her life were spent in a convalescent home in Pomona, California. The home was operated by one of her sons, Audrey Lee and his wife Verna. This was a new experience for her, but she had always been able to adjust herself to any and all circumstances. She was happy here and seemed to enjoy being with others, listening to their problems, and giving advice and comfort.

Her life with William had been rich and blessed with many joys as well as sorrows, but she was able to be happy where-ever she was. Throughout her life, Ada was always busy- sewing, cooking, gardening, canning , teaching, attending church, and reading. In 1965 she suffered a severe stroke and lingered only a few days. January 7, 1965, she passed away surrounded by several of her children. Services were conducted for her in her own church in Pomona before the last long trip was made to Amarillo where she was laid to rest next to her beloved husband.

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About 1949 at Art & Effie's home, Redlands, California



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WILLIAM FRANCIS and ADA BERTHA (WAGNER) BRASWELL had sixteen children- eight boys and eight girls. All the children, with the exception of the baby, Ada Mildred, lived to marry and have families of their own.

1. Harvey Leonard BRASWELL, the eldest of WILLIAM and ADA's children, was born June 3, 1896, in Noble, Oklahoma Territory. In 1916, Harvey Leonard married Viola Jane Jackson, who was born February 28, 1898, in Taft, Texas. Viola raised the children with the help of her friends the McIntyres. She loved music and especially enjoyed singing in Church and taught her girls to harmonize at an early age. Viola died in Tulsa, Oklahoma, November 13, 1988, and is buried in the Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Harvey Leonard and Viola's children:

Leonard's second marriage was to Eva Belle Harper of Amarillo. In 1931 Eva was killed in a car accident and is buried in Clarendon, Texas. Their sons:

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Harvey Leonard's third marriage was to Sarah Ethel (SMITH) Gray who was born March 16, 1902, in Goldthwaite, Texas. Sarah Ethel was the daughter of George William and Adelia Lee (COLEMAN) SMITH. She was an accomplished pianist, and she supported her husband in his ministry. Sarah Ethel had two children from a previous marriage, Adelia Ruth (Gray) Sims, and Elmer C. Gray, both of whose information will be found in the book on the Smiths currently being researched. Harvey Leonard BRASWELL died on his eighty-fourth birthday, June 3, 1980, after a long illness, and was buried June 6, 1980, in The Garden of The Resurrection, Green Acres Memorial Park, Bloomington, California. Sarah Ethel spent the next eleven years with her daughter, Ramona McClure and enjoyed visiting her other children. On March 6, 1991, she joined her beloved husband. Sarah Ethel was buried with her husband in the Green Acres Memorial Park, Bloomington, California, on March 11, 1991. The children of Leonard and Ethel BRASWELL:

2. Julia Elsie BRASWELL was born March 17, 1898, in Noble, Oklahoma Territory. She married Claude Houston 1917, in Farwell, Texas. For many years they lived in Houston where Claude worked in construction. Claude died 1969, and was buried in the South Memorial Park Cemetery in Houston. After Claude's death, Julia Elsie lived with her daughters, three months with Rosa and three months with Evelyn until 1985, she spent her last years with Evelyn in Rosharon, Texas. Julia passed away July 12, 1989, and was buried in the South Memorial Park Cemetery. Julia and Claude's children:

3. Maggie Mae and Sallie Virginia were twins, born the 4th of July, 1899, in Kiowa County, Oklahoma Territory. Maggie was the oldest. In many respects the girls were alike. They married cousins, and though often hundreds of miles apart, would select the exact dresses. Maggie Mae will be given first as she was the eldest twin. She married Emery Stoops on the March 17, 1920. Emery was born December 16, 1895, in Springfield, Missouri. His parents were Emery Grant and Nora Evaline (Pernale) Stoops. Emery served in World War I. For many years he was employed by Santa Fe Railroad. Emery died April 29, 1971, in the Veteran's Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. He was buried in the Llano Cemetery, Amarillo, Texas. He and Maggie Mae had three children:

4. Sallie Virginia BRASWELL, the younger twin, was first married to a cousin of Emery Stoops- the husband of Maggie Mae. 1918, she married Clifford Stoops. Clifford was the son of Perry Alonzo and Elizabeth (Dreziel) Stoops, and had one brown eye and one blue eye. He was employed by the Electric Power Company until his death in 1933. He was killed while working on the highline. Sallie and Clifford had five children:

5. Roy Bennett BRASWELL was born March 10, 1901, in Sentinel, Oklahoma Territory. On March 30, 1930, he married Hattie Irene French, daughter of the Reverend Luther Ward and Mary Hattie (Williamson) French. Irene was born January 12, 1899, in Nolanville, Texas. Roy and Irene earned their B.A. degrees 1936, Howard Payne College, Brownwood, Texas, and their M.A. 1947, West Texas State College, Canyon Texas. They both did graduate work in Texas Tech; Arizona University, Tucson, Arizona; Arizona State, Tempe, Arizona; and Texas University, Austin, Texas. After teaching more than thirty years they retired from teaching and for the next few years taught in the public schools on the Navaho Indian Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico, and the Apache Indian Reservation in Cibicue and Maverick, Arizona. Roy died suddenly Thursday, March 17, 1988, and was buried in the Eastlawn Memorial Park, Brownwood, Texas. All the BRASWELLS will be forever in their debt for their dedication in preserving the family history, and their generosity in sharing this information with all who were interested. Roy and Irene BRASWELL had one son:

6. William Franklin BRASWELL was born 1902, in Sentinel, Oklahoma Territory. His first marriage was to Ora Richey, daughter of Mac and Susie Richey of Tahoka, Texas on 1924. Ora was born 1908. Their children:

William's second marriage was to Francis and they had three children:

William Franklin made his home in old Mexico and has been living there for the past twenty to twenty-five years.

7. Mary Edna BRASWELL was born 1904, Sentinel, Oklahoma Territory. Her first marriage was to Alfred Eloy Burdine, son of S.A. Burdine, on Christmas Day, 1922. Eloy was born July 7, 1901, Cottle County, Texas. They were divorced in December of 1939. Eloy died in 1962. Edna and Eloy had three sons and one daughter:

Edna BRASWELL Burdine taught several years in the public schools of Amarillo. She greatly enjoyed her teaching. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from West Texas State University, Canyon, Texas. She majored in Primary Education, and minored in Music. She is an accomplished musician. "Mama taught us piano and organ. Later Julia took lessons on piano and violin. Maggie played the violin in Symphony and Sallie played the mandolin and guitar. I being the younger, not so busy at home, grabbed mandolin, guitar, old pedal organ and piano. Music and singing was our entertainment during our home life. We all worked hard together and played just as hard." Edna still plays piano for Order of the Eastern Star. After retiring from teaching, she married Norman Bridewell of Texhoma, Oklahoma. They were married 1967. Norman and Edna live in Texhoma and are very active in civic and church activities.

8. Audrey Lee BRASWELL was born 1905, in Sentinel, Oklahoma Territory. He married Verna Cordelia Sisk, Tahoka, Texas. She was the daughter of John and Agnes (Ryan) Sisk of Slayton, Texas. She was born 1905. Audrey received his Th.B. from Bethany College, Bethany, Oklahoma. He and Verna have pastored Nazarene churches in Texas, Oklahoma and California. He is a builder and has built twenty-eight churches and parsonages in Guatemala and established hospitals in California. Audrey and Verna's children:

9. Lela Etta BRASWELL was born 1907, Beaver County, in the Oklahoma Strip, Oklahoma Territory. Lela was just two months old when Oklahoma became a state 1907. 1924, she married Elmer Richey, brother of Ora Richey who married William Franklin BRASWELL, he was born 1906, in Texas. Elmer passed away February 20, 1988, in North Highlands, California. Lela and Elmer's children:

10. Clovis Walter BRASWELL was born February 26, 1909, in Clovis, Territory of New Mexico. He married Josephine "Jody" Autrey of San Antonio, Texas. Clovis died July 15, 1987, in Martinez, California and is buried in the Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Concord, California. Jody died March 25, 1983, in Pittsburg, California. Clovis and Jody's children:

11. Nathaniel Ross BRASWELL was born 1911, in Clovis, Territory of New Mexico. 1931, he married Cassie Augusta Virdell, daughter of John Thomas and Helen V. (Cloer) Virdell. Cassie was born 1911, San Saba, Texas. Their children:

12. Arthur Beale BRASWELL was born August 9, 1912, in Clovis, New Mexico (New Mexico became a state in January of 1912). He married Effie Belle Laird, daughter of Oscar Sylvester and Nancy Pearl (Couch) Laird, October 28, 1933. Art died October 13, 1986, in Canyon Lake, California and is buried in the Hillside Memorial Park, Redlands, California. Art and Effie's children:

13. Erma Ruth BRASWELL, born 1914, Clovis, New Mexico. Her first marriage was to Charles Perry Laird- brother of Effie Laird who married Arthur Beale. Charles was born 1911. Ruth and Charles had one daughter:

Ruth's second marriage was to William Guyer. They had one daughter:

Ruth's third marriage was to Toby Buster of Junction, Texas. Ruth died June 3, 1962, in San Antonio and is buried in the Junction Cemetery. Ruth and Toby had one son:

14. Byron Vance "B.V." BRASWELL was born January 3, 1916, Hobart, Oklahoma. He married Stella Mae Warf March 8, 1940. B.V. died September 26, 1986, in Michigan. Their children:

15. Anna Marie BRASWELL was born 1918 in Roosevelt, Oklahoma. She married Fred Clems 1936. Marie was killed in a car accident May 14, 1944, in Corpus Christi, Texas, and is buried in Corpus Christi. Marie and Fred had one son:

16. Ada Mildred BRASWELL, the youngest child of William Francis and Ada BRASWELL, was born July 6, 1920, and died September 17, 1920, at the age of two months and twelve days. She was buried in the Roosevelt Cemetery, Roosevelt Oklahoma. She was the only one of the sixteen children who did not reach maturity.