The name of this ranch is a familiar one to many from West Texas. I grew up within about 20 miles of the ranch and several of my parents’ friends had either worked or lived on the ranch at one time or another. The eastern boundaries of the very oldest part of the ranch began around Brownfield, Texas and extended to the Pecos River across the current state line, almost to Carlsbad, New Mexico. It originated when a Scotsman named Kennedy learned of the availability of some open land. R. F. Kennedy was to acquire it for the estate of the Earl of Aylesford. The Earl had come to Texas to try and purchase ranch land and had been temporarily been residing in the Big Spring, Texas area. As agent for the Earl, Kennedy consummated the purchase from some local buffalo hunters, one of whom went by the name of “Peg Leg” Whalen, in 1885 using his own funds. However, before Kennedy could be reimbursed for the cost of the land, the Earl unexpectedly died, leaving the ownership in the name of Kennedy.
Monthly Archives: June 2016
There are 254 counties in Texas and 11 of them are named for Alamo defenders: Bailey, Bowie, Cochran, Cottle, Crockett, Dickens, Floyd, King, Lynn, Taylor and Travis counties. Floyd County is one such county. It was named for Dolphin Ward Floyd who is believed to have died on his birthday, March 6, 1836, in Santa Anna’s attack on the Alamo. Ward Floyd was born in North Carolina in 1804 and later moved near Gonzales where he worked as a farmer. In 1832, he married the recently widowed Esther Berry House, a mother of three by her first husband Isaac House, who also lived in Texas.
On March 27, some 21 days after the fall of the Alamo, James Fannin and roughly 345 captured soldiers were executed by Mexican General Urrea at the order of Santa Anna after the fall of the Presidio la Bahia. The bodies of the soldiers were burned.
Out of this story came another one of a Mexican woman who had shown mercy to those who had been captured at other times or feigned death in the massacre. In various accounts, the woman was referred to by several variations of the name, including Alvarez, but for this account, we will use Francita Alavéz or just Señora Alavéz.
Henry Basil Barrow (1874-1957) married Cumie Tabitha Walker (1874-1942) on December 5, 1891. They had seven children:
Elvin Wilson Barrow (1894 – 1947)
Artie Adelle Barrow Keys (1899 – 1981)
Nell May Barrow Francis (1905 – 1968)
Marvin Ivan Barrow (1905 – 1933)
Clyde Barrow (1909 – 1934)
Leon C. Barrow (1913 – 1979)
Lillian Marie Barrow Scoma (1918 – 1999)