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Saturday, June 27, 2009

1885 :: Death of Mahala

Background design by Robyn Gough
On this date in our family history . . . the 27th day of June . . . in the year 1885 . . . Mahala Lee Sharp Hall nee Roberts dies on the Hall Plantation in Houston County, Texas . . . this Mahala is a 3rd great-grandma of the Keeper of this family history blog. . . .

Mahala Lee Roberts was born in Washington Parish, Louisiana on 3rd November 1816, the 7th of nine children born to Elisha Roberts (1774-1844) and Martha "Patsy" Gill (1781-1845), who had moved from Kentucky to Louisiana ca. 1811. 

By the time Mahala was 10 years of age her family was living in the Ayish Bayou area of Coahuila y Tejas, where Mahala would grow up in a house that fronted on the public highway (El Camino Real / King's Highway) coming into Texas. The Elisha Roberts home was frequented by many overland travelers, and while known far and wide for its hospitality, there is also a record of a murder or two on Elisha's property -- ca. 1826 or 1827 -- when a Matthias Yokum and his brother-in-law, James Collier, were killed by a man reported to be named Charles Chandler.

During Mahala's teenage years, her father was elected as Alcalde of Ayish Bayou (1831), as well as being a delegate to the 1833 convention at San Felipe de Austin. During the Texas Revolution, this household furnished provisions, lodging and transportation for the revolutionary cause. Mahala was 19 years old at the time of the Battle of the Alamo (1836), and when Gen. Sam Houston was wounded at the Battle of San Jacinto shortly thereafter, he spent a part of his recovery period in the household of our Elisha.

On 22nd March 1838, a 21-year-old Mahala became the wife of John M. Sharp (age & further info unknown at this time). Their son -- Samuel Houston Sharp (1839-1885) -- was born the following year, followed by a daughter in 1840, and sometime after that birth, our John M. Sharp disappears from all records we have been able to research.

In 1844, Mahala's father dies, followed by the death of her sister, Elizabeth, in May of 1845, and then her Mother, Patsy, the following December -- just 9 days before Texas is annexed as the 28th state of the Union. In 1846, Mahala is listed on the tax list for San Augustine County, indicating she is head-of-household. In 1847 her sister, Anna, dies in Austin County.

On the 1850 Census for San Augustine County, Mahala is enumerated as living next door to Lt. Governor John A. Greer. In February of 1851, Mahala marries a much older Joshua James Hall, and they set up housekeeping on the Hall Plantation in Houston County, Texas.

. . . In 1850, he (J. J. Hall) married his third wife, Mahala Roberts Sharp, a widow who came to Houston County before 1835. She was the daughter of Elisha Roberts, an early Spanish Alcalde, of San Augustine, Texas. To this union were born two children, a daughter Roberta, born 25 May 1852, and a son, Horace was born 22 Sep 1854. Both of these children were born on the Elkhart Creek Plantation. Horace was called 'Toby' by the slaves. He was very close to these people and he always included them as his friends. Joshua and Mahala were very fond of dancing. They went into Crockett to dancing school. At their Plantation, they had balls for the benefit of the Confederacy. They were active Methodists in the early Methodist church of Crockett. . . . by Esther M. Biggers nee Hall (great-granddaughter of Joshua & Mahala)

Mahala's life between 1860 and 1866 is documented on a sometimes daily basis in the Civil War-era journal of her stepson and son-in-law, James Madison Hall (1819-1866), who had married Mahala and John's daughter, Margaret Sharp, in 1859. Mahala's son and my 2nd great-grandpa, Sam, marries Mary Alexandrien Lemaire in 1861, who dies in 1876. Mahala's 2nd husband dies sometime after the 1870 census, and her daughter, Margaret, dies ca. 1878.

Mahala is enumerated as the head-of-household on the Hall Plantation at the time of the 1880 census. Other family members in the household are her widowed son, Sam, and his 6 surviving children, including my great-grandma, Berta Mary (1873-1955). It is said that Sam as well as his youngest daughter, Willie, died ca. 1885, which is the same year Mahala died.

The deceased family members listed in the last two paragraphs are buried in the Hall Cemetery in Houston County, Texas, which has been designated by the State of Texas as an official historical cemetery.

FYI . . . I created the collage image of our Mahala by starting with a background paper designed by Robyn Gough. I then used Picasa to select that backround page, plus Mahala's photo, plus a brown backer for the photo, and created a new image using the collage feature. I then used Picasa to add Mahala's name as well as the floral frame (dingbat font) around Mahala's face.

1 comment:

Debby said...

I have enjoyed your post, the card is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

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