Auld wedding – 130 years ago
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Originally published on 15 Sep 2011.
It was 130 years ago that my maternal great-grandparents, Alexander Kennedy Auld, who was born 14 Nov 1852, in Paisley Road, Glasgow, Scotland and Susanna Lowrance Gibbens, who was born 12 Mar 1857, in Little Rock, Arkansas, were married on 14th day of September 1881, in Kerrville, Kerr County, Texas.
Their marriage certificate was issued under the seal of office on the 12th day of September 1881, by A. McFarland, Clerk of County Court. They were joined in marriage by W. A. Gibbens, J.P. Precinct 1, Kerr County on 14th day of September 1881. Mr. Gibbens was distant kin to Susanna’s first husband.
Alex came to America at the age of 25, from his homeland of Scotland on the ship “Spain”; landing in New York on 28th Aug 1878, and then through the port of Galveston.
Alex is in the 1880 United States Federal Census in Precinct 1, Kerr, Texas at age 27, living as a boarder with Cornelius G. Peterson and wife, Mary A. Peterson and their two children, Thomas and Kate at Turtle Creek and listed as farmer and he was buying and running cattle. He also worked as an apprentice surveyor for Adolph Rosenthal where he was taking pay in land on the “Divide”.
At the same time, Susanna was living just 5 doors down from the widow of Joshua D. Brown, Sarah Brown and her children the youngest Potter Brown, age 9. Susie as she was known, was age 23 and already a widow and living with her mother Leah Ann Thompson Lowrance with Susie’s second born child, Mary Ida “Dollie” Gibbens and Susie’s younger siblings. Susie lost her first born child, James Alfred Gibbens at the age of 5 days and her husband, William Alfred Gibbens died on 29 Jul 1879; said to have been an accident while grinding meal at a grist mill or could have been drilling a water well. Both are buried at the Starkey Cemetery in front of Walmart in Kerrville, Texas.
The newly married couple and her daughter Dollie Gibbens moved to the Auld Ranch headquarters on the Divide below a high bluff to the north and a flowing spring. The Auld ranch was in Bandera County about 12 miles above the town of Leakey, Texas. In 1913, the county became Real County. They constructed a home of pinion pine logs cut from the ranch becoming one of the largest log homes in Texas. (Update: Dan Auld donated this log cabin to the Botanical Gardens in San Antonio in 1976 and can be seen there today.)
Near the house were the horse barns, corn crib, and Auld Ranch School. The only fences on the ranch were at the headquarters; the corrals were built of six-foot high cedar posts and a four-foot high dry-stacked rock fence surrounded the corn fields, garden and house.
These rocks were donated by Alex’s son, Dan Auld to construct the Auld Chapel at the Kerrville State Hospital and the memorial fountain for Joshua D. Brown on the lawn of the Kerr County Courthouse. (Update: Unfortunately the Kerr county judge and county commissioners tore down the memorial fountain and placed a different memorial. Only in Kerrville can a memorial be torn down.)
Eight children were reared in this family; Dollie Gibbens married Archie McFaddin; Maggie married E. E. Bushong; Annie married Bob Davis; John married Viola Grigsby; William married Hilda Haby; Archie married Dora Haby (sister of Hilda); Dan married Gussie May Brown; Marcus (J. M.) married Helena Brown (sister of Gussie); all were ranchers.
There was a tragic accident that caused the death of Alex on 27 July 1905 at the Auld Ranch and Susanna continued running the ranch and raising their children into great adults. She died on Christmas day 1925.
Originally published on 15 Sep 2011.
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