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Capt Goldsby Childers
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Birth: Jan. 31, 1790
Amherst County
Virginia, USA
Death: 1851
Fort Gates
Coryell County
Texas, USA

Captain Goldsby Childers was born in Virginia January 31st, 1790. Married Mary Elizabeth Thomas at Lexington, Kentucky on February 13th, 1812. Captain Childers was with General Harrison at Tippecanoe and served in the War of 1812. He was taken prisoner by the British and condemned to be shot as a spy, but his sentence was commuted to live imprisonment in Canada. However, he was released about two years after the treaty of peace. It is a family traditions that a squad from his company killed Tecumseh, the famous Shawnee Chief, in the Battle of Thames.

He soon removed to Adams county, Illinois, near Quincy, where he owned a large farm. In 1833 he commanded a company of volunteers in the Black Hawk War again under General Harrison.

In 1833 he moved to Texas with his family and settled in Robertson's Colony, first near the falls of the Brazos, near the present city of Marlin, but later moved to Old Nashville, the site of which is in Milam County, then on to Burleson, county.

In the spring of 1836, he and other pioneers who had selected lands near the three forks of Little River, now Bell County, were trying to effect settlement there and get some land in cultivation so as to sustain the settlements. Then they were "warned in" by couriers bringing the news that Santa Ana was invading from the West and Comanche and other Indians from the North. A hurried removal was made. The women and children were left at Nashville and Parker's Fort, while the able bodied men proceeded hurriedly to reinforce Houston's army.

After the Battle of San Jacinto Captain childers, O.T. Tyler, Robert Davidson, Rev. Jasper Crouch and others returned to their lands to take up the perilous task of settling the wilderness--when couriers again came to warn them against another Indian invasion. They hastily retreated towards Nashville, but were overtaken by a large band of Indians, near where Cameron TX. now stands. The indians killed and scalped two men riding in advance of the party, Davidson and Crouch, and would doubtless have massacred the rest of the party but for the successful leadership and management of Captain Goldsby Childes who led them safely into Nashville on the following day. Graphic accounts of these attacks are recorded in several Texas histories.

Captian childers was active and prominent in the "makings" of what is now Milam and Bell Counties. He died at Old Fort Gates, Coryell County in 1851 and in buried there in the Military Cemetery. Mrs. Goldsby childers died at Caldwell in 1840 and is buried in the Dove Church Cemetery in Burleson County.


In March and April of 1836, troublesome news came to the Bell county settlers. General Santa Anna had invaded Texas. The Alamo had fallen, and Fannin's entire army had been massacred at Goliad. General Sam Houston with a small army was retreating eastward from Gonzales closely followed by Santa Anna. The Childers joined the Runaway Scrape.

All of Texas was in a panic. Not a white person was left in Bell county. Most of the fleeing colonists went by way of Nashville, over the old San Antonio Road, crossed the Brazos, then on to Nacogdoches and the Sabine.

Captain Childers and family and a few others hastened to Parker's Fort on the Navosota River where the old men decided to make their stand. After assisting the families to this fort and some to Nashville, the young men gathered at Tenoxtitlan and enlisted with many others in the Texas army. Among these volunteers were Orville Tyler, the father of honorale George T. Tyler. However the were too late to take part in the battle of San Jacinto. When within a days travel of that famous battle ground, they met men returning who informed them of the Texas victory over Santa Anna.

The entire Childers family returned to their house in Bell county and became the head quarters for the other men who returned to work their crops, because the Indian danger still existed. For safety, they worked together, and plowed land and all the patches of corn of all the settlers up and down the river.

About June 1, 1836 two messengers arrived from Nashville, warning settlers on Little River and Leon River of an immediate attack by Indians and urged that all the frontier colonist hasten to Nashville. Captain Childers and those working men collected their most valuable possessions again--as much as an ox wagon world hold, and with some loose cattle, left for Nashville via Walker Springs. Here they camped the first night were three families lived. They were warned to pack up and leave too, but they couldn't get ready that day. They gathered in one cabin and defended themselves that night against an Indian attack. No one was killed but several Indians were wounded before they withdrew. This family reached Nashville the next day.

In the Childers bunch were eleven men, five women and girls and one boy. O.T. Tyler, a young man then had a sore foot and was allowed to ride on one of the few horses. Caroline Childers, age nine rode behind him.

Later, on December 26, 1850, 14 years later the first marriage licence issued in Bell County was to Caroline and O.T.

When they were within a few miles of Walkers Springs, the men driving the cattle a little way behind the wagon suddenly shouted "Indians!" and hurried to the wagon. Captain Childers was walking ahead of the group but returned quickly and took charge.

Suddenly, about 200 mounted Indians caught up with them and divided. Half of them rode down each side of the caravan, yelling and shooting into the family's midst. Two of the men scouting ahead, Davidson and Crouch, were killed. Captain Childers ordered the wagon and all to a nearby grove of trees where the horses were used for breastworks. After Crouch and Davidson were killed and scalped there followed great excitement among the Indians, apparently quarreling over the disposition of the scalps and effects of the two gentlemen. This enabled the main party to get the the grove of timber about four hundred yards away. They never liked to attack in wooded areas unless they had the advantage. They then retreated to the Little River bottom for that night and they didn't get to Nashville until the following night.

Bell County became forbidden ground. Most of the settlers made their homes in in the lower country around Texoxtitlan, San Felipe, Washington and Nashville, where they did a little farming and stock raising while waiting for condiditons to become safe enough to return to their own land grants. Captain Childers and families were willing to face the dangers again and they went back in the fall of 1836. The Childers family were alone in Bell county during the winter of 1836-1837.

An act was passed by Congress on December 5, 1836 to protect the "Frontier of Texas". They were given $25.00 per month and 1,280 acres of land for one year of military service. Each County had a major, captain, two lieutenants, 4 sergeants, and 4 corporals and were called rangers. A fort was built at Little River, Fort Childers, later Fort Griffin, commanded by Major G.B. Erath who invited the Childers family to move there for protection against the Indians during the winter of 1836-1837.

The location of this fort was 150 yds. from the river on high ground, with a nearby spring and one mile north of Three Forks, where the Leon, Salado, and Lampasas rivers meet, forming Little River. Later on it was changed to Fort Griffin.

Because of Indian raids in June 1837 it was not considered safe for the Childers family and a family of one of the rangers to remain at the Fort Little River. But the Childers family had no way of moving because their old wagons had worn our and most of their stock has been stolen by the savages and five men were sent to Nashville for wagons but they were all killed by the Indians.

Captain Childers family made its way back home on the Little River for a short time: They had no conveniences to move farther.

However, a Mr. Franks and his wife stopped at the Childers house. He traded with the Friendly Indians and traveled about in a peddling wagon. That night they were warned of an attack by a hostile tribe. Hurried preparations were made, they stocked Franks goods boxes against the doors, filled powder horns, molded bullets and cleaned and loaded guns. Then they waited momentarily expecting and attack. The attack never came.

After that fright Mr. Frank offered to move the Childers to his farm in Montgomery County where they reaped a splendid crop in 1838. However, the climate was not healthful so the Childers moved to Burleson County and purchased land near Caldwell where they remained for four years. They had the sad Mrs. Childers and a daughter died here.

In 1843, Captain Childers returned to their land a Little River. He bought 53 acres of land from Colonel Robertson and made the first settlement on the Lampassas River. It was a log cabin at a spring on the south side of the river above the present Lampassas Bridge. In 1848 Rovert Childers and Tom Waldon dammed up the spring , near Salado and built a small corn or tub mill.

The pioneer mill consisted of a hopper, two large hog heads, of an all open frame and a a buffalo hide over the hopper to keep the wild turkeys from eating up the corn and meal in the millers absence. The only dependence for the pioneers up to this time for bread was the old steel mills run by hand. This mill was a great boom to the settlers. It would grind 8 pounds of corn in 24 hours. The day the water was turned on and the mill started, all the neighborhood came and spread a picnic dinner on the ground and made quite and affair of it. This became the nucleus for a temporary settlement.

In 1856 Mr. Shanklin bought the property and continued to operate the mill, which was a thriving business. They built a large native stone house that still stood at least until Feb 18, 1950.
Family links: 
  Robert Childers (1815 - 1895)*
  Caroline Childers Tyler (1826 - 1912)*
*Calculated relationship
Fort Gates Cemetery
Fort Gates
Coryell County
Texas, USA
Created by: JULIAN WALL
Record added: Feb 02, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84384638
Capt Goldsby Childers
Capt Goldsby Childers
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Added by: Suzanne Eckhardt
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Thinking of you today Love John Robert Craddock's Niece Virginia
- Virginia Davis-Bennett
 Added: Oct. 23, 2016
You were an amazing person and I'm in awe at being related. Thank you for your contributions to America! <3
- Violet
 Added: Feb. 8, 2016
- Virginia Bennett
 Added: Oct. 25, 2015
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