|Birth: ||Dec. 18, 1863|
|Death: ||Jan. 1, 1939|
Donnie Ella Bailey (pronounced dough-nee) was born on December 18, 1863 in the New Hope Community of Coffee County, Alabama. She came to Panola County, Texas in December of 1871 with her mother, Clarissa Elizabeth Harlow (Kyser) Bailey, and 13 of her 15 siblings. Her father, Green Berry W. Bailey, had just died from pneumonia on November 27, 1871. When her father became ill and died, their wagon was packed and the family was getting ready to make a big move to Texas. Their farm and most of their belongings had already been sold and their new home was waiting for them. After burying her father on the old Christopher Kyser (Clarissa's brother), they headed out for Texas. Donnie Ella, who went by her middle name of Ella, was about eight years old when they arrived at the Buncombe Community in Panola County, Texas.
When Ella was about 15 years of age, she met Leander Franklin Fallwell, born March 18, 1854, in Rusk County, Texas at the plantation of his parents, William H. Fallwell and Matilda Elizabeth (Little) Fallwell, which was about 3-l/2 miles southeast of Clayton. They were married on October 26, 1879 in Clayton, Panola County, Texas. The marriage was performed by Joseph Lemar Lindsey, a licensed magistrate of the Garrett Spring Community. Leander's father and mother had come to Rusk County, Texas in 1848 from Marshall County, Tennessee.
Leander and Ella lived about 3-1/2 miles Southeast of Clayton and ¼ mile from the old Stonewall Hill near Fallwell Creek named after the Fallwell family. This was near the Murvaul Bayou (now Lake Murvaul). They had 10 children while living there, 4 of which died from whopping cough and diphtheria and were buried next to Donnie Ella's mother at the Bethlehem Cemetery in the Snap Community. By 1897, Leander decided to sell his 100-acre farm for $450 to Lawrence L. Wedgeworth of Shelby County, who had married Leander's niece, Minnie Matilda Lake. The land was in the Lewis Headright survey, and the deed was prepared by J.W. Cariker and notarized on November 11, 1897. After selling their farm in the Buncombe Community, they moved to the Dotson Community near his sister, Nancy Jane (Fallwell) Lake. They had 4 more children there, 3 of which died young with malaria. 2 of these 3 were buried at the Lake Cemetery, because the water was too high to cross the Murvaul Creek to the Bethlehem Cemetery.
By 1898, their oldest child, Nevada Fallwell, had married Allen Oscar Williams. They had 2 children: Myrtie Viola Williams born on July 3, 1900 and Verdie Olena Williams born November 28, 1902. Nevada died soon after giving birth to her 2nd child, Verdie, and is buried at the Lake Cemetery.
Leander and Ella raised Myrtie and Verdie as their own and also raised a neighbor boy named John Dillard who ran away at the age of 16. By March of 1907, Leander and Ella Fallwell decided to move their family to Oklahoma. They sent their oldest son, William Francis "Willie" Fallwell, to Oklahoma to see if he could find a farm to live on. Willie wound up in Lincoln County, Oklahoma and found a farm to sharecrop, just east of Meeker, Oklahoma. In the Spring of 1907, Leander, Ella, and their family packed all their belongings in covered wagons and left the Dotson community of Panola County for Meeker, Oklahoma. Verdie Riddle, Nevada Williams' daughter, told me in 1981 at a Bailey reunion at Red Rock Canyon, Oklahoma, that she was five years old when she and her sister, Myrtie, rode on the seat of the wagon with Leander and Ella when making the move to Oklahoma. Leander and Ella Fallwell's two married daughters, Vinnie and Veter Fallwell, stayed in the Dotson Community of Panola County, Texas, where they raised their families. Vinnie was married to John Offie Britton, and they later lived in the Ragley Community. Veter married Offie's cousin, James Adam "Jim" Britton. Making the move with Leander and Ella were the following:
Son, William Francis Fallwell, who was married to Annie (Burns) Lake and their son, Curtis (age 2), and Annie's children by her deceased husband Leander Lake: Minnie, Bobbie, Clyde and Virgie.
Sons: Walter Columbus Fallwell (age 15), Conrad Velpo Fallwell (age 13) and Cecil E.C. Fallwell (age 3).
Daughter: Moiena Itaska Fallwell (age 11)
Leander Fallwell and all his family worked and farmed on the share-crop place until about 1920, and then moved on a farm four miles east of Sparks, Oklahoma and sharecropped. Hazel (Sims) Fallwell, wife of Cecil E.C. Fallwell, youngest son of Leander & Ella said that by this time, all of the family was living there, including Walter Fallwell's three children: Ruby Agnes, Marie Anabelle, and Walter Murl Fallwell. Their mother, Nancy Susan "Nannie" (Fowler) Fallwell, died when their horse-drawn buggy overturned while enroute to the doctor for her to deliver her baby. Nannie died on September 20, 1920. So, Leander & Ella helped Walter raise his three children. Also, their oldest son, William "Willie" Fallwell, owned a grocery store at nearby Payson, Oklahoma during this time.
Hazel also told me that the 1st year she and Cecil Fallwell were married (in 1924), that Leander and Cecil sharecropped and mostly raised cotton. By October 1925, Leander Fallwell and his family decided to sell everything at an auction, including household goods, farm implements, cows, horses, chickens, and pigs, and move to Oklahoma City. Their son, Walter Fallwell went to work for the packing house, and Cecil got a job there too. After 2 years in Oklahoma City, they decided to move to Harrah, Oklahoma in 1928, and Walter went to work at the cotton gin as the ginner, and Cecil hauled seed to Chandler and Shawnee, Oklahoma. Leander Fallwell was the night watchman at the cotton gin. By 1929, Willie was working for the police force in Oklahoma City. While in Harrah, Oklahoma, Walter quit ginning cotton and was a deputy sheriff for about a year, and Cecil was a also a deputy. Hazel said this did not last long, and they all moved back to Oklahoma City in about 1930. Hazel said that Ella had taught her how to cook, sew, and how to raise her children. She said that Ella was the nurse and babysitter with all her children. They had brought three cows with them when they moved back from Harrah, and they fenced in the backyard in the early 1930's. She said that they sold milk and butter to buy cow feed, and they also had plenty for them to use. They raised a garden on the vacant lots. Leander would push the garden plow and Ella pulled with a rope around her waist and tied to the axel of the wheel. They made quite a picture, with both weighing over 200 pounds. People driving by in their cars would crane their necks looking at them. Everyone in the neighborhood loved them. The Big Depression that hit in the 1930's was bad, and they had to raise their food to eat. When Ella would hear from her daughter, Vinnie Britton, in Panola County, Texas, telling of one of her brother or sister's dying, she would sit down and cry. She said that Leander and Ella lived with them (Cecil & Hazel) until they died. Ella was bedfast for two years with a stroke, and Leander was bedfast with a stroke for one year. During this last year they lay in bed side-by-side and Hazel took care of them. She said she did it gladly because they had both helped them so much in raising their own children. Seven of which were born before Ella & Leander passed away.
Ella and Leander will well be remembered for their hard work in Panola County, Texas and Lincoln County, Oklahoma. Donnie Ella Fallwell passed away at home in Oklahoma City on January 1, 1939, and her husband, Leander Fallwell passed away just over a month later on February 18, 1939. They are both buried at the New Hope Cemetery in Meeker, Oklahoma.
Written by Auvie Allen Bailey in his book, Bailey Tracks, published in 2008. Edited by Mary Ellen (Fallwell) Henderson, daughter of Cecil E.C. and Hazel (Sims) Fallwell.
BUNCOMBE, TEXAS. Buncombe (Bumcomb, Bunkom, Bunkum), off Farm Road 1970 nine miles southwest of Carthage in southwestern Panola County, was probably established after the Civil War. A school known as Alpine opened there around 1884, and a post office operated at the community from 1891 until 1893. In the mid-1930s the small settlement had the school, a church, a cemetery, and a number of houses. After World War II the school was consolidated with that of Clayton, and by the mid-1960s only a church, a cemetery, and a few scattered houses remained in the area. In 1990 Buncombe was a dispersed rural community with an estimated population of eighty-seven. The population remained the same in 2000.
Leila B. LaGrone, ed., History of Panola County (Carthage, Texas: Panola County Historical Commission, 1979). John Barnette Sanders, Index to the Cemeteries of Panola County (Center, Texas, 1964).
Green Berry W. Bailey (1820 - 1871)
Clarissa Elizabeth Harlow Kyser Bailey (1821 - 1904)
Leander Franklin Fallwell (1854 - 1939)*
Nevada Fallwell Williams (1881 - 1903)*
Minnie Fallwell (1882 - 1884)*
William Francis Fallwell (1883 - 1958)*
Arthur Fallwell (1885 - 1886)*
Vinnie Eveready Fallwell Britton (1887 - 1977)*
Veter Fallwell Britton (1889 - 1969)*
Jimmie Fallwell (1890 - 1893)*
Walter Columbus Fallwell (1892 - 1974)*
Conrad Velpo Fallwell (1894 - 1969)*
Moiena Itaska Rader (1896 - 1975)*
Infant Fallwell (1898 - 1898)*
Lafayette Mazzee Fallwell (1900 - 1900)*
Vanila Fallwell (1901 - 1902)*
Cecil E. C. Fallwell (1903 - 1961)*
Odette Fallwell (1905 - 1907)*
New Hope Cemetery
Created by: Mary Fallwell Henderson
Record added: Jun 04, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37920015
To my grandma Fallwell. I'm so sad that I never got to meet you as you died just about two years before I was born. I've heard so much about you and know what an awesome lady you were to help so many people and raise so many children, some who were not ...(Read more)|
Mary Fallwell Henderson
Added: Jun. 14, 2011