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Samuel Taylor “Sam” Atkins

Celina, Clay County, Tennessee, USA
Death 19 May 1927 (aged 23)
Sherman, Grayson County, Texas, USA
Burial Van Alstyne, Grayson County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 57390011 · View Source
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Ode to My Great Uncle-
I first found Sam’s existence when I was about 15 years old doing a family history project for school. In 2010 when a family member died I started back up on family history and once again remembered Samuel. I listed him on find a grave and slowly found out the truth behind the young man who had to brief a life.
Sam was born in Clay County, Celina Tennessee on March 23, 1904 .He was born Atkinson, but the SON part was dropped when the family moved to Texas. He lived in Celina tn with his eight brothers and sisters when they all made the long trek to the state of Texas where they arrived on Texas soil on September 11, 1919. They resided in Tom bean Texas for two years then finally moved to Anna Texas, in 1926 sam would lose older brother James to Tb.
Murder charges against O’Neal were later filed after Sam’s death in May of 1927. Ollie O’Neal was a young man from the Howe area as well who had worked and lived around sam. The O’Neal and Atkins Families shared a barn they both worked out of in pretense to the farming they did. The fight that killed Sam was over a spring wagon seat. Hoot (George Ethel) had taken seat out on O’Neal’s wagon. After this a fight occurred. Minor details are missing. A recent article I found says that Sam might have had a pocket knife and might have been advancing on elder Oneal when Ollie O’Neal struck at Sam. Sam was struck once and in fight for self-preservation he turned to go and that when fatal blow occurred that critically injured sam. If Sam was defending himself or was after elder O’Neal for something he said its not known to me at this time. I am still currently researching what happened after that to Ollie O’Neal and so on and so forth.
Some articles refer to Sam Taylor Adkins and Taylor Adkins and his right name Sam Taylor Atkins. It’s all the same Samuel. Witnesses I might add were Sam’s brother Hoot, his father Elisha, sometimes called E.J and a man named Jim madden ( currently looking into Jim madden. The incident took place 10 miles west of Howe Texas on the Pattie Farm. Conflicting testimonies add Sam had a knife and Sam did not have a knife. Sams father said he found a knife belonging to Sam buried 2/3 of the way deep. I believe Sam might have been struck in the back of the head as he was turning to run. The family book account is wrong on what it has to say about sams death.
The family legend mentions. Sam was injured in a fight near Howe Texas at a party, Somehow a fight broke out because the family was not welcomed or whoever ensued the fight was aiming at one of his brothers and made contact with Sam instead. The family book account divulges one account that matches word for word what happened between George Atkins and Melzie Douglass.( see Atkins Vs. State of Texas 1926) The Family book also states he died in 1925 and was born in 1903, Both False. He was Hit in the head by a 2 X 4 by a man named Ollie O’Neal. The Family Book said Bigfoot smith, but an article from a dear friend (Katrina Miller) said Ollie O’Neal, Big foot smith was false . This occurred on May 14, 1927 because Sam finally died on May 19th from a fractured skull. He was at St. Vincent’s Sanitarium in Sherman Texas for five days before he died. The Doctor who took care of him for five days was Named James Wolfe ( buried West Hill Cemetery)
Later he was buried in Van alstyne cemetery in an unmarked grave.


Sam now has a new monument, purchased between me and my grandfather James Atkins.

Gravesite Details Sam does indeed have a headstone, its concrete. The details are hard to read but it is his headstone.