SW Road Trip Update #5…

A week behind, but here is the update for our SW Road Trip. Last Saturday, April 21st, we drove from Wichita Falls, TX to our campsite at Lake Murray State Park near Ardmore, OK. It rained most of the way and was still raining when we set up. Sunday, we took a two-hour drive south down to east Dallas to visit with our niece Whitney Thompson, her husband Andy, and their 20-month-old daughter, Lyla. It was great to see them! We went out to lunch and hiked around White Rock Lake before returning to Lake Murray around 4 PM.

Dallas/Lake Murray Pics


Monday was finally cemetery day. It’s about 35 minutes from the campsite to Rubottom, but, I decided to head to the Bourland Cemetery (about 5 miles east of Courtney) first, and then do a quick tour of the North Texas Hill Country before Rubottom. It was our first visit to the Bourland Cemetery, because, unfortunately, I didn’t know about it on our 1987 visit. This is the location of the grave of my great-great grandfather, William M. Hogue, who was buried there in 1886. Not many people live near this cemetery, but some folks are taking the time to mow and maintain the fence, at least. Unfortunately, there are many broken monuments here, and William’s turned out to be one of them (see the picture below).

Bourland Cemetery Pics


The last picture I’ve seen of this memorial was on Find-A-Grave, and it was looking a little wobbly. It appears that some one had taken the monument apart and removed the rod that connected the bottom piece to the main section above it. Some time along the way, the larger top part had broken in half, and was repaired with a type of silicon caulk, which had failed as well. Anyway, I carved a stick to replace the metal rod, and put it back together the best we could. Jane cleaned it up with a little Dawn and water, and, made it presentable for some “after” pictures. I was sad to see it this way and felt a little guilty; things just don’t last for 132 years, especially outside in the weather extremes of southern Oklahoma. I got over it, though. My grandfather, who was born in this area, did not know about William, and probably never visited the grave. Who knows, we may have been the only family visitors in the last century! If you read this and have a different story, please let me know! If there are any local cousins interested in helping maintain this important family burial site, step up to the plate! We left Bourland Cemetery and headed to Spanish Fort.

Spanish Fort, Montague, and Saint Jo Pics


The North Texas Hill Country is beautiful. Lots of rolling hills and big trees and brick buildings. I tried to imagine what is was like in the 1870’s when Sarah Strawn Hogue and her and William’s first son, Jackson, came to this area, and figured it wasn’t much different than it is today. Spanish Fort was about 6 miles from Courtney, if you took the ferry across the river. St. Jo is about 20 miles from Courtney and Montague (the county seat) about 30 miles away. William likely rode horseback to Montague to give depositions for his pension request. Sarah homesteaded her 160 acres about 2 miles from Saint Jo (see Red River Trails for details). Just outside to the north of St. Jo is the Boggess Pioneer Cemetery, our next stop.

Boggess Cemetery Pics


This cemetery is the final resting place of Jackson Monroe Hogue and Sarah’s second husband, Hugh Anderson, who are buried side by side. Irby Boggess, along with Joe Howell, were the founders of Saint Jo. They named the town after the tee-totaling Howell (That’s the saint part). Believe it or not, it was illegal to consume alcohol there until 2009! We did a bit of stone maintenance, and, headed across the Red River to Rubottom.

Rubottom Pics


Rubottom is our branch of the Hogue Family’s homeland. Charley settled here with his family (just down the road in Courtney, actually) in 1880. My grandfather Henry was born here in 1914, along with all of his siblings, including half brother Frankie Noble, who was born in 1900. My great grandmother Nora Gatlin Noble Hogue lived in the area from 1899, near her Gatlins, until she moved to California around 1933. There are a few people living in Rubottom today, but not many. The Rubottom Baptist Church is the biggest game in town.

Rubottom Cemetery Pics


All the Hogues in the Rubottom Cemetery are cousins of one type or another, as are the five Gatlins and a couple of Lawsons. You can check out the spreadsheet I posted a few updates back (April 4th update) for a complete listing and how they are related to us. Turns out the Warthens I have listed on the spreadsheet are actually buried in the Ringling Cemetery, so ignore that part. The cemetery is being kept up well. I’ll have to do some research as to who is taking care of it now. Lonnie Williams was volunteering much of his time to help there, but, he passed away in 1989, so I assume someone else has taken over. We met Lonnie in 1987 and he had a few nice stories to tell. We cleaned Charley’s headstone up and called it a day, returning to Lake Murray.

On Tuesday, I called one of my new-found cousin (second cousin, once removed) Wayne Warthen. He met us at his office/hanger he owns at the Ardmore Executive Airport. It was a great visit and nice to meet him. He reminded me a lot of Grandpa, actually. His great grandparents are Mark and Analiza Gatlin, Nora’s parents. They are buried in Rubottom. We had lunch in downtown Ardmore and headed back to Lake Murray to rest up for our longest leg of the trip, 310 miles to Lubbock, TX.

We got to Lubbock and managed to find some great BBQ at Rudy’s Country Store, which turns out to be a big regional chain down here. It’s cafeteria style. You grab your coleslaw and tater salad, a beer and then order your meat by the pound. We had a pound of baby backs and a half pound of brisket. They throw everything into a Coke one-liter storage case and send you out to the tables to eat. If we had a Rudy’s in Hillsboro, it would be packed!

Carlsbad Cavern Pics


Thursday took us to Carlsbad, NM (another 195 miles) and Brantley Lake State Park. Not much of a lake, more like a big puddle in the desert, but a good stage to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park from. We toured the caves yesterday and are doing laundry today, to prepare for our next leg tomorrow, to Santa Fe, NM. We’ll be there three nights, and then on to Mesa Verde National Park, near Durango, CO.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and we’ll see you down the road!

Also, check out the latest addition to RED RIVER TRAILS as we start to dig into the life of my great grandfather, Charles Sherman (Charley) Hogue.

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