Journal's by our great grandfather William Edward Costley
1900 to 1901 and 1913 to 1915
W. E. Costley was born December 25, 1832 in Austin County, Texas
to Michael Costley and Elizabeth Reed. A second son, James, was
b. 1835. Michael was killed November 16 1837 by W.R.D. Spieght,
the first District Clerk of Nacogdoches, Texas who didn't approve
of the fact that Costley was still married to Mahala Mussett, his
first wife. A huge battle ensued over the thousands of acres of land
that Michael owned and who had a right to it. after Michaels death,
Elizabeth married two more times. In 1845 Elizabeth died leaving two
young boys. Probate records of Burleson county, Texas show Elijah B.
Reed guardian of William E. Costley, minor son, March 22 one Jacob
Reed was appointed guardian for minor child, James M. Costley.
The 1850 census shows James living in a boarding house in Austin,
Travis Co. Texas employed as a printer. That same census shows W.E.
living with their half brother, John Mussett Costley who is employed
by the county district court also in Austin. Both W.E. and James
were shown to be students at that time.
January 26, 1854 W.E. married Mary Virginia Ellis in Burleson
County, Texas. In the 1900 journal dated Oct. 2, he gives account
of their 5 boys and 2 girls births and locations.
After the Civil War, having served in the Confederate Army, in
1867, W.E. became the first sheriff of Coleman Co. (They came in peace
To Coleman County by Leona Bruce). Later, they moved to Crawford,
McLennan County, Texas where he was a Justice of the Peace.
He and Mary lived on a farm near Crawford in the 1900 journal.
In the 1913 journal, because of poor health, they had rented the
farm out and moved into the city of Crawford, where Mary
caught the kitchen on fire. By 1914 Mary's health was so bad and
W.E. had a heart condition, so their children took turns caring
for them in their homes. This gives us a great look at what our
parents and grandparents home life was like. Also a first hand
account of what it was like to see and ride in the automobiles.
It was exciting to read how all different kinds of "wheels", cars,
bicycles, trains, "interurban" (train) got along in the streets of
Waco, Texas. He tells stories about catching Indians in Indian Gap,
Texas, sleeping on his saddle and blanket and a hail storm in 1857
that wiped out the crops.
I put the 1913 journal into sections according to where they were
living so relatives could go directly to their family's section.
W. E.'s obituary as it appeared in the Cleburne Daily Enterprise 3-22-1915:
DEATH W.E.COSTLEY AT JOSHUA YESTERDAY
W.E. Costley died about half past nine o'clock,
Sunday night, March 21, at Joshua , 82 years.
The body was prepared for shipping to Crawford
where interment will take place tomorrow. Two
sons and one daughter survive the deceased.
His wife Mary died Feb. 11, 1917 in Joshua,
(Josh-u-way) Johnson Co. Texas and is also
buried in Crawford city cemetery .
I want to thank the following people for without them I would not
have as much to share with you. Harry Diamond Jr., for sharing his
1913-15 journal. Frances Swindle Baileys for sharing the post
card and pictures . Thomas Brock and Sue Brock Massey for sharing
photo's and information. A special thanks to my husband, Jerry
Rabun for photographing most of the documents and using programs
for fixing pictures and unreadable documents. Bobbie Ross for
her work and putting the journals on line.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did for I was able to see my dad,
John William Edward Costley as a 3 year old and a 17 year old.
This journal is presented as written, including spelling and punctuation.
Carol Costley Rabun, great granddaughter of William Edward and Mary
Virginia Costley. Granddaughter of Jackson Monroe Costley and Malinda
Jane Brown and Harry Diamond Jr