Kissin’ Kuzzins: Only one year after he arrived

Published 9:02 am Wednesday, August 1, 2018

By Dickie Dixon

Belated birthdays:  July birthdays:  27th:  Stanley Fletcher 28th:  Sherrie (Shelton) Leach 29th:  Bobby Miller, Teresa Jackson, Gerald “Jerry” French 30th:  Melanie Bailey, Paige (Dickerson) Wieser, Jamie Kimmons, Gene Havard 31st:  Sara Goins, Joyce Ann Trojan  August birthdays:  1st:  Blair Beckham, Wayne Waddleton

For Posterity’s Eyes:  August birthdays:  2nd:  Bob Mc Means  4th:  Mary Sue Tebbs, Cecilia (Cowart) Thornton, Jennifer Ragsdale, Cleveland Mark 5th:  Cleveland Mark 6th: Judy (Flournoy) Toups 7th:  Thomas O. Adams, Mona Hill, Madison McLin, Erika (Smith) O’Quinn 8th:  Jacob Holmberg, David Stallings, Jan Tracy 9th: Randy Johnson, Dena Dixon, Sandra Jean Cherry

Only One Year After He Arrived  One of the most interesting fruits of personal genealogical research revealed that my great-great-great grandmother Rebecca (Danzey) Fenley acquired half-interest in the Old Stone Fort (originally called the Old Stone house).  I found that out from the paper trail, i.e., the books and research way, though if I had asked the right relative they could have told me all that.  I stilll remember the day I told my mother I had discovered that; I was so excited, as I bounced in to her den.  She was sitting in her recliner when I told her, but I wasn’t prepared for her response.  I said: “Mother, did you know our family owned the Old Stone Fort.”

She replied:  “Oh, Dickie, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.”  As she said that, I remember thinking:  “Oh yes it does, Mother.”

August 10th will be anniversary of the death of my great-great-great grandfather, Zechariah Phillips Fenley, in 1838 because of the Cordova Rebellion.  Because of my curiosity as to why and how he died, I have researched and spoken on the Cordova Rebellion, which we will save for another time to talk about.  For right now, it is important to register that he received his land—over 1200 acres near the present Central High School outside of Lufkin, Texas—in 1837 from the Republic of Texas.  I am not looking right now at the exact date in 1837 he received it, but you can see that it was close to a year or more since he received it that he was killed.

Now, let me go on record that, as I have spoken on this and researched it, my reasons have not been to villify anyone; they have been only to find out what happened.  I actually went out with someone—after my wife died—who was related to these Cordovas.  However, she had trouble understanding my interest. Let me counter that I have been perplexed that so little has been written about this event; yet it was a treasonous act against the Republic of Texas, caused the expulsion of the Cherokees, and created a divisive wedge between resident Hispanics living in or near Nacogdoches.  It also served to have the following effect on me:  I no longer was someone standing distant to history, in general, and Texas history, specifically. There was a continuity between it and me; I was part of it, vicariously.

It was incumbent on me to involve you, my readers, in that little tidbit of how Zechariah Phillips Fenley was killed on August 10, 1838 after only after about a year after he arrived.

Save the Date From the Newton County Historical Commission:  You are cordially invited to the Newton County History Center & Museum Open House celebrating 30 years Wednesday August 8, 2018 1-5 P.M. 213 East Court Street (Howard Civic Center) Newton, TX 75966 & Once An Eagle book signing By Author Bobby Bean Refreshments to be served (409) 379-2109

For book reviews/notices please send a complimentary copy to Kissin’ Kuzzins P. O. Box 151001 Lufkin TX 75915-1001

Send your queries to by mail to Kissin’ Kuzzins P. O. Box 15-1001 Lufkin TX 75915-1001 or by phone to (936) 240-8378