Sunday, August 2, 2015

James W. Renfro

© Kathy Duncan, 2015

James W. Renfro, son of Joseph D. Renfro and Sarah Dial, was born 15 Feb 1841 in Gibson County, Tennessee. He married Julia Smith on 10 Oct 1865 in Gibson County, Tennessee. His son Albert was interviewed in the early 1900s and presented valuable information about James W. Renfro's migration to Texas, but many of the dates are inaccurate. That interview can be read here.

14 Sept. 1870; Prc #5, Charleston, Hopkins Co., TX; p. 172:

94-94
Renfro, Joseph D. 57 M W Farmer $0-$120 b. TN
-----John M 19 M W Farm laborer b. TN
-----Joseph S 15 M W Farm laborer b. TN
-----Sarah C 12 F W at home b. TN
Renfro, James 27 M W Farmer $1,000-$100 b. TN
-----Julia 25 F W Keeping house b. TN
-----William 3 M W b. TN

12 June 1880; Pct #4, Delta Co., TX, p. 520:

163-69
Renfrow, James W. W M 37 Farmer b. TN fb. TN mb. TN
-----Julia A. W F 31 Wife Keeping house b. AL fb. AL mb. AL
-----William J. W M 12 son attending school scrofula b. TN fb. TN mb. AL
-----Martha L. W F 10 Daughter attending school b. TX fb. TN mb. AL
-----Albert W M 7 Son attending school b. TX fb. TN mb. AL
-----Alfred W M 7 son attending school b. TX fb. TN mb. AL
-----Richard B. W M 5 son b. TX fb. TN mb. AL
Jones, George W M 22 Hireling Farm hand b. TX

In 1899, son Alfred was killed and it appears that Alfred's children may gone to live with their grandparents, James W. and Julia Renfro.

Shot in the Back
Cooper, Tex., July 10--Last night as Alf Renfro, who lives on Craig prairie, three miles east of Cooper, was going home from church, some unknown person rode up behind him and shot him twice, one shot hitting him in the small of the back.
[Source: Dallas Morning News; Dallas, TX; Wed., 12 July 1899]

Shot by Insane Man
Cooper, Tex., July 14--Alfred Rentfro is a young man with a wife and several children, living on Craig Prairie in the eastern portion of this county. While on his way home from church he was overtaken by Alonzo Lamb, a young man of the neighborhood, and shot in the back. Renfro with but slight hopes of recovery. Lamb is demented and has been in the asylum. He is in jail but is generally excused on the ground of insanity.
[Source: Fort Worth Morning Register; Fort Worth, TX; Sun., 16 July 1899]

Alfred Rentfro, shot by the demented young man Lamb, a full account of which was at the time published in the Register, is still in a critical condition. The X-rays will be brought to bear on the concealed bullet.
[Source: Fort Worth Register; Fort Worth, TX; Tues., 15 Aug 1899]

Wound Caused Death
Cooper, Tex., Nov. 17--Alf Renfro, who was shot in the back while going from church at Craig Prairie last July died last night.

The bullet lodged near the spine and was located and extracted about a month after the shooting and Renfro was able to walk about some little, but the effects of the shot finally caused his death.
[Source: Dallas Morning News; Dallas, TX; Sat. 8 Nov 1899]

Died of An Old Wound
Result of Shooting in Delta County Last Summer
Cooper, Tex., Nov. 16--Some four months ago at a country church in the eastern part of the county Alfred Renfro, a young farmer, was shot by a young man named Alonzo Lamb. The wound at the time was thought to be fatal, but Renfro was conveyed to his home, proper surgical aid was summoned, the ball by use of the X-rays was located and extracted, and for some time thereafter the wounded man was believed to be on the road to recovery., though still confined to is home and bed. A few days ago, contrary to expectation, Renfro took a turn of the worse, and last night he died. Lamb was at the time arrested and lodged in jail, where ever since he has been. It developed that Lamb had been in the asylum and was discharged as cured. It is stated that there had been no trouble between the young men and the grievance of Lamb was purely imaginary, and at the time of the unfortunate occurrence he was again laboring under mental aberration.
[Source: Fort Worth Morning Register; Fort Worth, TX; Sat., 18 Nov 1899]

Given Life Sentence
Cooper, Tex., Jan. 19--The case of Alonzo Lamb, charged with the murder of Alf Renfro last July, was taken up on Monday morning of this week, and lasted till near the adjournment of the court yesterday evening, consuming three days, and this morning the jury brought in a verdict for a life sentence.
[Source: Dallas Morning News; Dallas, TX; Sat. 20 Jan 1900]

Given a Life Term
Greenville, Texas, January 19--Alonzo Lamb, who killed Alf Renfro in Delta County last July, was tried in the district court at Cooper this week and given a life sentence. He had been in the insane asylum and pleaded insanity, but the jury decided otherwise.
[Source: Houston Post; Houston, TX; Sat. 20 Jan. 1900]

28 June 1900; Prct #1, Delta Co., TX:

556-576
Renfro, Jas Head W M b. Feb 1842 58 M 35 b. TN fb. TN mb. TN
-----Julia A Wife W F b. Jan 1848 52 M 35 5-2 b. AL fb. AL mb. AL
-----Will A son W M b. 1868 32 b. TN fb. TN mb. AL
-----Rufan grandson W M b. Sep 1892 7 S b. TX fb. TN mb. un
-----Monora grandd W F b. 1895 4 S b. TX fb. TN mb. un
-----Ethial grandd W F b. Sep 1889 11 S b. TX fb. un mb. un

J. W. Renfro began appearing on the Cottle County, Texas tax rolls in 1902.

27 April 1910; Prect. 2, Cottle County Texas:

108-108
Renfro, James W Head M W 68 M-1 44 b. TN fb. TN mb. TN farmer
----- Julia A Wife F W 61 M-1 44 5-3 b. Al fb. AL mb. AL
Stone, Shelby  M W 24 M-1 8/12 b. TN fb. TN mb. TN
----- Nana A Granddaughter F W 14 M-1 8/12 b. TX fb. TN mb. TX
109-109
Renfro, Richard B Head M W 36 M-1 16 b. TX fb. TN mb. AL
-----Lucy L. Wife F  33 M-1 16 b. MS fb. MS mb. MS
-----Lulie L. ? M W 14 S b. TX fb. TX mb. MS
-----Carnie C son M  9 S b. TX fb. TX mb. MS
-----William C son M W 5 S b. TX fb. TX mb. MS

Death Certificate of James W. Renfro:

James William Renfro b. 15 Feb 1841, Trenton, Tenn.; d. 25 Oct 1918 near Paducah, Cottle Co., Texas. Widowed. Occupation: Farmer. Father: Joe D. Renfro. b. NC. Mother: Mary Alexander b. Scotland. Informant: E.A. Renfro. Burial: Paducah, Cottle Co., Texas.
[death certificate]

Note that the mother for James W. Renfro is Mary Alexander not Sarah Dial. Given that James was born in 1841, between the marriage of Sarah Dial in 1835 and the birth of younger brother John M. Renfro, whose birth certificate lists Sarah Dial as his mother, in 1850, it seems doubtful that James' mother was any one other than Sarah Dial. However, Mary Alexander must be a name that E.A. Renfro knew in connection with his family history, so it is worth noting her name. E.A. Renfro also made several errors in his recounting of the Renfro migration to Texas, indicating that he was listening to family stories, but not paying attention to details like dates.

Renfro burials in Garden of Memories Cem., Paducah, Cottle Co., TX:

J.W. Renfro b. 15 Feb 1841, d. 25 Oct 1918, bur. Garden of Memories Cem., Paducah, Cottle Co., TX
Julia A. Renfro b. 7 Jun 1850, d. 28 Sept 1919, bur Garden of Memories Cem., Paducah, Cottle Co., TX
William James Renfro b. 24 Feb 1868, d. 8 Mar 1917, bur Garden of Memories Cem., Paducah. Married to Emma Elizabeth Renfro.

Known children of James W. and Julia Renfro:

1. William J. Renfro
2. Martha L. Renfro
3. Albert Renfro
4. Alfred Renfro
5. Richard B. Renfro

Last updated August 3, 2015


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