Leake County


Burks, Rev William Carroll
Rev. William Carroll Burks, who for many years was actively engaged in the work of the ministry of the Primitive Baptist church, is now living retired at Pottsville, Texas, enjoying a well earned rest. He was born on the 7th of March, 1818, and is the son of James Lyon and Lydia (Robinson) Burks. The father was a native of Lincoln county, Georgia, served as orderly sergeant under General Jackson in the war of 1812, was for a number of years a member of the state legislature, and was colonel on the staff of Governor Sleigh. In 1845 he became a resident of Scott county, Mississippi, where his death occurred in 1866, at the age of seventy-six years. He was also a faithful member of the Baptist church.
At the age of twenty-two years our subject started out in life for himself, operating his father's farm until 1843, when he removed to Russell county, Alabama. At the end of a year, however, he went to Chambers county, that state, where the following three years were passed. The next four years he spent in Tallapoosa county, whence he removed to Leake county, Mississippi, but in November, 1872, he became a resident of Comanche county, Texas, where he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of land on Holmes creek, all wild. He at once began its improvement, erecting a house, and there made his home for three years, when he sold out and bought two hundred acres nearer the town of Comanche. After living there for four years, he exchanged that place for one east of the town, but three years later removed to his present home in Pottsville.
On the 22d of December, 1840, Mr. Burks was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Weathers, who was born in Georgia. October 11, 1819, and is the daughter of Daniel and Sarah ( Malney) Weathers. Her father served as a member of the state senate from Talbot county, Georgia, and died there in 1882, at the advanced age of ninety-three years, being at that time the oldest man in the county. Our subject and his estimable wife became the parents of the following children: Daniel, born November 19, 1842, died in August, 1862, from effects of Confederate service in the late war; James, born July 20, 1845, also died in the same month in 1862; William Milton, born June 27, 1847, died while a member of the Confederate army in the fall of 1865; Jesse, born March 12, 1850, is living in Comanche county, Texas; John Franklin, born August 31, 1852, makes his home in the same county; Thomas Jefferson, born November 22, 1854, owns and runs a cotton gin at Pottsville (see sketch elsewhere in this work); Sarah
Frances, born July 22, 1855, is the wife of Benjamin Lassette, of Taylor county, Texas; Lainey was born December 13, 1857, and died between seventeen and eighteen years of age; Andrew Jackson, born December 3, i860, is living in Callahan county, Texas.
In early life, Mr. Burks became a member of the Primitive Baptist church, of which he was ordained deacon in 1845, and on the 27th of November, 1858, was ordained a minister, and has engaged in preaching ever since. He has been a faithful and conscientious worker in the Master's vineyard, doing all in his power for the uplifting of humanity, and the world is better for his having lived. His political support is given the Democratic party.
[History of Texas, Central Texas, Vol I, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1896
Transcribed by Gene P]
Added 9 Feb 2014

Burks, Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson Burks has the reputation of a strictly first class business man, reliable and energetic, and is a citizen of whom Pottsville may be justly proud. His birth occurred in Leake County, Mississippi, November 23, 1853, and a sketch of his ancestors may be found on another page of this work. At the age of twenty years he started out in life on his own account, at first working for wages, and then rented land, which he operated for one year.
Going to Comanche County, Texas, Mr. Burks attended a school taught by George W Cunningham, and later engaged in teaching for two and a half months. On the 11th of March, 1877, he first came to Pottsville, where with R. L. Burks he started a general store under the firm name of T. J. & R. L. Burks, but at the end of nine months bought out his partner's interest and conducted the establishment alone for three years, when he admitted B. Frank Burks, a cousin, to a membership in the firm. At the end of two years he purchased the later's interest, but three months later sold out to his cousin and bought a farm of eighty acres in Comanche County. On the expiration of nine months, however, he again began general merchandising, and after being alone for eight months R. L. Burks and J. C. Chatman became members of the firm, which assumed the style of Burks, Chatman & Company. Later he bought out his partners, and afterward sold out his stock to J. R. Linn.
In the meantime Mr Burks had traded his farm in Comanche County to J. S. Lindsey for a flour and corn mill and cotton gin at Pottsville, which he afterward sold to Charles Valentine, but two years later brought the property back, which at that time had run down considerably. He rebuilt the gin, and is now doing a flourishing business in that line. He has a fine farm of two hundred and seventy-six acres on Cowhouse Creek, five miles above Pottsville, one hundred and seventy of which are under cultivation, and he rents the entire amount. He recently purchased a drug store on the west side of the square at Pottsville, of which he will take charge of in the fall of 1896. The post office is now in the building.
On the 22d of October, 1878, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Burks and Miss Alice Amelia Goggin, who was born in Dekalb County, Alabama, June 5, 1858, and was brought by her parents, William Hugh and Adeline (Lyons) Goggin, to Hamilton County, Texas, in 1859. Seven children grace this union, namely: Arthur, born August 6, 1879; Meda, February 1, 1882; Charlie, October 15, 1884; Julia, April 20, 1887; Adaline, October 7, 1890; Clara, January 30, 1892; and Ida, April 23, 1894.
In his political affiliations Mr. Burks is a stalwart Democrat, and religiously is a member of the Baptist Church. He is one of the most progressive and energetic men of the county, and has been actively identified with the mercantile interests of the Cowhouse neighborhood, with headquarters at Pottsville for a number of years, and is one of the solid business men of the locality, who has the respect and confidence of all with whom he comes in contact.
[History of Texas, Central Texas Vol I, Pub. 1896 -- Transcribed by: Gene P]
Added 13 Jan 2014

McKay, Elias James

Elias James McKay born October 5, 1831, and his wife, Sarah Lucinda Gober, born February 6, 1833, moved to Leake County in 1870.  They purchased two hundred and forty acres from the state for 10.90.  Elias served in the 40th Mississippi Infantry and was discharged due to illness.  He was one of nine persons to serve in the army of the Confederate States of America. Elias started a freight business shorty after coming to Leake County.  Oxen were used to pull the wagon loads of cotton to Yazoo City and bring supplies back to Leake County.  The round trip took two weeks to two months.  Joseph Henry McKay, Elias’ oldest son,  began driving the supply wagons when he was seven years old. In 1904 Elias and Sarah gave land on the Renfroe-Carthage Road for the McKay School. (Used by permission from

Added 14, June 2016

McKay, Reverend Samuel Jasper

Most of the McKay’s that helped settle Leake County were the children and grandchildren of Reverend Samuel P. McKay of Maddison County, Mississippi.  Several of Rev. McKay’s children settled in Leake County when they married in the 1840’s and 1850’s.  All but one son John had moved by 1870. His children were: John McKay and his wife Susan Sophia Allen; William Robert McKay and his wife Falbert Cobb; Luisa Jane McKay and husband Squire Allen; Rebecca Ann McKay and husband George W. Kilcrease; and Pamelia F. McKay and husband William Lytleton.

Reverend McKay was a Baptist minister and moved to Leake County when he received a land patent in 1835. During the 1840’s he moved to Carol County and lived there until 1853.  He then moved back to the Barnes Community and lived there until his death in 1866.  He was a Justice of the Peace during the 1830’s and 1850’s.  After his death, his widow Rebecca Cain McKay and four of his children Joseph E. and wife Katherine Douglas; Thomas A. and wife Martha Redding; Reverend Allen Cain, a Baptist minister of the Rocky Point community and wife Martha Dean; Mary and husband George Dorsey moved to East Texas.  The organized Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church in Emory, Texas in Raines County.  (Used by permission from

Added 14, June 2016

Alford, Columbus Washington

Lum Alford born January 12, 1850 Troup County, Georgia and wife Maryann D. Glover, born August 11,1855 in South Carolina, moved to Leake County, Mississippi in the early 1880’s.  Alford’s forefathers were in state and city government in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.  Lum and his wife were married September 17, 1871 in Tallapoosa County, Alabama where their first five children were born.  The other seven were born in Leake County.

When the family moved to Leake County, they rented a home for a year and then bought land in the Freeny area giving five bales of cotton for it.  The family farmed, but Lum was an ordained “Hardshell” Baptist preacher.  He was liberated to preach in February 1897, ordained at Shockalo, May1906 called as a pastor with Elder J.R. Willis in November 1906. He was called for the next fifteen years as pastor and retired in 1922 because of ill health. ( Authored by Ruby Alford Heard. Used by permission from

Added 14, June 2016

EUGENE HOWARD, sheriff of Lincoln parish and a resident of Ruston, La., is a native of Leake county, Miss., where he was born September 16, 1845, a son of H.H. and Jane (Stribling) Howard. His father was a native of the state of New York and his mother was born in South Carolina. His grandfather, Jonathan Howard, was an Englishman by birth and came from England to New York when a young man. There he married and reared a family of five sons and two daughters, of this number the father of our subject was the third in order of nativity. He removed to Vicksburg, Miss., when he was about twenty-two years of age, and there he remained until 1843, when he took up his residence in Carthage, Leake county, Miss., and where he married and where for a number of years he was successfully engaged in merchandising. In 1853 he removed to Vienna, where he opened a store and carried on an extensive mercantile business until his death, which occurred in 1862. Sheriff Howard was permitted but a limited education, but at an early age, thirteen, he became an assistant in his father’s store, and thus while but a youth, acquired a good number of business habits and a general knowledge of affairs. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, of the Fifth Louisiana cavalry, which was commanded by Colonel Copers, in which he served in the trans-Mississippi department of the confederate states army during the entire period of the war. He was paroled at Monroe, May, 1865, and returned home, and in 1866 he engaged in merchandising on a small scale, the war having left him practically without capital. In this he continued until 1876, when he was appointed tax collector, in which office he served with great fidelity until its abolition as a separate office under the constitution of 1879, when he was elected sheriff and collector. He has since that time served continuously, having been re-elected at each election since, practically without opposition, which speaks volumes for the confidence reposed in him by the people of Lincoln parish and attests the efficiency with which he has discharged his important trust. He was married in 1870 to Miss Sallie Mayfield, of Lincoln parish, who has borne him three children – one son and two daughters. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and is connected with other local interests of importance. [Source: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana; Chicago; The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1892; transcribed by Kim Mohler.]


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