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Wellington Sample

Wellington Sample

He was really wealthy. A Scotsman who came to Texas via Canada, purchased land along the River Road (likely part of the old Seabourne Lewis Plantation) and become a very successful stockraiser. He did not marry until right at the end of his life — married a school teacher named Augusta King in 1907,  just months before he died. But in 1882 after the death of Carlos, Wellington may have comforted Betsy, shall we say, and a child was born to them in 1883. She named the boy William M. Sample. Wellington apparently acknowledged his son openly and in his Will left the boy part of the ranch and other property or possessions.

The land that Wellington had purchased was in the Miguel Manchaca grant, so he and Betsy were close neighbors, in more than one sense of the word. His land likely wrapped around hers.

But Wellington was not just keeping himself for only Betsy (thankfully, since she was 50 years old) — he had a relationship with Dinah Fox down the road, and of that pairing came two children: Joseph Phil Sample born in 1882 and Mary G. Sample born in 1887. Remember the name ‘Dinah’, as we shall come back to her.

Young Will Sample apparently set aside an acre of land on his ranch as a cemetery. It is not known who the first grave was; there are only 13 identified on FindAGrave. He did bury his mother (Betsy) there when she died sometime after 1910, as noted in family papers.

Fagans Purchase the Sample Pasture

From my own family history: When Will Sample put his ranch up for sale after the death of his mother, it was purchased by Jules and Will Fagan. They always referred to it as “the Sample Pasture”. These were the bachelor uncles of my grandmother, Mary DuBois.

When Jules and Will died, they left the Sample Pasture and all of their other Fagan ranch holdings to my grandmother and her sister, Texana DuBois. The DuBois girls married the Matthew twins … and that’s where I come into the picture.

So, the house at the Matthews/Fagan ranch was up on a hill overlooking the Sample Cemetery, where Betsy and some of her descendants are buried. It was set in a grove of live oaks. The road to it was a pair of deep sandy trails in the grass. We always went down there on Decoration Day to help clean and decorate the graves, after which there would be a big barbeque put on by the Black cowboys and their families — many of whom were kin to us by blood.