The USGenWeb Archives
Taylor County, Texas

Jacob A. Reynolds Biography
Submitted by:
Roy Reynolds

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Jacob Allen Reynolds brought his wife Mattie Steele Reynolds and their two children Lula Mabel Reynolds and Roy Steele Reynolds to Tuscola from Van Zant County, Texas about 1910. Jacob Allen Reynolds was the son of Allen Reynolds. Allen Reynolds was born in 1832. He was a Confederate soldier and a member of Co. H., 34th infantry, Mississippi Volunteers. He died as a soldier in 1863 and was buried in the Myrtle Hill cemetery in Rome, Georgia. Allen Reynolds married Martha Whittington from Jefferson County, Alabama. Martha was born March 5, 1837 the daughter of Wilburn Whittington and Mary Goolsby. Allen and Martha had two sons Jacob Allen born April 13, 1862 and John Francis born December 2, 1859. The sons were born in Tippah County, Mississippi. Martha and the two sons moved to Van Zant County in 1873. Martha later married Mr. Harrington whom I have no history. There was also a daughter of Martha's, Mary Sanders whom I have no history. Martha Whittington Reynolds Harrington died October 24, 1922 and is buried in Liberty Cemetery on FM2339 about 5 miles west of Callender Lake in Van Zant County.

Jacob Allen and Mattie Reynolds built their home in Tuscola on the south side of 1st street. The home was a two story frame house facing the east with a sleeping porch across the front of the top floor. The house was approximately mile west of what is now the Santa Fe railroad. He established a mercantile store at the southeast corner of Brown and Main streets, which was later moved a block to the west. He built a cotton gin to the east of his home. Both the home and the gin are now gone. He established a second gin in Brownsfield, Texas. He died in 1922 and is buried in the family plot at the Tuscola Cemetery. Mattie continued to live in the family home with her daughter Mabel until her death in 1944. She is buried next to Jacob in the Tuscola Cemetery.

Jacob Allen Reynolds married Mattie Williams Steele on Nov 27, 1887. She was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi on Nov 28, 1867 the daughter of Sewell W. Steele and Sinia Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stovall Steele. A second Daughter of Sewell and Lizzie was Lula Belle Steele also born in Neshoba County, Mississippi on Sept 27, 1866. Sewell and family left Mississippi on Dec 3, 1869 and arrived in Van Zant County, Texas on Jan 2, 1870. Sewell Steele died 9 July, 1876 and Lizzie Steele, who later married J.W. Williams, died 26 Sept., 1919. Both Sewell and Lizzie are buried in the Edom Cemetery about 2 miles north of Edom on highway FM279.

I will digress some and cover the Steele family's ancestors. Sewell Steele was a lieutenant in the CSA army. He introduced himself to Lizzie Stovall through writing her a letter dated 12 Sept.1861. The letters continued throughout the war (9 in all) with the last one dated Nov. 1864. Following the war Sewell married Lizzie on Dec 31, 1865 and they moved to Van Zant County with their two daughters arriving Jan 2, 1870.

Sewell Steele was born in 1834 in Le Ray, Jefferson County, New York and left home before 1850 ending up in Mississippi. He was the son of Elisha Steele Jr. and Eunice Barrett Steele.

The ancestral lineage can be traced back to Robert Steele born about 1464 in Fairsted, Essex, England through the Latter-Day Saints ancestral files:
Enter the name Elisha Steele Jr. His Ancestral File Number is AFN VCOR-71

Jacob and Mattie Reynolds daughter Mabel was born in Van Zant County on Dec.14, 1888. She was a student at Mary Hardin Baylor and later married Bun D. Milburn in Nov.1911. Mabel and Bun had three children all growing up in Tuscola. Harold was born Jan 31, 1912, Mattye Sue born Jan 10, 1915 and Jack Allen Milburn born Apr 30, 1916. Bun Milburn died in 1925. Mabel married Bun's brother Albert Milburn in the late 40's and moved to the plains and later to San Diego. Harold is buried in the family plot in the Tuscola Cemetery.

Jacob and Mattie Reynolds son Roy Steele Reynolds was born in Van Zant County, Texas on Jan 24, 1893. He received his major in Physic at Simmons College, now Hardin Simmons University, in 1914. He joined the U.S. Army in 1917 as a member of Co.E, 141st Infantry, of the 36th Division, was wounded in battle in France. After returning home he married his sweetheart Maggie B. Branton also of Tuscola, on May 4, 1919.To them was born Vivian Jean who died at birth in Feb 1922. Their son Roy Jr. was born Oct. 8, 1925. They moved to Junction, Texas in 1926 where he set up an electrical contracting business, and to Abilene in 1933. Roy died in 1947 and Maggie in 1985. Maggie taught Sunday School classes at the South Side Baptist church in Abilene for many years. Both are buried in the family plot in the Tuscola Cemetery. Maggie Branton was the daughter of Charles Hillory Branton and Maggie B. Cash. She was born Sept. 12, 1897 in Cameron, Milam Co., Texas. (For the continuation of this see the Branton Family Story)

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