1871 Letters

Sallie Texanna Kendrick Horsley to Green Horsley Knowles

Original letters and photos courtesy of Charles R. Knowles

Transcriptions and Images of Original Letters*

Letter of 29 Apr 1871 Transcription Original
Letter of 7 Jun 1871 Transcription Original
Letter of 19 Jul 1871 Transcription Original

Biographical Notes for Sallie T. K. Horsley and Green Horsley Knowles

SARAH "SALLIE" TEXANNA KENDRICK HORSLEY was a granddaughter of Valentine and Sarah Kendrick Horsley. Her parents were Valentine and Sarah's second son Thomas Horsley and his wife Sarah "Sallie" Huson. Sallie T. K. Horsley, the youngest of their seven children, was born 28 Feb 1835 shortly after the family moved from Talbot County, GA to Sabine District, TX. Thomas Horsley, a farmer and Baptist minister, was the only one of Valentine's seven children to leave the Georgia area, yet Sallie's letters show the families stayed in touch.

Sallie’s family was among the first to settle in Van Zandt County, TX, where her father patented over 5000 acres in 1847. There is still a Horsley Creek about 10 miles north of Edom, TX, the post office address on Sallie’s letters.

Sallie Horsley
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Her parents died between 1860-1870, and Sallie likely inherited her 700 acres in Van Zandt where she wrote the letters in 1871. By that time, her brothers Andrew J., David V., and Abraham G. Horsley, and her sister Martha A. Horsley Piles/Pyles also had died. Sallie’s remaining siblings Jacob K. Horsley and Caroline "Carrie" Horsley, then widow of Pleasant Young, lived with their families about 100 miles from Sallie in McLennan County, TX, where Carrie died after 1900. Jacob, whose second wife Mary Brandon was a granddaughter of Thomas Horsley’s sister Anna Horsley Brandon, died between 1880-1900 in Clay County, TX. By 1900, Sallie was living with her niece Joanna Delila Piles Cotney, her sister Martha and William M. Piles/Pyles’ only surviving child, in Norman, Cleveland County, OK, where Sallie T. K. Horsley died 30 Oct 1902 at age 67.

GREEN HORSLEY KNOWLES was a great-grandson of Valentine and Sarah Kendrick Horsley. His mother Nancy Horsley was a daughter of Valentine and Sarah's eldest son Joseph Horsley and his first wife Phoebe Rodden. Nancy married Henry W. Knowles in 1828 in Jasper County, GA. They were living near Nancy's father and several siblings in Randolph County, GA when their son Green was born in 1844. The family moved about 1850 to Jackson County, FL, where Green grew up.

At the time of the first letter, 29 Apr 1871, Green's older brother William K. Knowles had moved to Coryell County, TX. Green was considering a move to Texas as well and wanted Sallie’s advice. By the next letter, dated 7 Jun 1871, Green was then in Texas visiting with his brother. Green decided to remain in Texas and became part of his brother William’s household, jointly farming the land.

Green Horsley Knowles
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William K. Knowles and his wife both died in 1880, Green was granted guardianship of William’s only child, 8-year-old Georgia Knowles. (Around 1902, her cousin Jesse M. Clark Knowles, son of Green and William’s brother Francis M. Knowles, moved from Florida to Texas to marry Georgia after long correspondence.) By the mid-1880’s, another brother, Charles B. Knowles, and his family from Florida joined Green in Coryell County. Their father Henry W. Knowles died in Coryell County, TX in 1893, and Charles died there two years later. Also in 1895, Green's mother Nancy Horsley Knowles died back in Jackson County, FL where many of her children’s families still lived. These deaths left Green the only one of his immediate family remaining in Texas. Despite his initial qualms Green expressed to Sallie, Texas must have agreed with him after all. Green Horsley Knowles died in Gatesville, Coryell County, TX on 11 Apr 1928 at age 84.

Joan Horsley
June 2011

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