Historical Notes 1873 through 1923

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Margaret Watts Hays and her children had traveled to join her mother and brothers on the Watts ranch near Mariposa, California in July of 1872. Margaret's oldest daughter, Betty married Tomas Lee Moutrey in 1873 and went to live in Merced Co., California. The Watts’ sold their property and the family moved to Tulare Co. where Margaret's Uncle Dick Berry and his family had settled. The farm they chose was on the edge of Tulare Lake, excellent for all types of crops with grazing for cattle on the nearby hills. Margaret lived on the farm, joined by her second husband William B. Overstreet who she married in 1877, until about 1920. In 1890 Margaret returned to Missouri and visited many relatives and old friends. 


Margaret's farm was the center of family life during those years. There were a few milestones: Elizabeth Watts' death in 1876, Fleda's marriage to James Kimble Apperson in 1877, the birth of her son Claude Colwell Overstreet in 1878, the marriage of Jennup to Joel Andrew Whiteside in 1881, and the marriage of  John Nathan to Lillie B. Mills in 1882. Soon there were grandchildren at the family gatherings and visitors from Missouri. Among the visitors were Linville and Laurinda Hays, Amazon and Mary Hays, Alfred Boone Hays and his family who settled on a nearby farm. William Overstreet's sister, Lizzie Overstreet Twining, came from Illinois. At various times the farm became home to relatives and these included nephews Boone Hays, Amazon Scholl Hays, Berry Yocum, John H. Watts and niece Clara Alice Watts. When her son John's wife died several of his children came to live with her.


There were many letters back and forth from the relatives as the families kept in touch and although none of Margaret's letters have survived, she kept many letters from relatives and they are included in this section. Some of these letters are only fragments but each adds a little to the story of this family's life.  Writers in this section include James B. and Mary Yager, Laurinda Hays, Richard Crump, Anna Hays, Boone Hays, Sophia Hays Booth, Annie Bell Berry, William N. Young, Lizzie Twining, John S. Watts, Jr., Louisa Yager Hamilton, Sarah Yager Caldwell, John B. Hays, Betty Hays Moutrey, and Laura Craghead Hainline.


                                                         Mrs. Overstreet Funeral Held Sunday (1)

The funeral services for Margaret J. Overstreet who died last week was held Sunday from the Presbyterian Church. Internment was in the Grangeville cemetery.

Mrs. Overstreet was a pioneer of this country having homesteaded a piece of land east of Lemoore in the early days. She was born in the State of Kentucky September 26, 1836 and was 86 years, 7 months and 8 days of age at the time of her death. She was married to Upton Hays in 1852. To them were born 4 children, one son and three daughters. The late John N. Hays, Mary E. Moutrey of Norfalk (2) Madera County, Mrs. Elfleda Apperson and Jennie Upton Whiteside, the latter two daughters of this city. Mr. Upton Hays was an officer in the confederate army and was killed in battle. Mr. Hays was a greatgrandson of Daniel Boone.

In 1872 Mrs. Hays moved with her children to California where her parents had moved several years before. Five years after coming to California and 12 years after the death of her first husband Mrs. Hays was united in marriage to Wm. Overstreet in 1877. To them one son was born, Claude C. Overstreet.

Mrs Overstreet was second cousin of Nancy Hanks, the mother of Abraham Lincoln. She (Nancy Hanks) was the niece of Mrs. Overstreet's grandfather and it was at his house that Nancy Hanks grew to womanhood, and was married to Lincoln's father. Mrs Overstreet was third cousin of Abraham Lincoln.

(1) This obituary is from the Lemoore or Armona newspaper, Kings Co., California.

(2) North Fork


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Letters Section 1873-1923
Read a letter by clicking on a letter number in the history, or in index to the right.
To read an Historical Notes footnote click on designated number.

Click to read:

Letters 86-90:

Letters 91-98:

Letters 99-109:
INDEX of Letters & Correspondents from 1873 - 1923
People Index