William Riley TRIPP 1851-1929

a biography

William Riley TRIPP was born on 23 Sep 1851 in Clinton County, Michigan. He died on 13 Nov 1929 in Jack County, Texas. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Jack County, Texas. William married Nettie (Henrietta) Medora AVERY, daughter of James Merritt AVERY and Sarah Emeline CAMPBELL on 16 Aug 1877 in Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Michigan. Nettie was born on 30 Sep 1857 in Bingham Twp, St Johns, Clinton County, Michigan. She died on 26 Oct 1939 in Jack County, Texas, USA. She was buried in 1939 in Oakwood Cemetery, Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas, USA.

William Riley TRIPP was the son of Gideon Bowdish TRIPP and Louisa DRAKE. William Riley TRIPP was named for his Grandfather, William DRAKE, and his uncle, David Riley DRAKE.

While still residing in Michigan, Louisa TRIPP (nee DRAKE) separated from Gideon Bowdish TRIPP between 1864 and 1866 and went to live with her mother Nancy DRAKE (nee BARNEY), leaving young William and his sister Ellen with their father, Gideon TRIPP. Williams father was 19 years senior in age to William’s mother, Louisa DRAKE. The age difference may have been a factor in the separation, however another factor may have been Louisa's insistence on purchasing new farm land which turned out to be very poor land indeed.

Gideon and Louisa were divorced by 1867. Louisa re-married to Henry LACKEY, 9 Jun 1867. Henry LACKEY was a brother-in-law to Louisa and lived 3 households away from the home of Louisa and Sarah’s parents in 1860. Louisa’s sister, Sarah Catherine DRAKE, had married Henry LACKEY in 1851. Sarah died 15 Jan 1867, leaving four children for whom Louisa probably had been the caregiver since the death of her sister.

Not long after Louisa’s marriage to LACKEY, Louisa took back her children, William and Ellen, while Gideon TRIPP was in town. Between June and October of 1867, Ellen TRIPP returned to live with her father briefly before marrying John SEDORE on 10 Oct 1867. She was 17 years old. William Riley TRIPP remained with his mother.

The events of the intervening years between 1870 and 1877 are a mystery. Neither Gideon Bowdish TRIPP nor his son, William Riley TRIPP appear in the 1870 census. It is believed that they may have been in the Oklahoma Territory during some of those years. However, in 1880, William Riley TRIPP is residing in Jack County, Texas while his mother and Henry LACKEY are residing in Palo Pinto County, Texas. The counties are adjoining. Later, Louisa LACKEY (nee DRAKE) would desert Henry LACKEY, (who later divorced her for desertion) and come to live with her son, William Riley TRIPP, by 1890.

William Riley Tripp, at the age of 26 , settled in Jack County, Texas where he brought his new wife, Nettie AVERY, to live in 1877. William was industrious and expanded his holdings over time. Several land deeds are registered: 1880, 1884, 1886, 1889, and 1900 at Jack County. Curiously additional land deeds are registered in Palo Pinto County: 1886, 1888, and 1889. He donated some of his land for a school site at Finis, a town founded in 1879 but now a ghost town.

Nettie Medora AVERY and William Riley TRIPP had the following children:

  • William Archie TRIPP b. 16 Apr 1880
  • Mary Louisa TRIPP b. 27 Dec 1882
  • Nellie Edith TRIPP b. 5 Jun 1885
  • Clyde Odell TRIPP b. 5 Jul 1890
  • Nettie Lucinda Gertrude TRIPP b. 17 Mar 1894
  • Lillie Emma TRIPP b. 27 Mar 1897

William was a Baptist and staunchly religious, not tolerating swearing nor alcohol. He enjoyed singing at the Baptist Church. His hair was dark brown, and he had brown eyes.

Obituary: The Jacksboro Gazette, Jacksboro, Texas, Nov 21 1929

"A double funeral was held at the Baptist Church for WR Tripp 78, and his son CO Tripp, the son having died Tuesday and the father, Wednesday.  REV  A R Bilsberry, pastor, officiated with interment in the Oakwood Cemetery. The Elder Tripp had been a resident of Jack County for more than 50 years, having located in the Finis community in 1877. Coming here from his native state, Michigan. Survived by widow, 1 son  W A Tripp of Graham, 4 daughters; Mrs WL Fields, Mrs Nellie Smith, Mrs JE Holman of Bryson, Mrs Hershal Holman of Graham. Clyde O Tripp was a native of Jack County, and was a veteran of WWI, and member of the American Legion. Survived by widow, 4 children Eunice, Opal, Mildred, Eugene."

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