William and Lysanias A. M. E. Standifer Cabaniss

This family information is generously contributed by Nina Marie Cosper Fuller, from her book William Cabaniss of Texas And His Wife Lysanias A. M. E. Standifer; pub. 2000

This book is wonderfully organized and contains 105 pages of well-documented family information, including many photos and interesting biographies.  The book actually begins with the progenitor, Henri Cabanis, b. 1675-abt 1720.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, the cost is $25.00, plus $5.00 for shipping cost unless ordering more than one book.  Each additional book is $1.50.  Please contact Nina by email.  You won't be disappointed.

         William1 Cabaniss, son of William Cabiniss and Dianna Greer, was born in TN 27 March 1814 and died 22 December 1855 in Lockhart, Caldwell Co., TX.2

           Our first record of William after being named in the will of his father was found in the marriage records of Noxubee county, Mississippi.  Later our attention was directed to a "W. Cabiness" listed in the 1840 Census of Noxubee county with males, 1 under 5, 1 age 20-30, and one age 40-50; females 2 under 5, 2 age 5-10, 2 age 10-15 and 1 age 20-30 but the ages and number of family members did not agree with comparison of the 1850 census.  In 1840, he and his wife had only two children, a son age three and a daughter age one through both he and Lysanias would be in the 20-3 group according to the 1850 census.  That the 1840 census of Noxubee county could not be our William and family would be verified in later census records and discovery of his mother's estate settlement file.

           In 1849, 1850 and 1851 William bought land in Leake county, which he sold in September 1853 and which was recorded December 1853.  He probably moved with his family to Caldwell county, Texas about this time for he purchased two tracts of land there recorded on 10 and 19 August 1854.  The first tract purchased for 'Twelve hundred dollars' from John B. McMahon and wife Marie P. McMahon, consisted to two hundred thirty acres more or less and 'lying and being on the waters of Plum Creek...down Plum Creek with its meanders to a stake on the west bank from which a spanish oak bears S 43 E and another bears N 40 W both marked with a blaze and chop and giving a front of three hundred varas at right angles with the north line..."  The second tract was purchased from John C. McKeon for 'three hundred dollars,' contained the house and outbuilding as it conveyed 'with all and singular the rights...and appurtenances,' consisted of seventy eight and ten tenth acres 'on the waters of Plum Creek and bounded...to Garrison Greenwoods S. E. corner thence to a stake to the place of beginning..."

            Unfortunately, William was not to enjoy his new home in Texas very long.  A copy of a letter written by a granddaughter in the 1930s stating he was killed in a salon in Lockhart led to the search and eventual discovery of a new item in The Texas Republican, Marshall, TX, 2 February 1856 which verified his date of death.

FATAL AFFRAY - We learn that a fight took place at Lockhart, on Saturday the 22d ult., between Mr. Cabaniss and Asas Perry, in which the former was killed.  We know the parties, but have heard none of the particulars of the unfortunate occurrence. - Sequine Mercury 5th inst.  Mr. Perry who killed Mrs. Cabaniss on the 22 d ult., has not yet been arrested.  It is thought that he will return and stand his trial. - Lockhart Watchman.

          As William died intestate, Probate Books A, B, C and D have over 120 pages of records regarding his estate, the most informative of his assets is the inventory and appraisal. His estate was appraised at $12,221 and included thirteen slaves, the 340 acres of land, 46 head cattle, 7 yoke oxen, 8 Spanish mares, 1 colt, 3 halbreed colts, 1 spring colt, 1 horse, 2 American Mares, 3 mules, 2 waggons, 29 head stock hogs, 1 shot gunn and Pistol, and household and kitchen furniture.  Slaves named were Abram appraised for $750, Clary for $500, Eliza and child for $1,600, Williby for $250, Frank for $250, and Amanda Jane for $550 totaling $8,800 or 72 percent of the appraised value of his estate.  Reading the above inventory, the thought occurs that William may have planned to establish a "horse ranch" in Texas though this has never been mentioned in family tradition.  Other interesting bits in those Probate records are expenses against his estate for tutors for the children, all of which were minors, music lessons, and doctor bills.  Additional research may reveal much more interesting history.  Also recorded was an appraisal which named as separate property of his wife Lysanias four slaves: woman Katy for $800, girl Harrena, for $500, boy Henry for $300, and boy Monroe for $200.  More about his later.

          William married Lysanias A. M. F. Standifer in Noxubee Co., MS 13 May 1836 the marriage being performed by a John Standifer, Justice of the Peace.3  Lysanias was born in AL circa 1816.4 said to be the daughter of Skelton Standifer and Lydia (Liddy) Echols.  Lysanias died 18 February 1899 in Edwards county, Texas and was buried near Vance in Edwards county.5 Later Vance was included in Real County which was created in 1913 from Edwards, Bandera and Kerr counties.

           After the estate of William was inventoried Lysanias asked the court, which granted her request, that her personal property to be excluded from the estate of her husband.  Her personal property of four slaves may be a clue to whether Skelton Standifer and wife Lydia Echols were her parents.  Skelton was involved for several years in a court case involving slaves inherited by his children from their mother, Lydia Echols Standifer, and which ultimately was settled in the Supreme Court of Alabama.  Is there a possibility one of these slaves may be a descendant of one inherited from her mother?  If naming patterns of slaves followed the same patterns of their owners a clue may be contained in this case which cited from John Echol's Will: "I lend to my daughter Lydia Standifer, during her natural life, five Negroes, viz? Herrena & these five Negroes with all their increase, I will to the lawful begotten heirs of Lydia Standifer, to be equally divided among them at her death."  Note the name Herrena from the will, and which was also one of the slaves named in the court case, is part of her separate property named by Lysanias.

Lysanias A. M. E. Standifer Hunter

          Another possible clue to the identity of her parents are her initials, A. M. E., shown in the record of her marriage to William.  One correspondent descended from the Standifer-Echols marriage suggested they may stand for Ann (or Amelia) Moore Echols, all names occurring in the Echols line.  Another clue was received in 1889 from Beverly C. Marcom of Baton Rouge, Louisiana told of a letter written by Iris Hill, a granddaughter of Jesse Marshall Standifer, to a Mrs. Brooks of Dallas saying Skelton Standifer was born in Halifax county, Virginia and married Lydia Echoles.  Their children were Rachel, Jesse, James, John & Lycininus.  Ms. Marcom further stated "I want to believe this and it fits except the Rachel part.  If there was another daughter I've found no indication...."

       Family tradition portrayed Lysanias as a poor manager, which was probably true.  Although the slaves which accounted for so much of the estate left by William were freed a few years after the death of her husband, the stock on hand and the proximity of the land to running water should have provided a comfortable situation for her family.  However she managed, or didn't, she apparently made it on her own until she married John Hunter on 23 November 1865.  She and John removed from Caldwell county prior to 1869.  Her children were all by William.

William Cabaniss and Lysanias A. M. E. Standifer had the following family:

Jesse Maltiades Cabaniss, b. abt 1837
Lydia Tranquilla Cabaniss, b. abt 1839
Dian Durrett Cabaniss, b. 17 Nov 1840
Amelia Amarilla Cabaniss, b. abt 1845
Napoleon Bonaparte Cabaniss, b. 21 Aug 1847
Josephine Cabaniss, b. abt 1849

Lysanias A. M. E. Standifer Hunter is buried near Vance, TX

1. Strong family Bible, "The Plum Creek Almanac".
2. Newspaper: "The Texas Republican", Marshall, TX 2 Feb 1856
3. Marriage Book A, p. 23, Noxubee Co., MS
4. 1850 Census Leake Co., AL
5. Cemetery near Vance, TX. (Formerly  in Edwards Co., TX)

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