Lucy Waller: Timeline
1849, Oct. 22: Emma Barber Garnett, eldest child and only daughter, born to Dr. Thomas Stuart Garnett (1828-1863) and Emma Lavinia Barber (1825-1906). Cople Parish, Westmoreland County, Virginia
1850 Census: Slave Schedule lists Thomas Garnett as owner of 3 Slaves (females, ages 22 and 14; 1 male age 13)
1852-4: Lucy Waller born, probably in Westmoreland County, Virginia. It is most probable that she belonged to the Garnett family although it is also possible she belonged to the Barber family first. Emma is age 4+.
1859, Nov. 4: James Lockhart Autry, Jr. is born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He is the only child of James L. Autry (1830-1862), Speaker of the Mississippi House, and Eugenia “Jeannie” Valliant (1835-1912). James is the son of Micajah Autry who died at the Alamo during the Texas Revolution.
1860 Federal Census: Thomas Garnett’s worth is listed as $14,000 real estate and $15,930 personal wealth.
1860 Federal Census: Slave Schedule: lists T. S. Garnett as the owner of 18 slaves. Of these slaves, he owns 2 females aged 9 and 7 respectively. Lucy could be either one according to the birth year on her tombstone. Emma Garnett is now10+.
1861, May 23: Virginia votes to secede from the United States.
1861, May 25: Thomas S. Garnett enlists as an officer in Company C, Virginia 9th Calvary. He will be a full Colonel at the time of his death.
1862, Dec. 31: Col. James L. Autry is killed at the Battle of Stones River outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee. His son James, Jr. is 3 years old. He and his mother Jeannie go to live with her sister Martha in Panola County, Mississippi.
1863, Jan. 1: The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect.
1863, May 4: Colonel Thomas Garnett dies of wounds he received at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Spotsylvania, Virginia. Shot in the throat and on the way to a Richmond hospital, he survived long enough to write his family “I am mortally wounded. I know the nature of these things.” Emma Garnett is 13 and Lucy is 9-10 on this date. I have been unable to locate Thomas’ will which might mention Lucy.
1870 Federal Census: Emma Garnett, age 19, is living with her maternal grandfather on his plantation Spy Hill, King George County, Virginia with her mother and three brothers. Her grandfather had purchased Spy Hill from the family of President George Washington in 1828. Despite Reconstruction, her grandfather Thomas Barber is worth $32,000 in real estate and has a personal worth of $10,000.
1870 Federal Census: Lucy Waller is 15-16 years old and cannot be found in any census.
1872: James L. Autry, Jr. enrolls in the Sewanee Prep School thanks to mentorship of Bishop William Mercer Green, long-time Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi and a founder of the University of the South.
1874, Jan. 28: Emma Garnett marries a cousin Richard Channing Beale at her grandfather’s plantation Spy Hill. From an equally illustrious and wealthy family, Richard Beale had enlisted at age 14 as aide to his father Confederate Brigadier General Richard Lee Turberville Beale (1819-1893) who commanded the 9th Cavalry. After the war, he read law under the direction of his father while recovering from life as a POW. Lucy Waller is 19-20 years old. Unless she was given as a playmate to Emma, it is possible that Lucy goes to work for the newlywed couple as housekeeper and cook.
1874, Nov. 19: Richard and Emma Beale have a daughter Genevieve Garnett Beale born at Spy Hill. Richard has a law practice in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
1875, Feb. 4: Jeannie Autry marries Confederate Commodore Isaac Newton Brown in Mississippi. James cannot stand his step-father and leave Sewanee before graduation. He decides to move to Texas with his paternal aunt Mary Autry Greer and her family. The move means both James and Mary Greer will claim 1940 acres in Navarro County, Texas as heirs of Micajah Autry (1795-1836) who was killed at the Alamo. Micajah Autry is James’ grandfather.
1875, Aug. 9: Genevieve Beale, age 9 months dies at Spy Hill and is buried in her family’s cemetery. Apparently, her parents soon move to Corsicana, Texas taking Lucy Waller with them. I have yet to find either the exact year or the reason for their move to Texas. They will remain childless. They do seem to have settled in Corsicana by 1878.
1879: James Autry is studying law under Judge Sam Frost in Corsicana, Texas and boarding with a farmer Thomas Harris.
1880 Federal Census: Richard Beale is listed as an attorney in Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas. His servant Lucy Waller, age 25, is listed. It is the first appearance of Lucy Waller on any document.
1880: Age 21, James L. Autry is licensed by Texas Bar Association.
1881 Jan.: Richard Beale is made a Navarro County judge.
1883: James Autry’s mother Jeannie Autry Brown and the Brown family leave Mississippi to live in Corsicana. Judge Beale is granted a leave of absence due to illness by the Texas Bar Association. James L. Autry will step in as temporary County Jundge
1884 May: Judge Beal resigns his office due to illness. James L. Autry is appointed to take his place as Navarro County Judge.
1889, June 9: Judge Richard Beale dies and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Corsicana, Texas. Emma Beale decides to return to Spy Hill in Virginia. According to Allie Autry Kelley, Lucy Waller announces she won’t go back with Mrs. Beale because she wants to take care of Judge Autry.
1889, Sept. 1: Commodore Isaac Brown dies and is buried in Corsicana, Texas. Jeannie Autry Brown moves in to live with her son James and Lucy Waller.
1894, June 9: H. G. Johnston, E. H. Akin and Charles Rittersbacher, of the American Well & Prospecting Company, discover the first major oil field west of the Mississippi while drilling for artesian water for Corsicana. Judge Autry is president of both the Corsicana Water and Development Company and the Corsicana Commercial Club. Over the next century, Corsicana oil fields will produce some 44 million barrels of oil.
1895, April 13: Lynching of Nelson Calhoun. Nelson Calhoun, a negro, was arrested last night on suspicion of having assaulted Mrs. Rose Hughes of this city. He was taken before Mrs. Hughes and identified as her assailant. The officers started back to the jail, followed by a posse of citizens on horseback. On the outskirts of the city the negro opened the door of the carriage and tried to escape. The citizen fired, riddling his body with bullets. The body was placed on public exhibition at the morgue, and was viewed by hundreds of people.
1896, June 24: Judge James L. Autry marries Allie Belle Kinsloe at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Corsicana, Texas.
1897: Jeannie Autry Brown is a founding member of the new Corsicana Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She will remain a guiding force in the organization until 1909.
1898: Lucy Waller is listed in the Corsicana City Directory under her own name. She is listed as a servant. Her residence is listed as “See Autry”. The Autry home is 640 W. 5th Ave. in Corsicana.
1898: The first well-equipped refinery in Texas is built in Corsicana, and shipped its first production in 1899..
1899, May 15: James L. Autry III, “Jimmie” or “the little judge”, is born to Judge and Mrs. Autry in Corsicana, Texas. Lucy Waller will regard him as “her boy” until her death.
1900 Federal Census: Lucy Waller is listed as a servant and cook in Judge Autry’s household in Corsicana and as illiterate. She is listed as being born in 1853, single, and childless.
1900: First photographs of Lucy Waller taken. They are now in the James L. Autry Collection at Rice University.
1901, March 13: John Henderson, a black man age 22, is lynched in town (burned at the stake) by a Corsicana crowd for the murder of a white woman. Henderson made a full confession and was being transferred to Fort Worth when a vigilante group pulled him off the train.
1903, July 5: Allie Kinsloe Autry is born to Judge and Mrs. Autry in Corsicana, Texas.
1904: The Autry family and Lucy Waller move to 728 Keith Street in Beaumont, Texas. Lucy Waller is listed under her own name in the Beaumont City Directory in the same form as the 1898 Corsicana Directory.
1905: The Texas Company, which will become Texaco, Inc. in 1959, in incorporated in Beaumont, Texas. James L. Autry is a co-founder and the first house counsel in history for a Texas corporation.
1908: The Autry family and Lucy Waller move to 2114 Milam Street, Houston, Texas while their home is being built at #5 Courtlandt Place. This house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by Alfred C. Finn, when he worked for the Fort Worth architecture firm of Sanguinet & Staats.
1910 Federal Census: Lucy Waller is listed as a servant and cook for the Autry family. She is listed as being 55, single, childless, and illiterate.
1912, June 12: Jeannie Autry Brown dies at age 76 of endocarditis, which is a heart infection, at 2114 Milam Street. She is taken is taken to Corsicana and buried in the Oakwood Cemetery next to Commodore Brown.
1912: The Autry family and Lucy Waller move into #5 Courtlandt Place.
1916 Nov.: New York investors in the The Texas Company force a proxy fight and oust J. S. Cullinan as president. Judge Autry resigns as house counsel in protest. The two turn their full attention to the Magnolia Petroleum Company and their other companies.
1916, January 9: Lucy Waller dies of pneumonia at #5 Courtlandt Place. According to Allie Autry Kelley, “Tap” got pneumonia from waiting in the rain at the trolley stop on Main Street for “Jimmie”. He had gone out with friends and forgotten an umbrella.
1916, January 10: Lucy Waller’s death is mentioned on the front page of the Houston Post. An obituary of “Aunt Lucy” and memorial poem (dreadful) are on p. 10. Despite his efforts, Judge Autry is unable to bury Tap in the Autry plot at Glenwood Cemetery. He purchases a plot in the African-American cemetery now called College Memorial Park Cemetery at 3525 W. Dallas Street. Her large marble tombstone bears her name and dates and the motto “Faithful and True”. Instead of facing east, as is tradition, the gravestone faces NE towards Glenwood.
1916, March 15: James L. Autry filed the will of Lucy Walker (court misspell) in the Harris County Court. Lucy left her entire estate ($1000) to her boy, James L. Autry, Jr. Case No. 00736
1916 June: Judge James L. Autry suffers a major stroke and retires from most of his legal affairs. Following another stroke, he dies on September 29, 1920 at #5 Courtlandt Place and is buried in the Autry plot at Glenwood Cemetery.