This is a photo of and information about GEORGE COLLETT McDERMETT and family members from the family book produced in 1984.

George Collett McDermett


George always used to keep a tub full of apples in or around the house. Any time someone came to the house and wanted an apple, he would give them one or some. This was particularly true of children or relatives.

George was a farmer mostly. He was always good to help the sick or needy.

He lived on the "prarie", which is a few miles (one or more) north of Johnsville.

George and his wife are buried in the Aycock Cemetery located about 7 miles east of Stephenville on highway 67. Turn left at the large billboard sign of Charles Neblett's Hereford Ranch. Go about 1 1/2 miles to the first cattle guard on the left. The cemetery is about 1/4 mile off the road in a pasture. It is fenced, but has not been worked on in many years. There are many lost graves here, and many marked only with stones. This was at one time quite a large cemetery. Copied Feb. 24, 1973. - The above description was copied from the book "Cemetery Inscriptions, Erath County, Volume 2., by Shirley Brittain Cawyer and Weldon I. Hudson.

LONE STAR STATE , History of Texas, Central; Lewis Publishing Co. 1896

GEORGE C. MCDERMOTT - This gentleman is to be individually considered as one of the representative citizens and farmers of Ruth county and also as a representative of one of the pioneer families of the Lone Star Slate, of which be is a native. He was born in Hill County, June 4, 1852, son of Thomas and Deborah(Smith) McDermott, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Illinois.

Thomas McDermott moved with his parents from Pennsylvania to Tennessee at an early day, remained with them there until he grew up and then, about 1845, left the parental home and started out to make his own way in the world. It is then that he came to Texas. In Bowie county he sojourned until the following year, when he enlisted for service in the Mexican war. He was a participant in all the battles commanded by General Taylor. At the close of the war he returned to Texas, a veteran and a victor, and soon afterward was married and established his home on a farm which he bought. For some years he had his farming operations and he himself engaged in freighting hauling freight with ox teams from Houston to the interior towns. Thus was he occupied when the civil war broke out. He enlisted in 1861 in the confederate service and went to the front, leaving his family on the farm. He was with the forces that operated in Louisiana and Arkansas, was on duty throughout the war and saw much hard service, escaping, however, both capture and serious wounds. At the close of that sanguinary struggle he returned to Texas. Since then he has made his home in Erath county. He continued freighting while it was profitable, handled stock to some extent, and lastly devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits, he having bought land in this county. His children grew up, married and scattered, and in 1893 his wife died, and since then he sold his farm and retired from active work. He now makes his home among his children. In many respects his life has been an eventful one. From boyhood his home has been on the frontier; he is a veteran of two wars, he has lived out his threescore years and ten, and is now entitled to the rest and comfort which he enjoys. All these years he has been a stanch Democrat. He never aspired to official honors, but he was elected county commissioner and served as such with credit to himself and also to the county, and in all public matters he took a laudable interest. His wife was a member of the Baptist church. Of their nine children we make brief record as follows: William, a resident of Callahan county; Cora, wife of D. Arnold, a farmer; George C., whose name forms the heading of this sketch; Charles, Coleman county, this state; Hugh, Crosby county, Texas; Mary, wife of A. Davis, of Erath county; Frank, Eastland county, Texas; Samuel, a livery man of Hico, Texas; and Josephine, who died when young.

George C. McDermott was reared in this state, and while his frontier home was without school advantages he has acquired through his own efforts a practical education which has enabled him to successfully conduct his own business affairs. At the time of his marriage, which was when he was twenty-two years of age, he left the parental home and settled at his present location, and here he has since resided, with the exception of seven or eight years when he left the farm in order to afford his children better educational advantages. He now owns about five hundred acres of fine prairie land, all under fence, and one hundred and eighty-five acres in a good state of cultivation, most of it rented. His buildings and other improvements here are all first-class. Also he owns a ranch in Eastland county. Formerly he was largely interested in the stock business, buying, trading and shipping, and he is yet somewhat a trader. At his home place he raises only enough stock for the support of his farm.

Mr. McDermott, in October, 1874, wedded Mrs. Luhama Longacre, a widow with six children. She is a daughter of Jesse Caraway, a native of North Carolina, who went to Tennessee in early life, and in 1859 came to Texas, locating on the Paluxy, where he spent the rest of his life and where he died, in May, 1893. During the war he served on the home guard, and on one occasion, while in battle with the Indians, received an arrow shot through his shoulder blade. His widow survives him, is now seventy-four years of age, and still resides at the old homestead. She is a devoted Christian and faithful member of the Methodist church, as also was her worthy husband. Ten children constituted their family, namely: Louis, Adeline, Bryant, Luhama, Adam, John, Nancy A., Amanda, Archie and William H. All grew up and married, and the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren now number one hundred and fifteen. The six children of Mrs. McDermott by her first marriage are Mary E., wife of George Huster; Martha J., wife of James Crawford; Robert E., Thomas J., John C., and Benjamin F. Mr. and Mrs. McDermott have three children, -William B., Della and Alice.

Politically Mr. McDermott is a Democrat. Mrs. McDermott is a member of the Christian church.


Jesse Caraway, deceased, was one of Hood county's pioneer settlers, taking up his residence within her border in 1859. He lived in the beautiful and productive valley of Paluxy and aided in transforming its wild lands into rich and fertile fields. He witnessed almost the entire growth and progress of the region, living through the period when the Indians made frequent depredations in the neighborhood, and through the early day of settlement when the few homes were widely scattered over the trackless prairie. He left the impress of his individuality on the improvement and development of this region, and therefore deserves mention among the honored founders of the county which now takes its place among the best in the state. Jesse Caraway was a man whom to know was to respect, for his life was upright and straightforward in every particular.

He was a native of Duplin county, North Carolina, and a son of Bryant Caraway, who was born in the same state and was a descendant of a notable English family and a cousin of Rufus King, vice-president of the United States. His father married a Miss Reeves, and about the year 1830 removed with his family to Tennessee, becoming one of the first settlers of Gibson county, where he lived neighbor to Davy Crockett, the famed explorer and hunter; and between the two gentlemen there sprang up a warm friendship. Mr. and Mrs. Caraway spent there remaining days in that state and reared to maturity five children. He followed agricultural pursuits and died at an advanced age.

Jesse Caraway passed the days of his childhood and youth on the homestead farm and attended the district schools near by. He remained with his parents until his marriage, which occurred in 1838, when he espoused Miss Elizabeth Keathley. The lady is a native of Duplin county, North Carolina, and a daughter of Daniel and Lieuhamy Keathley, who were of Irish descent. With a wife to care for, Mr. Caraway now began farming, on his own account, and continued that pursuit in Tennessee until his emigration to Texas in 1859. He traveled with teams across the country, and after a journey of four weeks arrived at his destination. He purchased a tract of wild land in the Paluxy valley and began the arduous task of making a home and developing a farm on the frontier. He also engaged in raising stock, but his business was largely interrupted through the period of the civil war. He served as a member of a minute company engaged in protecting the frontier. On one occasion, while riding a spirited horse, he ran into a band of Indians, who fired upon him and he barely escaped with his life. When hostilities had ceased he resumed farming and stock-raising, which he carried on continuously until his death. He placed one hundred acres under a high state of cultivation, transforming it into one of the best improved farms in the Paluxy valley. He was industrious and energetic, and was most honorable and upright in all his business relations.

Mr. and Mrs. Caraway were the parents of six sons and four daughters, as follows: L.J., of Thorp Spring; Bryant, of Alma, Arkansas; Adam, of Marshall, Texas; Archie, who is living on the old homestead; John, of Anson, Texas; William, deceased; Adaline, wife of J.R. Jones, of Erath county; Lieuhamy, wife of George McDermett, of Erath county; Ann, wife of Albert Roberts, of De Leon, Texas; and Amanda, deceased wife of Joel Counts.

Mr. Caraway was an active and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and also belonged to the Masonic fraternity, and strange to say he was never known to speak an unkind word to his wife. He took an active interest in all affairs that tended to promote the material, educational, social or moral welfare of the community, and was one of the founders of the church with which he was so long connected. He left behind him the memory of a noble and well spent life and an example that is worthy of emulation. He passed away May 18, 1893, and his wife, a most estimable lady who had a large circle of friends, is still living, making her home on the old homestead.


W.E. McDermett, ranchman of Reagan County for more than twenty years, and district clerk of this county since 1918, has lived in Big Lake since the county seat was transferred there in June, 1925. Mr. McDermett also is county clerk of Reagan County, conducting the two offices with one clerical force. He keeps all records in good order, and has his departments of the county government in first-class condition, the office functioning smoothly and efficiently. Mr. McDermett owns a six-section ranch, three miles north of Stiles, but has leased this in order to give his entire time to official duties.

W.E. McDermett was born in Erath County, Texas, on the ninth day of December, 1875, a son of G.C. and Lienhany (Carroway) McDermett. Mr. McDermett Sr., a native of Hill County, engaged in stock farming in Erath County for many years. Mrs. McDermett was a native of Tennessee, but came to Texas as a girl in 1859. She and Mr. McDermett were married in 1874. They had four children, two now deceased. W.E. McDermett was educated in country schools of Erath County, following which he attended Add-Ran College, at Thorpe Springs, Texas. He then went with his father on his ranch in Erath County, Mr. McDermett, Sr., being a horse and stock raiser there. W.E. McDermett continued with his father until 1896, when he established a two hundred-acre farm, in Erath County, and engaged in stock farming several years, leasing the farm in 1898 and reentered the ranching business with his father, continuing with him until 1903. He then went to New Mexico and ranched until 1907, when he came to Reagan County and began operating a twelve-section ranch three miles north of Stiles. He raised cattle and horses until 1917, when he sold six sections of the ranch, retaining six. He ran high-grade Hereford cattle, using registered bulls; and also ran about one hundred head of horses, mostly mares and mules, until 1924. He then sold his cattle and moved the horses and mules to the Big Bend Country. He began his public career in 1918, when he was appointed county and district clerk to fill an unexpired term, and was elected to this office in the fall of 1918, serving until 1920. He was out of office from then until 1924, when he again was elected, and has been reelected at each election since.

Mr. McDermett was married in Erath County, on the third of January, 1896, to Miss Bessie Rutherford, a native of Hill County, daughter of J.W. and Hessie (Berkhead) Rutherford, the former a native of Georgia, the latter of Arkansas. Mr. Rutherford engaged in stock farming in Erath County for many years. Mr. and Mrs. McDermett have five children: Sidney, business man of Jacksonville, Texas, who married Miss Velma Cunningham; Mildred M., wife of Dudley Lucas; Libil L., now deseased; Hazel D., wife of Leslie Heller; and J.C. of Big Lake. Mr. and Mrs. McDermett live in Big Lake.

Mr. McDermett has been very active in all work for the upbuilding of Reagan County, and whether as a public official or an individual citizen, has done his full share toward its development.

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