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

William Robert McDermett


William Robert McDermett was born 22 December 1947 in Austin, Travis Co., Tx. He was the first child born to Thomas Hadden McDermett and Deborah Smith McDermett.

We first find record of William in 1855 listed in the school census of Limestone, County, Tx. He at this time is the only child of the McDermett family listed as attending school.

Family history has it that William and Mary attended school in Dallas one winter. We came assume that they lived with some of Thomas' relatives. We have yet to get an opportunity to investigate any school records that give us more information on this.

On 24th day of December 1871 William married Ida Leach, the daughter of J. Harvey Leach. J. Harvey Leach is listed in the Erath Co. 1860 census as being 50 and as being a school Teacher. This background of Ida may in some way explain the prominence obtained by some members of the family and also the respect that William had among the community.

By the 1870 census J. Harvey Leach is not in the record. His wife, Augusta is listed as head of the household, with Ida Louisa as being 15, and a brother James Harvey as being 12. Augusta is listed as age 43 born in Ohio. Ida was born in Ill. and James was born in Louisiana. The 1860 census confirms these locations and also has a brother John as 11 years old and born in Ohio. In the 1860 census J. Harvey Sr. is listed as being born in North Carolina. This census list the birth date of James Jr. as June 27th. of that year indicating that the family had just arrived from Louisiana.


Friday, January 9, 1925, Baird Star.

The remains of Mr. W.R. McDermett, who died in Fort Worth last Friday morning, arrived in Baird on the Sunshine Special Saturday night, accompanied by members of the family and Mr. Tom Connellee. On arrival the Masons took charge of the remains, which were carried to the Schwartz Undertaking Parlor, until the hour for the funeral, which was held at the Baptist Church at 2:30 Sunday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Dick O'Brien, the Pastor. Many friends from out of town were here to attend the funeral. The church was filled to its capacity and many were forced to remain outside. There were many beautiful flowers, the alter being banked with them. We noticed that beautiful white flowers predominated, and whether so intended or not, was very appropriate as emblematical of the pure life of the deceased. For more than forty years the writer knew Mr. McDermett personally, and it can be truly said of him that he was an honorable upright man, a true Christian, a just and up-right Mason. He was for many years a member of the Baptist Church, at the time of his death he was a member of the Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth. Those who knew him best loved him most, and he was respected by all.

After the service at the church the members of Baird Lodge No. 522 A. F. & A. M., took charge and interred the body with the solemn ceremonies of the order. The pallbearers, all old friends of Mr. McDermett were: Dr. R.G. Powell, T.E. Powell, J.S. Hart, W.K. Boatwright, J.Y. Gilliland, W.E. Gilliland.

W.R. McDermett was born at Austin, Texas on December 22, 1847 and therefore was 77 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by five daughters and two sons, namely: Mrs. W.J. Cutbirth, of Big Lake; Mrs. Dorothy Brigance, Mrs. Ben F. Qualls and Mrs. Lois Gunn, all of Fort Worth; Mrs. R.R. Flemming, of San Antonio; Ray McDermett of Hurley, New Mexico; and W. P. McDermett, of Wichita Falls; a number of grandchildren, also one brother, Charley McDermett of Coleman county. All were here to attend the funeral, including Mr. Charley McDermett's family. Other relatives who attended the funeral were: Rev. J.E. McDermett, Mr. and Mrs. H.C. McDermett, Mrs. Grant, M.C. Cope, Will Cope and son, Jesse Cope, of Abilene, W.J. Cutbirth and son, Lige, of Big Lake. Mr. McDermett was for many years a resident of Callahan county. He served as county tax assessor and county treasurer and other places of trust. A good man has gone to his reward. Peace to his memory.


Passed Away at Home of Daughter in Fort Worth Last Friday.

Big Lake News - Oil Review.

In the death of W.R. McDermett on Friday of last week, January 2, 1925, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. De Brigance in Fort Worth, the country has lost one of its best citizens.

Deceased was a product of West Texas where he spent most of his life, and was a typical West Texan, being one of the kind of men who could be relied upon in every particular. Wherever he was known he had friends who will regret to learn of his death, although he had lived to the ripe old age of 77 years, having been born December 22, 1847.

The deceased was a devoted member of the Baptist Church for forty years and was one of the kind who did not shirk a duty. He was always at his post and did whatever he was called upon to do. He was also a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Fort Worth Chapter, and about a year ago helped in the organization of the Masonic Lodge of Big Lake.

Mr. McDermett was born at Austin, Texas, and an old resident of Erath County, where he was wedded to Miss Ida Leach. From there he moved to Callahan county during the thick of the battle with the Indians which were raiding that section occasionally at that time and helped in various Indian fights. In the early days he helped to drive cattle up Centralia Draw, north of Big Lake and during those trying days knew this country like a book. He also lived in this section and for a number of years made Pecos his home where the writer knew and loved him as a neighbor and friend.

He had been in ill health for a number of months and it was a relief when the angel of death came and relieved the tired body and took the soul of this good man back to the God who gave it. At the bedside at the time of his passing were three daughters, who ministered to his every want, Mrs. Brigance, at whose home he passed, Mrs. Ben Qualls, formerly of Pecos, and Mrs. Gunn.

The body was laid to rest at Baird at 2:00 o'clock, Sunday, January 4th, beside the grave of his devoted wife, who preceded him some years back - to be exact on September 11, 1915. Surviving him are two sons, W.R. McDermett, of Hurley, New Mexico; and W.P. McDermett, of Wichita Falls, and five daughters, Mrs. D. Brigance of Fort Worth, Mrs. W.J. Cutbirth of Big Lake, Mrs. Ben Qualls of Fort Worth, Mrs. Flemming of San Antonio, and Mrs. Lois Gunn of Fort Worth. W.E. McDermett, our new county and district clerk, who now resides in Big Lake, is also a nephew of the deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Cutbirth and son, Lige, attended the funeral, leaving Big Lake Saturday morning.

And thus has passed a man in whom there was no guile; he was not only a true Christian, but true to himself and to his friends - really a man among men. He was permitted to remain on earth more than his allotted time, and the world is better for his having lived in it. The writer is grieved at the passing of this good man, and with the News force extends to the bereaved sincere sympathy, but it is some satisfaction to know that he is now with his own and at rest and his sorrows and sufferings are all in the past - he is in Heaven.

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Last updated 03/13/06