In 1904, Elijah Shanklin McClellan traveled from near Ovilla and Midlothian Texas to Coleman County to homestead 160 acres of land south of Valera, Texas in the southern part of Coleman County. He made this trip without Beedie Frances and their two children. Records do not identify if he brought livestock, tools, or other equipment to help in building the two-room house in 1904. A family story is that he lived in a “dugout” until the house was livable. A description of Elijah’s dugout has not been provided by family members, but speculation is that it might have been a cave-like hole in the side of the creek bank which ran through his farm.