Author: Billy McClellan

Two McClellan families and two pet racoons!

Lester, Eunice, Billy, Charles, and Carolyn: McClellan Family #1 and Raccoon #1: The year must have been Spring, 1950! Billy was fifteen (15), Charles was fourteen (14) and Carolyn was eight (8) years of age. The Kenneth Chupp family had come from De Leon, Texas to the Lester McClellan home in the Liberty Community, Coleman County, Texas to visit and purchase hogs. The hogs were running loose in a big pasture on a farm in south Coleman County. While trying to round-up the hogs, Lester and Kenneth happened upon a large, tall Elm tree that had been hit by a lightening strike! The tree was topless, and the remaining tree trunk was about fifteen feet tall! Its topmost part was blackened where the tree had been burned by the lightening strike. As the men examined the tree, they saw movement in the blackened top and discovered that a raccoon was in the blackened hollow of the tree! They guessed that a mother raccoon had a home in the tree and that she might have babies in the hollow of the tree! The two men began yelling, pounding on the tree trunk with tree limbs that they found on the ground, and throwing rocks at the blackened top of the tree trunk. Soon, the mother raccoon rushed out of the tree hollow, down the tree trunk, and scurried away into...

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E.S. McClellan: Homesteader who became a trusted citizen

In 1904, five years after his marriage to Beedie Frances Archer, Elijah Shanklin McClellan traveled from Ovilla and Midlothian, Texas to Coleman County, Texas to homestead the one hundred sixty (160) acres of land south of Valera, Texas in the southern part of Coleman County, Texas. He made this trip without Beedie Frances and their two children, Lottie Frances and Jack Beal McClellan. Records do not identify if he brought livestock, tools, and other equipment to help in building the two-room house in 1904. A family story is that Elijah lived in a “dug out” near the site of the new house until the house was livable. A description of Elijah’s “dug out” 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. He would have lived in this “dug out” for eight to ten months before the two-room house with a shed on one side was livable for his family. In 1905 he sent word to his wife Beedie Frances (Archer) McClellan in Ellis County, Texas to travel by train to Valera, Texas in Coleman County, Texas, where he would meet her and the two children, Lottie Frances and Jack Beal McClellan, and take them by wagon to their new home. A description of any livestock, tools, or...

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Elijah Shanklin McClellan: Birth, early life, and marriage

The tenth and last child born to William Beavers and Lavonia Frances (Shanklin) McClellan in Ellis County, Texas, on January 14, 1871 was a boy, whom they named Elijah Shanklin McClellan. William Beavers and Lavonia Frances (Shanklin) McClellan and their eight children had moved to Ellis County, Texas to the 640 acre homestead in Ellis County, Texas from Morgan County, Missouri in 1866. Two years after their arrival in Ellis County, Texas, on February 16, 1868, their ninth child, a daughter, whom they named Mary Eveline McClellan, was born. Two and one-half years after their move to Ellis County, Texas, on July 17, 1873, Lavonia Frances (Shanklin) McClellan died, leaving a two and one-half year old son, Elijah Shanklin McClellan, and a five year old daughter, Mary Eveline McClellan and seven other children for William Beavers McClellan to raise. On November 25, 1876, William Beavers McClellan married Elizabeth McDonald who helped raise the nine living children through-out their thirty-nine years of marriage. During the thirty-three years (1871-1904), perhaps near Ovilla and Midlothian, Texas in Ellis County, Texas, Elijah Shanklin McClellan grew into an adult and his rearing in Ellis County, Texas near these two early settlements, would have begun his interest in the family’s ways and plans. He would have become school age, (7 – 9), in 1878-79, and attended school at Mountain Peak, Wyatt Switch, and Ferris schools...

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Tenth Child: A boy! Pat Neff McClellan

Pat Neff McClellan was born on July 30, 1920. Like his brothers and sisters born before him, he grew to manhood in the Hill Community, Coleman County, Texas. From 1927 to 1933 he attended Hill School in Hill Community, near Gouldbusk, Texas, Coleman County, Texas. He attended Mozelle High School in Mozelle, Texas, Coleman County, Texas from 1934 to 1939, graduating in May, 1939. Pat Neff McClellan was an excellent athlete and a member of the 1939 Mozelle championship basketball team. He became a Christian on August 10, 1937 and became a member of the Bethel Baptist Church, Hill Community, Coleman County, Texas. Pat Neff McClellan entered the United States Army Air Corps in 1942. He trained in Texas, Florida, Kansas and Utah. In February, 1944, he was assigned duty in England. He flew bombing missions with the 467th Bomb Group over enemy-held territory in Europe while stationed in England. During this time, he became a T/Sergeant and was the Assistant Engineer and nose gunner on a B-24 Liberator. On May 11, 1944, his plane was shot down and he and his crew were taken prisoner and held in confinement in Allied Internment Camp in Adelboden, Switzerland for nine months and five days(May 11, 1944 to February 16, 1945). He and the members of the 467th Bomb Group received the Presidential Citation for the mission they were shot down....

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