Bateman Family History & Genealogy

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Jerry Bateman At some time between 1870 and 1919, William Porter Bateman operated a ferry crossing at Porter's Bluff on the Trinity river near Styx, Henderson County, Texas. Information passed down through the Bateman family states that several different individuals have retrieved large amounts of wood from the ferry which sank and was preserved for some time in the deep cold waters at the bottom of the Trinity river. Most of the wood was used for furniture and interiors of homes. William Porter Bateman was a gunsmith, ferry crossing operator and owner, watch and clock repairman, farmer and accomplished horseman according to family members.
William Porter Bateman traveled to Texas and at a land auction on the front steps of the Athens, Henderson County, Texas courthouse, purchased a large section of land which lay on both the east and west sides of the Trinity river near what would later be called Porter's Bluff.
Although Styx itself is located in Kaufman county, the original Bateman settlement was south of the Kaufman county line in Henderson county. The William Porter Bateman homestead was located just a few yards from the Berry cemetery. Norma Faye Bateman (daughter of William Porter Bateman and Margaret Elizabeth "Maggie" Rosser Heather) was born in the old homestead and lived there several years after the death of her father. Norma Faye Bateman inherited the land where Berry cemetery is located and several years later built a new home on the site. At this time she was married to Edward Vernon McGahan. Norma Faye Bateman McGahan and husband Edward Vernon McGahan are buried in the Berry cemetery. William Porter Bateman is buried in Guthrie cemetery.
The original W. P. Bateman land was willed to his children and wife Margaret. All of the land, with the exception of Norma Faye's inheritance, was sold through the years to different individuals. Norma Faye willed her part of the land to the State of Texas with the stipulation that it be set aside as a wildlife preserve and that the McGahan homeplace be used as a shelter for stray animals. Norma Faye loved her pets which included many cats and dogs. Here is an interesting fact: Many in the community will remember (unk date) when Norma Faye and Vernon refused to allow the building of Hwy. 85 across their land because it would have prevented them from grazing their cattle in the rich river-bottom land which would be cut off by the new highway. They held off the County Sherrif and his deputies several times with their loaded rifles, refusing to allow the road crews onto their land. They finally gave in and settled for an unknown amount of money for the easement.
During the Fall of 2001, Jerry Bateman, wife Sarah Kay Bateman and cousin Sondra Bateman visited the old William Porter Bateman homesite. Margie Dosier Godwin (a cousin) was their guide that day. Some remains of the old home could still be found if one really looked hard enough. The McGahan homeplace was still standing at that time but, vacant and deteriorating. The memories still remain for many who have set foot on the property during their lifetimes.

Styx, Texas, United States, is in Kaufman County; location is 32°21'47"N 96°19'40"W.
Source: This information is based upon the US Gelogical Survey Place Names database (See [external link]).
This county FIPS code to name lookup is based upon the 1990 United States Census places table.
(See the US Census Bureau at [external link] [SourceES].

STYX, TEXAS. Styx is eight miles west of Cedar Creek Reservoir in extreme south central Kaufman County, near the Henderson county line. A post office operated in the settlement from 1899 until 1908, when it was replaced by rural delivery from nearby Kemp. By 1900 Styx had two general stores, a church, a school, and a population of sixty-six. By 1936 the population was twenty-five, and the settlement had two businesses. Between the end of World War IIqv and the mid-1960s, when the last population figures for the community were reported, the population of Styx remained at eighty. The community's businesses declined from four in 1945 to two in 1966.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Kaufman County Historical Commission, History of Kaufman County (Dallas: Taylor, 1978).

HENDERSON COUNTY. Henderson County (F-20) is located in East Texas between the Neches and Trinity Rivers. Athens, the largest city and county seat, is near the geographical center of the county (at 32°10' N, 95°50' W), about sixty miles southeast of Dallas on U.S. Highway 175, at the intersection of State highways 31 and 19. Henderson County is in a transitional region between East and Central Texas. Two major lakes are partly in the county: Cedar Creek Reservoirqv on the northwest and Lake Palestineqv on the southeast. The county encompasses 949.7 square miles and has different land-resource areas that run almost parallel to the two river boundaries in a northwesterly to a southeasterly direction. The eastern third of the county, along the Neches River, is part of the East Texas Timberlands. This region has wooded, rolling terrain surfaced by deep sandy loams and sands. Loblolly and shortleaf pine, sweet gum, post oak, southern red oak, white oak, and flowering dogwoods grow in this region. In some areas within this system one finds long-leaf pine, black gum, and blackjack oak. Woody undergrowth consists of American beautyberry, greenbriar, and hawthorns. West and parallel to this region is the claypan area, where the soils are shallow sandy loams that overlie dense, clayey subsoils; vegetation here consists of mixed pine and hardwoods, including oak, elm, hackberry, and pecan. Along the Trinity River, the western border of the county, lie the bottomlands of the flood plain, where the vegetation features mixed hardwoods and a dense undergrowth of scrubs and vines typical of the East Texas mixed forests. Throughout these regions are native grasses that include little and big bluestem, Indian grass, switch grass, grama, and Virginia wild rye. A large variety of wildlife and game animals inhabits these areas. The county is hilly and rolling, with an elevation from 256 to 763 feet above sea level. The western part drains into the Trinity River, and the eastern section drains into the Neches River.
Indians inhabited the area in prehistoric times. Pottery found buried amid fossil remains of extinct horses and camels in the 1920s and 1930s indicated that an aboriginal culture existed along the Trinity River thousands of years ago. One particular artifact, Malakoff Man,qv is a sandstone mask weighing ninety-eight pounds. When the first Europeans entered the area in the sixteenth century, they found the Hasinais, a Caddoan group, living along the upper Neches River. The Spanish and French explorers described these people, who called themselves the Tejas, as friendly (see TEXAS, ORIGIN OF NAME).
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply