1862 - 1961 (99 years)
||Charles Alexander "Eck" Cloud |
||Jan 15, 1862
||Bellville, Austin county, Texas, USA
||Apr 30, 1961
||Visalia, California, USA
||Morton, Cochran county, Texas, USA
CHARLES ALEXANDER ("ECK") CLOUD 1862-1961
After the Mexican wars the Cloud family moved from Alabama to Austin County, Texas. The head of the clan, Clark Cloud, and his son, George Washington Cloud, bought land there and improved it.
Eck's parents, Charles Alexander Cloud and Jane E. Calvert married in Austin County on January 30, 1855. Seven children were born of this union: Thomas Campbell in 1856; Mary Caroline in 1858; Addie in 1860; Charles Alexander in 1862 and Zula in 1865. Eck was born in Bellville on January 15th. Eck's father died in 1866 at the age of 39. His mother lived to the age of 74.
Eck was raised on cattle ranches in south Texas, living in Waller, Harris and Brazoria Counties. His formal schooling ended with McGuffy's fourth grade reader. At the age of thirteen he got on a horse and rode off to work for Cowman A. (Alec) P. Fisher, "the best cowman in south Texas". He worked fifteen to twenty years for Cowman Fisher, who planned to make Eck a "front rider", but Alec died before this could come about. Eck then worked for Captain (from the Civil War) Ralston as "Ralston's Cowboy", where he became known as a "graceful front rider". Later he went to Williamson County where he worked in the cattle industry for Russell and Anderson. He later moved to Burnet County.
A Mrs. Ney, the wife of Dr. Montgomery -- an aristocrat from England -- bought all of the 7P brand cattle, and needed a good cowman to gather them up for her. Dr. Montgomery said, "Get Eck Cloud, he's a good front rider and cutter". One Saturday evening in June 1885, on his way to see Mrs. Ney about the job, Eck passed a place where a Baptist preacher was conducting a baptismal service and saw a pretty, black haired girl in the group, singing. He asked a group of boys, who were hanging their feet over the bank of the creek playing in the water, who the girl was. They replied, "That's Nettie Grimes". Eck went on his way, saying to himself, "I'll get a suit of clothes". This he did -- for thirty five dollars. He then asked a young man, who was a teacher, to introduce them. Thus he met Henrietta Ophelia Grimes. He then hired a buggy for three dollars a day to take her riding. After several dates, he asked one day -- while crossing a creek, "Do you love me?" She replied, "No, but I might learn."
Eck and Nettie were married July 7 (July 11, 1886 according to the marriage book in the county records), 1886 in Hempstead, Texas -- a little over a year after their first meeting. He was twenty-five years of age and she was nineteen. To this union were born thirteen children: Addie Florence on June 22, 1886; Willie Lenore on August 31, 1888 (Hempstead); a boy, who lived only five days, in February 1889 (Hempstead); Viola Belle on October 22, 1890 (Hempstead); Hester Irene and Hettie Erene (twins) on February 13, 1893 (Williamson, Texas); Thomas Oscar on April 8, 1895 (Williamson); Ruth Blanche on October 15, 1897 (Williamson); Earl Dee on August 15, 1899 (Burnet County, Texas); Eva Armstrong on June 2, 1901 (Burnet County); Myrtle Beatrice on March 8, 1903 (Burnet County); Gladys Inez on March 11, 1906 (Burnet County) and J.W. (Jake?) on March 20, 1908 (Taylor County, Texas). Regarding religion or church affiliation: Eck was a Baptist and Nettie a Methodist when they were married. [They later both became Church of Christ].
In 1889 Eck left the cattle business and began farming with his father-in-law, William Grimes. He later returned to working cattle and, still later, returned to Burnet County where he bought a 160 acre ranch. In 1907 he moved to Taylor County where he farmed until 1928, when he moved to Morton in Cochran County, Texas. He lived on a farm there until after the death of Henrietta on October 9, 1941. The two were residing with their daughter, Gladys Inez Cloud in Lindsay, California when Nettie died. Her body was returned to Morton, Texas for burial. In the years following the death of his wife, Eck lived with his children in Texas and California. In Texas he stayed with his daughters, Mrs. Willie Lenore Rose in Morton and Mrs. Hester Irene Daniels in Graham. In California he stayed with his daughter, Mrs. Myrtle Beatrice Franklin in Visalia -- with whom he was residing at the time of his death on April 30, 1961. His body was returned to Morton, Texas where he was laid to final rest next to Nettie on May 4, 1961.
When Eck died he was survived by nine children, thirty seven grandchildren, fifty eight great grandchildren and nineteen great, great grandchildren. His surviving children were Mrs. Willie Rose of Morton, Texas; Mrs. Hester Daniel and Mrs. Hettie Middleton -- both of Graham, Texas; Mrs. Ruth Watts of Morton, Texas; Mrs. Eva Hurst of Strathmore, California; Mrs. Myrtle Franklin and Inez Cloud, both of Exeter, California; Oscar Cloud of Visalia, California and Jake Cloud of San Diego, California. Preceding him in death were his daughters, Viola (December 5, 1941) and Addie (February 26, 1956) and his son, Earl Dee (December 25, 1950).
This history was originally written shortly after Eck's death by Mrs. Geneva (nee Stewart) Shelton of Ingleside, California. Mrs. Shelton, formerly of Morton, Texas, was a highly respected and honored school teacher in both Texas and California. It was revised in April, 1998 by Eck's great grandson, Jack L. Jones of Sandpoint, Idaho. These revisions consisted of changes in phraseology, corrections of typographical errors, addition of Eck's birthplace and day of birth, expansion of the names and listing of the birthplace and dates of Eck's and Nettie's children, places of death and burial of Nettie, place and date of Eck's burial and expansion of the information regarding his surviving children.
These revisions were based on documentation provided by Eck's granddaughter, Mrs. Joann (nee Franklin) Young of Lindsay, California. This documentation consisted of the original history written by Mrs. Shelton, family history notes written by Joann's mother, Mrs. Myrtle Franklin [Cloud], copies of death certificates and copies of newspaper articles. More revisions will be made as information is gathered and verified. Comments in brackets  were added by Paula Sinclair, Eck's great-granddaughter.
The following is a transcript of a newspaper article about Eck Cloud.
C.A. CLOUD OBSERVES 98TH BIRTHDAY
(From a 1960 Morton, Texas, Tribune Newspaper - transcribed by Jack L. Jones, May 1998)
When Charles Alexander Cloud observed his 98th birthday at Exeter, California on Friday, January 15th, folks in both California and Texas - and many scattered elsewhere in these United States - dropped by, wrote or called in their "good wishes" of the day. It's not because "Eck", as he is affectionately known in California, is so well known that he has so many well wishers. It's just that when a person has 115 living descendents, the chances are he'll have aplenty of them helping him celebrate his birthday.
A Texan by birth, a Texan in his own mind today, Eck Cloud maintains that life has never been anything but good to him. Blessed with this outlook and a jolly disposition, it's no wonder he was surrounded with loved ones when he observed his anniversary at the home of a daughter, Mrs. W.H. Franklin, at Exeter, California. Better known around Morton as "Granddaddy Cloud", he is probably better known around here than he is in California, though in his later years he has spent his time roaming around the country visiting with his children. Recently he granted an interview to Joe Doctor, editor of the Exeter Sun, on the occasion of the birthday celebration, and the Tribune picks up fragments of the interview for this story. Two of Mr. Cloud's daughters, Mrs. Willie Rose and Mrs. Ruth Watts, live in Morton. Four other daughters and two sons are still living. His wife, whom he married at Hempstead in 1886, died at Lindsay, Calif. in 1941. She was brought back to Morton and Buried here.
C.A. Cloud moved to Morton in 1928. He had purchased land northwest of Morton in 1925, and moved to Morton from Bradshaw, in Taylor County, Texas. In 1941, since the death of his wife, he began dividing his time living with his children in Morton, Graham, Texas and California.
Eck lived most of his life in the changing era of the west. He got in on the tail end of the trail drives, the latter decades of the famed gunmen, and, in fact, on the "death of the Spanish Longhorn cattle". When cattle were being driven on the famed Chisholm trail, from Texas to KC, the Spanish Longhorn was about the only breed of cattle that could withstand the rigors of the drive and the open range. As land was fenced and railroads inched their way into Texas, the Spanish Longhorn died out. Eck was a "cow man". Not a cowboy, or cowhand, as today's TV western term, but a cow man, a man versed in the ways of cattle, able to understand, lead and handle the animal referred to as "dumb brute".
He was born in 1862, the second year of the Civil War, in Austin County, 65 miles west of Houston. His parents had come here just after the Mexican wars. Though he is a last survivor of that family, two of his sisters and brothers lived until their late 80's and two lived well into their 90's.
He began working on a ranch as a regular rider at the age of 13. He never made a complete cattle drive, spending several days on the trail getting herds accustomed to be driven, but cattle drives ended in the 80's. Land was fenced, and Eck, who learned to understand cattle so well that he felt he could put one together if he had the pieces, went from an open hand to a brush hand. In Williamson County he did as well as a brush hand as he had when he was a front rider and cut out man on the trail and at round- ups. To him a rodeo is not a show, as we know it today. It's cattle work. He toted a gun, in the days of gun toters -- but he never had to use one in anger, and was never involved in a gunfight. He carried one during the famous Texas Jaybirds and Peckerwoods feud, and knew Wes Hardin and Ben Thompson. He used a 34 foot rope with skill, but attributes the bigger part of the skill, both in roping and handling cows, to a good horse -- saying "every bit is done by the horse if you operate him right".
The "hay seeders" (referring to farmers), Eck said, "thought cowmen were thieves, and in a way they were. When the range wasn't fenced, cattle might (drive?) 100 miles and were often conscripted and branded -- if we didn't, someone else would". Later he bought and sold (mules?) and cows, and now, bedfast much of the time, he still maintains good eyesight, good hearing, and that lust for life with a capacity for humor. His last day in Morton was a little over a year ago.
Horses have thrown him and rolled on him, but Eck never suffered a broken bone. Though he was so sickly as a child his mother put him "on" chewing tobacco, he's been healthy as an adult. When his teeth gave out he switched from chewing to dipping snuff. Whisky he didn't care for, shrugging it off as a waste of money. He gambled a little, not much on cards, he wasn't lucky (that?) way, but did manage to do all right betting on political campaigns. He is still very interested in politics, is a lifelong Democrat, and an Adlai Stevenson booster, though he feels Adlai's stand on integration cost him any chance of ever being president. His stand on the question is simply, "if the Negro has no soul, the white folks have none either".
In addition to the two local daughters mentioned, and the one in Exeter, he has another in Exeter -- Miss Inez Cloud; two other daughters, Eva Hurst of Startjm...(??), Calif; Hettie Middleton and Hester Daniels of Graham, Texas; and two sons, Oscar Cloud of Ivanhoe, Calif., and Jake Cloud of San Diego. And 41 grandchildren, 51 great grandchildren and 18 great-great grandchildren are also living descendents of this Texan who had such a great capacity for enjoying life.
||Dec 14, 2010 |
||Charles Alexander "Alex" Cloud, b. Abt 1833, Madison county, Alabama, USA , d. Oct 05, 1866, Bellville, Austin county, Texas, USA (Age ~ 33 years) |
||Jane Elizabeth "Janie" Calvert, b. Mar 10, 1837, Montgomery county, Alabama, USA , d. Nov 14, 1910, Lampasas, Lampasas county, Texas, USA (Age 73 years) |
||Jan 15, 1855
||Bellville, Austin county, Texas, USA 
- Jane Cloud listed her marriage date as January 15th on her pension application. The marriage records list January 30th, which may be the date it was recorded.
- Jane applied for and received a Confederate Pension, on record in the Texas archives:
Pension roll listings:
Claimant: CLOUD, Jane E.
Pension Number: 00118
1860 census, TX, Austin, Travis, p. 43, June 24, HH 337/337
Alex CLOUD, 27, M, farmer, $4235, AL
Jane CLOUD (wife), 24, F, AL
Thos C CLOUD (child), 4, M, TX
Mary C CLOUD (child), 2, F, TX
Austin County, TX, Taken Jun 23rd 1880. P. 378
Jane CLOUD, age 44, AL/AL/SC
Charles CLOUD, age 17, TX/AL/AL
Louella CLOUD, age 15, TX/AL/AL
1900 census, TX, Austin, pct 1, ed 2, June 1, HH 7/7
RUSS, Thomas J, head, W, M, May 1860, 40, m 19 yrs, AL, NC, AL
RUSS, Lula, wife, W, F, Oct 1865, 34, m 19 yrs, 5/5 children, TX, AL, AL
RUSS, Jenney, dau, Dec 1885, 14, TX
RUSS, Addie, dau, April 1888, 12, TX
RUSS, Kinch, son, Mar 1891, 9, TX
RUSS, Feilon, son, Sept 1894, 5, TX
CLOUD, Jane, g.mother, W, F, Mar 1837, 63, widowed, 5/5 children, AL, AL, AL
RICHARDSON, Arch, boarder, W, M, May 1850, 50, divorced, MS, MS, MS
EWING, Soloman, hired help, B, M, Feb 1881, 19, divorced, TX, TX, TX
1920 census, TX, Austin, pct 1, ed 2, 16-B, May 23, HH 206/206
RUSS, Thomas, head, M, W, 49, m1 28 yrs, AL, GA, GA
RUSS, Lulie, wife, F, W 44, m1 28 yrs, 7/7 children, TX, AL, AL
RUSS, Kinch, son, 19, TX
RUSS, J.D. son, 9, TX
RUSS, Waldo, son, 5, TX
CLOUD, Jane, m-in-law, F, W, 75, AL, AL, AL
||Henrietta Ophelia "Nettie" Grimes, b. Aug 12, 1867, Macon, Georgia, USA , d. Oct 09, 1941, Lindsay, Tulare county, California, USA (Age 74 years) |
||Jul 11, 1886
||Hempstead, Waller county, Texas, USA
|+||1. Addie Florence Cloud, b. Jun 22, 1886, Texas, USA , d. Feb 16, 1956, Phoenix, Maricopa county, Arizona, USA (Age 69 years)|
|+||2. Willie Lenore "Lee" Cloud, b. Aug 31, 1888, Hempstead, Waller county, Texas, USA , d. Jul 1974, Morton, Cochran county, Texas, USA (Age 85 years)|
| ||3. infant son Cloud, b. Feb 1889, Hempstead, Waller county, Texas, USA , d. Feb 1889 (Age ~ 0 years)|
|+||4. Viola Belle Cloud, b. Oct 22, 1890, Hempstead, Waller county, Texas, USA , d. Dec 05, 1941, Fresno, Fresno county, California, USA (Age 51 years)|
| ||5. Hester Irene Cloud, b. Feb 13, 1893, Williamson, Texas, USA , d. Jul 1981 (Age 88 years)|
|+||6. Hettie Erene Cloud, b. Feb 13, 1893, Briggs, Burnet county, Texas, USA , d. Oct 07, 1976, Young county, Texas, USA (Age 83 years)|
| ||7. Thomas Oscar Cloud, b. Apr 08, 1895, Williamson, Texas, USA , d. Dec 08, 1984, Exeter, Tulare county, California, USA (Age 89 years)|
|+||8. Ruth Blanche Cloud, b. Oct 15, 1897, Williamson, Texas, USA , d. Aug 02, 1993, Morton, Cochran county, Texas, USA (Age 95 years)|
|+||9. Earl Dee Cloud, b. Aug 15, 1899, Briggs, Burnet county, Texas, USA , d. Dec 27, 1949, El Centro, Imperial county, California, USA (Age 50 years)|
| ||10. Eva Armstrong Cloud, b. Jun 02, 1901, Burnet county, Texas, USA , d. |
|+||11. Myrtle Beatrice Cloud, b. Mar 08, 1903, Burnet county, Texas, USA , d. Aug 1984, Springville, California, USA (Age 81 years)|
| ||12. Inez Gladys Cloud, b. Mar 11, 1906, Burnet county, Texas, USA , d. Sep 17, 1990, Tulare county, California, USA (Age 84 years)|
| ||13. Jake W. "J.W." "Jake" Cloud, b. Mar 20, 1908, Taylor county, Texas, USA , d. Nov 19, 1988, San Luis Obispo county, California, USA (Age 80 years)|
||Cloud, Nettie Grimes and husband Charles "Eck"|
- [S593] Fisher Talley, Geraldine, notes FAXed April, 2001.
- [S823] Youngblood-Armstrong & Allied Families, p. 302.
- [S216] Austin County records.
Marriage records of Austin county list Jan. 30, 1855.