The living pioneer is the connecting link between the dead past and the living present and is a witness to the things that were and the things that are. His life spans the whole era of progress and is the sentinel which has guarded our destiny from birth through youth to old age. He is the fore-runner of civilization and the seed which he has sown has produced the strong props of our social and political fabric of the present. We honor him, we reverence him and to his memory the generations of the future will prostrate their affections. It is fitting to honor him and his in the connection, whose distinction rests upon the claims of worthy pioneers, and conspicuous among whom as settlers of Montague county we herewith present the Wainscott name.
In 1857 the Wainscotts, the McDonalds and others settled along Benton creek amid the untamed surroundings of that frontier day, seeking to plant the first seeds of civilization there. John Wainscott dropped down upon the Bradshaw survey just below the Denver bridges across the creek, and became the owner of a tract of land which has not yet been deeded away. There he made his home, from there he carried on his successful cattle and limited farming interests and there he died.
John Wainscott was married in Polk county, Missouri, to Sarah, a sister of Jarrell and Cash McDonald, who were heads of families and members of the colony who established themselves along Benton creek. He moved from Missouri, where the McDonalds joined them and reached Texas together. They stopped first in Grayson county, and were prospecting a location when they cast their fortunes with Montague. Mrs. Wainscott survived her husband until 1901, when she passed away, being the mother of: Annie, Isaac (our subject), Hiram, Mary and Adaline.
Isaac Wainscott was born in Polk county, Missouri, January 2, 1846, and was but eleven years of age when he came to Montague county. Without educational advantages, yet he managed to acquire the outline of framework of an education, and the work of the range and the farm provided him with ample youthful exercise. There was much youthful excitement also, but this was occasioned by the incursions of Indian bands or the usual excitements of the frontier, and during some sixteen years life on Denton creek was a high tension and strenuous affair. During the Civil war he belonged to a company of minute men, a part of the State Militia, but there was no service outside of the county and no enemy to contend with save the red man.
As has been well told by historians Indian theft and massacres were an every moonlight occurrence for years, and the valley of Denton creek was visited on their errands of pillage and death. In 1858 a bunch of unarmed whites met a band of Indians armed with guns and arrows on what is now the Frank Biggar farm and by some mysterious power the Indians were driven off after they had caused the death of Daniel Wainscott and Jack Kilgore. Isaac Wainscott was with his party and was with other parties which encountered the savages, but the death of his Uncle Daniel was the nearest to a personal affliction from that source which he ever experienced. When Mr. Wainscott married and settled down to an independent career he started with an eighty-acre tract in the creek bottom, a team and a few cattle. The “ups and downs” common to the community were visited upon him and his family also, but as the years passed he found his financial condition measurably improving. He has added a quarter section of land to his first holding of real estate, and is quartered in a modest and comfortable home overlooking the hamlet of Denver.
In April, 1870, Mr. Wainscott married Annie, a daughter of John Dennis, who came to Montague county early, and their children were Sarah and Samuel. Edward and Claude are children of Mr. Wainscott’s union with Jane Biggar. For his third wife Mr. Wainscott married Jennie Burks, a daughter of William Burks, of Jack county, Texas. This wife died, leaving an only child, Clyde. August 13, 1890, Mr. Burks’ daughter Annie became Mrs. Isaac Wainscott and the issue of this marriage are: Walter, Gladys, Iris, Nellie and Isaac. Two children by Mr. Wainscott’s former marriage, Samuel and Willie, are deceased.
Isaac Wainscott has ever occupied a good citizen’s position in his community and in his county. Industrious and thrifty he has accumulated sufficient for the needs of his growing family and for the years of his decline. Activity in local matters seems to have been his contributions to the public weal, and in Democratic politics his favor by aspiring candidates for office is eagerly south. He is a Mason and belongs to the Missionary Baptist church.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 348-349.