NATHANIEL BRUMBELOW. Among the pioneers of Jack county who planted the seed of civilization there before the war was Archibald Brumbelow, father of the subject of this biographical review. In 1859 he established himself upon a pre-emption in Sand valley toward the north side of the county and prepared to build him a rural home. Save for the incursions of the hostile “brave” he was in undisturbed possession of the locality for miles around, but encouraged to further pillage by the conditions of civil strife the red man’s acts came nearer and nearer, until their bloody results seemed to touch the threshold of this Sand valley cabin door, and its occupants in 1861 fled to Lost creek, temporarily under the protection of the Jacksboro settlement. In 1863 it placed greater distance between it and danger by removal to Grayson county, and still later it found itself in another state and a fixture in Madison county, Arkansas.
While these events were transpiring with the parents and the younger children there was one member of the family in particular who witnessed nothing of this domestic wandering. It was Nathan, the oldest son and the subject of our sketch. He responded to the call for Confederate troops in April, 1861, and joined Company H, Colonel Moxey’s Ninth Texas Infantry, in Kirby Smith’s command. From the battle of Iuka the regiment followed that fighting commander through till the close of the war. Although the regiment was frequently recruited its organization or regimental number was never changed. In all the numerous and bloody battles from 1861 to 1865 in which Mr. Brumbelow participated he was not privileged to pass unscathed, but at Murfreesboro a fragment of a shell hit him in the left shoulder; at Lookout Mountain a spent ball found his breast; and at Jackson, Mississippi, he received a gunshot wound in the leg. He was off duty only when wounded, and when the Confederacy broke up he was serving in Johnston’s army and was gathered in by a portion of Sherman’s command. He immediately set out for Texas and reached Jacksboro May 5, 1865.
Nathaniel Brumbelow was born in Robinson county, Tennessee, June 24, 1841, in the same county in which his father was born about twenty-six years before. Lewis Brumbelow, the founder of the family and the grandfather of our subject, was brought into that locality an orphan boy from Ohio. The story goes that he, with his brothers Isaac and William, were orphaned early in life and one of them, thinking that the name had been corrupted from “Brumley” to “Brumbelow,” changed his name back and his posterity is, therefore, known by the latter name. Lewis Brumbelow reared a family of ten children and died in Robinson county, where his life achievements had been won.
Archibald Brumbelow married Susan Neeley, an orphan girl and an only child. Some time subsequent to the death of her husband she returned to Texas and passed her last years in Jack county, dying at the home of her son in 1881 at fifty-seven years of age. To be accurate, it was in 1873 that she returned to her home in Jack, two years after her husband’s death. At the time of his demise Archibald Brumbelow was fifty-seven years old and the issue of his marriage had been: Nathaniel; Evaline, who married Reuben Hendrick and died in Denison, Texas; Mary E., who married Frank Hammond and died near Durant, Indian Territory, in 1900; Caddo, wife of Nat Carvey, of Colorado; Cynthia, who married Robert Craig, of Durant, Indian Territory; Sophronia, who married Robert Hefton, of Pueblo, Colorado, first, but is now the wife of Nolly Bell.
Practically without educational opportunities did Nathaniel Brumbelow reach his majority. The family left Tennessee in 1852, and drove through to Texas by stages and degrees. They stopped two years in Hot Spring county and one year in Sevier county, Arkansas. Lamar county, Texas, held them two years and Montague one year. When Jack county received our subject he was a youth of eighteen, just ripe for cowboy experiences which he soon acquired. He went from the back of a “bronk” on the cow chase into the army, and when he returned to civil pursuits he sought employment again on the range. He hired to Charley Adair first and then employed with Jim Lindsay, remaining with him four years at one hundred dollars a month, “when twenty dollars would have profited him just as much.” He next hired to John Lindsay and got fifty dollars a month for a year and then to Markley and Boaz a year at the same wages. Having saved a few dollars he bought a farm on North creek and lost it, after four years’ work, on account of a bad title. Then it was he came to the nucleus of his present farm, with a small house and twelve acres cleared, and began the career which has terminated with such favorable advantage to him and his. On New Year’s Day, 1880, he took possession of the farm, in debt, with a small force and weak in the paraphernalia of the farm. He grubbed and sprouted and cleared two hundred and forty acres of the seven hundred and thirty which he now owns and has always had a bunch of cattle to do their part in making the ladder’s ascent.
December 24, 1865, Mr. Brumbelow married in Jacksboro Miss Mary, a daughter of Thomas Edwards. Mrs. Brumbelow was born in Illinois, and when small she came to Hopkins county, Texas. In 186o the family came out to Jack county. Her father died and her mother, Mrs. Fox, lives in Motley county, Texas, near her son Tom. William Lewis Brumbelow is the result of the marriage of Nathan and Mary Brumbelow and he, with his family, still occupies the parental home. He was born in 1870 and married Alice Helton, who came to Texas from Shelby county, Tennessee. The issue of their union are: Adda, Lena, Urel and Linnic. Nathan Brumbelow has ever aided in local political battles, and when there was something doing he has always been around. He has experienced the need of education in his own case and has ever given a warm hand to the question when confronted with it in his own home.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 228-229.