Samuel R. Bourland biography

SAMUEL R. BOURLAND, whose military service in the Confederate army showed him to be a man of valor and loyalty to a cause which he espouses, is now classed with the practical and prosperous farmers of Montague county. Tennessee is the state of his nativity, his birth having there occurred in Hardin county on the 18th of August, 1842. His parents were John and Patsy (Simmons) Bourland, both of whom were natives of Alabama. The father was a prominent farmer and slave owner and his successfully managed business interests brought to him a very creditable competence as well as an untarnished name. He held membership in the Primitive Baptist church and died in that faith upon the old homestead farm in 1854. His wife, who had passed away about 1846, was a daughter of William Simmons, who was an agriculturist of Alabama and in whose family were eight children: Mrs. Patsy Bourland, Robert, William, John, James, Thomas, Mrs. Mille Waldrup, and Mrs. Rebecca Smith. Mr. and Mrs. John Bourland became the parents of ten children: William P., a farmer, who served with the Confederate army throughout the war; John, who was also in the army and is a farmer; Samuel, of this review; Mrs. Winnie Shields; Mrs. Cakrian Shields; Mrs. Martha Blackard; Mrs. Rebecca Tankesly; Mrs. Rhoda Tankesly; Mrs. Rachel McCrary, and Mrs. Susan Stephenson.

Samuel Bourland was left an orphan when a young lad and had to make a home for himself and provide for his own support from an early age. He lived with a Mr. Cunningham for a number of years and later he found a second home, in which he remained about a year. In 1861, when nineteen years of age, all the valor of his nature was aroused and he donned the grey uniform of the Confederacy, becoming a member of Company A, Ninth Mississippi Infantry under command of Colonel Chalmers. The regiment was assigned to the army of Tennessee and he was in various skirmishes and many hotly contested battles, in which he continued until the close of the war. He was never wounded nor captured but was always on active duty, often in thickest of the fight. When the war was over he returned to his old home neighborhood in Tennessee and resumed farm work.

In October, 1867, he was married to Miss Belzora Springer, who was born in Mississippi in 1850, and has been to him a faithful companion and helpmate on life’s journey since that time. Her parents were Frank and Elizabeth (Smith) Springer, both of whom were natives of Alabama. The father was a farmer by occupation and in 1876 came to Texas, where he maintained his residence up to the time of his death. He held membership in the Baptist church, taking an active and helpful part in this work. In his family were following named: Belzora, now Mrs. Bourland; George; Mrs. Molly Totty; Mrs. Maggie Springer; Mrs. Susan Johnson, and Mrs. Julia Hargrave.

Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bourland began their domestic life upon a rented farm in Mississippi, where they remained for five years and then removed to Arkansas, where they spent three years. In 1876 they came to Texas, locating in Montague county, where Mr. Bourland rented land for several years. In 1892 he bought at tract of one hundred and sixty acres on which were but few improvements but characteristic energy he began to clear and cultivate the fields, fence the place and add other evidences of progressive farming. He built a commodious residence and also good barns and sheds for the shelter of grain and stock. He also planted an orchard and has placed about hone hundred acres of the land under cultivation. There remainder is devoted to pasturage and he carries on general agricultural pursuits, raising good crops and also enough stock to support his farm, which is pleasantly situated on the main road to Bowie about four miles south of Belcherville. The solid is very productive and the farm is now a valuable property. The house stand on a natural property. The house stands on a natural elevation, so that it commands an excellent view of the farm and surrounding valley, and by hard work and good management Mr. Bourland has become the owner of this excellent property, and has acquired a competency for his years when he shall have entered upon the evening of life. He is indeed the architect and builder of his own fortunes, and nearly all that he possesses has been acquired since he came to Montague county.

Unto our subject and his wife has been born a son, Sidney, whose birth occurred in 1874 and who is now married and follows farming. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bourland are held in the highest esteem by all who know them and are devoted and faithful members of the Baptist church, while Mr. Bourland belongs to the Masonic fraternity.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 540-541.