October 20, 2008

William Thad & Ocia Bell Coffee Buchanan

William Preston (Pres) Buchanan constructed and operated the Louisiana & Arkansas Railway in 1898.  William had been a timberman and owned the Bodcaw Lumber Company whose primary office was at Stamps, AR.  He was also a large land owner in southwest Arkansas and northwest Louisiana.

William, a son of Charles Clayton and Mary Abernathy Tarpley Buchanan, was born in Tennessee in 1844.  It's not clear when he came into the lower part of Arkansas or, when he married Helen, whose maiden name may also have be en Buchanan*, but it was likely sometime in the late 1860s, early 1870s.

Their known children were:

Mary L., born c1871 in Arkansas.  She married J. A. Billingsley on Oct. 7, 1894 in Nevada Co., AR.

William Thad, born Aug. 29, 1874 in Arkansas, married Ocia Bell Coffee on Dec. 20, 1906** in Nevada Co.  Ocia was born Sep. 25, 1882 in Hempstead Co., and died Dec. 6, 1959 in Nevada Co.  She and Thad are buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Prescott, Nevada Co.

His obituary from the Prescott Daily News, Nevada Co., AR, February 11, 1938:

Prescott lost one of its real pioneers when Thad Buchanan died here last Tuesday.  Mr. Buchanan was the son of W. P. (Press) Buchanan who came to Prescott in the fall of 1873 to work on the Cairo & Fulton Railroad. This railroad was built through here in July, 1873.

Thad Buchanan was the first child born in Prescott, and his father's house is the oldest residence of the city.  It is located on West Third Stret, between Hazel and Walnut next to the home of Mrs. George Kizer and is now occupied by John Smith.
 Their known children were:

Floyd Fields, born 1908, married Florence (LNU)

Ota Albert, born Mar. 29, 1910, married Claudy Woodard

Clyde Curtis, born Nov. 11, 1914, died Jan. 8, 1991 in Nevada Co.  He married Margaret L. (Peggy) Barnard, born Jan. 7, 1918 in Prescott, died Aug. 27, 2003 in Prescott.

John Preston, born c1915, died before 1930

Edmond Louis, born c1923
 Joe Pledger, born Dec. 24, 1876, died Oct. 8, 1961.  He married Lillie (LNU), born Oct. 3, 1888 in Arkansas, died Oct. 14, 1972 in Prescott.

Esther, born c1879.

Please contact me if you can share any information about these families.



*BUCHANAN, WILLIAM PRESTON--born 11-2-1833 in TN; married Miss Helen Buchanan; had 9 children; died 10-27-1928; buried at Old Smyrna Cem; marker has death date of 10-24-1928 (Obituary Index, Nevada News; 12-20-1928)

 **William Thad may have been previously married.  There is a marriage record for a W. T. Buchanan to Kate Hawkins in Nevada Co., dated Mar. 3, 1895.

1 comment:

  1. Just a few comments to straighten up the William Thad Buchanan/Ocia Bell Coffee family. Thad was married before Ocia. They had one child, Sydney. The first Mrs. Buchanan died very young. Thad married Ocia and they had 5 boys. Sydney was raised by Thad and Ocia and considered Ocia his mother as he was very young when his biological mother died. I am not sure of her name. The boys were Floyd Fields, Ota Albert, my Father, Curtis, J. P. who died very young, and Lewis. My Father married My Mother, Claudia in 1933. Dad died in 2001 and my Mom died in 2005. They are both buried in Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Nacogdoches, Tx. Thank you. Don Buchanan. email is don.buchanan2gmail.com

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