Wyle B. and Elizabeth Masten


Wyle B. Masten was born August 31, 1809 in Virginia.  He married Elizabeth Britton who was born about 1818 in Tennessee.  They were the parents of nine children - seven daughters and two sons - all of whom were born in Tennessee,


Minerva, Meuerva, or Minerville (~1839), who married Sam Gibbs

Nancy (1/20/1840 – 4/9/1929), who married Joseph Henard

Julia, or July (~1843), who married Henry Solomon

        Sibbie (~1845), who married James (Jim) A. Preston      

John Baxter (7/2/1846 – 6/24/1927), who married Celia Ann Spain

William Keen (10/17/1848 – 2/8/1897), who never married

Sara Elizabeth (~1851), who married Henry Allen

Lucinda (~1854), who probably never married     

        Mary A (~1856), who died in Dade County, Missouri at the age of fifteen


The oldest son was John Baxter Masten, who was our ancestor.  John, his brother (William Keen), and two sisters (Nancy, Julia) all came to Texas – probably on the same move with Wyle and his wife. 


In 1840, Wyle and Elizabeth lived in Hawkins County, Tennessee.  By 1850, they had moved further west but were still in Tennessee, probably near Nashville.  Although the 1860 Tennessee Census is difficult to read, it clearly identifies their location as Robertson County.   The census identifies Wyle and Elizabeth as simply “W” and “E”.  Several of the children are likewise identified only by their initial, however some of the children are listed with specific names: Julia, John, William, Mary, and Elizabeth (or Eliza).  The census identifies W. as age 52, born in Virginia and E. as age 42, born in Tennessee; W. is identified as a farmer with property valued at $450.  


We don’t know exactly when Wyle and Elizabeth moved from Tennessee to Dade County, Missouri.   They were still in Tennessee during the 1860 Census, and we know that John Baxter married Celia Spain in Missouri in May, 1869.  He must have been in Missouri for some time prior to 1869 (no doubt it took some time to court Celia!), so the move to Missouri was probably no later than the mid-to-late 1860’s.  We know they were clearly in Missouri by 1873 because Elizabeth died in Missouri at that time.     


Elizabeth died sometime between October 22 (the date of her will) and November 2, 1873 (when her will was entered into the Dade County Probate Court).  Wyle then married Sarah Susan Creed on February 4, 1874.  This marriage ended in divorce, and there were no children born to the marriage.  Wyle later married Melvina Bowles.  


In 1884, Wyle and Melvina moved to Texas.  On March 2, 1885, Wyle bought sixty-five acres of land 11 miles southwest of Gainesville from Mr. J. N. Gist.  This land was located on waters of Duck Creek, and Wyle paid $840 cash and signed a note for $200 that was due in twelve months at ten percent interest.        


At the time of his death, Wyle's possessions included his sixty-five acre farm, one cow, three hogs, about 150 bushels of corn in the crib and 60 bushels of corn in the field, a few bales of hay, some farming equipment, one heating stove, three five gallon jars, a grinding stone, washing kettle, barrels, buggy and harness, and a few other items.


Wyle B. Masten (1809 -1896) is buried in the Era cemetery.  Three of his children (William Keen, John Baxter, and Nancy Henard) are also buried in the Era cemetery.  All of these graves are near each other in the far NW corner of the cemetery, and it is reported that Wyle’s and William’s are some of the earliest graves in Era.


Mike Masten

December, 2007