Chatfield History 1933
Chatfield History Written in 1933
Chatfield. The story of the location of the town of Chatfield is very interesting. About the year 1848, shortly after the settlement of Taos, an old man named Chatfield pitched his tent near a spring a few miles West of Taos on the road to Corsicana and from this "base of supply" he peddled tinware and household articles to the early settlers. However, after each trip to the settlements he would return to his spring and once more erect his tent and display his wares to those passing along the road. In a short time after this itinerant merchant made the spring his headquarters another man by the name of Kincaid settled near the spring and soon a community sprang up which took the name of the old peddler, Chatfield.
Some of the early settlers around this spring, in the midst of which the town grew, were Captain Robert Hodge, and Josiah Hodge, his brother. R. L. Hodge, son of Capt. Hodge, was born and lived near Chatfield for 72 years.
Chatfield was a very important community about the time of the Civil War and is particularly remembered for one man who contributed his share to the Confederate Army. This man was B. F. Lisman who operated a blacksmith shop at Chatfield and he made such excellent sabres for the Confederate soldiers that his daughter, Mrs. Joe Clayton, can today show a letter frown the quartermaster saying that the Lisman sabres were the best he had seen. Mr. Lisman was postmaster at Chatfield during the Civil War, at which time the post office was called Mesquite and during the period of the Confederate government. The name was later resumed as Chatfield.
Chatfield had excellent subscription schools for many years. One of the teachers there for several years, around 1854, was John Ballew. He also taught at Raleigh—and other places—and in his later years served as district clerk in Corsicana.
Chatfield also had an excellent artisan in the person of Bailey Crofford who made furniture of oak and walnut in Trinity bottom. It still excells most furniture of modern times. His furniture was made without nail or screw and that which can be seen today indicates the excellence of his craft.
Some of the descendants of the early pioneers of Chatfield who still live near this community are the following families : Robert Witherspoon, John and Will Finch, J. P. Thorp, George Meredith, Will Mizell, Nail McMullen, Ford Marchbanks, and some of the Braggs, Jeffers, Harpers, and Montforts. Many of the early residents of Chatfield still live in Navarro County and the names signed to a petition asking that because of his usefulness Mr. Lisman, be exempted from army duty, which is given herewith, will indicate some of these families : B. G. Scogin, W. B. Rose, N. (Nicholas) Graham, W. S. Hodge, J. R. Cooksey, J. R. Ransom, Wm. A. Neal, Zeke Beasley, Reuben Jones, B. Lile, Z. Westbrook, Henry Brown, James Lowry, J. G. Vaughn, W. Kerr, John P. Miller, Benjamin Kilgore, Henry Griggs, M. L. French, Dr. A. J. Cage (from Tennessee), D. M. Brown, J. A. Clayton, W. A. Lockhart, J. A. Farmer, J. G. Neal, B. J. Chambers and E. G. Sessions.
History of Navarro County, 1933, by Annie Carpenter Love