Cemetery Works
Boulder, Colorado, USA
established 2001
Civil War
Family History
High Family History

Complied and self-published by
Alf A. Allen, circa 1970
Transcriber's note:

Another High family researcher, Phillip Gowins, believes Samuel High's ancestory in this history to be in error.

In a biographical sketch of Samuel High, available on this website Gowins' wrote:
'It should be noted that High family members of previous generations have sometimes alleged the parentage of Samuel to be one 'Henry High of Warren County, IND' who was a son of 'John High' of PA and NY. The original source of this information is not known but it is in error.'
1756 - 1851

John High was born May 10, 1756, in Schuylkill near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In June, 1780, at 24 years of age, he was drafted to serve in the American Revolution and was sworn in at Romney, Virginia (Hampshire County), assigned to Captain Parson's company and marched to Morristown where he was placed under the command of Colonel Lawson in what was called the Virginia Militia.

Later High was sent to Carolina in General Green's army situated near Catawba River. Green, having been warned of the approach of Cornwallis' army, retreated and in 1781 High was ordered back to Morristown, where he was put under the command of General George Washington.

This army moved to Elk River and on to Yorktown, where they attacked Cornwallis' fortifications with artillery. French and Americans were primarily involved in this engagement building fortifications and defending batteries. Two ships were captured and set on fire, and when the English attacked, the entire English army surrendered and was marched out as prisoners of war.

John High's service record reads: "I saw Lafayette at Yorktown and talked with him". It was a part of his sworn record to the Department of Pensions in Washington, D.C.

High was discharged in November 1781, but later re-enlisted in 1788, under Captain Henry Parker, to defend settlements along the Ohio River against Indians.

High Moved to Warren County, Indiana, in 1839, according to pension records made in 1850 and died May 8, 1851.

John High's children were: George, Henry, Isaac, Nimrod, John, Hiram, Fredrick and Amaziah.

Records on John High were obtained from the Archives and Records Building, Washington, D.C.; The Society, Warren County, Indiana; and the Land Deeds Department of Indiana.

1778 - UNKNOWN

Henry High was born in Virginia in 1778 and moved to Warren County, Indiana, as shown in the 1820 to 1830 Census Records of Indiana which lists heads of families.

There is no indication of when he died. The Land and Deed Bureau records list his children as Walter, James, Samuel, John, Martha and Fredericka.

1809 - 1894

Samuel High was born in Warren County, Indiana, March 18, 1809, to Henry and Parmelia Curington High.
  [Transcriber's note: Other family researchers give Samuel High's birthplace as: Raleigh, North Carolina, or Warren County, South Carolina.]
  [Transcriber's note: Seemingly, Alf got lost here. Parmelia/Permelia Curington/Cureton/Carington was Samuel High's wife; not mother.]
He later moved to Somersville, Tennessee. A letter written by Alex High, a grandson, reads: "I will give you the information that I have on the Highs. Grandpa (Samuel High) moved from Tennessee to Texas about 1852. He had moved from Indiana to Tennessee while a young man." This letter was written in 1939.

His brothers, Walt and Jimmie, came to Texas with him. Walt and Jimmie are no doubt the Walter and James listed as children of Henry High. James was the father of Oat High of Wills Point, Texas. Samuel High arrived in Texas with an ox drawn wagon train. The first horse drawn wagon to arrive in Canton, Texas or that vicinity was driven by the Hubbard's in 1856.

The High Family first settled about four miles northwest of Wills Point, Texas. In the spring of 1853 Samuel High bought and settles on 1,400 acres of land five miles west of Canton, which became known as the High Community. As each of Samuel's sons married, he was given 160 acres of land. Thus all the High sons settled around the home site.

Samuel donated one acre of land for a cemetery, and his son, Tom, later donated another acre. Still later a grandson, Luther High, gave another acre for the same purpose and the plot is now known as High Cemetery.

This record was supplied by R.E. High, another grandson, who lived to be 90 years of age.

Samuel High built his home at what later became the crossroads leading to Canton, Wallace, Myrtle Springs, High Cemetery and the school house. Henry H. High inherited his home from this father and many years later sold it to his son-in-law, Tom F. Hoskins. Hoskins several years later sold it to Joe Norman, a relative of the family.

  [Transcriber's note: The inscription on Samuel High's headstone at High Cemetery gives the date of birth as:
13 vis-a-vis 18 March 1809 state in this history.]

The following item was published in the Canton Herald in the early 1900's:
  CORNER STONE TRADITION - The old tradition of laying a corner stone when building a house was revived last week when one of the county's old plantation homes was being remodeled. The home is now owned by Joe Norman in the High Community and was built by Uncle Sammie High, for whom the High Community was named.

In 1866, and while the house was under construction, a bottle of sealed Plantation Log Cabin Whiskey was concealed. When the old construction was torn away for repairs, the bottle was found and a number of old settlers know of the ceremony and renewed the story with interest. It was a dark brown quart-sized bottle, shaped like a log cabin, and dated1860. The cork had deteriorated, and the contents had evaporated.

It was quite interesting to note the condition and construction of the foundation of the house, which was still good. All the lumber was had planed and put together with pegs.

Samuel High moved to Texas in 1852. He bought 1,400 acres of land at 50 cents an acre and paid for it in gold pieces. High was the father of ten children, but only one was born in Texas.

  John Walter 1829
  Sarah Elizabeth 1830
  Nancy Jane 1833
  William Dickson 1835
  James Jackson 1837
  Rufus Morgan 1839
  Henry Harrison 1842
  Robert Elbert 1845
  Thomas Jefferson 1847
  Samuel Houston 1855

Samuel High died July 11, 1894, and was buried in the High Cemetery.

1842 - 1931

Henry Harrison High was born in Somersville, Tennessee, June 22, 1842. He moved to Texas with his family in an ox drawn wagon in 1852 and grew up in the High Community of Van Zandt County, Texas.

Henry High and Sarah Elizabeth Norman were married June 16, 1861, and built their home near the High school building and cemetery in Van Zandt County, Texas. Here they reared a family of ten children whose names and dates of birth [see Note01] follow:

  Susan Henrietta 14 April 1862
  Martha Jane 20 December 1865
  Robert Elbert 27 January 1868
  Samuel Alexander 21 January 1870
  Cynthia Annette 31 October 1871
  Mary Elizabeth 'Mollie' 01 November 1873
  Maggie Mahalia 11 January 1876
  Gertrude Theodocia 04 June 1878
  Gordia Oselman 21 November 1880
  Sallie Harrison 09 October 1882

  [Transcriber's note: Orginal text modified by
  • addition of second given name and 'nickname'
  • reformate dates from 'mmm, dd yyyy' to 'dd mmm yyyy']

  • Henry H. High joined the Confederate army on March 29, 1862, and was assigned to the 15th Calvary Division, Second Corps, Company I. He was sworn in at Canton, Texas, by his father-in-law, Alex Norman, and was sent to Clarksville, Texas. Records show that he took with him for duty a horse valued at $175 and a gun valued at $20. The gun was an Eclipse, bought from a mail order firm in Illinois, and is still in the family at this writing, February 1970.
    From Clarksville, Texas, High's company marched toward Corinth, Mississippi. The unit never reached Corinth, but was engaged in the battle of Cotton Plant and Batesville, Arkansas. These engagements were parts of the general battle of Arkansas Post on January 11, 1863, where High lost his horse. Thereafter, when returned to action, High was connected with the infantry (15th Infantry of Texas).

      [Transcriber's note:
    Not exactly factual, to wit:
    Henry H. High was not in the 15th Texas Infantry regiment;
    - his name does not show on the roster of 15th Texas Infantry
    - his pension application states that he was never transferred.
    he served in the 15th Texas [Dismounted] Cavalry.
    * * *
    It is a cute story in the HIGH FAMILY HISTORY that HHH became infantry because he lost his horse on being captured; but,
    - 15th Regiment Texas Cavalry was dismounted 24 July 1862, by Special Order No. 64, Headquarters Army of the West
    - HHH regiment was surrendered 11 Jan 1863; 6 months after it was dismounted
    - exchanged east of the Mississippi River where it served as dismounted cavalry
    - the appropriate designation for the regiment is
      15th Texas [Dismounted] Cavalry.]

    At the time of the battle of Arkansas Post, a measles epidemic raged and some 1,200 Confederate soldiers died of the decease.

    After being captured, High was moved to Camp Douglas, Illinois (Chicago),a camp where many soldiers froze to death. He remained a prisoner until April 3, 1863, when he was taken to City Point, Virginia, and exchanged. He was then sent to Camp Lee at Richmond, Virginia, via Petersburg.

    Henry High took part in the following skirmishes and battles in sequence:

      Pollack's Mill Creek, Virginia 29 April - 02 May 1863
      McLemore Cove, Georgia 11 September 1863
      Tunnel Hill, Georgia 11 September 1863
      Ringgold Gap, Georgia 11 September 1863
      Chickamauga, Georgia 19 - 20 September 1863
      Missionary Ridge, Tennessee 24 - 25 November 1863
      New Hope Church, Georgia 25 May - 05 June 1864
      Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia
    [General Polk was killed here]
    10 June 10 - July 2 1864
      Peach Tree Creek, Georgia 20 July 1864
      Decatur, Georgia 20 - 21 July 1864
      Atlanta, Georgia 22 July 1864
      Jonesboro, Georgia 31 August 1864
      Franklin, Tennessee 30 November 1864
      Nashville, Tennessee 15 - 16 December 1864

      [Transcriber's note: Orginal text modified by reformating dates from 'mmm, dd yyyy' to 'dd mmm yyyy']

    It is believed that Henry H. High was wounded at Nashville, Tennessee, and moved with the army to Tupelo, Mississippi. From that point he was taken with other wounded soldiers to a Mobile, Alabama, hospital for treatment. He went home on furlough March 20, 1865, and never returned to duty. General Lee surrendered April 9, 1865.

    Henry High and his wife Sarah, lived in the High Community until 1912 when they moved to Myrtle Springs, Texas, to be near their son, R.E. High and their daughter, Mrs. Herbert (Hubbard) Vinson. R.E. High and Vinson operated general mercantile stores in Myrtle Springs at that time and for many years after.

    Henry High died April 12, 1931. Following is an excerpt from an article printed in the Dallas Morning News:
      H. H. High (Uncle Henry) died at his home in Myrtle Springs, Texas, Sunday, April 12, at the ripe age of 89 years, 9 months and 10 days, having been born in Somersville, Tennessee, June 22, 1842. His passing ended the earthly career of one of Van Zandt County's most widely known and highly respected citizens and one of its oldest pioneers.

    It can be said truthfully that high kept abreast of the times. Upon his return from the Civil War in 1865, he built the home in which he lived until 1912 and in which he reared 10 children and a nephew (Jim High). He neither bought an ear of corn nor a pound of meat, but he often had plenty of both to sell. He never gave a mortgage or signed a note in this entire life. Uncle Henry, as he was endearingly called, was the last of a family of ten children, all others preceding him in death.

    He was buried in the High Cemetery with services conducted by his pastor, Rev. Jones. High was a consecrated member of the Baptist church, having joined the Old Cana Baptist Church in 1868 and serving as a deacon for more than 50 years.


    Alex Norman, Mrs. Sarah E. High's father, was justice of peace in Van Zandt County in the 1860's.

    Samuel High was appointed to a three-man committee that mapped out the first road through Van Zandt County. Much later, the road was known as the Dixie Highway and today is Highway No. 80.

    Tom High, Emmett High's father and Henry High's brother, was County Treasured of a number of years in Van Zandt's early history.

    A few years ago, while researching family history, Mrs. Ola High Smith, daughter of Alex High, was contacted by an elderly woman in Virginia whose grandmother was Fredericka, Samuel High's sister. Her mother had told her about her uncle, Jimmie High, Oat High's father, coming to Texas. Mrs. Smith compared history with her for at least a year, until she was notified of her death.

    The original land grant purchased by Samuel High, written on sheep scroll and signed by Governor Bell, is still intact and owned by Mrs. Lois Byrd, daughter of R.E. High.

    An old song book, from very early days of worship, small with printed verses but no notes, was given to Mrs. Verda High Beck on San Angelo, Texas, by her grandmother, Sarah E. High, more than 50 years ago and is still in her possession.

    Sarah E. High kept her sugar hidden from the Yankee soldiers during the Civil War by burying if a short distance from her house. One memorable day she took her sugar bowl and started out to the hiding place. When someone called to her that Henry, her husband, was coming down the road (she had been expecting him) she threw her sugar bowl away and ran to meet him. The sugar bowl is owned by Mrs. Veta Hoskins Allen, a granddaughter.

      [Transcriber note: This would have occurred in the Reconstruction era since Union troops did not [from my research] occupy this portion of Texas during the American Civil War. Further, Henry Harrison High was home on furlough when the fratricidal combat ended.

    Some of the gold pieces brought to Texas by Samuel High and later owned by Henry H. High were stolen from a safe in R.E. High's store in Myrtle Springs, Texas, when the store as robbed a few years before Henry High's death.

    Henry H. High told his family of the following incident. He was shot in the posterior by a Yankee sniper while taking some shoes form the saddle of a dead Yankee. These were the only wounds he received during the Civil War.

    Grandmother High (Sarah E.) knitted her husband's socks from light-weight wool for year-round wear, cut his hair and trimmed his beard as long as she was physically able, which was many, many years. She delighted in preparing his favorite dessert, apple cobbler with 'dip' poured over it. This dip was made of sweet milk, sugar and nutmeg.

    The gun which Grandfather High (Henry H.) took with him to war, the Eclipse, is now owned by Mrs. Ola High Smith, a granddaughter.

    Alex Norman was born in 1797 and was the father of Mrs. Henry High. He and his wife Cynthia are buried in the Old Cana Cemetery located off the Kaufman-Canton Highway. They were both charter members of the Old Cana Baptist Church.

    Joe Norman, who remodeled the old Samuel High house, was the son of Mack Norman, the brother of Mrs. Henry E. High.
      [Transcriber believes
    - 'Mack Norman' is Matthew Mack Norman; b: 11 AUG 1836 in Lincoln County, Tennessee
    - 'Mrs. Henry E. High' is Mrs. Henry H. High, Sarah Elizabeth NORMAN; b: 01 MAY 1842 in Lincoln County, Tennessee]

    The following quote is an excerpt from an item in the Semi-weekly Farm News in the early 1900's, written by John Hubbard (this branch of the Hubbard's moved to Texas in 1856 and settled in Tundra Community, later marrying into the Norman family. They are related to the High family via Grandmother High):
      People now don't realize what hard times are. In the year 1857 there came a freeze in April that killed all the vegetation and no more moisture fell until the 21st of September. A group of settlers from several communities went up to the Red River and bought corn for bread. My father and four other men went to Shreveport in wagons and bought flour, paying $22 a barrel for it. We lived on dried beef, venison, wild turkey and rabbits. There was lots of game in those days such as deer, turkey, bear, panther and wolves by the hundreds. One could hardly raise food for the deer. It took strong men like the early settlers to endure. The Blassingame's January's, Norman's, High's Smith's, and the Hubbard's being among those early ones."


      Henry H. High and Sarah E. Norman 16 June 1861
      Susan H. High and George F. Henry 17 October 1878
      Martha High and Charlie L. Landrum 24 December 1884
      Robert E. High and Ada B. Bates 08 January 1888
      Samuel A. High and Emma Francis 15 November 1891
      Cynthia A. High and James A. Thormahlen 12 March 1893
      Mollie E. High and Charlie O. Box 22 December 1891
      Maggie M. High and Thomas F. Hoskins 24 December 1893
      Gertrude T. High and Charlie L. Hubbard 04 Jun 1896
      Gordie O. High and J. H. Vinson 26 December 1897
      Sallie H. High and Joe S. Harper 24 October 1900

      [Transcriber's note: Orginal text modified by reformating dates from 'mmm, dd yyyy' to 'dd mmm yyyy']
    Samuel High Samuel High's grave monument
    Born Warren County, Indiana
    18 March 1809
    Died 11 July 1894
    Buried in High Cemetery
    Van Zandt County, Texas
    Samuel High's grave monument
    at High Cemetery VZC, Texas.
    The epitaph reads:
    'His many virtues form
    the noblest monument to
    his memory.'
    Permelia High Permelia High's grave monument
    Permelia 'Millie' [nee Cureton] High
    Born Green County, Tennessee
    17 Feb 1810 - 26 Sep 1895
    Buried in High Cemetery
    Van Zandt County, Texas
    Permelia High's grave monument
    at High Cemetery VZC, Texas.
    I can not discern the epitaph
    from the available images.
    Regarding the Author
    This HIGH FAMILY HISTORY was compiled and published by Alf A. Allen in early 1970. My recollection is that Alf A. Allen was a high school teacher at Bryan Adams High School in Dallas, Texas, and that he was a nephew of C.O. Box, Henry Harrison High's son-in-law.

    The back cover notes: 'Edited and Proceduced by Perry, Abshure, Scott & Assoicates'.
    Civil War