Caskey-Harmon Family History
In April of 1912, Clara Irma Harmon (1895-1975) married John Wylie Caskey (1879-1950). They were both born and raised near Grapeland. Wylie’s barber shop was destroyed in the fire of 1913, and he moved his family to Palestine. He operated the City Barber Shop across from the depot for many years. Clara Harmon and Wylie Caskey were descended from several early Houston Countyfamilies. Wylie Caskey’s grandparents, Wm. Wylie Caskey (1821-1879) and Peninah Thompson came to Texas by wagon train fromTennessee in 1852. They settled 4 miles north of Grapeland on San Pedro Creek where W. W. raised hogs and horses. The couple had 9 children: Samuel, Wm. Madison, Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary, James D., Nancy, John W. and Josiah Smith Sr., who was John Wylie Caskey’s father. Josiah Smith Caskey Sr. (1853-1924) married Mary Chaffin, daughter of Wm. Joseph Chaffin and Rebecca Parker whose father, Ben Parker, was the first to die in the Indian massacre at Ft. Parker, Texas, in 1836. The Chaffin family came toTexas about 1841 and owned a large land grant on the Houston/Anderson County line. Clara Irma Harmon’s parents were James Fletcher Harmon (1868-1934) and Alice Laurene Johnston (1872-1933). Both the Harmon and Johnston families came to HoustonCounty after the Civil War. John W. Harmon (1835-1899) and his wife, Nancy Todd (1839-1903), built a mill on San Pedro Creek with the Crenshaw family. The Harmon’s were originally from Alabama but lived in Arkansas during the Civil War. James Fletcher and his twin were the first of their children to be born in Texas. Carmel, Mittie, Minnie and Daniel Webster were also born in Houston Co. Zack, Mary and Dora was born in Arkansas. John and Nancy Harmon were buried near their homestead on San Pedro Creek inDunnam Cemetery. James Fletcher and Alice Laurene are buried in Davis Cemetery. Alice Laurene Johnston was the daughter of James M. (Jimmy) Johnston (1846-1917) and Sara Leigh Laney (1850-1921). They arrived in Texas about 1876 from Georgia. Jimmy had been wounded in the knee while serving with the 32nd Georgia Regulars. He managed to farm 56 acres on Livelyville road. Seven of their children were born in Houston County: Talley, Cora Jo, James Owen, Ernest, Laney B., Lloyd and Eileen. James and Sara are buried on their farm along with two children. Thus, when John Wylie and Clara Harmon wed in 1912 they were uniting many families that had contributed to the growth of Houston County. Children of Wylie and Clara are: Clairesse m. Virgil Kelly; John W. m. Madeline Marino; Eloise m. Charles Jones; Kathleen m. Boyd Taylor; Robert m. Betty Clemmons; Sunshine m. James Hendley; Mary Alice m. Doyle M. Rogers; and Carl Harmon.