Not-so-famous Taylorites: Frances Eubank Stearns

Frances was born on July 28, 1839 in Glasgow, Kentucky.  A large contingency of families moved together to Texas, including the Eubanks. Her father, James Eubanks, was quite a handyman–a carpenter, tinsmith, cabinetmaker and gunsmith.  All the perfect trades needed to forge a new settlement.  The Eubanks set up home in the little community of Circleville, so named because the houses were built in a circle and the vehicles were all parked in a circle when folks came to the settlement to trade.  Thchurningis harked back to wagon train days where you circled the wagons to protect people and property from raiding Indians.

The Eubanks family raised chickens and turkeys and milked twelve cows–everyone pitched in, including Frances. Churning butter, collecting eggs, making cheese, etc., was all part of the daily chores.  However, this industry attracted unwanted attention. There was a local tribe of Comanches in the area, with a camp by the San Gabriel River and had a small arrowhead production with local materials.  The Indians helped themselves to the settlers’ efforts and generally scared the women and children.  The men of Circleville decided to give the Indians a good scare, and caught up with the thieves one day.  The younger Indian braves ran away, but one older chief held his ground for as long as he could.comanche indians  When the settlers closed in on him, the Indian jumped off a high bluff and killed himself.  The men, including Frances’ father, fashioned a coffin for the old chief, and gathered up the remains of the Indian and buried him on a high peak.  That was the beginning of the cemetery at Circleville, where Frances’ parents were later buried.

Frances grew up into a beautiful young women and apparently had many suitors.  One of the young men who came home to dinner with Frances was Harvey Trueman Sterns.  They were married on January 3, 1861.  However, the Civil War interrupted their married bliss and Harvey went to war in defense of Texas.  Frances stayed true and waited for her husband to return from war, which he did.  Frances Eubanks Stearns died in January 15, 1916, having seen the early settlement of eastern Williamson County, survived the Civil War and raised 6 children.

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