Milford Riley Nichols (1851-1897) and Isabel Sowell (1859-1949)

With help from, Paul Hill, Marty Hill,
Georgia Belle Nichols, Dale Nichols, Billie Nichols-Bennett

Their home in Verbena (Post), Texas

Information about Verbena, Texas found on the internet

VERBENA, TEXAS. Verbena, Texas, is located on Farm Road 2008 about twelve miles northeast of Post in northeast Garza County. The community began in the early 1900s as settlers of area ranches gathered for church meetings. A post office opened in the home of J. B. Cotton on December 16, 1901, and was named after his wife Verbena. The Verbena Baptist Church organized on August 24, 1902, with nine charter members and was reportedly the first church in Garza County. In 1903 residents built a brush arbor for religious meetings, and they constructed a church building in 1904. Twenty or more members belonged to the church, which became the centerpiece of the hamlet and functioned as a facility for various denominations, a community center, and a shelter for travelers. Early families in the area included the Barrow, Cotton, Askins, Nichols, Kennedy, Cravy, Faulkner, and Lindsey families.

A Methodist church was organized in 1906 and held services in the Verbena church building. The Verbena post office closed on December 15, 1912, with the growth of the county seat of Post. In 1922 the Verbena School opened, and classes met in a building located just north of the church. The school closed in 1945 and was eventually consolidated with the Post Independent School District. By the late 1950s the Baptist and Methodist churches had disorganized, and the Verbena church building stood silent. It served as a community center in the 1960s and received a Texas Historical Building Medallion in 1964. By that time, many of the descendants of the founding families had moved away. The community was still identified on state highway maps in the 1990s, but no population figures were available.

The church, however, has a cornerstone, [but since] it's a bit difficult to read, I'll include the text as inscribed:

AUG 24, 1902

 Milford Riley Nichols was born February 9, 1851. He died on April 14, 1897 and is buried in the cemetery outside of Post, Texas. He married Isabel Sowell on November 14, 1876. She was born on February 1, 1859 in Guadalupe Co. Texas. Isabel Sowell Nichols died November 24, 1949 in Post (Verbena). She is buried in the Terrace Cemetery, Post, Garza Co., TX

Isabel was the daughter of Asa Jarmon Lee Sowell married on August 22, 1844 to Mary Mildred Turner (born October 15, 1829 in Davidson County TN to Major William S. Turner, b. 1790 in VA and d. after 1850 in Guadalupe and Elizabeth Smith b. 1790 VA. Mary Mildred died April 28, 1873. Her siblings were Calvin S. Turner born around 1826, TN; John Turner born about 1833, TN; Lucinda Turner b. March 7, 1827 TN, d. January 1883 and married Andrew Jackson Sowell on June 27, 1842; and Hardin Turner. )

Asa was born in Davidson County TN on April 30, 1822. He was the son of John Newton Sowell (born around 1780 in Davidson Co. TN and died May 10, 1838 in Gonzales Co. TX) and Rachel Carpenter, b. 1785 KY (father John b. about 1754) and died after 1860 in Seguin, Guadalupe Co. TX. There's a lot of information to be had about the Sowells.

Children of Milford Riley Nichols and Isabel Sowell were:

Milford Lee Nichols was born in October 1877, Seguin, Guadalupe Co., Texas and married May Retta Lester, born November 7, 1881, in Howell Co. MO. He died of pneumonia in Flagstaff, Cococino Co., Arizona on September 19, 1923. He is buried in Citizen's Cemetery. May Retta died on October 17, 1969 in Albuquerque, Bernalillo Co., New Mexico.

Pleamon Y. Sowell Nichols b. December 29,1878 Seguin, Guadalupe Co., TX; d. December 14, 1956 Post, Garza Co., TX. Buried Terrace Cemetery, Post, Garza Co., TX.

Mabel, born April 3, 1881, Seguin, Guadalupe Co. TX. Died on November 25, 1881 in Seguin, Guadalupe TX. I also have a death date of December 14, 1887.

Ethel Mae Nichols b. October 10, 1882 Post, Garza Co., TX; d. February 12, 1912. She married Ruben Lynn Lester . They had a daughter, Hazel Mae Lester b. February 5, 1902.

Inez Nichols b. May 2, 1885; d. October 16, 1886

Norman Rae Nichols (Rev.), b. April 5, 1886 Seguin, Guadalupe Co., TX; d. April 20, 1969 Seattle, King Co., WA. He married Ethel Lester (b. April 20, 1892; d. January 31, 1981 Whittier, Los Angeles Co., CA) on July 4, 1909 Mabank (Roddy), Van Zandt Co., TX.

Their son John D. Nichols was born August 29, 1925 and died in 2009. Here is his orbituary: Reverend Doctor John D. Nichols, age 80, flashed that famous smile and closed those twinkling eyes for the final time on this earth on March 13, while at home with his family in Knoxville, Tennessee. John was a beloved man, especially by our Heavenly Father in whom he took comfort during his final few months. John led a wonderful and full life, ever pursuing his visions, dreams, and love for life. He was a man of integrity and an advocate for those in need. Using his spiritual gifts of inspiration and encouragement, he was committed to his family, friends, church and most importantly, his God. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 58 years, Norene Nichols of Knoxville; daughters Jeanne Nichols Gooch of Denver and Judi Moore of Knoxville; sons-in-law Pat Gooch of Denver and Dan Moore of Knoxville; grandchildren Jake and Kotomi Yoshida of Denver; Samantha and Will BoBo of Denver, Tiffani and Adam Swalley of Chicago, John D. Moore of Cleveland, Tenn., Kellyn Gooch of Denver, Connor Gooch of Denver; and great grandchildren Kayuki Yoshida, and Cyrus, Eli, and Ivan BoBo, all of Denver. He is survived by his brother Dale Nichols and wife, Mary, of Whittier, Calif., brother Pete Nichols of Olympia, Wash., and sister Lorae Lucas of Everett, Wash., along with a multitude of loving nieces and nephews. Until recent months, he ministered on behalf of the disenfranchised and needy around the world as director for the Lazarus Foundation in Bristol, Tenn., and served as chaplain for Moore Freight Service in Mascot, Tenn. Although born in California, much of his life and ministry were spent in Cleveland, Tennessee. During his 58-year tenure with the Church of God he served in a variety of roles, including pastor, state overseer, international evangelism director, executive committee and council member, and director of benevolence. He served on various boards and committees within the church organization, including liaison to LeeUniversity. Through his efforts, benevolence ministries impacted thousands around the world and ignited a spark of benevolence within the Church of God that has spread throughout hundreds of congregations. A memorial celebration of his life with the church will be held at the Westmore Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee, on Monday, March16 at 7:00 p.m.

Their son Dale Webster Nichols, 82, passed away at home on January 7th, 2010. Born in Siloam Springs, AR on June 9, 1927, he became a fireman with service that spanned 35 years in Whittier, CA. Memorial services were held on Tuesday. January 12th at 1:00 p.m. at College Avenue Church of the Nazarene with interment at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier. He is survived by his wife, Mary, son Larry, daughter Cindy, son-in-law Steve Kliewer, and his grandchildren Kelly Kliewer, Amy and Drew Maxwell. As well as by a brother, sister, nephews, nieces, and cousins. He will be missed by many. Published in Whittier Daily News on January 29, 2010.

Their son Peter (Henry) Lowell Nichols (aka Peter Lowell Nichols .....He legally changed his name from Henry to Peter) was born January 18, 1925. He married Mildred Florence Arnett 1926-1985. Their children were Jonathan Henry, David Lowell & Carol Lorae.

Their daughter was Annabelle Nichols b. 1918 and Peter Lowell "Henry" Nichols

John S. Nichols b. August 31, 1889 Post, Garza Co., TX; d. May 1, 1979 Post, Garza Co., TX, buried in Terrace Cemetery.
Winifred Iona Nichols b. February 1, 1892 Post, Garza Co., TX; d. October 5, 1973.
Claude Aaron Nichols b. July 1, 1894 Post, Garza Co., TX; April 12, 1913 Post, Garza Co., TX. Buried Terrace Cemetery, Post, Garza Co., TX.
Henrietta Sowell Nichols b. September 4, 1896 Post, Garza Co., TX; d. October 19, 1986 Post, Garza Co., TX. Buried Terrace Cemetery, Post, Garza Co., TX.

The 1900 PARKER CO., TX census, pg. 239a...114-116 shows:

NICHOLS, Isabell; w; f; b.Feb. 1859; age 40; widow; married 23 yrs; 10 children born 8 living; farmer; b.TX; m&f/b TX... owned land
Milford L; w; m; son; b. Oct. 1877; 22; married 4/12 yr.; farmer; b.TX; m&f/b TX
Plemon S.; w; m; son; b.Dec 1878; 21; single; farmer; b.TX
Ethel; w; f; dau; b.Oct 1882; 17; single; b.TX
Rae; w; m; son; b.Apr 1887; 13; single; b.TX
John S.; w; m; son; b. Aug 1889; 10; single; b.TX
Iona; w; f; dau; b. Feb 1892; 8; b.TX
Claud; w; m; son; b. Jul 1894; 5; b.TX
Henrietta; w; f; dau; b.Sept 1896; 3; b.TX
Retta; w; f; dau-in-law; b. Nov 1881; 18; married 4/12 yr.; b. MO; f&m/b KY (NOTE: wife of Milford L.(ee))

All could read and write....

On one side is the John Akers b.1848 family born MO & KY and on the other is the L.? Walker b.1872 TX family wife Nita and son Virgil b.1899.

The 1910 Texas Census for Garza County Precinct 3 shows:

Isabel, mother, 51 years old, widow, 10 children, 8 alive, her father born in Texas, her mother born in Tennessee

Her children:

Pleamon Nichols, stock farmer, single, 31 years old
John S. Nichols, single, born in Texas, father born in Texas, mother born in Texas
Iona, 18 years old, born in Texas
Henrietta, 13 years old, born in Texas
Claud, 15 years, born in Texas
Leon, nephew, 10 years, born in Texas, father born in Texas, mother in Kentucky (May Retta was really born in Missouri, in spite of what the census says)

Lester, nephew, 3 years, born in Texas, father born in Texas, mother in Kentucky (May Retta was really born in Missouri, in spite of what the census says).