“Coll” Lacey and Cloe Elizabeth Fairchild

 

        Joshua Collins ‘Coll’ Lacey was born Mar. 5, 1842, in St. Claire Co. IL. He was the next to the youngest of the eight children of Elijah and Ruth McDonald Lacey.

 

The Laceys left Illinois for Texas in 1853 or 54. They went down the Mississippi to New Orleans then by Coastal Packet to Indianola. The Laceys were in Goliad for a while, then they finally settled down in San Antonio and in Gillespie Co. The Lacey children spread out; the oldest Jack Locke and a brother, Lewis Lacey settled at Locke Hill (12 mi. from downtown San Antonio) on the Fredericksburg Road and most of the rest settled with relatives at the other end of the Fredericksburg Road (10 mi. past Fredericksburg) at Spring Creek. ‘Coll’ lived in both areas during the next 20 or 30 years.

 

The Civil War came to the Texas frontier and in Oct. 1862 ‘Coll’ made his way to New Orleans and joined the 1st Texas Cavalry USA. When he enlisted he gave his occupation as ‘drover’. He was promoted (elected) to 1st Sergeant.  He was wounded Oct. 1863 and captured. He escaped from the Confederate Hospital in Alexandria and return to his unit Dec. 1863. He mustered out Oct. 1865 in San Antonio.

 

        He married Cloe Elizabeth Fairchild on Christmas Day 1867.  His father, Rev. Elijah Lacey, performed the ceremony; witnesses were William Alexander and Joseph McDonald.  They were married in Gillespie Co.

 

Cloe Irene Elizabeth Frances, was the oldest child of Amos Fairchild and Lucretia Jane McDonald. Cloe was born Aug. 10, 1852 in Jefferson Co. IL. The Fairchilds had moved to Texas as part of a larger group related to Ruth McDonald Lacey.

 

Mr. Fairchild met an untimely end during the last stages of the Civil War, doing his part to make the Texas frontier safe. Cloe, at 13, was left to help her mother care for five other sisters and brothers.

 

Cloe’s next younger sister was Louisa “Curly” Fairchild who married Jerry Hazelwood. Curly and Jerry moved to Lincoln County about 1883. Curly was the mother of Charlie and Bill Hazelwood, sisters Minda Hazelwood Frambrough and Lou Ellen Hazelwood Dale of Lincoln County; Fannie “Kid” Hazelwood, John Wesley Hazelwood and Susie Lucille Hazelwood lived their adult lives in Douglas, Cochise Co. AZ. Curly and Jerry had moved to Douglas as well, they had extended family there.                   

 

‘Coll’ and Cloe first made their home in Spring Creek; it was a dangerous part of the world in the years after the Civil War. On Apr. 18, 1872 “Coll” enlisted in the Gillespie Co. Minute Men (Texas Ranger frontier defense) and was elected Lieutenant, Commanding Co. F. Many of his kinsmen were in this outfit, Laceys, McDonalds, Taylors and others.  The Minute Men were only called up for emergencies. He was discharged Dec. 12, 1872 with more than 30days service.

 

        An older brother, Asa Lacey, had itchy feet and during the course of his life, he lived in various places on the edge of the frontier. In about 1879 he moved with his family to White Oaks and tried his hand at mining and had a ranch about 6 miles to the southeast of town. With Asa was his son-in-law, J.W. Alexander, married to daughter Ruth Jane; three of their children were born in White Oaks. About 1885 the Laceys and Alexanders moved back to Gillespie Co. but his tales of opportunity there must have fired up J.C. for in 1887or early 1888 the family moved to Lincoln Co. The Lacey family first settled 3 miles North of White Oaks on the west side of the Jicarilla road. The family dugout is still visible from the road today, up on the hillside beyond the metal cattle pens.

 

        The Lacey children were born in Texas, except for the last one, who died as a baby and is buried at the Cedarvale Cemetery in the family plot. They became an integral part of the life in Texas Park and White Oaks, they were mentioned in old-timers reminiscences and the Lacey name adorns some geographical locations. His oldest sister, Mahala Lacey, lived in the area for a while coming in 1894. She was with her son, ‘Tobe’, and his family, they later moved to Douglas, Arizona. Sometime (possibly 1894 with ‘Tobe’) ‘Coll’s nephew, P.E, ‘Doc’ Lacey joined the family in White Oaks. At various times there were a lot of Laceys living in the White Oaks/Texas Park area including P.E.’s sister, Victoria Mae Thompson and her children around 1915.  

 

On January 26, 1901 ‘Coll’ died at his home in Texas Park, judging from his estate papers he was a well-respected and active participant in local affairs. Cloe continued to live in the community bolstered by her children until her death on January 19, 1926.