David Gilbert Sudderth
(1850 to 1908)

David Gilbert Sudderth who home is is adjacent to the Leonard townsite, on the main line of the "Katy" railroad, was a son of the late Abraham Sudderth.  David grew up during the period of reconstruction when his father was poor and schools were few and advantages scarce.  His best teacher was experience; experience, reading and observation served as the rest of his education.  His boyhood home was a split log cabin, but it was a good as their neighbors and its clap-board roof covered hearts that have raised up mansions upon Texas soil since. Mr. Sudderth left the parental hearthstone at age twenty-four, when he married and set up his own humble home.  His first abiding place was a cabin on the family farm and his castle comprised a hewed log house with a side room, and his furniture was a feather bed with a stead, a trunk for a table and improvised chairs, the last name being subsequently succeeded by rawhide chairs.  The first table worth of mention was made of pine, with turned walnut legs.  The fireplace was also the cook stove for a few years.

After four years as a renter, David Gilbert bought sixty acres of land and began his upward climb.  His meat grew and fattened in hiss own pens; his stock for farm use was of his own raising, and the family lived off their farm.  Eventually that humble couple owned 1000 acres of black land in Fannin and Hunt Counties and 400 acres in Cleveland, Pottawatomie Counties of Oklahoma where some of their sons established third generation farm families. 

David Gilbert Sudderth was one of the directors of the Continental State Bank of Leonard, Texas.  I his political relations,  Mr. Sudderth was a Democrat with protection tendencies.  He voted for Woodrow Wilson to aid Democratic success, but deprecated what he believed to be the radical and destructive tendencies of the party leaders in re-adjusting tariff duties.  He was a member of no church, but lived with a Baptist woman more than forty years.  He was a Knights Templar Mason and Junior Deacon of the Leonard Lodge.  Mr. Sudderth was a man of medium height and build while his father was tall and slender.  In 1904, he wounded his right hand on a bailing wire, which set up septicemia and made it necessary to amputate his arm to save his life.

On July 25th, 1872, David Gilbert Sudderth was married to Miss Martha (Matty) Hancock, a daughter of William Hancock who had come to Texas from Missouri.  They had thirteen children, one of whom died in infancy.  The twelve surviving children were: (1) William A., a druggist and cotton buyer of Leonard, Texas, (2) Abraham A., a farmer in Lexington, Oklahoma, (3) Gilbert, a furniture dealer in Leonard, Texas, (4) James, a farmer in Oklahoma, (5) Asbury, a farmer in Bailey, Texas, (6) Virgil of Lexington, Oklahoma, (7) John Wesley, a farmer in Leonard, Texas, (8) Roy of  Oklahoma, (9) Nugent, a farmer in Leonard, Texas, (10) Jessie of Bailey, Texas, (11) Temperance (Tempie) who married Harry T. Smith of Petrolia, Texas and (12) Elmer the youngest.  Elmer was the last surviving son when he died in 1982.

The Sudderth home was adjacent to the Leonard townsite, where a splendid two-story farm house with its white exterior stood against the horizon and silently, but eloquently gave evidence of its owners substantial situation.  Railroad lake lay in front of this handsome home and the famed "Katy" railroad passed by the house.  Newly saved 'sinners' were often Baptized in the Leonard Pool (or Railroad Lake) and frequently allowed to use the Sudderth barn to change clothes and dry off.

John Wesley Sudderth, son of David Gilbert was my Grandfather.  "J. Wes" married Alice Johnson and had the following children: (1) Louie, (2) Mattie Lou, (3) Ruby Lee, (4) David A. (5) James Ewing, (6) Willard and (7) William Gompers.

James Ewing Sudderth, son of John Wesley, married Mildred Stone of Bailey, Texas and had two sons:  Timothy James and Ronald Charles.

Timothy James Sudderth, son of James Ewing, married Patricia Miller of Greenville, Texas and had two sons:  Christopher James and Jeffrey Paul.

Additions, edits or comments may be sent to the author, Tim Sudderth at tims@sudderth.net.