Limestone County Historical Commission
Limestone County Historical Commission

Orpha Bates James Anglin

Orpha Bates was born on April 18, 1809 in Hamilton County, Ohio.  She was the oldest daughter of Sarah and Seth Hurin Bates.  She had five siblings: David (1807-1871), John M. (1811-1883), Elizabeth (1811-1902), Silas H. (1814-1888), and Phoebe (1816-?) Following the death of her mother, her father moved the family to Crawford County, Illinois in 1820 where he married his second wife, Anna Man Doty.  In the fall of 1824, Seth Bates moved the family again to Cole County where they settled in Lafayette Township on the Kickapoo River in the spring of 1825.


In 1827, Orpha married James James in Cole County, Illinois.  By 1830, they where living in Clark County, Illinois where they had two children. Sarah Ann was born on May 2, 1830, and Carson Bates was born on January 3, 1832. 


Her father and her youngest brother, Silas, traveled to Texas with the Parker group in 1833.  After a short stay, Seth Bates returned to Illinois and then returned to Texas in 1835. Orpha and her family may have come to Texas with her father at that time.  Texas Land Grant records indicate that James James arrived in Texas in December 1835, but must have died sometime prior to January 14, 1836 when Orpha, as the widow of James James, filed entry papers for Robertson’s Colony for herself and her two small children. 


Orpha soon married Elisha Anglin (his third wife).  Like Orpha’s father and brother, Elisha Anglin also came to Texas with the Parkers in 1833 and settled in Grimes County.  In the company of James and Silas Parker, he traveled to present-day Limestone County in the summer of 1833 where each of the three men located claims.  Mr. Anglin received his land grant, which included the site of present-day Groesbeck, from the Mexican government in February 1835, and he participated in the construction of Fort Parker. In early spring 1836, the Parker settlers participated in the Runaway Scrape; fearing Indian attacks and the advancing Mexican Army, they traveled toward safety in Louisiana.  They halted their journey after reaching the Trinity River, which they were unable to cross because of flooding.  On April 23, they received news that Santa Anna had surrendered at San Jacinto.  They then returned to Fort Parker by way of Fort Houston near present-day Palestine where they remained for a few days.  Elisha and Orpha Anglin and their children, along with other members of the Bates Family and members of the Faulkenberry Family, remained at Fort Houston.  Following the attack on Fort Parker, Mr. Anglin briefly returned to the area in the spring of 1838, when he and a man named George Calms laid out the town of Springfield.  Because of the threat of Indian hostilities, the town was not settled at that time.  Elisha and Orpha primarily resided in Grimes County until they permanently settled in present-day Limestone County in January 1844. 


Elisha and Orpha had seven children: Rebecca A. (1836-1920), Elisha (1837-1885), Seth B. (1840-?), Silas K. (1842-1874), Sarah Emaline (1846-?), Catherine (1850-?), and Elenore Adeline (1855-1918).


Orpha Bates James Anglin died circa 1860.  The site of her grave is unknown, but it is possible that she is buried in the Fort Parker Cemetery where several of her family members are buried.  Elisha Anglin married two more times before his death in January 1874. 

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