Southern Methodist University

Cozart and Nixon family papers

A Guide


Creator: Cozart family
Title: Cozart and Nixon family papers
Inclusive Dates: 1849-1974
Bulk Dates: bulk 1880-1945
Abstract: This collection contains correspondence, business ephemera, and photographs of the Cozart and Nixon families in Leon County, Texas. Martha Jane “Mattie” Cozart Nixon and her husband Frank Young “F.Y.” Nixon are the main subjects of this collection. However, their relatives’ papers are also included. The Cozart family lived on Leon Prairie (Fort Boggy, Texas) and later moved to Normangee, Texas. These family papers tell the story of early Texas settlers in Leon County.
Accession No: MSS 93
Extent: (1 linear foot)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

David and Mary Cozart III, of North Carolina, lived in Pleasant Exchange, Tennessee, in the early 1820s. Mary’s brother, Williams Davis Carrington lived nearby, and later moved to Leon County, Texas. David and Mary’s seventh child, William Hubbard Cozart left home as a teenager and is thought to have joined Williams Davis Carrington in Texas. Mrs. W.O. Cox describes her family’s history:

William Hubbard Cozart married Mary Elizabeth Gates and they settled on Leon Prairie, near Leona, Texas. In 1862, William volunteered to serve in the Confederate Army in Company D, Gould Battalion. Mary, his wife, stayed with her parents, the A.C. Bullocks, while her husband was in the army. William was mustered out at Millican, Texas, Brazos County, on 6 July 1865. Ten children were born to them: John D. (died at age one year), Lettie, Willie, Mattie, Beatrice, Clara, George, Elenora, Dolph, and Bula. The nine children grew up in the family home near Leona. The three boys worked together. George and Dolph raised cattle. Later they established a store at “Old Boggy.” Willie farmed and helped in the store. In 1910, the store was moved to Flynn and later, in 1918, to Normangee. Willie had a lumber yard in Flynn then.

The six girls were all accomplished women: dress makers, nurses, pastry cooks, school teachers. Lettie married L.J. Ritchie; Mattie married F.Y. Nixon; Beatrice married William F. Thompson; Clara married Tom L. Haydon; Elenora married Terry Wiley Brown and Bula married Joe H. Seale. The marriages of the boys are Willie to Anna Reed; George to Beulah Hines; and Dolph to Francis Roberts. In later years the sisters and brothers lived in Normangee or nearby in Texas. The children of William Hubbard Cozart and Mary Elizabeth Gates Cozart had twenty-six children. Four died in infancy. The twenty-two children who grew to adulthood were all contributing citizens in their communities.

Martha Jane “Mattie” Cozart Nixon (1863-1943) was Frank Young Nixon’s (1865-1960) third wife. Frank’s family also lived in Leon County where his father Thomas had a farm.


Cox, Mrs. W.O. “Cozart Family,” in History of Leon County, ed. Leon County Historical Book Survey Committee (Dallas: Curtis Media, 1986), F235.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection contains correspondence, business ephemera, and photographs of the Cozart and Nixon families in Leon County, Texas. Included are deeds, invitations, receipts, tax receipts, recipes, a dress design, and photographs. At some point a family member organized some of the material with notations describing each relative. The majority of the collection contains material on the Cozart family, with some Nixon family materials. The Cozart Brothers owned a general store in Boggy, Texas and there are receipts for bulk candy, spices, snuff, etc. for merchants in Waco, Bryan, Houston, Jewett, San Jose, and Marquez, Texas.

The Houston and Texas Central Railroad built a station at Normangee, Texas, in 1905, which drew settlers from neighboring communities like Rogers Prairie. This letter fragment describes life in southeast Texas in the early twentieth century:

“Alvah has been away since Monday and I will certainly be glad to see him home tomorrow. He went to Ft. Worth to present our town and county to the railroad officials and try to get a man sent here to arouse a little railroad enthusiasm. We need a railroad bad enough. Hauling coal 25 miles makes it mighty dear coal.”

These family papers tell the story of early Texas settlers in Leon County.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 5 series:
Series 1: Series 1: Cozart family letters and documents, 1849-1920
Series 2: Letters to Mattie Cozart, 1884-1943
Series 3: Nixon and Cozart family letters and documents, 1891-1945
Series 4: Nixon and Cozart family business ephemera, 1867-1945
Series 5: Photographs


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Cozart family.
Nixon family.
General stores – Texas – Leon County.
Normangee (Tex.) – Social life and customs.
Leon County (Tex.) – Social life and customs.
Leon County (Tex.) – History – Sources.
Deeds -- Texas.
Letters -- Texas.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cozart and Nixon family papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2011.

Processing Information

Materials were folded in envelopes with a description of some of the contents printed on the envelopes, most likely written by a family member. Envelopes with long descriptions were saved and placed at the end of the collection. Correspondence was, for the most part, originally grouped by person or family, so this order was maintained. The rest of the collection was sorted chronologically by family and format.

Processed by

Cynthia Franco, 2011.

Finding aid encoded by

Cynthia Franco, 2011.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Cozart family letters and documents, 1849-1920
2 folders

Some of these items were in separate envelopes and described by a family member, probably due to their historical importance.
Box Folder
1 1 J.J. Edel and Brother Grocery bill, December 5, 1876. Clara Cozart married Tom Haydon. This bill is for “Mr. Hadon.”
1 Letter from M.E. Carnal, 1878.
1 Note for $40 to O.L. Brown, 1888. Elenora Cozart married Wiley Brown, O.L. is most likely his father.
1 James M. Gates 1893 account book for National Building and Loan Association, Bryan, Texas.
1 Formal letter written by Elenora Cozart’s parents granting permission to marry Wiley Brown, 1902.
1 Letter to Anna Cozart from Brother Brice, Church of Christ minister, regarding the obituary for Molly Cozart, mostly likely for publication in “The Firm Foundation,” 1907.
1 Letter from Lucile and Wilburn Thompson from Clyn Hadon, (Clara’s step-daughter)
1 Letters from Chas. Cluthe and Sons to W.H. Cozart regarding trusses for hernia, 1911. Order blank included.
1 1911 written promise to pay W.H. Cozart Sr. $225 from the Cozart Brothers.
1 Fragment of letter describing Alvah and his trip to Ft. Worth to inquire about railroads. Alvah Gates was the oldest son of “Uncle” Jim Gates and Jane Leathers Gates.
2 Deed for Allen C. Bullock, 1849
2 Allen C. Bullock headright, 1850
2 Letter to Jim Gates regarding land and Mrs.Thomason, 1871
2 Letter from Randolph & Randolph lawyers to W.H.. Cozart, 1905
2 W.H. Cozart deed, 1913
2 Bill of sale for a mare
2 Field notes for the Bullock land
2 Explanation of headrights and Texas land grants
2 T.A. and G.D. Cozart lien note, 1920

Letters to Mattie Cozart, 1884-1943
5 folders

Some of these items were in separate envelopes and described by a family member. Included are letters from her siblings: Clara, Dolph, Elenora, Bula, Beatrice, and Lettie in chronological order.
Box Folder
1 3 Invitation to “The Grand May Ball given by the young men of Marquez,” 1884 addressed to Miss Mattie Cozart.
3 Letter from a friend of Mattie Cozart, 1886. Describes Aunt Letty’s “soft fat sides” and Uncle Jim’s marriage problems.
3 Letter from M.E. Carnal to Mattie Cozart, 1891. M.E. Carnal was a cousin of Mattie Cozart Nixon who lived in Tennessee. G.L. Carnal is M.E. Carnal’s father and William Pabbord Cozart’s brother-in-law.
3 Letter from J.M. (Uncle Jim) Gates, 1897. Gates is Mattie’s mother’s brother. He writes from Steele’s Shore, Texas, just outside of Bryan, Texas. The “Willie” mentioned in the letter is William Hubbard Cozart, Mattie’s father and Jim Gate’s brother-in-law. He holds Willie in high regard.
3 Letter from Uncle Jim Gates, [1899?]. He is leaving Bryan, Texas, for Houston. His letter asks for any information on his children, Alvah and Burt. Apparently they have not written him.
3 Letters from Anna Cozart, Mattie’s sister, 1904. Anna was William Hubbard Cozart Jr.’s wife.
3 Letters from Clara Cozart Hayden, Mattie’s closest sister, 1902-1933, Includes one letter from Mattie to Clara, 1906.
4 Letters from Dolph Cozart, 1904-1943.
5 Letters from Elenora Cozart Brown, Mattie’s sister, 1902-1908. In the first letter she was apparently short of paper, but she asks about every brother and sister.
6 Mattie Cozart’s letters to her family from Boggy, Texas, 1906. It appears she made the trip to Boggy with her father.
6 Letters to Mattie Cozart Nixon, 1905-1907.
7 Letters from “cousin” Clara Hall Dawkins and “cousin” Oscar Hall, 1907-1908. They were the niece and nephew of Molly Cozart, who raised Clara. Clara’s letter is in response to the death of Molly. Oscar later came home to Leon County to die in Mattie and Frank Nixon’s home.
7 Letters to Mattie Cozart from M.J. Gates, 1908. M.J. is the former wife of Uncle Jim Gates, Jane Leathers Gates. She writes a page scolding Mattie for not writing, and the rest of the letters talk about her problems, both emotional and physical. Original family member’s typescript notes about M.J. Gates is included.
7 Letter from Beatrice Cozart Thompson, 1908. She describes a visit to Abilene, probably to see her sister-in-law Amanda Thompson Keeling or her sister, Elenora Cozart Brown.
7 Letters from Bula Cozart Seale, 1908-1943.
7 Letter from M.E. Carnal to Mattie Nixon, 1911.
7 Letter from Beulah Cozart, George D. Cozart’s wife, to Mattie Nixon (not to be confused with Bula Cozart, Mattie’s sister),1943.
7 Beulah Cozart’s card advertising International Business College, Palestine Texas, with envelope.
7 Letter from Lettie Cozart Richey, 1943. This letter was written after she moved to Port Arthur, Texas.
7 Letter to Mattie and Frank Nixon from Frank’s mother, Jane Nixon.
7 Letters to Mattie Cozart Nixon, 1908-1942 and photograph of boy.
7 Letter from Dr. Nathan Tucker Laboratory, 1942 regarding Mattie’s son’s asthma and hay fever treatment with completed questionnaire.

Nixon and Cozart family letters and documents, 1891-1945
6 folders

Some of these items were in separate envelopes and described by a family member.
Box Folder
1 8 Deed for A.P. Allison, 1891.
8 Guardianship papers of Cora and Clara Nixon (Frank Nixon’s stepchildren) to A.P. Allison, their grandfather. 1903-1907.
8 Marriage announcement for Frank Nixon’s sister Annie at Rogers Prairie, Texas, 1903.
8 Letters to Frank Nixon from his parents, 1904.
8 Letter from Tom Nixon, son of F.Y. Nixon, 1908.
8 F.M. Cobb and wife to F.Y. (Frank Young) Nixon correction deed, July 16, 1913.
9 Love letters between Frank Nixon and Mattie Cozart, 1907-1909.
10 Deeds and tax receipts for Frank Nixon, 1900-1916.
10 Letter from Frank Nixon to W.H. Cozart, 1912 regarding the sale of 1 ½ acres of land next to Frank’s house.
10 M.J. Nixon store receipts, 1916-1917.
10 Bank deposits for Mrs. Mattie Nixon, 1920 and one deposit for Little F.Y. Nixon.
10 Letters in Spanish to F.Y. Nixon from Elizabeth Patterson, Lamar Palmer, and McLain, 1929. Palmer was the brother of Lee Palmer, an attorney who wrote the letter regarding car payment.
10 Letter to F.Y. Nixon from Lee Palmer regarding car payment and treasure’s second notice slip, 1936.
10 Letter from F.Y. Nixon, 1942.
10 Two letters from Ruth Nixon to her parents, 1942-1943.
11 Letters, postcards, greeting cards, and receipts to Frank Nixon, 1914-1960. Included are four war ration stamps from 1942.
12 Graduation invitations for Annie Beth Cozart, 1934 and Fred Allen Cox, 1942.
12 41 name cards, some inscribed to F.Y. Nixon.
13 Cure for meningitis, grass stain removal recipe, recipes, wallpaper samples, newsclippings, sketch for a dress, drawings, handwritten fragments, Galveston News advertisement, 1974 elementary school certificate for Tim Kerry Nixon.

Nixon and Cozart family business ephemera, 1867-1945
9 folders

This series contains customer, vendor, and tax receipts; checks, business correspondence, and brochures. The Cozart Brothers owned a general store in Boggy, Texas and there are receipts for bulk candy, spices, snuff, etc. for merchants in Waco, Bryan, Houston, Jewett, San Jose, and Marquez, Texas.
Box Folder
1 14 R.H. Nixon, F.Y. Nixon, and Cozart business ephemera, 1867-1910.
15 R.H. Nixon, F.Y. Nixon, and Cozart business ephemera, 1911-1914.
16-17 R.H. Nixon, F.Y. Nixon, and Cozart business ephemera, 1915.
18 R.H. Nixon, F.Y. Nixon, and Cozart business ephemera, 1916.
19 R.H. Nixon, F.Y. Nixon, and Cozart business ephemera, 1927-1945. Blank forms.
20 Cozart family cotton sale receipts and other receipts, 1873-1915.
21 Cozart tax receipts 1868-1899.
22 Cozart and Nixon family tax receipts, 1900-1924.

3 folders

Box Folder
1 23 Photographs.
24 Photograph of Jim Gates, brother of Mary Elizabeth Cozart, uncle of Martha Jane Mattie Cozart Nixon, great-uncle of F.Y. Nixon, great-great-uncle of Jim K. Nixon, great-great-great-uncle of Bobby and Lauren Nixon. Jim Gates died at age 64 and is buried at Rogers Cemetery, Leon County, Texas.
25 Family member’s notes written on 30 envelopes.