Wednesday, May 2, 2012


It took fourteen years to unravel the story of Samuel Gwinn Hyten (1884-1977). It was not really that hard to trace, rather it was a matter of getting around to following up on information that I had been given by my very first contact with the family. It was another ten years before I traced Samuel’s roots.
(WES) COLE WESLEY HYTEN on the set of Hollywood movie working as sound man.

I think that I found (Wes) Cole Wesley Hyten (1912-1983) in the Lubbock, TX, phone book on my way back from California in 1970. I remember calling his home some time after that and talking to a daughter. It was not until 1977 that I wrote to Wes. His response was one of the most complete that I have ever received. In that letter he said that his father, Samuel Guinn (as he spelled it), had told of the family name changing from Hyden to HYTEN. Since I had heard other families mention possible spelling changes, I really didn't pay as much attention to that statement as I should have.
As time passed I wrote to each of the relatives for whom Wes had given me addresses but none replied. I did talk to one of his nephews, John Irving, Jr. (1942), but he knew virtually nothing of his family history. As I began my serious search for information, I tried to call Wes only to find his phone not in service (by then he had died).
My next contact with the family was really accidental. I called (Marilyn) Ethyl Marilyn Hyten (1920) whom I had found in the Denver phone book. She was Wes's widow. She repeated the story of name change adding that she thought that Samuel Gwinn had been the one to change it. She added that Samuel had died in San Angelo, TX, so I wrote the County Clerk there for the death record. That yielded the name of his father, Alfred, but erroneously listed his mother as Alma Farrar. Actually she was his wife.

My big breakthrough in unraveling this story also came by accident. I was in Corpus Christi, Texas, for Thanksgiving of 1987 visiting my son, Mark, who was stationed as the Naval Air Station there for his secondary flight training. I was making my usual phone book search when I came across Hyten Plumbing in Portland, TX. The town name Portland seemed familiar, but I could not place it clearly. A search through my name list revealed the name of Jessie Gwinn Hyten (1914-2006) with a Portland address. I figured that Jessie must have been too old to work by then and someone else had retained his name on the business. When I told my son about the find, he remembered an incident in a restaurant just the previous week. When he gave his name to reserve a table the waiter said, "Your father eats here all the time." It turned out that Jessie and his wife would drive thirty miles twice a week to eat a restaurant a mile from Mark's apartment.


I called the plumbing number and talked to Jessie's wife, Pearl Carla (1914). Jessie was out putting in his eight hours on the job plumbing at the age of 74. I arranged to meet them at the restaurant where they had almost crossed paths with Mark. During the meal Jessie filled in many of the missing blanks on Samuel and his family.

Samuel's father, Alfred Hyden, was apparently a U.S. Marshall or federal agent. Samuel had been born in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma in 1884 while his father has stationed there in the Choctaw Nation. What happened next is not clear. Wes had told me that Samuel had been raised by a stepfather, remembering nothing of his real parents. Jessie thought that might have been a man named Jim Anthony. Apparently some sort of dispute led Samuel to change his name from Hyden to HYTEN when he struck out on his own.

From the Montgomery County, Arkansas, records and Arkansas census records, I was able to piece together the following. The 1900 census of Sulphur Springs in Montgomery County, AR, lists James H. Anthony, 28, his wife, Ora P., and his three small children, his brother, William, and Samuel G. and Lillie Hyden. They are noted as his 16 year old brother and 14 year old sister. He was born in the Indian Territory and she in Arkansas.
In 1903 Samuel G. Hyden, 24, married Mary Ann E. Andrews, 18, both of Silver City, Montgomery Co. Then in 1906, S.G. Hyden, 22, married Almia Farrar, 23, both of Fir, Montgomery Co. Almia was Alma Susan Farrar-Hyten (1881-1976), the mother of Wes and Jessie. The application for that marriage was "secured" by J .H. Anthony thus once again tying the Anthonys and HYTENs together. It should also be noted that on both marriage records the signature of Samuel was a witnessed "X".
The 1910 census of Montgomery County, Arkansas, lists Samuel Hayton, 26, born in Oklahoma, and Susan, 26, born in Louisiana and, strangely, a 12 year old son Alfred born in Arkansas. I have never figured out who that Alfred actually was. Also listed was a nephew, John Farrar, born in Arkansas.
In the Montgomery County Record of Voters under the date July 1, 1912, there is the name S.G. Hyten in Fir Township. Jessie thought that his father had officially changed his name but a search of the county court records reveals no official record of such a change. This does not surprise me since he was a farm worker who apparently could not write as his "X" on his marriage certificate would seem to indicate.
Jessie said that his father had been a farmer. At one time they lived at a place called Walker's Hill. Samuel had also worked in the Highland Peach Or-chard which at the time was the largest in the United States. Jessie remembers his father taking hogs to a hot springs to butcher them using the scalding water to help skin the animals.
In 1920, just six weeks after the birth of his last child, John Irving (1920-1986), Samuel moved his family to Texas. At first they lived at Sawyer's Flat near Seagrave and Loop, Texas which are southwest of Lubbock. In the late 1940's he retired from a trucking business and moved to San Angelo where in died in 1977.

Jessie told me a story that was like an episode of the Twilight Zone. During World War II Jessie was stationed in England with the 8th Air Force, 533 Squadron, 381st Group. While on a training flight in preparation for the invasion of Normandy, an officer called the name Hyten and he and another man across from him stood in unison. In a quick exchange this red-headed man told Jessie he was the son of Samuel by his first wife, a wife of whom Jessie had never heard. Before he could say any more they had to make a jump and Jessie never saw him again. He can not recall the man's name. It could have been that Alfred mentioned in the 1910 census.

Jessie's twin sister, Bessie Susie Hyten-Cate (1914-1991), lived at the time in nearby Bishop, TX, with her son-in-law Travis Lawrence. Dessie Hyten-Lovelady (1917-1971) lived and died in Texas but the youngest son, (Jay) John Irving Hyten (1920-1986), traveled all over the world working in oil fields. His son, John Irving Hyten, Jr. (1942), and grandson, Evan John (1974), are left to carry on the HYTEN name. Wes's son Claude Wesley (1932-1972) died before Wes leaving three daughters in California.

Lillie Belle Hyten (1886-1964) remained more a mystery than a person until 2000 when I stumbled upon an internet inquiry of Mike Cunningham of Seattle. It turns out that he is her great-grandson. She had married Lewis Cunningham and raised a family of four in California.


In 2000 after reviewing some of Gene Hyden’s family magazines I was able to add some details to the life of Samuel Guinn Hyten’s father, Alfred Hyden, and in fact take him back three generations.
James Goff and Lydia Anglin Hyden were parents of John Hyden (1809-1860+), who was born in Virginia. John married Cynthia Handley (, KY) in 1831 in Edgar County, Illinois and they had ten children. In 1850 they moved to Hempsted County, AR.
In 1884 there was a J.L. Hyden, farmer, on the tax payers roles of Grand View Township of Edgar County. I’m not sure who he was. Also of interest is that one Thomas Darnall moved to Edgar County in 1822 from Kentucky. I do have a Thomas as a brother of John on my Darnell tree but he supposedly died in 1822. Remember that the INDIANA HYTENs and Darnells are connected by marriage.
John’s oldest child was William Alexander Hyden (1833-1892). He was to marry three times and had children by each wife. William Alexander Hy-den married Nancy A. Ballue (ca.1834/6-ca.1862/4) in Hempsted County, Arkansas, near the Texas border in 1851 and their first three children where born there. His later children were to be born all over Texas.
Alfred G. (Bud) Hyden (1861-1904), Samuel Gwinn Hyten’s father, was the fourth child of William Alexander Hy-den's first wife, Nancy. In 1880 Alfred G. (Bud) Hyden married Sarah Ellen Reece (?-ca.1884) and according to Hy-den information they had four children, John, Ivy E., Samuel, and Nancy. The Hyden story says he died in San Antonio in 1904 so this conflicts a bit with the story that he died before his kids were sent to Arkansas to be brought up by the Anthonys. My guess is that Sarah must have died just after their fifth child Lillie Belle (1886-1964) was born and sometime thereafter Samuel and Lillie were sent to AR.
Samuel Guinn Hyten’s middle name came from the maiden name of his grandfather’s second wife, Lucy Guinn-Hyden. And just for the fun of it, William Alexander’s ninth and last child, this from third wife Caroline M. Bond, was named R.D.T. Hyden Known only by his initials, R.D.T., it seems was a cattle rustler, getting himself arrested several times in the 1890s. Good lawyers kept him out of jail until 1900 when he finally got two years. This is less than ten years before Samuel Guinn Hyten changed his name from Hyden to HYTEN.

From information posted by Herb Clark on the Family Tree Maker GenForum site,, I got the following information. Alford G. Hyden’s application for Confederate Pension says he was born in Johnson County, IL, in Jan., 1834 . In the 1860 census Alford G. was in Limestone County, TX., where he enlisted in Company A, 20th Arkansas Regiment, CSA and served from 1862-1865. He then lived in Cleburne, Johnson County, TX, from 1879 to 1899, the date of his pension application. This is the county where Alfred G. (Bud) Hyden, who probably was his nephew was born.
Another pension application filed at about the same time by Samuel W. Hyden, said he was born around 1840. He served in Company H, 17th (Griffith’s) Arkansas Regiment, CSA from Dec. 31, 1862 till April 3, 1863. He moved to Cleburne, TX, about March 1, 1904.
Both of these applications were witnessed by Bullards, Alford’s by V.M. and S.E. and Samuel’s by Asa and R.L. with an additional statement by Matilda Bullard. It would seem these two are brothers who are somehow connected to the Bullard family.
John Hyden’s fourth child Alfred Gilmer was born in 1838 and his seventh child, Samuel W. was born in 1844 so they must be the above veterans. I had previously thought this Alfred and Samuel’s father were the same person. When you are speculating you have to keep digging lest you make an error in deduction.

It’s also interesting to note the history of the OKLAHOMA HITENs which also begins in Illinois. It pauses in Arkansas on the way to the Indian Territory, OK in 1900.
With people working on these two families from three different points of view maybe some day they will be joined or at least clarified.

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