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William W. Arnett Reminiscences

Identifier: A-0142

Scope and Contents

These reminiscences are of people and events encountered during Arnett's early years and travels to and in Texas and his life there until 1848. At the end of the volume are some typescripts of letters written in 1879 and 1880 and genealogical material.


  • Creation: 1828-1929
  • Event: Donated in 1957


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

William Washington (Fuzzy Buck, Judge) Arnett was born three miles from Tuscumbia in Franklin County, Alabama, on January 5, 1823, the son of David and Rhoda (Curlee) Arnett. The family moved to Mississippi in 1828 and settled first in Madison County, then in Hinds County, and finally near the site of present Carthage in Leake County. In 1837 Arnett's mother died, and the boy contracted "inflammatory rheumatism," from which he never fully recovered. After living with a brother in Tipton County, Tennessee, for a while, Arnett returned to Mississippi in 1839, and on March 1, 1843, became tax assessor of Leake County. He held this position until 1845, when, his proposal of marriage having been rejected by a local heiress, he departed for Texas.

In Texas Arnett resided with his older brother in the Tyler County communities of Town Bluff and Wolf Creek, where he taught school. There he married Emiline Varnell; they eventually had seven children. The couple resided briefly in Milam County. During the Mexican War Arnett served as a private in Capt.John A. Veatch's company of Col. Peter H. Bell's regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers. This company was recruited primarily in Tyler County, mustered into federal service on October 23, 1847, and left federal service on September 20, 1848. On February 10, 1852, the Arnetts moved to the present site of Uvalde, then a wilderness. There Arnett built a shanty on the banks of the Leona River and delivered hay to Fort Inge under a contract to the army. For years after the family settled in Uvalde County they had no close neighbors and were in constant peril from Indians, wolves, and mountain lions. From January 1 until December 31, 1856, Arnett served as a private in Capt. Reading Wood Black's company of minutemen.

Mrs. Arnett died in 1871, and Arnett married Mrs. Mary Herrington Copeland at Salado on July 27, 1874. She was a teacher and the daughter of H. H. Herrington, a founder of Marshall, Texas. She and Arnett had five children. Arnett was elected treasurer of Kinney County in 1876, a position he held until his death. In 1885 he began writing a delightful memoir, now on deposit at the Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Arnett died in Brackettville on December 23, 1892, and was buried there. He was a Mason, a member of the Disciples of Christ, and a frequent contributor of editorial and historical materials to the Castroville Quill and the Uvalde Hesperian. His widow died at Uvalde on January 11, 1925.

(Thomas W. Cutrer, "ARNETT, WILLIAM WASHINGTON,"Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 31, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.)


0.05 Cubic Feet


This colletion consists of a single item described in one folder and housed with other collections in a clamshell box.

Guide to the William W. Arnett Reminiscenses
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository