BUMGARNER Recollections…..


According to researched records, Bumgarner history starts back in Pennsylvania in the early 1700s. We know that our relatives arrived in this country aboard ship from a couple of areas in Germany; and, some on the border between Germany and Switzerland, namely the Bern area. Most of these early settlers were Mennonite farmers running away from religious persecutions.

There were various spellings for the name BUMGARNER which included Baumgertner, Baumgardner, Boomgardner, Bumgardner, and Baumgarden. Bumgarner in the old country: Baum means “tree”, and Gartner means “gardener”, or “nursery man”. Many of the early Bumgarners migrated to America before the Revolutionary War.

It is traditionally thought that our forefathers of Eastern Pennsylvania were of German descent; but, such tradition is not completely true. They were originally Swiss. Many of these Mennonite farmers were pushed out of Switzerland by religious persecution into Germany, and particularly into the Palaninate which is situated on the Rhine River.

From there they migrated aboard ships to Eastern Pennsylvania into Lancaster County. The year 1009 is the first trace of any of these people of Switzerland who located later in Eastern Pennsylvania. The name Baumgardner played a big part in the business world of Eastern Pennsylvania back in this time period.

The first record of a Bumgarner is that of Peter in Lancaster County, PA; and, he is mentioned in the 1729 German Naturalization Act which states that those listed arrived in Pennsylvania between the years 1700-1718.

We do know that there were three brothers: Peter, Christian, and John who came before 1733. We do not know the exact date that Peter Bumgarner arrived in North Carolina; however, it is known by state records that he was there as early as 1748. We also know that he joined the militia in North Carolina.

Peter, Christian, and John left Pennsylanvia and moved to what used to be Augusta County, Virginia. We don’t have a record of this move; however, we do know that John received a patent of land as early as 1746.

It is also been proven that the Bumgarners’ purchased land near Mountain Creek and Leepers Creek. The pioneer families settled in the area of the Catawba River, North Carolina, which received waters from Mountain Creek.

The earliest records we have of John Bumgarner in North Carolina, are the deed transactions in Mecklenburg County, one dated 21 December, 1762; and, the other dated 16 November, 1764 for 150 acres.

The earliest federal census was taken in 1790, and John Bumgarner is shown on this list as being a resident of Morgan District of Lincoln Co. North Carolina. The census showed that John and Nancy (first wife) had six sons and two daughters.

Since his will names ten children, and then two more after 1790, John married a second time after his first wife named Nancy passed. His second wife was also named Nancy. Her maiden name was Rockett. She and John had two children whose names were Andrew and Michel.
Three sons of John and Nancy served in the War of 1812 from Lincoln County, North Carolina. One of John and Nancy’s son’s was named Melcher (Melger) Bumgarner.

Melger Bumgarner was my great-great-great-grandfather. He was born in Lincoln County, North Carolina in about 1789; and, he married Mary Ann Troutman 13 August, 1811, in Lincoln County, North Carolina.

Melger and Mary Ann Bumgarner had fifteen children. Their fourth child, Melger Bumgarner, Jr. was my great-great-grandfather. Melger and Mary Ann moved to Georgia sometime after 1822 and before 1827 when their second child was born.

Melger and family was listed in the 1840 US Census and were living in Stewart County, Georgia. Melger had received a portion of land through the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery which was located in original Cherokee County; but, is now known as Cass and Cherokee Counties.

By 1850, we found Melger and family living in Arkansas in what is now Calhoun County. Melger died 26 July, 1857 and is buried somewhere in Calhoun County, Arkansas. Court records have been located giving the names of Melger’s heirs and the settlement of his estate.
Melger Bumgarner, Jr. was my great-great-grandfather, and he was born between 1813-1820 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. Melger, Jr. married Frances Caroline Calloway October 14, 1847 in Stewart County, Georgia. Great-great-grandmother Frances was born August 30, 1833 in Marion County, Georgia. She died February 19, 1914 at the age of 80 years and 5 months. She was living in Comanche County, Texas at her death. Frances was the daughter of Martin K Callaway and Elizabeth Smith.

We think that Melger Bumgarner, Jr, our great-great-grandfather, died in Calhoun County, Arkansas. Melger, Jr’s fifth child was my great-grandfather, Wiley Melton Bumgarner. Wiley was born in 1862 in Calhoun County, Arkansas. Great Grandfather Wiley Melton married Julia Lou King in Hillsboro, Hills, Texas on October 27, 1881.

Wiley and Julia had six children. They were: Frances Edna Bumgarner, Thomas Scott Bumgarner, Stanley Melton Bumgarner, Fronie M.J. Bumgarner, John Stanford Bumgarner, and Myrtle Wiley Bumgarner.

At some time period, while he was married to Julia King, Wiley walked into a cotton gin to transact his business, and the cotton gin blew up. Wiley Melton Bumgarner was first admitted to the North Texas Hospital for the Insane on July 3, 1891, at athe age of 29 years. Grandpa Wiley stayed and was diagnosed as ‘restored’ on September 22, 1891. His condition was known as Acute Mania which was caused by the cotton gin explosion.
On June 22, 1892, Wiley Melton was readmitted to this State Hospital for ‘recurring mania’. The duration of this attack lasted for one year, and this time Wiley Melton Bumgarner didn’t come home for whatever reason. He stayed and ended up being the Farm Director for the Terrell State Hospital which is located in Terrell, Kaufman, Texas.

Either, while he was in the hospital or after he failed to return to the Hillsboro Texas area, his wife Julia Lou King Bumgarner remarried. She married a man by the name of J.F. Pierce, and later remarried a third time to a fellow known as R. Jackson. Julia Lou King Bumgarner Pierce Jackson died December 24, 1916 and is buried in Lone Grove, Oklahoma which is just a few miles west of Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Great-Grandfather Wiley Melton Bumgarner died in 1934; and, is buried in the State Hospital cemetery known as Wildwood Cemetery. Paul Bumgarner, who died in 2006, drove down to Terrell, Texas a few years ago and found Grandpa Wiley’s gravesite, and had a tombstone erected on his grave.

According to Wiley Melton Bumgarner’s death certificate, he died on September 28, 1934 at 8:55 a.m. of chronic myocarditis. He was 72 years of age.
John Stanford Bumgarner was a son of Wiley Melton Bumgarner, and he was my grandfather. Grandfather Bumgarner was a share cropper, and he was born in Itasca, Hill, Texas November 13, 1891. I don’t know for sure when the Bumgarner Family arrived in Southern Oklahoma, and settling first in Stephens County, Oklahoma.

Our Grandfather John Stanford Bumgarner died a little past midnight in the early morning hours of December 8, 1941 in my parents home, Tom & Florence Bumgarner. Mom and Dad, at that time lived on North Second St across the road from Les & Edna Mulkey. Uncle Bob says he remembered that someone in the household came out where he and Uncle Dale or Aunt Evelyn were playing and told them about Pearl Harbor being attacked that morning. He also said that he thinks it was probably just after midnight of the 7th of December when Grandpa Bumgarner passed. Uncle Bob said he remembers that him and Uncle Dale were sleeping on pallets in the house. Grandfather Bumgarner had prostate cancer. (All of the sons of John Stanford Bumgarner has had one form or another of prostate cancer, but, I being the oldest grandchild, at sixty-seven years of age, have not had a problem with this, as yet.) (02/01/12)

They eventually settled in the Hennipen community which is located about twelve miles west of Davis, Murray, Oklahoma. Hennipen is actually in Garvin County, Oklahoma. I believe this family or some of them first settled in extreme southwestern Oklahoma or Indian Territory as it was known then, around the Randlett Oklahoma area where they sharecropped cotton. Uncle Scott Bumgarner worked for Oil Companies in these areas.
Grandfather Stanford Bumgarner met and married Sue Elizabeth Digby in the Hennipen area. They married January 25, 1916.

Granfather Stanford and Grandmother Sue’s first child was Jim Hermut Bumgarner. Uncle Hermut was born Feb 8, 1917 at Hennipen, Garvin, Oklahoma. He married Mary Nell Anthony; and, they had four children: Rebecca, Cathy, Johnny, and Penni Su. Aunt Mary died in 1957 in California, and Uncle Hermutt died in Weed, California in the late ’90s.

Their second son was Thomas Scott Bumgarner born October 1, 1918 and Tom wed Florence Geneva Wells on December 2, 1940 at County Line, Stephens, Oklahoma. Tom and Florence, mine and Jakie’s parents, had two children. Scott and Jakie Sue Bumgarner. Mom passed away after a two year illness on August 16, 1984; and Dad died July 13, 1988.

Jakie Sue Bumgarner was born October 18, 1946, and graduated from Davis High in 1964, and married the next Friday or Saturday night to Joe F Dudley of Dickson, Carter, Oklahoma. They lived in Davis for a while, eventually moving to Oklahoma City, and then to Ardmore. Joe worked as an electrician. Jill Annette Dudley came along February 7, 1977, and shortly later they moved to Gainesville, Cook, Texas.

They stayed there for about two and a half years. Joe and Jakie divorced in 1982, and Jakie and Jill moved back to Ardmore. Jill graduated from Plainview, Carter, Oklahoma and went to work. Jakie remarried in 1993 to Bill Hearn from Healdton. Jakie and Bill lived in southwestern Ardmore, and Jakie works as a loan officer in a Federal Credit Union. Bill is retired. Jill lives in Healdton with her boyfriend and they both work. William “Bill” Hearn passed from this life on 14 December 2011, and was buried in Healdton, Carter, Oklahoma on 17th of December, 2011. Bill was a good man.
Me, Edward Scott Bumgarner, was born December 1, 1944. I was raised in Davis, Murray, Oklahoma; and, I graduated from highschool in 1963 at Davis. I attended East Central State College at Ada, Oklahoma the fall semester of 1963. The Spring semester of 1964, I attended Oklahoma State Technical School in Okmulgee, Oklahoma in Auto Body and Fender repair.

The Fall semester of 1964, I attended Murray State College, and then I attended Murray State College for the spring semester of 1965. I worked for Detailed Engineering Investigations for the Soil Conservation District out of Shawnee Oklahoma from June till December of 1965. I reentered Murray State College at Tishomingo, Oklahoma for the spring Semester of 1966.

The summer of 1966 I worked for Harold Clary in the Ray Roberts Chevrolet body shop. September 12, 1966, I moved to Dallas, Dallas, Texas where I entered the work force of Texas Instruments, Inc. for a period of 29 years and 10 months. I then worked for MEMC Southwest, Inc for a period of 6 years, and six months, and retired.

During my tenure in Dallas at TI, I married Carolyn Denton and we had a child, Alicia Bonnell Bumgarner. This marriage lasted 11 years to the day, and we divorced on March 27, 1980. I lived in Dallas until September of 1980 when I moved to Sherman, Grayson, Texas which is located about sixty miles north of Dallas, Texas. My daughter Alicia was born on July 3, 1979; and, she was eight months of age when her Mother and I divorced.
Alicia was raised by her Mother, and Walter Vail her stepfather. Walt Vail was as good a man as there ever was….plain and simple, I liked him. My daughter could not have had a better stepfather as a role model. I got to raise her a little on weekends.

My lovely daughter, Alicia, married Denny Foley, May 5,2007 on a ranch slightly southwest of Austin, Travis, Texas. Today Alicia and Denny live east in Buda, Texas just south of Austin.

After moving to Sherman, Grayson, Texas in September of 1980, I lived first with Dale LeFevre, and then with Scott Warner who came from Hammond, Indiana as a Chemical Engineer for TI. Scott was laid-off in 1982 and left for Indiana the last time that I saw him. I was a single man for a little over six years. During this time period, I lost my Mother to cancer.

I met and married Nettie Elizabeth Tate. We were married on November 1, 1986. We have been married almost 21 years as of the present. Nettie brought another daughter to this marriage. Vanna Kay Tate Foster was born in Pampa, Gray, Texas May 30, 1969. She was a Senior in highschool when Nettie and I married.

Vanna Kay married Darren C Foster of Texas Tech and Plainview, Hale, Texas November 20, 1993. They lived in Plainview for a few years, and Vanna finished her college education at West Texas A&M at Canyon, Texas during this time. Their first child, Darci Elizabeth, was born February 13, 1998 in Lubbock, Lubbock, Texas.

Note: An irony is that my Dad and his family traveled to Olton, Lamb,Texas back before or after the Great Depression from around Hennipen, Garvin, Oklahoma in a covered wagon, twice. Olton is located about 25 miles west of Plainview, Hale, Texas. This is where Nettie’s and my son-in-law Darren was born and raised. His Mom, Midge Foster, attended highschool with a cousin of mine, Honey Huckabee. Grandpa James Franklin Digby is buried in the Olton, Lamb, TX cemetery, and his wife, our Great Grandmother Anna Box Digby is buried in the Oakridge Cemetery very slightly in Garvin Country, OK about three miles west of Davis, Murray, OK.

A friend of ours, here in Sherman, flew us in his plane to Lubbock, the night Darci was born. We missed her birth by about ten minutes. Father’s Day of 2000, Dylan Chandler arrived into this world at Lubbock, Lubbock, TX. The kids eventually moved to Rio Vista, Texas where Darren pastored two different churches at the same time.

Deciding that he didn’t want to continue as a pastor, Vanna and Darren moved to Sherman just two doors down from us for a short period of time. They moved back to Plainview for a year, and then returned to Sherman to live. Today both Vanna and Darren both teach school in the Sherman School District. Vanna worked at Austin College in Sherman in 2009-10, and returned to teaching in Howe Grade School in the Fall of 2010. Vanna graduated from Howe, Grayson, Texas in 1987.

Three days after Christmas in 2005, Daxton Lee Foster came along. He weighed over nine pounds and I have always said that he was: “half grown” when he was born.

All of my children, Alicia and Denny, Vanna and Darren, Darci, Dylan, Dax, and of course my lovely wife Nettie, are a real delight from God for me. I am blessed. These grandchildren are just a real joy and delight to Nettie and I.

Today, I am retired living in Sherman, Texas. I get up to Davis, Oklahoma a few times a year to visit old school pals and others. As of September 12, I have lived in Texas for 44 years, BUT, never forget I am and will always be a BOOMER SOONER all the way!!!!

Grandfather and Grandmother Bumgarner’s third son was Glenn Bumgarner. Uncle Glenn died at the age of 20 on October 8, 1941 exactly two months before Grandfather John Stanford Bumgarner passed away due to prostate cancer, December 8, 1941. Grandfather Bumgarner was fifty years of age. Uncle Glenn died as a result of a car accident in Tatums, Oklahoma. Grandfather Bumgarner died exactly one day after Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan.

Note: November 8, 2010
Uncle Bob Bumgarner told me that my parents, in the early part of 1941, lived in the old Cobb house on North Second Street. He said Mom & Dad lived in one part of the house, and that OJ & Alla Jean Ealey, and their son Paul lived in another part of the house. When Uncle Glenn Bumgarner died as a result of a car accident in Tatums, Oklahoma, that his body was brought to the Cobb house where my Mom & Dad resided, before his funeral. Back in those days, that was pretty common to take the body in casket to either the home of the deceased or the family home before the funeral.

Their fourth son was Ralph Dudley Bumgarner born February 13, 1924 at Hennipen, Garvin, Oklahoma. Uncle Ralph married Maxine Brown Sept 30, 1924 at Port Chicago, California. Port Chicago was an ammo dump for the US Navy. Granny, and Uncle Ralph, and Uncle Bob, and Aunt Evelyn lived and worked in the Defense Plant at Port Chicago during World War II. Aunt Maxine and Uncle Ralph raised two children: Jim and Melinda Jo. Jim was born in California, and Jo was born in Texas. Jim and Lois have two children, and Jo and Kim have two children.(They were working at Port Chicago when it blew up.)

Their fourth child, Aunt Evelyn Bumgarner, who was their only daughter, was born November 29, 1928 at Hennipen, Garvin, Oklahoma. She resides today at the Burford Manor home in Davis, Murray, Oklahoma. Aunt Evelyn had no children; but, she raised Penni Su who was Uncle Hermut’s youngest daughter. Aunt Evelyn Bumgarner Sulcer passed away, in January of 2011. She is buried in the Green Hill Cemetery at Davis OK.
Their fifth son, Oather Dale Bumgarner, was born April 13, 1932 in Lamb County, Texas, the only child born in Texas, the same state that Grandfather Bumgarner and Grandmother Sue Digby Bumgarner were born. Grandmother Sue Digby Bumgarner was born in Bastrop County, Texas. Her family migrated to Oklahoma in 1902 in covered wagons along with the families of Hunts, Fosters, and Wells.

Uncle Dale married Benny and they had three children: Judy, Vicki, and Bobby Dale. With the exception of Vicki who lives in Texas, the other children live in California the same place that is home for Uncle Oather Dale Bumgarner. Uncle Dale and Aunt Benny divorced, and Uncle Dale remarried a lady whose name is Marlene Maravan. They had a son and his name is Shawn. Shawn is married and has two kids as far as I know. Uncle Dale is no longer married. Uncle Dale lives in Hayward, California. Uncle Dale passed on 24th May, 2011, and was cremated, burial unknown to this author.
Their sixth son, Bobby Jack Bumgarner, was born September 29, 1937 in the Hennipen, Garvin, Oklahoma area. Uncle Bob married Anita Gibson in September 1961 in Davis, Murray, Oklahoma. They had one son, John Eric Bumgarner, who is married to the former Monica Sneed of Ardmore, Carter, Oklahoma. John and Monica have two children: Josh and Marissa. They live in Duncan, Oklahoma.

Uncle Bob and Aunt Annie also reside in Duncan, Stephens, Oklahoma having moved there the summer of 2007.
There is other information to be had for a lot of the folks above, but, I haven’t been able to get it. Some do not want to participate for what ever reason. I have put in probably twenty years trying to track down information. Maybe some of them will soften up when they get older…..:) I would like to have all of the first generation grandchildren’s children included in this massive undertaking before I die; but, some of my cousins choose not to participate. What a shame.


Edward S Bumgarner




3 thoughts on “BUMGARNER Recollections…..

  1. Hi,
    My name is Michelle Culbreth Lowery and Julia Lou King was my great grandmother. She was the mother of Velma( Pearce)Culbreth. Velma’s father was John Pearce. My dad was Lois “King” Culbreth.
    I had always heard that we were kin to the Bumgarners and knew it was through Julia in a round about way.
    Interesting to read your account as I recognized some of the names. My brother, Edward King Culbreath(original spelling) has done some research regarding Julia.

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