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Smith County, Texas

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Denson Crow Melton, son of Moses and Dolly Crow Melton, was born September 5, 1805 in Newton County, Georgia. In Denson's early years, the Creeks and Cherokees controlled most of Georgia. Permission was required to travel west. Denson's uncle, Isaac Melton, applied on October 2, 1811 for a passport for himself, his wife, and five children to move through the Indian Nation. In 1820, Isaac was living in Pike County, Mississippi. Another uncle, Eilijah Melton, received a passport on February 4, 1817 to travel through the Creek Nation to the Western County. These earlier adventurers probably influenced Denson's desire to go west. Also, they provided stops along his way to Texas.

In 1827, Denson married Elizabeth Webb, probably the daughter of James and Mary Webb. Elizabeth's mother, Mary, probably was a Hackett, because Elizabeth named her first son Hackett Webb Melton after her parents. That was the method of Denson's name, Denson and Crow were both surnames of his mother.

At the age of forty, Denson was enticed to follow in the spirit of his grandparents and travel to a new county. His grandparents fought in the American Revolution in North Carolina. In the 1780's they migrated to Georgia. Now Denson was leaving an area that his ancestors had help develop, maybe never to see them again.

By about 1845-46, Denson, along with extended families which included Daniells, Crows, and Strouds, settled in Smith County close to the Rusk County line. Early records in The Chronicles of Smith County state that Denson Melton and his sons help build the first roads in Smith County. On the 1850 Smith County Census, Denson and family are listed with George and Mary Daniell. Denson's wife, Elizabeth was dead, and her mother Mary Webb had married George Daniell.

Denson was very active in the Masonic Lodge. He was Master of his lodge during the war years (1855, 64, 65, and 66). Denson's lodge was the Canton Lodge located at Omen. This area is now called Arp. The original building was still standing until the early 1990's.

He was given a Masonic burial on October 22, 1887, and was buried in the Salem Cemetery in Smith County.

Children of Denson Crow Melton and Elizabeth Webb:

  • Mary, 1828-1916 married Robert Bradford
  • Hackett Webb, 1829-1916 m. (1) Mary Hulsey m. (2) Tabitha Daniel
  • Moses, 1831 killed in Civil War m. Nancy Jane Burks
  • William D., 1836-1900 m. Martha Ann Elizabeth Harmon
  • Eliza, 1837 m. William J. Daniel
  • Sarah E., 1840-1902 m. Joe Hawkins
  • Margaret, 1844 m. William Hulsey
  • Martha Melton, 1846-1906 m. Jasper L. Blackwell


Chronicles of Smith County, Texas, Vol 16, No. 1, 1977

Copy of the original petition for the Mysteries of Freemasonry; The Occasional Bulletin, Texas Lodge of Research, Sept, 1990, pp 67-68 - Abstract of Masonic Records

Submitted by Lois Melton Thompson

U.S. Census:

  • 1850-Denson C. Melton living with father-in-law, George Daniel-Smith County- Image 0066b

  • 1860-D C Melton-Smith County- Image 0014b

  • 1870-Denson C. Milton-Van Zandt County-Canton-page 234

  • 1880-D. C. Melton-Van Zandt County-E.D. 123

Submitted by Gayle Basaldu


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