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METHVIN, OSSAMUS HITCH, SR. (1815-1882)
son of Richard R., son of Nathan
REGARDED AS FOUNDER OF LONGVIEW, TEXAS

Article reprinted courtesy Longview Newspapers, Inc. from the LONGVIEW MORNING JOURNAL Centennial Album dated May 3, 1970. Provided by Nrs. James Selman, 912 Arkansas, Longview, Texas 75601.

O.H. Methvin Sr., who deeded the land for the Southern Pacific Railroad through Longview, is generally recarded as the founder of the city.

A First Methodist Church deed shows that in 1870 O.H. and Margaret R. Methvin deeded to the Southern Pacific R.R. land for $500.00 in gold. Another deed, dated April 7, 1870, grants 100 acres to the same railroad for the sum of $1, "believing that said road will enhance the value of lands along the line and near the same, and for the purpose of aiding therein, and opening up and developing the resources of the country."

O.H. Methvin was born March 10, 1815, and married about 1835. The 1840 census lists him in Lowndes County, Ga., then Alabama territory. He and his wife had three sons, Alexander, minister; B.J. a physician, and O.H. Jr. who operated a restaurant and owned the street car system.

O.H. Methvin Jr. was born in Belton, Texas, in November 6, 1851. Possibly the family had moved to the Longview area prior to this time, however, as the late G.A. Kelly recalled that he came here in 1848 and the first person he met was Ossie Methvin in his corn field where the court house now stands.

Family records show that Mr. and Mrs. Ossie Methvin Sr. reared orphan children. They legally adopted their granddaughter Margie R. after her father's death in the war and her mother's death when she was only three. She married P. F. Capps, who sold mineral water to residents of the area.

The Methvin Home, which was said to have three stories, was build on the hill where the water towers now stand. The hill has been cut down as rock was guarried from it and used in the foundation of numerous public buildings including the courthouse and the Presbyterian Church. It was from the porch of Methvin's home a surveyor is supposed to have remarked that there was a long view from the spot. Methvin agreed and the new town had its name, Longview.

The old Methvin home burned Dec. 31, 1893, several years after Methvin's death on Feb. 9, 1882. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

After his death, his widow moved to the home of O.H. Methvin Jr. and his wife, the former Anna Crouch. She died in February of 1894 at the age of 75 and is believed to be buried next to her nusband.

O.H. Methvin Jr. and his wife were the parents of six daughters: Pearl (Hansen), Annie Lou (Bass), Garland (DeLesdernier), Lizzie (Holloway), Delphine (Fisher) and Alta (Miller), and a son, H.A. Methvin.

Lizzie Methvin's marriage to Alton Holloway joined two pioneer Longview families.

James P. Holloway and his wife, Sarah Elder Holloway, came to East Texas in 1859 from Clarke County, Georgia. They traveled in a train of covered wagons, and brought a few slaves, some stock, and household effects. They first settled in the Camden Community, which was located on the south side of the Sabine River. The family consisted of eight children, one of whom was William Carol, known as Billy, who was then about 15 years old. Later, he served in the Confederate Army during 1863-1865.

In 1870, William C. Holloway married Rebecca Lea Bassett of Upshur County. In 1872 Billy and his wife, with one son, John Willian, moved to a farm that he bought about 2 one-half miles south of Longview where LeTourneau College is located. There were about 640 acres in the farm, and when Holloway showed it to his wife she thought it was beautiful but complained that there was no road leading to town. Her husband said he would cut a road into town and with axe and saw he did so.

The road led from the farm north to the Marsha11 road, where the little settlement of Earpville was located. The stagecoach station and business center were there at that time. Billy Hollowav farmed this land, and also preached for many surrounding churches. He was a charter member, and one of the first pastors of the Christian Church organized in Longview in 1875, his father, James P. Holloway being the first pastor.

William P. Holloway died in 1898, and is buried in the Peatown Cemetery, near the early settlement of Camden. His children were: Will, Walter, Annie Lea, Alton, Juddie, Carlton, and Stella May. All are now deceased.

Will became a merchant in Hallsville; Walter served in the Texas Legislature; Annie Lea married A.S. Latham and was the mother of Sidney Latham, former Secretarv of State. Alton owned a furniture store, which he operated from 1914 until his death in 1946, and then it was operated by his sons, Lowell and William. Juddie married T.C. Denton, and she taught a private school in Longview for many years. Carlton died at age 19 or 20 and Stella May married Bert Espy, who was in the insurance business for manv years in Longview. All, except Will, remained in Longview, and reared their families here.

Descendants of Wi1liam Carol Holloway presently living in Longview are: Carroll Holloway, Mrs. Frances Holloway Bristow, Lowell Holloway, Wi1liam Holloway, Mrs. Futh Holloway Sandridge, and Mrs. Elwyn Espy Blackmon, all grandchildren. There are also numerous great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren, living in Longview.

A grandson, Lt. Bert Espy, Jr., was killed in France, June,1944, in World War II. A great grandson Sp. 4 Richard Alton Holloway, was killed in Vietnam in December, 1967.


Ossamus Hitch Methvin, Sr., founder of Longview, son of Richard R. and Martha (Perdue) Methvin, was born in Lowndes County (later Baldwin County), Georgia, on March 10, 1815. His grandfather, the first Methvin to come to America from Edinburgh, Scotland, had immigrated in 1790. Richard and Ossamus came to Texas about 1848 and settled in Upshur County. Richard purchased 200 acres bordering the north side of the Cherokee Trace near the site of future Earpville. He was a wagonmaker and had a livery stable on the site, now the location of the post office.

Ossamus Methvin married Margaret R. Perreau of New Orleans around 1835. He is listed in the 1840 census in Lowndes County, Georgia (then Alabama Territory). The couple had three sons. Methvin purchased land from James Earpqv that had been granted by patent from the state of Texas in 1848 and built a three-story house on Rock Hill. This hill supplied the rock for foundations of many buildings, such as the present First Presbyterian Church of Longview and the Gregg County Courthouse. A city water tower now stands on this hill, and the Gregg County Courthouse now stands in what was Methvin's cornfield.

A state historical marker was placed on the courthouse lawn in 1984 by Methvin descendants. On April 7, 1870, Methvin deeded to the Southern Pacific Railroad 100 acres of land for one dollar, "believing that said road will enhance the value of lands along the line and near the same, and for the purpose of aiding therein, and opening up and developing the resources of the country." On September 28, 1870, he sold an addition 100 acres to the Southern Pacific for $500 in gold. During this time railroad surveyors, standing on the porch of Methvin's house on Rock Hill and looking out into the distance exclaimed, "What a long view!" Hence the name of the new town, which was incorporated in June 1871 and became the county seat. The first panel of grand jurors, sworn in on October 2, 1873, included him. He died on February 10, 1882, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery. A state historical marker was placed on his gravesite in 1988.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Richard B. Levy, History of the Creation of Gregg County, Texas (MS, Genealogy Department, Longview Public Library, Longview, Texas). Longview Morning Journal, Centennial Edition, May 3, 1970. Texas Centennial Book Committee of Longview, Longview, Texas, Centennial (Longview, 1970?).

Beth Holloway Dodson


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