Abigale Fokes claimed Milam land grant
Joy Graham

This is the first in a series of columns covering women who took a leadership role in the development of Milam County.

The year was 1794, the place was the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The family was John and Catherine McLennan.

Abigale McLennan, the youngest of the children.

The McLennans immigrated to Walton County, Florida. Abigale married John Fokes in Florida. They were the parents of six children.

John died, leaving Abigale a w idow w ith children rangi ng from ages one to 14.

Upon arriving in America, Abigale left Florida to come to Texas where she had received a Spanish land grant in Milam County.

It took lots of courage to pack up her family and set sail from Pensacola Florida on the sailing ship, Caladona, going up the Brazos River to Columbia.

After landing and getting a much needed rest, she hired a team and journeyed to Old Nashville, near the mouth of the Little River.

Then the hunt for her land began.

Texas was inhabited by Native Americans, most of whom were not excited about these strange people invading their territory.

Abigale set out across the wilderness to find her league, which was rectangular and was divided by a river known as the San Gabriel.

These natives had killed several new pioneers prior to Abigale arriving, which made the Fokes turn around and retreat back to Old Nashville for their safety.

After a time, when her area had been secured, she packed up her family and returned to her league of land.

One of Abigale Fokes’ sons, John Jr., was recognized as a hero in the fight to protect these new settlers from the natives.

Abigale joined by brothers, Neil, John and Laughlin made their presence known and finally moved the natives north of Waco which opened up San Gabriel for more people to come in and establish homes.

Abiga le mar r ied A lt imont Locklin after Locklin’s first wife died.

They had one son, Samuel G. Locklin who authored “The Story of Milam County”.

Abigale’s courage, leadership and determination is a legacy to her ancestors. She is buried in an unmarked grave in Locklin cemetery on land she donated to the community.

Women like Abigale might not have had formal educations or wealth, but they had dedication, courage and compassion.

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2010-11-04 digital edition

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