Facts and Events
Margaret Virginia McManners Stephens was the daughter of Adelia Texas Hagan and Noah McManners.
According to many different sources, Margaret was the daughter of Noah and a woman of the Cherokee tribe. Little is known about this Cherokee except that she was no longer to be found real early in Margaret's life. It is often presumed that Margaret's mother died. The census indicates that Noah and Adelia were living together in 1860 (Records show they were married in 1852), which would indicate that the Cherokee was a mistress.
In 1862 The American Civil War broke out. Noah, Margaret's father, joined the Confederacy. The following year, in 1863, Noah died in Arkansas, leaving Margaret fatherless.
Distraught, Adelia soon succumbed to consumption and died only eight months later, leaving Margaret an orphen.
She and her four other young siblings then moved in with Louisiana Hagan Wright, Adelia's sister.
Listed in the 1870 Houston County, Texas Census as Maggie, age 8, born TX. With siblings, and living in aunt Lucy's household.
Listed in the 1880 Houston County, Texas Census as Margaret V. McManners, age 20, single, born TX. With brother A.T.
In 1882, Family legend continues, Margaret found herself engaged to be married to a man she didn't really fancy. Then one morning, her first cousin Robert Marion, rode in on his horse from West Texas. Margaret took one look back, hopped on Robert's horse and the two of them rode off together. They were married on May 11, 1882.
Listed in the 1900 Houston County, Texas Census as Maggie V. Stevens, born Feb. 1865, age 35, married for 19 years, borne 9 children, with 9 currently living, born TX, father born AR, mother born MN, can read and write. With husband and children.
Listed in the 1910 Houston County, Texas Census as Maggie V. Stephen, age 49, married once for 27 years, 11 children with 10 still living, born Texas, father born Arkansas, mother born Texas. Can read and write. With husband and 6 children.
In 1935, on Margaret's 75th birthday, the family made her a large, 3-tiered cake with candles all around it. 5-year old Omaha, Margaret's granddaughter, decided she wanted to have a cake just like it when she turned 75. Boistered by this thought, she went up to Margaret and said; "Granma, When I'm 75, we'll be 75 together." Margaret smiled at her and said, "No, I'll be long gone by then." Omaha paused, contemplating this and then replied thoughtfully, "Well, I hope you live until you die." (---Omaha Rhodes, 1/5/2005)
During the Second World War, a German POW camp sprung up near Trinity. Margaret's neighbors, the Bagwells, would employ the POW's to work on their farm. Mrs. Bagwell, seemed to have some problems with her clothing from time to time. Oma, having a rather whimsical sense of humor, would taunt Margaret. "Mrs. Bagwell's slip is showing again." She would inform Margaret. Grandma Stephens would then grumble under her breath about Mrs. Bagwell. As time went on, though Margaret would start to join in, "Is Mrs Bagwell out there?" she would ask Oma, "I don't want to see her slip."
As Margaret grew older, she grew smaller if not fiestier; in her 90th year, still living in Trinity, the kids began to "Trick or Treat" in her neighborhood. They dressed in their scary outfits and knocked on old Margaret's door. She knew nothing of this tradition and so she simply took one look at the kids and closed the door on them. Minutes later the children began throwing firecrackers onto the porch of the house. Margaret wasn't sure what this was all about, but she would have none of it. She loaded her husbands "Smith and Wesson on a .45 frame", walked outside, aimed at the sky and fired one single, loud shot. The blast from the gun knocked the tiny woman to the ground but within 10 seconds there wasn't a child or firecracker in sight.
Margaret Virginia McManners Stephens died from complications of old age on September 14, 1954 at the age of 94. She was laid to rest in the Clapp Cemetary in Trinity County, a double stone with Robert Marion Stephens.
She did indeed live until she died.