Thursday, April 19, 2012

William Herbert Peters, my Great-Grandmother’s Half Brother

Herbert & Emma (Dodd) Peters, 1978, Texarkana, TX sent to me by Pam, a 3rd great-granddaughter of Posey Willard, March 2012. 

In a previous post entitled “The Mystery of William Herbert Peters’ Birth” we learned that Herbert’s parents were my 2nd great-grandmother Dora King and Posey Willard. Herbert was born March 25, 1900 in Rover, Oregon County, Missouri. He and his mother, Dora, have not yet been found on the 1900 census which was taken around June of 1900. I looked in both Missouri and Arkansas in case they might have been staying with family. I also looked under Dora’s birth name, Dora King, and her step-father’s name, Dora Watson, but found trace of neither on the 1900 census report.

In November 1900, Dora married William Edward Peters, my 2nd great-grandfather. Herbert’s father, Posey Willard, married Matilda Judd, June 5, 1901 in Brady, Oregon County, Missouri. Herbert must have been “adopted” by William Peters because he took the Peters surname on all official documents. It was only after released a scanned image of Herbert’s death certificate did I realize his father was Posey Willard.

In 1918, Herbert had registered for the draft in Oregon County, Missouri. By 1920, he was enumerated on the 1920 US Federal Census under the Military and Naval Forces in Germany, Montabaur District, overseas Military. He was listed as a 20 year old Private from Rover, Missouri.

On July 12, 1924, Herbert married Emily Dodd in Minturn, Lawrence County, Arkansas. Lawrence County, Arkansas is just over the Missouri-Arkansas line, bordering Oregon County, Missouri so it wasn’t too far away. Many people lived on one side of the border and worked on the other.

By 1930, Herbert and Emily were living in Moore Township (Thomasville), Oregon County, Missouri. Herbert was a farmer on a general farm and a WWI vet.  When the 1940 census comes out and gets indexed, I will be able to learn where they were living in 1940. By 1943, I know they were living in Bowie County, Texas because that’s where one of their daughters was born. Another daughter, Mildred Alice Peters, had been born January 27, 1931; however she died March 5, 1931 and was buried in Joliff Cemetery in Rover, Missouri. Two of Mildred’s cousins were also buried in Joliff Cemetery: Alvy and Charley King, children of Herbert’s uncle William Fletcher King.

Herbert was mentioned in his father’s obituary in 1948. He was listed as living in Texas. Herbert and Emily eventually settled for good in Texas. Herbert died in Texarkana, Bowie County, Texas on April 20, 1979. I have a copy of his death certificate, but would love to get a copy of his obituary. He is buried in Chapelwood Cemetery in Texarkana, Texas.

I found a Findagrave memorial for him from 2011 and contacted the person who created it. Pam is the granddaughter of Posey Willard, Herbert’s father. She sent me a photo of Herbert and Emma, his wife (see above), that she received from one of his half siblings’ grandchildren on the Willard side. She also confirmed the story of a relationship between Dora King and Posey Willard prior to Herbert’s birth.

I submitted a request for a headstone photo to FAG. It told me there were 54 volunteers within a 50 mile radius of this cemetery. And the FAG volunteer who created his memorial told me I could probably get a copy of his obituary from the local genealogy society, Texarkana USA Genealogical Society, so I will try to contact them and see if I can get an obituary from them.

Stay tuned for more documents to be posted!


  1. I am the granddaughter of William Herbert Peters and Emily Mae Dodd Peters. I was born in 11-03-1964 under Michelle Denise Jenkins. Mother- Barbara Sue Peters Jenkins ( deceased) and father - Donald Ray Jenkins (deceased). Barbara was their daughter. I appreciate all of this information, as me and my siblings have none. I was later adopted by Sandra Kay Templeton Willard and by Aubrey Jeral Willard. I look forward to hearing more of my grandfather and as soon as I receive information and pictures, I will send them to you. I can be contacted at

  2. This is my half-sister, Heather Diane Blizzard

  3. She lives, in Texarkana, Texas. This was her 2nd birthday.