Wesley Fletcher Curtis and his wife, Elizabeth Pearl, arrived with some of their family in Dallas County in 1873. As indicated by a deed, they purchased two-and-one-half acres in the Lagow Survey in east Dallas and built a house. Two years later they moved to the area now in north Mesquite where they settled first on the W.F. Worthington farm, then to Dr. Jones’ place, which became the Samuell Farm.
In 1886 the Curtis family bought 190 acres south of the community that developed into New Hope and succeeded in farming.
Wesley’s father, Milo Curtis, born in Sharon, Connecticut in 1793, was a tanner and harness-maker by trade. In 1823, in New York he married Cynthia Brant, who was born in Watertown, New York in 1809. From 1828 to 1837, the elder Curtis farmed in Macomb County, Michigan; then purchased government land in Sciota County, Ohio, becoming one of the state’s pioneers. Milo died in 1866 and is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Madison Township, Sciota County, Ohio. His grandfather, Seth, served in the Seventh Connecticut Regiment during the Revolutionary War.
Milo and Cynthia had five children: Laura, born 1827, married John Holman; Wesley F, born 1833, married Elizabeth Pearl in 1853; Charles B., born 1841; William C., born 1847; and Harriet Ellen, born 1850, married David Brown in 1866.
Elizabeth, wife of Wesley, was born in Jackson County, Ohio August 25, 1833. Her father, Robert, was born in 1804 in Virginia and her mother, Nancy Morrow, was born in 1808.
After their marriage on April 3, 1853, Wesley and Elizabeth remained in Madison Township, Ohio, until 1861 when they moved to Illinois and farmed there until coming to Dallas. His widowed mother, Cynthia (Brant) Curtis, accompanied them.
Wesley and Elizabeth had six children: John Brant, born 1854, married Electa Hart in Dallas in 1875; Robert Pennington, born March 1856, married Elzora “Ella” Porter in 1879; Jennie, born 1858, married Robert Kimbrough in 1878; Mollie, born 1861 and died June 1893 (buried in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery); George M., born 1864, married Alice Underwood in 1892; and Lillie, born 1868, married William Morris 1885.
John’s wife, Electa was the daughter of Dallas pioneers Abraham and Elizabeth (Ray) Hart. They had three children, and John died in Mineral Wells October 4, 1894.
Robert’s wife, Ella, was the daughter of Andrew Jackson and Sarah Ann (Smith) Porter, who had come to Mesquite in 1876. Bob and Ella had seven children and their homestead was just south of his father’s. Bob was a well-known cotton buyer and businessman, a charter director of the Mesquite First National Bank organized in 1902.
Their daughter, Perle, married Emet David Florence (1885-1963) on December 23, 1906. Their only daughter, Florence Florence (1909-2000) married Frank Schulz, Jr. (b. 1904) July 28, 1945 in Mesquite, and they had one daughter, Julia Florence Schulz Morris. Robert and Ella are buried in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.
Jennie, born in 1858, was listed in an 1860 Ohio census as “Cynthia.” Her husband, Robert Snead Kimbrough, who was often called Mesquite’s “Town Father,” ran a successful general merchandise store, started the newspaper, organized the first bank, and served as a state representative. They had three children. Jennie died May 25, 1942 and Robert died October 10, 1905 and both are buried in Mesquite City Cemetery.
George and Alice lived near his parents in the New Hope area and had three children. George died February 24, 1926 and he and Alice are buried in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.
Lillie and William Morris had five children.
Wesley died December 14, 1899 and Elizabeth died January 9, 1894. They and Wesley’s mother, Cynthia (died September 25, 1889) and his sister, Ellen Brown (died July 22, 1894) all are buried at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.
By Julie S. Morris for Dallas County Pioneer Association‘s Proud Heritage, Volume III.