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Pleasant M Duke Family
By Frances Fox
Taken from Ye Olde Ancestors, November 21, 1991
Written permission given by the New Boston Genealogy Society
to post this information to the Bowie County TXGenWeb site.

Pleasant Miller "Pleas" Duke was born about 1810 and died in 1877.  He was in the Alabama Militia for ten years.  He was elected Major of the 76th Regiment, 6th Brigade, 3rd Division of the Militia of Alabama.  He was sworn in office in 1838 while Author P Bagby was the Governor of Alabama.  Pleas Duke was sworn in at Tuscaloose, Alabama.  Later he became Coloney Commandant of the 3rd Division from 1840 to 1848.  So he did not come to Bowie County, Texas until he was out of the service.

In 1837 Pleas Duke married Martha Jane Rosser in Alabama.  Martha F Rosser Duke was born in Alabama about 1824.  She died in 1852 in Bowie County, Texas which must have been not too long after they moved here.  She only lived to be about twenty eight years old and left six children.  I don't see any record of another marriage after her death.  A picture of the home of Pleas Duke was among some pencil drawings so we think they lived at Old Boston.

The six children of Pleas Duke and Martha Jane Rosser were:
1. Sarah Frances, born about 1840, married Jessie Daniel, a son of Jessie and Sally Daniel who came to Bowie County, Texas in 1838
2. Josephus Rosser, born about 1842 in Alabama
3. Susan Jane, born about 1844 in Alabama
4. Amanda Elizabeth, born about 1846, married her first cousin William Cowley, son of Hulda Mariah Duke and James Cowley who were married before they
    came to Texas.
5. John T, born about 1849
6. Jessie, born about 1852 which was the same year his mother died.
The last two sons were probably born in Texas.

Obviously the Duke family and the Cowley family and the Daniel family were very close back in Alabama.  There were several marriages between these families, some before they came here.  Pleas Duke had a brother, Jackson Duke, who married a daughter of Jessie Daniel, Elizabeth "Betty" Daniel.  Evidently they both died between 1842 and 1850 and left four children in the care of Jessie and Sally Daniel.  They are listed in the 1850 census: Thomas Duke 15, Jessie Duke 12, Martha Duke 10, and Elizabeth Duke 8.  If they lived to be grown, they were raised by their Daniel grandparents.

Another brother of Pleas Duke was Wood Duke.  He was living here in 1850.  His wife's name was Harriat and they had two children, both born in Texas: Elizabeth 6 and John 2 months old.  Family records say that Wood Duke later moved to Granburg, Texas and he died some time between 1880 and 1890.

One of the most special things about Pleas Duke is that he was a Bowie County Treasurer from 1860-1862 and Bowie County Clerk from 1862-1876.  He was popular and respected by the gentlemen voters.  I was just remembering that women were not allowed to vote back in those days.

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