b. 22 February 1822 in Jefferson City, Tennessee
d. 8 March 1896 in Bridgeport, Wise County, Texas
Amanda Cate had a difficult life with many losses. Both of her husbands predeceased her and
only 4 of her 12 children survived her.
She was born in Jefferson City, Tennessee on February 22, 1822, into a troubled situation. As a
young girl, her mother Rebecca Cate had three children out of wedlock by John Cate, Justice of
the Peace. He was likely a cousin, they being of the same surname. Rebecca's family were very
strict Baptists, with three of her brothers becoming Baptist ministers. Rebecca was expelled from
the church and was only later allowed to return.
Amanda was the youngest of the 3 illegitimate children. Her eldest brother Charles Lawrence
Cate was raised by his biological father's family and became a Baptist minister. The two girl
children remained with their unwed mother. Two years after Amanda was born, Rebecca
married John Higdon and had eight more children (11 in all). Amanda was raised as a step child
in that household.
Amanda married at age 17 to Thomas Crawford, 5 years her senior. Thomas was a farmer in
Tennessee. Amanda bore Thomas 12 children. Four of her children (Mary Anne, Pauline,
Marcus and Rebecca) appear to have died young.
By 1857, the family had moved to Marion County, Arkansas where their last child Amanda was
born. Two years later, in 1859, Thomas died leaving Amanda at age 37 with eight surviving
children; the oldest age 19 and the youngest age 3.
In April 1861, the Civil War broke out. Amanda lost three sons in the war (Thomas Jefferson,
William H, and John B.) in the years 1863 and 1864. They all were in the 1st Cavalry, Arkansas
for the Union. Two are buried in the National Cemetery at Fayettville. The third (John B.) has an
unknown burial place. He was wounded at Searcy and was killed after surrendering (may have
died of his wounds).
By 1870, the remaining family moved to Union, Webster, Missouri. Children James, Michael and
Amanda still lived with their mother Amanda.
In 1871, when she was 49, Amanda married her neighbor Benjamin Turner who had 10 children
of his own from a previous marriage. But Amanda and Benjamin don't appear to have stayed
together and by 1876 they had separated.
Son Augustus died in 1884. Two of Amanda's children (James and Amanda Priscilla) relocated
to Texas and Amanda went with them. She died at age at age 74 in Bridgeport, Wise County,
Texas and is buried in the West Bridgeport Cemetery.
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