Updated: Feb 16, 2021
A Note About this Exhibit: Based on the information collected through Census records, inventory of the Collin County property ownership (slaves were considered property during this time), and through the legacy of the Stimpson/Stimson family, we were able to reconstruct the family tree. If you have more information, a generational story of remembrance for Mose Stimpson, please share with us!
Much of Plano's Black History is distributed through generational stories, glimpses of images, and other moments of remembrance. Specifically for Mose, tracing down specific information was more difficult, especially during the pandemic.
BIRTH 1830, Collin County, Texas, USA
DEATH Dec 4 Dec 1929 (aged 98–99) in Plano, Collin County, Texas, USA
BURIAL: Old Plano City Cemetery
Plano, Collin County, Texas, USA
MEMORIAL ID 19995771
Mother: Emilie Beal
Spouse: Millen Duff
Great grandfather of AJ "Sarge" Stimpson
First Black Settler in Plano
Recognized as part of Old Black Patriots
Mose Stimpson (b. 1830) was one of Plano’s early settlers. He also came to Texas from Tennessee a free man and married a woman named Millie who was from Virginia. Together they had seven sons and two daughters. Mr. Stimpson was a sharecropper, died in 1930, and is also buried in the Pioneer Cemetery.
Two of Drake’s sons (Earl and Ronney) married Stimpson's daughters (Maggie and Emma). The Drakes and the Simpsons made a very large family in the Plano-Dallas area. Both men lived to be 100 years old and both are well-remembered in the Plano African American community.
Eddie Stimpson, Jr. was born in 1929 in Plano, Texas where he grew up on a farm. He spent twenty-one years in the Army, then became a farmer again after retirement. He is a docent at the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano and a frequent speaker at schools, churches, and historical societies. His first book My Remembers: A Black Sharecropper's Recollections of the Depression, currently is in its third printing.
A few years ago Stimpson was enlisted by prominent Plano businessman John Wells to help him mark the grave of the "Old Black Patriots". The "Old Black Patriots" were the emancipated slaves who helped build Collin County. Many were resting in unmarked graves. One of these men was Stimpsons great grandfather, Mose Stimpson. In Sarge's words:
"As we placed a headstone on Mose Stimpson's gravesite, I could feel a chill run through me and got a feeling and a vision that I was going to find out more about my great-grandfather. The searching was not over yet. At the gravesite, I got a feeling, and I imagined that I could hear crying from the grave pit and a voice that was telling me not to give up on tracking my family history. The story is out there. Keep looking. Don't give up until you find it. And let the world know that all is not lost. Families need to know." (Pages 38-39.)
Searching for family roots is now more popular than ever. There are websites, reference books, and even entire libraries dedicated to helping this task. But what if your family was born into slavery and your earliest known ancestor was separated from his family as a boy and assumed a name given to him by his owners. How then do you trace your family tree?
This is the challenge taken on by Eddie "Sarge" Stimpson and wonderfully told in his new book, Remembers of Mose: The Life of Mose Stimpson and His Times, just published by The Heritage Farmstead Museum with a grant from the City of Plano Heritage Commission.
Prominent Texas historian Dr. T. Lindsay Baker notes in the book's introduction: "Through reading these pages many of us as modern readers can find links of our own. We may not find our own actual ancestors, but we find people who shared experiences with our own family elders. We can wander in our minds through rural cemeteries, puzzling over who may be buried under the unmarked up-ended fieldstones. We can ponder how an institution, which treated some individuals as if they were little more than horses or pigs, to be bought and sold at will, shaped the lives of all of us, black and white. We come to respect Mose, the patriarch whose example of integrity and hard work influenced generations of his descendants on the Blackland Prairie. Through this book, his influence spreads even farther." (Page 7)
Eddie Stimpson, Jr., born in 1929 in Plano, Texas lived on a farm while growing up. He spent twenty-one years in the Army, then became a farmer again after retirement. He is a docent at the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano, and a frequent speaker at schools, churches, and historical societies. His first book My Remembers: A Black Sharecropper's Recollections of the Depression is currently in its third printing.
"I grow up a dirt farmer and retired a dirt farmer. Never got rich and didn't want to be. My childhood stomping ground is now concrete, stores, and houses. I remember the good times and bad. It was not the money we made but how to stretch that last dime. It was not the wind, rain, or snow. It was about the love that flow. It was not the hot sunshine nor the clouds that hung low. It was the grace of God that helps us swang that hoe. I want my grandchildren to understand. My grand, you grands, and their grands." From My Remembers: A Black Sharecropper's Recollections of the Depression - University of North Texas Press, 1996
T. Lindsay Baker, Ph.D., a native, of Cleburne, Texas, has written multiple books on Texas and the American West, among them The WPA Oklahoma Slave Narratives, Till Freedom, Cried Out: Memories of Texas Slave Life, and Remembrances: Black Cowboy Life In Texas. He is a fellow of the Texas State Historical Association and is currently director of the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas at Tarleton State University.
Cover Art by Joanna McKeon - Book Illustrations by Burnice Breckenridge
How many children did Mose have?
What is an Old Black Patriot?
How old was Mose when he passed away?
Which park is named after Mose?
What were some of the local events and national events that occurred during the lifetime of Mose?