In 1842 four Kyle brothers, James Henry Bankhead, John Henry, Jr., and their families, William Robert Wallace, Matthew Gideon, and their mother, Martha Ann (Bankhead) Kyle, left Union County, South Carolina to come to Texas. They spent three or four years in Pickens Co., Alabama, and in Marshall Co., Mississippi. In 1844 W.R. (Bill) Kyle married Margaret Hall in Alabama and came toHouston County with members of her family and homesteaded where the John Reagan Kyle children now live near Daly, Texas. In 1850, James Henry Bankhead and Matthew Gideon settled near Augusta in Houston Co. The father of this family, John Henry Kyle, was the son of Revolutionary Captain John Kyle whose ancestor James Kyle came from Ireland in 1720. John H. Kyle married Martha Bankhead and they had five children born in South Carolina. John H. Kyle died in 1818. James Henry Bankhead Kyle, the oldest son of John Henry and Martha Bankhead Kyle, was born April 28, 1800 in York District, South Carolina. He married Louisa Victoria Spencer on- November 24, 1823. Nine of their thirteen children were born in South Carolina. After the death of his grandmother, Elizabeth Rhea Bankhead, James Henry Bankhead and his brothers with their mother, Martha Ann and their families moved toPickens County, Alabama. Here three more children were born. William Polk (Dock) Kyle, the tenth child of James Henry Bankhead and Louisa Victoria Spencer Kyle was born October 3, 1845 in Pickens County, Alabama, in the fall of 1849, after the crops were all gathered, the group moved to Texas arriving in the spring of 1850. They settled in Augusta in Houston County. The farm at Augustawas too small for James Henry’s large family and slaves. His brother, William Robert Wallace Kyle lived on a much larger farm in the Daly community, which was nine miles from the present city of Grapeland. The two brothers exchanged farms. By 1852 James and Louisa had moved their family to the Daly place. Here William Polk lived the rest of his life and his descendants still own the land. (Willard Dent and Ezeele Kyle have homes there now.) In the 1850s there was a two story log house that James Henry’s family lived in. Apart from the main building was a large kitchen with a huge fireplace, where the children would gather to listen to their grandmother’s stories. The young people thought “times were hard”, but their grandmother said she had all she needed – oil lamps, a water bucket, a gourd dipper and a fireplace. The farm also had cabins for slaves, barns for animals and smoke houses for curing and storing meat for food. Before William Polk Kyle as sixteen, he and his brother, Anson James, enlisted in the Confederate Army. They served with Terry’s Texas Rangers and Morgan’s Cavalry Company C. At the battle of Shiloh, William Polk was wounded & captured by Union forces He spent several months at Camp Douglas before he was released in a prisoner of war exchange. The war was not yet over for young William. He rejoined the confederates and saw further action at Blair Landing, Louisiana where his older brother Anson James was killed. That night, aided by a Union soldier, William Polk went behind enemy lines to bury his brother. Later, he and his brother John fought in a battle in South Texas a month after Lee had surrendered, when their unit was disbanded, he and his brother John rode their horses back to Daly. After his return to the farm much of his time was spent trying to rebuild and replant what had been long neglected in 1873, his father, James Henry Bankhead Kyle, died and his mother, Louisa Victoria Spencer Kyle died in 1877. Both were buried in the old Daly Cemetery. On October 2, 1880, William Polk married Mary Eliza Whitescarver, the daughter of Rev. John Leland and Margaret Gooch Whitescarver. Eleven children were born of this union. They were: 1. Fannie Lou (1881-1967), who married Edward F. Musick. They had one son, one daughter and twin girls. 2. Margaret (1883-1901) who died at age 18. No issue. 3. Laura (1885-1966) who married Robert E. Martin. They had three daughters. 4. Julia (1887-1880) who died during infancy. 5. Dora (1889-1933) who married Peter Bridges. They had four boys and two girls. 6. Hubbard Clinton (1891-1905) died in infancy. 7. Lavina (Vene) Eliza (1892-1959) who married Samual Sumner Rials, They had five boys and six girls. 8. Henry Edward (1893-1942) who married Rhonda Haynes. They had two sons and one daughter. 9. Mary Josephine (Mirk) (1895-?) who married Eldred Eugene (Gene) Tucker. No issue. 10. John Reagan (1897-1972) who married Minnie Cromwell. They had four sons and two daughters. 11. William C. (?-1898) died in infancy. William Polk also raised his niece and nephew, Mary and John Kyle, the children of his brother, John, who died in the Oklahoma Territory. All the children attended a one-room school in Daly. This building also served as a church on Sundays. Nearby was the Daly Cemetery. Seven of William Polk’s eleven children lived and reared families in this area. Farming was their chief occupation; however, some of the girls became teachers. John Reagan followed in his father’s footsteps and now his children own the family farm. Mary Kyle Tucker lives in Elkhart, Texas. William Polk (Dock) Kyle died August 8, 1918 and was buried in the Daly Cemetery. His wife, Mary Eliza (b. January 23, 1836) died on November 6, 1940 and is buried by his side. Also buried near Wi111iam Polk and Mary are their children: Margaret, Julia, Hubbard Clinton, William, Laura, Lavinia Henry, and John Reagan. Dora is buried in Elkhart. Many of their descendants still live in this area. It is interesting to note that the motto found on the Kyle’s family coat-of-arms is “Faith Fears Not”. Each June on the second Sunday the Kyle family holds its annual family reunion.
Today only Rhoda Kyle, (the wife of Henry Edward Kyle) of all of William Polk’s sons and daughters and their wives and husbands still attends the yearly gathering.