Samuel Ralston

born March 5, 1785

Samuel Ralston, third son of David Ralston and Mary Reid was born March 5, 1785.  Samuel's birth place is unknown, but may have been Kentucky.  He was raised in the Cumberland Settlements near Nashville. Little is known of Samuel.  Juriah Ralston’s* records state that Samuel married twice and both wives left him.

The following documents are the only known references to him:

·      Genealogical Abstracts from Tennessee Newspapers 1821-1828 by Eddlemon page 53. 2 Dec 1826, Vol 3. No.27: “My wife Susanna Ralston has quit my house and abode without just cause.  I will not pay any debts of her contracting.  Samuel Ralston, Sommerville Nov. 26 1826.

·      Tennessee Divorces 1787-1856. page 79: Ralston, Samuel 1827 Fayette County, Samuel Ralston was m. in 1817 to Susanna Isaacks in Lincoln County. They lived together until the fall of 1826. In November of 1826 Susanna “started and did go to her father’s in Madison County Alabama…with William Robertson.”  On the journey she and Robertson passed for man and wife. She returned to Samuel and said she would not live with him unless he let Robertson live at their house.  When Samuel refused, she left with Robertson, headed for Lincoln County.  That was 1 January 1827. Petition includes signatures of 84 citizens of Fayette County supporting Ralston’s petition. 35-1827

·      From Tennessee Furniture “Raulston Samuel, coffin maker, Fayette County, 1828. “Issued 25th day of October 1828. Ordered by the court that the County trustee pay Samuel Raulston, ten dollars for erecting a gallows, digging a grave & making a coffin for a negro man hung.” (Ct. Min. Fayette County,)

Samuel Ralston is not listed on any census records; however, we know he lived in Lincoln and Fayette Counties from these other documents.

In 1817, Samuel married Susanna Isaacks in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and later lived in Fayette County.  David Thompson was born 1818 in Lincoln County and raised in Fayette County.  Sarah Ralston was born 10 Jan 1825 in Fayette County.  Susannah left Samuel in November 1826.

David Thompson Ralston would have been eight years old and Sarah, less than two years old, when their mother left. The small children might explain why Susanna returned to Samuel’s home, though she had another lover.

Sarah was given to Alexander and Sarah Ralston to raise.  It is unknown if Sarah was the name given to her by Samuel and Susanna, or if her name was changed to Sarah in honor of her foster mother, Sarah Ralston.

David Thompson moved to Missouri at age 18, around 1836.  It is unknown what prompted this move or if Samuel went with him, whether David left Samuel or if Samuel had died. This will likely never be known.  It has been noted by the Fayette County Historical Society that Fayette County, Tennessee, probate records from 1824 to 1836 are lost.  This might explain there being no record of Samuel’s death if he died during that period.


1.                David Thompson Ralston (1818–1890) born in Lincoln County, TN, lived in Fayette County, TN, Green County, MO, and Bourbon County, KS.  Farmer and carpenter. 

David Thompson wrote in a letter to his son that his grandfather “was from Ireland and settled in Nashville when it was a little Indian fort”  (referring to David Ralston).   The letter mentioned “Uncle William” who was a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher.  (Samuel’s youngest brother, William, was a C. P. preacher.)  The transcript and comments may be read here.

m1.   1840, Greene County, MO, Mary Ann "Polly" Guttry (1823–1857)

a.               Sarah Ann Ralston (1840–1881) m. 1862, Bourbon County, KS, Rufus Arnold Porter (1834–1914) lived in Bourbon County, KS, and Yamhill County, OR

b.              William S. Ralston (1842–1863) died during Civil War – not married

c.              Daniel Washington Ralston (1845–1904) m. 1865, Allen County, KS, Martha Steveson (1847–1902) lived in Green County, MO, Bourbon County, KS, and Yamhill County, OR. Farmer and later, salesman

d.              Joseph Porter Ralston (1847–1926) m. 1867 Lucy Jane Ward (1848–1917) lived in Green County, MO, and Bourbon County, KS.  Farmer and carpenter

e.              Mary Francis Ralston (1849–1946) m. 1868, Bourbon County, KS, Benjamin Franklin Mason (1844–1918) lived in Green County, MO, and Bourbon County, KS

f.                Margaret Melvina Ralston (1851–1945) m1. 1868, Bourbon County, KS, George S. Henton (1848–1871) m2. 1871 James Monroe Nichols (1848–1902) lived in Green County, MO, and Bourbon County, KS

g.               Nancy Elvira Ralston (1853–1934) m. 1870 William Henry Nichols (1846–1928) (brother of James Monroe Nichols) lived in Green County, MO, and Allen and Bourbon Counties, KS

h.                 Infant Daughter Ralston (1857–1857) Bourbon County, KS

m2.   1859 Bourbon County, KS, Malinda Rhoton (1833–1913)

a.               Elisha Ralston (1862–1862) Bourbon County, KS

b.               Edward E. Ralston (1864–1879) Bourbon County, KS

c.               Ulysses Grant Ralston (1865–1944) m. 1891, Bourbon County, KS, Dorothy Lee Roof (1871–1961) farmed in Bourbon County, KS

d.              John Thompson Ralston (1867–1924) m. 1887, Bourbon County, KS, Ida Grace Daniels (1868–1952) born in Bourbon County, miller and merchant in Allen County, KS

e.               Elmer Elsworth Ralston (1869–1953) m. 1899 Nellie Towne (1879–1929) lived in Bourbon County, KS, Butte County, SD, Teton County, MT, Pacific County, WA, and Thurston County, WA.  Occupations: Farmer, printer, landlord, teacher

f.                 Artie May Ralston (1873–1948) m. 1891, Bourbon County, KS, David Alvin Drake (1868–1952) lived in Bourbon County, KS


2.                Sarah Ralston (Raised by Alexander and Sarah Jordan Ralston) (1825–1885) m. Thomas H Hutchins (1822–1897) born in Fayette, lived in Weakley County

Obituary from: The Nashville Christian Advocate: Saturday, August 22, 1885

SARAH HUTCHINS daughter of Samuel and Susanna Ralston, born Jan. 10, 1825; married Thomas Hutchins, Sept. 28, 1842; died Jan. 28, 1885; a wife and mother.

Much of this family relocated from Weakley County to Rains County, Texas.

Three sisters in the Hutchens family married three brothers in the Wright family

Margaret Ann Hutchens married George Washington Wright

Martha (Mattie) Hutchens married John W. Wright

Sarah Cathren Hutchens married Henry Wiser Wright

a.                 William Alexander Hutchins (1843–1922) m. 1866, Weakley County, TN, Frances L Valentine (1848–1876) farmer, Obion, TN, and Rains, TX

b.                 Hester A. Hutchins (1844–1904) m. 1881 John M S Welch (1833–1901), lived at Ralston Station, Weakley County

c.                  Thomas Hutchins III (1846–) Killed in Civil War – not married

d.                 Zachariah Hutchens (1849–1864) Killed in Civil War – not married

e.                 Sarah Cathren "Sally" Hutchens (1852–1894) m. 1871, Weakley County, TN, Henry Wright (1844–1923) lived in Weakley County, died giving birth to her 15th child.

f.                   John Emerson Hutchins (1856–1915) m. 1875, Obion County, TN, Martha Rebecka Johnson (1860–1918) farmed in Obion County, TN

g.                 George W Hutchens (1860–1929) m. 1878, Weakley County, TN, Arabella Watson (1861–1918), George and Arabella moved from Ralston Station to Rains County, TX, in the early 1880s.  (Arabella is listed on the 1900 census as widowed, and shown with their children.  George, however, was not dead; he is listed on the 1900 census as an inmate at Rusk State Penitentiary - he served two years 1898-1900, crime unknown.  George and Arabella and family were back together on their Rains County farm when the 1910 census was taken.)

h.                 Margaret Ann Hutchins (1863–1899) m. 1881, Weakley, TN, George W Wright (1860–1953) (brother of Henry Wright) moved from Ralston Station to Rains County, TX, in the late 1890s

i.                   Martha Lucinda "Mattie" Hutchins (1865–1946) m. 1883, Weakley, TN, John W. Wright (1856–1939) (brother of Henry and George Wright) moved from Ralston Station to Rains County, TX

Wright family – late 1890s
 Back row L to R: John Wright, unknown Wright, Cora Belle Wright, Martha Lucinda (Mattie) Hutchins Wright, oldest son: Jodie Elvis Wright, youngest son: Oscar Thomas Wright


* Mary Jurian Ralston (1896–1958) was a descendant of David Ralston, Sr. and Mary Reid’s fifth son, George.