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The Daniel Green Rogers Kersh Family
of Anderson County, Texas

The Kershes of Anderson County, Texas
by David Tharp

Daniel Green Rogers Kersh was born in Goshen Springs, Mississippi in Rankin County, November 16, 1838. He was the eldest son of John and Mary Ann Rhodes Kersh, both of German descent. The Kershes and the Rhodes, along with the Myers family were part of a larger group who left the Orangeburg District of South Carolina in 1828 for political reasons with Texas as their desired destination. They made their arduous journey in covered wagons in which they carried all their family possessions along with their hopes and dreams of a new beginning.

Reaching an area just east of Jackson, Mississippi, they set up camp one night in a place sheltered by a grove of oak trees. There was a spring of cool water flowing from a nearby hillside. Huge grapevines climbed to the top of some of the oaks and provided swings for the children to play on. Sadly and suddenly, tragedy befell them. An eight year old daughter of one of the Kersh families was playing on the grapevines with the other children when she fell and broke her neck. The fatal fall brought such grief to the young girl’s mother that she could not bring herself to leave her daughter‘s grave, so the group decided to settle where they were rather than move on to Texas.

The settlement took on the name of Shiloh, the same name as their old church back in Orangeburg, and became a major community in Rankin County. They built a church and established a trading community. The Shiloh Cemetery which was begun with the young girl’s grave, is today the burial site of many of the South Carolinians.

On March 14, 1861, Daniel Kersh married Elizabeth Emma Kathleen Lindsey Wilkinson Trigg in Rankin County and by 1870 had six children, Joseph Morah, Robert Edward Lee, Clara Devo, John Thomas Monroe, Hattie Edna and Charles Culberson.

Daniel joined the Confederate cause March 20, 1862 at Brandon, Mississippi. He served honorably and valiantly under Captain Smith in Company G, 28th Calvary of Mississippi until the unit’s surrender on May 4, 1865. Due to the heavy devastation to many areas of Mississippi including his own, Daniel made the decision to move his young family to Texas in 1870.

They settled south of Elkhart in Anderson County at Byron’s Switch on the International and Great Northern Railroad. The Kersh home was located about a mile north of Salmon on the old Palestine to Crockett road (Anderson County Road 182). This would remain his home for the next thirty-five years until his death, February 28, 1906. Before Elizabeth’s death in 1884, she and Daniel would have three more children, Elizabeth Josephine, Emma Rogers and Samuel Enos.

Following Elizabeth’s death, Daniel married Mary Ann Johnston Holcomb and had five more children, Beulah Lenora, Daniel Webster, William Wesley, Sallie Ruth and Fannie Jewel.

The family of Daniel Green Rogers Kersh established itself as a prominent family in the Elkhart to Salmon area and was well known throughout all of Anderson County. His obituary read in part, “He was a zealous Mason in good standing, a member of the John H. Reagan Camp, No 44, UCV, an honored citizen, a devoted husband and indulgent father.”

His children were all successful in their own right and married into other prominent families of Anderson County, including the McKinney’s, Trigg’s, Salmon’s and Ashley’s.

His oldest son, Joseph Morah Kersh married Nancy Ann McKinney, daughter of Washington J. and Mary “Mollie” Bernard Caudle McKinney of Slocum. Joseph was a section foreman on the railroad until he was murdered in Dickinson, Texas in 1902. His body was returned to his father by train and is buried in Guiceland Cemetery along with two of Joseph and Nancy’s infant children.

Daniel’s daughter, Hattie Edna Kersh married into this same McKinney family, marrying John H. McKinney in Anderson County in 1882.

Charles Culberson Kersh was the proprietor of a reputable saloon in downtown Palestine for many years.

Daniel Webster Kersh was the husband of Nora Etta Salmon, daughter of Meredith and Angeline Salmon of the highly regarded Salmon family for whom the community of Salmon is named.

Daniel Green Rogers Kersh is buried in Guiceland Cemetery along with both his wives; two of his sons, Joseph Morah and Robert Edward Lee; his daughter Beulah Lenora Wells; his daughter-in-law, Norah Etta Salmon Kersh and five of his grandchildren. His son, Samuel Enos is buried in the Old Palestine Cemetery as are two of Daniel’s uncles, Thomas Ezra Kersh and Enos Rogers Kersh, both of whom also served as honored Confederate soldiers.

As one of the early pioneer families of Anderson County, the Kersh family contributed greatly to the integrity and principals of the community. Always hard working and devoted to family, Daniel Green Rogers Kersh left an indelible mark on Anderson County and its environs that is still evident today in the morals and ethics of its current citizens. Anderson County has had many such families that brought pride and honor to its reputation as a County that played an integral role in the history of Texas, but none more so than that of Daniel Green Rogers Kersh and his descendants, some of whom continue to proudly call Anderson County home today.

Owner/SourceDavid Tharp
Date16 May 2009
Linked toFamily: KERSH/LINDSEY (F0012); Family: KERSH/JOHNSTON (F0083)

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