William Hightower Culwell was born March 6, 1810 in Haywood County, North Carolina. Family legend of the William Culwell family say that he and his family left North Carolina when William was eight years old. However, this does not coincide with the documented fact that William's youngest brother was born in Haywood County, in 1821. Efforts have been made to trace the family in its migration from North Carolina to Arkansas, but no evidence has been uncovered. The first documented fact of William is found in the Arkansas Marriage Records where William married Katharine Locke, December 23, 1831 in Pope County, Arkansas. William and Katharine had one child: Mary Ann, born April 10, 1834.
The next record is of the marriage of William Culwell and Margaret Brisco on July 6, 1836 in Washington County, Arkansas. In the 1840 census, William and his six brothers, Hezekiah, James, Thomas, John Wesley, Andrew and Joshua were all in Washington County.
William and Margaret Brisco had four children: Louisa Jane, born Aug 11, 1837, Thomas, born in 1838, Elizabeth, born 1841 and Catherine, born about 1844. Margaret must have died shortly after the birth of Catherine, as William Culwell married Margaret Buchanan on August 10, 1845 in Washington County, Arkansas. The marriage record states that both William and Margaret were residents of Washington County. There were no children from this marriage.
The family story has William migrating to Collin County in 1842. However. records of the Peters Colony show that William, a married man, arrived in Collin County in 1845. Family legend states that William was a young man when he came to Texas on horseback looking for land to homestead. There was plenty of unclaimed land and few people. Comanche and Caddo Indians roamed around the countryside. William met Johab Biggs who also settled in Collin County. He was soon followed by his brothers, Hezekiah, Thomas, John Wesley and Andrew. The five Culwell brothers were influential in the development of Weston, Collin County, Texas. William settled 640 acres one quarter mile south of Weston. He was a farmer and a blacksmith.
After the death of Margaret Buchanan, William married Margaret Barbara Hufstedtler McMurtry, a widow, on December 15, 1850 in Grayson County, Texas.
From Barbara Horn, granddaughter of Barbara Ann Culwell Horn, youngest child of William Sr. and
Barbara Huffstutler McMurtry.
"Her grandmother, Barbara Ann (who married Wesley Horn) told her of the courtship and marriage of William Sr. and Barbara Huffstutler. Barbara Huffstutler was a widow living in Oklahoma. William was a widower. He heard about this widow and went up into Oklahoma to see her. He first met her father and told him that he had come up to Oklahoma to see if his daughter was interested in marrying. The father said she might be, she had been through it once so she would know what she was getting into. William then met Barbara and told her his business. That he would be back in about a week, and if she was interested they would get married. He returned, she was interested and they loaded up her things on a wagon and came to Texas. I believe Barbara Horn said "they got married in Sherman."
William and Barbara had five children: Bogard, born about 1852 who died when he was two, William, born December 19, 1853, James White, born February 7, 1855, John Wesley, born April, 1858 and Barbara Ann, born in 1861.
When William settled in Collin County, he built a double log house, with a hall between the two rooms, which were about 16 feet square. The logs were hewn, and there was a rock chimney in each room. Part of this house stood until about 1890. He arranged the windows so that they could see out, but the Indians could not see in. His blacksmith shop was on the farm.
William was a methodical man. When he shucked the corn, he had half barrel buckets sitting around to put the different ears of corn in. The nubbins he gave to the chickens, the best ears went to the horses, and the rest were for the pigs. He kept his barn swept clean, and everything had to have its own place
from " Collin County Families, Volume II". William and Barbara gave each of their children a farm, and bequeathed their home place to their grandson, William Herrell, son of William Jr., and Amy Biggs Culwell. He also donated some of his land to the city of Weston. The old home place is still in the family.
William was very religious and a devout Methodist. His brother, John Wesley, was a Methodist minister, who preached extensively in Collin, Grayson, Dallas, Fannin, Denton and Parker Counties. The Culwell family was very influential in establishing the Cottage Hill Methodist Church. According to local tradition, this Methodist church traces its origin to pioneer religious gatherings organized by Rev. John Culwell and held in the home of his brother, Andrew Jackson Culwell about 1846. The Methodist campground meetings were held at nearby Honey Creek about 1848. At the Cottage Hill Cemetery, behind the church, there are a sizable number of early headstones bearing the name Culwell, and the man unmarked graves surrounding the grave site of Martha Culwell (d. 1870), the cemetery is earliest recorded interment, suggest that the Cottage Hill Cemetery began as a family cemetery. Perhaps his wife Margaret Buchanan Culwell is buried there.
William died January 22, 1897, and is buried in Cottage Hill Cemetery beside his wife Barbara who died June 6, 1909.