Sarah Elizabeth Coats Rivers Family

Sarah Elizabeth Coats married Rev. William Rivers sometime between 1850 and 1853. Rev. Rivers was a Methodist circuit preacher and traveled throughout Bastrop County (Rivers 2015); their first child, William Henry “Bud” Rivers, was born in Oglethorpe County, Georgia in 1853. Two other children were born into the family: Mary Eliza Rivers (b. 1857 Bastrop County) and Ida Bell Rivers (b. 1864 Bastrop County).

William Henry "Bud" Rivers

William Henry “Bud” Rivers, the son of Sara Elizabeth Coats Rivers and Rev. William Rivers, and the grandson of William and Sarah (Partridge) Coats became a businessman in Elgin. In 1881, he “opened a mercantile establishment under the firm name of Rivers & Gresham” (Hardy and Roberts 1910). Research into the Coats family cemetery suggests that his business partner in this venture, Benjamin Gresham, was also related to the Coats family. Benjamin’s father, J.G. Gresham, is buried in the Coats family cemetery; Benjamin’s mother was Martha Coats Gresham. The bridge history research could not determine exactly how Martha was related to William Coats, but they may have been siblings. If Martha and William Coats were siblings, then Benjamin Gresham would have been the nephew of William Coats and the cousin of William Henry Rivers.

William Henry Rivers later established a private bank in Elgin in 1891 that was incorporated as Elgin National Bank in 1908 (Arbuckle and Davis 2012). The obituary of Bud’s grandson, Roy D. Rivers, Jr. refers to the Elgin National Bank as “the family business” (Elgin Courier 2012). In addition to serving as president of the Elgin National Bank, he served vice president of the American Bankers Association for the state of Texas and as president of the Elgin school board (Hardy and Roberts 1910).

Bud Rivers married Lucy J. Carter in 1881 in Bastrop County. The couple had six children: Marvin Leon (b. 1882), William Howard (b 1885), Wayland Coates (b. 1888), Mary Elizabeth (1890), Royal Dale (1892), and Ida Ruth (1896).

May 2016