Electa Underwood, daughter of C(S)yrus Underwood and his wife, Fannie, was born in Chenango County, New York, 23 April 1823. It is believed she was one of a set of twins -the same birth date is given another child in the family, a male child who did not live beyond infancy; however, there is no statement that the two children were twins. The family left New York and moved through Pennsylvania to Michigan, then to Fulton County, Illinois. Eleeta married in either Illinois or Missouri (where the family is found in 1841) to Robert Porter Bethurum. Her first child, Eliza Jane Bethurum, was born in Missouri in 1844. It was then the trek to Texas was begun. Underwoods and Bethurums (and possibly others) came on to various places. Cyrus Underwood and one of his sons (possibly Charles) were killed by Indians in old Fannin County in 1845. Eleeta and her husband, Robert Bethurum, came on to Dallas County and they too, settled somewhere in the area of Riley.
Their son, Robert Porter Bethurum, Jr., was born in Dallas County 17 September 1846. Robert Bethurum died shortly after the child was born, it is believed. Eleeta married Trezevant Hawpe on 31 May 1848. It is believed that this was when the move to the farm nearer Dallas settlement was made, because it is family tradition that the farm at Riley was abandoned because she was afraid of Indian attack and wanted to be in a more populated area. She bore seven more children. Her two children by Robert Bethurum were: Eliza Jane Bethurum born 1844 Missouri, married Thomas Mathis; and Robert Porter Bethurum, Jr. born 17 September 1846, Dallas County, Texas, married Elizabeth Jane Hart.
Eleeta Hawpe was left a widow again in August 1863 when her second husband, T. C. Hawpe, was killed. She reared the large family alone and ran her own farm and business affairs until her death at age 53 in 1876. Eleeta Hawpe was administrator of Robert Bethurum's estate. He had been issued a certificate for 640 acres of land in the Peters Colony and it was patented by his heirs in Dallas County. This land was located in the area of present Military Drive and Dolphin Road. She would have been responsible for attending to the cultivation of the land and any improvements which were made as required to fulfill the terms of the grant, because the children were too small for that responsibility for several years.
T. C. Hawpe died intestate. She was appointed co-administrator by the court. He had owned a large amount of land, either solely or in partnership with others. It took many years to finally settle the estate; in fact, in 1903 the son, Tim Hawpe, was still attempting to settle some of the estate through court action. There were many problems, and whether it was poor management or bad judgment on the part of some of the advisers is not known, but very little was left of a fairly large legacy. Whatever the cause, or the outcome, Eleeta Underwood Bethurum Hawpe, widowed twice in her rather short adult life, had many responsibilities during an era when women were ordinarily not expected to handle business affairs to a great extent.
Eleeta Hawpe survived her husband thirteen years and was buried beside him in the old Masonic Cemetery (now Pioneer Cemetery).