It's been a while since I've worked with the Padgett records. I'd imagine I used the Texas death index on Ancestry, and find-a-grave. I'm going back over the records for all of the kids of James W. Merchant, so I'll take your suggestions to heart.
Most of what I have, I really owe to other people, especially folks at historical and genealogy societies. And I'm not bashful about sending a message to a total stranger to ask if someone on their tree might be someone I'm looking for. Would you believe that all I had when I started was my husband's father's name and date of birth/death, his father's name (James M.)and James's second wife's first name. I also had the names of my husband's aunts and uncles, but nothing else. That all came from my husband's father's obituary and funeral book. What a journey!