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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Letters From the Past: Juanita Thompson Gleghorn November 21, 2000 - Part II

     This is Part II of the second letter received from Juanita Pearl Thompson Gleghorn. She writes about her parents Ora Cox and Floyd Thompson and writes about her siblings. She also mentions Donald, her husband, and Mattie Elizabeth Hairston Chisum Thompson, the mother of Floyd Thompson.

I omitted information about living family members and copied the remaining parts of the letter as written.

Ora and Floyd Thompson
Floyd's brothers were tall. How tall was he? 

     You asked about brothers and sisters. Clarence was the most wonderful brother a sister could have had. He has a walk like Dad, rather fast, and never complained about working on the farm and helping Lucille and I finish High School. I graduated in 1936 during the depression. We couldn’t have graduated unless he stayed at home and worked for $1.00 a day. When he couldn’t have gotten on the W.P.A. he joined the (3 C) {Civilian Conservation Corps}a program the Government had to help young men and Families.  The Bank for closed on Dad’s farming equipment in 1933 since he didn’t make enough to pay the Bank for what he had borrowed.  Most all Farmers would borrow money at the first of the year to feed their Families and buy seed to plant. The depression was still on and we had to work for another farmer, that had a vacant house.  Lucille and I were big enough to help hoe cotton in the cotton fields and make $1.00 a day. With Dad, Clarence, and we girls were thankful to have work. It’s very different today for the children don’t know how to work at that age.


          Clarence stayed in our family to help and never went with girls until he was drafted into the Army in the last days of WW#2. He drove a gasoline truck to the front lines, when the army was pushing to cross the Ryan River. He returned home safely and we were so happy for a very good faithful son and brother. When he was training in Colorado Springs, Colorado he met his wife and married soon after he returned from overseas.

          After his marriage he and Jean lived in Colorado Springs, and he built them a new house. Clarence died in 1962 with cancer of the kidney, and is buried in a burial hill east of the Mt. Pikes Peak. I was so happy he had a good wife and had much happiness. He became a building contractor and was well off before he died in 1962. 

          Bowie was the adventurous brother, married young, but became a boss over a shipping yard in Houston, Tex. They were selling wheat to Russia, and shipping it from Houston, Tex. He said once one of the ships turned on its side with the weight shifted and they had a terrible time to straighten it up right, by unloading part of the wheat.  Bowie became a Christian at a late age, and died in 1972. Clarence, Lucille, and I were babtized into Christ in 1930. All of our family were members of the Church of Christ.

          In one of the clippings from the Baylor County Paper, that Brother Balch was a very young man when Myrtie died, and in 1937 Dec. 29, Donald and I went to his home in the west part of town for him to perform Donald and I’s marriage. He married my second class school teacher after his first wife died.

          Lucille was a very sweet sister, and I learned many things from her. She was a very intergetic person, and after graduation from High School started working for a lady in Seymour then soon started working in the J. C. Penny store, and was such a fast honest employee that she soon became the assistant manager. She worked many years, until a country boy she knew returned from the Air Force after making 31 missions over Italy.

          After the war was over they finally settled in Bowie, Tex. She and husband had a farm west of Seymour, and he spent most of the time on the farm. Lucille was so energetic that she ran the motel by her self and some hired help.  She was very fast at everything she did and was very successful at the motel and with her sewing. She won many dress reviews in the Thursday Club and her Home demonstration club.  In 1930 or 31 she won so many 1st places on her sewing entries as well as her canning, that she was first in the county and won a trip to Dallas. She was probably 14 years old. {omitted information about living family}She was mother’s special child.

Uelma, Lucille, and Juanita

          In 1918, April 29, 1918 Juanita was born, a very different daughter, had freckles and was slower motioned, talented to create, especially with my painting. When I was a child I loved to copy the funny-paper characters, and especially loved faces. I hope when you come you will be able to come to Oklahoma to see us, and see some of my portraits.

          When we lived in San Diego, Calif. I worked awhile in the Roer air craft plant and then had an opertunity to take art lessons and won 1st places at our 1st art show. When we moved back to the Gleghorn farm, I began to teach oil painting and taught adult classes, as private, and am now helping some little Indian girls. I taught for about 25 or 30 years.  I made many friends; women mostly. Now they are passing on so rapidly seems like, but we have had a joyfull time together creating beauty. One artist we saw on TV said art or painting is a “vacation from reality.” I sometime think I must have inherited my slowness from Dad’s side of the family, the Indians. Most of the Oklahoma Indians are very creative, also.

          Diana, I wonder if Jess Chisum might be might be some of our relatives, for he was Cherokee Indian, but spelled his name Jess Chisholm.  He is famous because he was a cattle trail boss on the first cattle trail starting close to Fort Texas (Fort Worth, Tex) to the firs rail head in Kansas. The trail runs between our home and Duncan. The first store was east of Duncan, and there is a grave yard close to Cow Creek in a valley west of us. We have to cross the cow creek bridge before we reach town.  In 1999 the town had a celebration about the Chisholm Trail. They have erected a big statue of horses and Wagons near the Chisholm museum. I hope you can visit with us so you can see it.

{The next several paragraphs of the letter are about Juanita’s two youngest siblings. As both are living, those paragraphs will be omitted.}

Phillip Hairston and his sister, Permelia Hairston Noah "Aunt Melia" 

          Thanks so much for the photos.  I only recognized Buster, Whit, and my family children. The photo no. 40 makes me think that might be Permelia, Aunt Melia, Mellie as we called her. Mattie Elizabeth’s sister. I’ve really enjoyed all of the wonderful information you sent.

Love, Juanita

Next - The Uprising 


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Letters From the Past: Juanita Thompson Gleghorn November 21, 2000 - Part I

This is the first half of the second letter received from Juanita Pearl Thompson Gleghorn. In this part of the letter, she mentions my great-grandparents, Phillip and Lodema Hairston, my grandparents, Redic and Myrtie Bryan, and their sons Whit (my father) and Buster.  She writes about her parents Ora Cox and Floyd Thompson and mentions their first child, her brother, Clarence. 

I omitted information about living family members and copied the remaining parts of the letter as written.
Dear Diana:

          Thanks so much for the photo of Mother’s first four children. It’s so sweet blown up.  I have a small copy of that photo. 

 Four Thompson Children
Juanita, Clarence, Lucille, and Bowie
The photo of the Bryan home in Seymour I vaguely remember going there for of Whit’s parent’s funeral. One as I told you was in the east part of town, and the other was in the west part of town, not the one of the picture you sent. The picture of the house you sent was the nicest one. The porch was very interesting to me, most all country homes didn’t have screened porches.

This was the Bryan family home that Juanita referred to as "the nicest one." 

          I hope to find a copy of the book you mentioned of the Hairston family. Let me know where I can get a copy, if I can’t find it here.

          The Hairston, Uncle Phil’s house had a front porch, two front rooms, a room on the back, the kitchen, and dining room together. What was a first interesting fireplace, then we walked into the other front room and there was a fireplace against the same wall. They used the same chimney. I think that it was the only old house like that I’ve ever seen. Uncle Phil was probably like a father to Dad for he loved them like parents.

This appears to be the Hairston house described by Juanita. I know that, at times, the Bryans lived with the Hairstons. The children are Bryan children; Buster, Willa Mae, DeRay, and Marie. I would date this between 1912 and 1914 in the Levelview area of Baylor County. 
          I figured out after you mentioned Redic buying the old Wiggens place that Mother told me the first place they lived was on the Wiggins place about one mile west of Seymour west. The reason I remember it; was hearing her tell they had a telephone there, and someone called her and asked who was speaking. She said, “Ora Cox,” she hadn’t gotten use to her name being Ora Thompson. So you know they helped them by renting the place to my Dad. 

This is the article Juanita was referring to. It was found in the Baylor County Banner, November 22, 1912

          I have realized the folks many years ago really helped one another. Mother did tell me about living in the house with Uncle Phil and Lodema. I’m sure Mother loved them and appreciated her for they raised a lot of Black eyed peas. She was pregnant rather soon after they married, and Clarence, her first born never liked black eyed peas. Dad always liked them, as well as me, but we had good luck with them in our garden in a while. They do best in sandy soil and around Levelview the soil was mostly sandy in our community.

Next - Juanita Thompson Gleghorn November 21, 2000 - Part II


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Letters From the Past: Juanita Thompson Gleghorn October 18, 2000 - Part II

This is the second part of the letter that Juanita began on October 18th.

                                                                             Oct. 20, 00

Hairston Albritton"Buster" Bryan
Well, Diana the mail carrier didn’t have stamps so I’ll surely get this in the mail today.

It was about in 1927 that DeRay and Marie and Willa Mae moved to Borger I think. The beginning of the depression.  There was an oil boom on in Borger and DeRay probably got a better teaching job. In 1929 our youngest sister was burned, and died in three weeks. It was a very sad time for us, so we were renting the farm at that time. Our landlord built a new house on the south side of her place and let us move there, the first new house we ever lived in. Buster would drive out once in a while to get some lye soap to wash his beautiful, black curly hair in. He said it kept the dandruff down.  He was a handsome young man, and one of Terrell Hammett’s favors him. Terrell and Aunt Birtie had two girls close to our ages and two boys. Only two of them left now the youngest girl which is near my age and the youngest son.

As well as I remember, your grandmother and Redic had passed on. So Buster knew we were in a new house and he and Dad made some kind of trade I guess for Buster brought out some furniture to us, for we didn’t have anything pretty for our new house. He brought a white wooden bed and dresser, with carved baskets of flowers on the front of the dresser and the head and the foot of the bedstead, a solid oak library table, a little black ebony sewing rocker, and a solid oak secretary with three drawers below the fold out writing desk and shelves on the left with four shelves, and with a rounded glass door, not flat glass. Mother and Dad moved so much to different farms, that some of the trim was lost. It is still pretty and I have it, and promised it to my sister.  After Mother and Dad died they were living at Bowie, Tex. Close to my oldest sister, Lucille and she shipped all the hand painted china Buster had brought with the furniture to Borger to the girls, I loved seeing it in our dining room wall in a black rack. I got to see it once again when I visited the girls in Borger. There was a round solid oak dining table and some chairs. He had the rifle that your Grandfather took his life with, and our oldest Grandson has it. It always made me feel bad to see it. 

The side-by-side that once belonged to Myrtie in Juanita's home. Wouldn't my grandmother be amazed to know that it is stilling lovingly cared for and that her granddaughter located it more than 70 years after she passed away. 

After Buster left we never did see him or hear from him again. Maybe after he left my Dad and oldest brother farmed a piece of land east of Seymour one year that I remember, it was quite a few miles to go to farm for we lived west of Seymour. I was about 12 yrs. of age at that time and don’t know if Buster sold that piece of ground or not. The location was several miles up the highway north east of Seymour, and probably had been cut into by the highway for it was an odd shape. Probably the new highway cut the block of land into. I never did know anything about the land other than that. I do remember the different houses your Grandparents lived in in Seymour. As a small child I enjoyed going to their house and remember playing with Whit.  I admired the pretty hand painted china that Redic brought back from his trips away from home. It must have inspired me for after I quit teaching art to ladies and kids in the summer, I took some china painting lessons and joined a china club. I still have a kiln but have not painted china in a while.

I’ll send you some photos as soon as I can, for the camera I had went back to the store. It wasn’t what I wanted.

I must close and thanks again for sending records.

Next - More letters from Juanita


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Letters From the Past: Juanita Thompson Gleghorn October 18, 2000 - Part I

Juanita Gleghorn
April 2005

The following letter was written by Juanita Pearl Thompson Gleghorn as a response to a letter that I sent her regarding our mutual Hairston family history.

Juanita’s father, Floyd Thompson, was my grandmother’s first cousin.  My grandmother, Johnnie Myrtlene “Myrtie” Hairston Bryan, was the daughter of Phillip A. Hairston. Floyd was the son of Phillip’s sister, Martha Elizabeth “Mattie” Hairston Chisum Thompson.

Juanita writes about her father coming to work for Myrtie’s father, “Uncle Phil,” and tells stories about her parents. Others mentioned in the letter were Juanita's family, Myrtie’s husband, Redic, and their children; Whit (my father), DeRay, Marie, Willa Mae, and Hairston (Buster).  I omitted the names of living family members to protect their privacy.

Juanita passed away on August 13, 2011 at the age of 93.

                                                                                  October 18, 00
Dear Diana:

          It was a great joy to receive the history of our Dad’s family and to know more of your family. Thanks.

          Your Grandmother (Myrtie) was Dad’s cousin and he and our family knew they loved one another.  We visited them once in a while and thought I was more than 2 yrs. older than Whit; by your records I was only two years older than him.  We never knew where Buster went, but DeRay let us know where they were moving and when my son first married they moved to Borger, Texas. About 27 years ago we went to Borger to see my son, ______’s second child, so ____ had gone to see Marie, DeRay, and Willie Mae, and he took me to see them. Willa Mae ran out to meet us and it was a joy to see them. Marie and DeRay seem to be distant, but they might have been feeling bad. They had aged so much, and they told me Willa Mae had a stroke some time before; she was walking with a limp.  I didn’t remember them telling me where Whit was; I had always wondered where he was. Tell me more about him and if you were his only child. 
          When I was visiting the girls at Borger they told me that Dad, Floyd, use to stay with them a lot when he was a little boy in Erath. That’s the reason he loved your mother and uncle Phil so much.

I must tell you why Uncle Phil as Dad called him, moved to Baylor County, Seymour, Texas.  Uncle had bought or rented a farm two and a quarter miles east of my Grand Father’s place in the Levelview Community.  The school house set in a north east corner of his farm. 

Uncle Phil must have needed a young man to help him on the farm and sent word for Dad to help him. It was very interesting for Dad to tell we kids about his trip to Seymour, Texas by horse back. He must have lost his way for he got up in to Oklahoma, and had to bed down in an old abandon dug-outs and once spent the night with a family. He told us he was 16 yrs. old at the time, but by your records, he must have been older.  Any way the house Uncle Phil lived in was still standing when we were living close to our Grand Father Cox. My sister Lucille, and I spent the night with a school chum in the same house that Uncle Phil lived in. My mother had a photo of the house like the one you sent and that was our Dad, Floyd, in the photo. Our oldest brother, Clarence favored Dad, especially, the way he held his head. 

After Dad was living in the Levelview Community a while he rode his horse by the school house at noon, to get acquainted with some young people. At this school they had taught high school grades as well as lower grades. The kids gathered around anxious to learn who the stranger was so he dismounted his horse and talked to the young people.  My mother was maybe 12 years old and as he looked around he patted the little girl on the head and said this is a pretty little girl.  The little girl was my mother, Ora Ellen Cox.  She loved to tell us that story, and many more such as that one, about Dad saying in front of a group of friends, he had a little Indian in him, so we knew he was of Indian decent, but he would never tell us where the Indian fit in.

Our grandmother was a very kind sweet quiet woman, all her Thompson boys favored her, and she had features of an Indian.  My son, _____, sure shows his Indian ways as well as looks, especially thru the eyes.

I will send you a photo of Grandma Mattie when I get them back from my youngest brother ___.  I let him have some photos for his wife was copying my family story on her computer. ___ and ____are on vacation in Florida, so it will be a while getting the photos copied for you. They live at Bridgeport, Tex.

A double wedding. Terrell Bryan Hammett,
Bertie Cox, Floyd Thompson, Ora Cox
The photo of Mother & Dad’s wedding day was nice, and Bertie, was my mother’s oldest sister. They were married at Seymour, Texas.  Dad and Terrell had a two seater horse drawn buggies so as they rode to the Church of Christ in Seymour to be married some of their friends met them at the crossroads in their buggies and followed them about five miles to the church. Mother said the preacher stood between the buggies to perform the ceremony.

I’m sorry to be so long answering your letter, but I‘ve had a cold and company.  This is the deer season so some of the men in our family come to go deer hunting this time of year. We have lived on this farm over 50 years. We live about 6 miles east of Duncan, Okla. My husband no longer farms. Only leases the pasture land out.

Please excuse the paper and pencil for at 82 yrs. of age I make lots of mistakes when writing so have to erase a lot.  

My husband Donald Victor and I have been married for 63 yrs. on Dec. 29 of 2000.  We have raised four children, two boys and two girls, they turned out to be fine people, and we have many grandchildren as well as Great grands. I will send you family records later as well as let you know more about the visits at Myrtlene’s Home in Seymour, Tex.

Let me know more about your Dad.
                   With Love & Respect
                   Juanita Pearl Thompson Gleghorn
P.S. Isn’t Myrtlene a beautiful name. Daddy loved Myrtie.

This was not the end of the letter. Juanita wrote more prior to mailing it. 
Part II will be my next post. 


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn