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Monday, September 3, 2018

#52ancestors Post Thirty-Five: A Report Card from Baylor County, Texas 1927

Last week's post for #52ancestors was back to school. I am a little behind as it is back to school for me as well. I am beginning my 40th year as a speech-language pathologist in my local school division. 

Whit Criswell Bryan with his older brother
Hairston Albritton "Buster" Bryan - about 1927
This report card belonged to Whit Criswell Bryan, my father. I believe it is his first-grade report card.  He was born in Seymour, Baylor County, Texas on December 21, 1920. He was the youngest child of seven children born to Redic Bryan and Myrtie Hairston

It appears Dad did not begin school until the third period of the 1926-1927 school year. Was this a parental choice or did he have to wait until after he turned six on December 21? 

During this school year, Dad and two of his sisters, Marie (age 25) and Willa Mae (age 16) were living with their parents. Two of his brothers died as infants, DeRay was teaching in Amhurst, Texas, and Hairston "Buster" was working in Witchita Falls. 

Mrs. Pistole, Dad's first-grade teacher began
teaching at age 16 in Simpson, Kentucky.
In 1929, it was reported in the Baylor Banner
Mrs. S. W. Pistole taught for 29 continuous
years in Seymour. She was Marie Bryan's
10th-grade teacher - click here to see her report card.
This photo comes from a larger
photo taken in 1911. Click here to see the photo.
Martha Ann Harris married Samuel W.
Pistole in 1886 in Simpson, Kentucky. Sometime
after the death of her husband in 1929, she
moved back to Kentucky. She died in 1937 and
is buried in Simpson County.

Dad attended school in the Grade School Building and his teacher was Mrs. Pistole. His grades in deportment were As, but he had Cs in all other areas. Dad was frequently absent and according to the back of the report card, points were deducted for missed work due to absences. 

I doubt if Dad made up any of the work he missed. It was a bad time for the Bryan family; there were financial problems and Myrtie was sick and passed away on May 3, 1927. Dad said during his mother's illness and after her death, he would sometimes stay with relatives. 

Dad's father died in 1929 and he moved to Borger, Texas where he lived with his sisters. 

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© 2018


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn.

Harrison, O. C. The Baylor County Banner (Seymour, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 51, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 5, 1929, newspaper, September 5, 1929; Seymour, Texas. ( accessed September 3, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Baylor County Free Library.

Martha “Mattie” Harris Pistole (1865-1937) - Find A Grave Memorial. 

Woman's Who's who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada. Pistole, Martha Harris (Mrs. S. W. Pistole), Seymour, Texas. American Commonwealth Company, 1914. Web. 3 Sep. 2018. <>.

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