Lucy M. Moore, one of the few women on staff at the UT Law School in 1936

Lucy More, Librarian & Instructor, 1936 UT Law School

Lucy More, Librarian & Instructor, 1936 UT Law School

An interesting start to this research. I had appeared to find who I was looking for right away in the Austin, Travis county, Texas 1930 census. A Lucy M. Moore, teacher at the state university, was single, 40, living with a boarder (another teacher) in her household. Her parents were from Virginia, but she was born in Texas. What a great match! But after that I could find no Lucy Moore born in 1890 with parents from Virginia. There was however, another persistent Lucy M. Moore, this one born in 1881 – quite a big gap even for sketchy census data. Lucy #2 also never married. She was also a teacher at the state unversity. She also lived with boarders in Austin, Travis county. But her parents were from Arkansas and Missouri (dad and mom respectively).

My suspicion is that the 1930 census is a fluke with bad data for whatever reason. As it happens Lucy #2’s mother (Leah Ann Bateman Moore) had parents from Virginia. Could that have been the mix up? What about the nearly 10 year age gap? All I know is that Lucy #1 doesn’t show up again. Here’s a little history on Lucy #2 as I follow the documents…

Born on September 5, 1881 in Texas. The family lived in Stephenville, Erath county, Texas where Lewellyn D. Moore, dad, was a farmer. In 1900 Lucy was 18 at home with 4 siblings. By 1910, she was working as a teacher but still living with family in Stephenville. A Lucy M. Moore shows up several times in 1918 and 1920 in The Catcus, the yearbook for the University of Texas. One of those is a photo of her with the UT Cofer Law Society. Hard to tell if the photos match, but my feeling now is it is likely her. If we are to go with the theory that 1930 Lucy equals Lucy #2 then she’s teaching at UT at the time and continues to do so in 1940.

Lucy died on November 2, 1953 in Stephenville. Sister Nell was the informant on her death certificate. She is buried in West End cemetery in Stephenville with her parents. She’ll have no children to follow this, but hopefully some nieces and nephews.

A quick side note that caught my attention when I did a simple Google search for Lucy:

From the endowments at the University of Texas webpage:

Name: Lucy M. Moore Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Law

Approval Date: October 12, 1990

Description: The Lucy M. Moore Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Law was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on October 12, 1990, for the benefit of the School of Law. Gift funds were provided by Mr. Emory T. Carl of Bellaire, Texas, a 1936 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin School of Law. The endowment honors Ms. Lucy Montlee Moore.

“Sig”, could this man have been my grandfather?

Here are more photos of a young gentleman from my grandmother’s high school memory book. His name is Seignor Jernigan. All I really know about his from her book is that he gave her a Kodak for her graduation gift, there are quite a few photos of him (more than any other young man), and based on local newspaper clippings, they visited quite often ;) He wasn’t in her class, he was two years older. These photos were taken in 1930. And it looks an awful lot like a courtship if you ask me.

But it wasn’t meant to be. While they have some lovely photos together and clearly did a lot of visiting – couldn’t get away with anything that a small town Texas newspaper wouldn’t talk about in 1930 – they were bound for different paths. My grandmother, as valedictorian of her class, had multiple scholarship offers to college and eventually graduated from the University of Texas. Seignor completed high school but went into ranching and farming and WWII from there. Holly would marry my grandfather in 1934 and lived in Houston, Texas most of their married life. Seignor married Johnnie and would spend his adult live in Mills county – the same small town where these pictures were taken. It appears Seignor died in 1987 in Lampassas, Texas; his wife Johnnie about 8 years later.

It’s always odd to think about what might have been. But even stranger to consider who I might have been if my grandmother and/or Seignor has choosen a different path. My grandfather, Howard, was such a large and positive presence in my life that I can’t even fathom it. But in 1930, none of that mattered.

Blanche Dellis Prater, “My Dearest Friend”

I’m going to do something a little different with this post. I have a treasure of a family document, my grandmother’s 1930 High School “memory book”. It was a gift upon her graduation from her oldest sister, Sybil Guthrie. My grandmother, Holly, either loved high school (likely since she was the valedictorian) or was really bored because this book is chalk-full of memories, photos, signatures, letters, grades, you name it. It’s absolutely wonderful!

One of the first pages is titled “My Dearest Friend.” On it is one photo “Blanche” or Mrs. Hillard Prater as she was soon to be known. It’s a beautiful photo; and I knew a lot about Blanche without doing any research. She was probably born around 1911, just like my grandmother. She went to Mullin high school and therefore likely lived in Mills county, Texas, like my grandmother. And she clearly married Mr. Prater. Later in the book she’s identified by the last name Dellis.

Here are the many places where Blanche makes an appearance in my grandmother’s memory book:

  • My Dearest Friend page (see photo)
  • Nicknames and Nonsense page – Blanche’s nickname was “Auntie”, later in the book she’s referred to as “Blondie”
  • On the “class roll” listed in the local newspaper
  • The “My Friends” page. Blanche’s note on 5/14/1929 to my grandmother was “Love me lots.”
  • Blanche was listed as the “circulation manager” on the Tattler staff 1929-1930
  • She and my grandmother were on the girls basketball team (Blanche was a guard), Blanche is also listed on the tennis team
  • The “Holidays” page says “Blanche and Rosa Meek came to see me. We went to Goldthwaite and saw Seignor.” Christmas day there was a “party at Blanche’s”
  • Another photo of Blanche in the senior photo (attached) and on the basketball team photo (attached).
  • On a “Dates” page, Blanche’s wedding date is noted as June 7th.
  • A photo of Mr. and Mrs. H Prater (attached).
  • A full page in the memory book is signed by Blanche with a note. (photo attached)

I hope that my grandmother’s careful preservation of her high school memories can be beneficial to others – like Blanche’s family. It’s a treasure trove I’m more than happy to share!

Beekman Ezell, back to the Wink Wildcats!

Beekman Ezell, 1937

Beekman Ezell, 1937

I just can’t resist these Wink Wildcats. A rugged Texas team of young men, many of whom would go off to war, and Beekman Ezell was no exception. Born on December 5,1919 in Louisiana to Jefferson Ezell and Pearl White, Beekman Benjamin Ezell was the 2nd of four children born in rapid succession. Older brother Jeff was born in 1918, Beekman in 1919, Dee Earl in 1921, Don in 1922!

It appears that dad, Jefferson Ezell, died in 1925 in La Salle, Louisiana where the family had lived. Pearl remarried by 1930 and she and her children lived in Wink, Texas with new husband Hobart Little. The children are actually listed with the last name Little in this census. But that’s corrected by 1940, when the family is still in Wink.

Beekman enlisted in the war effort for the army in 1941. He was single at the time with 2 years of college. He was released from the arm in 1945 and went back to college at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and he also went back to playing football. A 1946 newspaper article discusses the issue of vets who receive disability payment playing football. They, and Beekman was mentioned by name, would have to take a physical and if they didn’t pass, choose either football or benefits, but not both.*

Beekman appeared to live in or near Winkler for most of his adult life. Beekman Ezell died August 19, 1999. He was preceded in death by his first wife and remarried, passing away before his 2nd wife. He is buried in Kermit cemetery. A wonderful obituary of his brother Don on Find a grave, outlines more of the family history.

Looks like serving their country and TCU football were in the Ezell boys’ blood!

*Friday, November 1, 1946, Seattle Daily Times (Seattle, WA), Page: 31

UPDATE: The connection between Rowena Clement and “Uncle Wallie’s Wife”

An Ancestry member has confirmed the relationship that I was wondering about on some earlier posts. Rowena Clement – originally listed here – was the sister of Peter Wallace Clement, whose wife is pictured here. According to Mark Rowena was “Born on 15 Jul 1879 in Calhoun County, Texas – died on 21 Feb 1974 in Edna, Jackson Co, Texas. She was buried in Palacios, Matagorda Co, Texas.”

This is great information, I had very little on Rowena but suspected she and Mary Lee Clement were related somehow. Thanks for the help Mark! I’ll add her photo to Find a Grave.

Bert E. Page Jr. #22 for the 1937 Wink Wildcats

Happy-go-luckly looking #22 is Bert Elwin Page Jr. Here’s what I know about Bert after a short bit of research. He was born in Texas on September 28, 1921 to Bert E. Page Sr. and an unknown mother. His father was a widow according to the 1940 census, and I never found his mother named anywhere else. He had an older brother Phillip Page. The family lived in Winkler county in 1940 where Bert worked as a filling station attendant.

Bert joined the Marines and served in World War II according to his cemetery stone. He died in Abilene, Texas on July 27, 1992 leaving his wife Elva Womack Page and at least one daughter, Patricia Ann. He may have had more children. Other snippets of information are that Elva & Bert lived in Albuquerque, NM in 1959 according to a local directory. They also sold some real estate in Jefferson Parish in 1984 according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

I did not find any families with Bert Jr. in their online trees, some do list Bert Sr.  so hopefully this photo will be of interest to them. Good luck Bert!