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Thursday, December 30, 2010

1894 :: Hamilton-Henry Wedding

Bethlehem Community
To the Messenger:
December 24 [1894].

Once more I come, heralding the news from old Bethlehem. Since my departure it seems that marriage bells have been substituted for [Christ]mas bells. I have attended weddings for the past two weeks and still have several invitations left.

Last Thursday night [i.e., 20th December 1894] both young and old began to congregate at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Henry Sr., [my 2nd great-grandparents] for the purpose of witnessing the marriage ceremony between J. D. Hamilton and their daughter, Ella, conducted by Hon. W. D. Wells of Rockdale, with J. B. Henry and Miss Cornelia Bowling, Hubert Phillips and Miss Elma Rettig as attendants.

After which the entire crowd was ushered into the dining room, where they partook of a most wonderful, excellent and appetizing repast.

Well Mr. Editor, as I have an invitation to attend a wedding at Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Phillips, I will close by giving a list of presents. Enclosed please find some of the wedding cake.

The presents were as follows:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Phillips, table cloth
  • Miss Della Phillips, glass set
  • Miss Isa Phillips, set of casters
  • Mr. Hubert Phillips, syrup pitcher
  • Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Rettig, cake stand
  • Miss Elma Rettig, fruit dish
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Bowling, fruit stand
  • Miss Nona Bowling, fruit dish
  • Miss Cornelia Rettig, head rest
  • Mrs. Lizzie Baumgartner of Iowa, photograph case
  • Mrs. M. F. Antony, set goblets [i.e., Margaret Frances Antony nee Davis (1833-1912), sister of Mother of the bride]
  • Messrs. Wallace Moody and Jno. Gore, pair towels and syrup pitcher
  • Mrs. S. H. Sharp, dusting brush [i.e., Emma Sharp nee Henry (1872-1944), sister of the bride, & twin sister of my great-grandpa]
  • Mr. J. B. Henry, set cups and saucers and spoons [i.e., Jerome Bonapart Henry (1870-1956), brother of the bride]
  • Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Henry Jr., price of present [i.e., William Paschal Henry, Jr. (1868-1941), brother of the bride, & his wife, Annie Mae Henry nee Calvert (1874-1950)]
  • Mr. L. O. Stewart, cake plate [i.e., Louis O. Stewart (b. June 1873), a 1st cousin of Berta Mary Sharp (1873-1955) who is the future wife of a brother of the bride, & my great-grandma]
  • Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Henry Sr., plates, knives and forks, salt and pepper stand, glass set, pair linen towels, table cloth, set glasses and lamp [parents of the bride, and 2nd great-grandparents of the Keeper of this geneablog]

Sweethearts Join Hands in 1894 Christmas Wedding . . . A copy of the above newspaper article turned up in my files -- source unknown. I assume it probably came from my 1st cousin once removed, Georgia Faye (Henry) Kaseberg (1925-2001), as she was always so good about giving me copies of whatever finds she made.

  • Bride :: Ella May Hamilton nee Henry :: born 26 October 1875 in Grayson County, Texas :: died 14 December 1967 in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas :: a daughter of my 2nd great-grandparents, William Paschal Henry (1836-1912) and Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis (1842-1899)
  • Groom :: James David Hamilton :: born 19 September 1872 in Kentucky :: died 03 May 1922 in Rockdale, Milam County, Texas after coming in contact with a high-powered electric wire following a storm :: son of Joseph David Hamilton (1832-1905) and Mary Katherine Hamilton nee Hughes (1842-1906)

1894 :: Christmas Weddings in Rockdale

The Galveston Daily News, Sunday, December 30, 1894. MARRIAGES. ROCKDALE MARRIAGES. Rockdale, Milam Co., Tex., Dec. 28. -- At the residence of Mr. W.H. Henry, two miles north of Rockdale, Mr. J.D. Hamilton and Miss Ella Henry were married on December 21 [sic].

At the residence of Mr. Henry Lockwood in this city on Christmas day at 5 o'clock Mr. W.H. Knight of Cisco and Miss Matie Bagley of this city.

At the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Phillips, three miles north of Rockdale, Mr. W.N. Vesey and Miss Della Phillips, both of this county, on the night of the 25th.

Mr. A.M. Scarbrough left Sunday for Van Buren, Ark., where he was married on the 26th instant.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

1888 :: Merry Christmas. Entertainments at Rockdale

The Galveston Daily News. 
Friday, December 28, 1888.
Merry Christmas. Entertainments at Rockdale. Rockdale, Tex., December 27. -- Christmas eve was duly celebrated here by two public entertainments. From 7 o'clock to 8:30 p.m. the doors of the Baptist church were open to all desiring to participate in the distribution of presents from a handsome tree which had been erected in the edifice. This is but another of the many generous acts of the Baptists here, who, being in possession of the largest church structure, never fail to allow the public, on proper occasions, to avail itself of the advantages offered by their commodious building. 

Promptly after the exercises at the Baptist church, as many as could gain admittance crowded into the opera-house, where Mrs. J. H. Cone combined the distribution of prizes to her music class with a novel Christmas boat, which appeared on the stage laden with gifts from Santa Claus. Much praise is awarded to Mrs. Cone for her management of this affair, and her patrons were well pleased with the advancement of her pupils as evidenced by their playing and singing. 

At both entertainments Miss Texie Owsley, one of Rockdale's most amiable young ladies, gave some specimens in elocution, in which department she has been applying herself for some time at the Waco Baylor university. Miss Owsley acquitted herself most creditably. Christmas day was miserable in point of weather.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

1932 :: Wounds Fatal to Man

Dallas Morning News. December 25, 1932. Wounds Fatal to Man. Special to The News. Rockdale, Texas, Dec. 24. -- Luther Pickens died here Saturday as a result of gunshot wounds received Friday night at the home of his mother. Mrs. Jane Pickens at Chapman City. He died upon arrival at a hospital.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1915 :: Dr. Sessions files for Bankruptcy

New York Times. December 23, 1915. Out of Town. Special to The New York Times. Waco, Texas, Dec. 22. -- I.P. Sessions, physician of Rockdale, Texas, filed voluntary petition in bankruptcy in Federal Court here, listing liabilities of $70,129, assets of $56,660, and $2,500 exempt.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

1956 :: Writer Still Missing

New York Times. December 18, 1956. Writer Still Missing. Connecticut Police Continue Search for Perry. Guilford, Conn., Dec. 17 (UP) -- The police said today that George Sessions Perry, missing writer, was not in the area of his home here. The 46-year-old author and magazine writer has been missing since Thursday. The police searched the woods and two ponds near his home, but could find no trace of him. Joseph Quinlan, police chief, said he was "positive" Mr. Perry was not in the area.

Friday, December 17, 2010

1956 :: Search for Writer Vain

New York Times. December 17, 1956. Search for Writer Vain. George Sessions Perry Still Missing From His Home. Guilford, Conn., Dec. 16 (AP) -- The police may abandon the search for the missing magazine writer, George Sessions Perry, tomorrow. Mr. Perry, 46 years old, has been missing from his home near here since Thursday. His wife found him gone when she returned home from a dentist's appointment. Mr. Perry wrote the "Cities of America" series for The Saturday Evening Post.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1956 :: Helicopter Joins Hunt for Writer

New York Times. December 16, 1956. Helicopter Joins Hunt for Writer. But Searchers Fail to Find George Sessions Perry in Woods Near Home. By Richard H. Parke. Special to The New York Times

Guilford, Conn., Dec. 15 -- A wide search of the countryside failed again today to find any trace of George Sessions Perry. The 46-year-old magazine writer disappeared from his home here Thursday. The police and volunteer firemen from Guilford and neighboring communities tramped through miles of field and woodland surrounding Mr. Perry's home on Clapboard Hill Road, about three miles from here. This afternoon a helicopter took part in the hunt. Mr. Perry has suffered for some years with arthritis. He disappeared some time between 12:30 and 3 P.M. on Thursday while his wife, Claire, and Mrs. Milton MacKaye, wife of another writer, were on a visit to a dentist. He was in bed when the two women left. Mrs. Perry told Police Chief Joseph Quinlan that she and Mrs, MacKaye found him gone when they returned. They assumed he had gone to look for his Springer spaniel, Mr. Mutt. The dog, which had been missing for two days, was found last night at the home of a neighbor.

Not Heavily Dressed. Mr. Perry was wearing a tweed jacket, corduroy trousers and loafers when he left home, according to his wife. The Perry home is a large rambling colonial farmhouse that the couple purchased in 1944. They also maintain a home in Rockdale, Tex. They are in the habit of spending their summers in Guilford, and this year, Mrs. Perry said to day, they were considering remaining here for the winter. Mr. Perry, who is almost six-and-one-half-feet tall, has undergone intensive treatment for his arthritic condition and spent some months recently at the Grace-New Haven Community Hospital. Friends said he had shown marked improvement since his hospital stay, although he continued to walk with difficulty. He was said to have been generally in good spirits with only occasional periods of despondency. Mr. Perry has been a contributor to The Saturday Evening Post for many years. He and his wife originated the Cities of America series for the magazine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

1956 :: Hard Rain Limits Hunt for George Sessions Perry

New York Times. December 15, 1956. Magazine Writer Sought in Woods. Hard Rain Limits Hunt for George Sessions Perry in Guilford, Conn. 

Guilford, Conn., Dec. 14 (AP) -- The police and firemen searched rain-sodden woods in vain today for George Sessions Perry, nationally known magazine writer. He disappeared from his home here Thursday afternoon. Mr. Perry and friends said they feared that the 46-year-old writer, who suffers from arthritis, had become lost in the woods while searching for his springer spaniel, Mr. Mutt, lost since Tuesday night. Police Chief Joseph Quinlan said he wanted the searchers to check a pond, partly on Mr. Perry's property, into which the writer may have fallen. The pond was dragged yesterday. However, Chief Quinlan said, "it's so full of stumps and trees that you can't do a very thorough job. We want to drain it, and we opened the dam a little more today; but it's raining so hard that the water runs in as fast as it runs out." Mr. Perry disappeared while his wife and Mrs. Milton MacKaye, wife of a fellow-writer, were on a two-hour trip to visit a dentist. "He was in bed when we left," Mrs. MacKaye said, "and when we found him gone when we got back, we supposed he had gone to look for the dog. We looked by ourselves for about an hour, and then we called the police because it was beginning to get dark. He had no identification on him, and we thought for a while me might have been picked up by somebody who took him to a hospital and didn't know who he was." Mr. Perry was wearing only a tweed jacket, corduroy trousers and loafers when he left home, Mrs. MacKaye said. He carried no wallet. Mr. Perry, who is almost six and a half feet tall, is a frequent contributor to the Saturday Evening Post. He and Mrs. Perry originated the "Cities of America" series for that magazine. They wrote the first several articles in the series.

Monday, December 13, 2010

1956 :: George Sessions Perry Disappears

Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Vol. CVI, No. 1. July 2002. A Brief Peace: The Postwar Years of George Sessions Perry by Garna L. Christian. Whatever childhood or wartime demons hovered over George Sessions Perry as he disembarked from the European front of World War II, the fates appeared to favor his every turn. . . . A scant decade later, this fortuitous future lay submerged with Perry in an ice-bound Connecticut river, claiming the life of one of the most widely read writers in America. . . . Perry disappeared from his Guilford farmhouse between noon and three-thirty on the afternoon of December 13, 1956, when Claire left for a dental appointment. Since he apparently wore only a light coat and a pair of pants against the winter chill, his wife surmised that he had gone out to look for his missing spaniel, "Mister Mutt." After the dog returned alone, a fruitless search by police, firemen, and even a helicopter crew cast gloom on the prospects of recovery. An outpouring of messages of advice and hope included an offer from Post publishers to involve the governor in the search. The local police chief, a friend of the Perrys, recalled George recently "look[ing] remote" and having said, "The best thing I can do in this depressed state is either to jump into the river and swim to the North Pole or run into the woods until I drop." Two months to the day of his disappearance, a bridge inspector found Perry's nude body wedged against an abutment in the East River, several miles from his home. A coroner judged his death "consistent with suicide."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

1899 :: Baxter-DeGrassi Wedding

The Rockdale Messenger, Thur., 7 Dec 1899. Marriage - Winnette Duke DeGrassi and Miss Moselle Baxter were married in the beautifully decorated parlor of the bride's parents, Mr. & Mrs. B. B. Baxter on Thursday evening of last week by Rev. T. G. Alfred. A wedding feast followed in the dining hall. Mr. DeGrassi has been well known in Rockdale and at one time lived here. Miss Baxter is the second oldest daughter.

Friday, December 3, 2010

1903 :: Douthit files Deed of Trust

Business Matters. Files Deed of Trust. 

Special to The News. Cameron, Tex., Dec. 2. -- B.F. Douthit of Rockdale filed a deed of trust late yesterday afternoon, naming H.L. Witcher of that place as trustee. Douthit was in the jewelry business. His liabilities show about $2,315.63. The assets are not stated, but consist of the stock and fixtures.

The following are among the largest creditors: Mrs. Flora Douthit, Palestine, $850; Dr. R.W. Wallace, Rockdale, $310; Morgan & Hawley, Dallas, $380; L. Boumen Jewelry Company, St. Louis, $212.

Dallas Morning News, December 3, 1903

Thursday, December 2, 2010

1936 :: Mrs. Martha Smith

Mrs. Martha Smith, 99, Dies in Milam County. 

Special to The News. Rockdale, Texas. Dec. 1. -- Milam County's oldest citizen, Mrs. Martha Smith, 99, died Sunday at her home at Sandy Creek, seven miles from Rockdale.

Mrs. Smith was born in Grimes County Sept. 14, 1837. She was three times married. Her late husband, Joseph M. Smith, a Confederate veteran, served as the Justice of the Peace at Cameron for many years.

Following the death of her husband in 1911, Mrs. Smith had made her home with her son-in-law, John Williams, who is 86 years old. His daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Coleman, for a number of years cared for the aged people.

Her two surviving sons, Jim and Tom Rogers, are in their seventies. She also leaves a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Dallas Morning News, December 2, 1936