Reagan Texas Home Page and Bulletin Board
This webpage is dedicated to all former and current residents of the great town of Reagan, Texas in Falls County.
This webpage includes links to other pages of interest such as Reagan homecoming plans, photos of early day Reagan, biographies of Reagan residents of the past, listing of the Reagan cemetery tomstones, and stories of early day reagan. We also have a bulletin board where you're welcome to post information about an upcoming event or post a question for the former Reagonites that might have the information you're looking for.
Also, feel free to call me at 512 630 4619 or email me at:
email@example.com or write to me at: 1264 FM2116, Rockdale, Texas 76567.
Leonard and Lady on their way to Red River, New Mexico (Nov 25/2005)
Reagan Texas Bulletin Board
HOMECOMING- MAY 24,May 25 2014
Mark your calandars and make your plans to join all your friends and former Reagonites and classmates at the Reagan homecoming Saturday and Sunday on Memorial day weekend.
SATURDAY -MAY 24, 2014
Registration begins at 10:00 AM on Saturday
Silent aution begins at 10:00 AM.
Noon luncheon provided by Ann Stricklin Byer, Jean Stricklin Williams (and other family members) with proceeds going to the Reagan Homecoming Association.
The candle light memorial service begins at 2:00 PM on Saturday.
The silent auction ends at 3:00 PM on Saturday.
SUNDAY MAY 25, 2014 EVENTS:
Sunday church at the Reagan Methodist Church starting at 9:00 AM
Church services at the Reagan Baptist Church starting at 11:00 AM
Sunday Bar-B-Q begins at 12:00 NOON.
Business meeting of the Reagan Homecoming Association begins following the BBQ dinner. Election of officers will occur during this meeting.
Received the following email regarding any information about Benjamin Rodriguez, born 5/28/1930 on a farm near Reagan TX on 5/28/1930.
FROM: "maria figueroa" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I'm trying to help my pastor Benjamin Rodriguez with some information from his childhood. He was born 5/28/1930 in Reagan TX on a farm/ranch. He only remembers that his father Hipolito Rodriguez worked for Loy Holland. I was wondering/hoping if that name rings a bell or if someone might know the name or help me find some history. Any information will greatly help.
Maria (Vickie) Figueroa
Got the following email from James Bigham (email@example.com)with some history of the area from the 1930's and 1940's:
My father moved us to Fishcreek in 1936 on the covenington place. Fish creek had a church and a one-room school house. Our teacher was Miss Susie D. Whitefield. My dad was a blacksmith and worked at the Lonnie Robbins blacksmith shop until he sold the shop to John Kubiak.
My dad then went to work for the railroad.
In the summers, I worked for Boyl and Jeff Burks delivering ice. Mr. Boyl had a locker plant in Marlin.
I remember playing at the Reagan depot before anyone moved into it. The Section Foreman at that time was Mr. Howard Moore. The men that worked on the railroad at that time included
Johnny Henderson, Dave Woodruff, I.J. Matthis, Elijha Bigham, and Clifton Bell.
I also hauled hay for John Kubiak. I remember Daniel Kubiak. When he was about 7 or 8 years old, we picked cotton for the Moore brothers. I remember there used to be an old man named Milton Raynor who cooked BBQ every Saturday behind John's blacksmith shop.
I also remember working for Mr. Zay Kelly, hauling hay for T.K. Kirkpatrick and working for Claude Buell. These are my memories from the 1940's in Reagan.
July 17, 2010
Please include my parents as former residents..My mother was Betty Sue Crump Burke, daughter of Nadine Winzer (Crump) McCollum...Born 7/25/1925..Died 2/10/1992...My mother and grandmother lived with Papa Winzer (Mr Will) after Mammy's divorce from Josh Crump...I believe she lived there until she went off to business school in Dallas after graduation from Reagan High.
Claude McCollum was her stepfather, but more of a father than her own...I believe Mammy married Papa Mc when my mother (Betty) was 16...My brother and I considered Papa Mc our grandfather...Papa Mc and Mammy lived (built) on Hwy 6...I believe Billy John Richardson bought the house when my grandmother and grandfather moved to town...They bought the Strickland home just behind my great aunt India's..
My daddy was Walter Kirk Burke...He played football for Reagan and loved Fish Creek...His mother was Ruth Flowers Burke...His father died when my daddy was 12..Daddy was born 12/3/1918..died 3/16/1977..
I spent holidays and summers with Papa Mc and Mammy until I was in my early teens...I have such wonderful memories.....
I saw that Pam Kelly was at the 2010 reunion...We were born on the same day and our mothers shared a hospital room...I used to play with Pam and Karen Kirkpatrick, as a child..I have wonderful memories of vacation bible school and listening to my grandmother sing the hymns on Sunday mornings...
I hope to make the next reunion...Thank you so much for the great website...
India Burke Thompson
Received the following Obituary for Fred VanCleave from his wife Eddie VanCleave (Frededdie@aol.com):
Frederick David VanCleave
August 22, 1920-November 8, 2008
Fred was born in Reagan, TX, the tenth child of the twelve children of Willliam G. VanCleave and Daisy Leana Dotson VanCleave. He graduated in 1940 from Reagan High School in Reagan Tx in a class of 29,
following which he hitch-hiked with a friend to California.
Fred was an instructor in Army Anti-Aircraft in
World War II in addition to which his employment included several years as a policeman in Pasadena Ca, a gas station owner in Houston Tx, and a book store owner also in Houston.
He met his companion of 52 years, Eddie Ayo Haws, in 1956 in Houston and became loving father to her son Edward Leon Haws when they were married on March 11, 1957 in Houston. They retired to Marlin Tx in
Fred served his Lord for 32 years as a minister in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints in many areas, among which were Bryan, Hearne, Houston, and Marlin.
Fred is survived by his wife Eddie VanCleave, his son Edward Leon Haws, granddaughters Sherry Little
and Tracy Post, six great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson born May 27, 2008. Also surviving
are his only two living siblings: Mildred VanCleave Sherwood and W. G. VanCleave.
Fred was buried in
Suggs Cemetery, Hearne Tx November 11, 2008 in a graveside service.
Received the following email from
Elmer Cohn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Friday, March 20, 2009, 10:23 AM
Len, I thought you would like to know that our Reagan Homecoming Association Director, Ruth Ann Davison Torgerson's, husband died. The service is at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 21, 2009 at First Baptist Church in Marlin. Burial to follow in Reagan at Waite Cemetery.
Received the following email from Jean Wyatt Kemp:
Update on Jean Wyatt Kemp
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
From: "Jean Kemp" (email@example.com)
Appreciate your web site on Reagan, a place I loved dearly in my growing up years. I especially enjoy the Baptist Church section about my parents, W.R. and Dorothy Wyatt. My sister Jessie has done a good job of getting information to you.
My husband, Dr. E. Leroy Kemp and I (Dr. Jean Wyatt Kemp) both teach at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton. He was pastor at First Baptist in Belton for 20 years and has been a professor in the Christian Studies department of UMHB for the past 20 years.
We have three sons, all in the ministry: Paul Wyatt Kemp in Cedar Park, Texas; Timothy Karl Kemp in Temple, Texas; and Mark Alan Kemp in Copperas Cove, Texas.
My dad was their hero and role model. He lived to see Paul’s son, his first great-grandchild.
I teach in the Graduate School of Education at UMHB since retiring as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in the Belton Public School System. Your section on the Reagan School Campus is also dear to my heart and memories.
Thank you for all you do to preserve our heritage.
Jean Wyatt Kemp
Received the following email from India Ruth Burke Thompson:
Sat, 27 Sep 2008
From: "india thompson" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I'm writing about the paragraph on the bank. My name is India Ruth Burke Thompson and my father was Walter Kirk Burke...His mother was Ruth Flowers Burke, not his wife...Walter's wife was Betty Sue Crump Burke...Maybe there is some confusion about Ruth. She could have worked in the bank, I'm not sure.
My maternal grandmother was Nadine Winzer (Crump) McCollum...I remember, as a little girl, coming to visit during the summer...I loved Reagan...Nadine worked part-time at the phone company..I remember Papa Mac taking me over to pick her up and letting me out to tell her we were there...I jumped out into a big patch of stickers...
I remember going to the gym over by the school...I seem to remember going skating there..My best memories are of Reagan, summers and holidays...I would cry when I had to leave Mammy and Papa to go back home...Papa was actually my step-grandfather (I didn't know this until I was practically grown)...His name was Claude McCollum, a wonderful man...Mammy was Nadine McCollum, a precious lady...Pat Gandy is my second cousin...My great grandfather was Mr. Will Winzer...My mother, Betty Burke and Pat are first cousins...
If I can be of any help, please contact me...
Bill Jones, related to the Jones of early-day Reagan sent me a photo of Sabastian Stanfield Jones (born April 6, 1834 in Caroline County Virginia, moved to the Reagan area and died near Reagan on June 9, 1901. His wife was Frances Elizabeth Pruett, Died January 3, 1930 also in Falls County).
Bill also volunteered to help with genealogy questions related to the Jones family of early day Reagan (Bill's email is PiperWill@aol.com).
Received the following email from Candace Tissiere:
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008
I found your website on Reagan,Tx , and I think it is wonderful! I lived there for quite a few years with my mother (formerly Rose Mary Scroggins) and grandparents, J.V. and Edna Scroggins. I used to play in the Kirkpatrick's "Gig em Aggies" barn. Do you know that there are pictures sold all over the place of that barn! Anyway, I was hoping to get my family together at the Reagan Community Building. I was wondering if you know whether or not it still stands, and if so, who do I need to contact to rent the building. We always had our family reunions at the community building and it would seem odd, though its been decades since we've met there.
I didn't find out that my grandfather, J.V. Scroggins volunteered with the "fire dept" until a man spoke my grandfather's crazy driving through a field to get to a fire. I was wondering if you ever rode with him or have any stories of that part of his life.
Any information would be appreciated. I will also see if I can find pictures of Reagan-I know that I have a picture of my grandfather and myself in front of his store.
Thank you for your time.
"Candace TISSIERE" (email@example.com)
Good to hear from you. Yes, the old community building still stands and will be the location of the 50th reunion of the Reagan Homecoming Association.
I knew your mother well (Georgia Scroggins was in my class) and we lived just a block from your grand parents.
Yes, J.V. Scroggans and a host of others were volunteer firemen when it became grassfire season. Being right across from the Methodist church, the firefighters came to our place for water (we always had several hundred gallons in the cattle troughs).
Usually, the grass fires started on the tall grass on the school grounds. Everyboby would take a large towell or pair of bluejens, soak them in the water, then run along the leading edge of the fire and beat the fire down. Sometimes, we'd have more than 50 people or more fighting the fire.
We always managed to put out the fire without any special equipment like they use today.
Hope you get a chance to see all of the webpages on the Reagan site...you can find the upcoming reunion news at:
Some other Reagan webpages you may want to see include:
Check out the photos from our 2010 reunion!
Received the following email from Diane Davisson:
Sat, 5 Jan 2008
From: Diane Davisson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Reagan,TX Obits
I was delighted to find your webpage listing the
obituary of Brigadier General Travis Monroe
Hetherington, USAF (Ret.)
I corresponded with his wife, Lois, a cousin of mine,
for many years and lost contact with her family after
she passed away.
I noticed that one obituary, that of William Zebulon
Burke, was sent to you from Travis Hetherington's
daughter, Susan Hetherington Lloyd who lives in San
I was wondering if you could possibly forward this
e-mail to her, telling her I would like to get in
touch with her. If you only have an address for her,
I could send you a letter by regular mail for you to
forward to her.
You could tell her that I am the cousin who gave her
mother the pictures of Louisa Virginia Hudson Allen
and Napoleon Hicks.
Thank you very much for your assistance.
Diane Allen Davisson
6902 Rio Vista Drive
Huntington Beach, CA 92647-6660
(714) 847-4618, email@example.com
Tom and Cadie Davison Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary
The children of Tom and Cadie Davison are pleased to announce their parents’ golden wedding anniversary. The couple recently celebrated with their daughter, Jyl Davison Rittman, and son, Jeff Davison. Tom and Cadie celebrated their golden anniversary quietly, as requested, at a family gathering at their home in Reagan, Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. Davison met while attending Marlin High School in Marlin, Texas. They courted while attending college and were married in Marlin on August 31, 1957. Tom is retired from the Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service. Cadie is a retired R.N., having received her degree from Baylor University. The couple enjoys alternating their time between their home in Bryan as well as their farm in Reagan, Texas.
Tom and Cadie are fortunate to have their son, Jeff Davison, living nearby. He has two beautiful daughters, Zanice and Hayley. Their daughter, Jyl Rittman and husband Ken, currently live in West Chester, Pa. They have five children, Michael, Mark, Scott, Whitney and Rebecca.
Received the following letter from BJ (Betty Jane) Morris-Power, daughter of Joe Morris, one of the original founders of the Reagan Homecoming Association.
Dear Mr. Kubiak,
I received the recent Reagan Homecoming Association newsletter and memories of the first reunion in 1959 came flooding back.
You see, I am the daughter of Joe Morris, who was one of the original organizational committee members, and in fact, was the very first President of the Reagan Homecoming Association.
I was only 8 years old, but, my memory of that time is vivid. I recall the many, many nights my father and the other committee members met at our home in Houston to work on the monumental task of organizing and planning the original reunion.
I witnessed the planning of "the when, the where and the how" of it all. The collaboration over the lists of phone calls to be made, the letters to be written, and then the mass mailings that went out several times.
Our kitchen table became a monument to the assembly line process as hundreds of informational letters were folded, inserted in envelopes, addressed and stamped to be readied for the mass mailings.
And then the day of the first reunion arrived. I believe everyone was astonished at the mass turn-out. The old Reagan gymnasium, in fact the entire town, was packed with people.
I think all would agree that it was a glorious reunion where old friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers and business people came together from near and far-flung places and enjoyed visiting, eating, and dancing.
I remember being so proud of my dad and the other committee members, and all those who worked on the preparations, for being able to put-together and pull off an event of such enormous proportions.
Through the years, as I attended almost all subsequent Reagan reunions with my father, I enjoyed, so much, meeting the people my father grew-up with. I loved hearing the wonderful stories they told of growing up in Reagan.
I have my own memories of Reagan, spending idyllic summers there with my grandmother, Janie Morris. As if it were yesterday, I remember running down the gravel road to J.V. Scroggins store to purchase an ice cream bar out of his cooler, going outside, sitting down on the concrete step and trying to eat it quickly before it melted and dripped onto the ground.
I remember my grandmother could call-in her grocery order and have it delivered to the back door, a concept I found astonishing from being raised in Houston.
And how fondly I remember looking out at the massive oak trees through the raised stained-glass windows at the Reagan Baptist Church, sitting next to my grandmother on Sunday mornings. In July and August, we would try desperately to cool ourselves with paper fans which had a picture of Jesus on one side and advertisements on the other.
Yes, Reagan will always have a special place in my memories and my heart.
My father died in 1991, but I have continued to attend the reunions. At the last reunion, I was happy to see and talk with Fred Van Cleave and Faye Davis Stanley, whom I remember well from those original committee meetings so many years ago.
Though there are few people at the reunions I know, as long as I draw a breath, and am physically able, I will be attending, and supporting the Reagan Reunions. I will do so in honor of my Father, who cherished his home town and the reunions so much.
I look forward to attending the 50th Anniversary of the Reagan Bearcat Homecoming Reunion, and I say "thank you" to those who tirelessly work to continue the tradition started so many years ago.
BJ (Betty Jane) Morris-Power.
A special thank you to former Reagonite, Norman Short for sending us a huge list of Waite Cemetery listings and corrections. Keep those emails coming!
I'm not sure how I stumbled upon your web page but I am glad I did. I lived in Reagan as a child and I attended many services at Reagan Baptist Church. In fact, I was baptized there and had to stand on paint cans so the congregation could see me. Dana Altimore was the pastor then. We lived there in the late 70s-Early 80s.
My mother took us to church every time the doors opened. Since she died, I have been wanting to attend a church service there. We lived across the street from the Evans'.
Sometimes we would ride to church with them in the old pick up. Mr. Evans' dog would run behind us until he dropped us off at the church. Then he would put the dog in the truck and he would return home. My mother's name was Shirley Green. She passed away in February 05. We also lived next door the the Turnipseeds and we lived close to the Tillary's. They were all wonderful people.
You can e-mail me at MJohnson@hillcrest.net
Received the following email from Jeff Darby,
1515 N. 26th St.,
Nederland, Texas 77627.
(409) 724-7339, email
My paternal grandmother, Leona Elizabeth Joyner, was born in Reagan on December 7, 1907 to Henry Looney Joyner and Maggie N. Ward Flowers Joyner. She had three older half-sisters (Johnnie, Mary, and Ruth Flowers) and one older half-brother (Leslie Flowers). Maggie's first husband, Everett Robert Flowers, died in 1903. Maggie and Henry married in Reagan on November 17, 1904. Leona had three younger brothers (Andrew, Lacy, and Charles). All her siblings and their spouses are now deceased.
Leona married Paul Darby (born August 16, 1905 in Leonville, Louisiana, died May 30, 1984 in Nederland, Texas) in Orange, Texas on December 14, 1925. To this union were born Beulah Floy Darby (born September 11, 1926 in Port Arthur, married Charles V. Hollier, Jr. in 1955 in Port Arthur, no children, died December 20, 2002 in Groves, Texas) and Ronald Henry Darby (born March 28, 1936 in Port Arthur, married Lynda Lee Latiolais on February 14, 1964 in Port Arthur). Ron Darby is my father. He still lives in Nederland, Texas.
Leona died December 20, 2002 in Groves, Texas at age 95, only eight hours before the death of her daughter Beulah "Bee" Hollier. We had a double funeral for them on December 23, 2002. They are buried at Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches just a few feet apart and just a short distance from my mother.
I was born August 20, 1966 in Port Arthur. My sister, Jill Ellen Darby, was born May 6, 1968 in Port Arthur. She has two children and I have three.
I believe Les Flowers lived in Port Arthur for most of his life. He was a real estate agent.
My great-grandparents, Henry and Maggie Joyner, lived in Port Arthur from about 1918 to 1932 while Henry worked at one of the oil refineries. Henry's father, Jonathan A. Joyner, died in Port Arthur in January 1932 and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Groves, Texas. His marker shows he was in Moses' Squadron of the Alabama Cavalry during the Civil War. I believe Henry and Maggie returned to Reagan shortly thereafter where Henry farmed. They are both buried in Waite Cemetery. Leona and Paul lived in the Port Arthur area for most of their married lives. Paul was a pipefitter at Gulf Oil Refinery in Port Arthur.
Maggie Ward Joyner's father, Gilbert N. Ward, was a significant landowner in the Reagan area. He died in 1890. Gilbert's wife, Elizabeth McKenzie Ward, died shortly after giving birth to Maggie in 1877. To my knowledge, Gilbert was in the Fifth Texas Cavalry during the entire Civil War.
I would like any information concerning the Joyner, Ward, and McKenzie families. I do not know the last name of my great-grandfather Henry Joyner's mother. According to the census records, her first name was Sarah. My grandmother, Leona Darby, told me that after her mother died in 1958, her old house in Reagan (specifically Tarbox) burned and many family heirlooms (including the Bible) were lost. I believe that the children of her brother Andrew Joyner and Mildred Herridge Joyner (Robert, Wanda, Joy, and Mack) live in Austin, Waco and Reagan.
To my knowledge, all of these families were members of the Reagan Methodist Church. My grandmother was a member of that church and many other Methodist churches during her life in Port Arthur, Woodville, Beaumont, and Nederland. For the last 35 or so years of her life, she was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland. Wesley was one of the many churches damaged or destroyed in the Golden Triangle during Hurricane Rita on September 24, 2005. They had to tear down the main church building and are meeting in the Family Life Center pending rebuilding of the main building. I'm glad Grandma was not around to see that as it would have broken her heart.
Again, thanks for all the information.
1515 N. 26th St.
Nederland, Texas 77627
Email from Kay Watkins
I have just discovered your neat website. My sister, Edythe
taught home economics there in 1942/43. It was her first
position and she was only 19. I was born in May, 1943 while
there. Her daughter has a diary that she kept the entire
Edythe retired in 1981 as Director of Food Service for the
ISD. She passed away in 1992. I was sorry to read that the
been torn down. I had always wanted a picture of it and
thanks to your
website I now know what it looked like.
Email from Robert Wm Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Congratulations on your maintaining a Reagan, Texas
My mother, who is 95 and doing well, was a Covington. Her
name is Loraine Covington Smith., Her father was Robert
Ewell Covington and her mother was Francis ("Fannie") Raiford
Covington. My great grandfather was Robert Hawkins Raiford.
My mother was born in Reagan in l911. She had three
sisters:Imogene, Betty and Mary.The family moved from Reagan to
when my mother was about 9 or 10. However, my grandparents
Covington moved back to Reagan, where my grandfather's farm
abutted the Little Brazos River on the northwest side of
Highway 6. They lived there from 1946 to the early 1960s. My
relatives were the Lairds, whose farm was across the
highway from my grandfather. In 1946 I lived in Reagan and went
to the school there. I was in the 4th grade. My 2nd cousin,
Ray Laird, lives on the site of the original Laird
I really enjoyed sharing your homepage with my mother. We
have been back to Reagan several times in the past few years
and it is a shame to see the town turn into a mobile home
park.Incidentally, my mother's aunt was Mr. Claude Buell,
Tenny Raiford Buell.
Many thanks for the trip down nostalgia lane.
-Robert Wm Smith
5204 Dorset Ave.
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
EMAIL FROM CHARLES R. COZZENS,JR
"Charles Cozzens" (email@example.com)
SUBJECT: Reagan Homepage
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2006
I have enjoyed your work on the Reagan Home page!!. My great grand parents Geo& Fannie(Herrige) Hetherington lived in Reagan. I can just barely remember Geo. Kyle Hetherington (born 1879),my great Grandfather. I have been to the homecomings with my grandfather, Geo William (brother of Gen Travis M.).
My cousins, James and Ruth Funderburk are my favorite relatives. I placed a Confederate grave marker(iron cross) at John Monroe Hetherington's(Hco.42'd Alabama Inf) grave (Covington cemetery)over 15 years ago whhen I was active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans (Clarksville, Tennessee).
I felt a real kinship to the people there. Many visits to see GGM Fannie, my cousins, Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Joe were high points in the summers. I thank God for the Christian upbringing of my parents, grand and, great-grandparents. No doubt the Reagan Baptist Church (the body of believers) contributed to me and my daughters generations later in time.
Thanks again for your work and the gift for others to enjoy.
Charles R. Cozzens,Jr
More Reagan Email
" I, Ann Strickland Byer, am the oldest of three daughters born to Guy and Kathryn Strickland. Next was Jean and Martha was the youngest. Before Jean and I started to school,we lived out from Highbank. The bus I rode into school in the first and second grade was a pickup with a camper top on the back. There was no flood control then so when the Brazos River got out, all the Highbank kids got to go home early. I had to stay in Reagan with my grandmother (Mammy).
The first night I was there we had Dr. Pepper, cheese, crackers and onions and played Flinch. That was when they hung onions in the rafters of an outbuilding so Mammy had to get them as I was afraid of chickens. The next morning we had ham, biscuits and red-eyed gravy. I thought that was wonderful. Our parents, Guy and Kathryn, bought the house next door to the Morrris' about the time Jean started to school, I think.
I am seven years older than Martha so I guess she was born just before moving into Reagan or right after. I was in Mrs. Burnett's last first and second grade class. We had inspection every morning. We would put our hands on a Kleenex or handkerchief and someone would come around and see that our nails, ears and teeth were clean. Mid morning and I think in the afternoon we would go down the street to the cafateria for grapefruit juice and I guess a cookie or something. I was so afraid of Mrs. Burnett. She had taught my father and his brother and sister. They said if she got mad she hit you with an eraser. Every day we had writing class of push/pulls and circles.
When Jean started to first grade Miss Truett, from Kosse, took Mrs. Burnett's place. Miss Phillips, a school teacher, moved from Buell's to my grandmother's house after the death of my grandfather. I don't remember what grade I was in, but she asked for me to get to go to the prison in Huntsville with her class. I got to go and I saw them make license plates and one of the boys sat in the electric chair.
The summer before my seventh grade, our parents were divorced. Our grandmother, Mother's mother, had moved in with us. Mother thought she was not going to be able to keep the Reagan house and had already looked into renting a duplex in Marlin. Can you imagine five females in a duplex after being used to a house.
Luck was with her however and she was able to refinance and stay in the house. Jean and I had already started to school in Marlin. One day Mr. Tate called all the Reagan kids, seventh grade and below, into his office and told up we would be going back to Reagan. That included the Highbank kids in our grades. I was so excided to get back to Reagan School. I guess we started back on a Monday and Betty Kirkpatrick and Delores Kindred came down the street to meet us. Mr. Calvin Whatley was my teacher but I don't remember Jean's.
During the previous years, I had been taught by my aunt, Daddy's sister, Billye Gene, and Kay Kelly, the wife of Daddy's cousin Tom Kelly.
One year a Mrs. Hanks, wife of our principal, was our teacher and she brought an avacado to school because we were studying where they were grown. That was the first time I had eaten avacado and did not care for it at the time.
I remember the Cole's. I did not know what he did but she was our GA leader. I remember Charlie Short having the bus station and Sinclair station. We could buy fifty cents worth of gas and really go places. We used to go to the gym and skate. You had to wear lace-up shoes as the skates had a key to tighten them on with.
Pete's Place was where we got off Bus 14 and went every Sunday after lunch. I remember when the Mr. & Mrs. Alston had the first TV that I had seen. It was so snowy. Then the next one was the Morris', We did not get a TV until our mother married the manager of Rush-Gardner-Bartlett, Gene Dickerson. That was the spring of my Junior year. They bought a house in Marlin and we moved to Marlin during the Thanksgiving holidays of my Senior year.
I met my husband, Lester Byer, when we were Seniors. There were about four homerooms in our grade but we were not in the same one until that last year. We dated and married September 21, 1957.
Our daughter, Lee Ann, was born October 3, 1958. Lester went to work at the Blackland Watershed between Riesel and Mart. For a year they constructed a watershed in Sonora, Texas, the only town in the county and about 90 miles north of Del Rio.
In l960 the three of us moved to Sonora for Lester to take over the project. Our son, Keith, was born in Sonora June 28, 1963. I worked in the Sheriff/Tax Collector's office from l965 until January, 1973. They closed the Sonora project in December, 1972, and he was transferred back to Riesel to manage the watershed here.
Our daughter, Lee Ann, married Robert (Bobby) Stewart and they live in Riesel. They have two boys, Michael and Daniel. The three guys are into mud racing so you can imagine where we are every Saturday night of that season. Our son Keith is in Moscow, Russia. He is married to Viktoria (Vika) and they have a daughter, Olga, and a son Caleb (Sasha). They come to the states every other Christmas and every summer and we go there on the alternate Christmas'.
Jean had two girls, Lisa and Dawn. Jean teaches kindergarten in Marlin.
Martha had two boys, Michael and David. Martha owns Accent Floors in Killeen.
Lester, Jean and I have tried retirement but could not last because we had no outside interests. Jean had taught in Waco schools but came to a much more relaxed atmosphere in Marlin. Lester and I worked for the USDA. Him over 30 years and me about 12. He went to work on the yard crew for McLennan Community College (MCC) in Waco and has since has transferred to their Highland Ranch. He loves to work outside. I work three days a week at the EXXON station in Riesel.
There have been some mini-reunions this past year starting with Jessie Wyatt contacting people on e-mail. While Bro. Wyatt was in Reagan our back yards joined and Jane was my age and Jessie was Jeans. I think Joan was older than Martha. Everyone has really enjoyed them. Seems like there have been different people at each one and Jean and I have renewed many old friendships.
Ann Stricklin Byer
email address: KAS72638@aol.com
P. O. Box 278
Riesel, TX 76682-0278
CHRISTMAS LETTER FROM FORMER REAGAN RESIDENT, JESSI WYATT INNMAN
Today, Monday, December 19, 2005, is a high expectation day for me. I am cooking a turkey, will make a pie and wrap a toy for a child for our homeless dinner tonight. I must get this letter in the mail also because you are important to me.
Each Christmas Season, our church busses in from 300 to 350 homeless people to feed, give blankets, hygiene kits, warm clothes, and toys for the children. We start preparing for all of these, months ahead. Our choir presents their wonderful program that was also performed last evening for the homeless who wish to hear it. The little children on the streets break the heart.
The year about to be gone forever has held many sorrows but so many more joys for me. I will state the sorrows first.
In June, I lost an uncle, Porter J. Brown, in July, I lost my sister Jane, and in August I lost my Mother, Dorothy Brown Wyatt. Right before Thanksgiving, I lost two really good friends. The joyful side to the losses is knowing without a doubt that they all are in a much better place than me. Some of them had suffered for many years. I do miss them.
I now get to some of the many highlights of my year. In the early part of the year, I discovered the Fort Tumbleweed web site for Reagan and after placing my E-mail address under my maiden name, I began to get responses. I thank you Leonard Kubiak for creating the web site.
I thank you Donovan and Sue Kirkpatrick for opening up your home for a delightful reunion of some of our age range. Charlie Curry let me hitch a ride to College Station and Beth Hetherington Boettcher and her Charlie gave me a ride home. I also was reunited with Ben Morris.
Thank you Ben for bringing Ann and Jean Stricklin to see me in Austin about a month later where Leonard joined us for the day from North Austin. I thoroughly enjoyed that day.
Six weeks later, Ben was so kind to open his wonderful place on the Brazos to sixteen of us; Beth and Charlie Boettcher, Carl Wayne and Kay Evans, Norman and Jo Short, Durwood and Renee Funderburk, An, Jean and Martha Stricklin, Donovan Kirkpatrick, Ben, Leonard, who gave me a ride and a friend of Martha’s. We had a delightful day talking and stuffing our faces with so many great dishes and Leonard’s BBQ.
Thank you Ben for hosting me two months later and inviting Jean and Ann to come out. To our delight, Ann ran into Delores and Peggy Kindred and they joined us. There was so much visiting and again, good food. On this trip, I had two short but good visits with Ben’s mom, Mrs. Juanita Morris. It was so good to see her doing well and enjoying working in her yard. The next day, we attended The Episcopal Church with Kay and Carl Wayne, me asking Ben to not let me be the only one standing. Afterwards, The Evans opened their grill to fix a wonderful seafood lunch for the four of us. Now, never in my life have I had someone open their café just for four. A real treat too was the tour of their plant, stable where I met Reagan and Einstein and the shell of their log cabin home going up on the spot.
I did not realize how much I had missed all of you through the years until we all re-connected. Each one of you still had a room in my heart; full of good memories and each one of you have aired out your room and lightened it with your occupation again. You are all very special to me.
I want nothing more than for each of you to stay healthy and seek happiness in bringing it to others. I count my blessings daily and my friends are a large part of them.
My best achievement ever is my three children; Kimberly McDonald, Deborah King and Kenny anastas. My bonus is my grandchildren; Tommy, fourteen, Reece and Rachel nine, and Presley and Peyton five. Bonuses too are my son-in-love Shannon King and daughter-in-love Kelli Anastas.
I will take Amtrak to Cleburne on the 30th to visit friends and then connect with my family in Weatherford to celebrate a late Christmas with them January 1, 2006.
God’s blessings for each of you in the New Year and if He is willing, I will see you all in May at the Reunion.
REAGAN STUDENTS OF THE 50's GATHERED IN REAGAN ON AUGUST 6, 2005
A sizeable number of the Reagan students of the 50's gathered for a BAR-B-Q dinner and fellowship at Ben Morris's place on the Brazos River. Several of my Reagan classmates were there including Jessi Wyatt, Ben Morris, Carl Wayne Evans, Durwood Funderburk, Donavan Kirkpatrick, Norman Short, Beth Hetherington, and their spouses!! We had a great time remembering the good ole days in Reagan!
Reagan's Mt. Zion Baptist Church celebrated it's 112th year on September 4, 2005!
Got the following email from Tonja Taplin :
Rev. Caleb Anderson of Houston, Tx. delivered the sermon.
Rev. Anderson is the son of Ms. Doris Singleton Anderson a former Reaganite and the grandson of Ms. Jessie Mae Anderson, Reaganite.
INFORMATION ON THE WALLACE FAMILY
Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Beatrice Wallace or the Wallace family is asked to call Wilson Janes at (409) 962 3267. Beatrice attended Reagan schools in the late 1930's.
Got this email from Lisa Luther (firstname.lastname@example.org) and wanted to share it with all of you!
Today I found a quilt my great-grandmother Mamie Hetherington made. It has 25 signature’s on it, and one stood out to me, it was Ophelia P. Marks and underneath her name, it had Regan, Texas. I went to your website and the only Ophelia I could find was Ophelia Butler, just wondering if this could be the same person, may never know. Another name I recognized from your website on the quilt was Mildred Davis. Also on the quilt were Lucy, Effie and Lillie, and Margaret (my grandmother) and Mary Hetherington and many other women from my family and former Reagan residents.
The quilt is very old and the center name reads “Mrs. Willis W. Sides” with the date 1939. I don’t know if the quilt was just a gathering of folks who knew Mrs. Sides or what the purpose of the quilt was. Most of the folks names I don’t recognize and so I came to your website to see if any of the names were former Reagan residents. Other last names on the quilt include: Alston, Carl, Petzka (?), Rondeau, Burke, Chandler, Shaunfield, King and Copley. To me the quilt might have a connection with Reagan residents, and I was wondering if anyone knows who Mrs. Sides is? The quilt was in my grandmother’s possession up until she died in 1994, and after 10 years, I finally pulled it out and looked at it today. She must have treasured it, just as she did all her memories of growing up in Reagan Texas.
2005 REAGAN REUNION (October 22/23, 2005)
Jessie Wyatt Innmon, who attended Reagan Elementary in the late 40's and early 50's, sent me the following update about another Reagan reunion.
"What I thought was to be a quiet weekend turned out to grow. Benny had mentioned calling Ann and Jean to come out for dinner, then Ann found out Delores and Peggy Kindred were in Marlin so it became a big party. While there, Delores called Charles in Houston and let me talk to him. He is 73 now and sounds a bit weak but still the same sweet Charles. Then Delores let Benny talk to him and Benny told Charles that he had five women with him who just couldn’t keep their hands off him!
Charles has pulmonary problems and Delores said the six hour evacuation from Houston during Rita nearly stressed him to the max. I promised Charles I would give all my sisters addresses to the girls before they left.
Benny pulled up the Reagan web site and the girls gathered around and were so amazed at the pictures. Peggy said to tell you you left the “d” out of their last name; it is Kindred.
Benny had talked to Carl Wayne and they wanted us to go to the Episcopal church with them Sunday morning. Benny told me the roof would fall in if he went but I assured him churches furnish helmets for such people. I told him not to leave me the only one standing as I knew they are up and down a lot. It was really enjoyable and Benny described the beauty of the place for me.
Afterwards, Carl and Kay had to go home and walk their dogs before opening the grill. They insisted cooking lunch for us there. We went to visit Benny’s mother again for about an hour. She is amazing at 85, still working in her yard. It was good to see her again.
At Carl's place, we had shrimp and fish from Seabrook with all the trimmings and a wonderful slaw that Carl’s and Kay’s cook had prepared. Now, I felt special as I have never had someone open up their restaurant just for me and one other; we had a nice visit. Afterwards, we took the tour of their barn and their plant and where the walls of the log house they are building on the site were. Carl and Kay have much to be proud of. After all that, we went to the conference room and Kay insisted we eat ice cream and strawberry cake. We were so stuffed.
As we were going into church Sunday morning, the front whipped in and the rest of the day got more fierce; it nearly whipped our clothes off and forget any hairdo, ha. I forget mine anyway.
All want to get together sometime after the holidays and before the reunion.
Leonard Kubiak is volunteering to host the next gathering at Fort Tumbleweed sometime after the first of the year.