Posts Tagged ‘Hamilton’

Across the Fence was a weekly feature from the Hamilton Herald News written by Arvord Abernethy. This is a compilation of several Christmas pieces by Abernethy. — DH

Memories are wonderful things to possess, if they are pleasant ones. It seems that the farther we travel down this life way, the more we look into our rear view mirror.

The memories of Christmas season probably stay with a person more than any others, as it was at that time of the year we would have our fondest dreams. Not only would there be thoughts of the toys we wished Santa would bring, but there would be school and church programs, and most of all a family Christmas dinner at Grandmother’s.

Some time before Christmas, out teacher would make the outlines of holly leaves and berries and Santa Clauses with her jelly pan, and we would get to color them during drawing class. We would then glue all the leaves and berries together to make a wreath to put in each of the classroom windows. The Santas found a place along the top of the blackboard.

The first Christmas tree I remember was when I was in the second grade. Out in western Oklahoma you hardly got to see a tree, much less a Christmas tree. The teachers found a dead peach tree and covered all of the limbs with cotton, and to me it was beautiful. We had drawn names in class and all of us had put in a nickel to buy the teacher a present, so the last day before the holidays was a high day in our lives.

Christmas at home was also a time of anticipation and good times. It had been a year since any of us had received a toy of any kind, so anything we received found a glad welcome. No one out there had a fireplace, as there were no trees for wood, so we would imagine that the sewing machine looked like a fireplace and would hang our stockings on it. The next morning they would be filled with an apple, an orange and candy and nuts.

One year one of my brothers received a fire truck and one of the ladders was missing. Dad suggested that Santa might have lost when he came through the yard gate. We ran out there and sure enough it was there, and the reality of a Santa was strongly fixed in our minds.

There is a lot of difference in toys then and now. A rubber ball or a top was about as mechanical as anything you got. A little red wagon would have wheels that would turn. If a girl got a doll that would close her eyes when she was laid down, she got the latest in mechanical development.

Have you noticed what kind of toys and games they are advertising this year? Many of them have little computer units in them. They say those units are about the size of your thumb nail, but can do nearly as much as a human brain can do. The units are called chips. We had chips when I was a kid, but it was something you got out in the cow pasture to burn in the stove.  Them wuz the good ole days.

My sincere wish for each of you is that you will find the true peace and joy that Christ came to bring on that first Christmas Day.

If you need something to get you into the true mood for Christmas, attend the singing of the cantata “The Glory of Christmas” at the First Baptist Church on Wednesday, December 17, and Sunday, December 21, at 7 p.m.

Over 40 adult singers from different churches are in the choir along with a children’s choir.

This is a very spirited piece of music that you will enjoy and get your Christmas off to a good start.

If you happened to look to the eastern sky after five o’clock last Tuesday evening, the fourth, you saw a sight that seldom occurs–three stars (I should say planets were real close together with the old man in the moon standing nearby.

At the top was Jupiter, the largest of the planets, large enough to swallow 1,300 earths.  Next in line was Saturn, the one that wears the hula hoops around its waist, the largest one being 170,000 miles in diameter. Next was Venus, brightest of all planets due to the reflective quality of its surface.  Since Venus was named after the goddess of love and beauty, why shouldn’t she be the brightest?

The waining moon stood nearby, but had his back turned to the beauties as though eh was a little embarrassed to be in such famous company.

Wish I had time to drop by and wish to each of you the merriest of Merry Christmases. Remember that feeling of happiness we had at Christmas time when we were kids? May you find it again this year.

We often measure the happiness of Christmas by the number of gifts we receive. Some of the dearest gifts we receive are not always wrapped in colorful paper and fancy bows which will soon be tossed in the wastebasket, but may be wrapped in a warm, friendly smile and greeting or a sincere handclasp.

A small gift you may receive, and you can also give, yet is measureless in value, will be those three little words, “I Love You”, when wrapped in the arms of the giver. Another gift suggestion: a few “Thank Yous” all wrapped and tied with sincerity will let others know of your appreciation of kindnesses and favors of the past year. It might be appropriate to wrap an “I’m sorry” in a package of love and give to someone. The joy could be boundless.

Many of you have had a cloud of sorrow to darken your blue skies during the past year, but may it have passed away to where you can feel the warmth and brightness of the Son-the Son of God, whose birthday we are celebrating.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


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Jack’s Self Service Grocery

Contributed by Tom Leeth

Contributed by Tom Leeth

Robert Vernon “Jack” Leeth  entered business on his own in Hamilton  in 1926 at age 19, as the owner and manager of the 1st Cash and Carry Grocery in Hamilton–Jack’s Self-Service Grocery-.  Until this store opened, all grocery shopping was done by bringing or calling grocery lists to the grocery store for employees to fill.

Hamilton Market

Jack Leeth built the Hamilton Market place around 1933 or 1934. Photo from Tom Leeth

Jack Leeth built the Hamilton Market place around 1933 or 1934. Photo from Tom Leeth

Jack built this store about 1933-34. He ran it as Hamilton Market Place until late 1930s when Clinton Leeth, Jack’s cousin joined him and opened L & L Auto Supply.  Along in the early 40s, Jack sold the building to Clinton.  During the war years it was terribly difficult to get merchandise to sell and it eventually went out of business in this location.  He later went into the feed and seed business and was located in several different locations over the years until his death in 1972.

Note the unique motto:  “We buy what you have to sell; we sell what you have to buy.”  The first part of the motto appears on the sign toward the left (north) end of the building. The other part of the motto appears on the south end of the Hamilton Market Place sign.

You can also see the sign for the Ice Plant just at the north end of the Hamilton Market Place building.  Not visible in the picture, but located south of the building was the old steam laundry which was run for a number of years by the Havens family.  Their son, Bill, was a 1948 graduate of Hamilton High school.

Photo Contributed by Jack's son Tom Leeth.

Photo Contributed by Jack's son Tom Leeth.

An alternate picture which is a bit lighter and might print better.   The other picture would obviously been on a Saturday when every farmer near and far came to town, many to sell their eggs, cream, butter, pecans, wool, mohair and even the dreaded skunk pelt. Jack would then load all these purchases up and take them to Fort Worth on Saturday night to either Swift and Company or Armour and Company. — ECW

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Front view of the church.

Directions: From the southeast corner of the courthouse square in Hamilton (intersection of Hwy. 36 and Bell Street) proceed east (toward Gatesville) 3 blocks.  Turn right (south) on Reagan Street which will also be FM 932 & FM 1241.  After 5 blocks FM 932/1241 turns left on Standefer Street for one block and  right on S. Dempster Street.  Four block later FM932/1241 turns left (east) and leaves Hamilton.  Almost a mile out of Hamilton FM 932 turns left to Aleman and FM1241 continues straight.  Stay on FM1241 about 3.5 miles.  Watch for a church-shaped sign (across the road from a tall faded-pink water tower) pointing to Blue Ridge Baptist Church.  Two gravel roads join FM1241 at this point. The west portion of the Blue Ridge Cemetery will be on the left side of the road. Take the gravel road on the left and proceed east to the end of the road.

The Blue Ridge Baptist Church was organized 10 July, 1880, as the Blue Ridge Missionary Baptist Church of Christ and my great-grandparents, James Lemuel Grisham, Sr. and his wife Margaret Amanda Jones Grisham were among the charter members. When Margaret Amanda Jones Grisham died 18 November, 1936, she was the last remaining charter member. Other charter members were William Robert Richey, Sarah Ann Wright Richey, and likely W. S. Stephens.

Church Deed

Church Deed

Apparently Blue Ridge was admitted to the Hamilton County Baptist Association in 1880 (one of only two years for which associational minutes are not available.) This church has the last remaining tabernacle (which was built in 1912) in Hamilton County. On 24 January, 1891, a lot was purchased from John Hannah Brown for the sum of ten dollars. (Hamilton County Deed Records, Book 6, Page 172.) On 30 April, 1892, James William Massie was given a contract to build a church building by the building committee which was composed of John Hannah Brown, Christopher Columbus Powell, James Marion Allen, L. P. Foster, and E. A. Willis. Massie would be paid $100 on 1 November, 1892, and fifty dollars in work. He was to construct a 44 ft by 26 ft building within three months. In 1923 the church was remodeled with a south wing added so that the building was “T-shaped.” A Delco power plant was added at this time to provide lighting. Electricity was added in 1939. A Sunday School room was added on the east side in 1976. In 1988 the Texas Baptist Men built a fellowship hall with a kitchen, bathrooms, and water.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

My father, Robert Verne Crain, was a deacon and treasurer in this church for many years. My mother, Clara Elsie Fergusson Crain, taught the ladies Sunday School and was Church Clerk for many years. I was church pianist during my years of high school

More About the Blue Ridge Community:

More About Blue Ridge Baptist Church:

See more ABC Wednesday.

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Baptist work in Hamilton began in the fall of 1873. Hamilton Missionary Baptist Church was admitted to the Leon River Association the following year. The church met in a school until 1882 when it begin meeting in the Presbyterian Church building. FBC’s current property on S. Bell Street was purchased in 1888. In 1896 FBC began constructing its first building. — DEH

Origninal FBC Hamilton Building

Origninal FBC Hamilton Building

Built in 1896-1897

Built in 1896-1897

Constructed of native stone by James Malcolm “Jim” Tomlinson. When this building was destroyed by fire  on 6 February, 1924, the Baptists met in the courthouse until a brick building could be completed in 1925. — ECW

Donated by

Donated by George Morrow Carlton after the eath of his wife Fronia in 1921. Mr. Carlton’s second wife, Mrs. Marcie Wysong was organist for many years.

South side of building. Auditorium was on the second floor.

Building was completed in February, 1925 and burned 27 May, 1970. South side of building. Auditorium was on the second floor.

Southwest Corner of building.

Southwest Corner of building.

The current FBC Building was dedicated August 1971

The current FBC Building was dedicated August 1971

The  Seth & Mabell Moore and  John Crea McCaleb  Youth and Family Life Center

The Seth & Mabell Moore and John Crea McCaleb Youth and Family Life Center was decicated March 31, 1996.

More About FBC Hamilton:

Be sure to visit the That’s My World! blog.

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William Thatcher Baker, Sr.  1830-1884

William Thatcher Baker, Sr. 1830-1884

Ohio was named by the late William Thatcher Baker, father of Dr. Charles C. Baker, Sr., for his native state, Ohio. William Thatcher Baker was born 10 October, 1830, in Licking County, OH. On 10 August, 1877, William T. Baker purchased 320 acres of land nine miles south of Hamilton from A. E. Fort for $640. His two oldest sons, Jim and Francis, were sent to oversee the building of a new house to which the family moved. Mr. Baker also built a store.

James Artemas "Jim" Baker  1859-1917

James Artemas "Jim" Baker 1859-1917

When William Thatcher Baker was appointed postmaster on 4 May, 1882, and he named the post office Ohio.  His salary as postmaster was $4.00 per year. Mail delivery was once a week to Mr. Baker’s store. Mail service improved to twice a week in 1883. William T. Baker died on 12 August, 1884, and Ramer Gooch purchased Baker’s store and moved the store and the Post Office of Ohio from the Plum Creek location three miles south to the village which had sprung up around James A. Carter’s mill on the Cowhouse and thence, the village at Carter’s Mill became known as Ohio. The Ohio Post Office closed 30 October, 1920, when mail service was moved to Evant. The second location of Ohio was 11 ½ miles southeast of Hamilton.

The picture of the Hogg Ranch House is from the July 22, 2004 issue of The Hamilton Herald-News.  Sent to The Hamilton Herald-News by Elizabeth Grahame, of Edinburgh, Scotland.  Ms. Grahame is the granddaughter of James C. K. Hogg.

The picture of the Hogg Ranch House is from the July 22, 2004 issue of The Hamilton Herald-News. Sent to The Hamilton Herald-News by Elizabeth Grahame, of Edinburgh, Scotland. Ms. Grahame is the granddaughter of James C. K. Hogg.

In 1874the brothers, Archie and James C. K. Hogg, arrived in Hamilton County, TX, from Scotland and bought 4,000 acres of land on the Cowhouse. Before 1900 the Hogg Ranch was divided into smaller tracts and the brothers returned to Scotland.

Other early Ohio settlers were the families of Clint Owens, Wm. B. Ballard, James N. Billingsley, J. J. Ray, Sterling Gooch, Sam Stiles, M. N. Elam, Sr. and the Handys, Rhoads, Parrishs, Boyds, Hedgepeths, Blairs Hamptons and Pattersons. Sam Stiles purchased a 1500 acre ranch near Ohio in 1875. In 1879 Stiles built a nice home with lumber being hauled from Waco. The Stiles home then became the social center of the community.

From about 1886 to 1920 Ohio had a cotton gin, a flour and corn mill, a post office, drugstore, blacksmith shop, a woodsman lodge, and a few retail businesses. Electricity came to the Ohio community in the 1940’s. The general store at Ohio closed in 1943. Live Oak SchoolPlum Creek and Carter’s Mill on the Cowhouse opened in the 1880’s. Live Oak School was located on the property now occupied by Live Oak Cemetery.  In 1871 Henry Jones Carter sold his property at Ohio to J. M. Owens and moved to Blue Ridge. located about half way between Ohio on

No traces of the village of Ohio remain.  FM 1241 runs through the Ohio Community which was located east of the Live Oak Cemetery on County Road 424 and west of the Liberty Community at County Road 420.

Ohio Singing School, 1904 submitted by Norene Brian Walls

Ohio Singing School, 1904 submitted by Norene Brian Walls

My grandmother has written on the back of this picture that it was a singing school group at Ohio, TX October 2, 1904. This was also Tom and Annie Smith’s (George Thomas “Tom” Smith and  Cynthia Ann “Annie” (Neal) Smith) wedding day. I can identify many of the Smiths and Neals in the picture. Marion Neal is on the left side with one hand on a tree.   –NoreneEditors Note: To make the picture smaller, much of the background has been removed.  The background resembles Parsleys Crossing.  Live Oak and Parsleys Crossing are in the Ohio area.– ECW

More About the Ohio Community

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