Friday, July 23, 2021

Linnie Lawson and Her Sister, Stephenville, Texas 1900s

"Aunt Lennie Lawson + her sister."

This is a photo of Linnie King Lawson and one of her sisters, probably Mahala King Walker. Since they're not labeled, it's hard to tell which sister is which. Any guesses?

Linnie Esther King was born in Mississippi in June 1882 to parents Allen and Rebecca King. She was one of 7 children, including her older sister, Mahala, younger brothers Thomas, Allen, Fernandes, and Andrew, and a little sister named Ursula. The family lived together on their family farm in Stephenville, Texas. Mahala, also sometimes called Ollie, was 4 years Linnie's senior. I believe that by the time this photo was taken sometime in the early 1900s, both sisters would already have been married.

In December 1901, 18-year-old Linnie married Winfield Scott Lawson. The couple lived in Thurber, Texas, and raised 3 children there: Mayme, Doy, and David. 

Mahala married William U. Walker in June 1907. They lived in nearby Stephenville and had 7 children, one of whom was named Linnie after her sister.

Linnie's husband Winfield, who worked as a truck driver, was drafted into the military in 1918 at the start of WWI. His draft registration card describes him as "stout" with brown hair and brown eyes. Their son Doy worked in the oil fields as a young man, while David assisted his father in his trucking business.  Both sons went on to serve in WWII. After her husband passed away in 1937, Linnie lived with her daughter, Mayme, Mayme’s husband, Maynard, and their 3 children. Linnie Lawson passed away in 1949 at age 67.

Mahala’s husband, William, worked various jobs to support his family. In 1910, he is listed as an artist, specifically a landscape painter. Mahala meanwhile is working at a feed store. In 1920, William is a miller at a flour mill. In 1930, his occupation is listed as “laborer” in the crude oil industry. In 1940, at age 66, William is a farmer. He passed away at home in Stephenville in 1954. Mahala lived another 20 years before passing away in 1974 at age 97.

If you know who these ladies may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Ernest Haywood Miller, Texas, 1910s

Ernest Haywood Miller was born in Louisiana in August 1892 to parents Hubbard and Priscilla Miller. In 1900, Ernest and his 4 siblings, Octavia, Ruth, Clemmie, and Seabourn, are living with their parents on a farm in the small town of Muddy Fork, Arkansas. By 1910, the family had relocated to Silver Valley, Texas, where 17-year-old Ernest is working with his father on the farm. The family also gained three new members, Emma, Norah, and Onnie. 

In April 1917, the United States joined World War I, and in June of that year, Ernest registered for the draft. Just a few months later, in August, he married Lola Jane Brush, in Shackleford, Texas. They were only together a brief time before Ernest was shipped out to France with the 121st Infantry, 31st Division. They arrived in October, where the unit was broken up to serve as replacement groups for other units and sent directly to the front.

While Ernest fought overseas, Lola remained at home in Texas, pregnant with their first child. The baby was born sometime early in 1918 amidst the rapidly worsening Flu Epidemic overtaking the country. According to information left by a family member on Lola's Find A Grave page, Lola was nursing others ill with the flu in Cove, Arkansas when she herself became infected. Her sister, Minnie, cared for Lola until her death on November 8th, 1918. Her baby passed soon after. It is difficult to imagine what Ernest must have gone through, learning that his wife and child had died while he was so far from home. 

Ernest returned to Texas in May 1919 and settled in Henrietta. It was here that he met Flora Wilson, the daughter of a local farmer. They married in 1923 when Ernest was 31 and Flora was 17. They moved in with the Wilsons and lived on their farm in Wichita, Texas. Ernest was unable to work due to a disability he possibly gained during the war and his father-in-law may have helped support the couple. They had 2 sons, Ernest Haywood, Jr. (born 1927) and William (born 1928), and a daughter, Wanda (born 1930). Both Ernest Jr. and William would go on to serve in World War II. 

Ernest Haywood Miller passed away in 1959 at the age of 66 and was buried in Wichita County Cemetery in Wichita Falls, Texas. 

If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!