Museum Musings (Dec. 18, 2019)

Posted 12/17/19

Recently the Museum received a donated photograph, from Claudia Crouch Goolsby (Madisonville High School Class of 1967) of the MHS Class of 1932! It includes her dad, Charles Crouch, with classmates Bernice Featherston, Lemma Malone (Dean), Cecille Ash (Chambless), Jimmie Rappe (Bailey), Nora Bells Cotton (Shanks), Kathleen Cooper (Sullivan), Mavinee Mayfield (Jones), Martha Wallace (Hubbard), Louise Whitten (Staples), Winona Bailey (Ott), Eva Jewell Batson (McDuffie), Pauline Cash (Thomas), Lucille Lucas (Garrison), Helen Pearson (Schmick), Reginald Rix, W.R. Cash, Woodrow Hensarling, Rodney Chambless, and Ross Madole. The class sponsor included the photo was Mrs. G.M. Byers, who I found was Nettie Elizabeth Boyd Byers.

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Museum Musings (Dec. 18, 2019)

Posted

Recently the Museum received a donated photograph, from Claudia Crouch Goolsby (Madisonville High School Class of 1967) of the MHS Class of 1932! It includes her dad, Charles Crouch, with classmates Bernice Featherston, Lemma Malone (Dean), Cecille Ash (Chambless), Jimmie Rappe (Bailey), Nora Bells Cotton (Shanks), Kathleen Cooper (Sullivan), Mavinee Mayfield (Jones), Martha Wallace (Hubbard), Louise Whitten (Staples), Winona Bailey (Ott), Eva Jewell Batson (McDuffie), Pauline Cash (Thomas), Lucille Lucas (Garrison), Helen Pearson (Schmick), Reginald Rix, W.R. Cash, Woodrow Hensarling, Rodney Chambless, and Ross Madole. The class sponsor included the photo was Mrs. G.M. Byers, who I found was Nettie Elizabeth Boyd Byers.

On the back of the photo class officers were listed as President Woodrow Hensarling, Vice-President Kathleen Cooper, and Secretary Charles Crouch, as well as the facts that Helen Pearson was valedictorian and Charles Crouch salutatorian. Mr. Crouch had later added the last names of the females that married, which I included in parentheses. We plan to frame and display this photo soon.

Lately the Museum has received donations in memory of our late curator, Jane Day Reynolds, and some others as well. Such donations are always appreciated.

Christmas is in the air, so I searched our local county history books for local Christmas history. I learned that the Madison County Chamber of Commerce has been organizing our Christmas parade every year since 1978. Since the book was published in 1984, so I checked about recent parades and found that remains a fact.

I also found a funny Christmas story about Mattie Farris Bruce (1887-1971). “Around Christmas time one year, Mattie was on her way home from work when a policeman stopped her after she ran through a red light. He asked her if she saw that red light she just passed. She said ‘Yes, I did. I thought it was a Christmas light.’ She got away without his giving her a ticket too!”

Christmas and accompanying family gathering have always made for a good time for weddings. Jim Hensarling (1869-1958) and Ollie Emma Runnels (1873-1945) married on Christmas Day. 1889. They built a lovely home that has since been sold but still stands on State Street. They were great-grandparents of my schoolmates, Erin Ivie Crocker and Linda Ivie Cousins.

Also, Annie Elizabeth Lang (1892-1984) and Daniel Webster Cole (1887-1980) married on Christmas Day, 1912. Their children included A.D. “Buck” Cole, Blanche Cole Fannin, Boyce Gene Cole, and Dana Cole Lightsey. Grandchildren include Jerry Fannin, Danny Cole, Linda Fannin Fraley, Ralph Cole, King Cole, Allison Cunningham, Lori Smith, and Amanda Murphy.

Three and four years ago at this holiday season, I shared in Musings Christmas memories gathered from local residents. I was tempted to rerun either or both, but I reconsidered. Instead, I am sharing this favorite of mine:

The late Blanche Farris Dillon was born in 1901 in the Jenkins community in Madison County, near Maude and Caps Westmoreland and their family. Blanche once confided, “Growing up, I absolutely loved to go to Aunt Maude’s. She was a wonderful cook, was very creative, and loved to do things in luxurious, elegant ways.” Every year Mrs. Westmoreland hosted ‘Christmas Dining’, a meal just for children. Each of her children could invite a guest, and often Blanche was included.

One year, Aunt Maude walked into the dining room carrying platter holding a big shiny red mound that jiggled. Blanche was fascinated and never forgot that strawberry Jell-O, which she had never before seen! I’ll bet you can’t remember your first sight of Jell-O.

Time for Christmas shopping is short now, and some of you may still be searching for the perfect gift. If the recipient enjoys local history, the Museum can help you out. Consider some of the suggestions below.

There are two books of History of Madison County, Volumes 1 and 2. The first, published in 1984, is no longer available in book form, but instead as a DVD (computer disc), for $50. Via computer you may view that book’s 657 pages, great photographs, and fascinating facts. The second, published in 1997, IS available in hardback for $75. It consists 284 pages and many photographs.

Pictorial History of Madison County, published in 1994, consists of 95 pages and is available for $35. It contains many photos of schools and their students around the county long ago, as well as family and business photos well over a century old. The book is full of treasures!

We offer two cookbooks, each entitled Recipes & Remembrances, for $10 each. The cream-colored one was published in 2009 and the blue one in 2016. Both are chockfull of mouthwatering recipes and include some enchanting photos also.

Madison County Memories Vol. 1 was published in 2004 in paperback and sells for $10. Locals, including Hugh Clark, Winifred Corley Grivich, Sandra Guice, Ray Isgitt, Earl McWhorter, Jr., Winona Charlton Salinas, and more, contributed memories that will make you laugh, cry, or both. My only complaint about this book is that I am tired of waiting for Volume 2. HELP!

We also offer a charming depiction of our historic Madison County Courthouse that burned on Mother’s Day, 1967, for only $10. I feel like it is appropriate for framing. We also sell sets of six note cards showing the same courthouse, for $6.

Madison County Museum, located at 201 North Madison, has no curator for the time being. We are depending on volunteers to keep the door open. It is normally open Wednesday-Saturday, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., but that may not be a fact the last few weeks of this month.

If you want to come in and wish to make sure we are open, may call the number given at the very bottom below. In case of no answer, call the above-named author at 936-348-1425, and I will try to help you. Should you want to mail something, the mailing address is P.O. Box 61, Madisonville, TX 77864. We would like to visit with you about our need for volunteers. Go in or call 936-348-5230.

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