Hood County Texas Genealogical Society

Biographical Note:

The following family biographical note was scanned from the 
Hood County Genealogical Society Newsletter No. 6;   May 1985

My father, Baxter, and his brother Ancen Lafate came to Texas
as young men to seek work. Their uncle, J. P. Mahan, was living
in Hood County, and he served as county judge during the years
1901-1911, Uncle Lafate did not stay long. He moved to Colorado
and married shortly thereafter.

Father found work on the Aiken farm, and he also worked driving
a dray-wagon for Dobbins Freight. He met our mother, Roberta S.
Whitaker when he was working on her father's farm in Peveler
Valley in northern Hood County. They were married in 1909.
They bought forty acres of the Whitaker land and remained there
until early in 1913. They removed then to another farm Grand-
father Whitaker bought near the Fairview Methodist Church where
I was born.

In 1915, our family moved to Arkansas, near Mena, where other
Whitakers lived. However, in late 1916, Father felt he would
like to see his family who were living in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois,
and whom he hadn't seen in many years. We visited in Illinois
for several months and returned to the Whitakers in Arkansas.
Uncle Oliver F, Whitaker had interests in the Louisiana oil fields
and he offered father work there; we remained in Louisiana until
1919, when our Grandfather, Milford Falvious Whitaker, urged us
to return to Arkansas. As an inducement he offered mother forty
acres of land which he deeded to her for the sum of $1.00. After
two years Grandfather decided to return to Hood County, and we
all returned soon thereafter. AS a six year-old I thought it
was really an adventure to make the trip back in a covered wagon.

It was in 1922 that my parents purchased a house and lots on the
Brazos River.  The property line was next to the First Christian
Church on S. Houston and then along the branch to the river.

There was a big barn south of the house, and we children spent
many happy hours playing games in the hay loft. We kept a cow
for many years. During these years father supported his family
by working at the school, driving a freight wagon, and working
in Aiken's grocery and in Wilson's grocery.

In 1935, in the midst of the Depression, father agreed to farm
Uncle Oliver's property, and he joined the Farm Administration
Program. Hard times hurt everyone in those years. Ration stamps
were given for items such as sugar, shoes, tires, coffee, etc.;
everything was in short supply, After nine years father settled
with the F.A.P,, and we moved back into Granbury. We purchased
a small building from B. Jay Jackson, moved it to the north side
of town and remodeled it.

My parents last home was on North Baker St. Father died in 1963
Mother continued to live there with my youngest sister, Inane,
until her health became such that she could no longer keep house.

Odessa Mahan Purselley
Return To Home Page