W. S. Griffin
family information

Source:  Letter in Vertical File, Herman Brown Free Library, Burnet, Texas
Transcribed by JoAnn Myers, December 2007


Letter from Genie (Griffin) DeWolf to Earnest Langford, 12 Jan 1959

Dear Earnest.

I am afraid you have appealed to a very ineffieciant author for information in your planned historical exposition of early day events in the Gum Springs-Taylors Gin-Briggs events. 

I was away from the scene of events from my 3rd year till my sixth, living for a while at Ganns Mill where my sister Belle was born.  Then on to Austin where my brother Frank was born, then back to the farm my grandfather had given my mother and father there in Burnet County where I was born in 1879.  Pinckney was also born on the farm.  Then away to Georgetown where Sister Pansy was born.  Next stop -- Lampasas.  No birth there, but San Antonio where Daisy was born.  From there we went to Kempner where Ivy was born.  Back to the farm in 1890 where I arrived to attend the Gum Springs school under Prof. Tabor and his daughter Miss Emma -- 2 years.  Then my brother West was born there in 1896.  By that time I had entered the Florence College after teaching a Summer Subscription school at Briggs.  I taught at Oakalla after that in 1898 - 1899 and 1899-1900.

I married Hill DeWolfe in 1900 and moved to the ranch with my own private school.  Homer and Clinton started in at Briggs, but Homer's grandfather wanted him to come to San Angelo when he was 14 and he did and I taught Clinton at home until Hill had lost his health and we sold the ranch and moved to Lampasas, where Homer entered school and graduated -- while Clinton volunteered for the Marines in World War 1.

Then we went to Meridian and Hill took over management of Ferguson ranch.  He [Hill] had a stomach operation at Scott and White's in Temple and they told him to stay off a horse or he would be in worse condition as they had cut out the duodenal canal where his food emptied into his stomach and he was so thin they were sure he had a cancer as his mother and his father's mother had died of cancer.  He soon developed a new ulceration and they told him that he could not be helped by surgery any more.  As he had what they said was Acute Melancholia and we would have to travel with him to lift him out of it as ranching had been his life work, we sold the ranch and put it into a moving picture show -- on the road.  Carried everything but a place to set it up. 

For 15 years we lived on the road, from a week to only a few days at a place.  When the depression came and we had to stop, Homer was in the Legislature and he and Dayton Moses, who was attorney for the Stock Association got Hill a job as Inspector for Cattle Ticks and Sheep scabies.  He held that for over 16 years and we lived all over Texas, till he was put on the Stock yards at Fort Worth and contracted Undulant fever.

The third attack made an invalid of him.  We had to go live with our only daughter, Hildagene, and her husband and three children.  Mr. Wiseley and she graduated in the same class from the University of Texas.  And married the next Sept.  Jimmy was with Humble and they valued his services as accountant and sent him to places where accounts were balled up or where they were to put in new districts to do the buying and keep accounts.  We went to them in 1949 and the eight years we moved with them to eight different towns or Humble Camps. 

I am telling you the above GYPSY life I've lived so you will see why I cannot assist you in your problems.

I went to school with Jim Smith in 1897-1898.  Taught at Oak Alla 1898-1899 and 1899-1900.  Married June 1900.  I was interrupted in the above when I left out that I taught 2 years at Oak Alla with Jim Cook, son of Judge Cook of Burnet.

My father was W. S. Griffin - a Missionary Baptist preacher.  He was not an itenerant minister, but always had 3 or 4 country churches where he preached on alternate Sundays.  He never accepted any salary, not even when offered it.  I suppose he was a REAL MISSIONARY.

I don't remember his _____ school.  Evelyn sent me the Bertram paper with your article.  I wondered why you left Homer out of it as he graduated from U. Texas Law school then was elected to the House of Representatives where he wrote and passed ___ College Law.  After 2 terms there he was asst atty for 2 terms on land ... [cut off at end of page]
Then he was appointed on State Board of Education for 6 year term, but died in the middle of it with strep pneumonia at 40, over 17 years ago.  Hill died 2 years ago.

Ernest, [will] you please pardon this messy letter.  I am in my 80th year and have heart condition.  I can't sit up and type long at a time.

[signed]
Genie DeWolfe

 

 

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