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Crosby County Biography

In Remembrance of

Picture of Thomas David
Tom and Jennie Davis

Rose Spray


Service


Biography

May 1773 a tract of land in South Carolina was granted to Thomas Davis by King George 3rd of Great Britain. Thomas deeded it to son Daniel. Ruben was born to Daniel and wife, Azuba, in 1794. Ruben married Temperance Franks, moving to Alabama where Benjamin was born May 25, 1831. Benjamin married Mary Smith moving to Luka, Mississippi. There Thomas Jefferson Davis was born December 15, 1863. He married Mary Virginia Flint September 9, 1888.

Tom and Jennie moved to Navarro County, Texas in 1893, buying a black land farm five miles southeast of Dawson where their ten children were born. They moved by train from Dawson to Crosby County in 1918 and purchased a section of land almost in the center of three communities, Farmer and Cone in Crosby County and McCoy in Floyd County. The land was 12 miles northwest of Ralls. The family placed their membership in Cone Methodist Church where they served in many different capacities.

Their two eldest daughters, Roxie and Ruby, were attending college at T.W.C., Fort Worth, and Bascom, their eldest son was a member of the Armed Forces serving in France at that time. The other children, Benjamin "Bennie," Aubrey, Gladys, Joyce, Kermit, Roleta and Hugh Lynn moved with their parents to the very diversified farm.

Their introduction to the Plains was not a happy one, for their father became very ill during the blizzard of that year. The one bright spot was the new, friendly neighbors who came to visit and to help in many ways. Dick Harris and his wife will always be remembered for their kindness during that time.

Roxie and Ruby came to live with the family and to teach school at McCoy, where the other children attended school. A Model T Ford car was means of transportation over four miles of narrow, rough county roads. During the winter, the curtains on the car, with their peep-holes of isin-glass, never seemed to stay fastened, so bricks and flat irons were heated and placed in the car to provide some comfort to cold feet as were quilts and lap robes used to protect against the cold blasts of winter winds.

Much of our food was raised on the farm for we had a large orchard, garden and our own meat, home-cured-delicious with no additives!

Fruit was dried on top of our house, turnips were put in pits, or "hilled-up" for winter use. Beans and black-eyed peas were dried, pumpkins were kept until Christmas. Neighbors helped each other during hog killing time, grinding sausage by hand, frying it down to be sealed in crock jars, putting the hams, shoulders and bacon slabs down to cure in a meat box. Lard was rendered in the iron pot, using the fresh cracklings to make lye soap afterwards. My father went to Ralls to purchase staple groceries, such as sugar, flour and syrup, also coal for heat in winter and to cook with in summer, the trip taking an entire day.

Transient cotton pullers came through our area to help gather cotton in the fall, but each bale had to be hauled to Ralls for ginning until a gin was built at Cone, then later at Farmer.

Wheat harvest was a long drawn out period of hard work. There was good fellowship and food shared with neighbors who worked together to haul the shocked wheat bundles to the stationary thrasher operated by a long belt off a big tractor that had large iron wheels, but no tires!

When Roxie married J. D. Travis (8-1-1920) of Cone and Ruby married Ophel Jennings of McCoy (6-13-1920) they gave up teaching and the other family members of school age walked two and one half miles to Farmer to school. Bascom came home to go into farming with our father and Bennie. Bascom married Nina Elliot (6-25-1925) and Bennie married Lois Teal (10-28-1928). Aubrey was handicapped and lived at home until his death in 1946. Gladys trained as a nurse in Waco, graduating from Providence Hospital.

She had signed up to go overseas during World War II, commissioned as 2nd Lt. U.S. Nurses Army Corp, but lost her life in a car accident while on her way home for a last visit before shipping out.

Joyce, Kermit, myself and Hugh Lynn graduated from Ralls High School. Joyce married Carolyn McCall (11-27-1949) and lives in Petersburg; Kermit married Jackie Mathews (3-22-1941) and lives in Deming, New Mexico. I, Roleta, married Talma T. Teal (11-19-1933) and we live in Eads, Colorado.

My parents are deceased and are buried in Cone Cemetery, as are Bennie, Aubrey and Gladys. Bascom is buried in Lubbock Cemetery. Roxie and Ruby live in Hereford. Both J. D. and Ophel are deceased.

Woodrow Hugh Lynn, married Edith Newman June 4, 1949. He served five years in the armed services during W.W. II, and was awarded a bronze star. He received his Masters Degree from West Texas State College at Canyon, was a teacher in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. After specialized training he is teaching and training ill and handicapped students at Carrie Tingley Hospital.

Roxie was many years a teacher. She also was a substitute teacher at Cone and a PTA worker. She and J. D. loved to sponsor youth activities of the church and community. A new school building was erected at Cone in 1923. A drama club was organized during the depression with J. D. as president. The community furnished its own entertainment. For years, plays and special programs were presented by young and old for the community´s enjoyment, usually to a full house. It became a custom to present the play to nearby communities in exchange for a return evening entertainment. (Compiled by Roxie Davis Travis and Roleta Davis Teal)

Source: "A History of Crosby County 1876-1977" © Crosby County Historical Commission 1978; Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas.
Transcribed by Cheryl McDonald

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