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Crosby County Biographies

Will and Gertie Ezell
Rose Spray

Individual Photograph Not Available


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Biography

Will Ezell was born in Ft. Worth and after his parents died in 1882, he moved to Tennessee. He and his wife came to Crosby County in May, 1898, in a covered wagon and settled south of Emma, where he farmed and raised stock. Mrs. Ezell died about 1902. Mr. Ezell then married Miss Gertie Smyer.

Will Ezell served as district and county clerk of Crosby County for eighteen years, and was still serving a series of terms started in 1943 at his death, June, 1950. He first served in the position at Emma when it was county seat and served as the first clerk at Crosbyton after the move was completed in 1911. He also served as deputy sheriff under John K. Fullingim and John English, sheriffs of Crosby County. He also served as county surveyor. At the time of his death he was owner of an abstract company and earlier had served as surveyor.

Will Ezell was active in civic work and was very prominent in Old Settler Reunions.

He had four daughters: Mrs. Gayle E. Smith, Mrs. Boyd W. Hare, Mrs. Bryan Ellis and Mrs. Dave Cunningham.

Source: "Through the Years, A History of Crosby County, Texas" by Nellie Witt Spikes and Temple Ann Ellis ©1951
Gertie Mae Smyer, daughter of Henry S. Smyer and Idella Stephens, was born July 07, 1887 in Boyd, Wise County, TX and died June 29, 1980. She married William Franklin Ezell December 01, 1904. They raised their 4 girls in Crosbyton. Their schoolmates and friends knew them as Eleno, Henrene or Hitchie, Toots and Babylove. They were loved by many.
The children of William Franklin Ezell and Gertie Mae Smyer:
Eleanor "Eleno" Ezell
Henry "Hitchie & Henrene" Franklin Ezell
Johnnie Willie "Toots" Ezell
Gertrude "Babylove" Ezell
Info submitted by Cheryl McDonald

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Headstone Inscription & Sentiments

Will F. Ezell
April 15, 1879  Mason Insignia   June 19, 1950

Photo by Linda Hughes

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Father: J.K. Ezell, born TX
Mother: Nannie S. Pinkard, born TX

Obituary

Will Ezell Photo

Services for Will F. (Bill) Ezell, 71, To Be Held This Afternoon at 5:00

Will F. (Bill) Ezell, a resident of Crosby County since 1899 and a long-time public servant of the county, died of a heart attack in his office Monday morning about 9:30 o´clock.

Funeral services are to be held this afternoon, Thursday, at the Crosbyton First Methodist church at 5:00 p.m., with Rev. Loyd Hamilton, pastor, officiating.

Burial will be in the Old Emma cemetery south of Ralls, with King Funeral Home in charge.

Mr. Ezell, 71, was found slumped on the floor near a desk in his office in the courthouse shortly after 9 a.m. by J.A. Dunlap, a farmer living near Lorenzo, who had called on business. Apparently not feeling well, he had been observed sitting in the shade of a tree on the courthouse lawn before going up to his second floor office.

Born in Fort Worth, he moved to Tennessee to live with relatives after his parents died. He came to Crosby county in May, 1899, in a covered wagon. At that time he owned some 1,400 acres of land near Emma and spent several years ranching.

In about 1905 he went to Estacado where he was employed in a drug store. Moving back to Emma he ran for district and county clerk in 1908 and first took office in January of 1909. He was serving in this capacity when the courthouse was moved to Crosbyton and the clerk´s office was in the Citizens National Bank building until the courthouse was completed in 1911.

The present district clerk, Mr. Ezell was completing his fourth term in office at the time of his death. He was a candidate for election unopposed. He had severed the county as a clerk for a total of 18 years.

In addition to his official duties, Mr. Ezell also operated an abstract plant, which he had owned for many years. He also had considerable holdings in Crosbyton and was well known for his generosity in aiding the underprivileged.

Survivors include four daughters: Mrs. Gayle E. Smith, Colusa, Calif.; Mrs. Boyd Hare, Lost Hills, Calif.; Mrs. Bryan Ellis, Freeport, and Mrs. Dave Cunningham, Lipan; a sister, Mrs. C.O. Fowler, Chapel Hill, Tenn. A brother Roy Ezell, who was Parmer county treasurer, died a few months ago at Farwell.

Crosbyton Review, June 19, 1950

Submitted by Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum

Gertrude Ezell

Services for Gertrude Smyer Ezell, 92, are pending at Carter-Adams Funeral Home in Ralls. Ezell died Sunday (June 29,1980) at Community Hospital in Freeport.

She is survived by three daughters, Eleanor Cunningham of Freeport, Henry Ellis of Alvin and Willie Mae Smith of Colusu, California; one brother, L. N. Smyer of Lubbock; two sisters, Edith Bennett of Amarillo and Mary Lee Lockwood of Carlsbad, New Mexico; three grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and one great great granddaughter.

Arrangements are by the Freeport Funeral Home.

Paper unknown, submitted by Cheryl McDonald

Gertrude Ezell

RALLS (Special) - Graveside services for Gertrude Smyer Ezell, 92, of Freeport and formerly of Crosby County, will be at 10 a.m. today in Emma Cemetery south of Ralls, with the Rev. Jerry Golden, pastor of Lorenzo First Baptist Church, officiating.

Burial will be under direction of Carter-Adams Funeral Home.

Mrs. Ezell died Sunday morning at Community Hospital in Freeport of an illness.

She was born in Wise County and moved to Emma in 1892. She then moved to Crosbyton in 1911, where she lived until 1940, when she moved to Amarillo. In 1974, she moved to Freeport.

Survivors include three daughters, Eleanor Cunningham of Freeport, Mrs. Henry Ellis of Alvin and Mrs. Willie Mae Smith of Colusa, Calif.; a brother, Lawrence Smyer, Lubbock; two sisters, Edith Bennett of Amarillo and Mary Lee Lockwood of Carlsbad, N.M.; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.

Lubbock Avalanche Journal, July 1 1980

Submitted by Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum

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