Edna McLEMORE (Photo)
Lettie's family lived near the Gaspar
River in Logan County, KY. She was the oldest child
of a large family, her father having married several
times. The family was poor, according to letters
written by her mother to an older half sister, Letitcia
Berry. Lettie was no doubt named for this aunt.
Lettie's subsequent life in West Texas was
no different, because life was very hard for her family
in that environment. She always said that to she
was left handed, both hands had to work and we do not
Lettie was a charter member of the First
Baptist Church in Lamesa. She had to work some
distance to church, but hat and gloves and fan went with
her as she was very much the lady. Her kids used to
say that whenever they had a few pennies, they were
required to contribute to the church building fund.
They surely had a large ration of "Hellfire and
Brimstone preaching" in their young lives.
Lettie would read her Bible everyday, sitting in a
straight backed chair, and then she would fold her hands
and mediate about what she had read.
Some of my early memories include the
sifting of the chaff, no biblical reference
intended. We put wheat into bedsheet and tossed it
to separate the hulls and the grain. There were
corn shucking after the crop was dry. The corn
would be taken then to the millers for grinding into corn
meal. We ate a lot of cornbread and even more
homemade biscuits. Some children took biscuits to
school in their lard bucket lunch boxes. That was
often all they had. Aunt Francie said that everyone
was really glad to have fresh green beans when they were
ready, as there was not much in the way of fresh fruit
and vegetables. My mother told of watering the
large garden with five gallon buckets.
Grandmother Lettie would install a quilting
frame which hung from the ceiling. When a quilt top
was ready, she stretched it inside the frame and invited
ladies to come and help quilt it. I finished up one
of Grandma Lettie's applique quilts, featuring my baby
clothes. I decided that was the hardest work I had
ever done...to stretch your body over a frame and make
those tiny stitches by hand was laborious. Lettie
usually pieced her quilts by hand, although she had a
treadle sewing machine, which was said to have been
delivered on the same day that I was born in Grandma's
home. My mother Elsie said that she worked and made
the payments on that machine, which could not have been
large payments, but mother said it was hard to get 15
cents together in those depression days. The warm
woolen patchwork quilts made of the boys old clothing,
though scratchy, were real snuggly on a cold winter
night. The sewing machine was put to making dresses
for the girls from the feed sacks fabrics they collected.
On wash day and house cleaning day, Lettie
took off her usual bonnet and put on a bandana. She
washed the old fashion way, boiling the clothes in the
yard and scrubbing then on a board. Wash day was
Monday. Don't know what happened when the sand was
blowing on a Monday. She cleaned house on Saturday,
taking a brush and dustpan and sweeping piles of sand
from the window sills. Lettie had a sneeze that
could be redistribute all the dust in the entire
house. For a gal of five food one, she had a
powerful sneeze. Joe and Lettie raised a family
that loved and respected each other. That was quite
an accomplishment. Lettie died at ninety in Hale
Center, Texas Rest Home and was laid to rest in Lamesa
Memorial Cemetery, beside her husband and their daughter
Dorothy Jean, who died at 17.
Submitted by Pat McKinney Grant
Joseph Beauchamp SHACKELFORD
Susan Shackelford, J.B.'s
mother deeded land to him.
Joe owned a sawmill and lumber yard in
Auburn, KY. According to daughter Elsie, he cut some 150
acres of oak trees and made lumber of same.
Joe Beauchamp Shackelford was living with
his mother, Susan, at the time of the 1910 census.
He was 28, Susan made application for a pension for Joe
Green Shackelford's service in the Civil War on Aug. 29,
1914, Logan County, KY #3414. He was apparently
listed as Joseph T. Shackelford on the application.
Taken for a magazine listing pensions in Kentucky.
This was shortly after Joe Beauchamp married and left
home, taking was was presumably Susan's only means of
support. According to Joe Car Shackelford,
"one George Shackelford, a doctor who had been
captured and taken to Mexico, after his release urged the
family to come to Texas. His son, along with the
Wassons, Hendersons and J.B. Shackelford were heading to
Old Mexico in 1916. They arrived in South Central
Texas and heard about cheap land in the panhandle of
Texas and changed directions. J.B. had enought cash
to buy a few lots in the central part of Lamesa. He
found work in his trade of painting and decorating.
He hired men to help. (From Edna Shackelford).
From Paul and Nina west (from the
Dawson County Clerk's office).
Dec 12, 1916 Lamesa lots Bk 21, pp 94-95
Nov 2, 1916 Bk 24, pp 65-66 lots 6, 7 Clock #3
Nov 23, 1934 tract 2 blocks, 1, 2, 3 ,4 College Addition
(now 8th street)
Nov 27, 1934 Block 2
Blocks L 165,166
Shackelford, Joe B., Defts . E-C-32 #7546; Lucy Bibb.
J.B. owned several lots on South Second and Fourth
Streets, along with Miller, according to daughter
The first three children of J.B. and Lettie
were born in Kentucky, and the last five were born in
Lamesa, Texas. These five were born while the
family were living in the house known as the Peeler place
Two grandchildren were born in the house on
8th Street. This house stood on four acres near the
old bridge on the Stantion Highway. This house
eventually became the property of Ear, the eldest
son. Finally the house was demolished and cotton
planted on the land. Grandpa Joe smoked Prince
Albert and made home brew. He used Bay Rum for
shave lotion and lathered up with a mug and brush.
He sharpened his straight razor on a strap, which was
kept hanging on the wall and it may have been
occasionally used for other purposes. About once a
week he visit the barber in town for a shave and possibly
Grandpa J.B. gave me my first job. I
received 5 cents for each nail picked up from the gravel
drive so that old "Lizzie" would not ruin her
tires. Lizzie had plenty of trouble in that
department, as it seemed to me that she was spending more
time getting patches on her inner tubes than motoring.
Draft Registration card of WWI has Joe Beachn
Shackelford b. 11 April 1882 W USGenWeb.
Obit: Lamesa paper (died Jan 9, 1953
Former Lamesan died in Austin, J.B. Shackelford, formerly
of Lamesa died at 8:00 AM Saturday in Austin,
Shackelford was a resident here from 1916 to 1938.
He is survived by his wife and one son, Earl of Lamesa,
four daughters, Mrs. S.C. Richardson of Hale Center, Mrs.
Herman Page and Mrs. Boyd Kilgore of California, Mrs.
Harry Merriman of Alaska, and two other sons, Melvin of
Los Angeles, California, and J.C. of Japan.
Submitted by Pat McKinney Grant
and Augusta Thornton
In the fall of 1906 her parents, Dozier and
Augusta Thornton, and their five young children moved
from Wheeler to Dawson County, settling about eight miles
south of Lamesa in the Five Mile School District. Dozier
bought 160 acres of land. The family first lived in a
tent until a half-dugout could be built. Memories of
these times remained with these children for the rest of
their lives (hail storms, prairie fires, tornadoes) but
none so vivid as the death of their baby sister, Mary Lee Thornton.
Born February 17, 1909, she died two
weeks later (March 1) of whooping cough. All of the
children witnessed her passing--and it had a profound
effect on them. In later years, none could recount the
event without tears.
Isolated as they were, my grandmother washed and
prepared the body for burial. My grandfather made a
little pine coffin, and she was buried in the Five Mile
After a couple of years, the family
moved to McCulloch County and eventually to Limestone
County. The children grew up, married, moved away, had
children, grandchildren. Hard times, war years, little or
no transportation, took their toll. Eventually the exact
location of these long ago events faded. Only the oldest
son, Lodes Thornton, who lived in Lamesa for awhile,
remembered the name of the cemetery. He left a brief
memoir. In reading it again yesterday, and finding Five
Mile Cemetery, a web search brought me to you and the
photograph of Mary L. Thornton's gravestone by Jason
Dear Peggy: I'd like to send a personal word of
appreciation to both you and Jason Madison for info about
and the photos of gravestones in Five Mile Cemetery in
Dawson County, Texas. This place became almost mythical
in my mother's family. Please pass on my grateful
thanks to him! Sincerely, Wanda Willard