JOHN THOMAS JACKSON AND LEONA CHIMERA CLEMENTS JACKSON
Written by:Tommie Jo Alexander Stewart and Dorotha Jean Alexander Wade
John Thomas Jackson was born August 25, 1900. Leona Chimera Clements was born in Rotan, Texas on October 10, 1900 to Wyatt Franklin and Lena Clements. The family moved to Dickens County in 1917. John and Leona married on August 8, 1922.
John and Leona had one son, W. H. "Dub" Jackson. They lived in Olton when W.H. was in school, where John and Leona farmed. In the 1930's they moved to California where John worked in the ship yards in Wilmington.
After he graduated from high school, Dub enlisted in the Army Air Force and was a belly gunner on a B17. He married a girl from Sioux Falls named Norma. He was stationed in Italy and made bombing runs from there. He was reported missing in action late in 1944. The following Mother's Day Leona received 2 dozen red roses with a card from him. He had ordered the flowers and paid in advance for them to be sent to her. For many years, because she received the roses after his notice of missing in action, she refused to believe that he was dead. Dub had bought a 1944 or 45 maroon Ford convertible. John and Leona kept the car for him so he would have it when he got out of the service. After his death they stored the car for several years in a building near the store in Glenn. Some time later they sold it.
John and Leona moved back to Texas. They purchased the store at Glenn and set about to make the business work. My mother and I lived with them for a short time in 1945. I attended first grade at Patton Spring School. They bought or rented a house out on the highway south of Glenn. It was a scary house with vines growing up the outside wall. At night when the wind would blow the vines made scratching noises against the outside of the house, and the shadows would move around, putting fear in this little heart.
Later on John and Leona moved into a little house just west of the store. Then they built a living quarters on to the back of the store with a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms and a bath. Sometimes people would come to the store during lunch, or at night for gasoline or food. John would just go up front and help them. Leona worked in the store during the day while John pumped gas, fixed flats, saw after the cattle or farmed.
One summer day there was a short, heavy thunder storm. After it stopped raining the sun came out and the sky cleared. Standing in front of the store I watched as hundreds of black, furry tarantulas came crawling across the highway, heading for who-knows-where. It was an amazing thing to see. It's too bad that kids today only have a computer or TV. They miss out on so much.
Leona was a pretty, petite lady. She wore a size 5 shoe. It was always fun to go visit her because I could wear her shoes as a child playing dress-up and they almost fit. She was pleasant, quiet, and reserved, much like her father. Some of her quietness I believe was actually sadness as the result of losing her only son.
She was an expert at crochet. She made many dollies and scarves for her home and to give as gifts. Her main job in life was taking care of John Jackson. I never heard a cross word between them, never heard either one say a bad word about the other. There was not an open display of affection exchanged, but you knew when you were with them that they loved each other.
John would read the newspaper to himself, but he would move his lips and silently mouth the words as he read. That fascinated this young child. I have hung over the arm of his chair many hours watching him as he read the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. When he ate meat he loved eating the fat, something that I tried to avoid. Their home was always a place you felt welcome. It was your home while you were there.
John took great delight in instigating competition between the nieces and nephews. He would challenge two of them to a wrestling match and the winner would get a quarter. More than one of those challenges ended in the loser not only loosing the match, but also their temper. That brought great delight to John to see a child get frustrated at loosing, or thrilled at winning. If he knew that something bothered you he would tease you just to get a rise out of you.
On the north side of the store was an ice house they owned. In the summer when family was coming to visit, John would pick several watermelons and put them in the ice house to get good and cold. When the family all got there he would bring one or two out and cut them. The sweet red meat of the watermelon was cold and smelled wonderful. He would give all the kids a spoon and salt shaker and tell them to dig in. John didn't even like to eat watermelon but knew the kids loved it.
When John and Leona got ready to go someplace special they "put on the Ritz." They were sharp dressers. John would put on his dress hat, leather gloves and impeccably ironed shirt and slacks. Leona's dress would be made from beautiful material and fit perfectly and she would top it off with pretty earrings and high heels. Her hair was always exactly right. She was neat and never in disarray. She looked very much like a tin type picture of her Grandmother Mary Clements.
After Leona's father died they brought Mrs. Clements to their house to live with them. Leona and her sisters took care of her during her illness. They took turns staying with her in the days just prior to her death. They did not leave her care to strangers, but nursed her, loved her, made her comfortable, and took care of her at home.
My husband, children and I visited them the summer of 1972. John took us out to where he had cows grazing. There was a large above the ground galvanized tank that the cows drank from that was filled with water and gold fish. He picked up our son and oldest daughter and set them over in the tank, clothes and all. The water came up to just about mid-chest on them. Their eyes widened and both of them began to scramble around, trying their best to catch a fish. The fish were so thick you could not put your hand in without touching one, but they were too quick for a child to catch. That was really a memory maker. That was so like John to search for a way to make a child happy.
When we first arrived at their house the children hit the door to explore. When they came back in the house John told them not to eat the apples off the tree behind the house because he thought there were worms in them, but the warning came too late. Not one child said a word, but that evening, after supper, first one, then the next, and finally the youngest all hit the door running for the bathroom. It was a long night with lots of trips down the hall and several doses of Pepto Bismol. They were still recovering the next day as we started for home. That was another memory maker.
John died on November 1, 1972 and is buried in Afton Cemetery. Leona continued to live in Glenn. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died on September 15, 1978. She is buried next to John.
My heart is so filled with love for this aunt and uncle. They were a great part of my life as a child, and their love and kindness made more of a difference in my life than they were ever aware of. A lot of decisions I have made as an adult were a result of having lived with and loved these two people and watch their lives. I knew that I could follow their example and be alright. How blessed we are when we have people of great integrity in our families to pattern after.Submitted by Dorotha Wade
|Son of John and Leona|
MATADOR (Special)John T. Jackson, a Dickens County resident since 1913, was pronounced dead on arrival about 9 a.m. Wednesday in Trayweek Clinic here after suffering an apparent heart attack at his farm.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday in First Baptist church of Afton, with Dr. J. Weldon Butler, a Methodist minister from Plainview, officiating. Burial will be in Afton Cemetery directed by Seigler Funeral Home.
Jackson, 72, was a native of Erath County. He had been a farmer and rancher in the Afton community for many years and formerly operated a rural grocery store at the Glenn community.
Survivors include his wife; four brothers, Escus of Quanah, Dick of Willmington, Calif., S.L. of Muleshoe and Lois of Smith vile, Ark.; and a sister, Mrs. W.F. Ragland of Roaring Springs.
©Lubbock Avalanche Journal, October 1972Submitted by Dorotha Wade
ROARING SPRINGS Leona C. James of Roaring Springs died at 3:30 a.m. today in Lubbock's Methodist Hospital after a lengthy illness.
Services will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Afton Baptist Church in Afton with the Rev. Woody Jackson, a minister of Farmersville, officiating. Burial will be in Afton Cemetery by Seigler Funeral Home of Matador.
Born in Comanche County, she had been a resident of the Roaring Springs area since the early 1900's. She was married to John (Buster) Jackson in August 1921. After he died in 1972 she married Joe C. James of Wolfforth in November 1974.
Surviving are her husband; four step-daughters; seven step-grandchildren; three brothers, Dick Clements of Rotan, Joe Clements of Flagstaff, Ariz, and Jim Clements of Muleshoe; four sisters, Mary Lee Barker of Rotan, Betty Jackson of Muleshoe, Mrs. J.D. Henry of Lorenzo and Mrs. Ed Struve of Kerrville.
©Lubbock Avalanche Journal, September 15, 1978Submitted by Rev. Woody Jackson, transcribed by Dortha Wade
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