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Nellie Ruth Lambeth Harvey

The Waples World Methodist News
February 23, 1968

Number One On Membership Roll


When Mrs. J. W. Harvey was 17 years old she joined the first Methodist Church in Denison.  She and Mr. Harvey were married the same year.

The church was located on the same corner of Chestnut Street where the Texas Power and Light Company offices now stand.
"That was 75 years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Lewin were sweethearts then, said Mrs. Harvey.

Four years later we united with the South Church located about where Bohnefeld cleaners are now on Woodard Street." continued the 91 year old resident of Denison Manor who celebrated her birthday February 11.

"When the two congregations united we moved up on Main Street where the church is now, and built the old church.  Mr. Waples turned the first shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking; I turned the second spadeful.

"I turned the first spadeful for the new church," continued one of Waples most loved and loyal members.

My husband worked for the Katy.  We lived just across the street from the church.  The church folk nearly borrowed us out of house and home, " she continued with a chuckle.

"One time my husband had a foot tub made and brought it home.  Before he had it unpacked, Mrs. Lein came to the house to tell me that they needed a big container at the church.  She asked me what was in the box.  I told her; she borrowed it."

"It got to be a standing joke between them.  Every time my husband would meet Mrs. Lewin he would ask, "Mrs. Lewin when are you going to bring my foot tub back."  He died in 1925.  He never did get to use that tub to soak his feet.

Mrs Harvey's only daughter was killed in an accident several years ago.

"But she left two lovely children, a boy and girl.  Neither one is in Denison.  Both of them want me to live with them.  But I think it is better for me to stay here at the Manor on my own"

Along with her 75 year membership as a member of Waples Church, which makes her name read number one on the church roll.  Mrs. Harvey has a large certificate on her dresser presented to her by the Eastern Star on the occasion when she received her 50 year membership citation.

When asked what she attributed her long life and good health, quipped Mrs. Harvey, "The name of the town where I was born could have something to do with it, for I was born in Centennial, Texas."


Our oldest Denison Manor resident is Mrs. Nellie Harvey.  Born in Centennial, Texas in 1877, Mrs. Harvey was the daughter of a Louisiana/Texas plantation owner (their property lay both in Louisiana and Texas).  AT 13 Mrs. Harvey moved to Denison and lived with her aunt until her family joined her a year later.  Her father was then employed as an inspector for the MK&T shops.

At 17, Mrs. Harvey married Wiley Harvey, a conductor the the MK&T railroad.  They reared 2 nieces and a grandson now of Newark, New Jersey and Houston respectively.  Mrs. Harvey believes the best thing that happened to her in her life was her marriage of 33 years.

Mrs. Harvey has had a busy life.  She owned a drug store in Denison where she served plate lunches that she cooked at home each night.  She would take the food in the next morning and re-heat it for lunch.  In addition to her drugstore, Mrs. Harvey managed a 17 room apartment house by herself.

Mrs. Harvey, at 93, is the mainstay of Denison Manor. A resident for 10 years, she is as much a part of Denison Manor as the furniture.  Mrs. Harvey not only keeps us in line, but also, lightens our days with her cheerful manner and Old South graciousness.

We're proud to have you living with us, Mrs. Harvey; and we"re looking forward to another delightful 10 years with you at Denison Manor.

Nellie Ruth Lambeth, was born 11 February 1877 in Panola County, Texas.  Her parents were John W. Lambeth and Margaret Byron "Maggie" Talbert of Talbert Plantation, in Keatchie, Caddo, Louisiana.

She married Joseph Wiley Harvey in 1894. "Wiley" Harvey as he was known died on 2 December 1925 in Denison Texas.  Nellie died in February of 1971, also in Denison.

One of the nieces that she raised was my mother-in-law Ruth Virgina Lambeth.  Virginia married Richard D. Jones Jr. also of Denison, the son of Richard Dale Jones, Sr and Martha Kilmer Jones also of Denison.

Charlotte Wells Jones  

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