Francis "Frank" Newton Puckett
At the beginning of the twentieth century, two families named Puckett—perhaps distant relatives—arrived in Denison, Texas. Two brothers were the children of Thomas Jefferson Puckett (1835–1897) and his wife Mary J. Overstreet (1840–1882). Thomas had been born in Columbia, Maury County, Tennessee, while Mary was born in Trigg County, Tennessee. Some records say her father was Isaac Puckett. Thomas and Mary married in 1856 and lived thereafter in McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois. The Census of 1880 reported that Thomas had a livery stable. The eldest of the couple's five children were Theodore Marshall Puckett (1859–1946) and Francis "Frank" Newton Puckett (1861–1958), both born in Illinois.
Theodore married Martha "Mattie" Siddall in 1886. According to the 1900 Census, they moved to Denison, Texas, around the turn of the century. That year, Theo owned a bookstore and lived at 310 North Fannin Avenue. The next year, the 1901 Denison City Directory reported that Theo had moved to McEllenville, Illinois, but that his partner John W. Asdel continued to run the T. M. Puckett & Company bookstore at 415 West Main Street in Denison. The store was described as "booksellers, stationers, news dealers, wallpaper, paints, oils, painters' supplies."
In 1903, Theo was living in St. Louis, Missouri. John W. Asdel was still listed as a partner in the T. M. Puckett book and stationery store in Denison.
Book, Stationery, Wall Paper and Paint Store
The 1910 Census located Theo and Mattie living in Mount Carmel, Wabash County, Illinois. Their daughters were Beulah Puckett and Florence D. Puckett.
The 1919 City Directory for Springfield, Illinois, showed several Pucketts living at one address: Charles, Isaac, Ralph, and Ralph's wife Katherine. Theo and his family were not there yet. However, a year later, the 1920 Census revealed that Theo, Mattie, and Beulah had moved to Springfield, where he was employed in the collections department of a business office. They did not live with the other Pucketts, who may or may not have been relatives. In 1921, Theo was listed as deputy collector for the Internal Revenue Service. The couple died at Springfield in the 1940s. Their burial places are unknown.
Meanwhile, Theo's brother, Francis Newton "Frank" Puckett, two years younger, had gone to Texas. He married Laura Vassie Magruder (1875–1948) there on October 23, 1894. Around 1900 they arrived in Denison, the year Theo and Mattie were living there. The 1900 Census listed Frank as a "news dealer." With him and Laura was their daughter, Lorelle M. Puckett (1897–1982), who would live her whole life in Denison.
The 1901 Denison City Directory found the family living at 512 West Woodard Street. Frank was listed as local agent of the Dallas News, with his office at 415 West Main Street, the location of T. M. Puckett and Company. In 1903, the City Directory listed Theo as manager of T. M. Puckett and Company. The same arrangements were in existence in 1907. That year and in 1909, the directory stated that Theo Puckett was living in Mount Carmel, Illinois.
The 1909 Denison City Directory continued to list Frank as manager of T. M. Puckett and Company. Now, however, the store was owned by T. M. Puckett and J. T. Magruder. The latter perhaps was Joel Thomas Magruder, Laura's younger brother. In 1909 and 1911, Frank and Laura continued to live at 512 West Woodard Street.
By 1917, the household (Frank, Laura, and Lorelle) had moved to 422 North Burnett Avenue. Frank still managed T. M. Puckett bookstore.
The 1920 Census found Frank working as a business consultant. Laura was working briefly in the insurance business, while Lorelle was a stenographer at the MK&T Railway. Apparently the bookstore had closed around 1920. In 1921, the City Directory listed Frank as an accountant. By 1925, he had retired. Replacing the bookstore at 415 West Main Street was T. B. Inland, baker.
Laura passed away in 1948, while Frank lived until 1956. Lorelle died in 1982. All were buried near Laura's relatives in Fairview Cemetery, Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.
The T. M. Puckett Bookstore published many fine postcards depicting places in Denison, Texas. Many of these were printed in Germany through the Paul C. Koeber Co. (PCK), around 1910. The PCK cards bear a peacock trademark. According to one Internet source, "Much of their color work has a dark heavy feel to it because of the many thick layers of ink they used. In their later years they published postcards using tinted halftones."