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Mrs. Fred Pruitt

Picture taken 1955

The Itasca Item, Itasca (Hill County) Texas ,  Friday January 13,1967

Last Rites Held in Itasca Sunday for Mrs. Fred Pruitt, Itascan since 1884

Last rites for Mrs. Fred Pruitt who passed away Friday January 6,1967 at 6:40 Am IN Hillsboro Clinic Hospital, were conducted from Central Baptist Church in Itasca Sunday Afternoon at 2:30 PM

The pastor, Rev W. J. Ballard and Rev. B Guy Sewell officiated.

A native of Hill County, Texas, Mrs. Julina Hinkle Thomason Pruitt, was born in Covington on October 18, 1882. She was the daughter of the late J.P. (Uncle Pete) Thomason and Sue Reavis Thomason.

The Thomasons were pioneer citizens in this section and Mr. Thomason was among the early day merchants in Hill County.

The old home place, which was Mrs. Pruitt’s birthplace in Covington 84 years ago, is no longer in existence. The present home of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Cartwright is located on the site today.

In Covington MR. Thomason operated a general store and served as the town’s postmaster for a number of years. The store and Post Office occupied the same building.

The M-K-T Railroad had came through Itasca en route south so Mr. Thomason established a store in Itasca which was operated by the late W. I. Ince and J. A. Townsend

Later, in May of 1884 "Uncle Pete Thomason and his family moved from Covington to Itasca. In a story that appeared in the Item in October 1961, on Mrs. Pruitt’s 79th birthday she reminisced," I was a tiny little girl, but I remember the trip well.

"We made the trip in a wagon and I have been living IN Itasca eve since that time with the exception of a brief 10 months period when I went to Kingsville with my Husband.

We just didn’t like it there and when we had the opportunity to move back "home" we were overjoyed--- and we are still here. Mrs. Pruitt added at that time with a happy smile.

Little Julina Thomason started school in the first grate in the first Itasca school building located approximately where Mrs. Clint Burks home is today. The building belonged to the Masonic Lodge that occupied the top story and was instrumental in establishing the town’s first public school.

The building was sold and became the old Scudder’s Institute here after Itasca built a new and more adequate school building in 1894

In May 1894, Mrs. Pruitt’s mother died. An older sister had married four months earlier so young Julina Thomason became the woman of the house and managed the household, including doing most of the buying for the younger children.
Mrs. Pruitt completed the Itasca School in 1900 and afterward studied voice for two years in the old Switzer College here.

Mrs. Julina Thomason became the bride of Arthur Fred Pruitt on October 17, 1912 on her father’s birthday and just one day before her own October birthday.

The marriage ceremony was solemnized in the home of the bride’s father with only members of the family and several close friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Pruitt observed their golden wedding anniversary October 27, 1962, Their daughter Mrs. Freddy Sue Pruitt Ellis of Duncan Oklahoma, was hostess at an open house honoring her parents at the home 504 East Adams ST Itasca.

Mrs. Pruitt’s life closely paralleled the history of Itasca and she had witnessed its growth. Its times of prosperity and depression, all through the years to the present.

She joined the Baptist Church when she was 12 years old and later became a charter member of Itasca’s Central Baptist Church when it was organized in 1905.

She remembers that her father "Uncle Pete" as everyone in this section knew him was very proud of the fact that the church was organized on his birthday. .

Mrs. Pruitt had been an active worker all her life. She had taught in all departments from beginners through the juniors.

She was a member of the TEL Class and served as the class secretary for a number of years.

She was a member of the Itasca Chapter # 70 Order of the Eastern Star in 1903 only three years after it was organized in 1900. She received her 50-year OES Certificate in 1953 in Houston in 1953 where the presentation was made at the Annual Meeting of the Grand Chapter of Texas. She was a member of the Shakespear Club and the Music Club, both of which long ago ceased to function.

Down through the more than three-fourths of a century Mrs. Pruitt lived in Itasca her love of the town and its people continued o grow. She "wouldn’t have traded Itasca for any other place in the world.

There were seven Thomason brothers and sisters. Mrs. Pruitt was the last living member of the family.
Internment was in the Itasca Cemetery under the direction of Hollingsworth and Marshall Funeral Home.

Paul bearers were Chester Upchurch, Ralph Bailey, Glen Faries, Marvin Mc Mahan, H.B. Patton and Frank Davis.

Survivors include her husband, Fred Pruitt of Itasca; one daughter, Mrs. Freddy Sue Ellis of 322 North A. St, Duncan Oklahoma; two grandchildren, Larry Ellis and Sue Ann Ellis, both of Duncan Oklahoma.