Columbus Woddard (Jack) Owens

Family record of Columbus Woodard (Jack) Owens
Son of Robert (Bob) Lee Owens and Caroline

Name:   Columbus Woddard (Jack) Owens

Birth Date:   3-7-1892

Birth Place:  Home birth Houston Co. TX
Death Date:  7-1-1971 (in Palestine TX in a nursing home) age 79
Buried at:  Refuge Cemetery, Houston Co., East of Grapeland TX
Fathers Name:  Robert (Bob) Lee Owens
Mothers Name:  Caroline (Callie) Denson Owens
Occupation: Sawmill, Farmer in Houston Co. TX he operated a roadside fresh food stand and sold fresh vegetables from his truck. He called himself a peddler.
 

Went to elementary school at Neon School near Percilla and Grapeland in 1907; he is listed as being in the seventh grade in the Grapeland Schools. There is a photograph in the book Grapeland Crossroads to Progress that shows him in a school picture next to his cousin Chester Owens.

Marriage: 1-12-1913 at Rev. Worlic Home in Houston Co. TX
Spouse:  Effie Leola Cutler Owens

Birth Date:  10-10-1896

Birth at:  Home in Houston Co. TX
Death Date:  May 1, 1991 (Palestine TX)
Burial Place:  Refuge Cemt. Houston Co. East of Grapeland TX.
Spouse Father: Thomas Jefferson Cutler is buried at the Davis-Cutler Cemt. in Houston Co. TX;  b.1860 d. 1909
Occupation of Leola:  Homemaker and seamstress
Education of Leola:  was at Enon School to age 15 in Grapeland TX Leola is pictured as a member of the ENON School from an undated photograph in the Book Grapeland; Queen of the Sand Flats. She is incorrectly named Iola Cutler. The photograph includes Alma Lee Owens and Mina Owens who were sisters of Columbus Woddard Owens. Alma Lee Owens Married Rosoc Cutler who was Thomas Jefferson Cutlers son by his third wife.
Comments:  Leola was very healthy, during her adult life. She did report arthritis and developed tuberculosis in 1977 she was treated for this at the University of Texas Hospital in Tyler Texas. She lived to age 94 Leola was known as Mamzie by her grand children was raised by a stepmother Mary Ellen Brooks Owens b. 4-13-1874 d. 10-16-1951 buried at Davis-Cutler Cemt Houston Co. TX.. Leola spoke highly of her stepmother as a kind and loving person who cared for all the stepchildren as her own.

Children:
1.  Reba Louise Owens Ivey 4-10-1917, married Earl Edmond Ivey
2.  Arthur Ray Owens 4-3-1922, married Helen Anna Kopecky
3.  boy child no name 8-7-1925 died at birth buried at Tyre Cem.
4.  Joyce Marie Owens 1-9-1927, married Herman Earl (Shorty) McKay
5. M Herman Earl Owens 7-20-1929, married Jean Marshall
6.  Jack Owens 2-3-1938, married Josie Ellis

Know as Jack by his friends, children and grandchildren Columbus Woddard lived in Grapeland most of his life. He farmed cotton for 3 years near Jayton, TX where Arthur Ray was born around 1922. There is a record of an appendectomy on Jack in 1928 by Dr. Hancock . When he was about 25 years old he broke his leg falling over a stack of feed in Ben Brimberrys' Feed Store during a fight. Reba said that they were living with his parents Bob and Callie Owens at the time and it was during the winter and there was snow on the ground so Leola had to go under the house in order to get dry sand for the bags to keep his leg rigid. He farmed east of Grapeland at a place called the Holstine Farm.

The cotton crops in Jayton Texas paid very little and so he returned to Grapeland and farmed in the area earning income for raising a family of five. He bought and sold vegetables from a road side stand in down town Grapeland beside the railroad tracks in 1954. In addition he often took vegetables to Crockett to sell in neighborhoods . His son Arthur Ray Owens reported that in about 1939 when he was living at home the Sheriff visited the home and arrested Jack on a charge of bootlegging liquor. This is the first time Arthur Ray learned of his fathersí given name of Columbus Woddard.

Arthur Ray also told a story that Jack was hitchhiking a ride to town in the 1930ís when the car that picked him up had inside the members of the Bonnie and Clyde bank robbers. They told Jack they were going to Crockett to rob a bank.  When they neared town they did not stop the car but slowed down and pushed Jack out of the car. He learned several days later about the bank robbery in Crockett.

 

He enjoyed horses and used a plow mule to work the land he farmed. Farming was difficult on the sandy East Texas land and it was common for him to spend several hours working with the mule to plow a short row. He fished somewhat and hunted very little. His enjoyment came from working peddling food and trading things and playing card games or dominoes with friends and relatives. From his Texas Driver License we know Jack was 5'9" tall and weighed 145.lbs had blue eyes and a full head of Gray hair in 1950. He was able to drive a Dodge Pickup until about age 75. He died of heart failure in 1971. He had been placed in a nursing home in Palestine TX and there is some description of the illness like Alhzeimer or memory loss.

Leola Cutler Owens was a kind and loving person who spent most of her life sewing professionally, cooking and keeping the home raising children. She was called Mamzie by her grand children and Aunt Leola by family friends. She loved to garden and had lovely flowers as well as vegetables. Her green thumb was use to keep hydrangeas blue. She loved peaches and plums. Jack did all of the family shopping most of his life. Her grandson Arthur Michael tells a story how she removed a wart from his hand by crossing the wart with her finger and blowing it away and burying a potato that had been cut in half. She was an active in canning and putting up fresh vegetables and fruits in the spring and summer season for use in the winter.

Leola lived near Grapeland Texas in Houston County most of her adult life. Her son Arthur Ray purchased 10 acres outside of Grapeland about 1952 and he lived in the home briefly on the Blue Star mail route. When he left the county in about 1953 he sold the land to his father Columbus Woddard and with the financial help of his sister Joyce and her husband Shorty they assured that the mortgage was paid. Leola once worked in Grapeland at a sewing factory making clothes.

The factory was only in operation a few years. She was sewing clothes until her late nineties, making prom dresses and school clothes for women. She hand made a cotton quilt for each of her grandchildren when they graduated from high school. Leola told a story about when she was a young child around age 8 the family went to town and watched a man be hanged for stealing horses. The family had farm wagons and she saw the birth of the automobile, massive use of trains the building of the interstate highway system the beginning of airplanes and the development of jets and commercial air travel as well as the launching of space ships and men walking on the moon. She talked of these great changes in the world with wonder. Her interest was in changes that impacted her self from the development of an electric sewing machine and electric washing machine, gas stove for cooking because she used a wood stove to cook when she was a young mother. The improvements in the home she credited for her long life as well as the regular dipping of snuff a ground tobacco product. She did not drink alcohol other than a rare sip of wine after Jack died and a rare sip of whiskey or beer during his lifetime. Her daughter Reba lived next door to her during the last fifteen years of her life and allowed Leola to live at home as long as possible. She had some medical problems in her late eighties and was in the hospital several times. She died in the Grapeland nursing home. The ten-acre family homestead was divided into five two-acre tracts and one given to each child. Leola is best known for her patience in dealing with all manner of troubles from her children to the world around her. She was active in her church, Felders Chapel Assembly of God, and her brother Buck visited her regularly until his
|last years when he was no longer able to drive a car. Leola never drove a car but she would always enjoy a ride and often longed to visit her sister who lived in Bryan Texas with her daughter and son in law but was rarely able to make the journey.

During the burial ceremony May 1, 1991 for Leola officiating were Rev Kevin Poage, Morris Ivey and her grandson Kenny McKay.


2009 data compiled by:  Arthur Michael Owens 27106 Windy Grove Lane, Cypress, TX 774332