The bright picture turned dim when the weather got very cold and the first year's rice crop was lost since the irrigation canals were not completed. The second year the pumps on the Colorado River which furnished the irrigation water pumped too much salt water and damaged that crop also. We made our living farming cotton, corn, sorghum, raising cattle, and selling cream and butter, and chickens and eggs. We also raised a garden and gathered fruit from the orchard south of the home. There were no roads from our house to Collegeport, and we had to travel through the Jonathan Pierce Ranch and ford Pilkington Slough because there was no bridge across it. One time Papa was on his way to deliver some ducks we had raised to Hotel Collegeport and when he crossed the Pilkington Slough, the water was so deep that the ducks swam out of the back of the buggy.
In 1928, a good cotton crop and good prices made it possible for the folks to rent an apartment in Houston for Arnold, Clifford, and Dorothy while they were attending Rice Institute.
Papa was a member of The Industrial League and served as trustee in
DeMoss and later, after consolidation, in Collegeport. He was an
Elder in the Presbyterian Church and always had room in his buggy or
his car to take another person to church. The family regrets that he
never got to enjoy receiving the royalty checks from the gas well
drilled on his land before his death.
I can remember when we first came to Texas that Mama would point to
the articles of food she wanted when we came to the stores in
Collegeport as she couldn't speak English. Her reputation for
hospitality was wide-spread though, and she always had that pot of
coffee on the stove every morning at 10:00 and again at 4:00 in the
afternoon when relatives and friends dropped in. She was a member of
the Presbyterian Church. The Fellowship Hall bears her name. Dean
and Dorothy Merck, who had the hall built in 1969, gave it in memory
and honor of their mothers, Mrs. B. V. (Sadie) Merck and Mrs. Gust
(Ellen) Franzen and it was named the Sadie-Ellen Hall.
Alex owns the old Franzen home place and that is where he lives;
Gustave and his family own the other farm where they have a brick
home; Mamie Wells lives a mile or so east of the Franzens in the
former Louis Walter home which she has remodeled; Dean and I live on
Farm to Market highway 1095 in Collegeport; Arnold's widow, Mildred,
lives in Houston; Clifford lives in Lone Oak, as does Emma Ellen and
her husband, Billy Bryan; James and Ann live in Pearl River,
Papa (1881-1945), Mama (1886-1970), and Carl (1918-1921), who died of diphtheria, are buried in Collegeport Cemetery. Arnold (1909-1953) was killed in a plane crash and is buried in a Dallas cemetery.
Dorothy Franzen Merck - 1986
Clifford, Dorothy, Mamie and Ellen Franzen
The Franzen Family
Copyright 2007 -
Present by the Franzen Family
May 28, 2007
May 30, 2007