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
Franzen Family - Photo taken in Iowa
Brothers standing - Oscar, Karl, Richard and Gustav Franzen
Seated - Helma Franzen Doherty and her daughter, Alice Doherty Elsner,
Hulda Malmberg and husband, John Malmberg, Boy - Clifford Franzen, son of Gustav
Photo courtesy of Jeff & Michelle Franzen and Asa Bjenning-Garnbratt
Gustave A. Franzen, Native of
took one of the pioneer farmers of Matagorda county Sunday at
when Mr. Gustave Albert Franzen,
longtime resident of Collegeport died at the family home there at the
age of 64 years, one month and 19 days.
is survived by his widow, Mrs. Gustave A. Franzen of Collegeport; three
daughters, Mrs. Gerald Wells of Collegeport, Mrs. Billy Bob Bryan of
Fort Thomas, Ky., Mrs. Dean Merck of Collegeport, five sons, Albert of
Houston, Cpl. Clifford Franzen with the U. S. Army in the Philippine
Islands, Gustave A., Jr. of Collegeport, James Franzen S1/c now in the
Pacific; two sisters, Mrs. Hilma Doherty of Chicago, Ill., Mrs. Mimmie
Johanson of Sweden, three brothers, R. J. of Warren, Minn., Carl of
Imogene, Ia., and Oscar of Shenandoah, Ia.
services will be held Tuesday at
from Taylor Bros. Funeral Home with
Rev. George Gillespie of Palacios officiating. Burial will be in the
Mrs. Ellen Franzen
Funeral services for Mrs. Gust (Ellen) Franzen, 83, were held at
the First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport Monday, June 8, at
with the Rev. Leslie E. Webb officiating. Interment was in the
A pioneer resident of Collegeport, she passed away in her home on
She was born
was a member of The First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport and last
year when the new wing was added to the church the hall was named Sadie
Ellen Hall in her honor.
include three daughters, Mrs. Dean Merck, Mrs. Gerald Wells of
Collegeport, Mrs. B. B. Bryan of
Dean Eanes Merck, 89, of Collegeport, passed away Wednesday, January 22, 1997 at the Palacios Bay Nursing and Rehab Center, Palacios, TX. He was born July 20, 1907 in Independence, Okla. to Baulser V. Merck and Sadie Moore Merck. He came to Collegeport, with his parents, two brothers and five sisters in September 1909. He attended school in Collegeport, was an active athlete, and enjoyed playing baseball. It was not uncommon to hear “Home Run, Deanie Boy!” when he played on the Palacios baseball team. He enjoyed flying and piloted his own airplane, until he was not able to renew his pilot’s license due to heart trouble. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport where he was an Elder and Sunday School Teacher. As Chairman of the Building Committee, he directed the construction of the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall. He was recognized by his church for his 40 years of active service on the Session. He was also chairman of the Mopac House Foundation and an active member of the Collegeport Volunteer Fire Department, which was organized around his dining room table. He began his farming career farming cotton and later began farming rice in 1938. He enjoyed farming and was named Matagorda County’s 1976 Rice Farmer of the Year by the Bay City Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Matagorda County Historical Commission and served as a Director of the Matagorda County Museum. He was a member of the Matagorda County Historical Society. At the 1992 Heritage Day Celebration, Dean E. Merck was presented a plaque, dedicated to an Outstanding 20th Century Pioneer, by the Matagorda County Historical Society. He was also a member of the Hawley Cemetery Association in Blessing. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dorothy F. Merck, a son and daughter-in-law, Dean F. and Nelda Merck of League City, by his grandsons, Mark Merck and his wife Cathy, Russell Merck and his wife Hayes, and Galen Merck. He is also survived by his great grandchildren, Danyelle Merck and Matthew Merck and by a host of family and friends. Funeral services will be held 2 p. m. Saturday, January 25, at Taylor Brothers Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Dave Gallaher officiating. Interment will follow at Hawley Cemetery, in Blessing. Pallbearers will be Mark Merck, Russell Merck, Galen Merck, G. W. Franzen, Derril Franzen and Wesley Franzen. Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home, Bay City, TX.
January 24, 1997
5 Dallas Oilmen On Missing Plane
Dallas--An intensive air search began for a two-engine Magnolia Petroleum Co. plane believed to have crashed between Dallas and Tulsa with five persons aboard.
The plane left Dallas at 9:35 a. m. yesterday and was last heard from when the pilot reported at 9:55 a. m. to the Perrin Air Force Base in Grayson County that some of his instruments were not working properly.
The pilot and four passengers were Magnolia employees. All lived in Dallas.
Sam J. Willis, chief pilot for Magnolia, said the plane had enough gas for four hours normal flying time, but could stretch its time in the air to five hours.
"This means that the plane was almost certain to have used up its gas supply by shortly after 2 p. m. (yesterday) and we must presume that it is down somewhere between here and Tulsa,: he said.
Others said they were sure some of the occupants of the plane would have telephones last night if the plane had landed safely somewhere.
Magnolia said they believed the pilot, William H. Thompson, 33, continued toward Tulsa after contacting Perrin AFB. At that time the weather was much better in Tulsa than in Dallas or at Ardmore, Okla., 35 miles northwest of Perrin.
The Civil Air Patrol was unable to send out search planes late yesterday because of low clouds and drizzle that blanketed the section.
However about 25 CAP planes and about half a dozen from Magnolia were ready to take off at sunrise today.
The CAP said it would concentrate its search on a belt 100 in 150 miles wide between here and Perrin AFB.
The Magnolia pilots said they planned to continue the search into Oklahoma.
The passengers on the plane, used by Magnolia for business purposes, were:
D. D Standlee, 42, assistant to the manager and assistant secretary of the Magnolia Pipeline Co.
A. B. Franzen, 45, chief accountant of the producing division of Magnolia Petroleum Co.
Folger B. Vallette, 35, oil purchasing department of Magnolia Petroleum
Clarence A. Easton Jr., 32, assistant chief dispatcher for Magnolia Pipeline.
Abilene Reporter-New, December 12, 1953
Plane Crash Victims Found Near Sherman
Sherman, Dec. 12 --Two searching farmers found the torn bodies of five Dallas men scattered in the wreckage of their company plane along a muddy creek bank six miles from here today.
The men, Magnolia Petroleum Co. employees, crashed in a driving rainstorm yesterday on a flight to Tulsa.
One of the men who found the plane heard the crash but did not realize it.
A woman was close enough to see wreckage flying into the air but her husband persuaded her the heavy rain and her imagination had tricked her.
Neither made a thorough search or reported to authorities until today because of the rain and muddy roads.
Seventy-seven planes--50 put into the air by the Civil Air Patrol and 27 by Magnolia--swept the area but apparently did not spot the wreck because the plane crashed among trees.
The victims were:
William H. Thompson, 33, the pilot; D. D Standlee, 42, assistant to the manager and assistant secretary of the Magnolia Pipeline Co.; A. B. Franzen, 45, chief accountant of the producing division of Magnolia Petroleum Co.; Folger B. Vallette, 35, oil purchasing department of Magnolia Petroleum; Clarence A. Easton Jr., 32, assistant chief dispatcher for Magnolia Pipeline.
The wreck was discovered by Clinton and J. D. McAfee. Clinton McAfee, 46, had heard the noise of the crash but dismissed it as the sound of a passing Air Force jet. He and his brother decided to make the search after hearing of the plane's disappearance on a news broadcast last night.
Ray Atteberry of the Sherman Democrat said the wreckage was scattered over a 65-foot area.
Mrs. J. P. Fletcher said she believed she was within half a mile of the plane when it crashed and saw wreckage flying into the air--but her husband persuaded her she was "just seeing things" in the blinding rain.
She went back to the spot today and found "the most horrible wreck I ever saw."
Clinton McAfee said:
"I was sitting in the living room Friday morning about 10 a. m. when I heard an airplane motor which quit running. Then came a loud crash. I figured it was just one of those jets from the base (Perrin Air Force Base) and didn't think much about it...on the 6:45 radio newscast last night I heard a plane was missing in this area.
"This morning about 9 a. m. my brother and I started searching for the plane. We saw planes flying over, but they probably didn't see the wreckage because we had a hard time seeing it ourselves."
Denton Record-Chronicle, December 13, 1953
Dallas Services Held For Arnold Franzen, Plane Crash Victim
Funeral services for Arnold B. Franzen, 45, of Collegeport and Dallas, were held Monday from the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church at Dallas.
Mr. Franzen, chief accountant of the producing division of Magnolia Petroleum Company, was killed near Sherman Friday when a company plane in which he was a passenger crashed.
Officiating was the Rev. Robert P. Douglass and burial was in Restland Memorial Park in Dallas.
An elder in the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church and active in civic affairs in Dallas, Mr. Franzen grew up in Matagorda County. He attended high school at high school at Bay City and later worked his way through Rice Institute.
He previously had been employed by the Texas Company and Harrison Oil Company before joining Magnolia.
He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Mary Ann Franzen and Carole Franzen, both of Dallas; his mother, Mrs. Gust Franzen of Collegeport; three sisters, Mrs. Dean Merck and Mrs. Gerald Wells, both of Collegeport, and Mrs. B. Bryan of New Iberia, Louisiana.
Four brothers, G. A. Franzen and Alex Franzen, both of Collegeport; James Franzen of Edna and Clifford Franzen of Buffalo.
Daily Tribune, December 17, 1955
Mildred Moorman Franzen Russell
services for Clifford A. Franzen, 87, of Collegeport, are scheduled
Franzen died at
graduated from Rice Institute in 1932 with a bachelor of arts degree.
After graduation, he was employed by the Texas Company, now Texaco,
where he worked for several years in
Army service in the Pacific Campaign during World War II, he returned
to Collegeport and farmed rice for several years. He bought a ranch
In 1989, he moved to Palacios and lived at the Palacios Health Care Center. There, he became actively involved assisting residents, personnel and all who could benefit from his kind way. He was a longtime exercise leader and assisted in chapel services at the home.
He was responsible for inspiring change and improvements through his involvement at the center. He convinced an administrator that a vegetable garden was necessary and began gardening on the grounds. His produce often found its way to the center's kitchen. The "fruits of his labor" were shared with all. His garden was therapeutic for him as well as other residents who assisted.
was truly an inspiration to all who knew him.
was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Carl Franzen,
Arnold Franzen and Gustave Franzen; and sister, Ellen Bryan. He
is survived by his sisters, Dorothy Merck and Mamie Wells, both of
Collegeport; brothers, Alex Franzen of Collegeport, and James Franzen
and wife, Ann, of
are under the direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in
Mamie Wells, 86, of Collegeport, died March 1, 2000 at The Legacy. She
was born June 29, 1913 in Collegeport to the late Gustav Albert and
Ellen Agusta Bladlund Franzen.
Mr. Gerald Franklin Wells, 67, of Collegeport, died at Matagorda General Hospital on October 13. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport and a resident of Collegeport for 47 years. He was an active member of his church serving as Elder and Superintendent of Sunday School and Sunday School Teacher. Mr. Wells was a rice farmer and cattleman in Collegeport until his illness forced him to retire 5 years ago. Survivors include: wife, Mamie Franzen Wells of Collegeport; two daughters, Mrs. Mary Louise Dowdle of Waco and Mrs. Lynda Lenz of Collegeport; son, Gerald F. Wells, Jr. of Palacios; sister, Mrs. Roy Lyons of Virginia, Illinois; one brother, Ira Wells of Arnzville, Illinois; five grandchildren, Stephen and Alan Fitzpatrick, Meloni Wells, Traylor and Garrett Lenz. The funeral was held at Taylor Brothers Chapel on Monday, October 15, at 3:00 p. m. The Rev. Lloyd Nixon officiated and interment was held at Hawley Cemetery in Blessing. Pallbearers include: Dean F. Merck, G. W. Franzen, Derril Franzen, Wesley Franzen, Mason Holsworth and Russell Corporon. Arrangements under the direction of Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.
Tribune, August, 1979
A. "Goose" Franzen, 80, of Collegeport, died at his home
was born in Collegeport on
include his wife of 44 years, Ida Mae Franzen of Collegeport; daughter
and son-in-law Terri and Cody Adams of Deutschburg; Sons and
Daughters-in-law Derril and Samantha Franzen, Wesley and Denise
Franzen and G. W. Franzen, all of Collegeport; six grandchildren Tyler
and Colt Adams of Deutschburg, Stephanie and Savannah Franzen, Dillon
and Hayley Franzen all of Collegeport; sisters Dorothy Merck and Mamie
Wells, both of Collegeport; Brothers Clifford Franzen of Palacios,
Alex Franzen of Collegeport and James Franzen of Pearl River, La., and
a host of other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his
parents, two infant sons Gustave A. Franzen III and Charles Ray
Franzen; two brothers Carl Franzen and Arnold Franzen; and one sister
Services will be
will be his nephews Dean F. Merck, Gerald Wells, Jr., Jim Boeker, Billy
Bob Bryan, Mark Merck, Robert Franzen, Thomas Franzen and Garrett Lenz.
Honorary pallbearers are his other nephews.
may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport, the Mopac
House Foundation, or the Collegeport Cemetery Association.
Arrangements with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.
Mamie Franzen Wells, Ida Mae & Gustave "Goose" Franzen leaving
for trip to Sweden in 1985.
Graveside funeral services for Alexander "Alex" Franzen, 79, of
Collegeport, Tx. were held Aug. 11, 2002 at Collegeport Cemetery with
Rev. Janell Blair officiating.
James C. Franzen “Tequila”, of Pearl River Louisiana
passed away on Friday, January 1, 2016, at Ochsner Medical Center, North
Father of: Babette Melies (Scott); Kenneth
Smith (Terri); Robert Franzen; and Thomas Franzen.
He was one of five brothers and three sisters.
He is also survived by seven grandchildren and five
James was 90 years old and a native of Collegeport,
Texas. He retired from Shell Oil Company, then worked in the antique
furniture business with the love of his life, Ann. His greatest passion
was spending time with his family, friends and mowing his grass.
A memorial service will be held at First Baptist
Church in Pearl River, Louisiana on Thursday, January 7, 2016.
Visitation starts at 11 am followed by service at noon. Officiated by
Brother Alvin Waller.
Honaker Funeral Home, Slidell, Louisiana
Copyright 2007 -
Present by the Franzen Family
May 28, 2007
Nov. 20, 2017