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Family of
Charles L. J. & Mary Elizabeth Trice Sisk



Top row: Lem Read, baby R. J. Read, Walter Sisk Read, Jim Sisk, Donie Sisk, Capt. Charles Speaker Sisk, Annie Sisk Osborne, Ailsie Sisk (Jessie's wife)
Middle row: Robert J. Sisk, baby Will Nash Sweeny, Georgia Maude Sisk, Father C. L. J. Sisk, Mother Mary E. Trice Sisk,
baby Fred Hinshaw, Warren Hinshaw, Mary Eva Sisk Hinshaw, Jesse Sisk
Front row: Ethel Sisk (child of Jesse & Ailsie Sisk), Farris Linard Sisk, Irene Lanham (child of Annie Sisk Lanham Osborne)


Charles L. J. Sisk Family
By Margaret Lou Albert

From the small settlements of Princeton, Estill Fork and Gray's Chapel situated in Paint Rock Valley, Jackson County, Alabama, Charles L. J. and Mary E. Trice Sisk brought their family to the new horizon of adventure, fortune, and expectations of a wondrous life, to Matagorda County, Texas, in 1895. They had married on July 20, 1871. In 1880, C. L. J. and Mary E. tried their luck in Texas, but returned to Alabama in 1881. Knowing that their move in 1895 was the beginning of many good things, C. L. J. and Mary E. left their families and friends and returned to Matagorda County to make a better life for their family of nine children. Later another son was born in Texas.

Their American heritage dated back to before 1765, the date of C. L. J.'s grandfather was born in Scurry County, Virginia. It was known that two previous generations had come from Ireland and settled in this country. The first Sisk to settle in America was John Sisk and his son also John, was born here. Charles L. J. Sisk was born on January 8, 1852, the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Vaughn Sisk of Paint Rock Valley. He was the grandson of Elijah and Mary Bean Sisk of Surry County, North Carolina. Elijah was born in 1765, and was the son of the second John Sisk. Mary Elizabeth Trice was born on July 15, 1854, the daughter of Jesse and Sarah Ann Gray and granddaughter of Jesse T. and Lydia Trice of Paint Rock Valley. She was also the granddaughter of Terrell and Mary Martin Gray of Gray's Chapel, Alabama. The Gray, Terrell and Lewis family information dates back to 1640, origin Wales.

When C. L. J. and Mary E. Trice Sisk moved to Texas, they brought with them the following children, all born in Paint Rock Valley, Alabama:
Jesse, born in 1872
Walter Etoy, (Aunt Sister), born in 1873
Robert J. "Bob," born in 1874
Annie Elizabeth, born in 1879
Mary Eva, born in 1881
James C. "Jim," born in 1884
Georgia Maude, born in 1886
Charles Speaker, born in 1889
Donie Oaklie, born in 1892

After moving to Texas they had one son,
Farris Linard, born in 1897

An ambitious Charles L. J. Sisk bought a hotel, a dry good store, and farming land so he could make a new start for his family. In a newspaper article written by C. L. J. in 1913, he told of the trials and tribulations which he experienced before he became a prosperous businessman. Two of his sons, Jim and Bob, became partners in the storekeeper business, and raised their families from this occupation. Family members still recalled the hotel and boarding house business which was operated by Mary E. Sisk. The Sisk Hardware store was still in operation in 1984 (closed c 2010), and was owned by Jim Sisk's daughter, Mary James Breeden. (Later daughter and son-in-law Mary Claire and Kent Pollard)

Charles L. J. Sisk died in 1920 at the age of sixty-eight; Mary E. Trice Sisk died in 1929 at the age of seventy-five. He was a charter member of the First Baptist Church, and he and Mary E. raised their children in that church.

Many of the descendants of Charles L. J. and Mary E. Trice Sisk remained in the Matagorda County area, while others have moved to various parts of the nation; however all have maintained ties to the area.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, page 488, 1984




Printed in Matagorda County Genealogical Society Quarterly,
Oak Leaves, February 1996


The following article appeared in The Daily Tribune, April 14, 1913, Vol. VIII, No. 112. This issue of the Tribune is on file in the Archives of the Matagorda County Museum, Bay City, Texas.


(One of the most interesting stories that it has fallen to the Firing Line's lot to secure is that of the ups and downs of a business man--the experiences of C. L. J. Sisk of the Sisk Grocery Co., Bay City, Texas, as written by himself. For more that thirty years Mr. Sisk has been a patron of Nashville's jobbing interests, particularly J. S. Reeves & Co. The Firing Line asked for Mr. Sisk's photo and a little of his history, thinking to give him a two or three inch mention. We were shocked when we received a ten-page letter in reply, but once started on reading the letter we couldn't let up until every line had been devoured. It was of interest to us, and we believe it will be to others. For this reason it is printed below, practically in full. The cause of this story was the voluntary payment to J. S. Reeves & Co., two weeks ago, by Mrs. Sisk, of an account of sixteen years' standing, and which had been charged to profit and loss.--Editor Nashville Tennessean.


Dear Sirs: I will give you some of my history. I was born on the headwaters of Paint Rock River in Jackson County, Alabama, Jan. 8, 1852. My mother died when I was only five years old. My father's eyesight was very bad from the time I can remember. I had gone to school about one month when the war between the states came up, and during the four years of the war there was no school in our community. All of my older brothers enlisted in the Confederate army. I was in my fourteenth year at the close of the war and was the only one left at home to do the plowing in making our little crops. We were very poor and had to rent land so I had no chance for an education. I only got to attend school about seven months all together, in 1871. At this time my father was practically blind and the older children persuaded him to break up housekeeping.


While we were having a hard struggle to live, yet I disapproved of the breaking up of the family; I considered a poor home better than no home at all. But he decided to break up and I had to submit. It put me thinking what I would do with myself. I was not long deciding. I made up my mind to get married, so went to see the girl I selected and told her about my decision. She consented to it. The next burden on my mind was where would I get the money to get married, and set about to find some friend who would lend me as much as ten dollars. I finally found the friend and with that ten dollars bought my license and a coat to get married in, and on July 20, 1871, I took for my wife Miss Mary T. Trice. She was like myself in that she did not have a dollar to her name; she had a good feather bed and plenty of cover for it, and as much vim as any girl ever lived.


We went to work to make a living. We had a large family of children born to us. We made a living and a little over each year, but it was, it seemed to us, pretty slow progress. We decided to sell our little accumulation and go west. After we had sold everything we had, [there] was $600 cash after we had purchased our railroad fare to Rockwall County, Texas.


We landed in Rockwall County on the night of Jan. 13, 1880, and I farmed there two years. The year of 1880 was a wet one. I made a good corn crop on ten acres and sold what corn I could spare, after hauling sixteen miles to Terrell, Texas, for twenty-five cents per bushel. I had twenty acres in cotton and it promised well. My neighbors told me I was going to make a bale to the acre, but at the right time the boll weevil struck it and I gathered only seven and a half bales. I felt very much disappointed, but I knew it would not do to give up, so I went ahead preparing for a crop in 1881. I put in oats, corn and cotton that year--about sixty acres. The year 1881 was a very dry year so I did not make but a very little corn and made one-half bale of cotton to the acre. In the fall my wife and I decided to go back to old Alabama, and landed at Gray's Chapel, Ala., on Nov. 26, 1881, having in our possession about $620.


After looking around and figuring up I decided I had made a big mistake in going back to Alabama. I saw it was going to be the same old struggle, only increased, that we had had before. I just about decided not to unpack my trunks, but ship back to Texas, when our kinspeople persuaded us to stay one year before we returned to Texas. They helped us to put up a log cabin to live on my brother's land. He rented me ten acres of land to put in corn. I bought me an old chunk of a team and an old cheap wagon, one hundred bushels of corn and some pork and bacon.


After I had done all of this I began to figure out what I could expect to get out of the little ten acres of corn. I would have to pay one-third of the crop for rent, and it would only leave me six and two-thirds acres for my part. I decided that kind of showing would not do, and that I must do something more, so I decided to put me up a little log storehouse. So I went to the woods and picked out the straightest small logs I could find, snaked them down off the mountain on the spot where I had selected to build the front end, out near the edge of the public road, and the back end reached back within about twelve feet of my dwelling house. The size of my storehouse was 14 X 16 feet, but it was plenty large to hold all the goods I had money enough to pay for.


After I had my storehouse all completed I had just even $400 left to invest in merchandise. My idea was to do a general merchandise business, to I took my $400 over to Bean's Creek, Tenn., to my good friend, John Lipscomb, told him what I wanted and that I wanted him to divide my money up for me so I would have a general stock, which he did. We invested $390 in merchandise and kept $10 to pay the freight on the stock.


In a few days my stock of goods arrived and I commenced trying to get them in shape. Oh, I almost sweated blood trying to read the invoices of my stock of goods, but the articles I could not make out I just put aside, and after I marked the articles I could make out on the invoices I would come back to those I had put aside. At this point I saw that I had to get some education, so I went at it in earnest. I would sell goods in the daytime and study my lessons at night. I soon got to where I could read my invoices and figure out my per cent.


I had not been in business but a few months when J. S. Reeves & Co., Hollins' Sons & Co., Stratton, Seay & Stratton, Dudley Bros. & Lipscomb were willing to extend me a little line of credit, so within twelve months I saw I would have to enlarge my store building. I bought some lumber and put on a side room ten feet wide and sawed out the log wall. This added greatly to room. I hauled my own freight. Bean's Creek, where I got my freight, was twenty miles from my store and it took me two days to make the trip. I always tried to carry out a load of something when I went to the station so that I could make it pay both ways. My wife would attend to the store when I was away and helped me a great deal when I was at home. She was a splendid saleslady and never seemed to get tired. She would stay in the store with me at night when I would be packing and casing eggs, getting ready to start to the station the next morning. She surely was a great partner in the little business. At the end of three years I had made a living and was ahead $2,200, so I felt like I had made quite a stride, and by this time I believe I had the best credit of any poor fellow that ever lived. I could buy all I wanted to buy.


I stayed at Gray's Chapel four years and then moved down the valley to Estill Fork, about five miles distant from Gray's Chapel. I carried on a mercantile business there for nine years, but from 1890 to 1895, I had quite a struggle again. The people had gone into the timber business and it got to where the merchant had to depend almost entirely on the timber for any business. So at one time I found myself tied up in poplar logs to the amount of about $3,500 and had to wait on the rain to give us a tide in the stream so we could float our logs to point where we had contracted to deliver them before we could get our money. It looked like it would never rain. I owed about $2,300 in the market and it was coming due on me, but as luck would have it I owed J. S. Reeves & Co. about $1,100 and wrote them the truth and stated to them the facts. They believed me and waited on me until I got a tide in the waters, delivered my logs and paid them their money.


I got out of that scrape, but I got into another a year or two later. I bought about $9,000 worth of pencil cedar in February and March of 1894. This was measured, branded and put in the creeks and river ready for floating. The people sold this cedar to me on time, taking my note for the balance, as all of them agreed to take part of the amount in the store--so I felt like I was making the best money I had ever made in my life. I was buying the stuff for a great deal less that it had been selling for, but the deal turned on me the other way, or the wrong way. I had never before known us to fail to have from two to four tides so we could float timber in the streams, but luck was against me in this spring of 1894. We did not get a tide at all; there was one small swell in the waters, just enough to scatter my stuff promiscuously on the sand and ground bars and drifts, and there it lay in the sun and water all through the spring, summer and fall. When I finally did get it down to the railroad the next spring, 1895, it was so water-soaked and sun-cracked that it sold as third-class instead of first-class, as I had bought it.


Some of the people I owed for cedar and some of the wholesale merchants began to get uneasy, and I began to get scared. I owned a little home farm. It was a good little home and I would have liked to kept it, but I made up my mind I would sell it and divide the proceeds among my creditors. I sold the farm for $2,500 and divided it up the best I could. I thought this would revive the faith of my creditors, but I do not know whether it did or not. I had to ask J. S. Reeves & Co. to help me to hold off some of my creditors--to tell them to hold up; that I would pay them just as soon as I could make the turn. Finally, about the first of August, 1895, I wound up the cedar and figured up. I found that I had lost one and a half years' time and $2,400, but I paid every dollar I owed in the world. I did not have much left, but about $2,000 more than I had to start into business April 2, 1882, and I thought with just as good will power as ever.


I decided to try Texas again, and I heard through a friend of Matagorda County that it contained fine, rich land, entirely undeveloped, and that the people of the county had voted to remove the county seat from Matagorda, a town on the bank of Matagorda Bay, to the center of the county and call the new county seat Bay City. I made a trip out to see this new county. I came out in September, 1895, and stayed in Matagorda County thirteen or fourteen days, and while there had not seen much done in the way of building up the town, what people were there seemed to be in fine spirits and jolly. The contractors were putting in the foundation for a new brick courthouse, and that looked good to me; the people were talking of getting a railroad right away, as Bay City at this time was thirty miles from the railroad. All this was encouraging to me, and during the thirteen or fourteen days I stayed in this place the cool breeze was blowing right off the Gulf of Mexico, and it made me feel like I was in the next place to Paradise. I was certainly delighted with the country, so pretty soon I made up my mind to move out to Matagorda County, but did not decide what I would follow at that time. But before I left Alabama I had decided to buy a piece of land if I liked the country, and I had been shown some tracts of land, but in some way I did not like the propositions. It seemed every one involved me in debt too much, and as there was not much farming going on and it would be an experiment with me, and I had only $2,400 to do everything with I was afraid to go in debt. Mr. N. H. Rowlett had just finished up a small hotel and had opened it up and at that time seemed to be doing a nice business. Mr. Rowlett's wife had tuberculosis and the doctors advised him to take her north, so he and his friends asked me to take the hotel off his hands at just what it had cost him. After considering the proposition three or four days and watching the business he was doing I decided to take the property. In buying I assumed $1,000, he still owed on the property.


We had only been in this business a few weeks when I could see clearly that I had made the biggest mistake that I had ever made in my life. I began to think matters over in their true light. Instead of people coming in they began to go away. A hotel, with every dollar I had on earth tied up and owing $1,000, and with but few customers, I began to view the situation as one of the darkest things I had ever run up against, so I said to myself: "If I can't get some help from back in Alabama I am sure a goner this time," so I wrote my brother-in-law, M. T. Trice, and told him how I was up against it and told him I wanted $500--that I wanted to start a little store, and in this way felt sure I could pull through. He wrote back encouragingly, telling me he thought he could let me have this amount. Then I wrote J. S. Reeves & Co. and told them what I wanted--that I wanted help to the amount of about $500 worth of goods to start me up. They replied that they would help me to that amount, so pretty good feelings came back to me. I felt sure that with this $500 from Mr. Trice and the $500 stock from Reeves & Co. I could start up a pretty nice little business and pull through, so I just went ahead to prepare to begin business and ordered the $500 stock from Reeves & Co. and wrote to Mr. Trice to send me the $500, as I was ready to open up business. But when I received a reply from Mr. Trice he stated to me that money matters were very tight back there and it would be impossible for him to furnish me.


Oh, my, when I received this word of defeat my heart almost went out of me for I would never have asked J. S. Reeves & Co. for the $500 if I had not felt sure of the $500 from Mr. Trice, because I knew I could not make a success in business here with a little stock of dry goods alone. However, I went along and opened up the little stock of dry goods, but soon saw it was going to be a failure, and by this time my debts on the hotel were falling due and we were not making anything at all in the hotel to meet them with. I did not know what to do. I knew if I was sued and closed out on the lumberman's lien I would lose probably every cent I had in the world, so the only thing to do was to see if I could find some merchant in the county to take the goods I got from J. S. Reeves & Co. and let me have to money to pay on the hotel debt. I was trying to save what I had already put into the property, so I went to the manager of the Townsite Company and asked him to help me to get some one to take the goods and let me have the money. It was a scary time for me, as the lumberman had already told me he would have to foreclose his lien.


Mr. Magill found a man to take most of the stock and I gave the proceeds to the lumberman, and this seemed to satisfy him for a while (and I want to say right here that my wife never failed to be my partner in all of these struggles; she never missed an opportunity to hand out lunches at the back door to the Negroes when they came to town, and it helped out wonderfully). Finally we paid off the $1,000 but after it was paid out I felt just like I had nothing, although I had paid $2,900 for the property I would rather have had $1,000 in cash than to have had the hotel, for I knew I could take $1,000 and make a living, but I did not see any possible chance to make a living out of the hotel, and I do not suppose I could have cashed the hotel for $1,000.


From the first it looked as though everything had gone to the bad in every direction. By 1897 the boll weevil had stuck the country and that put cotton out of commission, so that left nothing going on but cattle business, which is a poor business for a town or town business. It just got to where I was compelled to make a shift, and I did not know how to go about it. One day I said: "Wife, it begins to look like you and I and the children will have to take a bundle on our backs and walk out of this country and go until we can find some work to do, for there is nothing going on here for us to do," but finally I struck a man who owned 700 acres of land down on the bay, eighteen miles below or south of Bay City, and I told him I would give him the hotel property for 300 acres of this land. We traded right away, but I felt that the land would not help me much unless I could sell it or put it up as collateral and get some money, as money was what I most needed. I knew I could make a living anywhere with my wife's help.


Right here the good Lord began to turn the trumps for me. Just about this time one of the merchants of Bay City had given up--he had written his wholesale people to come and take his stock; that he could not pull through. I went to work for this stock. I went to our banker, Henry Rugeley, who is still in the banking business here. It told him I wanted to let him have a deed of trust on the 300 acres of land for the money, and he agreed to let me have it. The stock of general merchandise involved $2,595 and was turned over the Gust-Heye & Co. of Galveston, Texas, to dispose of and divide with the creditors. I was lucky enough to buy the stock for 52 1/2 cents on the dollar, and then I could begin to see daylight  and felt like I could step faster and jump higher than I ever did in my life.


This started me in the mercantile business again, beginning on the first day of February, 1899. We had to haul all our goods from Wharton, Texas, a distance of thirty miles, and a good portion of the distance is the black watery land, and through the winter and the wet weather we could not pull much of a load. This continued until July 31, 1901, when we got our first railroad into Bay City. (Today we have three railroads running into Bay City.)


I did a very nice mercantile business and made some money in 1900. I persuaded my son, R. J. Sisk, to come in with me. He at this time had started and was running a little racket store very successfully and was very energetic in his business, so I needed him in with me.


In 1900 we did a fine business and made a large gain financially. During this year the rice industry was launched near Bay City as an experiment. About 600 acres were put into rice and irrigated from the Colorado River, which river is about one and a half miles west of Bay City. The experiment proved a complete success, and it set the whole country wild, everybody wanting to raise rice, ourselves not excepted. My son and I arranged matters and put in 433 acres of rice. We bought up teams and implements and bought a threshing machine so as to save our crop. Everything moved along nicely and 300 acres of our crop was the brag crop of the country and we were carried away with our prospects. We could not see how we could be knocked out of clearing $10,000 on our crop, but luck was against us again.


On Friday evening before we were to begin harvesting our 300-acre tract on the following Monday morning it began to rain and some wind with it. I went up to the field early Saturday morning and, lo and behold, our 300 acres of rice was lying as flat on the ground as if a log had been rolled over it. Oh, my heart almost melted within me. We hardly knew what to do or go at--we had been out so much money, for a rice crop is the most expensive crop on earth. I suggested to my son that we give the crop up and not try to do anything more with it, but he believed that he could still go ahead and take it up and save it and maybe get our money back. But later we both wished we had let it lie in the field just like the rain and wind had put it, for when we got through and figured up all expenses and what we lost, disposing of our teams, implements and threshing machine, we were between $6,000 and $7,000 in the hole, and almost flat broke again!


So, you see, in this way I have been a little up and the most of the time down all the way through, but, I never did get so out of heart that I was willing to quit trying. I have always been able to dismiss my back-sets and "spilt milk" and throw up my head and try again, and today I feel happy and thank the good Lord that he has given me good health and a will power, and I praise his holy name today that I don't owe anyone a dollar and have enough ahead that I am not uneasy about my few remaining years. My wife and I have had thirteen children born to us--ten of them still living, nine of them in Texas and one of them in Alabama.

Yours respectfully,

Bay City, Texas                                 C. L. J. Sisk


Ad from 1902 Rice Carnival Program

Matagorda County Tribune,
May 7, 1920:




In the death of Mr. C. L. J. Sisk, who died at a Houston hospital last Friday at 2 p.m. after a lingering illness, Bay City loses a pioneer citizen, a man, until his health failed him, prominent in the business affairs of the city, a good Christian gentleman and one well liked by all the people.

Mr. Sisk was born on January 8, 1852, at Gray's Chapel, Alabama. On the 20th of July, 1871, he was married to Mary E. Trice. To this union were born thirteen children, ten of whom survive him. Mr. and Mrs. Sisk moved to Texas, landing in Bay City on November 4, 1894, where they have continuously lived. For 20 years Mr. Sisk has been in business here. He pioneered in the hotel and grocery business here, being succeeded a few years ago by his sons, R. J. and J. C., who are still in business.

Decedent was a member of the Woodmen Lodge, Odd Fellows and the Baptist Church, under the auspices of which he was laid to rest yesterday afternoon in Cedarvale Cemetery. The funeral was largely  attended by friends and acquaintances who attested their esteem, friendship and love in many last expressions of kindly words and deeds.

To the one left, who has been with him in all the vicissitudes of the past forty-nine years, and to the children who are left to mourn the going of a father The Tribune extends its profoundest sympathy.

[Died April 30, 1920]


 Family of
Jesse L. & Ailsie M. Henshaw Sisk



Jesse Sisk Family
By Margaret Lou Albert

Jesse Sisk, son of Charles L. J. Sisk and Mary E. Trice, was born in 1872, at Paint Rock Valley, Alabama. When the family moved to Texas in 1895, Jesse was a young, robust boy. He was busy helping his father get started in business, and also ran a freight line company between Wharton and Bay City for many years. He and his wife Ailsie had three children: Charles Warnie, Ethel and Vera Francis. Their children, Charles and Vera, both died at an early age, and were buried in Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City. At the age of six, Charles was kicked in the head by a mule and was killed instantly.

Ethel Sisk, only surviving child of Jesse and Ailsie, went to school in Bay City. When she reached adulthood, she married Roscoe Owens and lived in Bay City for a long period of time. Roscoe served in World War I, and upon his discharge they lived in Bay City for a time, but moved to Arlington, Texas, where Roscoe had been offered a job teaching at an industrial college. Roscoe continued in this occupation until he retired, and they live there for the remainder of their lives.

Jesse and Ailsie continued to live in Bay City, but when they died, they were both buried in Arlington, Texas, where their daughter resided. Ethel and Roscoe had no children. They were both dead in 1984, and were also buried in Arlington, Texas.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 490, 1984

Parkdale Cemetery, Arlington, Tarrant County, Texas
Courtesy of


Rites Held For Jesse Sisk, 91

Funeral services for Jesse Sisk, 91, of Bay City, who died at his residence Saturday [June 8] night, were held at 2 p. m. Sunday at the Arlington Methodist Church by the Taylor Brothers Funeral Home.

Rev. Hayden Edwards officiated and burial was in the Arlington Cemetery.

Survivors include two sisters, Mrs. Donie Capt of Uvalde and Mrs. Eva Hinshaw of Alabama; two brothers, J. C. Sisk of Bay City and Leonard Sisk.

Daily Tribune, June 10, 1963

Mrs. Ailsie M. Sisk, Long Time Resident Here, Died Today

Mrs. Alsie M. Sisk, nearing her 81st birthday, died here this morning. She had been a resident in the city for many years.

She is survived by her husband, Jesse Sisk, and two sisters, Mrs. Bessie Collins of Arlington, Texas, and Mrs. Mannie Cheetem of Nashville, Tenn.

Funeral services will be Saturday afternoon at 2 from the Arlington Methodist Church in Arlington and burial will be in Arlington Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.

Daily Tribune, December 12, 1952

Ethel Sisk Owens

Mrs. Roscoe Owens Succumbs After Operation.

The passing away of Mrs. Roscoe Owens, age 35, at the Baptist Hospital at Fort Worth, Sunday morning, August 17, at 6 o'clock did not bring surprise to her relatives and friends for the shock came just one week before that time, when the news went out over the city, that Mrs. Owens had taken suddenly ill and had been operated on Monday evening in a few hours after a serious attack of appendicitis. From that time on, her life was despaired of, but her faithful loved ones and friends kept holding on in prayer, hoping that it might be God's will to spare her. But he saw fit to pluck one of the fairest among our community, to come and dwell with Him, where there is no sorrow, nor suffering. He shows the human part of life when he makes a choice, just as we do when we go out to gather flowers. We choose the choicest one in the garden. So it was with him in choosing our dear Mrs. Owens, whose life was full of good deeds, ever ready to do her part in everything that was good for the community, and more especially the church. She served as an officer in some department of the Standard Bearers Wesley Sunday School Class for four years, always taking pleasure in trying to make her department the best. Mrs. Roscoe Owens was the last of six children, all preceding her in death.

She was born in Jackson County, Ala., Sept. 9, 1895, moved to Bay City, Texas, with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Sisk, at the age of six weeks. Was married to Roscoe Owens, Dec 22, 1915, and later moved to Arlington, where he is teacher of woodwork in the Mechanical Department of N. T. A. C. She became a member of the Methodist church at the age of 11 years.

She is survived by her husband, father and mother, and a host of relatives.

Funeral services were held at the Methodist church at 4 o'clock Monday afternoon. Rev. Henson of Polytechnic Church Ft. Worth officiated, being assisted by Rev. W. G. Bailey of Big Springs, former pastor of the Methodist church, of Arlington. The Standard Bearers Wesley Class had charge of the music, occupying the choir, and headed the procession on leaving the church, each carrying a spray of flowers, and forming a line on each side, as the casket passed through. Then came the legionnaires in a body. This was one of the largest funeral processions held in this city in a long time when many from out of the city came to pay her respect. Her remains were laid to rest in Parkdale Cemetery by Moore Funeral Home. Pall bearers were members of the S. B. W. Class, L. S. Morgan, Wayne Smith, Ed Lockhart, C. W. Stough, J. L. Hill, J. C. Duncan, G. C. Bailey and Chester Farris. Honorary pall bearers: G. C. Daniels, H. D. McMurtray, Boyd Lawson, Geo. L. Dickey, M. C. Stone, F. M. Smith, Roy Burdette, W. J. McFarland, W. E. Hollinsworth, D. H. Kiber, S. L. Perry and C. A. McCombs.

To the bereaved husband:
And, I shall look ahead to the land to be,
I know I shall see her standing there
By the golden shore of the silvery sea
In a little spot by the gate;
And she will greet her loved ones
with a "Howdy-do"
In the laughter light of a nightless sky,
And I shall be glad that I am through
With the saying "good-by" the saying "Good-by."

Out of town visitors at the funeral of Mrs. Roscoe Owens were: Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Owens and sons, Clifford and Granville of Pauls Valley, Okla., Mrs. Chas. Owens and children of Marlow, Okla., Mrs. Hershel Owens and sons Noel and Hollis, Tony and Jack McCollom of Leonard, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Vincent of Trenton, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Sisk (father and mother), F. L. Sisk and children Robert Lee and Allie J., Mrs. J. C. Sisk and daughter Mary James, Mrs. Frank Osborne, Mrs. C. K. Norcross and daughter Helen Marie Sweeney, of Bay City, Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Kennedy and son Melvin Carroll of New Gulf, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Swaim and daughter Mrs. Fannie Fowler of Olney, Mrs. J. W. Fowler, Mrs. J. G. McDaniel and son Fred of Kirkland, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Harper of Caddo Mills, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hilt and daughter Betty Jane, Miss Marie Hilts, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Rasco and son Robert Ranki and Mrs. F. K. Anderson, Mrs. Nola Pickett, and daughter Doris and Mrs. Alvin Massie of Fort Worth.

Arlington Journal, August 22, 1930


Family of
Lemuel Madison & Walter Etoy Sisk Read


Lem and Walter Sisk Read Family
By Margaret Lou Albert

Walter Sisk, child of Charles L. J. and Mary E. Trice Sisk, was born in Paint Rock Valley, Alabama, in 1873. She came to Texas with her parents in 1880 and went back to Alabama in 1881. In 1895 the final move to Texas was made and Walter began her life as a Texan at the age of twenty-two. She was one of the first telephone operators in Matagorda County and worked for the telephone company for many years.

Walter, known to her family as "Aunt Sister," married Lem Read in Matagorda County on May 11, 1904, and on September 26, 1905, their only child, a son name R. J. was born. R. J. was the "apple of his mother's eye." Lem Read was a sewing machine repairman and worked at that occupation for many years. During the time that Walter and Lem's son was growing up, the family lived in Bay City, Brookshire, and Houston.

R. J. was a remarkable and ambitious young man, and once he set his mind on a goal it was hard to distract him. On October 18, 1936, R. J. married Delia Tolar, daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Ophelia Smith Tolar of Colmesneil, Texas. Delia was a beautiful young woman with as much determination as R. J., and as a result they were very prosperous.

R. J. and Delia made their home in Houston, as did R. J.'s mother Walter, R. J. and Delia owned and operated a Pharmacy in Houston for many years. He died in 1966 and was buried at Forest Park West Cemetery in Houston. Delia continued to reside in Houston.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 419, 1984

[The 1910 census of Matagorda County indicates that Lem and Walter had two children, but only one was living. The 1910 census also lists Thomas Read, age 14, son of Lem from a first marriage.]

Walter Etoy Sisk Read
December 31, 1870 - June 9, 1946


Lemuel M. Read
August 3, 1861 - January 3, 1936



 Family of
Frank James Osborne, Sr. & Annie Elizabeth Sisk Osborne



Frank Osborne, Sr. and Annie Sisk Osborne Family
By Margaret Lou Albert

Annie Elizabeth Sisk, child of Charles L. J. and Mary E. Trice Sisk, was born in 1879 in Paint Rock Valley, Princeton, Alabama. She moved to Bay City with her family in 1895. Annie married first a young man from Alabama, Jack Lanham. They had one child, Irene. Later Annie married Ned Rowlett and had two children, Ed and Myrtle. Not too much is known by the writer of these two husbands, but much is remembered about Annie's third husband, Frank Osborne, Sr. He was a kind, thoughtful person, and he and Annie were always willing to give help to anyone in need. The family all congregated on Annie and Frank's farm on Sunday afternoon and were always made to feel welcome. Annie and Frank married in 1918, and had three children: Mary Alice, Frank, Jr., and Betty Ann.

Annie's daughter, Irene Lanham, born in 1897, married Frank Patten in 1918, and they had two children, Margaret Ann and Fredrick.

Margaret Ann, born in 1922, married W. B. Pool in 1940, and had three children, Priscilla, Diane and Bill, Jr. Priscilla married Carl Allen and they had one son, Robert William, who married Holy Lindeen and had two children, Robert William, Jr. and Melissa Allen. Diane married Bill Gantka and had one child, Carrie Irene. Bill, Jr. was unmarried and lived in Houston where he was a cabinetmaker.

Fredrick Patten, born in 1924, married Naomi Wycoff and had three children, Ricky, Michael and Becky. Rickey had one son, Joseph Edward. Michael had one son, Mitchell. Becky had three children. Fredrick's children by his second wife Fay Arwood were Tammy, Lisa and Robert Eugene. One child, Kelly, was born to Fredrick and his third wife Mary. Mary died and later in 1979 Fredrick died. Irene Patten died in 1980 and Fred Patten died in 1968. They were buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Houston.

No information was available on Ed Rowlett. His last known address was Alpine, Texas. Myrtle Rowlett, born in 1908, married Harry Dean Stanley and had three children: twins, Harry and Ned and a third child, Berkley Eugene. Harry's children were: Harry Baxter, Bonnie Sue, Sherri, Eric and twins Yvonne and Yvette. Ned's children were Reath Dean and Carol. Berkley "Billy" married Cora Lea Koopman and had three children: Thomas Henry, Stanton David and Michael Dewayne. Billy resided in Austin. Myrtle died in 1960 in Bay City.

Mary Alice Osborne, born in 1920, married Charlie Jones and had two children, Alice Ann and Cynthia Kay. She and her second husband Leon Bryant had two children, Lennette and Rhonda Lynn. Leon died in 1968 in Lufkin, Texas. Mary Alice later married Marvin Smith.

Mary Alice's daughter Alice Ann Jones married Bennie Thomas and had six children: Leslie, Debbie, Pam, Mike, Robert and John Bradley. Leslie married Roxanna Karth and Debbie married James Koch. Alice Ann then married Tommy Long and had two children, Jay Cee and Thomas Gerald, Jr.

Cynthia Kay Jones married Charles Parham and had five children: triplets, Kim, Kathy and Karen, amd Kelly and Charles. Kim married Daniel Cummins and had twins, Traci and Stacie.

Mary Alice's daughter Lennette Bryant married Stanley Baggett and had four children, Melinda Lynn, Donna Kay, Tina Michele and Jennifer Kay.

Rhonda Lynn Bryant married Bowman Hoffman and they had four children: Bowman Jr., Kelsey Christene, James Braden and Amberly.

Frank Osborne, Jr., born in 1923, married Sarah Lloyd and they had three children: Frank Dale "Skipper," Terry Lee and Nancy Katherine. Skipper married Diana Sliva and had two children, Brandon and Stacey Marie. Terry Lee married Jeanne Mathis and they had one child, Carrell. Nancy married Phillip McMullen. Frank, Jr. died in 1964 in Bay City and was buried at Roselawn Cemetery.

Betty Ann Osborne, born in 1927, married Jack "Tooter" McKelvy and had three children: Kay, Jack, Jr. and Odie Dean. Kay married Dan Thorpe and had one child, Jennifer Kay. Jack, Jr. married Rosemary Wood and had four children: Christopher, Kevin, Jessica Deanne and Andy. Odie Dean married Debbie Tumlinson and had one child, Jordana Kay.

Frank Osborne, Sr. fought in the war against Pancho Villa in 1916. He served with Company "G" from Matagorda County. His grave bears a marker commending his service and patriotism. Annie Sisk Osborne died in 1954, and Frank Osborne, Sr. died in 1958. They were both buried in Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 388-389, 1984

Annie Sisk Osborne
August 23, 1879 - November 20, 1954

Frank J. Osborne, El Campo, Dies

Frank James Osborne, age 82, long time resident of Matagorda County, died in El Campo, Nov. 24. Services will be Wednesday at 4:00 p. m. from Taylor Brothers Funeral Home, with Rev. R. O. Fincher officiating.

The deceased is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Jack McKelvy and Mrs. Leon Bryant of Tokyo, Japan; one son, Frank Osborne, Jr., of Bay City. Interment in Cedarvale Cemetery.

Daily Tribune, November, 1958

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby


Family of
Warren B. & Mary Eva Sisk Hinshaw


Warren and Mary Eva Sisk Hinshaw Family
By Margaret Lou Albert

Mary Eva Sisk, daughter of Mary E. Trice and Charles L. J. Sisk, was born in 1881 at Paint Rock Valley, Alabama. They family moved to Texas in 1895. Mary Eva met and married James Warren Hinshaw of Alabama on July 6, 1901, and they spent most of their married life in Alabama, but resided in Bay City as a young married couple.

Mary Eva and Warren had six children: Farris Gordon, Fred Garmon, James Charles, Mary Monte, Robert Louis and Samuel Willis. Farris Gordon died at a young age and is buried in Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City. The other children grew up near the heart of Paint Rock Valley, Alabama. In later years some of the family members left the valley and lived in Scottsboro, Alabama.

Fred Garmon, oldest son of Mary Eva Sisk and Warren Hinshaw, was born on August 11, 1905. He married Ida Mae Stovall and they had one son, Billy Wayne, who married Martha Berry and was the father of two children, Pamela and Dana Renee.

James Charles was born in 1909 and died on February 29, 1968 and was never married.

Mary Monte, only daughter of Mary Eva and Warren Hinshaw, was born on December 17, 1911. She married Virgil Herron Green and they had one son, James Hunt Green. James married Cindy Piper and was the father of two children, Traci and Chris. Mary Monte died on June 30, 1970, and she and Virgil were buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Scottsboro, Alabama.

Robert Louis was born on August 26, 1914, and married Louise Pince of Paint Rock Valley. Louis was a skilled carpenter and had a busy, prosperous life in Scottsboro, Alabama. They had one daughter, Leisha Dianne, who married James Leroy Holland and had a son, Kenneth Wayne.

Samuel Willis was born on December 22, 1924.

Mary Eva Sisk Hinshaw died in 1964, and Warren died in 1960, and both were buried in Scottsboro, Alabama.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 245-246, 1984


Family of
Charles Bennett & Georgia Maude Sisk Sweeny


Charles Bennett Sweeny Family
By Margaret Lou Albert

Georgia Maude Sisk, child of Charles L. J. and Mary E. Trice Sisk, was born in 1886 in Paint Rock Valley, Alabama, and in 1895 came to Texas by covered wagon, crossing the Mississippi River. Maude attended school in Bay City and married Charles Bennett Sweeny in 1902. He was the grandson of Thomas Jefferson Sweeny, who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto. His great grandfather, Reverend John Haynie, was the first Chaplain for the Republic of Texas.

Maude and Charles had seven children: Will Nash, Burney Parker, Frank Crews, Eva Lou, Odie Dobeck, Mary Etoile and Helen Marie. Burney Parker and Mary Etiole died as small children.

Will Nash Sweeny, born in 1905, attended school in Bay City and married Margaret Jackson of Bay City. Later he married Mildred Means and had one child, Wilma Nash. Will Nash died in 1966 and was buried in Van Vleck, Texas.

Frank Crews "Buddy" Sweeny, born in 1908, in Bay City, married Omega Slone in the early 1930s, but lived alone most of his life, never remarrying. Buddy worked for Peoples Laundry and retired from there. The joy of his life was the Bay City Volunteer Fire Department which he served for over thirty-five years. He died in 1982, and was buried in Van Vleck.

Eva Lou Sweeny, born in 1911, in Bay City, attended school there. She married Melvin Lamar Kennedy in 1927 and they had two children, Melvin Carroll and Margaret Lou. [Died August 5, 1996, New Caney, Montgomery County, Texas]

Melvin Carroll, born in 1928 in Bay City, married Darlene Sandel in 1951, and they had three children, Melvin David, Linda Dianne and Odie Dean. David, married Angela Burns and they had three children, Brian David, John Paul and Sarah Elizabeth. Dianne married Lindell Martin, Jr., and they had three children, Stephanie Carol, Cody Lindell and Justin Clint. Odie Dean married Jean Hnatek and they had three children, Kevin Paul, Keith Alan and Kenneth Odie. Melvin Carroll was employed by the County Appraisal District and Darlene was the Tax Collector for the North Forest Independent School District in Houston.

Margaret Lou, born in Columbus, Texas, married Charles Meredith Albert, Sr., in 1950. They had two children, Cynthia Lou and Charles Meredith, Jr. Cindy married Jerry Donald Gansky, Sr., and they had three children, Jerry Donald, Jr., Amy Chantel and Levi Lamar. Charles Meredith Albert, Jr., "Chuck," married Janet Sue Brewer and had one son, Charles Meredith III. Charles Sr. was in the electrical trade for twenty-five years, and Margaret was the secretary to the Montgomery County sheriff.

Melvin Lamar Kennedy died on February 26, 1984, and Eva Lou lived in New Caney, near her children, grandchildren and her thirteen great-grandchildren.

Odie Doubek Sweeny, born in 1914, in Bay City was an outstanding athlete during his high school years. Odie married Lillie Jo Burt of Sweeny in 1937. He and Lillie Jo were the parents of a daughter, Georgia Ann. She attended Bay City schools, and was graduated from Bay City High School. Odie continued to be interested in sports and coached Little League in Bay City for over thirty-five years. A baseball field, "The Odie Sweeny Field," was named in his honor. Lillie also spent much time working with the Little League, and in that way she and Odie contributed much to the youth of the community. Lilly Jo retired from the telephone company and Odie from Skelly Oil Company. Georgia Ann married Joe Estes and they lived in Grapevine, Texas, and he was employed in Dallas.

Helen Marie Sweeny, born in 1920 in Bay City, was graduated from Bay City High School. She married L. W. Mott in 1940 and they had two children, July Lou and Martha Carol. Judy married James Leath and they had four children, Annette, Jerry, Jeannie and Shannon. Judy married second Charles Losack. Carol married Lynn Moore and lived in Louisiana with their children, Misty Marie and Andrew. Helen Marie resided in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she was employed by the Citizens State Bank for thirty years. She was an Assistant Cashier in 1984.

Georgia Maude Sisk Sweeny, a loving, devoted mother, died in 1933 and Charles Bennett Sweeny died in 1942. Georgia Maude was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City and Charles Bennett was buried in the Sweeny Family Cemetery in Sweeny, Texas.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 528 - 529, 1984

Georgia Maude Sisk Sweeny
Photo courtesy of Suzy & Rob Find A Grave Volunteers #46950534



Family of
Charles Speaker & Helen Steinmeyer Sisk


Charles Speaker Sisk
By Margaret Lou Albert

Charles Speaker Sisk, son of Charles L. J. Sisk and Mary E. Trice, was born in 1889 in Paint Rock Valley, Alabama. He was six years old when his family made their move from Alabama to Texas. They came by covered wagon and this experience was one that Charles Speaker would look back on and remember as an almost never-ending journey. There was little time to stop to play along the way, and it was very boring for a child of that age.

After reaching Bay City, Charles Speak attended school and spent much of his time playing to make up for lost time. He grew up to be a very handsome young man. He married a very beautiful young girl named Lanie Steinmeyer. Charles was a rice grower and worked hard at his occupation. He seemed to have a prosperous life ahead for himself and his young bride--it was said that they were a very special couple, and that they never had a cross work during the several years they were married. Then tragedy struck in 1920. Charles was severely burned by steam from rice field machinery when the became caught between two machines. He survived for only a few days. He was thirty-one years old. Lanie moved to Washington State, and eventually remarried. She and Charles Speaker had no children.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pp 488-489, 1984

[Note: Charles Speaker and Helen "Lanie" Steinmeyer Sisk had a son born June 20, 1916 who died June 22, 1916. He was buried at Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas.]

Charles Speaker Sisk
September 5, 1889 - October 1, 1920

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby

Infant of Charles Speaker & Helen "Lanie" Steinmeyer Sisk

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby


Family of
Emmett Eugene, Sr. Donie Oaklie Sisk Capt


Donie Oaklie Sisk and Emmett Eugene Capt, Sr. Family

Donie Oaklie Sisk, daughter, Charles L. J. Sisk and Mary E. Trice, was born in 1892, at Paint Rock Valley, Alabama. She moved to Texas with her family in 1895 and attended school in Bay City. In 1915 she married Emmett Eugene Capt, and they lived in Bay City until 1919 when they moved to Uvalde, Texas. They had seven children: Nora Ruth, Emmett Eugene Jr., Albert Basil, Mary Leila, Frances Edna, Byron Trice and Louis Earle.

Nora Ruth married B. Huey Prosser and had one child, Carolyn. Nora Ruth married Willie Harvey Martin and married third John Darby Coffee in 1964. Emmett Eugene, Jr. married Betty Mae Graves and had two children, Emmett Eugene III and Donya Betty. Albert Basil was killed during World War II. He was a lieutenant in the United States Army Air Forces and was killed in active duty. Mary Leila married James Robert Penland and they had four children: William Dayton Jr., Dennis Eugene, Basil Trice and Brian Louis. Byron Trice was killed in an automobile accident in 1945 at the age of sixteen. Louis Earle married Sue Carper and they had three children: Amy Kathleen "Kathy," Louis Carper and Courtney Ruth.

Emmett Eugene, Sr. and Donie were active in the First Baptist Church for many years. Emmett became a prominent business man in Uvalde, and later devoted full time to stock farming. In 1975 Donie and Emmett celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary and repeated their wedding vows. They were honored on that day by a telegram from Gerald R. Ford, the President of the United States.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 72, 1984


At the Baptist Church last Wednesday morning, Miss Donie Sisk was united in marriage to Mr. E. E. Capt of Port Arthur, Rev. O. B. Falls, pastor of the Baptist Church, officiating. Miss Sisk is the daughter of Mr. C. L. J. Sisk an old citizen of Bay City, and the bride is one of the favorites of the city, popular in social and useful in religious circles. The groom is a young business man who for some months was agent of the Texas Oil Co., at this place, and occupies a similar position now at Port Arthur, where their home will be.

The Matagorda County News and Midcoast Farmer, June 18, 1915


Family of Farris Linard Sisk


Farris Linard Sisk Family
By Margaret Lou Albert

Farris Linard Sisk, son of Charles L. J. Sisk and Mary E. Trice, was born in 1897, in Bay City, He attended school in Bay City and became a successful businessman in early life as the owner of a Gulf Oil Agency. He married Alma Gest, and they had one daughter, Violet Adele. Violet married Marvin Smith and they had two children, Kathryn LaRue "Kitty" and Charles Edward.

Kitty Smith married Albert Taylor and they had five children: Marvin Lester, Albert Jr., Bertram Richard, and twins, Jerry Lynn and Terry Lynn.

Charles Edward Smith married a young lady named Lou and they had one son, Charles Edward II.

Farris Linard Sisk, Sr., and his second wife, Eula, had two sons: Farris Linard, Jr. and Charles Speaker. Both sons resided in California. Farris Linard, Jr. had three children, and Charles Speaker had four children: Roger, Sharon, Barbara and Jeannie Marie.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 489, 1984



Copyright 2016 - Present by the Sisk Family
All rights reserved

Jan. 1, 2016
Jan. 1, 2016