Robertson County




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TXGenWeb Robertson County Books & Master's Theses

H E A R N E   O N   T H E   B R A Z O S

By Norman Lowell McCarver, Sr. & Norman Lowell McCarver, Jr.
Century Press Of Texas, San Antonio, Texas
© 1958 by Norman Lowell McCarver
Lone Star Printing Company, San Antonio, Texas

Used with permission of Norman Lowell McCarver, Jr.  These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format by other organizations or individuals.

Biographical Sketches - F

FERGUSON, WESLEY PLATT was born at Selma, Alabama, June 30, 1852.  At the death of his mother, when he was a small boy, he left the paternal home and moved to Fairview, Ohio, where, under the care of his grandmother, he spent his early boyhood.
He came to Texas in the late 1860's and settled at Port Sullivan, Milam County, Texas.  Port Sullivan in those days was a thriving town, with the Brazos River navigable to this section, and furnished a means of transportation.
In the early 1870's he joined his father at Port Sullivan and after a brief stay at this place he returned to Ohio to complete his schooling in Springfield.  Later he came back to Texas bringing his sister, Miss Mary Augusta Ferguson, who later was married to William Tillett Watt.
Mr. Ferguson moved from Port Sullivan to Hearne when the H. & T. C. Railroad had been constructed to Hearne and while Hearne was sparsely settled.  Indications were that Hearne would grow into a thriving township.
His first employment in Hearne was with the firm of Franklin & Company and later he was employed by Hale Sc Company.  Following his association with these firms, he became associated with his brother-in-law, William Tillett Watt, in the hardware and banking business, Mr. Ferguson continuing for a time in the private banking business after Mr. Watt's removal to Waco.
In 1892 Mr. Ferguson went to Waco where for two years he was cashier of the Provident National Bank, this bank having been organized by W. T. Watt.  On January 14, 1892, Mr. Ferguson was married to Miss Irene Barton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lem Barton of Calvert, Texas.  The young couple came to Hearne in 1894 and established their home on Magnolia Street, on which home site they continued to reside throughout their life together.  Children born to Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson were: W. P. Ferguson Jr., C. B. (Tony) Ferguson, Watt Ferguson, Augusta Ferguson, and Irene Ferguson.
Mr. Ferguson was instrumental in organizing the First National Bank in Hearne in 1894 and became the first cashier of this new bank.  He served this bank for twenty-six years as cashier and later president, assuming the presidency at the death of L. W. Carr in 1911.  He retired from active business in 1920.  Active in all civic organizations, Mr. Ferguson figured in the affairs of Hearne for more than a half century.  He was a Mason, a Knight Templar, and a member of the Presbyterian Church.  Wesley Platt Ferguson died February 8, 1930.

FERNEY, JAMES HALBERT, son of James Ferney and Ruth Patillo Ferney, was born June 10, 1886 at Taylor, Texas.  He attended the Taylor public schools.
In 1903, he moved to Hearne, Texas and worked for the I. & G. N. Railroad Company at Valley Junction.  Later, he established Ferney's Confectionery on Fourth Street in Hearne and operated this business for several years.  During the 1920s, he accepted employment with the Humble Pipe Line Company and worked at the Hearne pump station of this company.
In 1928, he moved to Baytown, Texas to continue his employment with Humble and was a machinist at the Humble Oil & Refining Company at Baytown at the time of his death October 5, 1937.
He was married to Marvel Mae Ayres, daughter of Jim Ayres and Lula Jennings Ayres of Hearne, Texas, July 11, 1908.  Marvel Mae Ayres Ferney was born at Hearne, Texas, July 22, 1890.  She attended the Hearne public schools.
The following children were born to James Halbert Ferney and Marvel Mae Ayres Ferney:  Ruth Ferney, Maybell Ferney, Florence Ferney, Jimmie Ferney, and Philip Ferney.  Ruth Ferney was married to Andy Andrews; Maybell Ferney married Howard Sheffied; Florence Ferney married Jack Earley; and Jimmie Ferney married Royette Aquillard.
The following grandchildren were born:  Betty Mae Andrews, Charlie Andrews, Shelly Sheffield, Quentin Sheffield, Paul Sheffield, Philip Ferney II, David Ferney, Halbert Ferney, Linda Ferney, Jerry Earley, CArolyn Earley, and Franklin Earley.
James Halbert Ferney was a member of the Baytown Baptist Church and a member of the Masonic Lodge.  Marvel Mae Ayres Ferney is a member of the Baytown Baptist Church and a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Pythian Sisters.

FERRARA, CHARLES was born in Italy, January 5, 1896 and came to America in 1913, settling in the Brazos Bottom near Hearne where he engaged in cotton farming.  He opened his first store in Hearne in 1921, leaving Hearne in 1923 to open another store at Steele's Store in the Brazos Bottom and devoted his full time to this business until 1929.
In 1929 he moved to Wood Switch and was engaged in operating a store and became connected with his first cotton gin.  The year 1932 found him back at Westbrook where he remained until 1940 when he purchased the Hearne Fair Dry Goods Store, later opening stores at Bremond and Franklin.  He is an extensive real estate owner in Hearne and land owner in the Brazos Bottom.  He and his family are active communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church where he has served as vice president of St. Mary's Catholic Men's Society.  He is a past director of the Hearne Chamber of Commerce, a former member of the Mumford School Board, has served on numerous occasions on tax equalization boards and is a stockholder and member of the Board of Directors of the P. & M. State Bank of Hearne.
In 1914 he was married to Miss Charlotte Trentacost of Bryan and three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ferrara: Fred C. Ferrara, Rosa Lee Ferrara Roffino, and Mary Stella Ferrara Campise.
Charles Ferrara and his success story after leaving his native home in Italy and coming to Hearne in 1913 is typical of many citizens of Italian nationality that made good in America.  When he arrived in Hearne in 1913, he could not speak one word of English, had only 25c in money, and carried identification papers requesting that he be taken to his brother-in-law Tony Trentacost upon his arrival in Hearne.  By hard work and good management Charles Ferrara has built up large land and property holdings in this area and is one of the foremost citizens of the Hearne area.

FERRARA, FRED CHARLES, son of Charles Ferrara and Charlotte Trentacost Ferrara, was born at Hearne, Texas, January 26, 1920 He attended grade school at Mumford and Hearne and was graduated from Hearne High School with the Class of 1939.  He was awarded the American Farmer Degree by the National Future Farmers of America organization at Kansas City, Missouri in 1940, and served as a member of the State Executive Board of the Future Farmers of America for two years.
After finishing high school in 1939 he farmed in the Hearne Brazos Bottom with his father and in 1942 he purchased his first farm, a 260 acre tract of land in the Hearne Brazos Bottom.  In 1943 he bought an interest in a cotton gin in the Brazos Bottom and operated this gin for one year.  In 1944 he bought 100 more acres in the Brazos Bottom.
     During 1946 he purchased an interest in The Fair Dry Goods Company of Hearne and later bought an interest in this same firm in Franklin.  In 1950 he bought an interest in The Fair Dry Goods Company in Bremond.  In 1951 he bought the entire interest in the Fair Dry Goods Company in Franklin and in 1956 purchased the entire stock of the Fair Dry Goods Company in Hearne.  During 1956 he purchased 300 more acres of land in the Hearne Brazos Bottom.  He lived in Franklin for a short time but returned to Hearne in 1951.
On February 16, 1941 he was married to Anne Marie Denena, daughter of Leon Denena and Maria Corona Denena at Hearne, Texas.  Anne Marie Denena Ferrara attended school at Mumford and Hearne and was graduated from Hearne High School with the Class of 1940.  Three children were born to Fred Charles Ferrara and Anne Marie Denena Ferrara: Charlotte Ann Ferrara, Marie Bernadette Ferrara, and Madeline Ferrara.
Fred Charles Ferrara and Annie Marie Ferrara are communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church.  He is a member of St. Mary's Men's Club; a member of the Knights of Columbus; the Hearne Chamber of Commerce; the Franklin Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Hearne Lions Club; served as business manager for the first Girl Scout day camp to be held in Hearne in 1958; and served as a member of the Board of Education of the Hearne Independent School District.  In 1939 he was the youngest member to ever join the Hearne Rotary Club being 19 years old at the time he became a member.

FIESELER, BENJAMIN CARL, son of William Fieseler and Emma Bertha Altman Fieseler, was born August 29, 1905 at West, McLennan County, Texas.  He attended the public schools in Lexington and Rockdale, Texas and was graduated from Thorndale High School with the Class of 1923.
After finishing his high school education he engaged in the grocery business.  He moved to Hearne, Texas, February 22, 1932.
He was married to May Guthrie, daughter of John Wesley Guthrie and Addie Comore Turner Guthrie, of Rockdale, Texas, November 2, 1929.  May Guthrie Fieseler was born at Rockdale, Texas, April 10, 1910.  She graduated from Rockdale High School and was a member of the high school Dramatic Club at Rockdale.
Ben and May Fieseler have been active in the business circles of Hearne.  They have been in the grocery business, ladies ready-to-wear business, the service station business, and now own and operate the Tot & Teen Shop on Market Street in Hearne.  Ben Fieseler has also been associated with several automobile agencies in Hearne.  Prior to moving to Hearne, May Fieseler taught in public schools.
Mr. and Mrs. Fieseler are both active in church work being cornmunicants of St. Philips Episcopal Church where he has served on the Vestry and as Church Treasurer.  May Fieseler is a member of the Hearne Garden Club and the Hearne Study Club.

 FINDLEY, SIDNEY ALBERT, son of Eppley Whitmire Findley and Joyce Wilson Findley, was born at Denison, Texas, February 81 1901.
     He attended public schools in Denison and was graduated from Denison High School with the Class of 1920.  Upon completion of high school he attended Austin College at Sherman, Texas for two years.  In 1923-24 he taught in the Denison public schools.  In 1924 he accepted a job for the summer months with the H. & T. C. Railroad at Ennis, Texas in the mail dispatching department.  He did not return to his teaching job in Denison in the fall of 1924 but accepted a job in the accounting department of the H. & T. C. Railroad at Ennis and worked in this position until 1928.  During 1928 he was promoted to a secretarial position in the office of the division engineer at Ennis and continued this employment until 1930.
     He moved to Hearne, Texas in April 1930 and was employed as Trainmaster's Clerk and Division Car Distributor for the Dallas Division with his office being located in Hearne.  During 1932 he studied and completed a course in telegraphy and in 1936 when the Dispatcher's Office was moved to Hearne he qualified and was promoted to Trick Dispatcher.  He worked in this position until 1942 when he was promoted to Chief Dispatcher.  On September 12, 1954 he was transferred to Ennis, Texas where he was employed as Second Trick Chief Dispatcher and on July 1, 1956 he was promoted to Chief Dispatcher at Ennis.
     He married Lelia Mae Reading, daughter of John M. Reading and Mina Elmore Reading of Mart, Texas, September 2, 1937.  Lelia Mae Reading Findley was born and reared in Mart, Texas and attended the public schools there, graduating from Mart High School with the Class of 1931.  She attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas and was graduated with a B. A. Degree in Education in 1934, completing her college courses in three years.  She taught in the Hearne elementary school during 1934-35 and 1935-36.  In 1936-37 she taught in the Calvert elementary school.  Two children were born to Sidney Albert Findley and Lelia Mae Reading Findley; a son, John Sidney Findley, born October 3, 1942; and a daughter, Leah Elmore Findley, born January 2, 1945.
Lelia Mae Reading Findley died April 8, 1955.  She was active in social and civic organizations of Hearne, being a member of the Hearne Shakespeare Club, the Hearne Music Club, the Parent Teachers Association, the Hearne Band Parents Association, and the First Baptist Church.
Sidney Albert Findley is a member of the American Train Dispatchers Association; a former Member and past president of the Hearne Rotary Club; a charter member of the Hearne Lions Club; former member and past president of the Hearne Chamber of Commerce; past president and charter member of the Hearne Golfers Association; served as District Commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America; a former member of the Hearne Parent-Teachers Association; and served as General Chairman of the Hearne Alfalfa Fiesta in 1954.  During his residence in Hearne from 1930 to 1954 he was one of Hearne's most active civic leaders.

FLEMING, DR. JAMES PATRICK JR., son of Mr. and Mrs. James Patrick Fleming, was born February 19, 1917 at Williamstown, Massachusetts.
     He was graduated from Wililams College and received his A.B. Degree in 1938.  He attended Johns-Hopkins and received his M.D. in 1942.  Dr. Fleming served his internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and his residency was at the Palmerton, Pennsylvania Hospital from 1945 to 1948.
During World War II he was attached to the 30th Infantry where he met Dr. T. A. Searcy.  As a result of this friendship, Dr. Fleming moved to Hearne in 1948 to join Dr. Searcy in the practice of medicine.  With Dr. Searcy, he established the fully staffed SearcyFleming Hospital &- Clinic in Hearne in 1950.
He was married to Miss Mary Bessemer, August 19, 1940 and they have three children: James Patrick Fleming 111, Timothy Michael Fleming, and Mary Jane Fleming.
The Fleming family are communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church of Hearne.  Dr. Fleming is a member of the American Medical Association, the Southern Medical Association, the Brazos-Robertson County Medical Association, the Miles Scriviner American Legion Post of Hearne, and he is active in the Hearne Chamber of Commerce.

FOX, J. HOWARD, son of J. S. Fox and Frances West Fox, was born March 7, 1907 in Granger, Texas.  His parents were pioneer citizens of the Granger area.
After attending the Granger public schools from 1913 he was graduated from Granger High School with the Class of 1924.  In the fall of 1924 he entered Southwestern University of Georgetown, Texas.  He was graduated from this university with the Class of 1928 with a B. A. Degree.
Upon the completion of his college education he was employed by the South Texas Cotton Oil Company and worked at the office of that company in Corpus Christi, Texas as a weigher.  In December 1929 he was transferred to the Hearne office of that company as cashier and assistant manager.
In 1943 he became Manager of the South Texas Cotton Oil Company at Hearne and continues his duties with this firm along with his farming and ranching business.  He has been quite active in the business and civic activities of Hearne and the state as is evidenced by the following positions and offices that he has been connected with: Member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity; Member of the Board of Stewards of Grace Methodist Church; served as Chairman of the Board of Stewards for eight years; served as Lay Reader and Associate Lay Realer of the Bryan District for ten years; member of the Hearne Rotary Club; served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Hearne Chamber of Commerce for fourteen years; a member of the Hearne City Council for four years, 1943-1947; served six years as a Director of the Texas Cottonseed Crushers Association; Vice President and President of the Texas Cottonseed Crushers Association; appointed in 1947 for a six year term as a member of the Brazos River Authority by Governor Beauford Jester and in 1953 re-appointed for another six year term on this board by Governor Allan Shivers and is now serving as a member of the Executive Board of the Brazos River Authority as Vice President.
He is also a Director of the First State Bank of Hearne; a member of the Calvert Country Club; a member of the Texas &- Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association; a member of the National Cottonseed Products Association; a member of the Texas Ginners Association; a member of the Texas Water Conservation Association; and a member of the National Reclamation Association and the Texas Farm Bureau.
In 1934 he was married to Miss Mary Schmoyer of Waco, Texas.  Mrs. Fox taught in the Hearne public schools.  Mr. and Mrs. Fox have three daughters; Helen Fox, Betty Fox, and Susan Fox.

FOYT, THOMAS EVERETT SR., son of Charles Foyt and Villa Thomas Pressley Foyt, was born in Rosebud, Texas, October 25, 1915.  He attended elementary school at Waco and Temple, Texas, later attending Temple High School and graduated from Belton High School with the Class of 1934.  Later, he attended Veterans Agricultural Night School for four years at Hearne, Texas.
   On February 15, 1936, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy.  After completing his navy schooling, he participated in the search for Amelia Earhart, famed American aviatrix who disappeared while flying over the Pacific, while he was aboard the U.S.S. Lexington.  He also served aboard the U.S.S. Kokomo, the U.S.S.
Tuscaloosa, the U.S.S. Mississippi, the U.S.S. Chaumont, the U.S.S. Wichita, the U.S.S. Mont Calm, the U.S.S. Kileiwen, the U.S.S. Chateau-Thiery, and the U.S.S. Tomahawk.  Later, he transferred to the U.S. Navy SeaBees and served as an instructor with the rank of Ensign.  He was awarded campaign ribbons for participation in all theaters of World War II and received good conduct and victory medals.  When he received his discharge from military service March 19, 1946, he held the rank of Lieutenant.  He served as Cargo Officer, Personnel Officer, Gunnery Officer, Military Science Instructor, and Stevedore Officer.
In 1946, he moved to Mumford, Texas in the Brazos Bottom and engaged in the business of farming and ranching.  In 1947, he purchased the H. O. Collier farm which consisted of 555 acres in the Brazos Bottom and in 1955 he acquired an additional 185 acres from J. H. Collier.  He has managed the J. H. Collier farm near Mumford since 1948.  The acreage that he owns and manages is the original tract of Brazos Bottom land that was owned and operated by J. R. Collier, the father of Judson Holt Collier.  On this large farm, traces of the old plantation style of farming are still visible.  He has constructed on this farm the first grain dryers and the first all-steel type farm buildings in this area.
 Thomas Everett Foyt married Frances Elizabeth Collier, daughter of Judson Holt Collier and Lillian Elizabeth Welch Collier of Mumford, Texas, March 19, 1944.  The marriage was performed at Temple, Texas.  Frances Elizabeth Collier Foyt attended the Mumford elementary school and later attended elementary school in Hearne.  She was graduated from Hearne High School with the Class of 1937 and attended Baylor University in Waco.
The following are children of Thomas Everett Foyt and Frances Elizabeth Collier Foyt:  Thomas Everett Foyt Jr., born January 23, 1945, and Barbara Frances Foyt, born October 3, 1949.
Frances Elizabeth Collier Foyt is a member of the First Baptist Church of Hearne where she is a member of the church choir and a Bible school teacher.  She is a Past President of the Mumford Parent-Teacher's Association; a Charter Member of the Green Thumb Garden Club of Hearne; a member of the Hearne Shakespeare Club; served as Camp Committee Chairman of the First Girl Scout Day Camp ever held in Hearne in 1958; has served as Post Supervisor for the Mumford Ground Observer Corps since 1955; is a member of the Robertson County Cancer Society; served as Fund Chairman for the Cancer Drive at Mumford for five years; and served as sponsor for the Mumford Junior Music Lovers' Club.
Thomas Everett Foyt is a member of the First Baptist Church of Hearne; is a member of the Board of Education of the Mumford Independent School District; serves as Chief Observer for the Mumford Ground Observer Corps; served as Scoutmaster; served as Troop Committeeman for the Hearne Boy Scouts of America; an Eagle Scout; serves as Board Supervisor for the Brazos-Robertson Soil Conservation District; is a member of the Robertson County Farm Bureau; a member of the Hi-Y at Temple, Texas; a member of the Army-Navy Club; a member of the Short Snorters; a member of the Domain of Neptunus Rex; a member of the Red Cross Life Savers Club; a member of the Mumford Parent-Teacher's Association; and a member of the Pearl Harbor Golfer's Association.

FULTON, SAMUEL ERNEST, son of Edin Rivers Fulton and Nannie Etta Payne Fulton, was born in Calvert, Texas, July 30, 1895.
He attended school at Elmo Rural School three miles east of Calvert.  He later moved to Stamford, Texas where he attended the Sunny Side School near that city.
On October 20, 1917 he was married to Miss Dora Belle Karr, daughter of William Isaac Karr and Sarah Bell Wooten Karr of Anson, Jones County, Texas.  The marriage took place in Fort Worth, Texas.  Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Fulton: William Cecil Fulton, Ernestine Fulton, Maxine Fulton, and Etta Belle Fulton.
He farmed in Jones County, Texas from 1911 to 1916 and when he moved to Franklin, Texas and bought a livery stable. (Note: Ernest Fulton said that he didn't think that anyone ever rode a horse or rode in a buggy after he purchased the livery stable as he didn't do so good with this business and sold it and went into the service car business).
On July 18, 1917 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served eleven months in France with the 111th Field Signal Battalion 36th Division.  He received his discharge from military service June 19, 1919 after World War I and returned to Franklin and worked in a garage as a mechanic until July 1920.  During 1920 he moved to Calvert, Texas and was employed by Robertson County doing roadwork.  He later was employed at the Calvert Country Club.  During 1921 he moved to the Hearne Brazos Bottom and worked at a gin on the Christy Bryant plantation near Mumford.  He was working at this gin during the fall of 1921 when the great flood of that year wiped out so many cotton planters in the Brazos Bottom.
On November 30, 1921 he moved to Hearne and was employed as a mechanic by a local garage until 1926 when in partnership with Earl Shelman he opened his own garage, this business being located on Fifth Street in the business district of Hearne.
He went to work for Humble Pipe Line Company November 23, 1926 and continued his employment with that company until June 10, 1957 when he was retired on disability after being employed for a period of nearly 31 years.
Mr. and Mrs. Fulton are members of the First Baptist Church of Hearne and he is a member of the Miles Scriviner American Legion Post and a member of the Golden Rule Masonic Lodge of Hearne.

FUSSELL, A. B. was born in Washington Parish, Louisiana, June 12, 1885 and grew into manhood and attended school there and in New Orleans.
After completing business school he went to work for lumber companies in Southern Louisiana, serving as accountant and credit manager in the commissaries.  He then became credit manager for a chain of four grocery stores and left this employment to become manager of a Building & Loan Association in Louisiana.
He later was associated with the Federal Land Bank at Baton Rouge, Louisiana and left this position to move to Hearne, Texas in 1936 and enter the retail grocery business in Hearne and Bryan.
Upon getting established in Hearne he became active in the Chamber of Commerce and served that organization as President.  He was also active in the Hearne Rotary Club for twenty years.  He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and a member of the Board of Stewards of Grace Methodist Church.
In 1906 he was married to Miss Mary Lillian Hoell at Groosttete, Louisiana and two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Fussell: a son, Robert Fussell; and a daughter, Jerry Fussell who married Major Jack Richards of the U. S. Army.
After a business career in Hearne for over a period of twenty-two years, A. B. Fussell disposed of his business interests and retired in 1958.


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