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Carolyn Griffith
County Coordinator
Elaine Stone


Obituaries 1938

Ballard, James W. Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at Canyon for James W. Ballard, 83 year old pioneer resident of Swisher and Randall County for many years who died Tuesday night at 11:45 at his home in Canyon.  Mr. Ballard, a pioneer stockman and farmer, came to Swisher County in 1890 in an ox wagon. The old Ballard home place about 7 miles southeast of Happy was headquarters for the mail and stage line that ran from Amarillo to Big Spring. After living in this county for 11 years, Mr. Ballard and family moved to Canyon in 1901, where they made their home for the past 37 years. Mr. Ballard was a charter member of the Canyon Baptist Church.  Survivors include his wife, MRS. J. W. BALLARD; a son, J. R Ballard of Happy; a daughter Mrs. W. J. Flesher of Amarillo; a brother, T. B. Ballard of Woodward, OK; and two sisters, Mrs. Eliza Lane of Hydro, OK; and Mrs. Celiste Webster of Memphis.  Funeral services were held at the family home in Canyon. Rev. O. B. Herring, pastor of the Happy Methodist Church, officiated, assisted by Rev. Sam Thomas, pastor of the Canyon Methodist Church, and Rev. J. R Hicks, pastor of the Canyon Baptist Church.  Burial was in Dreamland Cemetery, Canyon, under the direction of Griggs‑Thompson Funeral directors.  The Happy Herald, 30 June 1938.
Bridges, Verlin Jo Friends here received word last week of the death of Verlin Jo Bridges, only daughter of Mr. & Mrs. O. R ‑Bridges of Durant, OK, who formerly lived here. Since September she had been a teacher in the Tuskahoma, OK school and was returning there Sunday afternoon when her car hit a concrete bridge killing her almost instantly.  Funeral services were held first at Durant Tuesday morning, then in the Baptist Church at Ardmore and burial was in Rose Hill cemetery at Ardmore.  The Bridges family will be well remembered here, as Mr. Bridges was superintendent of schools here for several years, while Mrs. Bridges taught in the grades. Mr. Bridges has been connected with the Southwestern Teachers' College at Durant since leaving Ardmore 8 years ago.  The Happy Herald, 24 February 1938.
Burgess, Jessie Claire Jessie Claire Burgess, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A Burgess of Colorado City, TX was killed last Sunday afternoon when the auto in which she was riding overturned near her home.  Besides her parents, Jessie Claire, age 7, is survived by two sisters, Marjorie and Charleen and one brother Gail, all of Colorado City. She is also survived by her grandmothers Mrs. S. J. Burgess of Happy and Mrs. Jennie Ross of Llano, TX.  Relatives from here who attended the funeral last Monday afternoon were Mrs. J. R. Raymond, John Burgess and Mr. and Mrs. Jewel Burgess.  The Happy Herald, 24 February 1938,
Smith, Mrs. Ella Agnes Funeral services for Mrs. Ella Agnes Smith, 40, who died in an Amarillo hospital Wednesday night, Feb. 9th from injuries received in an auto wreck one week previous were held Friday afternoon at 2:00 from Boxwell Bros. Funeral Home with interment in Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Amarillo, Rev. H. C. Smith, Methodist pastor officiating. Mrs. Smith was the widow of VICTOR A. SMITH. Mrs. Smith formerly was employed in the business office of the News‑Globe, but more recently was an employee of the Amarillo Public School system. Mrs. Smith is survived by two sons, Victor A. Smith, 15; Leon Smith, 14; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Ratjen of Lockney; two sisters, Mrs. Ellwood Conoley of Amarillo; and Mrs. E. C. Singleton, Amarillo, and five brothers, W. C. Ratjen, Coleman; H. F. Ratjen, Happy; R A. Ratjen, Plainview, A P. Ratjen, Tulia; and Herman Ratjen, Lockney.  The Happy Herald, 17 February 1938.
Smith, Gerald V. Gerald V. Smith, three month old baby of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald V. Smith of Dallas was instantly killed in a car wreck in Dallas Sunday night. Mrs. Smith is in a Dallas hospital in critical condition. Mrs. E. J. Smith of Happy is grandmother of the child, and a daughter, Mrs. W. H. Fonken left for Dallas Monday morning to attend the funeral, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Smith and Oleta Akers of Amarillo.  The Happy Herald, 24 February 1938.
Springer, Mrs. B. D. Mrs. B. D. Springer, 52, was taken in death after an illness of several months at her home west of Happy, Sunday night at 8:35. Mrs. Springer had been a resident of Swisher and Randall counties for the past 16 years, moving with her family from Chickasaw County, Miss. Mrs. Springer was born July 14, 1886 in Chickasaw County, Miss. She was united in marriage Feb. 1903 to B. D. SPRINGER, and to this union seven children were born, one dying in infancy. The deceased had been a member of the Baptist Church since the age of 21 and was a member of the First Baptist Church at Happy at the time of her death. Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church of Happy at 3:00 p.m. Monday, conducted by Rev. G. M. Stewart, retired Baptist minister of Canyon, assisted by Rev. Elroy J. Weikel, local Presbyterian minister. Interment was in Dreamland Cemetery at Canyon under direction of Griggs‑Thompson Funeral Directors. The deceased is survived by her husband, B. D. Springer, and mother, Mrs. N. B. Thompson, Drew, Miss.; and six children, Mrs. C. P. Robertson, Happy; Mrs. S. S. Howell, Canyon; Boyce, Espanola, NM; Theodore, Plainview, Preston and Katherine, Happy. She is also survived by three sisters, Mrs. John L. Pate, Drew; Mrs. Nora Nabors, Memphis, Tenn.; and Mrs. A. V. Guest, Memphis, Tenn.; one brother Finch Thompson, Mantee, Miss. and one grandchild, Teddy Katherine Powell.  The Happy Herald, 18 August 1938.
Webster, Mrs. John Word was received on Wednesday of last week by Mrs. Charles Spear that his stepmother, Mrs. John Webster, passed away at a hospital in Chicago.  Mrs. Webster had recently undergone an operation but was though to be improving.  Mrs. Spear was making preparations to visit her in the near future.  Funeral services were held at Terre Haute, Indiana, Friday.  It was impossible for Mrs. Spear to make the trip to Indiana in time for the funeral after receiving word of her mother's death.  She did not undertake the long trip.  Mrs. Webster is survived by two sons and one daughter; two stepsons and one stepdaughter.  The Happy Herald, 28 July 1938.
Wood, Alice Ray Alice Ray Wood, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry R Wood, was born July 22 and died July 25 at an Amarillo hospital. Funeral services were held at Dreamland Cemetery in Canyon with Rev. Sam A. Thomas, Methodist minister officiating. The deceased was the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Woods, new residents of Happy. Mr. Wood is the owner of the City Market and Grocery. Mrs. Woods is still in the Amarillo hospital but is reported to be improving. The newly made friends of Mr. and Mrs. Wood in Happy extend to them deepest sympathy in their great sorrow.  The Happy Herald, 28 July 1938.

Word, C. T. Judge C. T. Word, 80, prominent pioneer cattleman and landholder of the Panhandle Plains died at his home in Amarillo at 10:30 Monday night. In 1890 Mr. Word and his wife came to the Plains and settled in Swisher County, a short distance west of Tulia where he secured a few sections of grass and began his career as a cattleman. After the crash in the price of cattle he moved from the county, but not before serving as judge of the county in 1891‑1893. At one time he owned over 100,000 acres of ranch land in 6 counties and owned 13,000 head of the finest Hereford cattle in the country. His reputation as a judge of good cattle spread all over the Southwest. Funeral services were held from the Central Presbyterian Church, Amarillo, with the pastor, Dr. E. Thomsen in charge of services. Survivors include his widow, four sons and two daughters; Will Word of Clarendon, Miss Lola Ward of Amarillo, Harry Word of Amarillo, Millard Word of the Bugbee ranch near Clarendon, Walter Word and Mrs. G. C. Westcoat of Amarillo.  The Happy Herald, 20 January 1938.

Special thanks to Zoe Smith for her many contributions and to Elaine Stone for her many submissions.  Ladies, without you, this page would be blank.

Swisher County Obituary Index



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