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Van Zandt County

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Van Zandt County Genealogical Society

Sibyl Creasey and Shirley Fuller have extracted news articles from two old county newspapers, the Canton Herald and the Wills Point Chronicle. These newspapers have been microfilmed and are housed at the Van Zandt County Library of Genealogy and Local History, located in the courthouse annex in Canton, for the benefit of researchers. Copies of these articles are also available by writing to the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1388, Canton, TX 75103. When requesting a copy, please send a check or money order for $2 to cover cost of copying and postage.

CANTON HERALD, February 20, 1931

"John Valentine, age 85 years, died at the family home in the Highland community Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 10 a.m., after several weeks' illness. Interment took place Thursday afternoon in the Highland cemetery. He came to Texas in 1871 and on July 3, 1873, was married to Miss Bettie White. Eight children were born to this union, five of whom survive, with his faithful companion, as follows: H.A. Valentine, Edgewood; Tom Valentine, Ward community; J.A. Valentine, Clovis, N.M.; Mrs. Annie Martin, Colfax, and Mrs. Willie Niemeyer, Edgewood. Mr. Valentine was a citizen of this county for about 60 years. He engaged in railroading in early life and helped build the Texas & Pacific railroad from here to Dallas. After retiring from that occupation, he settled down to active farm work in Van Zandt county. He lived an active and useful life and his demise is sincerely regretted by a host of friends, who sympathize with the bereaved relatives.

"Dr. and Mrs. L.W. Shoemaker visited Dallas Monday. Mr. and Mrs. Minor Burns visited Athens yesterday. Mrs. Mary Ethel Brandon and Miss Ethel Lively spent Sunday in Dallas. Mrs. Tom Riley was a Dallas visitor this week, attending Grand Opera. Attorney W.E. West attended to legal business in Dallas Monday and in Tyler Tuesday. Mrs. C.F. Riley and Miss Marienne Sparkman were among Cantonites attending Grand Opera in Dallas this week. Mrs. Walter Barnes and daughter, Juanita Kate, of Dallas, spent the past week-end here with relatives and friends. Misses Roxie Stanford and Elizabeth Spinks of Dallas spent last week-end here with the former's mother, Mrs. C.L. Stanford and family. W.H. Compton, better known as Hobart, and his friend, Miss Margaret Britton, of Longview, visited the former's mother here last week-end, Mrs. Donie Compton.

"Miss Edith Raper, formerly employed here with the Van Zandt County Abstract Co., was here for the past week-end visiting many friends. She was accompanied by here sister, Miss Delta Raper. Both are now employed in Gilmer in an abstract office. Mr. and Mrs. Kernon Todd are now domiciled in the Mrs. Jesse Smith cottage in North Canton, where they will hereafter be at home to their many friends. Since moving here from Dallas a short time ago, they had been temporarily residing with the former's mother, Mrs. J.T. Todd. Mr. and Mrs. Paul H. Stanford will be domiciled in their new, modern home in West Canton by the time the paper is issued this week, all their furniture and household goods having been placed in the new domicile first of the week, and only the remaining touches of the painters, plumbers and electricians being necessary to complete the family rendezvous. Their many friends congratulate them upon this admirable homeplace and its environs.

"Mrs. Anna McMahon, who has been confined to her bed for the past six weeks or more, her condition being less discouraging during the first of the week, was reported somewhat improved Wednesday. Mrs. J.R. Kellis, wife of Mayor Kellis, has been quite ill for the past several days, her condition being reported but little improved Wednesday. Dr. M.L. Cox has been ill and confined to his home for the past few days, a report from his home Wednesday afternoon being to the effect that he was improving. Mrs. E.C. Stovall received a message Tuesday that her husband, holding a position with the Texas Senate Finance Committee, had been taken to a San Antonio hospital, it being said that he was suffering with a nervous breakdown. He spent the past week-end in Canton with his family. Mrs. Stovall departed late Tuesday for her huband's bedside, and at the time of going to press, the paper had heard no further news from the patient. Funeral services were held yesterday for Mrs. J.P. McWilliams of Canton, route 4. She was 66 years of age and succumbed to an attack of paralysis. Interment was at Liberty graveyard in Van Zandt county.

"Several from Canton attended the A.C. Sewell funeral in Wills Point Thursday of last week. The deceased, Croom Sewell, as he was familiarly known, was a son of the late Ad Sewell of Stone Point, one of the most prominent families in the county. Croom had been employed with the firm of W.H. Wingo in Wills Point for many years, and the town boasted of no more popular man, enjoying the confidence and high esteem of all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, nee Miss Kate Gilchrist, sister of Mayor Henry Gilchrist of Wills Point, and a young son, besides numerous near relatives. Wills Point sustained an irreparable loss in the passing of Croom Sewell.

"Rev. R.M. Wilson, a pioneer Baptist minister of Van Zandt county, died at his family home in Myrtle Springs at 4:40 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon of last week. Funeral services were held at the home Thursday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, conducted by Rev. W.B. Wages, pastor of the Lamesa, Texas, Baptist church. Despite the inclemency of the weather a large concourse of friends assembled with the sorrowing relatives to pay the last sad tribute of love and respect, after which the body was tenderly laid to rest in the Myrtle Springs cemetery. Rev. Robert McSpadden Wilson was born Dec. 25, 1859, in Rusk county, Texas, and was in his 72nd year at the time of his death. He was married to Miss Addie Thompson on Nov. 7, 1889, and seven children were born to this union, three of whom died in infancy. Four children, two sons and two daughters and his aged companion survive, the children being L.H. and A.M. Wilson, Mrs. K.C. Gullett and Mrs. Ben Mislivets. All the children live in this county except A.M. Wilson, who is teaching in the I.O.O.F. school at Corsicanna, and all were present at the funeral.

"The deceased united with the Baptist church early in life and was called for ordination to the ministry by the New Salem Baptist church, being ordained on Nov. 24, 1889, just a few weeks after his marriage. He served 31 years of his ministry in Van Zandt county and was county missionary for many years. Many hearts have been brought to Christ under the preaching of this pioneer minister and the influence of his Christian life and noble teachings will continue to be felt as the years roll along. This paper joins a large circle of friends in extending heartfelt sympathy to wife and children in this hour of great sorrow."

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This page last updated 11 July 2007

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