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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, March 6, 1931

"Hall's Cash Store, operated by W.H. Hall, in the large brick building on the southeast corner of the court house square in Canton, was subjected to a disastrous fire, starting a few minutes before the noon hour Wednesday, the top of a large upright wood or coal stove was blown off, the hot embers coming in contact with nearby inflammable materials and spreading rapidly. There was no one in the building, the store having been closed for lunch, and those first at the scene broke some of the back windows and a side door to the rear. The fire department responded in good time, laid two lines of hose, and taking into consideration the great amount of goods so susceptible to a blaze, such as in the ladies' dress department, together with the amount of decorations in all parts of the house, it must be said that a heroic service was performed in confining the damage to what it was, the danger being so threatening that many judged the entire block to be in jeopardy. The Travis grocery store next door was in immediate danger, so much so that many goods were removed.

"Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Peden of Houston arrived here first of the week for a visit with the former's parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.G. Peden. The visitors are newlyweds, having been married in Lake Charles, La., last Friday. The groom, since leaving Canton some little time ago, has been employed in Houston with the firm of Dunn Brothers, who are more or less acquainted in Canton by reason of their attendance here upon various terms of the district court. Mrs. Peden, nee Miss Eloise Longcope, is also one of the company employees and her home is in Houston. They are on a thirty-day leave of absence, and will visit various places before returning home. The paper joins many friends in extending congratulations and best wishes for their future.

"Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Dockery of Sand Flat community are not rated as Master Farmers but have attracted the attention of local citizens as examples of what can be accomplished through constant application of progressive farming. Mr. and Mrs. Dockery purchased 74 acres of glad land 15 years ago and made the initial payment by cutting and selling wood. This land and thirty dollars consisted of their worldly possessions. The modest little cottage on the Dockery farm at the present has everything in and around it which makes a house a home. This immaculately kept dwelling is surrounded by beds of native flowers which invite the passerby to stop and rest. While the writer was resting in their home this story was related: ‘During our 15 years of crop rotation, we have hauled all barn yard manure to the fields aside from the commercial fertilizer we have used. Our cop yields have been better each year than we expected. We have gradually paid off all indebtedness by living within our income and keeping account of all expenses. As a result we have been able to improve our home as you now see,' said Mrs. Dockery. ‘A producing orchard and vineyard, a flock of 30 chickens, two jersey cows, a steam pressure cooker, and a year round garden makes possible our happiness in Sand Flat community.

"The Dixie Hotel at Canton, which has been under the efficient management of Miss Mamie Maume for many years, is generally recognized as one of the best small hotels to be found anywhere in East Texas. The Dixie has long served those in Canton to attend the various courts and since the discovery of oil in Van the oil fraternity as well as litigants and attorneys have become acquainted with the excellent service of this popular hostelry.

"LOCALS: County Attorney Paul H. Stanford has been on the sick list this week. Miss Marienne Sparkman attended grand opera in Dallas this week, also visited friends. Mrs. Laura Landry of Dallas has been here this week, visiting her mother, Mrs. L.W. Shoemaker and family, and numerous friends. Mr. and Mrs. J.C. McKnight and Miss Nina Adams of Dallas spent the week-end here with Mr. and Mrs. Kernon Todd and family. Mrs. E.C. Poole and children, Jack and Ethel Dorothy, of Dallas, spent Saturday night and Sunday here with Mrs. R.M. Lively and family. Mrs. Alice Mitchell returned Saturday from Sherman, where she spent several days with her son, Arthur Mitchell and wife, the latter begin ill, but improving when Mrs. Mitchell left there. Her son brought her home in his car. Mr. and Mrs. W.E. West and two little daughters motored to Bell county last Friday for a week-end visit with relatives and friends. The weather proved to be not the most desirable for motoring but they made the trip without any trouble and enjoyed their visit.

"Dr. and Mrs. M.L Cox and Mrs. D.T. Riley returned from Mineral Wells Tuesday evening, after spending about ten days at this famous Texas health resort. All of them enjoyed the visit, and were greatly benefitted by their sojourn, and glad, too, to get back home among old-time friends and associates. Mr. and Mrs. Milton Thomas were here last of the week visiting the former's parents, Mr. And Mrs. M.K. Thomas and family, and went from here to Greenville to visit the latter's homefolks. They are leaving Shreveport where they have resided for some time and are to make their home in Jackson, Miss., where Mr. Thomas has accepted a good position. Their many friends wish them well in their new location. Eric Stanford, expert accountant of Wichita Falls, has been employed in Tyler for the past several days, and has been spending the nights in Canton at the home of his mother, Mrs. C.L. Stanford and family.

"Mrs. Victoria Roberson, a former resident of Kaufman and Van Zandt counties, died Feb. 14, at her home in Tulane, Calif. She moved to California in 1906 with her family. She was 81 years old and the mother of five children. They are Mrs. Amanda Sims of Lindsey, Mrs. Ida Phipps, Sam Roberson, Mrs. Lula Throne, and Charlie Roberson. She also leaves 15 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and a sister, Mrs. Amanda Owens of Myrtle Springs. She was buried in Glendale, Cal., beside her husband, W.T. Roberson, who died about five years ago."

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This page last updated 11 July 2007

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