Van Zandt County

Old Newspapers Page

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, September 25, 1931

"The old Fiddlers Convention will be held at the Grand Saline gymnasium on Friday night, September 25, according to Pat Davis, chairman of the organization. Not only the string bands will be on hand, but players of the old time fiddle music will be present to participate in a contest, the winners to receive cash prizes from the Grand Saline Chamber of Commerce. String bands and old fiddlers from any section of the state are urged to attend. The program will be approximately as follows, though places will be made on the schedule for other bands and fiddlers who wish to enter: Bonnie Lunsford and his band, Garden Valley; Mrs. McAlister and her band, Van; Owen Brothers Bank, Wills Point; Will Hammond and his old time fiddlers, Lindale; Donald Burges and his band, Providence; Davis String Band, Jones; Mr. Chandler and his band, Ben Wheeler; and Rufe Bates and his band, Grand Saline, also guitar solo. Those in Grand Saline in charge of the arrangements are calling attention to the fact that on Friday afternoon the Grand Saline Indians will play Canton here in the first association football game. Football and fiddle-fans can combine forces and have a full day on Friday of next week.

"Miss Fannie Hilliard, an employee of the Perry Bros. store here has in her possession a treasured article in the form of a newspaper printed in Van Zandt county more than fifty years ago. It was a copy of the Canton Chronicle and dated Saturday, December 6, 1779 (1889?). The copy of the newspaper came to Miss Hilliard through her grandfather, Jason Carroll, early settler in Van Zandt. Mr. Carroll who lived in the Corinth community has been dead a number of years. Among the ads displayed in the four-page sheet were many which are familiar to present day Van Zandters. Dr. M.D. Luce, grandfather of Jno. Luce, carried a card in the paper pointing out to his readers the fact that his office was in his home on the Four Mile Prairie.

"Canton in those days apparently furnished more inspiration and remuneration to lawyers than it does today. Cards of attorneys were numerous and included Kilgore and Kilgore, McChester and Lively, J.G. Kearby, R.H. Allen, Jno. N. Evans, Marion and Adams, Grooms and Burge, and J.G. Russell. Commercial establishments listed I.E. Rose, Wills Point; G.W. Tull, Canton; J.J. Utts, City Hospital, Gugenheims, and D.L. Riley. One ‘Interesting if True' ad appeared from Brooklyn, N.Y. and set out the fact that a positive cure for consumption had been found. T.J. Towles and A.W. Riley were editors of the publication.

"The death of W.W. Weldon, briefly mentioned in last week's paper, removed one of Canton's pioneer honored and highly respected citizens, at the age of 76 years, 6 months and 18 days, his death occurring at 7:20 a.m., Thursday morning, Sept. 17, at the family home in Canton, after several months of declining health. Funeral services for the deceased was conducted the following day about the noon hour by Rev. W.W. Slaughter, a Baptist minister, at the Old Bethel cemetery, several miles southwest of Canton, a large crowd of longtime friends and acquaintances attending the last rites, many bringing floral offerings as tokens of their love and esteem of the departed. The funeral was in charge of Foster Hilliard, Canton undertaker. W.W. Weldon was born in Pye county, Ga., Feb. 29, 1855. He was married in Van Zandt county to Miss Martha Martin Dec. 16, 1878, there bing eight children born into the family, four surviving and four having passed on before. Those surviving are the good wife, two sons, Wilson and Marion, living south of Canton, and two daughters, Mrs. Roy H. Evans of Handley, who was ill and unable to attend the funeral, her husband and children being present, and Mrs. O.N. Newburn of Jacksonville, who was also unable to be present, her husband and children attending. The deceased had been a familiar figure in Canton for many years, and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him, all of whom the paper joins in extending sincere sympathy to the bereaved wife and children.

"LOCAL HAPPENINGS: Miss Marguerite Rodgers spent Sunday in Wills Point with relatives and friends. Mrs. Jno. E. Sides and Miss Ethel Lively visited in Dallas the first of the week. Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Lester of Dallas visited relatives and friends here last week-end. Mrs. Egbert Mann and baby visited the former's mother in Fort Worth first of the week. Mrs. W.W. Weldon is visiting her daughter, Mrs. O.N. Newburn and family in Jacksonville. Mr. and Mrs. B.B. Corbin of Tyler spent Sunday here with the latter's daughter, Mrs. Jas. K. Todd and family. Miss Annie Massey returned last week from Houston where she spent some time visiting relatives and friends. Walter Sides of Dallas, erstwhile Canton citizen, was here Wednesday, returning from Tyler, and met many old-time friends.

"Several Canton ladies attended the zone meeting of the county Methodist missionary societies, which was held with the Methodist ladies at Van Wednesday afternoon. Mrs. J.W. Barnes, who has been making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Donie Compton, for the past eight months, has been spending several days in Edom with another daughter, Mrs. Walter Barnes, and family. L.R. Seals of Los Angeles, California, his here visiting his brother, County Agent W.D. Seals, and family. The visiting brother is a native Texan, but has been residing in California for the past several years, is single, and as far as known, ‘fancy free.'"


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