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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: December 11, 1931

"E.C. Denson and his seven-year-old son were seriously burned at the family home, a few miles south of Canton, early Saturday night, and both were taken to St. Paul's sanitarium, Dallas, Sunday in a Eubank ambulance, accompanied by Mrs. Denson and Wilson Weldon, a neighbor. Wednesday morning, it was reported from the hospital that the patients were doing as well as could be expected. The injuries were the result of an accident somewhat out of the ordinary. Odis Blue, a young man living in the neighborhood, went to Mr. Denson's home about dark to borrow enough gasoline to fuel his car to Canton. Mr. Denson took a lighted lantern to his garage to enable him to see how to draw the gasoline from his own car, his little son accompanying him and standing nearby. The father crawled under the car to get at the drain pipe and succeeded in filling a bucket with gasoline, but before the flow had been shut off the oil fumes were ignited by the lantern flame, fire spreading instantly. Mr. Denson was badly burned from the waist down, also his left hand. Another son, older, rushed to the rescue and sought to give what assistance he would by trying to remove some of the burning clothing from his father. He, too, sustained slight burns, as did the young man, Blue, it was said, while the little son mention sustained deep burns on his leg. Added to the bodily injuries inflicted which can not be compared with other damage, Mr. Denson's car was destroyed, also his garage and something like $75 in currency in his pocket which had been drawn that afternoon to pay for labor and material during the week on the old school building at Canton, a unit of the school plant that is being remodeled and for which Mr. Denson has the contract. Dr. L.W. Shoemaker of Canton gave medical aid to both father and son up to their leaving for the hospital. The accident is greatly deplored by all the people of the community and of Canton, where Mr. Denson has plied his trade for some time. Just now the full extent of the injuries inflicted can not be definitely determined, but everyone sincerely hopes both patients will entirely recover from so great an affliction.

"LETTERS TO SANTA CLAUS: Dear Santa Claus: I am a little girl three years old. I have been very good all the year and I want you to bring me a doll, a little stove, a little duck, candy, nuts and fruit. I have two little sisters, Ruth and Jane. I want you to bring them a ring, a bracelet and a story book. I also have a little brother. Bring him a little puppy and a belt. Santa, don't forget mama, daddy and grandma. Bring them something nice, too. Remember all the little boys and girls around Pleasant Glade, for they have been very good. Your little friend, Minnie Jo Smith, Mabank.

"Dear Santa Claus: I am a little girl five years old. I want you to bring me a big sleepy doll with long curly hair. A little piano and lots of other toys and all kinds of fruits and nuts and some fireworks would also be appreciated. I have a little brother 2 years old. Bring him a little gun and a doll, too, and anything else you have for him, and don't forget mother and daddy. Also remember Granny and papa and all little children. Melrose Chitty, Canton, Texas.

"J.W. Gentry, aged 64 years, 2 months and 6 days, died at the family home in the Hayden community last Sunday morning at 3 o'clock, after an illness of some time. The remains were brought to Canton, funeral service being held at the Canton Baptist church at 11 o'clock Monday, conducted by the pastor, Rev. A.D. Sparkman, followed by interment in the Canton cemetery, burial being directed by Eubank undertakers. The deceased was born in Opelika, Alabama, in 1867, and came to Texas when he was 18 years old. He was well known throughout Van Zandt county, and had many friends in every section who will regret to hear of his passing. He served as deputy sheriff of Van Zandt county under Sheriff Cicero Rusk, and later was elected sheriff. (For more on this long article, see the original on microfilm.)

"Terminating a three weeks' illness, Mrs. T.L. (Docia) Green died at the home of her son, O.T. Green, in the Union Grove community, Friday morning at 2:30 o'clock and her remains were interred in the myrtle Springs Cemetery Saturday afternoon at 4 o'clock. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Jones of Ben Wheeler, pastor of the Myrtle Springs Baptist church of which the deceased had been a consistent member for many years. Mrs. Green was born in Louisiana on Feb. 28, 1857, and came to Texas about 35 years ago, residing in the Myrtle Springs community for 25 years. She married T.L. Green in 1879 and is survived by her husband and four sons, F.B. Green, O.T. Green, Bob Green and Luther Green.

"LOCALS: Mr. and Mrs. Claud Taylor of Tyler visited Mrs. J.L. Fizer over the weekend. Mr. and Mrs. Bill Roberson of Terrell spent Sunday here with M.K. Thomas and family. Miss Audie Williams of Dallas spent the week-end here with her father, Jim Williams, and family. Bunyon Johnson and family and his sister, Merlene, spent the past week-end with B.F. Johnson and family. Mrs. Estelle Poole of Dallas came down Saturday afternoon for a short visit with her mother, Mrs. R.M. Lively, and family. J.L. Fizer, wife and daughter of Breckenridge were recent guests of the former's mother and other relatives in and near Canton. William Hugh Fizer visited in Houston last week, being joined there by his brother, Tom Fizer, both going to Corpus Christi where they visited Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Heard. Mesdames Albert Hargrove and Maburn Sides, accompanied by Tom Sharp, visited Corsicana Saturday, witnessing the football game between Tyler and Corsicana, won by the latter team in a score of 19 to 0.

"Mr. and Mrs. Emmet Steed of Houston arrived here last week, visiting the former's parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Steed and family and many friends. Emmet, a former employee of the First National Bank at Canton, has been assisting in the bank work since his arrival, due to the enforced absence of Lamar Sides, who has been spending most of his time in Terrell at the bedside of his little daughter, Marvaun, at the home of her grandparents, Mrs. Sides being with her daughter all the while. At this writing, Wednesday, the condition of the little girl could not be ascertained.

"Van Zandt county has long been proud of her citizens who have left home and made good in the professions, politics, business and other lines of endeavor. Today we pay homage to a little Van Zandt girl born and reared at Ben Wheeler, who has made a remarkable record for one so young. Dr. Grace Humphreys Hood, after finishing high school at Ben Wheeler, attended Simmons College and Baylor University, graduating from the latter place with the degree of Bachelor of Sciences. She matriculated at the Medical Department of Texas University at Galveston, from which school she graduated with the Doctor of Medicine degree in 1926. She served an internship in Philadelphia, did post-graduate work in New York. Her internship was served and she now has offices in the Medical Arts Bldg., Fort Worth, Texas, where she is busily engaged in the general practice of medicine and research work. The Van Zandt County Medical Society was delighted with the splendid scientific paper that she presented to them at their monthly meeting at Canton, December 4, 1931."

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