The Camp Family



Submitted by Anna Beth Anderson Ward

South Carolina was the beginning point for Loyal Dean “Doc” Camp before he and the Camp Family made the trek to Texas. He was born in Spartanburg on April 14, 1875, the son of John Thomas Camp and Margaret Jane (Clement) Camp. The family came to Lamar Co., Texas., first, followed by 10 years in Hunt County and finally they went to Collingsworth County. Doc returned to Wolfe City to court Sallie Lee Benge, a former neighbor. They were married April 8, 1902.

Shortly after their marriage, Doc and Sallie moved to Wellington. His father had died in 1889 and Doc wanted to help his widowed mother on the farm. Sallie had been accustomed to the finer things of life and had to adapt to a harsher pioneer life. They moved to Yoakum County about 1904 and filed on Section 811 in January, 1906, living in a half-dugout near Sligo. Their neighbors included Pat McHugh and the J. S. Webber family. Hauling water and using cow chips for fuel in their woodburning stove were new experiences for Sallie. She served as Post Master for about a year when they moved to Plains and Doc owned a store and operated the Post Office.

Sallie was the fifth of 11 children born to William Lister Benge and Martha Marena (Hill) Benge. Her birth occurred in Hunt County, Texas., on June 21, 1880, where her parents were prominent members of the community.

Because of Sallie’s health, Doc moved often and they lived in Millersview, Paint Rock, East Bernard, Beeville, Wolfe City and Lamesa before returning to Plains in 1916. Her long heavy hair turned white overnight while the family lived at Millersview. She suffered from severe headaches attributed to the weight of her hair and it was during one of those headaches that her hair changed color. When it was shortened, the headaches lessened.

After returning to Plains, they joined the Plains Baptist Church in 1916 where Doc served as church clerk, treasurer and custodian and their home served as headquarters for visiting preachers regardless of denomination. Sallie’s layered angel food cakes which she sold were a treat for weddings and socials. And she enjoyed canning in-season fruits and vegetables. Doc farmed, raised stock and carpentered. Many of the early day structures represented his handiwork.

They suffered through a bad year in 1918 when a January blizzard caused them to lose many cattle and a nail flew up and hit Doc on the arm meant a serious infection which nearly cost him his arm. And Sallie had a near fatal attack of influenza during the epidemic. But, even though the family moved in 1925 and lived in Lamesa, Borger and Amherst, they returned once again to Plains and celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1952 while living with their daughter, Martha, near Denver City. Doc was a member of the Woodmen of the World and Masonic Lodge. He died August 13, 1953. In 1966, Sallie suffered a serious illness and in 1972 she died on August 29th. She and Doc are buried in Plains Cemetery.

The children of Loyal Dean “Doc” Camp and Sallie Lee (Benge) Camp were: Gracie Keleta Camp born June 17, 1903, died January 3, 2001, married James Albert Rushing; Frankie Dean Camp, born February 15, 1907 died July 21, 2003, married Jaudon Cobb; Martha Gwendoline Camp born May 7, 1909, died February 5, 1988, married Walter Earl Anderson; John Thomas Camp, born February 21, 1914, died April 30, 1994, married Mabel Olene Morris.

© June 2004
This page was last updated on 05/27/2016