The Little Town of True Founded by George W. Terrell
by D.D. Cusenbary
The stores are all gone. All the homes have disappeared and the only evidence left is the little cemetery and fond memories. Loved ones and friends keep these memories alive.
The True reunion is held on a Sunday each year under a well-kept arbor on the True townsite, where kindred and friends meet.
The order of the day usually is first registering and visiting and afterwards singing, prayers and a service.
At the noon hour, baskets of food are spread on long rows of tables with coffee and tea, and as each partakes of the wonderful food set before him, it is hard to not breathe a silent prayer of thanks. After the noon meal and more visiting the crowd meets again for more singing and a memorial service.
When one attends the True Reunion, he looks forward to coming to the next one.
The founder of True, George W. Terrell, born in Tarrant County, August 16, 1850, was destined to be a cowboy, rancher, trail driver and promoter.
He left Tarrant County at the age of 14 and came to Young County to work for Dave Terrell who was ranching a few miles northwest of Fort Belknap. Later he was ranching for himself, buying and selling cattle, often buying them numbering in the hundreds. On December 22, 1879, he was married to Nancy Ann Penn by the Rev. E.V. Butler.
George W. Terrell dreamed of a little rural town, a central place for business, for convenience, for social enjoyment and a place for gathering of news.
In a short time he acquired about 3000 acres of land in the northeast part of Young County, where the land is one of the most productive areas of the County. Then one day his dream came true, for what once was a mesquite prairie, on the land he owned, and where often the voice of the coyote was heard sprung up the little town of True with two general stores, one drug store, a blacksmith shop, Post Office, School, gin, Woodman of the World Lodge, band , ball team and a Church organization.
The first merchant at True was William W. Crawford and others were Dr. Bush Jones, C. T. Richardson, P.J. Cochran, Bob Furr and J.T. Temple. Most of the freighting was from Bowie and Wichita Falls.
The drug store was operated by Dr. Bush Jones and John Lowe. The doctors were A.M. Anderson and Bush Jones.
Those who operated the blacksmith shop were Nevy Shelton, John Gibson and Bonds Smith.
The first gin at True was operated by Turner and Bill Richardson and the second gin by E.C. Keith and Bill Richardson. At the February 1892 term of court a petition by R.H. Choat et als was presented asking for the creation of a new school district with a boundary as follows: Beginning at the S.E. Corner of T.E. & L. Co. Survey No. 272, Thence North of the N.E. corner of Survey No. 247. Thence West to the N.W. corner of Survey No. 150. Thence South to the S.W. corner of Survey No. 23. Thence East to the S.E. corner of Survey No. 272, the place of beginning.
Up to this time the community used the Hardy School.
The court ordered the school district be created and to be known as district school No. 39.
The school was first called Liberty and in 1908 the name was changed to True.
During the March, 1892 term of court a petition was presented to the court asking for an election to vote a 15 cent tax on school district No. 38. The court ordered the election and to be held at the Hardy School House. R.H. Choat to be presiding officer of said election. True had three different school buildings. The first two were wooden buildings and the third building an attractive brick building that today is used for community center.
Fuel used for the school was wood and coal and the water was from a well and tank.
In the early days of the school the old time lamp and candles were used.
Young County schools were under the supervision of the County Judge until 1909, the County Judge acting as Ex-officio County Superintendent. During the September, 1909 term of court, R. Lindsey was appointed County Superintendent of schools, being the first County Superintendent of Schools for Young County.
In my search for the names of the families of the early settlers of the True Community, I find those of R.H. Choat, Geo. W. Terrell, M.N. Hardy, L.M. Stringer, B.H. Larimore, J.F. Larimore, E.C. Keith, I.C. Gibbs, M.M. Burris, P.P. Cady, Dick Leberman, J.A. Leberman, R.S. Laney, M.V. Wilhoit, M.E. Heskett, Warren Ward, J.B. Foster, A.J. Chandler, B.B. Collie, Dave Still, Joe Still, C.E. Leffel, W.F. Keathley, Lewis Starr, Willaim W. Crawford, Nancy Plaster, Jim Blakney, Will Logue, Bill Bickerstoff, Ben Waters, Gordon Brannon, Jim Birdwell, A.C. Watson, J.T. Temple, T.E. Jones, Monroe Davidson, Buck Blancett, Henry Taack, C.J. Taack, W.O. Clark, John Lowe, P.J. Cochran, Tom Morris, Turner Richardson, Oscar Andrew, C. G. Tefteller, Shirley White, Lee McCan, S.R. Jeffrey, and Joe Flint.
If you have fortunate enough to have known even a few of these early settlers, you would understand why it would be a challenge to find a group of men who could excel these in courage, kindness, thoughtfulness and usefulness.
Following are the name of all the teachers that could be found who taught in the True School: Zania McCloud, W.F. Keathly, C.F. Tefteller, J.W. Byrd, Pearl Norris, W.D. Bolding, C.K. West, Frank H. Wilson, Fanny Richardson, Della Watson, H.S. Thomas, J.L. Duncan, Mattie Mundell, Missouri Ellis, Ida Montgomery, C.E. Davis, Ola Goode, Leona Calvin, J.I. Hames, Elva Ogan , E.H. Remington, C.D. Long, Earl P. Pyle, Florence Smith, Laura Cochran, Mary L. Hardy, Annie Larimore, W.E. Angley, Bonnie Langston, Viola Jones, Viva Hudson, Lila Hudson, O.M. McCord, Ray Thomas, Bessie Mayes, Louzella Smith, Velma Norris, Lilith Byrd, Rowene Griffin, Temple Blackwell, Verda Barnett, Bessie Slater, Roy D. Cantrell, Fay Cantrell, Oleta Allen, Bobbie Ray Bullock, Jenelle Cathy, Juanita Hawkins, Grace Lowrance, Mattie Duncan, M.R. Jordan, Jodie R. Jordan, Vera Taack, Hazel Cole, Gussie Watson, Etta Staples, Wanda Wray, Orvell Orr, Clytee Burdick, Frances Millican, Wanda Alexander, D.K. Allen, Sally Joe Beaver and Freta Allen.
The True Post Office was established November 22, 1894. It was discontinued February 29, 1912.
The community was known as Liberty, when application for a post office was made, with the expectation it would be named Liberty, but as Texas had a post office by that name, the Administration advised it would have another name. Mrs. Geo. Terrell suggested the name True which was accepted. The following Postmasters were appointed:
William W. Crawford appointed November 22, 1894. Thomas L. Richardson appointed August 14, 1896. Boob Furr appointed July 14, 1903. Charles T. Richardson appointed April 14, 1904.
Warren Ward and George W. Terrell agreed they would carry the mail from Graham to True until a carrier was given a contract, which was for a short time. These men were to take time about carrying the mail, using a hack which belonged to Mr. Terrell.
As Mr. Ward was needed in operating his farm and caring for his stock, his wife would carry the mail in his place. The carriers were J.T. Temple, J.B. Self and Bertrum Wood.
The True ball team was noted for its playing. The ball ground was located east of the townsite and members of the team were Ed Watson, Willis Gibbs, Bob Brock, Bill Gay, Jesse Watson, Hugh Jones, Rufe Choat, V. Watson and Shirley White.
True had a splendid band. Frank H. Bowron was instructor, and the members were Geo. Leberman, J.D. Lowe, Vodie Watson, Jesse Watson, Charley Watson, Cone Walker, Millard Walker, Andrew Gibbs, Willis Gibbs, Sam Andrews, Jim Choat, Clint Burris, Marvin Burris, Ben Gay, Bob Gay, Sec. Bonds, Alva Jones, Rufe Choat and John Blancett.
One of the earliest threshers in the True community was an old time horse-power thresher run by L.M. Stringer. Several pair of horses were needed to operate it. Lewis Starr was usually the driver. As the horses traveled around in a circle they would often beat out a trench several inches deep. These were the days when the straw was saved and stacked into what was called a hay stack and in the winter months stock would have access to the straw.
George W. Terrell, the founder of True died November 9, 1911. His wife, Nancy Ann Penn Terrell was born January 20, 1862 in Dallas County and died February 1926. Both are buried on the land he gave for the little True Cemetery which is so well kept. One finds the grave markers of many of the early settlers. As you view one after another of them, you note the words of affection loved ones have had engraved on the markers. I wish we had space to mention all of them, but on the grave of Elder Charles T. Richardson, who was affectionately called "Uncle Tom" are these words which he wrote before his death and requested them be placed on his tombstone:
And he penned these words to be placed on his wife's stone:
"There'll Be No Sorrow There" was his favorite song, and it was sung at his funeral.
Various church denominations had services and held revivals at True, but it appears the Methodist Church was the only one having an organized church. It is not clear as to the date the church was organized nor who was the first pastor, but the names of its pastors as far as could be found were: R.J. LaPrade, C.G. Shutt, O.D. Wallace, W.C. Ferguson, A.J. Helms, Roy Johnson, J.R. Carruth, Burton H. Coleman, Leland Loy, C.F. Bell, W.J. Cloud, J. Beal Duncan, Aubrey Burns, Otis Brown, Luther Wright, G.C. Childress, J.B. Weathers, John E. Brown, G.G. Smith, Robert Sanders, John Allen, Conrad Himmel, Stirl Taylor, Clyde Bullion, John Norris, George Cassis, Frank Stone, Edis Sluder and E.C. Hewitt.