Post office, general store, all-in-one

Placid G.M. Yates was a local cotton farmer in the 1920s & 30s. He also owned and ran the General Store. In one corner of the store was the Post Office that was divided from the rest of the store by chicken wire. Mrs. Margaret Jordan bought a side coop of the Post Office from Mr. Yates and became the postmaster. The community then built her a home/Post Office. Mr. and Mrs. George Veazey moved to Placid from Alabama in 1936. They bought G.M Yates’s store and started a Texaco service station. Luna Veazey ran the store while her husband George ran the service station. After Postmaster Margaret Jordan retired at 75, George and Luna Veazey won a contract from the government to post the mail. Postal services were again available in the Veazey General Store. At that time they had 30 to 40 families receiving mail there. Some of the local family names were Jordan, Smith, Yates, Vick and of coarse Veazey. The railroad was completed between Brownwood and Brady about 1936 also. Mr. Yates shipped bails of cotton by rail. When the big train quite coming through they still had a Brownwood to Brady train called the “Doodle Bug.” George Veazey’s son Shelby wanted to ride the train some kinda bad! So George being the kind of wonderful father he was, took son Shelby all the way to Brady just so he could ride the “Doodle Bug” home. Luna Veazey, George’s widow of three years is the oldest member of Placid and the oldest member of Placid Baptist Church at 86 years young. The old store and service station are both boarded up now but the store is still used for Placid V.F.D. meetings on occasion. I talked with the pastor of Placid Baptist Church, (The sign is down but you can’t miss it. It’s the only church in town) Rev. Dallas De Lisle. He told me he has been coming from Brownwood to Placid to hold church since the 1960s. Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. and church at 11a.m. Rev. Dallas told me the church was in real need of a working piano. Do you have one you would donate’ An older one in good shape would do just fine. You can call him about services or a piano at (915) 463-5391. Cowboy There’s a wonderful old cemetery at the Cowboy community. The old school house is still standing and used for community meetings. Hirem Marvin (born 1874) Jenny Gentry Myers (born 1879) had children in the Cowboy School. Four boys (John, James, Richard and George) and a girl (Rosa) were going there in 1919. Martha was four and there were three others at home. Martha remembers that there were a lot of scuffs at Cowboy. One day a rough boy followed one of Martha’s brothers to beat him on the way home. Right before her brother (John, a.k.a. Mann) reached home he turned on the ruffian and knocked him down. That boy didn’t bother John any more. One time Mrs. Dabbs gave Martha a baby Dominique chick. She was feeding and watering it herself. One day her mother told her the chick was dead (it looked dead anyway). Martha went down to the creek and gave it a toss. Later she went down to mourn over her baby chick only to find it had made its way out of the water and was fluttering around. She took it home and finished raising it till it was grown. Mother wanted to cook it. That just wouldn’t do! A lady offered Martha a dollar for it. She took it. It was the first whole dollar she ever had. That next year they moved to Round Mountain. Round Mountain Hirem and Jenny Myers had 10 children in all. Johnie Elias (a.k.a. Mann), James WM 1908, Richard Well 1905, George Jefferson 1907, Martha 1913, Rosia 1907, Annabelle 1915, Louis 1921 (died in a plane crash in WWII) and the twins Nora and Cora. Both babies had meningitis, Nora died at 6 months and Cora was afflicted but lived ’til 1962. Their grandparents John and Abigail Gentry Myers and uncles Hugh, Lidge and George lived near by. Martha remembers that it was her job to feed and water the family chickens and round up the turkeys and she would get all scratched up running through the prickly pears. She also had to gather the eggs, hoe two rows of cucumbers and do dishes with her little sister Anna twice a day. They also raised cows, hogs and bees. One day side by side Martha was washing dishes in a dishpan on the table and little Anna was standing on a box so she could reach to dry. Mamma had a small white platter her mother had given her. I washed it and handed it to Anna. It slipped out of her hand and was falling. I stuck out my foot and broke the fall. I saved the platter but it nearly broke my foot. When mamma died the platter came to me. I gave it to Anna for the memory. One day Anna placed the platter on a wet counter that had a slope. It fell in the floor and broke. When it did it about broke Anna’s heart. She still mourns mamma’s platter. The fist years Martha went to Round Mountain School they had to walk a mile and a half to school, later they moved closer and only had three-fourths mile to walk. Martha remem- bers there was snow on the ground and she was small. She had velvet shoes to wear and by the time she arrived at school her shoes and socks were soaking wet. “The teacher Ruth Crawford took my shoes and socks off and hung them by the stove to dry. I cried,” said Martha. “We all huddled up around the stove in the winter time to keep warm. We would carry water from the Rodgers place to the school. I carried the water once myself. I was used to carrying water. We didn’t have a nice well like the Rodgers did.” Martha had several cousins going to school at Round Mountain. Uncle George had a son John who was the same age as Martha and a daughter Marie the same age as Anna. There was the Rodgers, Annie Mae was younger than I was and Edna was the same age as my little brother. The Jefferies, Ven, Van, Bill, Jim and Leslie, the Anderson kids, cousin Nelson Myers, the other Rogers boy (different than Rodgers), Delbert and his brothers and the Bertons all moved in with a boy and a girl and went to school at Round Mountain. “My cousin Nelson Myers was always getting into trouble. One day on the schoolyard Nelson and Delbert Rogers got in a scuff. The teacher put Delbert on a stump and Nelson on a fence post whenever we went outside for about a week for fighting. Pete and Talvis Wilson moved in for three years and went to school,” Martha said. “The Rogers boys rode a horse from across the creek. The Gamblin girls Erleen and I believe her name was Thelma came from Hall Valley in a buggy for two or three years. After the seventh grade, some went on to school at Rochelle. After the seventh grade I didn’t go to school after that. Round Mountain School closed and consolidated with Rochelle at that time.” Martha’s mother was a Gentry. Her mother’s parents were John Elias and Eliza Jane Larry Gentry. We’ll talk about the Gentry Cemetery and the old home place another time. Dave was their oldest boy. Then there was Martha’s Uncle Jim Gentry and his sons Buck and John; Uncle Johnny was killed when a horse fell on him on a ranch he was working on out west. He had two girls Evie and Ima. Aunt Julie married an Anderson. They called uncle George “Bit” and Aunt Mary was an old maid. I’ll tell you more about life on the Myers’s farm, making sorghum molasses, render a hog and make lard and lye soap and how John Graham come a courtin’. Happy Birthday Martha! Her children gave her a party on Saturday. She turned 88 years old on Friday and she’s still sharp as a tack. Martha’s husband John died one year after they moved to Brady in 1960, she said she he was a wonderful husband and father. “I knew what I had, I know what I could get. So I never looked at another man. I had the best,” she said. Get well wishes to Marian Savell Martha’s oldest who lives with her now in Brady. HOLT I told you before about the Holt School bell and how while trying to put the bell back in place, the clapper fell on Wayne Mitchel’s little finger and busted it. Well, Wayne Hardman told me that Eugene Frost had swung on the bell rope and the bell fell off its mount in the ceiling. The bell came very close to coming through the ceiling. The way it went Wayne was the only hurt one. Pastor Dean Snoody is still preaching on covenant and I enjoy it so. God made promises to man. God never breaks a promise. That’s a covenant. When we make a promise God intends we should keep it. A promise is a covenant, “till death do us part” is probably the most broken covenant on earth. You may have heard a missionary to Mexico we support. Tommy Turnbow and family were in a very bad automobile accident in Mexico the last of February. They are all on the mend, but still need our prayers. Sixteen-year-old Jessie Turnbow had very serious injuries. Her broken neck still requires a jacket halo for two more months, her face doesn’t smile on one side but is much better, and her elbow will require physical therapy for some time to come. You’ll be glad to know she’s out of the hospital (Herman Hospital Houston) She receives get well cards at Jessie Turnbow, 121 Mariner Cove Court, League City, Tex. 77573 An account to help with medical expenses has been set up in Early at the American State Bank. (915-643-2748) Jessie Turnbow Medical Fund account #: 4376692. On the prayer list also is Wayne Hardman who fell and broke three ribs and cracked another, and Pastor Snoody’s daughter who is pregnant with twins. Mercury Jack H. Kirby wrote a book “History’Mercury, McCulloch county, Texas” From 1904 to 1919. I’d like to share with you some of what this wonderful little book has to say from time to time. Mr. Kirby’s ancestors were instrumental in the creation of Mercury. M.C. Cawyer and his brother John Cawyer and their families moved from Southwest Missouri in 1895 and 1905 to the area and were prominent merchants and bankers until their deaths. I’ll give more details later. One story written by the Mercury mascot newspaper Saturday, January 5, 1907 (Harvey Walker was owner and editor of “The MASCOT) tells of Mercury’s only murder. “On 13 January 1907 a tragic event occurred in Mercury. Charley H. Cawyer, was murdered by Robert F. McCarty, whose father R.B. McCarty had a store next door to the Cawyers’. He was shot down on the sidewalk in front of the stores.” The following account from the Mercury Mascot newspaper. C.H. Cawyer is killed by gun shot Thursday evening at about 15 minutes to 6 p.m., the report of three shots from a revolver were heard and in a short time all of our town people were aware that C.H. Cawyer was seriously wounded. Death followed in six or eight minutes. Like a flash came the announcement that R.F. McCarty had fired the shots. Nothing in the town’s history was ever one-half so astonishing and half so sad: men, women and children rushed to the sad scene. Up to the hour of going to press no excuse has been offered by the accused, and we cannot enlighten our readers more than to say that a good and sufficient cause is claimed. Cawyer was pronounced dead at the scene by A.B. McKnight M.D. at 6 p.m. At the time Cawyer operated the Cawyer Implement Co. with his partners R.W. and Osear Scoggins. In May 1907 McCarty was tried for murder but the trail resulted in a hung jury. In 1909 McCarty was found “not guilty on the condition of temporary insanity at the moment of killing.” On a personal note, all humans have an appointed time to die (Romans 5:12). God loves us all and wishes us to love him so we can spend after death in this world with him (Romans 5:8; John 3:16). Rev. Lynn Turnbow (missionary Tommy’s father) pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Early, preached one Wednesday night God has spoken. He said through Jesus 1. I love you (John 3:16) 2. Repent and believe the gospel (Luke 3:3-5) 3. Come unto me (Isiah 1:18) 4. Trust me, Serve me (Romans 6:13; Romans 12:1) 5. I’m coming back (John 14:1; Acts 1:11) How wonderful how marvelous, how simple. Have news, memories or history write to: South of the River c/o Mary Coffey Mitchel Rt. 1 Box 148 Rochelle, TX 76872 or call (915) 463-5577 If you like this column, tell James Stewart at the Brady Standard-Herald at (915) 597-2959 to ensure it continues.

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