Odds and ends

Preparations for homecoming at five-year intervals entails much more work than if we had one more frequently. Since so much time elapses between homecomings, those involved attempt to make it a very memorable occasion for returning exes. This year, there will be several added attractions. A suggestion at the March meeting to post a list of veterans in the tabernacle was wholeheartedly approved and there has been an effort to obtain names and photographs of all the men and women from the Lohn Valley who have served their country in the armed forces from all wars. It is a reasonable assumption that almost every able-bodied young man who graduated from Lohn in the late 30s through the 40s entered the service during the World War II era and even beyond. Therefore, an effort has been made to include as many as possible by checking with someone who has the information. A booklet published after World War II of McCulloch County veterans from 1941 to 1945 is a good reference but is incomplete. There are 52 veterans buried in the Lohn Cemetery, not all Lohn natives, some were husbands of Lohn natives; two are Civil War Veterans, Tillman R. Bates and James W. Huie. There is also a marker for a Mexican War veteran, Pvt. W.D.F. Harrison from Co. H. 1st Mississippi Infantry. Pvt. Harrison was born in 1808 and died in 1847. Obviously, he is not buried at Lohn since there was no town here at that time. William Frederick Lohn was stepping off a ship bearing him from Prussia at about the time the Mexican War began in 1846. The war ended in 1848 when General Winfield Scott occupied Mexico City and a peace treaty was signed recognizing the annexation of Texas to the U.S. Pvt. Harrison must have died in that war. I do not know when the marker was put in the cemetery or by whom but it would be interesting to learn more about this man. The earliest burial in Lohn was 1883. Here is an odd story that was published in 1928 in the Uvalde News-Leader. How it found its way to Lohn is unknown. The item is about the history of the song, “The Lone Prairie.” Tom Kellum of Uvalde wrote a letter to the editor, Mr. Hornby, on April 10 of that year and the editor penned “From his letter it seems that it is not a ‘Lone ‘ prairie but a Lohn prairie and we print his letter to keep the record straight.” The letter said, “knowing that you are interested in history and legend of the state of Texas and the fact that our state has been immortalized in songs and ballads, I refer to one song in particular that will never die as long as one cowboy is left or one native Texan. This song is “Bury me not on the Lone Prairie.’ I think you will be interested in the origin of this song. “Along about 1860, a young man came to Texas from one of the New England states and settled 15 or 20 miles north of Brady, Texas near a settlement called Lohn`s Prairie. This young man was suffering from tuberculosis. He arrived too late for the beneficial Texas climate to cure him, and on his deathbed requested that his remains be sent home rather than be buried on the Lohn Prairie. “The song title had been transposed from Lohn to Lone Prairie, but Lohn is absolutely correct. This man`s name was Wilson. He is buried between the now town of Lohn and the town of Waldrip located on the Colorado River. As a small boy I remember his grave. It was surrounded by a rail fence at one time, long since rotted away. My mother and father are still living and distinctly remember the circumstances from which this old song originated. “The location of the grave is supposedly on a bluff overlooking the river on the late Will Isaacs place. This creates somewhat of a problem as the person buried there was a cowboy named J.M. Davis who died in 1877 and the grave is in the Fife area, not Waldrip.” Like Santa Claus, we have been making lists and checking them more than twice to determine who drove the school buses, janitors, school board members who cooked after the cafeteria was added to the school and lists of other people such as postmasters, who have contributed to the ongoing of our school and community during the past century. There will be a lot of history of the Lohn community on display. We have a roster of those who taught at Lohn beginning from 1883 to 1894 with Ovid Lohn, Mrs. Harry Drinkard from 1894 to 1896; her husband was postmaster; 1896 to 1900 the teacher was S.H. Gholson, an uncle to Elton Abernathy who came 34 years later. From 1900 to 1912 there is no record. All of the teachers who taught from 1912 to the present time will share a permanent place in the tabernacle with the students who graduated from Lohn High School. Seventeen teachers have devoted 10 or more years to the school beginning with Jess Petty, 14 years; E.L. Ross, 11 years; Cleg and Elsie Gassiot, 13 years; Vera Faulkner, 10 years; D.E. Edwards, 12 years; Oma Tedder, 19 years; Carl James, 11 years; Peggy Adams Lohn, 21 years; LaRue Samuelson, 22 years; Maxine Naylor, 13 years; Becky Martin, 19 years; and Dickye Moore, 17 years. Teachers still here as of this date are Ann Short, 12 years; Laurie Schooley Woerner, 10 years; Linda Granberry, 18 years and Supt. Leon Freeman, the record holder with 24 years. For many young men and women just out of college, Lohn was their first school and some stayed for several years . Edrene Crutcher Hodges Tucker died March 28 after a long illness. She was born in Rockwood in 1927, spent her early years there and in Coleman. She attended school at Rockwood; she graduated from Lohn in 1946. Edrene worked for Perry Brothers and J.E. Stevens Hardware and Funeral Home in Coleman. After moving to Mansfield she was an insurance clerk. She had two children, Ellen Holmes of Crowley and Eddie Hodges of Mansfield. She is also survived by four sisters, Neily Bell of Lubbock, Arliss Garner of Brownwood, Edith Norris of Midwest City, Okla., and Ludy Bryan of Santa Anna, one brother Collis Crutcher of Marshall; two grandchildren and one grandchild. The 1946 class was large, 25 graduates, with her death there are now 7 members deceased, Wayne Bray, Floyd Gene Reeves, Roy Hilliard, Pauline Deering, Laverne Bray and Laverne Watkins. She kept in close contact with class members and most years was back in Lohn for their reunion on the first Saturday in June. She will be missed by her 1946 family as they meet this year at Homecoming.

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