Rock Church 1999 Homecoming Announcement:

 September 10, 1999

Dear Rock Church Family and Friends:

Please make your plans to attend our 128th year celebration at ROCK CHURCH HOMECOMING, which will be held on Sunday, October 10, 1999. The day’s events will began at 9:30AM with visitation before the 10:00AM church service in the Rock Church Chapel. Please invite your immediate families, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends who would like to attend.

 Our special speaker for the worship service will be Dr. Charles McClure, former Rock Church minister, and currently Weatherford District Superintendent for the Central Texas Methodist Conference, who on October 1, 1999 will assume the duties of Director of Stewardship, Finance and Administration at the conference office in Fort Worth, Texas. He will be giving a special announcement about the Rock Church Chapel at this service.

 A pot luck luncheon will follow the worship service, about 12:30PM, and will be held under the shade trees in front of the chapel, or in case of rain, will be set up inside the church after the service. Please bring enough to feed your family and a little extra to share. Also, please bring folding tables and chairs if needed. The good ladies of our Rock Church families always bring many delicious dishes for us to share and enjoy.

 Please be sure to mail to us any change of address, we have several letters each year which are returned when no change of address is filed with the postal service or forwarding orders expires. If you have children and grandchildren who are not on our mailing list and would like to be, please send their names and addresses and we will be happy to add them to our list.

 We have experienced very hot and dry weather during July and August, and most of the rural area in Hood County is under a “no burn ban” conditions to help prevent grass fires. While the lack of rain has saved us some extra mowing expense or, the cemetery, we must caution everyone to please be careful with anything that might start a fire in the area around Rock Church. The grass is very dry, as well as the trees and other vegetation, and would burn very quickly, and could endanger the church and cemetery since the nearest fire department is at Tolar.

 We are still researching for the Rock Church History Book, and will be receiving any family history information, stories passed down from your forefathers, who settled in or near the Rock Church Community, names of teachers or preachers who either taught or preached in the school or church. During our research we have found some wonderful school records, photographs, and family histories and believe they will be helpful toward our upcoming publication. If you did not fill out family history record sheets in the previous three years, at your request, we will mail a copy to you so your family history will be included in the book. If you still have sheets we sent out and did not fill them out, we would still like to have them to make this book as historically accurate as possible.

 Also needed are pictures of family members, which you would like included, especially old photographs of ministers, teachers, school classes, or pioneer families who were early settlers in the Paluxy River Valley and may have attended either school or church in the old Rock Church Community gathering place. If you would like a picture of your immediate family and various other generations included, please identify persons in the photograph and send in with your information. We will have them copied and return back to you.

We still need information about those family members buried at Rock Church Cemetery who fought in the Civil War or served our country in any war. We hope to see these gravesites marked and honored for their service to our county. please include rank, company, branch of service and war served in, and we will add this information to the Rock Church Cemetery Book. A picture of the veteran would enhance the information for the book.

 A special thank you to each and everyone who has so generously supported and contributed to the Rock Church Cemetery Trust Fund. If you are unable to attend the homecoming this October 10, 1999, and would like to make a donation, please mail these to the attention of our treasurer, LaRue Oaks, whose address is at the end of this letter. All contributions are greatly appreciated, and insures we can continue to maintain and protect the cemetery.

Anyone interested in contributing a recipe from your family’s history, or even a good new one you have just found, to be used in a recipe book we are compiling for a future fund raiser for the Rock Church Cemetery Trust Fund, please send to ~n~ attention and I will forward to Mrs. Sallie Jackson who is working on the book. Surely same of you good cooks have recipes for old fashion tea cakes, pound cakes, gingerbread or such to share.

 Mr. Frank Saffarrans, who is working with the Hood County Genealogy Society to identify, pinpoint and place all the historical sites on a map of Hood County would like for anyone who has information about such sites to send them to us to be included for the map program he has on the internet. Last year he posted the Rock Church Homecoming on the web and had several inquiries. We spoke with him this week and he assures me that he will again post it on the web. To reach a copy of the Rock Church Historical Site and map on the internet the address is:

To reach the Hood County Genealogy Society E-mail address:

 If you know of extended family members of Rock Church families, who have passed away this year, please contact us so they may be honored at the Homecoming service. Enclosed at the end of this letter is a list of those who passed this last year. If anyone would like to make a donation in memory of these loved ones please send, to our treasurer, LaRue Oaks at her address at the end of this letter. We will be sure to recognize the donation at the homecoming service.

We will be looking forward to seeing each and everyone of you at the October 10, 1999 ROCK CHURCH HOMECOMING.

Janet L. Saltsgiver
Rock Church Cemetery Association Secretary

Mrs. Hazel Lamed Cornell
2901 S. E. 5th Street
Mineral Wells, Texas 76067

Mrs. Janet L. Saltsgiver
519 Woodrow Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76105

Mrs. LaRue Cakes
118 Spicewood
Stephenville, TX 76401

Cemetery Committee:
Forest Caraway
210 Meader Lane
Stephenville, TX 76401

W. W. (Bill) Jones
1437 Pecan Hill Drive
Stephenville, TX 76401

Kenneth Morris
5515 Glen Glen Cemetery Road
Tolar, Texas 76476

James Loftin
3915 View Point Drive
Granbury, TX 76048


We have lost several descendants of our Rock Church family members since last year. They include:

EARL T. BATES, age 77, husband of Harper (Lamed) Bates, of Benbrook, Texas passed away March 24, 1999 in a Fort Worth Hospital. Earl was born December 28, 1921 in Vassar, Michigan and grew up on the family farm. He served in the Flying Tiger’s unit of the 14th United States Air Force in China during World War II. He was shot down behind enemy lines and survived for several days with the help of a small Chinese boy, who helped him find his way back across the battlefront into friendly territory. He was with the peacekeeping troops after World War II in Guam, and later was stationed at Altus, Oklahoma and then at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. This was where he met and married Harper Lamed on July 29,1950, Their marriage was blessed with two children, a daughter, Brenda Bates Carlton Avery, and a son, Tommy Bates, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in November 1974, when he was 18 years old.

Earls’ wife, Harper (Lamed) Bates, the daughter of Waiter A. and Elizabeth (Jackson) Larned, attended Marvin’s Chapel School and Rock Church. She grew up to become a teacher and taught school for 40 years some of these in the Benbrook area. Earl is survived by his wife, Harper Lamed Bates, his daughter, Brenda Bates Carlton Avery and her husband Lamar Avery, his two granddaughters, Jennifer Reid, Christy Carlton, and a grandson, Brent Carlton, and his three brothers; Bob, Grant, Don and one sister, Margaret.

On Saturday, May 29, 1999 Brenda and Lamar Avery with Harper and family attended a special Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. to honor Earl and 134 other members of the Flying Tiger’s who were deceased in the 1998-1999 year. It was a fitting honor for Earl Bates and others who assisted our country during the dark days of World War II.

Earl enjoyed a good, joke, always had fun wherever he went, and laughed about his first time at Rock Church Homecoming when someone ask him, “Did you know that Harper Larned married a Yankee?” We have to say Earl was a delightful “Yankee”, and was soon adopted by the Rock Church families and who knows, maybe he is still fighting with the Flying Tiger’s in the sky.

 VENITA JEWEL (LARNED) KREGER, age 87, who was a daughter of Grover Cleveland and Martha May (Allison) Lamed passed away March 26, 1999 in an Abilene hospital. She was born June 23, 1911 in Paluxy, Texas. Venita was the granddaughter of Walter Franklin and Anna Eliza (Robertson) Lamed, and a great granddaughter of Captain Frederick Sylvester Lamed all buried at Rock Church Cemetery. Services for Venita were held Monday, March 29, 1999 at the Haskell Church of Christ and burial was in Willow Cemetery in Haskell. She was married to Raymond (Jake) Kreger June 18, 1934 in Wink, Texas. He preceded her in death in February 1985 and was buried at Holly Hills Cemetery, Granbury, Texas. She has made her home the last several years with her brother, Grover Mather Larned, in Haskell, Texas. We will miss seeing her at Rock Church Homecoming this year.

 JESSE KENNON ROBERTSON, 81, of Craig, Colorado passed away February 4, 1999. Jesse was born on September 4, 1918 to Catherine Mae (Jackson) and William Kennon Robertson. Jesse was a grandson of George Edward and Meliza E. (Caraway) Jackson, and a great-grandson of David Andrew and Mary M. (Osborne) Jackson. His great-grandfather, David Andrew Jackson is buried at Rock Church Cemetery next to his second wife, Nancy (Anders) Ingley Jackson, and his great-grandmother Mary M. Osborne, Andrew’s first wife, is buried in Squaw Creek Cemetery near Glen Rose, Texas.

Jesse Robertson was in the U. S. Army and was stationed in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. He spent the war years in the Pacific campaign on various islands and at the end of WWII he returned to western Colorado where for a brief period he worked as a silver miner around Ouray, Colorado. Later he was a jail guard for the city and county of Denver, Colorado. He also worked on road construction and spent about 25 years building highways throughout Colorado. He married Leota Eggey. Jesse Robertson made several trips to attend the Rock Church Homecoming, and we always enjoyed visiting with him.

LORETTA (JACKSON) BRAZELL, age 79, passed away December 13, 1998 in Granbury, Texas. Funeral services were on Tuesday, December 15, 1998 at the Tolar Baptist Church. She was born May 11, 1919 in Tolar, Texas. She worked for the Tolar schools and Purselly’s Radio and TV Repair, and had been a clerk at the Tolar Baptist Church for 35 years. She married Henry Travis Brazell 9 April 1939 in Glen Rose, Texas. He proceeded her in death in 1974. Loretta was buried in Tolar Cemetery. They had no children.

NATHAN OSBORNE JACKSON, age 83, passed away August 21, 1999 in Granbury, Texas. Interment was in Tolar Cemetery on August 24, 1999. He was born January 11, 1916 in Tolar, Texas. Nathan served as a Private First Class in the 7th Infantry of the U. S. Army in World War II in the Aleutians and other islands in the Pacific Campaign.

 Nathan O. Jackson and Loretta (Jackson) Brazell were children of Adran Clyde and Daisy Victoria (Wood) Jackson, and grandchildren of Newman Osborne and Mary Louise (Wood) Jackson, who are all buried in Rock Church Cemetery. They too are great-grand children of David Andrew and Mary M. (Osborn) Jackson, and David M. and Mary E. (Read) Wood, and great-great- grandparents, Lorenzo Dow and Louisa Rhea (McCleskey) Wood, who all except Mary M. (Osborn) Jackson are buried in Rock Church Cemetery. They are also grandchildren of Texas State Representative William Lee and Isadora Josephine (Johnson) Wood of Ellis County, who were Daisy Victoria (Wood) Jackson’s parents.

 Nathan married Annie Haught July 20, 1946 in Hood County, Texas. She preceded him in death on August 26, 1983, as well as his daughter, Debra Jackson, born February 19, 1953, who was tragically killed in a automobile accident in September 1970 and is buried in Tolar Cemetery. Nathan married a second time to Freda Bell (Davis) Campbell, former schools friend. She preceded him in death, May 19, 1987.

He is survived by his third wife, Darence L. (Hayworth) Mabrey Jackson of Granbury, and his son and daughter-in-law, Don 0. and Peggy Jackson of Tolar, Texas, two stepsons; Hulen Mabery, Ronnie Mabery, 3 step-daughters; Deborah Strickland, Mary Brewer, and Becky Snapka, 3 grandchildren, 10 step- grandchildren, 3 step-great grandchildren, a sister, Marie (Jackson) Haught of Fort Worth, Texas, sister-in-law Marty Jackson of Kansas City, Missouri, several nieces and nephews and a bunch of cousins.

 Loretta and Nathan’s younger brother, Adran Carroll Jackson preceded them in death on August 29, 1997 and was buried in Kansas City, Missouri’s Mount Olive Cemetery. Two infant brothers, Harold and Newman Lee Jackson preceded them in death in 1914 and 1915, respectively, and are buried in Rock Church Cemetery. Their half brother, Loyd Emory Jackson, son of Adran Clyde and his first wife, Annie (Thomasson) Jackson, preceded them in death on May 24, 1984 and is also buried in Rock Church Cemetery.

 MARY DAVIDGE(BUCK) BROD, daughter of Silas Calmease and Mary Adah (Williams) Buck, Jr., who was in her 90’s and had taught school in Harlingen, Texas for many years passed away and was buried in the Harlingen Cemetery. Mary is a granddaughter of Aunt Mary Lou Hamie Adeline (Cowan) and James T. Williams, who taught the first school class held in the new Rock Church School building in the fall of 1873. She is the great-granddaughter of Isaac F. Cowan and Mary (Branch) Cowan, and Mr. and Mrs. Silas C. Buck, Sr. She married Edward C. Bred and they were the parents of Charles, William Buck and Tan Bred. She is a first cousin to LaRue (Williams) Oaks and many of her Cowan, Williams, and Buck family members are buried in Rock Church Cemetery. Her great-grandparents, Isaac F. Cowan and Mary (Branch) Cowan were one of the first four families in 1859 from Gibson County, Tennessee who came to this area of then wild frontier and helped establish the Rock Church Community.

THELMA (WOOD) LAMBERT, age 86, daughter and youngest child of Condi and Nepie (Campbell) Wood, and a granddaughter of Thomas Archer and his second wife, Sarah (Barton) Wood, and great-granddaughter of Lorenzo Dow and Louisa Rhea (McCleskey) Wood, who are all buried in Rock Church Cemetery, passed away on March 26, 1999 and was buried in the Tolar Cemetery. She was born November 12, 1912 in Tolar, Texas and married Charley Lambert on December 6, 1936. She was a beautician and was owner and operator of Thelma’s Beauty Shop in Tolar for 50 years.

Her husband, Charley Lambert, preceded her in death. Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Sherry Lambert of Granbury, one brother, Talmage Wood of Brady and two grandsons.

Please remember these families in your prayers. If you know of others in our extended Rock Church Family, who have passed away this year, please send us their names so they may be included and honored in our homecoming service.


Janet Saltsgiver