Ratliff Was Peanut King
Hood County News – June 17, 1992
Born Jan. 23, 1868 in Bell County, Dick Ratliff was the fourth child of Joshua and Mary Etta McCollum Ratliff. His parents came to Texas from Arkansas about 1848. First, they settled in Williamson County and later moved to Bell County.
Around 1886, Dick attended Salado College and was classmates with Ma Ferguson.
Dick married Francis Giles in Bell County in 1889. In 1897, they sold their farmland and moved to the Mitchell Bend area, where Dick farmed many acres of the rich sandy soil.
Supplies were brought in by horse and wagon from the nearest store in Granbury, which was a long journey.
His main crop was peanuts and he became known as the peanut king of Hood County.
Men from Fort Spunky, Mambrino and Nubbin Ridge would hire out for $1 a day to work in his peanut harvest.
The Ratliff family attended the Church of Christ across the river in Fort Spunky. Many times the river was “up” and they could not cross.
According to a descendant, Mr. Ratliff was known as a man who always helped his neighbors.
Francis died in 1906. She had given birth to Mildred, Alma, Lida, Giles, Velma and Vera, as well as two sets of twins who died in infancy.
Mr. Ratliff married his second wife, Fannie Pollard, around 1908. The couple had no children.
Fannie played the organ. Neighbors were invited from the surrounding community to musicals at the Ratliff home. This was the era before radio or television; a time when neighbors visited one another’s homes for recreation.
Descendants of Dick and Francis Ratliff will hold a family reunion on Sunday, June 28 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Granbury Country Club. Friends of Dick Ratliff are welcome to attend and share their memories with the family. For more information, contact Corrine Finley.