George Timothy Sears was born on June 15, 1872 on Robinson Creek near Thorp Springs, Hood County, Texas to John Bryant Sears and Sarah Elizabeth Cariker Sears. His mother died when he was two years old. His father married Miss Susan Elizabeth Townsend a short time later; George was very fond of Susan Sears and called her “Maw” as she was the only mother he remembered. George grew to manhood on the family farm and attended Add-Ran College (fore-runner of present day Texas Christian University) as did his brothers and sister.
At age 21, George Sears moved to Lipan where he boarded at various times in the Pleas Gafford and J. E. Dennis homes. He became mail carrier between Lipan and Weatherford after his brother Witt Sears resigned the route in 1894. It took George two days to make a round trip in the mail hack; he changed teams after each round trip. When in Weatherford, he boarded at Lovelace Wagon Yard.
Before long, a certain young lady always seemed to be waiting at the family mail box at Hiner, Texas for bachelor Sears to appear with the mail; a courtship ensued. Cliff Hubbard was a large boy when sister Carrie was “courting” George Sears. He remembered hiding behind nearby trees to spy on the “lovebirds.”
Carrie Virginia Hubbard, daughter of James Walter Hubbard and Isabelle Jane Gregory Collins Hubbard, was born on January 13, 1878 at Bells, Crockett County, Tennessee. She came to Texas with her family in 1884 and settled in Parker County by 1885. The Hubbard family established its home at Hiner near Dennis, Texas.
George Timothy Sears and Carrie Virginia Hubbard were married at the Hubbard home in Hiner, Parker County, Texas on July 8, 1896. George had arranged for a friend to make ice cream for the wedding dinner at the home of the bride’s parents. Making ice cream was no easy matter since ice cream freezers were unheard of at the time. A small bucket containing milk, sugar, etc. was placed in a larger bucket and surrounded by ice and salt. The inner bucket was rotated until the ice cream was frozen. George’s friend failed to add salt on the day of the wedding–milk shakes rather than the intended ice cream were served!
When George and Carrie returned to Lipan after the wedding, they stayed in the home of Bryant and Susan Sears while their new home was being constructed. They moved into their newly built home a mile west of Lipan about three months after their marriage. The newly built home was on property purchased from the Swenson family of New York who owned land in Hood and Palo Pinto counties. The new home was located in Hood County and only a few yards east of the Palo Pinto County line.
George T. Sears continued to operate his mail route until 1898. After that time he was devoted to farming, ranching, and managing many investment opportunities. In 1900, he purchased more Palo Pinto County land from the Swenson heirs. This land was divided into farms and sold, thereby encouraging families to settle in Palo Pinto County.
Education was of prime concern to George Sears; he petitioned Hood County Commissioners Court on November 13, 1899 for an election to be held in Lipan School District to allow an additional tax of twenty cents on the one hundred dollar evaluation; said petition was granted.
George Sears was also instrumental in dividing John Tarleton land into blocks which were sold for homesteads. Proceeds from the Tarleton Estate were used to found and maintain John Tarleton University at Stephenville. That school is now known as Tarleton State University and is a part of the Texas A & M University System.
Carrie Sears was busy as a housewife and mother during the early years of her marriage. Marie, the infant son, Ross, Faye, and Bessie Lea were born at the home located on the Santo/Palo Pinto Road during the period from 1896-1906. At various times, Carrie’s youngest brother Cliff Hubbard and youngest sister Ruth Hubbard lived in the Sears home and went to school at Lipan.
One of the most exciting events in the United States was the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and Exposition. George Sears joined a large group of Lipan residents in an excursion by train to visit the World’s Fair.
George Sears built Carrie another new house in 1906 in the western edge of Lipan. The family moved into the home during September 1906 and became “city folks.” Three children were born in this home–Vaughn, Esther Ruth, and Edwin Hansford (Ted).
Sears was a land and cow trader; he enjoyed bringing his many friends and cronies home for lunch; many of them often spent the night. George and Carrie were noted for their hospitality. Carrie achieved the distinction of “setting a good table” which was no easy matter considering the handicaps of the day–a wood cook stove, hand drawn water, rub board laundry, coal oil lamps, etc.
George joined brother Witt, Bert, and Andrew in making a trip to Alabama in 1910; the four brothers took advantage of special train rates and made the trip to visit their Sears and Cariker kin. They stayed in the home of their uncle and aunt, William Henry and Gadsey Sears. It was during this trip that George Sears dug some lilac roots from the “old Alabama Sears homestead” in Randolph County and brought them to Texas. Those lilacs were planted near the George Sears home at Lipan where they still flourish in 1998.
George Sears was active in establishing good banks for Lipan and the surrounding area. He was one of the founders and first directors of the First National Bank of Lipan (established in July of 1914). He had been part of an earlier bank in Lipan. He was also a stockholder and director in banks at Brazos, Morgan Mill, and Santo.
As already mentioned, George was concerned about education. Lipan did not boast a high school until 1923. George and Carrie wanted their children to receive the best education that was possible. They sent Marie to Thorp Springs Christian College where she received most of her high school education. Ross boarded at the Sawtelle House in Weatherford with the Walter Hubbard family and graduated from high school in Weatherford.
Beginning in the fall of 1917, Carrie and several of the children lived at Weatherford during the week so that Faye and Bessie Lea could attend Weatherford schools. Young Esther Ruth and infant Ted accompanied their mother while Vaughn remained with his father at Lipan. The family was reunited on weekends. During this time, Marie was teaching school south of Granbury while Ross was employed by a Weatherford bank.
George Sears traveled by horseback most of the time while Carrie drove a team and buggy. Sears purchased a Model T Ford in 1916. While he was learning to drive the car, he was forced into a ditch. Bessie Lea was riding with him at the time. He was so frightened by the incident that he refused to drive a car again. From that time until her final illness, Carrie drove the car. When the children became old enough to drive, they served as chauffeurs for their father.
Carrie Sears joined the Baptist Church during a summer meeting in 1906; she was baptized at Crockery Creek near the Baptist Cemetery. She was also a member of the local church’s Ladies Aid Society. She maintained membership in the Woodmen of the World Auxiliary Circle and was an active member of their drill team. Carrie Sears, reserved and dignified, believed in good etiquette and proper behavior which were a part of her Tennessee heritage.
George Sears joined the Baptist Church in 1908 and was also baptized at Crockery Creek. He was a firm believer in discipline but also was an outgoing, witty person who had a keen zest for life. He was known to pull various pranks and jokes on others.
Carrie Sears became ill in 1918 after severe hemorrhaging. Visits to various doctors and specialists revealed that she had cancer. She continued to care for her home and family with help until school was dismissed in the spring of 1919. After May of 1919, she was bedfast; she suffered great pain and was given shots of morphine to ease the suffering. While she was bedfast, she made her own burial clothing and made the trousseau for daughter Faye (who married three months after Carrie’s death). For the last few days of her life, she was kept chloroformed. During her illness, she had visits from her aged parents and all of her brothers and sisters.
Carrie Sears died late in the evening on September 15, 1919. Her husband called a mortician to come from Granbury and embalm her remains–she was one of the first persons in the Lipan area to be embalmed after death. Her funeral was held at the Lipan tabernacle on September 16, 1919; she was buried near her infant son at Evergreen Cemetery.
George and the children continued to maintain their home after Carrie’s death. Faye married later in 1919. George Timothy Sears married a second time on February 12, 1921 to widow, Mrs. A. B. (Nora Majors) Gilbert of Santo. (She was born October 8, 1880 and died June 8, 1954). Faye presented George Sears with his first grandchild, Carrie Virginia Gilbert, on March 29, 1921.
Five months later, George Sears became ill with an infected carbuncle. His condition worsened; he traveled to Weatherford to receive treatment from Dr. Herbert Leach. Dr. Leach recognized that George had blood poisoning and immediately hospitalized him. George Sears developed pneumonia; his condition became critical. He died at the Weatherford hospital on September 10, 1921. His remains were embalmed by Mr. W. A. White, Weatherford mortician. Mr. White brought the remains to Lipan where services were held at the Lipan tabernacle on September 11, 1921. George Timothy Sears was buried beside his wife Carrie at Evergreen Cemetery.
“Miss Nora” made the decision to return to her former home at Santo (where she later married for a third time), thereby leaving Marie, Ross, and Bessie Lea to care for the younger children in the family with the help of Faye, their aunts, uncles, relatives, and friends.
Note: In 1979 Tim Sears read through many documents, clippings, etc. that belonged to his aunt, Faye Sears Gilbert. An obituary about George Timothy Sears was found in those papers. It is reproduced here.
GEORGE T. SEARS DIED SATURDAY NIGHT–The Weatherford Democrat
George T. Sears, one of Lipan’s most prominent citizens, died at the Weatherford Sanitarium, Saturday night at 10 0’clock, following an illness of several days. He became ill several weeks ago and a few days ago was brought to this city for an operation which was performed, but was followed by septic pneumonia, which caused his death.
Mr. Sears was 49 years of age. He was born and raised in the Lipan area and was one of the best known and most prominent citizens of the community. He has devoted all his life to farming and stock raising and has been eminently successful. He was a progressive citizen, and always found time to assist in any movement that was for the advancement of his community.
When a young man, Mr. Sears joined the Baptist Church and lived a consistent Christian life.
Mr. Sears had been married twice. He was first married in 1896 to Miss Carrie Hubbard who died in 1919 and to this union eight children were born, seven of whom are living. A few months ago, he was again married to Mrs. A. B. Gilbert of Santo, who with the seven children by the former marriage survive. The children are Mrs. R. B. Gilbert of Santo, Ross Sears of Weatherford, Misses Marie, Bessie Lea, and Esther Ruth, and Vaughn and Edwin H. at home.
Funeral services were held at the home Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock, Rev. M. E. Weaver, pastor of the First Baptist Church of this city (Weatherford) conducting the service. Surrounded by a large crowd of sorrowing friends, the body was laid to rest in the Lipan cemetery.
The following friends were active pall bearers: Neal Tolbert, W. R. Martin, W. H. Roach, Alex Garner of Lipan and George Fant and W. Whitsett of this city (Weatherford).
WEATHERFORD FOLKS ATTEND FUNERAL
The following were among the Weatherford folks who attended the funeral of George Sears at Lipan, Sunday: R. B. Hood, W. V. Shadle, Mrs. Warren Gilbert, Miss Carrie Vann, J. E. Whitsett, Martis Whitsett, Jack Hart, Joe Kebelman, Henry Williams, T. J. Ribble, J. M. Gardner, George Fant, Cleve Doss, Mrs. T. M. Hern, H. S. Gilbert, and Will Barnett
Descendants of George Timothy SEARS
1 George Timothy SEARS b: June 15, 1872 in Thorp Springs, Hood Co., TX d: September 10, 1921 in Weatherford, Parker Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
+Carrie Virginia HUBBARD b: January 13, 1878 in Bells, Crockett Co., TN m: July 08, 1896 in Hiner, Parker Co., TX d: September 15, 1919 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
2 Mollie Marie SEARS b: July 01, 1897 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX d: April 13, 1986 in Weatherford, Parker Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
2 Infant Son SEARS b: May 02, 1899 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX d: May 03, 1899 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
2 James Ross SEARS b: August 28, 1900 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX d: June 06, 1957 in Artesia, NM Burial: Woodbine Cemetery, Artesia, NM
+Virginia Maye RANSPOT b: January 06, 1898 in Weatherford, Parker Co., TX m: January 24, 1924 in Weatherford, Parker Co., TX d: December 22, 1980 in Artesia, NM Burial: Woodbine Cemetery, Artesia, NM
2 Faye Belle SEARS b: October 13, 1903 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX d: May 26, 1986 in Stephenville, Erath Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
+Robert Benson GILBERT b: December 23, 1890 in Soda Springs, Parker Co., TX m: December 17, 1919 in Weatherford, Parker Co., TX d: March 02, 1975 in Stephenville, Erath Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
2 Bessie Lea SEARS b: February 06, 1906 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX d: January 01, 1991 in Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
+Willie Hoyt HENDRICK b: May 27, 1903 in Jacob Well, Palo Pinto Co., TX m: October 25, 1926 in Santo, Palo Pinto Co., TX d: May 03, 1988 in Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
2 George Vaughn SEARS b: December 03, 1908 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX d: June 12, 1977 in Decatur, TX Burial: Entombment Oak Grove Cemetery, Irving, Dallas Co., TX
+Winnie Pauline ALEXANDER b: September 10, 1906 in Decatur, TX m: July 30, 1930 in Denton, Denton Co., TX d: February 18, 1993 in Irving, Dallas Co., TX Burial: Entombment Oak Grove Cemetery, Irving, Dallas Co., TX
2 Esther Ruth SEARS b: July 03, 1913 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX
+J. E. GIBSON b: November 11, 1911 in Wynnewood, OK m: June 03, 1942 in Troup, TX
2 Edwin Hansford (Ted) SEARS b: September 11, 1917 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX d: June 14, 1989 in Lipan, Hood Co., TX Burial: Evergreen Cemetery at Lipan, TX
+Opal Geraldine (Jerrye) HOOD b: August 14, 1922 in Ft. Worth, Tarrant Co., TX m: August 30, 1944 in Perrin, TX
*2nd Wife of George Timothy SEARS:
+Nora MAJORS b: October 08, 1888 in TX m: February 12, 1921 in Weatherford, Parker Co., TX d: June 08, 1954 in Santo, Palo Pinto Co., TX Burial: North Santo Cemetery, Santo, Palo Pinto Co., TX
James Timothy (Tim) Sears
830 E. Briar Ridge Drive
Brookfield, WI 53045