Contributed by Glenn Elliott
The following article was published in 1940 in the Moran, Texas newspaper.
Mrs. George Elliott Manages Own Farm
By Dora Williams
Mrs. George W. Elliott, who will celebrate her 72nd birthday December 14, upsets the traditions of typical grandmothers who retire and turn things over to their children. She operates all her own business, which includes the management of four sections of land, a small herd of cattle, and other livestock and poultry.
Until the death of her husband in 1932 Mrs. Elliott had never even written a check. Since that time she has kept house, hired all her employees, bought all her own machinery, and tended to her cattle and her land, much of which is devoted to farming, insures all her property, and pays taxes.
Mrs. Elliott was born Mary Alice Compton Dec. 4, 1868 in Madison county, Missouri. She was the youngest member of a family of five children, two boys and three girls. Her father, J. Richard Compton, coal miner and later a farmer, died after exposure in the civil war when she was three years old.
Compton, California, was named for her father’s brother who became rich in the gold rush of 1849.
She never knew her father’s people. All she remembers about her father was his bitter hatred of the Yankees. He became furious at his sister and almost quit speaking to her because she married a southerner, Mrs. Elliott recalls. She heard her mother [Sarah L. Iles Compton] tell how the Yankees came through their yard while she (Mrs. Elliott) was a baby and raided their place, taking all they could use, and even destroying the family’s yearly supply of wool which was out drying.
After the death of her father, Mrs. Elliott often had to go to the cotton patch and help her mother make a living. After a few years in Arkansas, where her father died, Mary Alice Compton came with her family to Dallas on the T. & P. railroad which was in operation at that time. From Dallas they came to Hood county in wagons [to Lipan]. She was 8 years old.
She and the other children attended a “picket schoolhouse” which was made by sticking poles in the ground. It had a dirt floor and the students sat on split logs. They walked three miles to school and carried their lunches in the buckets only during the summer months.
Married When 17
After two years of courtship, Mary Alice Compton married George Elliott, March 26, 1885 at the age of 17. A justice of the peace married them in a big home wedding, after which they had a dance. She says she was never satisfied because she was not married by a preacher.
Their honeymoon consisted of going over the crops the next day, and they were elated because they had a good corn crop.
Mrs. Elliott said young people in those days “had their fun” at all night dances, singings, Sunday school and church.
She kept for years an old side saddle which she rode for years with a long riding skirt draped over her huge hoped skirt. It was a disgrace for a girl to show her ankles in those days, she laughs.
Mr. and Mrs. Elliott’s six children were born in Hood county, after which they moved to Shackelford county in 1905. Her four surviving children are Olin Elliott, Moran; Ross Elliott, Breckenridge; Mrs. J.M. Townsend, Moran; Mrs. E.W. Higgins, Cisco. She has 15 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Mrs. Elliott thinks education is very important – all of her children attended college, and she has lent financial aid to many of her grandchildren and to other young people trying to get college education.
Mrs. Elliott is very healthy and happy – as long as she is out of doors. She has quick wit and a keen sense of humor obvious in her twinkling blue eyes that belie her 71 years.
|Mary Alice Compton Elliott was born December 4, 1867 in Madison County, Missouri. She married George Washington Elliott on March 26, 1885 in Hood County, Texas. Mary Alice passed away on March 18, 1952 in Shackelford County, Texas and was buried in Moran Cemetery in Moran, Shackelford County, Texas.|