by Pauline Tidwell of Cleburne, Texas dated June 1984

From the Judge Henry Davis Papers

“Hard times” began for us before the market crash of 1929. My father owned his home, but he worried about money for improvements and taxes. Our nearest neighbor paid on is land for many years but finally lost it.

My brother and I attended a small rural school for several years. Then our family moved to Tolar and bought a home, and we attended Tolar school. During the 1920’s we got our first car, a secondhand Model “T” Ford. My brother graduated from Tolar High School, then I graduated, and later my two younger sisters.

Roy [her brother, Lee Roy Tidwell] married Mabel McLemore from Tolar, and is now a retired businessman in Lamesa, Texas. They raised one son, Roy Mc, who works for Stanford Research Institute and has five children, some now in their twenties.

My sister Isabel married Otha Akins and had four children. Betty is now Mrs. Bill Linthicum and is the mother of two boys and a girl. Martha, now Mrs. Lelton James, has one girl and two boys. Hilda became Mrs. Charles Hood and works for First Texas Bank. Mike Akins, Isabel’s youngest child, married Sherry Brand and has two little girls. Isabel and her children have all lived in or near Cleburne since 1965.

My sister Jo married Hershell Elliott of Tolar. They lived in Lamesa, Texas for many years and raised one daughter, Linda. She is now Mrs. Tom Turner of Mesquite, Texas. They have two sons. Hershell died in 1981 and is buried in Tolar Cemetery. Shortly afterward Jo moved to Cleburne and bought a home.

I was the first of my family to settle in Johnson County when I came to Cleburne to teach in Fulton Junior High School during World War Two.

My great-grandfather, Marvil Tidwell, and my great-grandmother, Matilda Tidwell, left Newton County, Missouri about the time of the Civil War. They were Presbyterians and were parents of eleven sons and two daughters. Two or more of their sons died in the Civil War. They lived in Kentucky for several years, and I know nothing of their lives there.

My grandfather, Albert, was the youngest son. He married a young widow, Martha Helms, with two small daughters. Their first two children, Hudie and Lonnie Lee, my father, were born in Kentucky. (I have always been told.)

My father was born September 9, 1876. When he was about two years old, he and his family and grandparents, Marvil and Matilda, and several uncles and their families moved to Texas. Among these uncles of my father were Jones, Dallas, and Starling Tidwell, and perhaps others.

I have heard nothing about the Tidwell’s journey to Texas. Several of them settled in Hood County and nearby counties. My grandfather Albert bought land about four miles south of Tolar, in Hood County. I believe he paid 50 cents per acre. As time went on, he bought more land; and three more children were born to his family. These were Emma, who died in her late twenties, Tee, another girl, and George, the youngest son.

Albert retired from farming when he was 40 and moved to Tolar, where he and my father, Lonnie, operated a livery stable until my father married.

When Lonnie married my mother, Annie (Anna) May Sheppard in 1905, he already owned a farm-ranch about four miles southwest of Tolar. My parents worked very hard there.

My mother outlived my father, Lonnie, and moved to Cleburne in 1968. She died in 1978 and is buried in Tolar Cemetery beside by father.

I retired from teaching in 1973, having spent 31 of my 42-year teaching career in Fulton Junior High in Cleburne. Johnson County is a wonderful place to live, to work, and to retire!