Monday, February 2, 2009

Ethylene remembering Aunt Ethel

I'm the truly honored one in the family having been name for two very strong role models...Aunt Ethel, and Aunt Arlene. Both were strong influences in my life and always there for rescue me especially from mother who had a problem with my being such a Tomboy. They understood my zest for sports, and for life, even climbing a tree to read a book.  They also rescued me from Grandma, and understood since they had been through some of the same experiences. LOL
My earliest memories of Aunt Ethel are of Christmas's at her house. Her house was always decorated so pretty. She had the prettiest curtains and draperies that she had made herself, as well as reupholstered her furniture to be color coordinated. We had many wonderful family times with all the Johnson girls, boys and their kids gathering at Aunt Ethel's house, especially the house they lived in, in Tomball every Christmas and other occasions.  There was always lots of good and special holiday food, music, hugs for all, and especially laughter to share.
When I was about 10 years old I became very ill. One of my legs/ especially the knee area  became very swollen. Polio was ruled out and I don't think they ever decided what caused it.. My fever went to 108 degrees. I remember being at Aunt Ethel's with mother taking care of me. After the fever finally broke, I had forgotten how to walk. I remember holding on to Aunt Ethel's furniture like an infant, teaching myself how to stand, balance and eventually take a few steps teaching myself to walk again.
When we moved to Houston we lived just down the street from Grandma, Aunt Ethel, and Aunt Arlene. I'd walk down to Aunt Ethel's probably every day. At that home, again she had it decorated beautifully, appropriate furniture that again...always coordinated.  Her flower gardens were like a page out of a magazine.  She had a garden and it was always a feast to have dinner with her...which I usually did. :) I always felt welcomed there. Wow, that woman could cook! Every meal was a banquet.
Gery, my x husband, and I went fishing with Aunt Ethel and Uncle Howard numerous times when we were dating.  I was skipping across some boards and logs on the lake while Gery was having a fit that I'd fall in the that very moment he fell in. He was so funny looking trying to grab for his wallet to keep it from getting his papers wet that we all laughed so hard we almost turned their boat over. I don't remember catching any fish but we had a good time. At about that time Charles Kincannon, a game warden we had known from Waller County came along. Uncle Howard couldn't find his fishing license, so a ticket was issued.
Gery and I married, a few years later  the two children came along, and my life touched Aunt Ethel's again. I went to work in Humble, bought a home in North Houston. My children attended Aunt Ethel's nursery in Humble for 2-3 years. They had exceptional care, and lunch for those little ones was a feast out of Aunt Ethel's garden. :)  I'd ride out on my lunch hour and visit. She served them the biggest, nicest tomato slices you ever seen, and other fresh veggies daily! My children have good memories of their Aunt Ethel. She had the best employees, and teachers who were naturals and loved all the children.
We would see each other at family reunions maybe once a year or so, at family weddings, and funerals. Of course she was there for me when mother was killed in the car accident.... a real bummer!
My children grew up, I started traveling on business. I had an office in San Antonio for a couple of years. I lived at the Embassy Suits at the airport, and later had a corporate apartment there. On weekends I'd venture out and drive out to the ranch to visit. I'd spend the day or night with Aunt Ethel. We'd sit up and talk to the wee hours. She'd tell me all sorts of stories about the family, grandma, grandpa and their growing up years. She talked about WWII and the girls working in factories while the guys marched off to war. She talked about how that family stuck together during those years, and everybody helped everybody one went hungry.
Aunt Ethel and Aunt Eunice  or maybe it was Aunt Erma, had a cafe in Tomball. Ray Skaggs and Gery played together at that time. They were about 5 years old. Ray was hit by a car and seriously injured crossing main street in Tomball in front of the cafe. I've been told the food was awesome there!
 We skinny dipped several times on her back porch late at night in her hot tub! Oh how she loved that hot tub...LOL..I haven't been skinny dipping since then as a matter of fact. I'd always take her out to eat, usually out to Canyon Lake, sometimes into San Marcus.
The last time I visited her there was in about 1998, 99. I booked my timeshare on Canyon Lake. I drove over to Aunt Ethel's several times and visited. We went out to Canyon Lake for lunch. She was so lonely and was so excited to get out and go sit by the lake which had  always been our favorite spot. I remember before we left her house, she was looking everywhere for her purse...looking and searching. Finally, she looked at me and started laughing.."What am I doing...I'm going with you, I don't need no purse!"...remembering that I never allowed her to pick up a tab. I responded with a "No you don't!" and we both laughed.
Last time I saw her was at Aunt Alma's farm a few years ago. We visited at length. Her memory was beginning to fail, and was noticeable at that time.
My neck progressively became more of a problem for me to drive a distance. I'm so sorry I was not able to get back out there. I will miss her...she was definitely my kinder spirit, my soul mate! We understood each other, even just sitting in silence we could communicate and know what the other was thinking and that all was well . :) 
You rest in peace Aunt Ethel. Thanks for loving me and caring about me. Thanks for being there for me, especially at those times when I felt so all alone in such a great big world.
I'm sure you are cooking, and laughing with your brothers and sisters, and taking care of all the little ones that have gone ahead while still infants and children. I bet you have a hugh hot house filled with plants, flower beds, and a veggie garden in the making already.   You are probably even redecorating the place to be sure it's color coordinated to suit your taste...:)
I'll see you up yonder one of these days. :)  Your namesake...


Ethel Lavenia Johnson 1914-2008

Ethel passed away about 2:00 p.m. on 08 Dec 2008. She was born on 16 Mar 1914 and was the daughter of John Wesley Johnson and Belle Zeora Quinn. Ethel married Howard Bruner on 19 June 1929 and they had three sons.


SORRY, I'M NOT THERE… Aunt Ethel was a special person in my life… In the early years of my life , she was a big influence in my mother’s life…Which was a factor in the whole Raymond Skaggs family… I have many wonderful
Memories of being with her… She was always treated me
Special… As a small child I stayed with her on many
occasions… Her family was my family, Curtis, Gene, and J.W … were like big brothers… She was a great cook… Aunt ETHEL would ask me as a child what piece of chicken I wanted, I told her I wanted the CHICKEN WALKER (leg) ...I remember when I was in my early 20's she gave me a BIBLE….
I loved her, I am happy where she is today…WITH HERE
The Bible says in 1 CORINTHIANS 2:9…"No eye has seen, No ear has heard, no mind has conceived what GOD has prepared for those who LOVE HIM…
May you be Blessed…and be a blessing to someone everyday… REMEMBER "THIS LIFE WILL SOON BE PASSED ONLY WHAT IS DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST"

Ray Skaggs

Donald Ray Johnson 1932-2008

Graveside funeral services for Donald Ray "Don" Johnson, age 76 of Leona, will be held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, July 17, 2008 at the Evans Chapel Cemetery in Leona, Texas. Rev. Leroy Skaggs will officiate at the service.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, July 16, 2008 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with the family present from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Walters Funeral Home in Centerville, Texas. Don Johnson was born on July 13, 1932 in Montgomery County, Texas to John & Bell (Quinn) Johnson. Mr. Johnson served as pastor and founder of the Lakewood Assembly of God Church on East Mount Houston Road in Houston in the 1950's. He married his wife, Kathy, on October 5, 1968 and together, they owned and operated Custom Care Service, a car detailing service, for 27 years. Mr. Johnson and his wife had lived in the Leon County area since 1981. At the time of his death, he was the owner and operator of the Town Café in Centerville. Don also enjoyed fishing. He was preceded in death by his parents; three sons, Kenneth, Van and Jeff; three brothers and five sisters. Don passed away in Madisonville on Monday evening, July 14, 2008. Surviving family includes his wife of almost 40 years, Kathy Johnson of Leona, Texas; son, Michael Anthony Ross and his wife, Briggith of Lawrenceville, Georgia; daughter, Tina Latham of Katy, Texas; sisters, Ethel, Alma, Elna and Arlene; five grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Wed. July 16, 2008 , 1 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Walters Funeral Home.

Thu. July 17, 2008 , 10 a.m. at Evans Chapel Cemetery

610 S Commerce St
Centerville, TX 75833
(903) 536-2551

Eunice Mueller Hardy 1923-2003

The information below is from the funeral handout provided at the funeral of Eunice Mueller Hardy. The picture is of her grave-side service. Eunice was the daughter of John Wesley Johnson and Belle Zora Quinn Johnson.


In Memory of Eunice Mueller Hardy

November 23, 1923
Tomball, Texas

Passed Away
February 6, 2003
San Antonio, Texas

79 Years 2 Months 13 Days

11:00 AM, Monday
February 10, 2003
Brookside Funeral Home Chapel

Leroy Skaggs
Jerry Hoyt

Brookside Memorial Park


Janice Jones and husband Derwin

Glen Mueller and wife Sandra

Arline Knee
Alma Rhodus
Elna Lewis

Donald Johnson and wife Kathy

Eight Grandchildren
Twelve Great Grandchildren
Numerous Nieces, Nephews,
and a Host of Friends

Preceded in Death by
Son Bobby Gene Mueller

Sure had some fun that day.

Writings by Clara Ada Johnson Clepper Smith
about her husband, William Wesley Clepperand her time living at Decker Prairie, Texas.
Transcribed by their grandson, Conan L Massey Jr.


The night I met Wesley C. was 26 Dec 1931 at a party at Grogan Mill at Charlie Netams. He bought me home form the party.
The 2 of Jan 1932 I gave a party Wesley and his brother Lim [Lemual] came then we went after Lillian Weindorff.
Edd J_____ jumped Lim about bringing Lil to the party and he would not go back again Thursday night.
Wesley and I went to the party at Vaughts, sure was a big crowd, sure had some fun.
Saturday night 9 Jan, Wesley came and took me to the party at Grogans Mill that night.
He said that he loved me, i asked him how long would it last, he said just as long as he lived. I'll always remember that night 9 Jan 1932.
Sunday Jan 17, 1932 Wesley and I went to Houston to Ethel’s got there about 4 oclock, had some trouble finding the place left about 7,30 went to a show got home about 12 oclock.
Saturday evening 23 Jan we went to Houston to a party at Ethels, went to his sisters in Camp Logan. His baby sister gertrude went to the party with us we sure had some fun.
Alta went down with us she came back with Rolland. Wesley came back to Ethel’s Sunday eve after me then we came home.
Wesley drank some beers that eve and I told him if his beer was worth more to him than going with me o.k. but he said "I could get along without it, but I need you to go with me. I wont drink any more if you wont get mad."
I wont drink any more. Wonder how long that promise will last.

Sunday evening Jan 31, 1932 he spent the evening with me, we ate supper then he and I went to church at D.P.
Saturday night 6th Feb Wes cam and we went to a party at the Mill, where we met. Leon and June Perry went with us.
I went to Houston Monday with Ethel and Howard. He came after me Saturday even.
13th, got over there while we were gone to town. We had not been back long when he came back over there. That night, Cloyed, Madeline, Calci, Wes, and I went to the Green Derby Long Shoreman's dance. we came home Sunday, carried Mrs. Clepper home, then Wes brought me home.
Last night he said "I have been looking for you for five years until the night we met."
Wes said he was coming back Sunday 28, and he decided that was so long he came Wednesday night 24 Feb 1932. I was sure surprised. we ate supper and went to the show at Hufsmith. He gave me my choice that night of going with him or another fellow. I chose him. He said "I want you to be satisfied about it and don’t forget that if you choose him, I’ll always love you any way." Those few words let me know I loved him. "so unselfish." Six months is a mighty long time to wait for my answer he said. I told him my answer was yes if he would wait for me until I wasn’t needed at home so badly. He said they will need you at home just as bad next year as they do now. Probably true.

Friday night Wes, Morris Clepper, Lil W and I went to the party at Damuths. Sure had some fun. Lil and I told the boys we would rather to with their brothers than them anyway because they said we flirted with their brothers. Ha Ha. Wes asked when did I want him to send his brother to see me. I said anytime.
I gave a party Saturday night March 5, 1932 for Alta Bentley and Rolland Bruner wedding shower. Wes and Morris came by after Lillian Weinderff and came to the party. Wes cam Sunday evening Mar 13. We went to church at Hufsmith that night.
He said he was coming Sunday 20 but he came on Saturday night 19th and carried me to a party at his cousins house, Lily Thomas. Then we came back about 2 oclock. Sure was a long ride. Sweet dreams.
Easter Sunday Wes came. We went to the ball game at Hufsmith then came back. After supper we went to Pine Hurst and came back.
Saturday night April 2, Wes came over here. Cloyed went with us by Sherfields after Gertrude and went to a party at Tom Goodsons. Got home at 1.30 oclock.
Sat April 9, Wes came over and we went to D P to church. A large crowd was there. Sunday morning 10th, Cloyed, Gertrude, Wes, and I went to Houston to Ernest Lloyds. The day we figured the plans for our house.

Saturday night April 16 Wes, Lem, Vergil and Guy Sherfield Ludy, Mr. and Mrs. Jones came down here to go fishing on Spring Creek. Wes carried them down there and came back. Ethel, Howard, Wes, and I went to a farawell party at Mary Netams. Lem cam back with us and I went on the creek with them sit up all night. Came home about ten oclock Sunday.
I gave a party April 23, 1932. Wes came that we had a good crowd that night.
Saturday night April 30 Wes came. We went to a party at Vaughts. Jim, Allen, Buck Sanders and Cloyed went with us. There is a party at Youngs and Bentley Saturday night May 7.
Wednesday night the graduation excercises at Oklahoma and D.P. Thursday. 5 May sure had some fun both times. Lillian Weindorff and Lucy Sanders D.P. Graduates 1932.
Picnic on Spring Creek May 6. I went to the party at Bentley’s Saturday night. I went over there that day and cooked Wilks birthday cake. Wesley came about 9.30 oclock . He and I went by the party at Young's but it was over already then we came back. Lem and another boy was waiting. Lem asked me what time did i run Wes off.
Sunday night May 22, Wesley came and we went down to Bud Springers where Mrs Hanks died that day.
Saturday night 28, Wesley came and stayed until ten-thirty. The next morning he came back and I went home with him spent the day and came back by church at Magnolia where Stockwell is holding a meeting. Got home about twelve oclock.
Sunday evening June 5, Wesley came we went to the ball game at Hufsmith, then to Tomball where Ethel, Howard, Cloyed and I left him. We went to Houston.
Saturday evening June 11 Wesley came to Houston over to Ethels about 6 oclock. He, Cloyed and I went over to Jim’s after Gertrude, ate supper then went to the party at Alta’s. Sure had some fun that night. Wes and Gertrude went back to Jim’s.
Sunday June 12. He came back over to Ethels after us then we came out home ate dinner and Cloyed, Gertrude, Wesley, and I went to Rose Hill to a ball game and picnic. Came back just before sundown. Then Wesley and Gertrude went on home. Wesley felt so bad that evening he did not go to church.
Sunday June 26 Cloyed and I went to Cleppers, they were looking for us. afternoon
Lem, Ruby Jones, Cloyed, Gertrude, Wesley, and I went to Hockley and Waller got some films and t_____ pictures, rode around all the evening. Stopped to eat a watermelon under a bridge. They went off and left Wesley and I, but we did not know it until they came back. Sure had some fun that day.
Sunday July 3 Wesley came to Oklahoma church where the kids and I were. We had dinner down there and then came home.
I went home with Wesley, went by after Luda and Vergil. We went to the picnic the next day 4th at Fields Store. Sure had a fine time rode around nearly all day.
Wesley and I went with Morris after his girl. We got wet while eating dinner. Got home about 11 oclock
Saturday night 9 July, Wesley came before dark. I was picking beans when he drove up. That night Allen, Jim, Leon Davis, Wesley, and I went to a party at LeeAttiway’s
Saturday night 23, Wesley came before dark. We went with mama to vote. Then we went to Goldens.
Saturday night 30, Wesley cam. I was sick so we stayed home. left at 11.30 oclock.
Saturday night 13 of August. Wesley came. Allen, Jim, Leon, Wesley and I went to Pinehurst after Gertrude then went to the party at Hosfords the night of the storm. Wesley and Gertrude spent the night with us. The next day 14 I went home with them. Stayed until Monday night 15, Wesley and his mother brought me home.
August 27, wesley came. We went to Bonnies that night but did not stay long. Saturday night September 10 Wesley came, we went to Caraway to take them some pears. did not stay very long.
Saturday night September 24, 1932 Wesley came to the party at Caraways after I had gone with Wilkie Bentley, Willie C Elvin Carraway, Lillian and Edna __________. He said that I went with Wilkie and should have come back with him, but I came back with Wesley.
Saturday night 1 day of October. Wesley came and we went to a party at Bentley’s there wasn’t very many there. He spent the night with us. We went to Houston the next day and saw Ethel’s new baby Billie Gene. Got home about 5 oclock and he stay Sunday night for the lights would not burn when he started to leave. He left Monday morning before anyone else was up.
Saturday 8th Oct night first he came and stayed until 11 oclock
Sunday 9, Wesley came and all of us went to Houston to shop. They stayed till Monday night 3 of October. 2 stayed down there. Sat. 15 we came by Jims. Lela and Gertrde came out with us. We were married with a big oyster supper and a big party.
Present at the wedding
Mrs Weindorff
Lillian Weindorff
Mollie Smith
Mrs Lela Clepper
Gertrude Clepper
Mrs Ada Jones
Mrs Claude Jones
Ruby Jones
Cloyed Johnson
Edd ___________
Mrs Ethel Bruner
Howard Bruner
Donald Ray

Brother Gill performed the marriage ceremony.

The Winslow Place

The picture is of Clara Ada Johnson Clepper (left) and her sister-in-law Ada Leona Clepper (right). The information below from a letter written by Clara Ada Johnson Clepper when she was a student at the Decker Prairie School. Her father, John Wesley Johnson, is the last renter noted in the story. The original story is in the genealogy collection of her daughter, Susan Clepper.


The Winslow Place

This house was built of lumber from the Arnold saw mill, the first mill to be built in Montgomery County.
It was built by Mr. Alec Whittier in 1850 on the Syrus Nixon survey of land in the Lillie Prairie Community seven miles from Decker Prairie school in 1850.
Mr. Whittier lived on the place and kept the post office for many years during the Civil War, the first and only post office for many miles distance at the time.
This place was an old stage coach inn during the stage coach time, located on the Montgomery, Houston stage line.
Mr. Whittier died in 1860 leaving his widow, one son, and two daughters. The son entered the Civil War and was killed in action.
In a few years the Widow Whittier met and married Jim Cotton and one of her daughters married his brother Tom, he lived with her until her death two years later, then he returned to marry the other daughter , which caused trouble between the brothers, after a short quarrel Tom shot Jim and killed him instantly leaving Mrs Cotton a widow the second time.
In 1867 she was married to Charlie Louge with whom she lived until he was killed while working near Montgomery in 1869.
Mrs Louge then rented the place to William Winslow and moved to Austin. Mr Winslow decided to buy the place from the owner, so he went to Austin and bought the 200 acres of land for $800 dollars in 1873. Mr Winslow lived on the place until his death in 1898.
Many different families have rented the old place since then. Mr. Allen Pate, Mannings Vaught, it being Mr. John Lillins first home when he came to Montgomery from Lampasis, Texas where he lived for many years.
Mr Tom Harvey also made it his home when he came to Montgomery County from Abeline, Texas. After living on the place there three years he moved on a small farm near Venture where he died a few years later.
Mr Fred Neidigk rented the place in 1918 where he lived while he opperated the Neidigk saw mill at wilmot until he sold the mill in 1924 to the Grogan Lunber Company and moved to Carlos where he built another saw mill, which he still operates.
In 1925 J. W. Johnson rented the place with many parties being given for the young folks during the year of 1925. The memory is sure to last many years. This family moved in 1926 to Decker Prarie.
In 1927 Mrs W. O. Ivey and children rented the place where they lived until 1928 then moved to Carlos.
In 1929 J. W. Johnson rerented the place where they lived throughout the year of 1929. During this year on June 19 his daughter Ethel was married to Howard Bruner. At the end of the year this family moved to North Houston.
The house is still in good condition to stand probably many years.


According to The Handbook of Texas Online (, “Decker Prairie, also known as Decker's or Deckers Prairie, is a dispersed rural community located on State Highway 249 about thirty miles northwest of Houston and seventeen miles southwest of Conroe in southwestern Montgomery County. Settlement in this area just north of Spring Creek and the Montgomery/Harris county line had begun in the 1830s. The community was named for settler Isaac Decker, whose land grant was surveyed in 1839.”

Clara Ada Johnson Clepper Smith 1912-1982

Clara Ada Johnson Clepper Smith was born on 11 Apr 1912 in Montgomery County, Texas and was the daughter of John Wesley Johnson and Belle Zora (Quinn) Johnson. She was the grand-daughter of Tom Peter Johnson.

    Ada and William Wesley Clepper (458-28-2477) were married on 15 Oct 1932 in Waller County, Texas.

    Ada and Milton E. Smith were married ca1965

    On 27 May 1982, Ada was going to talk a meal to her friend and then pick up her grandchildren from school, but was killed in a car accident (details below) after leaving her son's house.
    Ada's funeral and burial were held at the Brookside Memorial Park.

    Wesley and Ada had seven children. Harvey Loyd Clepper (1936-1997) and Cecil Leonard Clepper (1937-1990) have passed away, but the other five are still living.

A letter written by Ada states “I finished the Tenth grade and received my diploma on the 24th of April 1930 and was the only one in the class.”


Funeral Notice from Newspaper

Clara Ada Clepper Smith, 70, of Humble passed away Thursday. Survivors: daughters, Verlie Booth, Okla., Ethlene Beard, Houston, Susan Massey, Houston; sons, Cecil of Spring, Ventis of Texarkana, Harvey of Freeport, and Ellis Clepper of Houston; Sisters Arlene Knee of Humble, Elna Fortson, Humble, Alma Rhodes, Houston, Ethyle Bruner, Fischer, TX, Erma Skaggs Ficher, TX, Eunice Hardy, Abilene; brothers Cloyd of Tennessee, Jim of Fredisburg, Donald Johnson of Leona; 19 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren. Funeral services 2 p.m. Monday, Brookside Funeral Chapel with Reverend E. M. Darneal officiating, internment Brookside Memorial Park. Brookside Funeral Home, Eastex at Louder Rd., 449-6511

Newspaper Story on Ada’s Death

Man allegedly drag-racing gets fine,
probation in death of elderly woman

A young Houston man who was allegedly drag-racing when his car hit and killed a 70-year-old woman in her vehicle on a residential street has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to a five year probation and a $5,000 fine.
James Parr, 19, of 8438 Gold Creek, was found guilty and sentenced Wednesday by a jury in the court of state District Judge Michael McSpadden for the May 27 death of Ada Johnson Smith, of 2025 N. Houston in Humble.
The judge also ordered Parr to spend 30 days in jail and to refrain from driving for during the probation period.
The crash took place at Antoine and Shady Villa at midday.
Prosecutor Elaine Marshall Bratton said Parr rounded a curve at 60 mph and hit Mrs. Smith’s vehicle which was turning from Shady Villa onto Antoine. She died at a hospital later that day.
Michael Sargent, 18, testified for the prosecution that he was racing with Parr. Sargent was not charged in the case.
But after the jury left the courtroom to begin deliberation on Parr’s punishment, the judge lectured Sargent, who was in the audience.
McSpadden, a former prosecutor, said that if he had been the district attorney, Sargent would have been charged for his role in the offense.
McSpadden said that if Sargent ever ticketed for a traffic offense, he would contact the traffic court judge and urge the stiffest penalties for Sargent.
Parr denied he was in a race and said he was going between 40 and 50 mph. But Mrs. Bratton said skid marks showed his vehicle exceeded 60 mph.

My Tribute to Mom and Dad

The information below from the October 15, 1994 Johnson Family Reunion booklet. The picture is of John Wesley Johnson and his wife Belle Zora (Quinn) Johnson.

My mother was Belle Zora (Quinn) Johnson.  My father was John Wesley Johnson.  Mom was born January 22, 1896(?).  Dad was born May 1886(?).  I don't know when they became man and wife.   They had 13 children.  Seven girls and 6 boys.  One boy died about 2 weeks after birth.  Another boy, named Harvey Lloyd, died at about 4 years of age from diphtheria.  My dad was a farmer and sometimes worked for Champion Paper Company.   Mom was a housewife.  My first memories were at Oklahoma Community about 4 miles from Tomball, Texas.  We lived on 9 acres in a ranch style house with three bedrooms and we had a long porch across the front of the house.  Only three of the remaining children were married so there was 8 left at home.  Mom and Dad worked hard and taught us the same.  Mom worked part-time in a sewing room at Magnolia, Texas.   She rode 15 miles one way.  Many times after working all day she would sew something for us girls for a special occasion.  We were given clothes from other people.  Mom would rip up and make over for us.  We didn't have a lot of clothes from new material, but we never felt ungrateful or mistreated.  We wore a lot of hand-me-downs.  The W.P.A. (Welfare) gave us groceries and clothes all made the same style and colors so everyone at school had the same types of dresses.  Not much chance to be different.
Dad got up at 4 am so [we] had to go to bed early.  We were supposed to be quiet.  Have you ever tried to keep 8 people quiet?  Seems everything was funny at night.  My mother's outlet from us kids was going fishing at the creek in front of our house.  She always brought back a string of fish.  Dad farmed the field and Mom had a big garden.  There was much canning of food in summer.   There were cows for milk and butter.  Dad raised goats and hogs.  He made our bacon and sausage.  In winter, he went deer hunting.  We ate a lot of venison.  He raised peanuts as feed for the cows and on rainy days we went to the barn and picked peanuts off the vines.  We always had chickens for eggs.  Not too often we had fried chicken.  all the girls learned to cook.  I remember making my first biscuits at 8 years of age standing on an apple box.  I made cake without cake mix.
One important thing I remember was the honesty taught us from our parents.  This helped us in our everyday dealings with others.  None of us have ever been in serious trouble with the law.  They taught much love by their taking such good care of us.   Dad died in February 1961.  Mom died in May, 1980.  There is 7 of the children left.  Six have gone to their reward.  I'm proud to be a part of a great family.  Someday there will be a family reunion.  I hope we will all be there together.  Family was so important to my mother.  She was raised an orphan though she also was the 13th child in her family that she never knew about until she had several children.  She always bragged on us.  They loved us very much.
Written by: Alma Johnson Dodd Rhodus, Daughter, 10/10/1994
Transcribed by: Conan L Massey Jr., Great-Grandson of John and Belle Johnson

John Wesley Johnson 1886-1960

John Wesley Johnson was born ca May 1886.   He was a farmer and sometimes worked for the Champion Paper Company.
    His wife Belle Zora Quinn was born on 22Jan1896? and was raised as an orphan.  Belle worked part-time in a sewing room in Magnolia, Texas that was fifteen miles from their home.  "Many times after working all day she would sew something for us girls for a special occasion.  We were given clothes from other people.  Mom would rip up and make over for us.  We didn't have a lot of clothes for new material, but never felt ungrateful or mistreated," Alma.
    At one point the family lived at the Oklahoma Community, about four miles from Tomball, Texas where they lived in a ranch style house on nine acres.  The house had three bedrooms with a long porch across the front.
    John was highly respected by his friends and neighbors.
    The picture above is of John and Belle from about 1911 with their first son Cloyd as a small child.  The location of the original is not known at this time.
    "The W.P.A. (Welfare) gave us groceries and clothes all made the same style and colors so everyone at school had the same types of dress.  Not much chance to be different," Alma.
    Although John would make bacon and sausage from the hogs that he raised, John was a great deer hunter and would often take his grandchildren hunting with him.  This was in the day's before refrigeration was readily available.   When a deer was killed, it was quickly prepared and divided amongst the neighbors and families in need.  When John went hunting it was never for sport, but for food.   He also taught the family to never hunt out of season and to always be responsible.

John W. Johnson, 74, died at his home, 10314 Bainbridge, Thursday morning. He was survived by 62 descendants.
John, a retired employee of the Champion Paper and Fibre Co., had lived in Houston for 17 years.
A newspaper funeral notice (source unknown) listed his survivors as his wife; seven daughters. Mrs. Ada Clepper, Mrs Ethel Bruner, Mrs. Erma Skaggs, Mrs. Eunice Mueller, Mrs. Alma Dodd, Mrs Elna Fortson, al of Houston, and Mrs Arline Knee of Humble; four sons, Cloyed A Johnson, Allen W. Johnson, Rev. Jim W. Johnson, and Rev. Donald R. Johnson, all of Houston; 30 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Mrs Fannie McDonald and Mrs. Lizzie Ivey, of Houston.

John and Bell had 13 children:
1. Cloyd Aurther Johnson
2. Clara Ada Johnson Clepper Smith 11Apr1912 - 27May1982
3. boy - died at brith
4. Ethel Lavenia Johnson Bruner 23Nov1914 - 02Dec2008
5. Allen “Catfish” Wilson Johnson
6. Jim Wodrow Johnson
7. Erma Virginia Johnson Skaggs
8. Eunice Lucille Johnson Mueller Hardy 23Nov1923 - Feb2003 TX
9. Arline Ruth Johnson Knee
10. Harvey Lloyd Johnson (died at age 4 from diphtheria)
11. Alma Louise Johnson Dodd Rhodus
12. Donald Ray Johnson 1932-2008
13. Elna Emma Johnson Fortson

    John and his wife Belle were both buried at the Brookside Memorial Park in Houston, Harris County, Texas.
• Interviews with his children at family reunions

Quinn Family Tragedy

The information below from an email believed to be from Kay Dawes Knee as received by Cyenthia Clepper. The picture is of Belle Zeora Quinn.


Personal Notes for Emiline Goodwin and Isaac L. Quinn
*This is a Family Story and has not been documented*

Emiline “Em” was the daughter of Elizabeth “Betsy” Coon and Benjamin Franklin Goodwin. Isaac “Ike” was the son of Rosale Analacia Palmyra Lindsey and Green Berry Quinn.

They were married about 23 years, in which time they had 13 or 14 babies. Two died as babies one as a young child and 2 as young adults, but 8 lived to produce their own families and insure a living legacy to the two. Their last child, born in San Augustine Co, TX, on 22 JAN 1894 was Belle Zeora. According to family stories, they owned a trading post which was similar to a general store. Ike’s father, Green Berry Quinn, had received a league of land as an early settler. He also served in the Civil War. He had given some of the land to his wife, Rosale's parents, Isaac and Ester Lindsey. Apparently Emiline’s family was angry that they had not been given land or as much land, so Isaac had a blood feud going on with some of the Goodwin family members. He was taunted and even beaten on occasion by the 'reportedly' radical in-laws

On 17 May 1895, when Belle was about a year and a half old, tragedy struck their family, according to family researchers Doris Medlin (of Lydia Julia Quinn Brewster) and Delight Nelson descendant of Allen Goodwin),. According to family legend Ike occasionally drank. He is reported to have ingested some bad liquor, given to him by persons unknown. There was strong suspicion that some of the Goodwins had done it. They got into a fight. Apparently he died from the beating, and was found in the woods the next day. He left 10 children and a distraught wife with no means to care for themselves. Those who attended Ike's funeral recall, little 1 ½ year old Belle Zeora running freely throughout the area around the casket. Quite naturally, Emiline wanted to know who had taken the life of her husband and the father of her children. Supposedly the lawmen some of whom were related to the Goodwins) weren’t interested in bringing the perpetrators to justice. The more they turned a blind eye, the more vocal she became. Eventually, Emiline had a nervous breakdown, and in attempt to silence her they had her committed to the Terrell State Hospital for the Insane. She was most assuredly distraught over the loss of her husband, but family members all assert that she was not insane when she was committed and her confinement was for questionable cause involving disputed land, and livestock. Wade Butler and W.G. Pate were the trustees of her estate, which mentioned land and cattle. Interestingly, the order of commitment papers, were signed on the same day as Ike’s death is recorded. On the back of the papers however, it said Rec’vd May 31, 1898, even though the warrant for her commitment was dated 1895, on the same day Isaac died. The papers from the hospital indicate that she could have been released from there about 6 or 8 months after her ‘admittance’ but no one came for her, and as a result, she was confined for 18 years.

After "Ike" died and "Em" was placed in the mental institution, the children were all farmed out to family members. The oldest son, Calvin took some of the older ones to live with him. By the time of the census of 1900, Calvin, Stanley, Rosaline, & Jennie had married and had homes of their own. Jennie and her husband Joe Moore lived next door to Calvin. Mary Martha and Elvena Dee lived with Calvin in 1900. Wavie Emiline lived with Ellie Britton “Britt” Goodwin, Em’s nephew. They were listed as their servants and not nieces. Thomas “Tom” and Isaac “Bud” apparently were staying with their Aunt Esther and her son Marcus Quinn Butler when the 1900 census was taken. Liddie Julia stayed with Em at her Uncle Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Goodwin’s until they came and took her mother away to Terrell. Liddie Julia then lived with Charlie Holloway Sr afterwards. She would later marry Charlie Holloway Jr. and remain married for 4 days.

In a note from Liddie Julia (Em’s daughter) to Doris Medlin, she stated what she remembered as a 12 year old child. “Mama (Em) and me (Liddie) lived at Uncle Frank’s when they sent her away to Terrell. “They had me to go live with a family that needed me. I didn’t want to go. The woman came after me three times before I finally went. I was 12 years old. She (Em) stayed up there 18 years, and finally Uncle Tom and Uncle Bud (Isaac L Jr) went up there and got her . She (Em) stayed with Jenny for a while and got her mind back. “Aunt Liz” stole Belle & gave her away.”

John and Sarah (Moore) Loustaunau took Bell to live with them in Etoile, Nacogdoches Co., TX. Sallie and Belle were located on the Nacogdoches Co. 1900 census living with Sallie’s father, William Moore who was born July 1818 in Alabama.. Sallie (Sarah) Moore Loustaunau was born December 1861 in Alabama. At that time of the 1900 census, Belle was 6 years old, having been born in 1894. The birthplace for her mother was given as Alabama, probably the birthplace of Sarah Loustaunau, since Bell was 1 ½ years old when she was taken from her mother and too young to remember her. Emiline wasn’t born in Alabama. Sarah stated that she was married. John was living on the job at Clinton Shipyard. Where he was a ship builder He obviously died between 1900 and 1903. Later Sarah married Arthur Sanders. Belle always referred to him as “Ole’ Aus Sanders.” She said he wasn’t worth shootin’, and obviously didn’t care very much for him. It appears, however, as if she may have named her first son after him Cloyed Arthur Johnson. The fact that she didn’t get along with “Aus” probably contributed to Belle’s marriage to John Wesley Johnson at 14 years of age (one month before she was 15). Apparently their union was a strong one. They had 13 children and stayed married until John Wesley died in 1960.

Arthur and Sallie Sanders are located on the 1910 Montgomery Co. TX census, taken 2 years after Belle married in 1908. On that census Sallie stated she had no children, born to her or living at the time.

Belle told the story to all her children of a dream that she had as a young wife and mother. In the dream she saw that she had a family out there somewhere. Some time after that she received a letter from her brother Ike. They made contact and visited with each other. She grieved until the end of her life that she had not been allowed to at least know of her family. She did however get to at least meet her mother before Emiline’s death.

Emiline is reported to have been extremely withdrawn and mentally fragile, after her release from Terrell. She was confined for 18 years, when her sons Ike and Tom “TOOK” her from there, making her release in 1913. By that time Belle was married and given birth to 3 children. Em stayed with Jennie and Tom. Arline stated that she remembered Aunt Julia and Aunt Jennie bringing her Grandma Emiline to see them in Oklahoma Community where they lived as children. Alma said “ We went up there to see her and she just sat and rocked, staring into space and not saying a word or acknowledging anyone’s presence. Other grandchildren have said that she taught them, songs and dances that she had learned during her confinement.

Several facts exist that are puzzling: Liddie Julia said she and her mother were staying with Uncle Frank Goodwin until they took her away to Terrell. Where was the baby, Belle at that time? Why didn’t some of the older brothers and sisters take her and care for her or try to find her? Who was Aunt Liz? There was a Frances Elizabeth Goodwin Wise who was living next to Isaac and Emiline on the 1880 census. She was Emiline’s sister. If she was called Liz that would make her “Aunt Liz” to Lyddie Julia. Another curious fact begs an answer; Belle is reported to have not even known of the existence of her birth family, yet she named several of her children names consistent with known naming patterns for the Quinn’s, Coon’s, and Goodwin’s. Emma, Ethel, Ada, Lavenia and Allen were all frequently used names. One is left to wonder if she wasn’t at least told of their existence and possibly not their location. Also she never used any other last name but Quinn. Sarah/Sallie’s maiden name was Moore, then Loustaunau, and finally Sanders. One has to wonder what Belle thought was the origin of her last name.

Emiline's father died in 1893 and he mother died in 1889, so that must have only added to the stress when her husband was murdered in 1895.

Johnson Family History

This information is from an email received from Kay Dawes Knee.


From: "Kay Lynn"
To: Conan Massey Jr
Subject: Johnsons
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 10:43:28 -0500

This is about 1/5 of the Johnson portion of my booklet. I have children , notes ,etc for quite a few of these people. In addition I am including Quinn, Goodwin, and Kuhn/Coon info for Belle's side. I have ActiveX on my program so it may not copy to you exactly as I have it formatted. I will be happy to share what ever you want. Do you have any other info or pictures including Ada's amd her family that you are willing to share? Hope this doesn't overwhelm you. If so just ignore me. LOL

Kay Dawes Knee


The Descendants of William Johnson

* Color Key for the Johnson Branch as follows - 2nd Generation = Violet, 3rd Generation = Green, 4th Generation = Indigo,

5th Generation = Brown, 6th Generation = Blue, 7th Generation = Teal, Continuity Notes for Arline = Red

The Johnson’s came into Texas between late 1834 and 1837. He received a land grant in Montgomery County. It was Headright Certificate, Second Class # 96, issued by the Republic of Texas, in the amount of 1280 acres. It was dated 19 July 1838. There also was another meeting with The Montgomery County Board of Land Commissioners on 13 August 1838. He sold ½ of the land (640) to the man who, earlier, had done the survey, Mr. Jonathan S. Collard on 1 July 1844. The sale price was $100 for the entire 640 acres.

The supposition is that William died in 1838 after the August meeting with The Board of Land Commissioners, since Mary (Shye) Johnson married for a second time on 15 February 1839, to a man named Phillip Martin. They subsequently had a son Sam Houston Martin.

(1st) Father: William JOHNSON Birth: About 1788 GA Marriage: 26 JAN 1813 in Clarke Co. Georgia. William apparently passed away in 1838 shortly after the Land Grant was issued by the Board of Land Commissioners in 1837. It is the general consensus that in the 1844 land transaction that the son William Wilburn must have acted on his father’s behalf, since his name was the same as his father’s and it is almost certain that the father passed away at the end of 1838.

Arline’s Paternal Great Great Grandfather

Mother: Mary SHY, (SHI, SHAY or SHYE) Birth: About 1792-1795 GA

Note: According to Barbara Hamilton, Johnson descendant through William and Mary’s son Jesse Johnson, she believes that on the Georgia marriage record it was spelled SHY. I have found it spelled several ways while doing this research. Arline’s Paternal Great Great Grandmother

Mary Shy married a second time to a Philip Martin. Mary Johnson was given conditional head right No. 23 of 640 acres agreeable to the conditions of the act passed Jan 4, 1839 extending donations of land to late emigrants. It was a second class certificate given by the Republic of Texas on the 25th day of March 1839 to”formerly Mary Johnson”. The certificate was issued in Montgomery County but the land ended up in Walker County after the county lines were redrawn. Philip sold some land to two of Mary's sons. They were William Wilburn Johnson and Jesse Johnson. Both are in the 1850 census in Montgomery County, Texas. W.W. Johnson is 23 years old (birth 1827) born in Georgia. Jesse is 34 years old (birth 1816) born in Georgia.
Mary had an odd real estate transaction in the late 1850's. She sold 320 acres of land to John McCrary (a Lawyer) for $1 and on the same day, John McCrary sold 151 acres to Philip Martin for $1 and 169 acres to Sam Houston Martin for $1. This means she had 320 acres left and it is assumed that she kept that for the children from her first marriage. However, nothing was found in the Walker County deed index indicating she conveyed that remaining land.

Children: Arline’s paternal great great aunts and uncles

(2nd)1. Serena Johnson Birth: About 1814 Tuscaloosa Co, AL or GA Death: 18 NOV 1877 Montgomery Co. TX Marriage: 26 JUL 1829 Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa Co., Alabama. They bought their marriage license 3 JUL 1829. Spouse: Timothy W. CUDE Birth: 1804 Grainger Co., Tennessee Death: 25 JUL 1861 Plantersville, Grimes Co, TX Timothy’s Father, William Arthur CUDE, Sr. Birth: ABT. 1770 Randolph Co., NC – Mother Dorcas JONES Birth: ABT. 1772 in Randolph Co., NC

(2nd)2. Jesse JOHNSON Birth: About 1816 in GA Marriage: 27 Apr 1840 Montgomery Co. TX spouse: Malinda PARKER Birth: About 1825 MS.*Note: Malinda was Lurana’s sister.

*Note for Malinda: The 1850 census shows her name as Matilda Thomas but the 1840 Republic of Texas marriage license (copy of marriage license in the possession of Kay Dawes Knee) lists her name as Malinda. All other sources also give her name as Malinda. She was 25 and born in Mississippi on the 1850 census. On the 1860 she is 33 years old.

* Notes Jesse and Malinda applied for their marriage license on 26 APR 1840. Peter Cartwright J P performed the ceremony.

* Jesse listed on the Schedule of notes (people owed money) on the 30 OCT 1849 action on the will of Thomas Betts

*Jesse was on the Annual Report of the administrator of the William W Ford estate on 26 AUG 1850. No mention of why. He wasn’t an heir.

*On the 1850 Montgomery Co census Jesse and his family thru Lucinda are listed with a family with the last name of Thomas. He was a 34 year old farmer, born in GA On the 1860 Montgomery Co census, he is listed as J Johnson

*Jesse and Malinda have not been found on the 1870 census. This possibly can be explained by the fact that about this time they moved their family to the East side of the county and may have lived deep in the wood and not located by the census taker.

* There are no records to indicate that Jesse was ever paid for participation in “Archer’s War” against the Kickapoo and Cherokee Indians in June 1840. Jesse and Malinda married in April 1840 and the records appear as if he sent a proxy to serve this time in the militia

* Jesse was a 2nd Sergeant in Captain Richard Williams’ Company of the Montgomery Co Militia in what is known as the Somervell Expedition. After the capture of San Antonio de Bexar by General Rafael Vasquez and General Adrian Woll in March and September of 1842, President Sam Houston ordered Alexander Somervell to organize the militia and volunteers to invade Mexico. After the Texas Army captured Laredo, Tamaulipas and Guerrero, Somervell ordered on 19 DEC to return to Gonzales and disband.

* On the 1 JUL 1854 School census for Montgomery Co Jesse Johnson had 2 children between the ages of 6 & 16.

*Jesse Johnson was named the administrator for the W B D Smith estate 26 MAR 1849. The perishable property was sold for $764.49 on that date. Buyers were listed as L Bennit, G McKeina, J M Goodrich, Johnson, Joseph Parker, G W James, S Bennit, J W Smith, J M Kirby and John Warnot

*31 DEC 1849 Jesse posted an additional bond as principal and Richard Smith as security.

* 1 MAR 1850- Upon petition of A Hemphill, Guardian ad Litem of the minor heirs of the decedent, court orders administrator to return an additional inventory listing the balance of the property belonging to the estate; also to bring to court all title papers to the land of the estate in his possession. Court appoints as appraisers E G Collier, C W Lewen, Calvin McCormick and M O Dimon

*.25 MAR 1850-In annual report, names mentioned are: E G Collier, M C Dixon, E J Arnold, R W Willis, and Brother, J H Price, Williford Cartwright and Thos. Betts. Documents shown to the court: Deed to decedent’s ¼ league; patent for bounty land 320 acres; bond from R Smith 500 acres on the Navidad; deed to decedent in Cincinnati; deed to John Smith’s bond of Hugh Davlin for 200 acres; Lewis H Ford’s bond for 140 acres; D Gilland’s cow contracts; decedent’s ¾ League Headright and John Smith’s 1/3 League Headright and John Smith’s 1/3 League Headright willed to decedent “lie in Liberty land distant” but no titles have ever been issued.

*21 SEP 1850-Petition of Richard Smith, one of the sureties of Jesse Johnson, administrator de bones non on the estate of Wiley B D Smith , to be released as surety. Court orders; that the administrator appear and answer the petition on the 24 SEP 1850 and show cause why he should not be required to give a new bond..

*24 SEP 1850- Application of Richard Smith, one of the sureties, asking that the administrator be required to give new bond and that he be released from all liabilities for future acts of the administrator, Court orders that Jesse Johnson, be discharged from the administration of the estate, and that execution issue against him. J M Kirbee and R Smith, his sureties, for all costs incurred by him in said administration. This ordered because administrator failed to appear and give new bond.

*3 OCT 1850 –Former administrator, Jesse Johnson – Court orders that a citation be issued to the Sheriff, commanding him to demand and receive from Jesse Johnson all papers, documents, money, and property in his possession belonging to the estate of W B D Smith, and return the same to the Court.

*4 JAN 1851 – Administrator, E G Collier, petitions that Jesse Johnson, late administrator of estate, be sited to appear at the next term of the Court and account for all his acts as administrator of the estate. Petition states that “matters of the said estate which he pretended to manage and conduct, are in so loose and confused a state that it is impossible for your petitioner to settle up the Estate.” Court orders that citations be issued accordingly.

*29 APR 1851 Report in writing by the late administrator de bonis non, Jesse Johnson, of Wiley B D Smith, deceased. Administrator has sworn and subscribed that report was filed 1 APR 1851. Court orders that the sum of $20.00 be allowed to N H Davis as attorney fees during administration. Court orders that E G Collier, present administrator, pay into the court for N H Davis during course of administration. Jesse Johnson is found in default for the sum of $2.52 and Court orders execution issue against him for same. Names mentioned in report of Jesse Johnson; J M Goodrich, G McKinny, Geo. James, Eli Shaw, Lewis and James Kirbee, James Smith, E G Collier, John Womack, P J Willis& Bro., Dr. J H Price.

*Jesse Johnson asks to be allowed the following: February 1848 – MAY 1849 – caring of the horses, hogs, and cattle, $30.00; June & September 1849 – going from home in Montgomery County to St. Gabriel in Milam County to see about cattle of decedent in the hands of Daniel Gilliland - $20.00; necessary expenses of said visits - $16.50; per cent for collecting and paying out - $23.50. Jesse Johnson further shows that he placed in the hands of R B Martin J P for suit, Norman’s note of $54.00, James W Smith’s note of $38.00; Joseph Parker’s note of $23.37, Wm. A Johnson’s note of $67.25 – upon all of which, judgments were recovered, but no money during his administration.

End of Probate minutes – Book E


(2nd) 3 William Wilburn JOHNSON Birth: 10 JAN 1829 GA Death: 6 JUN 1910 Burial: Petteway Cemetery, Robertson Co, TX Marriage: 13 Jun 1848 to Lurana PARKER called “Luranie”. Birth: 29 JUN 1827 MS. Note: Lurana's sister Malinda married William Wilburn’s brother Jesse. Arline’s Paternal Great Grandfather Children:

(3rd) 1. William Isaiah JOHNSON Birth: 14 APR 1849 TX Death: 31 MAR 1879 Burial: Petteway Cemetery Robertson, Co, TX Marriage: 18 JAN 1869 Mary Jane Brantner Birth: 1853 Brazos Co TX (Birthplace given in error, as IN on the Montgomery Co 1870 Census) Death: 1944 Burial: Weinert Cemetery Haskell Co, TX


Thomas Peter JOHNSON Arline’s Paternal Grandfather Birth: 16 OCT 1850 Pinehurst, TX Death: 16 FEB 1944 in Conroe, TX Marriage: 2 JAN 1870 to Mary Ann WINSLOW Birth: 8 MAY 1851 FL Death: 4 DEC 1891 (her Father: William Winslow Birth: 1824 Bibb Co. GA her Mother: Elizabeth Jane Parrish Birth: 1823 Death: 1907) *Note Arline said she remembers her grand father very well. He was a very small built man, probably 5’4” or thereabout. He weighted between 120 and 130 at most. She has vivid memories of him being a hard worker. When he would stop to rest, he sat under a tree in the yard, whittling as he rested. Arline’s Paternal Great Grandparents

Tom Peter Johnson’s Obituary
Feb. 16, 1944 from The Houston Chronicle
Rites Set Today for Man Leaving 132 Descendants

“Uncle Tom" Johnson, 93, Farmed All His Life in Egypt Community.
(He was actually know as Mr. Pete or Uncle Pete by those who knew him and his family)

Funeral services for Tom Peter (Uncle Tom) Johnson, 93 who had farmed all his life in the Egypt Community, between Conroe and Magnolia, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Klein Funeral Home Chapel in Tomball. Burial will be at 4:00 p.m. at the Tillis Prairie Cemetery. The pallbearers were selected from his many grandsons. Mr. Johnson died in a Conroe Hospital Saturday morning, leaving 132 descendants.

Mr. Johnson is survived by one son Johnnie Johnson of Oklahoma Community; two daughters, Mrs. Fannie McDonald of Egypt Community and Mrs. Lizzie Ivey of Houston; 34 grandchildren; 83 great grand children and 12 great grandchildren; a brother J.H. Johnson, and a sister Angie Grey, both of Buffalo.

Mr. Johnson was born at Mound Creek, south of Keenan and about six miles from his last home.(on October 16, 1850 not given in obit))

When he was a boy there was nothing but woods where Conroe is now, and he saw the first saloon and lumber mill of the town. Among his recollections was a picture of Houston when the town was nothing more than a mudhole.

Mr. Johnson was married when he was 20 (to Mary Ann Winslow born 1851 in Florida, died in 1891 with the birth of their last child, this information not given in obit) and was the father of nine children, six of whom are dead.(the 10 child was not listed assumingly since it was not ever named)


The following is a recollection of Tom Peter by his cousin. Harold Winslow, in a letter to Donald Johnson (youngest son of John Wesley Johnson and Belle Quinn Johnson. This was dated November 2, 1990


Sorry it has taken me so long to get this to you, but seems I just take a long time to do nothing any more. I would appreciate any corrections or additions some of the family could make to what I have written here. Most is from Daddy’s memory and what little I can remember from my talks with Aunt Emma.

As you can see the obituary has some errors- I don’t know who wrote it, but they were sure wrong in calling him “Uncle Tom.” I sure wish there had been more details given about him.

You can figure it out for your self, but your Daddy (John Wesley Johnson) and my Daddy (Rucks Winslow) were first cousins, so I guess that makes us second cousins? Well, how ever it works. I know Daddy and Uncle Perry sure thought a lot of Uncle Pete- they always spoke kindly of him. I remember one birthday party we had for Uncle Pete after Charlie moved to Egypt Community- it may have been the last birthday he celebrated. Also I remember Uncle Pete being at Uncle Wallace’s 80th birthday party. – He enjoyed being there to honor Uncle Wallace.

Hope you enjoy the info – share with others who may be interested. They may be able to add to it. I hope these old people who “laid the bottom rail” will not be forgotten as time passes on.

Your cousin, Harold (Winslow)

P.S. (handwritten) Uncle Pete and Grandpa Mack were brothers - in – law. Aunt Mary (Winslow Johnson) must have been some older than Mack – I think Mack may have been the youngest. The other brothers of Mack, Mary & Martha, were George & Sam Winslow.


T. P. “Uncle Pete” Johnson

Uncle Pete married Mary Winslow, daughter of William and Elizabeth Jane Parrish Winslow, January 2, 1870. Mary was living with her parents on the old Winslow place just off Bear Branch, near Egypt Community. They (Pete and Mary may have become acquainted as a result of William’s having a job at the tan-yard located on Mound Creek. William worked there during the civil War and may have met the Johnsons at that time. There were people living in the area around the old Rabon field, and there may have any number of them working at the old tanyard. .As the obituary notes, Uncle Pete was born somewhere in that area where the old Honea Road crosses Mound Creek.

The younger brother mentioned in the obituary may be the one referred to in a story passed down over the generations. As the older people remembered, at any large gathering, when meal time came, people were fed in “relays” seated at the dining room table; as many as possible were seated and after they ate, a second group was seated, then a third, and so on until they were all fed. The “buffet” style of today was never considered. The first table was made up of the older people and the guest of honor (preacher, etc.) then in descending order down to the children, who were fed last. The country song “Take an Ole Cold ‘Tater and wait”, sung by Little Jimmy Dickens on the Grand Ole Opry many years ago describes the situation children of that time faced quite accurately.

At one such gathering, Uncle Pete was seated at the first table and was thoroughly enjoying his meal, especially the dewberry cobbler; a delicious and rare treat back then. Perhaps Uncle Pete was giving himself a generous first helping, or may have been having a second one, but in any case, his younger brother who was having to wait, anxiously watched as that luscious cobbler disappeared before his eyes. As Uncle Pete was ‘digging into’ the cobbler, his brother could stand it no longer, so he leaned over Uncle Pete’s shoulder and said in a low pleading voice, “Peter don’t eat all them ‘burries’ – I want some. ”The remark was meant for Uncle Pete’s ears only, but those at the table could not help overhearing and of course got a good laugh out of it. They fully understood the anxiety he felt and were not unsympathetic. It was certainly a fact that some of those eating at the successive tables missed out on the choicest dishes and it took a lot of self-control to watch and not react in some way.

The only property I know of that Uncle Pete owned was 116 acres at the edge of Lake Creek bottom, not far upstream from the old Baker field and the old Mandy field. The field was named for the old black lady that once owned the property. None of us ever knew her last name, so we called it the “Mandy field.” Charlie Damuth eventually bought the property and lived on it a while before moving to Magnolia and opening a barber shop. Tom, Uncle Pete’s son, had 56 acres a short distance away. They farmed some and probably raised a few cows and hogs. Tom once farmed the old Mandy field. They lived a simple, perhaps hard life. Tom and his family got their water for household use from a spring about 150 or 200 yards from the house, It was about three miles from the Johnson property to Tillis Prairie, where William and his family lived after getting some property there in 1873. They lived in the old stagecoach inn which used to stand just south of the Tillis Prairie Cemetery.

Uncle Pete and Aunt Mary had 10 children. The tenth, a little girl who was never named, survived Aunt Mary by just a few days. Aunt Mary died giving birth to this tenth child. Aunt Martha (Mary’s sister who married Bob Damuth) tried to save the baby, but was unsuccessful. My Aunt Emma (oldest of Mack’s children) told me one of her earliest memories was seeing her daddy holding John and Della in his lap as he sat crying, Aunt Emma finally understood that his sister Mary had died in childbirth. This was about 1891 or 1892. Other children of Pete’s and Mary’s were: William (d/ 3 yrs old), Ellen, Jim (d/ 2 yrs. old), Elmer, John, Tom, Martha, Lizzie, and Fannie. Uncle Pete never remarried though he was still a relatively a young man.

Uncle Pete’s last days were spent with his daughter Fannie and her son Charlie Mc Donald and his family. Parts of these last years were spent near the old Winslow fields and the Winslow ponds just west of Bear Branch. Just a few years before Uncle Pete’s death, Charlie moved his family to Egypt Community and built a house on property just across the road from the Ben Hicks place. The old camp house the Coe’s used when they were working their cattle in the area around Bear Branch was moved to Egypt and Uncle Pete and Fannie lived in it. It sat just behind and slightly to the west of Charlie’s new house. The old bunk house was one big room with a door on each end. There was no porch, so Uncle Pete often carried his chair outside and sat in the shade of the house or a nearby tree during warm weather.

It was just before this move to Egypt that Uncle Pete caused quite a stir in the community. One evening he decided he wanted to see the old Winslow ponds again before he got too feeble to walk and since it was not a great distance to the ponds, he just knew he could get there and back before dark. He was very familiar with the area, having been all this country since he was just a boy, but something happened that got him disoriented and when dark came, Uncle Pete had not returned home. Word spread that Uncle Pete was lost and people form all over, especially Egypt Community turned out to hunt him. I don’t remember who came to our house, but it was kind of late, and most of us were n bed. My Uncle Ben Dulany, was staying with us, and had already gone to sleep. My daddy went in and called him saying, “Wake up, Ben Uncle Pete tried to walk to the Winslow ponds and got lost!” Uncle Ben, not quite awake, replied, “Well what did he do that for?”

I don’t know how long it took to find Uncle Pete, but he was as calm and unexcited as a man could be. He followed the old rule that when lost, you stop where you are and let the searchers find you. He was not worried because he knew there would be folks out looking for him. The weather was kind of cool, but he had built himself a fire and was sitting on a log beside it, warming himself. I think it was getting on toward the fall of the year when this happened.

Uncle Pete’s daughter, Lizzie, married Will Ivey, and they lived just south of my Grandpa Mack’s place in Tillis Prairie. Grandpa always enjoyed visiting Will and Lizzie. Once in a while, after supper, he would light his old kerosene lantern and walk the mile from his house over to the Ivey’s. He would visit until bedtime and then walk the mile back home. One of the last horses Grandpa owned, Ole Skipper, was broke and trained by him. In spite of Will’s expertise in handling animals, one day a horse that he was feeding kicked and killed him. He and Lizzie had 13 children; the youngest was barely six at the time of his death.


The family tree removed from this letter because most of the people listed are still alive.