Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Part 4: Lucy Willis, Widow, Raises 13 Children and Older Children Form Their Own Families

Three older Willis children married in the year 1913: third child, oldest daughter, Mary Almira Willis, age 21, married Ancil Hewitt Streetman, age 24 on January 19, 1913 in Houston County; fourth child, second daughter Alice Lucinda Willis, age 19, married Richard Lusky Gray, age 20, on August 9, 1913 in Anderson County; and, oldest child, oldest son, John J. Willis, age 24, married Ethelinda Gray, age 22, on November 3, 1913 in Houston County.  

Jesse Loyd Willis
Oldest daughter Mary Almira Willis, age 21, married Ancil Hewitt Streetman, age 24, on January 19, 1913 from familysearch.org, Texas Marriages, 1837-1973, Book 11: Page 199. They had three children: R.C., age 6, Gilbert, age 3, and Coy, less than 1 year old, in the January 22, 1920 U.S. Census. They lived in District 88, Justice Precinct 5 (part of) West of I&GNRR track and North of Grapeland and Navarro Road.

Cecilia Viola Ola Jacqueline Willis

Oldest son John J. Willis married Ethelinda Gray, my maternal grandfather, Richard Lusky Gray’s next older sister on November 3, 1913 in Houston County, Texas. In the February 4, 1920 U.S. Census John J.’s and Ethelinda’s family lived east of Elkhart, Anderson County and Navarro Road and had three Willis children: On June 27, 1927 husband John Joseph, age 38, passed away in Tyler, Smith County, Texas. 

Charles Dewey Willis

In the April 8, 1930 U.S. Census Ethelinda Willis, age 39 was the head of household working as a mechanic operator for a clothing manufacturer in Tyler, Smith County, Texas. Ethelinda and her five Willis children: Avalon, age 15, Melba, age 12, Odessa, age 12, Doris, age 9, and Rudolph, age 6, were living in a shared home with Everitt A. and Mildred Smith at 819 S. College Street.

Fourth child and third son, William Willie Jefferson Willis, probably between age 18 and 21 married Myrtle B. Weisenger, possibly between age 16 and 19 and probably between 1913 and 1917 when their first child, Weda, was born. I could not find a marriage document at ancestry.com or familysearch.com. Perhaps another family member has WWJW and MBWW’s marriage record. On June 15, 1917, Willie Jefferson registered for the WWI Draft and stated that he was married and had one child. 

Ludie Valonia Willis

Their oldest child, Weda, was born in 1917 and listed as older than Wilbert in the January 16, 1920 U.S. Census, but without a firm date in my research. Wilbert, the second child, was born on December 18, 1917

Marvin Rivey Willis

The April 4 & 5, 1930 U.S. Census shows the Willie, age 37 and Myrtle Willis, age 36, family as living in District 1, Tyler City, Ward 1 (Part), Bounded by North City Limits; East railroad tracks; South Olive, Dixie Highway, Camp, Spring Gold, West Ward Line, Broadway, Smith County, Texas and rented at 521 Vance with their five children: Weda, age 13, Wilbert, age 12, Windell, age 11, Weldon, age 10, and W. Z., age 7. Willie was a building carpenter.

On November 28, 1919, Charles Dewey Willis, age 21, the eighth child and fifth son, passed away. Charles Dewey  who went by Dewey died of a cerebral brain tumor that was diagnosed two days before his death at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Galveston County, Texas. He was single and a farmer. On September 12, 1918 Dewey registered for the WWI Draft at Crockett, Houston County, Texas. He was of medium height, slender build, with blue eyes and black hair. 

Purley Gratan Willis

Dewey was buried at Antrim Cemetery November 30, 1919 by F. P. Malloy and Sons alongside his father. Lucy was 51 years of age.

The January 16, 1920 U.S. Census show the Lucy Jane Lamb Willis family as living in District 89 Justice Precinct 5 (part of) W. of I&GNRR track and south of Grapeland and Navarro Road, Grapeland, Houston County, Texas. Lucy is listed as born in Florida, a widow, owns home, can read and write, and is 52 years old. Six Willis children are living in the home: Ludie, age 18, Marvin, age 17, Purley, age 15, Guy, age 13, Alton, age 11, and Lois, age 9.

Guy Clifford Willis

Fourth child and third son William “Willie” Jefferson Willis, age 27, lived with his wife Myrtle B. Weisenger Willis, age 29, on the farm they owned, #395 in the U.S. 1920 Census with no mortgage and three children: Weda, age 3, Wilbert, age 2, and Windell, age 1.

Alton Jackson Willis

The next farm, #396 in the U.S. 1920 Census was owned by H.M. Henry Marvin (sometimes listed as Marvin Henry) and Luna Lenora Gray Streetman who also had three children in the 1920 U.S. Census: James, Luther, and Mary. The significance of Luna Gray is that she was my grandfather Richard Lusky Gray's sister.

Lois Inez Willis

Be sure to go to the three older Blog posts that take you to Part 1, 2, and 3. 

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