This webpage contains the Reagan Texas Bulletin board where we post Reagan-related emails and news and provide links to other Reagan-Texas related webpages.


Reagan Homecoming News

Renting the Reagan Community Center

Map of the Reagan Community

Reagan History

Reagan Former Residents

Early-day businesses of Reagan

Reagan Graduating Classes, Sports Teams, Teachers

Reagan Methodist Church

Reagan Baptist Church

Reagan Obituaries

Reagan Events. Remember when ...????

Reagan School campus

History of Reagan Texas
Reagan Contacts

Reagan Hog Island Cemetery Listing

Reagan Johnson Cemetery Listing

Reagan Powers/McCaleb Cemetery Listing

Waite Cemetery Listing (Reagan Texas)

Mustang Prairie Settlement Near Kosse Texas

Blueridge Cemetery Roll (Near Kosse Texas)

North Blue Ridge (Stranger)Settlement

Reagan Powers/McCaleb Cemetery Listing

Reagan Texas Home Page and Bulletin Board

This webpage is dedicated to all former and current residents of the great town of Reagan, Texas in Falls County. This webpage includes links to other pages of interest such as Reagan homecoming plans, photos of early day Reagan, biographies of Reagan residents of the past, listing of the Reagan cemetery tomstones, and stories of early day reagan. We also have a bulletin board where you're welcome to post information about an upcoming event or post a question for the former Reagonites that might have the information you're looking for.

Email me at: or write to me at: 1264 FM2116, Rockdale, Texas 76567.

Leonard and Lady on their way to Red River, New Mexico (Nov 25/2005)

Reagan Texas Bulletin Board


The mailing address for the Reagan Homecoming Association is : 118 County Road 234, Reagan 76680
You can also reach the Reagan Homecoming Building for rentals at 254-587-2422.


The next planned homecoming has not yet been announced.

Ruth Ann Davison Torgerson

Former Reagan Homecoming Association Director, Ruth Ann Davison Torgerson has passed away with furneral scheduled for December 16 and burial to follow at Waite Cemetery. See Reagan Obituaries for more information..

Received the following email regarding any information about Benjamin Rodriguez, born 5/28/1930 on a farm near Reagan TX on 5/28/1930.

FROM: "maria figueroa" (

I'm trying to help my pastor Benjamin Rodriguez with some information from his childhood. He was born 5/28/1930 in Reagan TX on a farm/ranch. He only remembers that his father Hipolito Rodriguez worked for Loy Holland. I was wondering/hoping if that name rings a bell or if someone might know the name or help me find some history. Any information will greatly help.
Maria (Vickie) Figueroa

Got the following email from James Bigham ( some history of the area from the 1930's and 1940's:

. My father moved us to Fishcreek in 1936 on the covenington place. Fish creek had a church and a one-room school house. Our teacher was Miss Susie D. Whitefield. My dad was a blacksmith and worked at the Lonnie Robbins blacksmith shop until he sold the shop to John Kubiak.

My dad then went to work for the railroad.

In the summers, I worked for Boyl and Jeff Burks delivering ice. Mr. Boyl had a locker plant in Marlin.

I remember playing at the Reagan depot before anyone moved into it. The Section Foreman at that time was Mr. Howard Moore. The men that worked on the railroad at that time included Johnny Henderson, Dave Woodruff, I.J. Matthis, Elijha Bigham, and Clifton Bell.

I also hauled hay for John Kubiak. I remember Daniel Kubiak. When he was about 7 or 8 years old, we picked cotton for the Moore brothers. I remember there used to be an old man named Milton Raynor who cooked BBQ every Saturday behind John's blacksmith shop.

I also remember working for Mr. Zay Kelly, hauling hay for T.K. Kirkpatrick and working for Claude Buell. These are my memories from the 1940's in Reagan.

James Bigham

Received the following email from India Burke Thompson (
July 17, 2010

Please include my parents as former residents..My mother was Betty Sue Crump Burke, daughter of Nadine Winzer (Crump) McCollum...Born 7/25/1925..Died 2/10/1992...My mother and grandmother lived with Papa Winzer (Mr Will) after Mammy's divorce from Josh Crump...I believe she lived there until she went off to business school in Dallas after graduation from Reagan High.

Claude McCollum was her stepfather, but more of a father than her own...I believe Mammy married Papa Mc when my mother (Betty) was 16...My brother and I considered Papa Mc our grandfather...Papa Mc and Mammy lived (built) on Hwy 6...I believe Billy John Richardson bought the house when my grandmother and grandfather moved to town...They bought the Strickland home just behind my great aunt India's..

My daddy was Walter Kirk Burke...He played football for Reagan and loved Fish Creek...His mother was Ruth Flowers Burke...His father died when my daddy was 12..Daddy was born 12/3/1918..died 3/16/1977..

I spent holidays and summers with Papa Mc and Mammy until I was in my early teens...I have such wonderful memories.....

I saw that Pam Kelly was at the 2010 reunion...We were born on the same day and our mothers shared a hospital room...I used to play with Pam and Karen Kirkpatrick, as a child..I have wonderful memories of vacation bible school and listening to my grandmother sing the hymns on Sunday mornings...

I hope to make the next reunion...Thank you so much for the great website...

India Burke Thompson

Received the following Obituary for Fred VanCleave from his wife Eddie VanCleave ( Frederick David VanCleave

August 22, 1920-November 8, 2008

Fred was born in Reagan, TX, the tenth child of the twelve children of Willliam G. VanCleave and Daisy Leana Dotson VanCleave. He graduated in 1940 from Reagan High School in Reagan Tx in a class of 29, following which he hitch-hiked with a friend to California.

Fred was an instructor in Army Anti-Aircraft in World War II in addition to which his employment included several years as a policeman in Pasadena Ca, a gas station owner in Houston Tx, and a book store owner also in Houston.

He met his companion of 52 years, Eddie Ayo Haws, in 1956 in Houston and became loving father to her son Edward Leon Haws when they were married on March 11, 1957 in Houston. They retired to Marlin Tx in June 1988.

Fred served his Lord for 32 years as a minister in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in many areas, among which were Bryan, Hearne, Houston, and Marlin.

Fred is survived by his wife Eddie VanCleave, his son Edward Leon Haws, granddaughters Sherry Little and Tracy Post, six great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson born May 27, 2008. Also surviving are his only two living siblings: Mildred VanCleave Sherwood and W. G. VanCleave.

Fred was buried in Suggs Cemetery, Hearne Tx November 11, 2008 in a graveside service.

Received the following informational email from Jeff & Christy Darby:

My paternal grandmother, Leona Elizabeth Joyner, was born in Reagan on December 7, 1907 to Henry Looney Joyner and Maggie N. Ward Flowers Joyner. She had three older half-sisters (Johnnie, Mary, and Ruth Flowers) and one older half-brother (Leslie Flowers). Maggie's first husband, Everett Robert Flowers, died in 1903. Maggie and Henry married in Reagan on November 17, 1904. Leona had three younger brothers (Andrew, Lacy, and Charles). All her siblings and their spouses are now deceased.

Leona married Paul Darby (born August 16, 1905 in Leonville, Louisiana, died May 30, 1984 in Nederland, Texas) in Orange, Texas on December 14, 1925. To this union were born Beulah Floy Darby (born September 11, 1926 in Port Arthur, married Charles V. Hollier, Jr. in 1955 in Port Arthur, no children, died December 20, 2002 in Groves, Texas) and Ronald Henry Darby (born March 28, 1936 in Port Arthur, married Lynda Lee Latiolais on February 14, 1964 in Port Arthur). Ron Darby is my father. He still lives in Nederland, Texas.

Leona died December 20, 2002 in Groves, Texas at age 95, only eight hours before the death of her daughter Beulah "Bee" Hollier. We had a double funeral for them on December 23, 2002. They are buried at Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches just a few feet apart and just a short distance from my mother.

I was born August 20, 1966 in Port Arthur. My sister, Jill Ellen Darby, was born May 6, 1968 in Port Arthur. She has two children and I have three.

I believe Les Flowers lived in Port Arthur for most of his life. He was a real estate agent.

My great-grandparents, Henry and Maggie Joyner, lived in Port Arthur from about 1918 to 1932 while Henry worked at one of the oil refineries. Henry's father, Jonathan A. Joyner, died in Port Arthur in January 1932 and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Groves, Texas. His marker shows he was in Moses' Squadron of the Alabama Cavalry during the Civil War. I believe Henry and Maggie returned to Reagan shortly thereafter where Henry farmed. They are both buried in Waite Cemetery. Leona and Paul lived in the Port Arthur area for most of their married lives. Paul was a pipefitter at Gulf Oil Refinery in Port Arthur.

Maggie Ward Joyner's father, Gilbert N. Ward, was a significant landowner in the Reagan area. He died in 1890. Gilbert's wife, Elizabeth McKenzie Ward, died shortly after giving birth to Maggie in 1877. To my knowledge, Gilbert was in the Fifth Texas Cavalry during the entire Civil War.

I would like any information concerning the Joyner, Ward, and McKenzie families. I do not know the last name of my great-grandfather Henry Joyner's mother. According to the census records, her first name was Sarah. My grandmother, Leona Darby, told me that after her mother died in 1958, her old house in Reagan (specifically Tarbox) burned and many family heirlooms (including the Bible) were lost. I believe that the children of her brother Andrew Joyner and Mildred Herridge Joyner (Robert, Wanda, Joy, and Mack) live in Austin, Waco and Reagan.

To my knowledge, all of these families were members of the Reagan Methodist Church. My grandmother was a member of that church and many other Methodist churches during her life in Port Arthur, Woodville, Beaumont, and Nederland. For the last 35 or so years of her life, she was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland. Wesley was one of the many churches damaged or destroyed in the Golden Triangle during Hurricane Rita on September 24, 2005. They had to tear down the main church building and are meeting in the Family Life Center pending rebuilding of the main building. I'm glad Grandma was not around to see that as it would have broken her heart.

Again, thanks for all the information.

Jeff Darby
1515 N. 26th St.
Nederland, Texas 77627
(409) 724-7339

Received the following email from Elmer Cohn (
Date: Friday, March 20, 2009, 10:23 AM

Len, I thought you would like to know that our Reagan Homecoming Association Director, Ruth Ann Davison Torgerson's, husband died. The service is at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 21, 2009 at First Baptist Church in Marlin. Burial to follow in Reagan at Waite Cemetery.


Received the following email from Jean Wyatt Kemp:

Update on Jean Wyatt Kemp
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
From: "Jean Kemp" (

Appreciate your web site on Reagan, a place I loved dearly in my growing up years. I especially enjoy the Baptist Church section about my parents, W.R. and Dorothy Wyatt. My sister Jessie has done a good job of getting information to you.

My husband, Dr. E. Leroy Kemp and I (Dr. Jean Wyatt Kemp) both teach at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton. He was pastor at First Baptist in Belton for 20 years and has been a professor in the Christian Studies department of UMHB for the past 20 years.

We have three sons, all in the ministry: Paul Wyatt Kemp in Cedar Park, Texas; Timothy Karl Kemp in Temple, Texas; and Mark Alan Kemp in Copperas Cove, Texas.

My dad was their hero and role model. He lived to see Paul�s son, his first great-grandchild.

I teach in the Graduate School of Education at UMHB since retiring as Assistant Superintendent of Schools in the Belton Public School System. Your section on the Reagan School Campus is also dear to my heart and memories.

Thank you for all you do to preserve our heritage.

Jean Wyatt Kemp

Received the following email from India Ruth Burke Thompson:

Sat, 27 Sep 2008
From: "india thompson" (

I'm writing about the paragraph on the bank. My name is India Ruth Burke Thompson and my father was Walter Kirk Burke...His mother was Ruth Flowers Burke, not his wife...Walter's wife was Betty Sue Crump Burke...Maybe there is some confusion about Ruth. She could have worked in the bank, I'm not sure.

My maternal grandmother was Nadine Winzer (Crump) McCollum...I remember, as a little girl, coming to visit during the summer...I loved Reagan...Nadine worked part-time at the phone company..I remember Papa Mac taking me over to pick her up and letting me out to tell her we were there...I jumped out into a big patch of stickers...

I remember going to the gym over by the school...I seem to remember going skating there..My best memories are of Reagan, summers and holidays...I would cry when I had to leave Mammy and Papa to go back home...Papa was actually my step-grandfather (I didn't know this until I was practically grown)...His name was Claude McCollum, a wonderful man...Mammy was Nadine McCollum, a precious lady...Pat Gandy is my second cousin...My great grandfather was Mr. Will Winzer...My mother, Betty Burke and Pat are first cousins...

If I can be of any help, please contact me...


Bill Jones, related to the Jones of early-day Reagan sent me a photo of Sabastian Stanfield Jones (born April 6, 1834 in Caroline County Virginia, moved to the Reagan area and died near Reagan on June 9, 1901. His wife was Frances Elizabeth Pruett, Died January 3, 1930 also in Falls County).

Bill also volunteered to help with genealogy questions related to the Jones family of early day Reagan (Bill's email is Bill Jones

Received the following email from Candace Tissiere:

Subject: Reagan

Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008

I found your website on Reagan,Tx , and I think it is wonderful! I lived there for quite a few years with my mother (formerly Rose Mary Scroggins) and grandparents, J.V. and Edna Scroggins. I used to play in the Kirkpatrick's "Gig em Aggies" barn. Do you know that there are pictures sold all over the place of that barn! Anyway, I was hoping to get my family together at the Reagan Community Building. I was wondering if you know whether or not it still stands, and if so, who do I need to contact to rent the building. We always had our family reunions at the community building and it would seem odd, though its been decades since we've met there.

I didn't find out that my grandfather, J.V. Scroggins volunteered with the "fire dept" until a man spoke my grandfather's crazy driving through a field to get to a fire. I was wondering if you ever rode with him or have any stories of that part of his life.

Any information would be appreciated. I will also see if I can find pictures of Reagan-I know that I have a picture of my grandfather and myself in front of his store.

Thank you for your time.

"Candace TISSIERE" (

Hi Candice,

Good to hear from you. Yes, the old community building still stands and will be the location of the 50th reunion of the Reagan Homecoming Association.

I knew your mother well (Georgia Scroggins was in my class) and we lived just a block from your grand parents.

Yes, J.V. Scroggans and a host of others were volunteer firemen when it became grassfire season. Being right across from the Methodist church, the firefighters came to our place for water (we always had several hundred gallons in the cattle troughs).

Usually, the grass fires started on the tall grass on the school grounds. Everyboby would take a large towell or pair of bluejens, soak them in the water, then run along the leading edge of the fire and beat the fire down. Sometimes, we'd have more than 50 people or more fighting the fire.

We always managed to put out the fire without any special equipment like they use today.

Hope you get a chance to see all of the webpages on the Reagan can find the upcoming reunion news at:

Some other Reagan webpages you may want to see include:

Check out the photos from our 2010 reunion!

Leonard Kubiak

Received the following email from Diane Davisson:

Sat, 5 Jan 2008
From: Diane Davisson (
Subject: Reagan,TX Obits

I was delighted to find your webpage listing the obituary of Brigadier General Travis Monroe Hetherington, USAF (Ret.) I corresponded with his wife, Lois, a cousin of mine, for many years and lost contact with her family after she passed away. I noticed that one obituary, that of William Zebulon Burke, was sent to you from Travis Hetherington's daughter, Susan Hetherington Lloyd who lives in San Antonio.

I was wondering if you could possibly forward this e-mail to her, telling her I would like to get in touch with her. If you only have an address for her, I could send you a letter by regular mail for you to forward to her.

You could tell her that I am the cousin who gave her mother the pictures of Louisa Virginia Hudson Allen and Napoleon Hicks.

Thank you very much for your assistance.
Diane Allen Davisson
6902 Rio Vista Drive
Huntington Beach, CA 92647-6660
(714) 847-4618,

Tom and Cadie Davison of Reagan, Texas Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary
Tom and Cadie Davison Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary

The children of Tom and Cadie Davison are pleased to announce their parents� golden wedding anniversary. The couple recently celebrated with their daughter, Jyl Davison Rittman, and son, Jeff Davison. Tom and Cadie celebrated their golden anniversary quietly, as requested, at a family gathering at their home in Reagan, Texas.

Mr. and Mrs. Davison met while attending Marlin High School in Marlin, Texas. They courted while attending college and were married in Marlin on August 31, 1957. Tom is retired from the Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service. Cadie is a retired R.N., having received her degree from Baylor University. The couple enjoys alternating their time between their home in Bryan as well as their farm in Reagan, Texas.

Tom and Cadie are fortunate to have their son, Jeff Davison, living nearby. He has two beautiful daughters, Zanice and Hayley. Their daughter, Jyl Rittman and husband Ken, currently live in West Chester, Pa. They have five children, Michael, Mark, Scott, Whitney and Rebecca.

Received the following letter from BJ (Betty Jane) Morris-Power, daughter of Joe Morris, one of the original founders of the Reagan Homecoming Association.

Dear Mr. Kubiak,
I received the recent Reagan Homecoming Association newsletter and memories of the first reunion in 1959 came flooding back.

You see, I am the daughter of Joe Morris, who was one of the original organizational committee members, and in fact, was the very first President of the Reagan Homecoming Association.

I was only 8 years old, but, my memory of that time is vivid. I recall the many, many nights my father and the other committee members met at our home in Houston to work on the monumental task of organizing and planning the original reunion.

I witnessed the planning of "the when, the where and the how" of it all. The collaboration over the lists of phone calls to be made, the letters to be written, and then the mass mailings that went out several times.

Our kitchen table became a monument to the assembly line process as hundreds of informational letters were folded, inserted in envelopes, addressed and stamped to be readied for the mass mailings.

And then the day of the first reunion arrived. I believe everyone was astonished at the mass turn-out. The old Reagan gymnasium, in fact the entire town, was packed with people.

I think all would agree that it was a glorious reunion where old friends, neighbors, classmates, teachers and business people came together from near and far-flung places and enjoyed visiting, eating, and dancing.

I remember being so proud of my dad and the other committee members, and all those who worked on the preparations, for being able to put-together and pull off an event of such enormous proportions.

Through the years, as I attended almost all subsequent Reagan reunions with my father, I enjoyed, so much, meeting the people my father grew-up with. I loved hearing the wonderful stories they told of growing up in Reagan.

I have my own memories of Reagan, spending idyllic summers there with my grandmother, Janie Morris. As if it were yesterday, I remember running down the gravel road to J.V. Scroggins store to purchase an ice cream bar out of his cooler, going outside, sitting down on the concrete step and trying to eat it quickly before it melted and dripped onto the ground.

I remember my grandmother could call-in her grocery order and have it delivered to the back door, a concept I found astonishing from being raised in Houston.

And how fondly I remember looking out at the massive oak trees through the raised stained-glass windows at the Reagan Baptist Church, sitting next to my grandmother on Sunday mornings. In July and August, we would try desperately to cool ourselves with paper fans which had a picture of Jesus on one side and advertisements on the other.

Yes, Reagan will always have a special place in my memories and my heart.

My father died in 1991, but I have continued to attend the reunions. At the last reunion, I was happy to see and talk with Fred Van Cleave and Faye Davis Stanley, whom I remember well from those original committee meetings so many years ago.

Though there are few people at the reunions I know, as long as I draw a breath, and am physically able, I will be attending, and supporting the Reagan Reunions. I will do so in honor of my Father, who cherished his home town and the reunions so much.

I look forward to attending the 50th Anniversary of the Reagan Bearcat Homecoming Reunion, and I say "thank you" to those who tirelessly work to continue the tradition started so many years ago.


BJ (Betty Jane) Morris-Power.

A special thank you to former Reagonite, Norman Short for sending us a huge list of Waite Cemetery listings and corrections. Keep those emails coming!

Email from Melissa Johnson:

Mr. Kubiak,
I'm not sure how I stumbled upon your web page but I am glad I did. I lived in Reagan as a child and I attended many services at Reagan Baptist Church. In fact, I was baptized there and had to stand on paint cans so the congregation could see me. Dana Altimore was the pastor then. We lived there in the late 70s-Early 80s.

My mother took us to church every time the doors opened. Since she died, I have been wanting to attend a church service there. We lived across the street from the Evans'.

Sometimes we would ride to church with them in the old pick up. Mr. Evans' dog would run behind us until he dropped us off at the church. Then he would put the dog in the truck and he would return home. My mother's name was Shirley Green. She passed away in February 05. We also lived next door the the Turnipseeds and we lived close to the Tillary's. They were all wonderful people.

You can e-mail me at

God Bless

Melissa Johnson

Received the following email from Jeff Darby,
1515 N. 26th St.,
Nederland, Texas 77627.
Phone (409) 724-7339, email

My paternal grandmother, Leona Elizabeth Joyner, was born in Reagan on December 7, 1907 to Henry Looney Joyner and Maggie N. Ward Flowers Joyner. She had three older half-sisters (Johnnie, Mary, and Ruth Flowers) and one older half-brother (Leslie Flowers). Maggie's first husband, Everett Robert Flowers, died in 1903. Maggie and Henry married in Reagan on November 17, 1904. Leona had three younger brothers (Andrew, Lacy, and Charles). All her siblings and their spouses are now deceased.

Leona married Paul Darby (born August 16, 1905 in Leonville, Louisiana, died May 30, 1984 in Nederland, Texas) in Orange, Texas on December 14, 1925. To this union were born Beulah Floy Darby (born September 11, 1926 in Port Arthur, married Charles V. Hollier, Jr. in 1955 in Port Arthur, no children, died December 20, 2002 in Groves, Texas) and Ronald Henry Darby (born March 28, 1936 in Port Arthur, married Lynda Lee Latiolais on February 14, 1964 in Port Arthur). Ron Darby is my father. He still lives in Nederland, Texas.

Leona died December 20, 2002 in Groves, Texas at age 95, only eight hours before the death of her daughter Beulah "Bee" Hollier. We had a double funeral for them on December 23, 2002. They are buried at Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches just a few feet apart and just a short distance from my mother.

I was born August 20, 1966 in Port Arthur. My sister, Jill Ellen Darby, was born May 6, 1968 in Port Arthur. She has two children and I have three. I believe Les Flowers lived in Port Arthur for most of his life. He was a real estate agent.

My great-grandparents, Henry and Maggie Joyner, lived in Port Arthur from about 1918 to 1932 while Henry worked at one of the oil refineries. Henry's father, Jonathan A. Joyner, died in Port Arthur in January 1932 and is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Groves, Texas. His marker shows he was in Moses' Squadron of the Alabama Cavalry during the Civil War. I believe Henry and Maggie returned to Reagan shortly thereafter where Henry farmed. They are both buried in Waite Cemetery. Leona and Paul lived in the Port Arthur area for most of their married lives. Paul was a pipefitter at Gulf Oil Refinery in Port Arthur.

Maggie Ward Joyner's father, Gilbert N. Ward, was a significant landowner in the Reagan area. He died in 1890. Gilbert's wife, Elizabeth McKenzie Ward, died shortly after giving birth to Maggie in 1877. To my knowledge, Gilbert was in the Fifth Texas Cavalry during the entire Civil War.

I would like any information concerning the Joyner, Ward, and McKenzie families. I do not know the last name of my great-grandfather Henry Joyner's mother. According to the census records, her first name was Sarah. My grandmother, Leona Darby, told me that after her mother died in 1958, her old house in Reagan (specifically Tarbox) burned and many family heirlooms (including the Bible) were lost. I believe that the children of her brother Andrew Joyner and Mildred Herridge Joyner (Robert, Wanda, Joy, and Mack) live in Austin, Waco and Reagan.

To my knowledge, all of these families were members of the Reagan Methodist Church. My grandmother was a member of that church and many other Methodist churches during her life in Port Arthur, Woodville, Beaumont, and Nederland. For the last 35 or so years of her life, she was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland. Wesley was one of the many churches damaged or destroyed in the Golden Triangle during Hurricane Rita on September 24, 2005. They had to tear down the main church building and are meeting in the Family Life Center pending rebuilding of the main building. I'm glad Grandma was not around to see that as it would have broken her heart.

Again, thanks for all the information.

Jeff Darby
1515 N. 26th St.
Nederland, Texas 77627
(409) 724-7339

Email from Kay Watkins

I have just discovered your neat website. My sister, Edythe Watkins, taught home economics there in 1942/43. It was her first teaching position and she was only 19. I was born in May, 1943 while she was there. Her daughter has a diary that she kept the entire school year. Edythe retired in 1981 as Director of Food Service for the Goose Creek ISD. She passed away in 1992. I was sorry to read that the school had been torn down. I had always wanted a picture of it and thanks to your website I now know what it looked like.

Kay Watkins

Email from Robert Wm Smith (

Congratulations on your maintaining a Reagan, Texas homepage.

My mother, who is 95 and doing well, was a Covington. Her name is Loraine Covington Smith., Her father was Robert Ewell Covington and her mother was Francis ("Fannie") Raiford Covington. My great grandfather was Robert Hawkins Raiford. My mother was born in Reagan in l911. She had three sisters:Imogene, Betty and Mary.The family moved from Reagan to Port Arthur when my mother was about 9 or 10. However, my grandparents Covington moved back to Reagan, where my grandfather's farm abutted the Little Brazos River on the northwest side of Highway 6. They lived there from 1946 to the early 1960s. My relatives were the Lairds, whose farm was across the highway from my grandfather. In 1946 I lived in Reagan and went to the school there. I was in the 4th grade. My 2nd cousin, Ray Laird, lives on the site of the original Laird property.

I really enjoyed sharing your homepage with my mother. We have been back to Reagan several times in the past few years and it is a shame to see the town turn into a mobile home park.Incidentally, my mother's aunt was Mr. Claude Buell, Tenny Raiford Buell.

Many thanks for the trip down nostalgia lane.

-Robert Wm Smith
5204 Dorset Ave.
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815


"Charles Cozzens" (
SUBJECT: Reagan Homepage
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2006

I have enjoyed your work on the Reagan Home page!!. My great grand parents Geo& Fannie(Herrige) Hetherington lived in Reagan. I can just barely remember Geo. Kyle Hetherington (born 1879),my great Grandfather. I have been to the homecomings with my grandfather, Geo William (brother of Gen Travis M.).

My cousins, James and Ruth Funderburk are my favorite relatives. I placed a Confederate grave marker(iron cross) at John Monroe Hetherington's(Hco.42'd Alabama Inf) grave (Covington cemetery)over 15 years ago whhen I was active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans (Clarksville, Tennessee).

I felt a real kinship to the people there. Many visits to see GGM Fannie, my cousins, Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Joe were high points in the summers. I thank God for the Christian upbringing of my parents, grand and, great-grandparents. No doubt the Reagan Baptist Church (the body of believers) contributed to me and my daughters generations later in time.

Thanks again for your work and the gift for others to enjoy.

Charles R. Cozzens,Jr

More Reagan Email

Email from Ann Strickland Byer. " I'm Ann Strickland Byer, the oldest of three daughters born to Guy and Kathryn Strickland. Next was Jean and Martha was the youngest. Before Jean and I started to school,we lived out from Highbank. The bus I rode into school in the first and second grade was a pickup with a camper top on the back. There was no flood control then so when the Brazos River got out, all the Highbank kids got to go home early. I had to stay in Reagan with my grandmother (Mammy).

The first night I was there we had Dr. Pepper, cheese, crackers and onions and played Flinch. That was when they hung onions in the rafters of an outbuilding so Mammy had to get them as I was afraid of chickens. The next morning we had ham, biscuits and red-eyed gravy. I thought that was wonderful. Our parents, Guy and Kathryn, bought the house next door to the Morrris' about the time Jean started to school, I think.

I am seven years older than Martha so I guess she was born just before moving into Reagan or right after. I was in Mrs. Burnett's last first and second grade class. We had inspection every morning. We would put our hands on a Kleenex or handkerchief and someone would come around and see that our nails, ears and teeth were clean. Mid morning and I think in the afternoon we would go down the street to the cafateria for grapefruit juice and I guess a cookie or something. I was so afraid of Mrs. Burnett. She had taught my father and his brother and sister. They said if she got mad she hit you with an eraser. Every day we had writing class of push/pulls and circles.

When Jean started to first grade Miss Truett, from Kosse, took Mrs. Burnett's place. Miss Phillips, a school teacher, moved from Buell's to my grandmother's house after the death of my grandfather. I don't remember what grade I was in, but she asked for me to get to go to the prison in Huntsville with her class. I got to go and I saw them make license plates and one of the boys sat in the electric chair.

The summer before my seventh grade, our parents were divorced. Our grandmother, Mother's mother, had moved in with us. Mother thought she was not going to be able to keep the Reagan house and had already looked into renting a duplex in Marlin. Can you imagine five females in a duplex after being used to a house.

Luck was with her however and she was able to refinance and stay in the house. Jean and I had already started to school in Marlin. One day Mr. Tate called all the Reagan kids, seventh grade and below, into his office and told up we would be going back to Reagan. That included the Highbank kids in our grades. I was so excided to get back to Reagan School. I guess we started back on a Monday and Betty Kirkpatrick and Delores Kindred came down the street to meet us. Mr. Calvin Whatley was my teacher but I don't remember Jean's.

During the previous years, I had been taught by my aunt, Daddy's sister, Billye Gene, and Kay Kelly, the wife of Daddy's cousin Tom Kelly.

One year a Mrs. Hanks, wife of our principal, was our teacher and she brought an avacado to school because we were studying where they were grown. That was the first time I had eaten avacado and did not care for it at the time.

I remember the Cole's. I did not know what he did but she was our GA leader. I remember Charlie Short having the bus station and Sinclair station. We could buy fifty cents worth of gas and really go places. We used to go to the gym and skate. You had to wear lace-up shoes as the skates had a key to tighten them on with.

Pete's Place was where we got off Bus 14 and went every Sunday after lunch. I remember when the Mr. & Mrs. Alston had the first TV that I had seen. It was so snowy. Then the next one was the Morris', We did not get a TV until our mother married the manager of Rush-Gardner-Bartlett, Gene Dickerson. That was the spring of my Junior year. They bought a house in Marlin and we moved to Marlin during the Thanksgiving holidays of my Senior year.

I met my husband, Lester Byer, when we were Seniors. There were about four homerooms in our grade but we were not in the same one until that last year. We dated and married September 21, 1957.

Our daughter, Lee Ann, was born October 3, 1958. Lester went to work at the Blackland Watershed between Riesel and Mart. For a year they constructed a watershed in Sonora, Texas, the only town in the county and about 90 miles north of Del Rio.

In l960 the three of us moved to Sonora for Lester to take over the project. Our son, Keith, was born in Sonora June 28, 1963. I worked in the Sheriff/Tax Collector's office from l965 until January, 1973. They closed the Sonora project in December, 1972, and he was transferred back to Riesel to manage the watershed here.

Our daughter, Lee Ann, married Robert (Bobby) Stewart and they live in Riesel. They have two boys, Michael and Daniel. The three guys are into mud racing so you can imagine where we are every Saturday night of that season. Our son Keith is in Moscow, Russia. He is married to Viktoria (Vika) and they have a daughter, Olga, and a son Caleb (Sasha). They come to the states every other Christmas and every summer and we go there on the alternate Christmas'.

Jean had two girls, Lisa and Dawn. Jean teaches kindergarten in Marlin. Martha had two boys, Michael and David. Martha owns Accent Floors in Killeen. Lester, Jean and I have tried retirement but could not last because we had no outside interests. Jean had taught in Waco schools but came to a much more relaxed atmosphere in Marlin. Lester and I worked for the USDA. Him over 30 years and me about 12. He went to work on the yard crew for McLennan Community College (MCC) in Waco and has since has transferred to their Highland Ranch. He loves to work outside. I work three days a week at the EXXON station in Riesel.

There have been some mini-reunions this past year starting with Jessie Wyatt contacting people on e-mail. While Bro. Wyatt was in Reagan our back yards joined and Jane was my age and Jessie was Jeans. I think Joan was older than Martha. Everyone has really enjoyed them. Seems like there have been different people at each one and Jean and I have renewed many old friendships.

Ann Stricklin Byer
email address:
Mailing address:
Ann Byer
P. O. Box 278
Riesel, TX 76682-0278


Today, Monday, December 19, 2005, is a high expectation day for me. I am cooking a turkey, will make a pie and wrap a toy for a child for our homeless dinner tonight. I must get this letter in the mail also because you are important to me.

Each Christmas Season, our church busses in from 300 to 350 homeless people to feed, give blankets, hygiene kits, warm clothes, and toys for the children. We start preparing for all of these, months ahead. Our choir presents their wonderful program that was also performed last evening for the homeless who wish to hear it. The little children on the streets break the heart.

The year about to be gone forever has held many sorrows but so many more joys for me. I will state the sorrows first.

In June, I lost an uncle, Porter J. Brown, in July, I lost my sister Jane, and in August I lost my Mother, Dorothy Brown Wyatt. Right before Thanksgiving, I lost two really good friends. The joyful side to the losses is knowing without a doubt that they all are in a much better place than me. Some of them had suffered for many years. I do miss them.

I now get to some of the many highlights of my year. In the early part of the year, I discovered the Fort Tumbleweed web site for Reagan and after placing my E-mail address under my maiden name, I began to get responses. I thank you Leonard Kubiak for creating the web site.

I thank you Donovan and Sue Kirkpatrick for opening up your home for a delightful reunion of some of our age range. Charlie Curry let me hitch a ride to College Station and Beth Hetherington Boettcher and her Charlie gave me a ride home. I also was reunited with Ben Morris.

Thank you Ben for bringing Ann and Jean Stricklin to see me in Austin about a month later where Leonard joined us for the day from North Austin. I thoroughly enjoyed that day.

Six weeks later, Ben was so kind to open his wonderful place on the Brazos to sixteen of us; Beth and Charlie Boettcher, Carl Wayne and Kay Evans, Norman and Jo Short, Durwood and Renee Funderburk, An, Jean and Martha Stricklin, Donovan Kirkpatrick, Ben, Leonard, who gave me a ride and a friend of Martha�s. We had a delightful day talking and stuffing our faces with so many great dishes and Leonard�s BBQ.

Thank you Ben for hosting me two months later and inviting Jean and Ann to come out. To our delight, Ann ran into Delores and Peggy Kindred and they joined us. There was so much visiting and again, good food. On this trip, I had two short but good visits with Ben�s mom, Mrs. Juanita Morris. It was so good to see her doing well and enjoying working in her yard. The next day, we attended The Episcopal Church with Kay and Carl Wayne, me asking Ben to not let me be the only one standing. Afterwards, The Evans opened their grill to fix a wonderful seafood lunch for the four of us. Now, never in my life have I had someone open their caf� just for four. A real treat too was the tour of their plant, stable where I met Reagan and Einstein and the shell of their log cabin home going up on the spot.

I did not realize how much I had missed all of you through the years until we all re-connected. Each one of you still had a room in my heart; full of good memories and each one of you have aired out your room and lightened it with your occupation again. You are all very special to me.

I want nothing more than for each of you to stay healthy and seek happiness in bringing it to others. I count my blessings daily and my friends are a large part of them.

My best achievement ever is my three children; Kimberly McDonald, Deborah King and Kenny anastas. My bonus is my grandchildren; Tommy, fourteen, Reece and Rachel nine, and Presley and Peyton five. Bonuses too are my son-in-love Shannon King and daughter-in-love Kelli Anastas.

I will take Amtrak to Cleburne on the 30th to visit friends and then connect with my family in Weatherford to celebrate a late Christmas with them January 1, 2006.

God�s blessings for each of you in the New Year and if He is willing, I will see you all in May at the Reunion.


A sizeable number of the Reagan students of the 50's gathered for a BAR-B-Q dinner and fellowship at Ben Morris's place on the Brazos River. Several of my Reagan classmates were there including Jessi Wyatt, Ben Morris, Carl Wayne Evans, Durwood Funderburk, Donavan Kirkpatrick, Norman Short, Beth Hetherington, and their spouses!! We had a great time remembering the good ole days in Reagan!

Reagan's Mt. Zion Baptist Church celebrated it's 112th year on September 4, 2005!

Got the following email from Tonja Taplin :

Rev. Caleb Anderson of Houston, Tx. delivered the sermon. Rev. Anderson is the son of Ms. Doris Singleton Anderson a former Reaganite and the grandson of Ms. Jessie Mae Anderson, Reaganite.


Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Beatrice Wallace or the Wallace family is asked to call Wilson Janes at (409) 962 3267. Beatrice attended Reagan schools in the late 1930's.

Got this email from Lisa Luther ( and wanted to share it with all of you!

Hi Len,

Today I found a quilt my great-grandmother Mamie Hetherington made. It has 25 signature�s on it, and one stood out to me, it was Ophelia P. Marks and underneath her name, it had Regan, Texas. I went to your website and the only Ophelia I could find was Ophelia Butler, just wondering if this could be the same person, may never know. Another name I recognized from your website on the quilt was Mildred Davis. Also on the quilt were Lucy, Effie and Lillie, and Margaret (my grandmother) and Mary Hetherington and many other women from my family and former Reagan residents.

The quilt is very old and the center name reads �Mrs. Willis W. Sides� with the date 1939. I don�t know if the quilt was just a gathering of folks who knew Mrs. Sides or what the purpose of the quilt was. Most of the folks names I don�t recognize and so I came to your website to see if any of the names were former Reagan residents. Other last names on the quilt include: Alston, Carl, Petzka (?), Rondeau, Burke, Chandler, Shaunfield, King and Copley. To me the quilt might have a connection with Reagan residents, and I was wondering if anyone knows who Mrs. Sides is? The quilt was in my grandmother�s possession up until she died in 1994, and after 10 years, I finally pulled it out and looked at it today. She must have treasured it, just as she did all her memories of growing up in Reagan Texas.


Lisa Luther

2005 REAGAN REUNION (October 22/23, 2005)

Jessie Wyatt Innmon, who attended Reagan Elementary in the late 40's and early 50's, sent me the following update about another Reagan reunion.

"What I thought was to be a quiet weekend turned out to grow. Benny had mentioned calling Ann and Jean to come out for dinner, then Ann found out Delores and Peggy Kindred were in Marlin so it became a big party. While there, Delores called Charles in Houston and let me talk to him. He is 73 now and sounds a bit weak but still the same sweet Charles. Then Delores let Benny talk to him and Benny told Charles that he had five women with him who just couldn�t keep their hands off him!

Charles has pulmonary problems and Delores said the six hour evacuation from Houston during Rita nearly stressed him to the max. I promised Charles I would give all my sisters addresses to the girls before they left.

Benny pulled up the Reagan web site and the girls gathered around and were so amazed at the pictures. Peggy said to tell you you left the �d� out of their last name; it is Kindred.

Benny had talked to Carl Wayne and they wanted us to go to the Episcopal church with them Sunday morning. Benny told me the roof would fall in if he went but I assured him churches furnish helmets for such people. I told him not to leave me the only one standing as I knew they are up and down a lot. It was really enjoyable and Benny described the beauty of the place for me.

Afterwards, Carl and Kay had to go home and walk their dogs before opening the grill. They insisted cooking lunch for us there. We went to visit Benny�s mother again for about an hour. She is amazing at 85, still working in her yard. It was good to see her again.

At Carl's place, we had shrimp and fish from Seabrook with all the trimmings and a wonderful slaw that Carl�s and Kay�s cook had prepared. Now, I felt special as I have never had someone open up their restaurant just for me and one other; we had a nice visit. Afterwards, we took the tour of their barn and their plant and where the walls of the log house they are building on the site were. Carl and Kay have much to be proud of. After all that, we went to the conference room and Kay insisted we eat ice cream and strawberry cake. We were so stuffed.

As we were going into church Sunday morning, the front whipped in and the rest of the day got more fierce; it nearly whipped our clothes off and forget any hairdo, ha. I forget mine anyway.

All want to get together sometime after the holidays and before the reunion. Leonard Kubiak is volunteering to host the next gathering at Fort Tumbleweed sometime after the first of the year.



Great turn out! Next one is set for May 2008.

Click on Homecoming Newsfor more information.


Go to the Reagan Classes/Sports Roosters Page Reagan Classes and check out all the newly-added photos from the past!

Lena Contella McCann provided us with a photo of some of the Reagan elementary school girls from March of 1947 Reagan Classes of the 1940's. A special thanks to Lena. Also thanks to Jerri Wyatt Innman for all the Wyatt family pictures that we now have on the website and additional information for the history of the Reagan Baptist Church.


Rev. W.R. Wyatt was the Reagan Baptist Minister from the Summer of 1947 through the Summer of 1951. He and his wife, Dorothy Evelyn Brown Wyatt had five children: June, Jean, Jane, Jessie, and Joan. This great description of the Wyatt family comes to us curtesty of Jessie Wyatt Innmon (, now living in Rockdale.

"Rev. W. R. Wyatt was always a bi-vocational pastor. His skills were in carpentry and bridge construction. We were in Reagan from Summer 1947 to summer 1951.

I will never forget the summers when our home was full of Mission students from Baylor. In the evenings after dad got off work, we went to the black community way out in the country, the Mexican community and the Polish community. Riding in the back of dad's pickup with tall wooden side-boards, we picked up kids from every farm house on the way and went to old schools or community centers to hold Bible Schools. This gave me a heart for missions.

Some of the Mission students were characters. Mary Bayless could do the Tarzan yell and as soon as a house was barely in site she would yell. Little kids came running from everywhere. Another summer visitor was Mildred McWhorter who gave her career to working with street people in Houston. Sam Longbottom who was Reagan principle for a short time served with his wife Marion in Viet Nam and then Hawaii before retiring. One missionary's off-spring served in Brazil for thirty years before retiring.

Sally Bee Davis, a beautiful Reaganite of nineteen years was so interested in Missions that she joined us. One tragic day one of our Baylor students and Sally Bee went to Marlin to pick up supplies with Sally's two year old nephew. There was a tragic accident and Sally Bee was killed, her nephew lived and the Mission student suffered many serious injuries but lived This was a very dark day for Reaganites..

The members of First Baptist were very close and had so many great fellowships together, of course over food.

Our next move in 1951 was to Mineral Wells where dad was contractor and builder as well as pastor of Immanuel Baptist. This is where June and Jean, the two older girls left home for college.

We moved to Fort Worth in 1955 where dad worked for a bridge construction firm as superintendent, drove a cab for one year to pay college tuition and pastored Melody Hills Baptist Church.

After we three younger ones left home, Dad and mom were called to California to the mission field. Dad pastored in Corona for a couple of years and they were on the pastorate to Mt. Whitney Baptist Church in Lone Pine, California for seven years.

Mom and dad moved back to Lake Whitney to build their retirement home but dad was sent to Potosi, Mo and Wyoming for three years to work of Brown & Root as superintendent. On weekends and Wednesday evenings, mom would have food ready and they would drive great distances between ranches for him to preach at small country churches.

Mom and dad retired once more to enjoy life on Lake Whitney but soon, Cedar Creek Baptist Church was seeking a pastor. Dad had been with this older church for several years when he began building a steeple for the little church. He had his nail apron on and tools in hand when he dropped dead one day in September 1985 while mom was gone. He had pulmonary edema. Until the end, dad had always enjoyed good health.

The deacons of Cedar Creek finished the steeple and asked all of us to come to the dedication which we did. They were wonderful people like Reaganites.

June Wyatt Nesbit resides in San Antonio, Texas with husband, Adrian Nesbit. Dorothy Evelyn Brown Wyatt lives with them and in their good care will be 90 years old this October 2005.

Jean Wyatt Kemp resides in Salado, Texas with husband Leroy kemp.

Jane Wyatt Davis lives in a nursing home in Tyler, Texas.

Jessie Wyatt Innmon resides in Austin, Texas.

Joan Wyatt Bradley resides with her husband, Richard in Arlington, Texas part of the year and on a farm in Linn Creek, Missouri the remainder of the year.

We gave dad and mom seven grandsons and five granddaughters. There are nineteen great-grandchildren".

Jessie Wyatt Innmon Writer/Speaker


The following recollections of life in early-day Reagan came to us from George S. Macdonald , grandson of Sibyl M. Burnett (taught in the Reagan schools until 1946) and son of her daughter Marian Burnett who graduated from Reagan High School in 1927. George lived in Reagan from 1935-1945 and then again from 1949-1952 while attending college at U.T.

George's Grandmother, Sibyl Burnett was married to J.R.Burnet (president of the old Reagan Bank at one time). J.R. and Sibyl divorced and J.R. Burnett moved to Cisco where he was a judge and served in the Texas legislature at one time. George's aunt, Eula Young, was a retired school teacher. His great grandmother was a Moorehead whose family came from the Bremond, Franklin area.

George recently sent me the following recollections of life in early Reagan that many of you will be able to identify with.

"I attended the Methodist church and Mrs. Burnett and my aunt Eula Young both taught Sunday school there as did Mary Kirkpatrick. Thaggard Kirkpatrick (owner of the lumber mill and unfortunately a died in the wool aggie) was one of the deacons. Thaggard was a fine upstanding Christian man.

The preacher of the Methodist church at the time was Rev. Bates. Can't recall his first name but he had a daughter named Burtis Ruth Bates. I last saw her in the winter of 49 when she was either a frosh. or soph. at SMU.

Robert Barnes was the preacher at the Baptist church. He had a daughter, Nell Barnes, two sons named Fella (Robert) and Biff. They later moved to Valley Mills Texas. The last contact I had there was with Biff in the fall of 49.

The pricinpal was Robert Hughes. who used to bust my ass with an M-1 rifle belt. I believe the principal prior to him was a Mr. Creagher. (sp.?) Hughes had a son by the name of Lynn David and I think a younger daughter. After Robert Hughes left The Bull family occupied that house. Jean (Bull) Angelo who you probably know, and Clifford Bull (deceased) along with an older sister were their sibs. Next to that home was a family by the name of Robinson. The Robinson daughters and my mother were close friends.

The businesses I can recall at the moment were Shaunfield's grocery, Buell's garage, and do not remember the name of the man who ran the drugstore. He later moved to Marlin and worked in the pharmacy across from the old hospital there.

A Mr. Winzer lived above the post office. (Strangely I can recall my old p.o. box # 83.) His son and wife owned a farm on the way to Highbank. Their son Jack and I were good friends. Jack took agriculture at A@M and I believe worked for the state in some capacity along that line. He is deceased.

There was a lady by the name of Mrs. Ward who lived next to the Baptist parsonage. I used to mow her grass. She had one son I believe named Charles. Not sure of that but him being a confirmed bachelor is the only thing I can remember about him.

Horn Kirkpatrick lived in a large white house on hwy. 6. Francis Swinnea lived on the hwy. on the other side of the lumber company. When the railroad station was active it was run by a Mr. Kelly. They lived in the house where the Hughes and Bulls had lived earlier. Mr. Kelly had a daughter Patsy and son Robert. They moved to Waller Texas. I remember playing on the cotton bales on the railroad station platform and watching the troop trains go through during the war years. Biggest thrill was the freight cars carrying tanks and other war equipment that rolled through.

By the way Mr. Kelly also ran the telegraph office at the train station. Also during the war there were many occasions when truck loads of German pow's would go by our house on the way to Highbank to pick cotton. They were always singing and would wave to me. Think they were damn glad to be out of the war. Many of the pilots in training in Waco would fly over and sometimes dogfight much to my pleasure. Occasionly men from the FBI would come by seeking info on one of my grandmother's ex students who had filed as conscientous objector's.

In regards to the bank. I am pretty certain it was never reestablished after the big fire. It was located across the street from the drug store and as I recall that corner lot has been vacant ever since. The telephones were the old crank variety and party lines in my early yrs. there. Don't remember when the dial phones came in."

George S. Macdonald

Address: 574-A Ave. J. East
Grand Prairie, Texas 75050-2548

Tel. # 972-647-9219

A special thanks to George for sharing those early-day memories with us.


Got an email from Donovan J. Kirkpatrick (, son of Thagert and Mary Holloway Kirkpatrick with more info about early day Reagan folks.

"Rev. Tommy Holcomb was one of the early-day Methodist ministers. His wife was Florence.

Mrs Willie Mae and Hy Heflin ran the gas sation. Hy Hefflin drove a school bus for Reagan and farmed as I recall. They had two daughters. Billie Hy and Mayme. Billie Hy married Hedrick Maxwell from Marlin who sold hats on the road. Their son is a Colonel in the Air Force and currently a Professor of Air Science at Texas A&M.

Willie Robbins was a carpenter and painter in Reagan. He married Pauline Kirkpatrick, an older sister of T. K. Kirkpatrick. They had 3 girls: Lucia,Edwina and Anna Paul. I believe all 3 girls graduated from Reagan.

"Little" Tom Kelly was son of Roscoe. You need to add Pam. Seems like Claude Buell owned the garage before R. J. Dees bought him out.

Horne and India (Burke ) Kirkpatrick had 3 children; Elanor, Burke and William (Bill). I think Billy was on one of the Reagan football teams.

Dad use to talk about how good a pitcher Harrison Burke was. He ran a grocery store in Reagan. I remember him working for Ernest Boyles and later he had the old Shaunfield grocery. Lastly the lumberyard was in Reagan not Ozona.

Dad mentioned numerous time how the "Woodland girls" rode horseback to Reagan to school, even though they lived in Robertson County, because Reagan had a better school.

Mr Dees (R. J. 's dad) was a very successful farmer but went broke during the depression. The Restaurant over by the railroad, south of the depot about where Pete Saxon's place was, was a honky tonk in the late 40's early 50' s. Sam Cole ran it. He lived in that little house in a hole on the Highbank road in that turn before you got to Jimmy Hetheringtons and the Kindred place.

Sam Cole also ran the Sinclair gas station located on Hi-way 6 before Mr. Charlie Short bought the station.

The folks who lived behind the Sinclair station were Brittian and "Pete" Moore. Brittain built that great big bird area behind Short's Service Station and later worked at the Majestic Pharmacy and Ben's Drug store in Marlin.

Brittian's dad was the druggist in Reagan that ran Moore's drug store. I remember buying school supplies and ice cream there about 1946. (first and second grade. I think Beth Boettcher has the soda fountain that was there).

Mr Hughs, School Superintendent, lived in Herman Kirkpatrick's house. They had a son my age, Larry. I can remember eating supper over there and drinking tea out of Mason jars. I thought that was neat.

There was another Moore who was in charge of the Section Gang that worked on the railroad. Seems like Will Hickman, Ed Linton, Mose Rogers and others were in the gang. Black people who worked on the railroad were well respected in their community. It was a big deal. I can remeber the trains going by the house at all hours and Blimps flying over . This was during WWll.

Ask Bob Swinnea and Frances Short if they recall anything about someone greasing the railroad tracks as a Halloween prank? I thought it was funny. The railroad folks did not.

I noticed you mentioned the Guffys as an old family in one of your notes. Mr. Guy Guffy was probably related. He lived with his sister ( Mrs. Otha Moore) across the road from Benny Morris. He was an old man when I was a kid and somewhat of a character. Benny probably knows more. I recall the story about the family having to take his pistol away from him because he would shoot at the trains that passed through Reagan. He must have had a real beef with the railroad.

In regards to the origin of the Waite cemetary, my father mentioned a couple of times that Waite cemetary is there because Mr Waite's son was killed or died someway. Waite ran a beer joint and folks would not allow him to bury his son in the regular cemetary. So he established his own. Some of our Reagan old timers may be able to provide more information.

Reverend Bates first name was Burtis. He is the first Methodist minister I remember. ( Morning and evening services were held in those days and were pretty well attended. Seems like I remember Mrs. Burnett and Mrs. Young walking to and from church every Sunday during good weather. Daddy would pick them up sometimes during bad weather.) His daughter was Burtis Ruth. They used to have Sunday dinner with us. I was very good at climbing trees at 5 yrs +. I remember climbing up a china berry tree and climbing out on a limb. Burtis Ruth, much older than I, said. "Jump and I'll catch you'". I jumped and of course she moved out of the way. That was my first experience about how truthful some women can be. I saw her a few years ago at one of the reunions. She remembered the incident and laughed about it. Mrs. Ward's son was Harry Ward. He worked in the grocery store ( Old Shaunfield store by the Post Office) with Harrison Burke.

We lived by the railroad tracks across from Hugh Davison's and across the tracks from where Carl Evans lives now. Henry and Elizabeth Anderson lived next to us. Henry made arrow heads out of scrap metal for Tom Davison and the Porter boys to use on their arrows. I was very envious but I suppose I was too young to have such.

Mr "Lige" (E. R.) Anderson drove a mule powered scrapper to build up the road berm up by Big Creek when they were building Highway 6.

Milton Turnipseed has a lot of information about the Reagan Methodist Church.

Brother Wyatt was the Baptist minister in the 1946 time frame. He had five daughters. Jessie was in my 1st grade class, maybe 2nd grade too. He was pastor when they built the addition on to the Baptist church.

Too bad we did not save that log house behind the Methodist Church.

Donovan J. Kirkpatrick (

The following memories of bygone days comes to us from Norman Short, another former Reagan resident:

" The Charlie Short family moved from Marlin to the Reagan area in late 1949. I was in Mrs. Tom Kelly's fourth grade class and Mr. Longbottom was the principal.

My grandmother Pearl Short would send the kids over to Moore's drug store to get soft drinks and she would always ask us to bring her a Dr. Pepper. She sure knew how to make good iced tea and banana pudding. I remember Uncle Mike Short keeping horses in the back yard.

We lived on the Roscoe Kelly farm for a couple of years until my dad gave up on farming and we moved into town. When we lived on the farm we were neighbors with Buddy Chamberlain. He had a little donkey that the kids could ride.

I was named after Norman Dunham who was one the local grocers. Other businesses in Reagan were Heflin's Gulf Station, Scroggin's Grocery, Moore's Drug Store, Kubiak's Blacksmith Shop, Bell's Garage, Jeff Burke's Grocery Store, Pete's Place, Sam Cole's Gas Station (which we later owned), Bell Telephone Co. Office, and Kirkpatrick's Lumber Company. Does any one remember Britain Moore having all those parakeets?

In 1950 we became members of the Reagan Baptist Church. The pastor at the time was a Brother Wyatt. Later pastors were George Carroll Burke, Joe Philbrick, and the McGuires. I think we spent more time cutting up on the back pews than we did anything else.

Remember playing baseball behind the school on hot summer days? On Sundays we might have all races and ages playing back there. I can just see Lokey Canales with his big black sombrero calling the balls and strikes!!!!

I have a lot of things that come to mind when it comes to little Reagan as it was back then. Some memories are good and others not so good, but the good ones always seem to outweigh the bad.

We were having a sweetheart banquet at the Reagan schoolhouse one time and I had asked Martha Alice Matthews to come. She didn't have a ride so Mrs. McCaleb told us to take her car to go pick her up. I couldn't drive but Durwood Funderburk said he could, so off we go out to pick her up. As it turned out, she decided she didn't feel like going so we started back. We got nearly back to town and Durwood lost control of the car and we wound up upside in a ditch. I bet Martha sure was glad she didn't get in that car!!!!

It's too bad the old school gym had to be torn down. It was our skating rink , basketball court, and concert hall all rolled into one. Does anyone recall the donkey basketball game we had one time? Did anyone score a goal?

Many of the kids my age were very fond of Mrs. Rosia Gresham. She would put up with the noise that teenagers made when no one else would. It seemed like Benny Morris, Carl Evans, Nona McCaleb, and other kids were over there at least once a week .

One Wednesday night, Reagan was startled by a big explosion. Remember when the B-47 crashed up Northwest of Reagan out in the country? A bunch of us took off in Charles Kindred's Chevy to go see what had happened, but the authorities wouldn't allow us to get very close.

Mr. J.W. Howell was our local constable . He really liked his Fishhook Chewing Tobacco. One time I was riding out to the cotton patch with him and Mrs. Hazel. I was sitting in the back with the window down. All of a sudden he had to spit. Bulls-eye, he got me. I knew to duck from then on.

One night after church, some of the local kids were out riding around with Charles Kindred (as usual) looking for something to do. We found a big Ex-Lax sign and decided to attach it to the city limit sign. About the time we got it put up, here comes a car. We thought it was an officer, so were getting really scared. It turned out to be Tommy Selma. Boy, did he get a kick out of that".

Norman Short


The following great photos of the Reagan Methodist Church congregation celebrating their 115th year as a church curtesy of Milton Turnipseed, a former member of the Reagan Methodist Church and ex-Reagonite. Milton has also provided a wealth of old Reagan photos that you'll find throughout the Reagan webpages. A special thanks to Milton for sharing these Reagan treasures with us all.

115 YEARS OF HISTORY (Photo Taken in 1987)
Photo curtesy Milton Turnipseed.

The following historical biography of Ed Robbins comes to us curtesy of his grandson, Ben Peek (son of Annie Robbins Peek). email: This covers Reagan History from around 1890 to the 1940's.

"......Ed Robbins left Alabama at the age of 16 and settled in Reagan in 1882 joining his cousin, George Robbins, who lived there with his family. Located in the southeast part of Falls County, Reagan had been founded in 1873 with the building of the Waco and Northwestern Railroad. The townsite had been donated by W. R. Reagan, former county judge, and had been named for him. By 1880, Reagan had a population of 250, Davis Barclay had a cotton gin and gristmill, Thomas Yarbrough operated a general store and H. A. Keeling was postmaster.

One of the biggest crops in the history of the county was harvested in 1882 and everyone was prosperous. Perhaps a hint of such prosperity sounded good to the young Alabaman; it could have encouraged him to come to Texas.

Prosperity dimmed in 1887 when the county suffered from a severe drought. Ed Robbins attended Toby's Business School in nearby Waco and began to keep books for businesses in Reagan.

While working alone late one night, a young Negro man came into the store. He said he wanted to buy some tobacco and when Robbins turned around to get it, he attacked him with a knife, slashing him on the neck, narrowly missing the jugular vein. Romance entered Ed Robbins' life when he met Lula Thames.

The young lady from Hempstead was teaching school between Reagan and Marlin, rooming with the Luther Moore family. They were married on February 2, 1891 in Hempstead. The Robbins family began to grow in several years with the birth of a daughter, Ruth, in 1892. Clotilda was born in 1894 and on January 8, 1899, Annie Lula was born. Mrs. Robbins' mother, Mrs. Matilda Ann Thames also lived with them a great deal of the time.

The young family visited with Mrs. Robbins' grandmother, Mrs. Ann Morrison in Hempstead nearly every summer until she passed away in 1901. On those trips, they were able to visit with other relatives, such as Aunt Vessie Whiteside, Granny's sister,and got to feast on the famous watermelons of that area.

Mrs. Thames, widowed for many years, always dressed in black when she went out, as was the custom in those days. She also had a black cape and black bonnet-type hat which she wore. Two boys were soon born into the family, first Edward Tyler in 1902, and then William King in 1904.

In 1906, the Robbins moved from the smaller home they had bought in the northeast section of Reagan, to a two story home which was their last residence. It was on a two and one-third acre tract of land. The large home and land were purchased for $1,000. The Robbins purchased most of their furniture from the R. T. Dennis Furniture Co. in Waco. They only had to purchase the living room furniture when they moved into their larger home.

Mr. Robbins also owned other acreage, which he farmed. Living with the Robbins family about this time was Ed's brother, Henry, who had come to Reagan from Alabama. Henry married Mary Bailey of Anniston, Alabama, in 1912, and at their Reagan home reared three boys, Harry, Bob and Elijah King.

Reagan was, by 1910, a busy community of 600 persons and now had a bank and lumberyard. Saturdays would find the town bustling with activity as the nearby cotton farmers came to town to market, filling the sidewalks with people. The active little town also had a good school system. Ed Robbins was by now a school trustee, and a member of the board that hired Ben S. Peek as school superintendent in 1912.

Recreation for the five Robbins children was much simpler than that for the youth of today. The three girls used to like to take walks together, going down the railroad tracks to Fish Creek, or farther on down to what they called the cut. Fish Creek also offered recreation for the Robbins boys for fishing and swimming.

On Sunday afternoon, the young people would gather at the railroad station to watch the train come into town. Once a year, a circus came to Reagan, attracting people from all over the area. And there was Willard the Magician, a famed performer of his time, who also stopped in Reagan. Altogether, though, their entertainment was much simpler and people looked forward to visiting one another, and the company of their neighbor at a church gathering or picnic. Churches, and there were two, the Methodist and Baptist, created a large part of the social life of the town.

Each of the children in the family had his or her task to do in helping to run the house. It may have been to bring in wood, run errands, clean the upstairs, work in the garden or pull weeds. The family was all taught to work together.

Coal oil lamps furnished light for the family at night; a new gas light was tried, but didn't work too well, so coal oil lamps were again pressed into service. When electricity came to Reagan later on, it was, of course, wired to the house. As there was no refrigeration or ice available, a cooler, or cloth covered box, was used for milk and butter.

Beef was purchased twice a week in Reagan from Mr. Guffie, the butcher. One of Annie's chores was to go to his market on the day he butchered to pick up the family's beef. Hogs were killed when a norther came in; the men would have to work butchering the hogs until the work was completed, with the biting, cold north wind blowing around them. The slabs of bacon and ham were then kept in the smokehouse until they were needed.

In addition to their vegetable garden, the Robbins of course had their own cows and chickens. Sugar cane was raised for syrup. A man would come around once a year to make the cane into syrup.

During years of farming, cash income from the farm occurred only during the fall season, after cotton was harvested. A number of items, such as flour and sugar, were bought in bulk at that time.

The family always started the day with a big breakfast, with such things as ham, rice, grits or potatoes, eggs, or even fried chicken. Hot biscuits were served every morning. Since Ed Robbins often went out to his acreage to work, this was a farmer's breakfast. Mrs. Robbins prepared deserts every day, and if it was something like a pie, it had to be eaten that day because of the lack of refrigeration.

A terrific rain storm struck the area in 1913, causing severe flooding on the Brazos. Mr. Robbins had gone into Marlin on the train the morning it struck. Marooned in Marlin, it was several days before he could return, and then only by walking the railroad trestle over flooded Big Creek. This was known as the second great Brazos flood. About that time, it was discovered that a Negro occupant of their servants quarters had smallpox, and the whole family had to be inoculated. The man had not appeared for several days and his wife had been ironing in the Robbins house before they revealed what had happened.

In 1915, Grandma Thames died while visiting her sister Florence, Mrs. H. C.. Willis of Nacogdoches. Then 73 years old, she died of a ruptured appendix. The doctor said she was too old to have surgery. Maltilda Ann Thames died March 10, 1915 and was buried beside her mother, Mrs. Morrison.

Ed Robbins worked to offer as much education as possible to his children. Ruth attended the University of Texas, as did the two boys, Edward and Bill. Clo and Annie went to Waco to attend Baylor University.

The first to be married was Clo, to Charlie Barclay. Annie married the Reagan school superintendent, Ben Peek, and Ruth married Joe W. Vanham, a Uvalde rancher. Edward chose as his wife, Lois McCarver of Hearne and Bill became the husband of Helen Meroney.

As the pace began to slow in the Robbins' house, so too did life in Reagan. The advent of the automobile allowed farmers and other citizens to go to Marlin and Waco to shop.

In addition to being a long-time trustee of the Reagan schools, Ed Robbins also served for many years on the Falls County Democratic Committee and was a ranking member of that body. For many years, he was a precinct chairman and was a delegate to the state convention on several occasions. His background in the turbulent reconstruction days had made him a very loyal democrat. Along with J. E. Davis, he was one of the party leaders of the area.

Typical of the stormy precinct conventions that used to occur is told in a story of an argument between Ed Robbins and J. E. Davis. At this particular meeting, they were trying to decide whether to endorse or not to endorse the state candidate and the platform of the National Convention. Both became quite angry over some remarks and had a battle of words. "I'll have you know I'm a loyal democrat," Mr. Robbins emphatically retorted. Both stomped around and pounded the floor with their walking canes as was usual at a meeting of this kind. They parted friends.

County government was the local government. Interest centered on the local and state government. Matters relating to the federal government were rarely mentioned as this level of government scarcely touched their lives. World War I was an exception. A staunch democrat, Ed Robbins was a great admirer of President Woodrow Wilson and U. S. Senator Tom Connally of Marlin. He was one of Connally's strong supporters in the county and worked for his interest. Connally and Robbins were also very good friends.

Although he had obtained but six years formal education, Ed Robbins, who possessed a keen interest in the education of his neighbors' children, as well as his own, was especially recognized for his knowledge of the history and folklore of Falls County. An avid reader, he had attained his own education where his formal training ended. His own library included many history and reference books, including a number of texts on both the Civil War and World War I. He helped to organize the Reagan Masonic Lodge in 1915 and was the secretary continuously until it closed many years later, for lack of a suitable location for meetings.

In later years, Ed Robbins could often be found playing dominos in the back of Lonnie Robbins blacksmith shop. Some of the older men gathered here. The big Robbins home was often filled with footsteps and noise from their nine grandchildren. Many afternoons were spent looking through the large stack of old comic papers stored by Mrs. Robbins in a big trunk on the back porch. Unaccustomed to all of the wonders of rural life, they spent many active hours at their grandparents.

Edward Walker Robbins died on May 29, 1944 shortly after suffering a heart attack at his home in Reagan. He had been troubled with a heart ailment for a number of years.

The Robbins oldest daughter, Ruth became a widow the following year with the death of her husband Joe on July 25. Ed Robbins' widow, Lula, survived him two years. She died on June 8, 1946 in a Marlin hospital after a lengthy illness. She was laid to rest beside her husband in Calvary Cemetery in Marlin. Assisting at the funeral services was her uncle, the Reverend Hubert C. Willis of Madisonville.."

If you or any of the friends of Reagan have any Reagan news or announcements or old Reagan stories you'd like to share, please send me an email at

or write to:
Leonard Kubiak, 1264 FM2116, Rockdale Texas 76567 or call (512) 630-4619.


For a complete list of other area history pages, SEE
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