Showing posts with label Rainwater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rainwater. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The House That Gandy Built

The knock at the door came early, but at the agreed upon time. I opened the door to see half a dozen men standing on my front porch. Bundled up in coats, the men stood with arms crossed, their gloved hands rubbing their arms in an effort to generate some warmth as the light snow swirled around them. Their boss just had one question for me, "Are you ready for us to start?" Yes, I definitely was.

We were doing a major remodel of our home which required opening up one of the exterior walls and extending our living space. Not only was it cold, but for weeks, the hammering, pounding and sawing continued and my nerves became a little more frayed each day. I tried to remain focused on what I knew would be the end result, but some days it was really hard. Finally, the job was completed and I was pleased with the results and so glad to have an end to the temporary chaos. Thankfully, we only had a few months of living in an unfinished space, but what if it had stretched into 113 years? Well, that was the case with the house that Gandy built. 

Of course, multiple generations occupied the Gandy home during the 113 years in an unfinished state, with each generation choosing to procrastinate finishing the home and therefore leaving the task to the next generation. Such was the state of the home at Gandy's Bend when Addison L. Lincencum moved in with his son Barnabus and wife Mary (Malder) following his retirement and the death of his wife, Letha. (Addison's story was told in a previous post found HERE.)

Situated on 177 acres on the Navidad River at Gandy's Bend, the house was tucked into a deeply wooded area. Removed from the hustle and bustle of town life, there was a peace about the place. Built by Addison's wife's grandfather, Daniel Gandy, several generations of Gandys had lived and died there. A family cemetery was nestled in a grove of large cedars about three-fourths of a mile from the house and was the final resting place for many members of the Gandy family, including Addison's wife Letha Grandy Lincecum. When interviewed for a newspaper article in October of 1963, Addison indicated that he was just waiting for the time that he too would be buried there. 

Texas, Lincecum, Gandy, remodeling, genealogy, ancestry, research, Rainwater
Gandy House
Yoakum Herald-Yoakum, TX
October 11, 1963 

Letha's grandmother, Mary (Turney) Gandy, died while her grandfather, Daniel Gandy was building the house and her death was so difficult for him, he never completed the house. Built with wooden pegs and square nails, the house had impressive custom features such as a hand-carved mantel. 

After Barney married Mary Macek Mader on 3 April 1962, they moved into the house and decided it was time to finish it. They put up sheetrock covering the raw studs, installed ceilings so they no longer had a view of the underside of the roof and finished the second floor which had previously looked like an unfinished attic. Barney added bathroom fixtures which they had managed without all those years. In addition, Barney built on a screened porch, covered the shingles with a tin roof and added a patterned asbestos to the outside of the house, which was a trend at the time. Then because none of the house had ever been painted, inside or out, he painted everything either pink or blue. After a mere 113 years, the house finally was finished. 

Every time we take on a remodeling project, knowing my impatience with the mess, my husband looks me in the eye and kindly reminds me that it will be a process and that for a time, it will mean living in a mess. Every time, I acknowledge him with a nod of the head and a vow to be patient this time, but we both know I don't do the patience-with-remodeling thing well. Thankfully, it's never takes 113 years, it just feels like it. 

The information about the home was obtained from a newspaper article accessed at Portal of Texas History. Yoakum Herald-Times Herald, Yoakum, Texas, Friday October 11th, 1963, "Landmarks, The House at Gandy Bend," by Charlotte Phelan of the Houston Post. 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2018, All rights reserved

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Center of the Party at Eighty-Six

Addison L. Lincecum, Luculus and Fanny Lincecum, genealogy, ancestry, family history, Texas
In July of this year I will celebrate a birthday that I consider to be among the biggies and, as I have looked toward that day, I have thought a lot about my life and the things that have happened. I think we all tend to do that when we hit certain landmarks in our life. Often those times are birthdays or anniversaries, but for some like Addison Lysander Lincecum, who influenced and helped so many, it seems only fitting to hold a special party devoted just to him. 

At eighty-sixed years old, Addison was the center of the party. They came to honor him, to celebrate his life, and to pay tribute to a man who had given so much to their community and to his country. They fittingly called it "Dr. Lincecum Day." He had lived a life full of adventure, never taking a back seat and always eager to fight for the things he believed in. The "Dr. Lincecum Day" celebration was a special night for Addison to reflect on his life and to spend time with those he loved. Unfortunately, although there were many good friends there that night, there was one very significant person missing. His wife Letha of 61 years had passed away just a little over a year earlier. 

What things in his life had meant the most to him? What had been the most fun and the most challenging and what, if anything, would he change? 

Addison Lysander Lincecum was born 8th of April 1874 in Long Point, Texas to Luculus Garland Lincecum and Frances Louisa Rainwater. He likely was named after his maternal grandfather, Addison Franklin Rainwater. His maternal grandfather, Gideon Lincecum, a well-respected doctor who died the year that he was born so he never had the privilege of knowing that grandfather who was a legend in himself.

By the mid-1870's Luculus and Fanny Lincecum moved their family to Lampasas, Texas. There, Addison was reared in a home where education was deeply valued and with a father known for his compassion.

Raising a family in the early days of Lampasas could not have been easy nor worry-free. At that time, Lampasas, was plagued by lawlessness, saloon fights and feuds, such as the feud in 1877 between the Harrell and Higgins brothers (see Horrell-Higgins Feud for more information). Lampasas was the only place in the west where a gunfight in a saloon resulted in the death of four policemen.

While there were many good things in Addison's life, he also experienced heartache at a young age. There are few events more traumatic for a young child than losing a parent, but witnessing their death is unimaginable. One warm evening in June of 1878, while sitting at the supper table, Addison's 35-year-old mother, Fanny suffered a heart attack and died. In minutes, the four-year old's whole world was upside down. His father, Luculus was faced with the heartbreak of burying yet a second wife. 

Luculus, a grieving widower, no doubt struggled to care for Addison and his little brother Pachal while keeping up with his busy medical practice. Six months after his mother's death, Luculus married Emma Oliphant and Addison gained a step-mother and eventually, several more siblings joined their family. 

Letha Gandy, Addison L. Lincecum, Texas, El Campo, Rainwater,
Letha Grandy
Public Domain
As a young man, Addison won the attention of the much sought after Letha Gandy, a school teacher and writer. In December of 1897, they married.

Lampasas Leader, Lampass, TX
Vol 10 No 3 ED 1, Friday Dec. 3, 1897 p. 8
"LINCECUM-GANDY-Lampasas has captured another prize. Dr. Ad. L. Lincecum and Miss Letha Gandy of Hallettsville, Lavaca County were happily married and arrived in this city last Saturday. And thus it is that Lampasas has added another bright star in her constellation of fair daughters. 
The bride is of one of the oldest and most highly respected families, and a young lady of culture and refinement.
The groom is the son of Dr. L. G. Lincecum and is well known to everybody, having lived in Lampasas since his early childhood. He is a promising young physician and all Lampasas has a warm welcome for the young couple--the groom to his old and the bride to her new home.
For the present, they are domiciled at the groom's father's residence on West Third Street." 
August of 1900 held a full range of emotions for Addison as he said goodbye to his father who passed away on August 17th and then welcomed his and Letha's first child, Barnabas Gandy Lincecum into the world on August 29th. They would eventually bring three more children into their home. 

In the footsteps of both his father and his grandfather, Addison studied to become a physician and entered Baylor College of Medicine. His education was temporarily interrupted however when he joined the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War.

In 1917, angry over the death of a doctor and friend of his, he requested a commission with the Texas Rangers in the hunt for the Mexican Revolutionary General, Pancho Villa.

After the fighting was over, he returned to his studies at Baylor. To pay his way through medical school, he worked as an engineer on trains which moved granite blocks to the Galveston jetties. He lived to be the last survivor of the first graduating Baylor graduating class. 

Addison accomplished many things over the course of his life, including a service overseas as an army surgeon in France during WWI, he served as president of the city and county medical society and was a member of a Lodge and was a Mason. He served on the Texas State Board of Health investigating the bubonic plague. He was an administrator of the Nightingale Hospital at El Campo and had even served as a postmaster and mayor in El Campo. As busy as he was, Addison found spent time to pursue his interests and became a champion fiddle player.

Not to be dissuaded by his age, at 80 Addison became a reporter and commentator for the El Campo radio station, KULP. 

And so it was no surprise that in March of 1964, Addison's friends gathered and paid tribute to him not only for all that he had accomplished during his life, but also for who he was and the difference he had made in their lives. Known for being happy, he made others feel welcomed and comfortable. He had done much to make other's lives more comfortable and to improve their community all while being a good neighbor and friend. 

Suffering from the effects of a stroke, Addison would spend the last few years of his life in a wheelchair while living with his son and his wife at Gandy's Bend. There as he put it, he waited for the time when he would be buried beside his wife in the family cemetery a short distance from the house. That time came on December 6th, 1965. 

Cemetery at Gandy's Bend

Note: Addison's mother, Frances, or Fanny as she was called, was my second cousin, three times removed.  She descended through my third great grandfather Joshua Rainwater's brother, John Rainwater. 

Details of Addison L. Lincecum's life were derived from a variety of newspaper articles accessed on The Portal to Texas History.

El Campo Pays Tribute to Dr. A. L. Lincecum: The Edna Herald (Edna Texas) Vol 54, No 21 Thursday, March 24, 1960.

Dr. Addison L. Lincecum Pioneer Texas, is Dead: Yoakum Herald Times (Yoakum, Tex) Vol 67, No 81 Ed 1 Friday, October 11, 1963.

Landmarks: The House at Gandy Bend: Yoakum Herald Times (Yoakum, Tex) Vo;67, No 81 Ed 1, Friday October 11, 1963 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2018, All rights reserved

Monday, January 4, 2016

To Save Lucille

Lucille Medlin Rainwater
Shared by Sue Conklin
As they helped prepare her for the trip to the sanatorium outside San Angelo, did Lucille's mother and husband fully realize just how sick Lucille really was? Did Lucille exhibit the typical tuberculosis symptoms?

Although often in the beginning stages the illness was difficult to detect, with time it progressed from what had initially been minor fatigue and an occasional cough to fits of coughing, low grade fevers, chills, loss of appetite, weight loss and coughing up mucus streaked with blood. It spread mercilessly through families and communities and was greatly feared.

Lucille Rainwater George, daughter of Alexander Forrest Rainwater and Ella Jones was born 31 July 1905 in Hamilton County, Texas. She was the eighth of their nine children and their fifth daughter.

Lucille's father, Forrest, passed away in 1912 when she was just six years old, leaving her mother, Ella, with eight children at home. Not only did Ella outlive her husband by forty-two years, but she outlived six of their children.

On the 30th of September, 1922 beautiful seventeen year old Lucille Medlin Rainwater married Thomas Jefferson George in Fort Worth, Texas. Their marriage was announced in the Society column of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on October 8th, 1922. T.J. and Lucille made their home in Fort Worth and it was there, at the age of eighteen, she gave birth to their daughter, Gloria Lucille. But joy was short lived because in the months that followed, Lucille contracted the dreaded tuberculosis.

tuberculosis, consumption, Lucille Medline Rainwater, Alexander Forrest Rainwater, Ella Jones Rainwater, San Angelo, Texas, ancestry, ancestors, family history, genealogy
From Library of Congress Prints
 and Photographs

At the time there was little known or understood about the cause of TB and they were still years away from knowing how to effectively treat it, but the one thing the medical community agreed on was that tuberculosis was very contagious, as evidenced by its rapid spread.Young mothers who contracted the disease were encouraged to let others take and care for their children to protect their children from also becoming ill.

So, as recommended, mother and daughter were separated.
Lucille moved in with her mother, Ella Rainwater in Witchita Falls, Texas and little Gloria went to live with her paternal grandparents William and Mahalia George, who were living a little over 100 miles away in Rhome, Texas.(1) The fact that Lucille was not only separated from her daughter, but needed help with her care suggests that the disease was progressing and likely no longer in its early stages. Sick and unable to be with her precious daughter, I can imagine how Lucille's heart must have ached for her baby and her husband. But rather than improving, Lucille continued to grow worse and eventually needed more help than her mother could give her.

It was a typical warm humid June day in San Angelo when Lucille Rainwater George arrived at the sanatorium that had been built to house and care for tuberculosis patients. With fresh air and sunshine being the prescribed treatment at the time, Texas was a perfect place for such sanatoriums and several were built in the state. For those fortunate enough to outlive the wait for an available bed and who could afford it, the sanatoriums provided rest, fresh dry air and simple meals. There the doctors evaluated the patient's condition and determined the level of rest needed. For some it meant complete bed rest, spending their days and nights lying flat on their backs while others were allowed a little more activity, including some time outdoors. The isolation from family and friends added yet one more difficult trial to those suffering from the awful disease.

I can't help but wonder what the doctor told Lucille when he saw her on June 10th, 1926? Did he give her hope that she might recover? Did he realize just how far the disease had already progressed? Did Lucille think she would soon return to her husband and daughter or did she sense that her time was short?

A mere nine days later and miles from home, Lucille took her last breath. She died the 19th of June 1926 at 6:30 p.m., just a month shy of her 21st birthday. Her mother Ella Rainwater served as the informant for her death certificate. Her daughter, Gloria, had celebrated her 2nd birthday just a few months prior and would never know the love of her natural mother. Lucille was among the many who fought and lost their battle to tuberculosis that year. In Texas alone, 1,367 died in 1926 from tuberculosis. (1)

Although Lucille was buried in the Aurora Cemetery in Rhome, Texas, which was some distance from where her mother, siblings and husband were living, she was buried in the cemetery along with other Georges and near where her daughter continued to live with her grandparents for a time.

I have been surprised to learn how many in my family tree died of tuberculosis and equally shocked to learn that according to the CDC, it continues to be the biggest infectious killer in the world, with over 9,000 people infected in 2014 in the US, and an estimated 9.6 million worldwide. In all, 1.5 million TB related deaths occurred worldwide in 2014. While the numbers are diminishing, they remain staggering.(2)

While much of the information for Lucille's story was obtained through standard research, this story could not have been written without the help of Sue Conklin who generously shared information about her family members, Lucille, T.J. and Gloria. Thank you Sue!

(1)  page 84


Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On The Lookout For Perrys - Part 1

Was this my Perry connection?    The name Perry has been used as a first name in my own immediate family and I was told that it was because of the importance of a family named Perry, but no one knew exactly who that family was.  

But as a result, I have long kept my eye out for a Perry connection somewhere.  As I worked on my Rainwater family, I was intrigued as I came upon a Perry family and couldn't help but wonder if this was the family.  
Photo generously shared by David, a descendant

Mary Ann Ayers,  or Mollie as many called her, was the only daughter of Reuben Ayers and Frances Rainwater.  Frances was a sister to my second great grandmother Olivia Rainwater.  

In 1877, when Mary Ann was 20 years old, she married James Crain Perry in Haralson County, Georgia.  So the question in my mind is, were the two families ever close enough that my Grandfather would have known and named his only son after this Perry family? The question led me on an adventure to get to know Mary Ann.

Mary Ann was born in October of 1857 in Carroll County, Georgia, but by the 1860 census, she moved with her parents Reuben and Frances Ayers to the hills of Calhoun County, Alabama. John and wife Olivia (nee Rainwater) Ganus and their children had also moved from Georgia to Calhoun County and were living just a few households away.  By 1870 Reuben, Frances and Mary Ann were back in Georgia and once again were living in close proximity to the John and Olivia Ganus family.  John and Olivia had three children by the time Mary Ann was born.  Mary Ann and William Franklin Ganus, my great grandfather were about three years apart. There is no doubt that the two families enjoyed each other’s company, as shared in this post. But both families would move multiple times to multiple states in the years that followed and I wondered, did the children several generations later have opportunity to know each other?  It will take some digging to see if they did and if indeed this family was responsible for the Perry name in my own family. 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Bane of My Existence

I have often called my hair the "bane of my existence."  If ever there was wildly stubborn hair, that's mine.  I can't even begin to tell you how frustrated I was growing up in southern California in the 60's and 70's when stick straight hair was in. Mine chose instead to flip and curl and in some places, stand straight out.
robert Ganus, Roderick Ganus, Newton Ganus, John Monroe Ganus, John T. Ganus, William Franklin Ganus
John Monroe Ganus and sons
L-R  Top row  Robert, Roderick M., Newton L.
bottom row  John Monroe, John T., William F. 
Nephi Glen Hostetter
Nephi Glen Hostetter
While I will never appreciate the unorganized wildness that I fight with every day, I did have an ah ha moment one day as I was looking through my genealogy pictures. 

One look at my both my maternal and paternal grandfathers' and great grandfathers' wavy hair left little doubt that I had come by my hair naturally and that instead of making me stand out, like I had always felt, it actually helped me to fit in---fit in with the family.

So that began my quest to find other things about me that actually help me to fit in with my ancestors.

 I had to laugh once when I received an email from a newly found distant cousin and he asked if I had ever noticed rather pronounced ears in my family.  Yes, I told him---and with that we began an exchange of ancestor pictures back and forth, proof positive that our families shared more than surnames.  I was delighted to know that while I had always thought they were Ganus features because my Grandpa Ganus had those ears, this cousin was actually a Rainwater cousin and so it made me feel connected instead to my Rainwater family.

What other things?   What about personality traits?  I hate someone beating me off the line at a stop light---I know, I know, I'm way too old for that one, but it was fun to learn from my mom that her father had been the same way.  While I am not sure that there is a gene for such a thing, I delight in knowing that I share this with a grandfather that I never knew .

I giggle each time I find a new Ganus connection and learn that their ancestor was known for their spunk.  I shared some stories showing Addison's spunk in a previous post, but I've also been told that John's sister Martha was very spunky and that at times, so was my great great grandfather John Monroe Ganus.  Do I see that in myself?  Well let's just say that as much as I struggle with my hair, my spunk can be an even bigger problem.

I will never love my hair, but I must confess that some days it does make me smile as I realize that it connects me to them and somehow that helps.   What physical and personality traits have you inherited?

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2012