Concerning Stephenville First Methodist Church, my great Aunt Susie
Moxley was in Tarleton, 1917-1918. I have some of her records and
letters and a diary. She and other students were in the crowd when the
Time Capsule was placed in the cornerstone of First Methodist Church, to
be opened in 100 years. In 1860's Methodist and Baptist had half time
pastors- 2 Sundays by a methodist and 2 by a Baptist. Records in Display
case in Dublin First Baptist say 'Choctaw Bill - or William Roberson or
Robinson pa stored Stephenville First Baptist and Dublin First Baptist.
he and Great Grandad Dr. W.P. Hatchett worked together in services of
organizing Central Texas Churches , ESP. in Hico, Duffau, Pony Creek
and the Paluxy Baptist College and Campground- in Erath County then-
Hood County now. The Pony Creek Church sent Delegates to the Paluxy
Baptist Association, and some Indian S raided in the area. The Delegates
met the next day to conclude their business and return home. Not one
Delegate found his home, family, or livestock hit by the raiders-
according to the records of Dr. D.D. Tidwell of Iredell, and colleges and
Waco. Her held outdoor summer meetings at Pony Creek under Oak trees.
At one time Dublin was the larger of the two- on old Texas Central or
later Katy Railroad.
In Bryan , Texas today, a Freewill Baptist and a 7 th day Adventist
group shared a building in 1960's. There was also an Adventist Church in
Bosque County- photo is in Bosque County Museum in Clifton.
I attended High School with a Franklin Conger in 1945-46. He was a year
behind me. Their home was in Conger Edition east of present HEB. I
attended JTAC 1946-47, then 1948-49. His mom raised the family. That
year, Franklin was in my ROTC Squad- I was the Squad leader. HHe was an
outstanding athlete and played the organ for First Methodist sometimes.
One night he left the supper table and sat down at his piano. His mom
heard him make a gargling or gagging sound- Either a heart attack or
Choking on something he was chewing- Real reason is still in doubt.
His mom requested a Military Funeral, complete with a firing squad. Our
Squad was his pallbearers, and took turns siting up one night, on an all
night duty roster. Recie Jones updated us on history of burials and
embalming and such. I already knew most of it, as young men in early
teens were part of Volunteers who dug graves in rural cemeteries. My
wife said that at Levelland, Texas she remembers her dad cleaning out a
front room for weddings and local S to view the body, rather than in the
Funeral home- which was several miles away.
At Selden, the County Commisioner had Dynamite to use when we hit
rocks- which postponed some burials a few hours. Many homes in 1930
and before would have the body embalmed and the coffin would be put in
a room of the home of the deceased. Viewers came to the home like we do
now in Funeral homes. Dad said that he and a friend had the roster of
being the ones to sit up with one of his Hatchet Uncles around 2 or 3
in the A.M. With the coffin open . ( Most back then also had a net over
the open lid- Mosquito nets in case of epidemics. ) he said they were
talked out and off of daydreaming or dozing, when the window screen
was ripped open by an outdoor Tom Cat, and he was in the coffin before
they could catch him. Cats may be friends to the living, but watch out
for the deceased. One would think a house pet would be as faithful
over you as the family dog.
Also, All Cemeteries worldwide for Christians were facing East, a
symbolic promise that Christ would return from the East and they
would be facing him as they were resurrected. . In 1960, Army Map
reading class teachers said if we were lost in combat on foot or
from a plane, go to the nearest Church and look at the graves in case
you loose your compass. Today, many Commercial cemeteries wax artistic
and put in curved drives and face grave lots all directions.
My grandparents, Jacob Silas McElroy and Sarah Elizabeth York McElroy, lived
in Stephenville, when their son, Oscar Lee McElroy, was born, 25 July 1893.
He was called Pat McElroy. By 1895, they were living in Huckabay, Erath Co.,
TX, where Elizabeth died.She was expecting another child and also had a
tumor, which killed her. They didn't know how to deal with this in those
days. The family were of the Methodist faith. If you have any of the early
Methodist church records, I would appreciate learning if my family was
included. I might point out that in Feb, 1891, James Hubert McElroy was
born, and they were in Iredell, Bosque Co., TX, at that time. I don't know
the reason for so many moves, unless it was to find work. They moved to TX
from Bellefonte, Boone Co., AR, and Hubert (1891) was the first child born
in TX. My dad was born 20 Feb 1888, in Bellefonte, AR. He was Lester
Lafayette McElroy. This seems like such a hard life, with this many children
and the many moves, etc. One other thing, Elizabeth's brother, Thomas Edgar
(Ed) York, also lived in Stephenville and worked for the Rail Road. His
wife's name was Missouri Campbell York. William A York was their son, and I
have found some information on him in either Erath or Bosque Co., TX.
I will appreciate any help you or anyone else can give me.