(Note: I’ve resumed an old quest to develop my genealogy database and in the process, stumbled across the following entry on www.rootsweb.com — from 2004 — which I had totally forgotten)
The following is from an email I just sent to a relative and I wanted to preserve it. It may even be of some interest to some folks around here (Marble Falls and Burnet County) who knew my grandparents. “Mimi” is Jeannette Thomas Jones and “DanDan” is Guilford L. Jones — my paternal grandparents.
Mimi first taught, I think in 1916, in a school where O’Donnell (sp?) now is. She lived in an earthen dugout type of room at a rancher’s house and rode horseback — side saddle, of course — about six miles to the school. It was across a rolling prairie with grass withers-high on the horse. I think she taught there only 1 or 2 years.
She met DanDan (G.L.) up near the Temple-Waco area. He father, whom you probably remember from when he was in nursing care in Big Spring, farmed cotton up there. She told me of watching him work the field behind a one-horse plow. I know that when she and DanDan moved to Marble Falls (1920 or 21) they were living in Little River which is up Highway 95, almost to Temple.
She taught here continually until about 1966 when DanDan became very ill and she primarily cared for him until 1969 when he died in March of that year. I was at sea in the Gulf of Tonkin aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk and could not get emergency leave to come home for his funeral because according to the Navy that was not a close enough relationship to warrant that! I think that was the beginning of my thoughts that perhaps a career in the Navy might not be for me. But I digress.
After he passed away she resumed teaching on a substitute basis but I’m told that it was almost full time. In about 1973 or 4 she and Edyth Giesecke, Gertrude McMillan and I think another teacher went to teach for a summer at an all black college in Mississippi. By 1975 I think she had totally quit even substituting. She would have been about 84 at the time so it was probably past due!
There was a break in her teaching in the 30’s. After the depression when things were rough in Marble Falls they moved to Austin, I think in 1935. She ran a boarding house for law students and one of her star boarders was George Thaddeus Thomas! She had stories to tell about him even then. Dad, who was born in 1920, graduated from Austin High in 1936 at the age of 16 after having won State in debate for Austin High his first year in school there. I’ve been given to believe that perhaps he was not real popular with some of the “old timers” in school there, having come from the “River Rat” town (as Marble Falls was usually called) in the sticks and beat them all out.
Mimi passed away in 1989 at the age of 98 from pneumonia. She was in the hospital as a result of injuries sustained when her caretaker had a seizure of some sort while driving to a bible study session and ran off the road. Earlier that same year she and I were having one of our long talks — she could discuss anything — and there was some shuttle or astronaut activity in the news and she was wondering if she was too old to be considered as the teacher to be sent up.
Mimi and DanDan came here originally when he bought the power plant. You see the little green structure under the Marble Falls bridge at the North end? That was the hydroelectric plant — one water wheel turning a single generator to furnish lights for the town. Where the River City Grille and Chili’s now stand was once a cotton compress and just prior to 1929 DanDan had organized a company to do a joint venture with Johnson&Johnson to manufacture bandage materials. I have one of the prospectuses from the public offering. In 1929 or 30 the building burned when some hoboes (as homeless people used to be called) were reported to have accidentally set it afire while trying to stay warm in the winter.
At other times he had the phone company which later sold to Continental Telephone which became GTE and ultimately Verizon. He also at one time owned the ice house which was another essential thing in the “olden days” as Melissa used to call them. Of course, she thought that I also lived in the olden days! In 1935 DanDan had a bad case of rheumatic fever and I think that precipitated the move to Austin. He was never quite the same after that but was always the gentlest, kindest man anyone ever knew.