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Deason History - 1959

Notes from Rajordan: While I suspect this document is part of "The Scrapbook of the Deason Family," I have no proof. My "original" of this document is not dated nor signed. I do not remember when I got it, but I am sure that it was handed down to me by my mother, Lois Ann KEY Jordan. It appears to be a photocopy of a nine page typewritten document with no title, no author, no date, no page numbering. There is no sure information about when it was compiled, but I suspect that it was completed sometime in 1959 for the following reasons:

    • A major milestone, my Great Grandmother, Mary Lizzie HARDY Deason’s 80th birthday in January 1958, was well documented. I also suspect that this event was the catalyst for gathering and documenting this information.
    • The original document has no dates after October of 1959. (Please note that any dates after 1959 in this document are later additions.)
    • There are two statements that appear to time stamp the current date:
      • "... where he was still located in 1958."
      • "In 1958 it was the largest cleaning plant ...."

As for the author: The paragraph that starts off with "When we got there ..." apparently refers to Herbert Morris TIMMONS and Carolyn Zella DEASON Timmons, because it documents soon after that "Carolyn" is the daughter of "Pine Hill Dan" or Daniel Marion DEASON.

My conclusion is that Herbert Morris TIMMONS completed this document sometime in 1959. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I would also like to hear from anyone who has a copy of the original "Scrapbook of the Deason Family" who would like to share it with me.

(This font depicts the original typewritten document.)

(This font means that the text was corrected or more information was handwritten later.)

Page 1 of 9

John Deason son of Joseph and Jellico Deason was born in South Carolina or Georgia August 25 1816.

With three or four of his brothers they moved to East Texas about 1854 settling in Rusk, Shelby and Panola counties.

John Deason secured a tract of land in Rusk County (Texas) between Henderson and Minden. As the records were lost with the burning of the Courthouse in Henderson in 1860 we were unable to learn how many acres it contained but it must have been considerable since he left each of his five children a farm.

Good wells were hard to get in that country as much of the water was unpalatable. After several attempts he succeeded in getting a good well which is still in use. He moved his cabin near it and later built another adjoining it. As was the custom he left a "dogrun" or hallway between the buildings and roofed both together. In this shelter the dogs slept and it also formed a dining and sitting room in summer.

In his later years Mr. Deason divided his land among his five children giving each an equal number of acres but he "piecut" it in such a way that each tract cornered a the well so that each son or daughter might get water from the well without trespassing on the property of another. The original home place where all the children were born went to his daughter Emma who had married a Mr. Harrell.

Mr. Harrell and Aunt Emma, as she was always called raised five children and adopted five others of a couple who died in a short time of each other. "We just had to take them and raise them" said Aunt Emma, "there wasn’t any one else to do it." This made it necessary to build another room which was also connected with a "dogrun" but Aunt Emma’s room where she was born continued to be her room until her death.

In 1953 while visiting in the home of Dr. & Mrs. Kenneth Deason in Henderson she said "If you want the lowdown on all the Deason family see Aunt Emma Harrell. She keeps up with the name and all generations. She never forgot anything in her life." She gave us directions how to find her place and we found that she had not exaggerated a bit.

When we got there she was taking her bath getting ready to go to a meeting, but she soon appeared barefooted and dressed only in a chemise or slip and a bathrobe that was intended for a much smaller woman. However she talked to us about two hours and didn’t seem at all embarrassed.

When Carolyn told her that she was Pine Hill Dan’s daughter she said "Wait ‘til I get my box." She soon reappeared with a square box such as was used for chewing tobacco. It contained many family pictures and other treasures. She dug out three pictures of Carolyn’s family all over fifty years old. "When Mrs. Allred died and they broke up her house they gave me these pictures and told me to get them back to Dan’s family."

Mrs. Allred was the widow of Hilliard Deason who lived with him twenty years but he and all the family still spoke to and of her as Mrs. Allred. She survived him twenty years.

Aunt Emma had kept the trust though it took her forty years.

"I am going to an all day singsong at Bether Church today" she said. "If I am tired tomorrow I’ll lay in bed all day and think about what a good time I had." We have always regretted that we didn’t go with her. It didn’t take much to keep her going. All she needed was someone to talk to. And a snuff bottle which she kept in reach.

"Do you read any Aunt Emma?" asked Carolyn. "What do you read?"

"O yeas I read quite a bit." She answered. "I read my Bible and the

Page 2 of 9

Church papers but I don’t always agree with them. Then I read the newspapers and sometimes with I am discouraged or tired out, I like a good detective story or a real whoop ‘em up western."

We visited her again in 1956 a few months before her death.

By that time the East Texas oil field had extended over her land and she had gotten a good oil well on her farm. She knew and could use the terms used by oilmen which were Greek to others and seemed as interested in the outcome as a person sixty years younger would have been.

She had divided her land among her five children and each knew which tract he was to receive but no deeds has passed.

One son insisted that she deed his part to him but she replied, "No Pappy gave me this land and it is going to be mine as long as I live. I raised you and took care of you when you were little. You never went to bed hungry. You sometimes had to wear patched britches but if they needed patching they were patched before I went to bed that night."

It was from her that Carolyn got the story that had puzzled her and her brothers all of their lives. It seems that she got it from Hannah P B. Deason wife of Hillaiard J. Deason just before her death in 1879. Mrs. Deason was dying of cancer and she a young girl was assisting in taking care of her when she unfolded the story of the tragedy of the Deason family.


In October 1959 while visiting in the home of Dr. Arthur Deason he told us that when the oil field was extended to near Aunt Emma’s land he told her that it was likely that she could get one or more oil wells on her land but that she would have to get the title cleared up. "O my title is good" she replied" Pappy gave me this land and I have lived on it all my life." It developed that if her father ever had a deed it was never recorded or lost in the burning of the courthouse in Henderson in 1860. Also that if he gave his children deed before his death they were never recorded. Usually in those days when a father gave his child a part of his farm he did it by merely saying "I give you this piece of land" just as he would have given them a colt or calf. Dr. Deason had his lawyer file suit for her and established title under the five, ten, and twenty-five year statue of "peaceable possession."


Emma (Deason) Harrell was born about 1866.

Page 3 of 9

Daniel Marion Deason was born in Marion County, Georgia, September 14, 1844. His father Hilliard J. Deason was a large landowner in that county and in Rushk County, Texas. The family moved to Tyler County, Texas in 1854 and Rusk County, Texas in 1855 where the elder Deason resided until his death.

D. M. Deason was a Confederate soldier and his record is hereto attached. During his last years he received a Confederate Pension from the state of Texas and his wife received a pension until her death. He engaged in mercantile business most of his life also was bookkeeper for sawmills and was secretary of the Masonic lodge for many years.

He was married to Marina Harriet Ross daughter of Major J. L. Ross, Dec 17 1874 by Rev. J. C. Bridges, in her home in Panola County, Texas. This was a double wedding, the other parties being Mary Ross and Samuel Johnson. These girls were identical twins and only one of their family could always tell which was which. It is said that at the "infair the following day Johnson took Mrs. Deason around to some of his friends and introduced her as his wife. These mistakes happened often but as they each knew the other’s mind they just let it go without letting any one know the difference.

Mr. Deason engaged in Mercantile business in Pine Hill, Texas and many of the family knew him as "Pine Hill Dan" to distinguish him from another Dan Deason.

When the new lumbering town of Timpson Texas was founded he built a home there and was employed by one Smith Garrison a large lumberman, merchant and railroad builder.

At one time he owned a drugstore and during Cleveland’s first administration was assistant postmaster and during his second administration was Postmaster of Timpson, Texas.

About the turn of the century he moved his family to Louisiana where he engaged in the sawmill business but this was an unfortunate venture and he returned to Timpson after two years.

Their children were

    1. Walter Henry Deason born in Rusk County, Texas, Jun 24 1876.
    2. Hugh Ross Deason born in Rusk County, Texas, Sept. 29 1879.
    3. Ross Marion Deason born in Rusk County, Texas, August 28, 1882.
    4. Carolyn Zell Deason born in Shelby County, Texas, Sept. 22 1887.
    5. Nelivin (Nelvin Irene) Deason born in Shelby County, Texas.
    6. Anne (Annie) Lewellyn Deason Born in Shelby County, Texas, May 3 1899.

Hugh Ross and Neliven (Nelvin) died in childhood.

Mr. Deason moved to Amarillo (Texas) in 1910 where he was toolmaster for the Santa Fe shops until his retirement in 1931.

He stated at the time of his retirement that he had gotten up and did a days work every day for seventy six years.

A lifelong Methodist he was a steward most of his life and Sunday school superintendent many years. He never failed to attend church every Sunday. While with the Santa Fe he often had to work Sundays but attended night services and always paid more liberally than most men of his means did.

He bought a home at 1611 Fillmore and paid it out by the month after he was seventy years old.

Mr. Deason died at his home in Amarillo, (Texas) Oct. 21 1934 and was buried in Llano Cemetery by his pastor Rev. T. F McClure.

Page 4 of 9

Walter Henry Deason oldest son of Daniel M. and Mariana H. Deason was born in Pine Hill, Panola County Texas, June 24th 1875. The family moved to Timpson, Shelby County Texas in the summer of 1887.

Walter attended the public schools of Pine Hill and Timpson but did not finish high school. He worked at various jobs and made two or three crops before he was married but few cotton farmers got rich.

He was married to Miss Mary Lizzie Hardy at Minden, Texas June 24 1899 (Note from Rajordan: I have a copy of their marriage license from Rusk County, Texas that very clearly has "June 25 1899") that being his twenty-fourth birthday. She was the daughter of Joe Hardy and was born in Newton County, Texas, January 26 1878.

While a boy in Pine Hill Walter and his cousins Eugene and Ross were playing at burying each other and while covering Walter in some manner one of the boys hit Walter in the eye. No specialist was available and the family doctor was not able to restore sight fully.

Before his marriage Walter went to Rusk Texas where he had a chance to learn the printers trade. But his work was mostly at night and the eyestrain was too much so he lost the sight of that eye for the rest of his life.

Five children were born to Walter and Lizzie.

    1. Lois Erin Deason was born in Shelby County, Texas, August 28 1902.
    2. Joseph Daniel Deason was born in Shelby County, Texas, July 3 1904.
    3. Walter Hardy (Red) Deason was born in Shelby County, Texas, March 6 (21) 1906.
    4. Elizabeth Mariana Deason was born in Shelby County, Texas, June 9 1910.
    5. Martha Nell (Boots) Deason was born in Potter County, Texas, (April 14 1922.)

After his marriage Walter farmed one or two years and was for a time employed in a sawmill. Here he lost his right thumb. In 1902 Lizzie got the agency for the Butterick Company of New York. As a new baby came along about that time she was unable to do the work so Walter took it up doing business all the time in her name. So well did he succeed that after a year she was offered the state agency. But when the company learned that it was a man who had been doing the work the work the offer was withdrawn and her contract canceled.

The family moved to Amarillo, Texas in 1910 and Walter worked for several years as salesman and collector for the L. B. Price Mercantile Company selling blankets, sheets, rugs and many other household goods. These were mostly sold for a small down payment and collections made monthly.

After leaving the employ of the L. B. Price Company he worked for the Amarillo Lumber Company as a yardman and was with the Santa Fe Railroad as a mechanic’s helper until the big strike. He was never permitted to return to the railroad. In 1924 the family moved to Los Angeles, California where Walter was employed by a large lumber company for a year or more. (They purchased a home at 1611 Pierce Street but soon disposed of it.

After returning to Amarillo, he worked as a teamster for a contractor building Amarillo-Los Animas line. He then accepted the agency for the Watkins-Rawleigh products at Big Spring. There also he sold on installments but a big strike in the Texas Pacific shops where most of his customers worked made it impossible for him to make collections and thus meet his bills so his contract as canceled and his merchandise turned over to another man.

He then got a job with the Fuller Brush Company but lost his billfold while repairing a flat and was again unable to meet his bills.

He then went to Albuquerque, New Mexico but bad luck again dogged his footsteps and he returned to Amarillo. By that time he had developed tuberculosis and spent a year in the Tubercular Hospital at San Angelo, (Texas). His ailment was partially arrested but he was never again well.

After a year’s rest he returned to the Sanitarium as a part time employee and patient but after a year was again discharged.

Page 5 of 9

He worked off and on for the L. B. Price Mercantile Company as his health permitted but finally gave it up and entered a rest home.

He died in St. Anthony’s Hospital November 20 1952 and was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery by N. S. Griggs & Sons pastor Rev. Eugene Slater officiating.

Aubrey Key was born in Rogers, Texas, Jan. 19 1896.

Lois Deason married Aubrey T. Key, April 21 1924 in Los Angeles, California.

Aubrey was a direct descendant of John Key brother of Francis Scott Key author of The Star Spangled Banner and Bishop Joseph Key well known Texas churchman about the turn of the century was also of this family. They were parents of a son and daughter.

    1. Ann Key born in Amarillo, Texas, March 19 1927.
    2. Terry Key born in Dallas, Texas, February 2 1930.

As a young man Aubrey joined himself with the Burroughs Adding Machine Company and became a mechanic or inspector as they were called.

He was stationed at Amarillo in the twenties and later transferred to Dallas, (Texas) where he worked for several years. Returning to In Amarillo, (Texas) he built a home in the yard of Lois’ grandfather D. M. Deason but in a short time he was transferred to Corpus Christi, (Texas) where he was still located in 1958. His parents were I. T. (Ira Terrell) and Myrtle Key. He was born at Rogers, Texas.

They were both devout members of the Methodist church and gave freely of their time to church work.

Ann Key married James M. Jordayn, June 1st 1947. He was the son of J. R. and Mildred Rainey Jordoan and was born in Onalaska, Texas, June 25 1925.

Their children were:

    1. James Peter Jordoan born in Corpus Christi, Texas, November 16 1948.
    2. Joe Key Jordan born in Corpus Christi, Texas, May 1 1950 Died May 10 1950. Died when 10 days old.
    3. Jack Terriell Jordoan born in Corpus Christi, Texas, February 25 1950 April 25 1951.
    4. Mike Hardy Jordoan born in Corpus Christi, Texas, May 12 1951 August 12 1952.
    5. Rebecca Ann Jordoan born in Corpus Christi, Texas, January 28 1956.

Terry Key joined the U. S. Navy in the late forties. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant and made several trips across the Pacific during the Korean War. He was based at Mare Island Naval Yard, California.

Terry married Bette Jean Burgin, daughter of Willie Burgin, born March 31 1934.

Joe Deason attended the public schools in Amarillo, (Texas) and was active in Boy Scout work. After finishing school he began work in a cleaning shop and after a time bought an interest in the Boston hat & Cleaning Works then located at 419 Polk Street Amarillo, Texas. After a year or two they divided the business. Nick Sotir taking the hat works and Joe the Cleaning part. He later bought lots at 24th and Polk Sts. where he built his own building. He continued to expand adding a zero fur storage. In 1958 it was the largest cleaning plant in Amarillo, employing more than fifty people.

Joe married Beulah Marie Jenness in 1923. She was the daughter of M. R. Jenness and was born in Salina, Kansas, May 20 1904.

Maxine Deason was born in Amarillo, Texas, May 31 1925

Joe and Beulah were divorced and Joe married Vera Doris Dora McNary, July 23 1936. She was the daughter of John William and Alice McNary and was born on a farm in Whiting township, Jackson County, Kansas.

Mr. McNary went to Kansas while it was yet Indian country and traded a team of ponies to an Indian for a tract of land on which he made his home and developed it into a fine farm. Vera had a sister Mrs. G. V. Gately 1509 Bowie, Amarillo, Texas. Two bro. John &

In the early fifties Joe and Vera built a fine home at 2204 Parker Street, Amarillo, Texas.

Page 6 of 9

Maxine Deason married Myron Raymond Dorman, Jr., July 22nd 1944 in Amarillo, Texas San Francisco, California. Their children were:

    1. Richard Raymond Dorman born in Amarillo, (Texas) January 12 1946.
    2. Janet Louise Dorman born in Amarillo, (Texas) July 25th 1949.

Page 7 of 9

Walter Hardy (Red) Deason was born in Timpson, Texas, March 6 1906.

The family moved to Amarillo, (Texas) when he was four years old, and Red as he was always called attended the public schools in Amarillo.

He was active in Boy Scout work and early in life began work as a cleaner along with Joe. For some time they were partners but mostly Joe owned the shop.

During World War II he was in (the) Army on the west coast and for some time was attached to the F.B.I as watchman or outer guard.

He was married to Trixie Lee Wilbanks, September 21 1929. She was the daughter of Allen M. Wilbanks Jr. and Ophelia Beatrice Ewewing Wilbanks and was born in Hansford County, Texas, April 8 21 1908. That was an unsettled country at that time and she says that her first memory is of a little girl who wandered away from their dugout home and was killed by wolves. Later her father went to the X I T Ranch where he was employed many years. His uncle was sheriff of Hansford County thirty-one years.

For several years Red traveled as a salesman for a barber and beauty supply house. He later returned and worked with Joe several years and bought a shop but gave it up and entered the floor covering business.

Elizabeth Mariana Deason was born in Timpson, Shelby County, Texas, June 9 1910 and came to Amarillo, (Texas) in her mother’s arms.

She attended the public schools in Amarillo, (Texas) and in Los Angeles, California. She was married to William Frank Chapman in Los Angeles, October 6 1928. He was born in Sayre, Oklahoma, July 21 1904 and was the son of Francis Marion Chapman a Rock Island engineer who brought the first Rock Island train into Amarillo. Lou Ella Casper. (Louella)

After his father’s death the family moved to California and Bill as a young man served a term in the Navy he was again in the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when the Japs attacked.

He happened to be on shore leave that Sunday morning and all his belonging as well as many of his companions went down with his ship.

Later he was on the New York which at that time was a flagship.

He had hurt his hand and the surgeon was bandaging his hand when a mast broke and cut the surgeon’s head off. Bill was uninjured.

(Note from Rajordan: The two paragraphs above appear to have been struck through before my photocopies were made.)

He was later transferred to the battleship Missouri and when the surrender came he saw the Emperor sign the articles of surrender.

After peace came he returned to Mare Island Naval Yard and was employed as a mechanic. He purchased a home in Napa, California and kept his family there driving the fifteen miles back and forth morning and evening. Their children were:

    1. Elizabeth Louise Chapman July 11 1930 in San Diego, California.
    2. Frances Marion Chapman May 2 1932 in San Diego, California.

Elizabeth Louise Chapman married John Joseph Myrtle, May 2921 1950 in Napa, California. He was the son of John Josen Myrtle.

    1. Christana Elizabeth Myrtle was born July 12 1951 in San Monica, California.
    2. John William Myrtle was born July 21 195. in Richmond, California.
    3. Susan Louise Myrtle was born April 5 1956 in San Jose, California.
    4. Marguerite Myrtle was born August 28 1957 in San Jose, California.
    5. Alison Myrtle was born March 4, 1959 in San Jose, California.

Francies Marion Chapman married Roy Gibson May 25 1952. He was born July 26 1932 in Brownsville, Texas and was the son of Earl Gibson & Thelma Moore and held the rank of Captain - U.S. Marines.

Page 8 of 9

Deborah Elizabeth Debra Marie Gibson was born June 7th 1953 in Falaioxant Patuxent River Maryland.

Francine Elizabeth Gibson was born March 29 1955 in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Francine married Danny Elam in Kailua, Hawaii 12-22-1972.

Christie married Lou Warman in Napa, California 5-7-1971.

Debra Marie married Thomas Franklyn Watts in Kailua, Hawaii 11-22-75.

Martha Nell (Boots) Deason graduated from the Amarillo High School in May 1939. Before her graduation she had accepted a position in the office of Polk Street Methodist church where she worked about two years. She was married to Harry Reimers September 21 1940. He was the son of Henry Reimers and was born May 1918. She continued to work for the church until about 1941 when they moved to Los Angeles, (California) where she worked six months in the office of the First Methodist church.

Returning to Amarillo she was with the Kerr Paper Company about two years.

    1. Shirley Dean Reimers was born in Potter County, Texas, October 1 1943.
    2. Linda Mary Reimers was born in Potter County, Texas, May 28 1945.
    3. Robert Lane Reimers was born in Potter County, Texas, July 25 1947.
    4. Harry Frederick Reimers was born in Randell Potter County, Texas, October 20, 1952. (Note from Rajordan: Harry Frederick Reimers (Freddy) died June 3, 1975.)

They purchased a brick home at 3606 Parker Street, Amarillo Texas in 1949 and Harry opened a paint and body shop on Canyon Road.

He later gave that up and was foreman for the Truitt Buick Company on Polk Street having charge of body and paint work.

In 1953 they were divorced and she obtained custody of the children and was awarded the property.

She was then employed by Blackburn Shaw Undertakers until her second marriage.

The Parker Street property happened to be in the Line of the Canyon-Amarillo Expressway and she sold that property to the city of Amarillo and bought a home at 1616 Ong Street.

She was married to Edward Price Doyle in Polk Street Church by Dr. Eugene Slater, June 16 1957.

Edward Price (Mickey) Doyle was the son of Robert Edward Doyle and Bess Jower was born in Texas October 20 1901.

Page 9 of 9

(Amarillo, Texas) - On Sunday January 26 1958 Mary Lizzie Deason Celebrated her Eightieth birthday.

Three rows of seats had been reserved in the center row of Polk Street Methodist Church by the pastor Rev. Eugene Slater and the entire family sat in a body. Seated with Mrs. Deason were her daughter Lois Deason Key and her husband Aubrey Key of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Joe Deason and his wife Vera, and daughter Maxine Deason Dorman and her husband Myron Raymond Dorman and children Richard Raymond and Janet Louise. Walter Hardy (Red) Deason and his wife Trixie Lee.

Elizabeth Deason Chapman and her husband William F. Chapman.

Martha Nell (Boots) Deason Reimers Doyle and her husband Edwin Price (Mickey) Doyle, and her children, Shirley, Linda, Bobby and Freddy Reimers. Her Brother-in-law Ross M. Deason and his wife Lois. Her Sister-in-law Carolyn Deason Timmons and her husband Herbert M. Timmons and their son Paul Timmons and his children Sally Carolyn and Tom and their daughter Alice Timmons and her Sister-in-law Llewellyn Deason.

Also a niece Mrs. Matthew Jones and her husband Matthew Jones of Nacogdoches, Texas.

In the afternoon a reception was held at the home of the youngest daughter Mr. E. P. Doyle 1616 Ong St. Cakes, coffee and punch were served by Mrs. Vera Deason and Mrs. Maxine Dorman. Guest were registered by Mrs. Lois Deason. Ninety-eight person registered including Dr. and Mrs. Eugene Slater. In addition to the above present were Mrs. Deason’s granddaughter Ann Key Jordan and her husband James M. Jordayn and their children: James Peter, Jack Terrell, Mike Hardy, and Rebecca Ann. Also Fredda Timmons wife of Paul Timmons.

Last updated on January 17, 2014

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