View the names on this quilt at the link below:
(Some Close up views of Tied applique strip, left hand side of Side I)
"Dr. Emmet Headlee was born in 1848 and died in 1918. He was the son of a Methodist preacher and also a Confederate Army surgeon in the Civil War, as was his father and grandfather. Dr. Headlee came to Texas in 1866. He was a pillar of the Teague Community , a planter, church leader, Brewer's first postmaster, a civic leader, peace officer, banker, druggist, school trustee, a Mason, and a citizen who influenced railroad building in Teague...."
This Freestone County house was built in 1906 by Teagues' first doctor,
"Dear Mr. Massey:
The April 8, issue of The Chronicle included Helen's Recollections which brought back many memories to me. The friend of whom Helen spoke was the late Jane Headlee Buttrill, my cousin. The house at South Tenth Avenue and Pine in which Jane, her sister Grace, and my Uncle Horace and Aunt Lillian lived was built in 1906 by our grandfather, Dr. Emmet Headlee. My brother, Emory Partin, bought the house from the heirs in 1978, and before the death of his wife, Kathryn, they tended it with much love and tender care, updating and modernizing the interior and repairing the exterior while keeping the spirit and traditions of the Headlee family. My brother, grandson of Dr. Emmet and namesake of our uncle Dr. Emory Headlee, still occupies the lower floor, and his daughter, Becky Lancaster, lives in the upstairs apartment.
An interesting fact many people now living in Teague might like to know is that the house has not always stood on that corner. This is not mentioned on the historical marker that stands in the front yard. It was because our grandfather had sold a large part of his farm in an effort to bring the railroad through what is now Teague that the house that the house was built on part of the remaining acreage that was in the village Brewer, now the west part of town. Grandmother kept many railroad officials as boarders.
Grandpa Headlee gave part of that original farm to his daughter, Dollie ( my Mother) and her husband, Sam Partin, as a wedding present. So it was that my childhood home was about as far as a city block from the big house, and we children had a well beaten path from our back door to Grandmother Headlee's back door and her teacakes!
My grandfather, Dr. Emmet Headlee, died in 1918 when I was only six years old, but I clearly remember that and the moving of the house several years later. Imagine the difficulty of towing a two-story house of that size several miles through residential areas and yes, even across the railroad tracks. The movers had to cut the house in two at the west wall of the hall, and my grandmother and my two unmarried aunts lived in one part while the other parts were again joined together where it now sits on the corner of Tenth and Pine. What a story the old house could tell if it could talk!
My brother is now the only remaining descendant of Dr. Headlee's living in Teague, but many of us keep a sentimental attachment to the town largely because of him and the Headlee House. Much of the story of the house and my grandfather , the kind and compassionate doctor, business man, civic and religious leader, is preserved at the B-RI Museum. We are grateful to all those who have helped us keep the story alive.
Alta Partin Harper
Headlee, Lillian and Horace by Grace Headlee Bailey,Hisory of Freestone County, Story #349,Volume II, pages 271-72,
"My mother, Mrs. Lillian Headlee (1898-1984), and my father, Mr. Horace Headlee (1891-1974) were very lovable. Every where they encountered other people, they invariably brought smiles and laughter. My dad loved to tease, especially the pretty ladies.....Mother playfully went right along with it, laughing along with her husband and the sales clerks. My dad never did mind not being able to hear; however, his greatest wish was to be able to speak. On the other hand, mother wished to hear more than to communicate. You see, both were deaf mutes.
Once, after a very serious surgery, mother was placed in the intensive care unit of a Humana Hospital. As a post surgery treatment, a large hose had been inserted into her esophagus and chest cavity. The next morning, when the physician was ready to extricate it, he told me to warn mother that the procedure would hurt. Mother never whimpered. Instead, she looked up at the physician with the most angelic eyes and smiled lovingly at the physician. He was surprised at this reaction, he called my attention to her sweet smile.
Horace Headlee and Lillian Headlee attended school in Austin, Texas, at a school for the deaf. It was there that my father learned to repair shoes. My mother studied homemaking skills and art. After a short period of employment in the newspaper business, Horace Headlee became a full-time repairman. On occasion, mother would assist him in the shop; however, most of her time was spent being a homemaker, an extremely clean housekeeper, a good cook, and seamstress for herself and her two daughters: Jane Elizabeth and Grace Carolyn.
After closing his shop, Horace Headlee stored the machinery for repairing shoes in his own garage. Occasionally, he repaired shoes there for friends and neighbors. He experienced a cerebral hemorrhage while working on a pair of boots. Two weeks later, he expired and was buried in the Headlee family plot in the Teague Cemetery.
Lillian Headlee died in a nursing home in Maryland. Her body resides peacefully beside her husband's."
" Mrs. S.D. Partin ( Mary "Dollie" Headlee) was the daughter of Dr. Emmet Headlee, the first doctor of Brewer/ Teague, Texas. She was the wife of Sam D. Partin who said, ".... on the 10th day of July, 1904, I was married to one of the best girls in Freestone County, Miss Mary A. ( better known as Dollie) Headlee.
Few people have the privilege of viewing life over the span of nearly a century, but Sam D. Partin, who arrived at Brewer, Freestone County, June 21, 1899, did just that. Born December 13, 1877, on a farm north of Nacogdoches, he was the son of Alonzo and Martha Jane ( Williamson) Partin, who eventually followed him to this county...Freestone...
Sam lived his earliest days in a log house in the deep piney woods of East Texas and rode in an ox drawn wagon; yet long before his death on March 27, 1974, he watched televised space -flight and the " giant step for mankind, " Man's first landing on the moon.
At the age of 17, Sam was told by his father, " From now on you are your own man. You can collect your own wages for your work."... and he did. He was not yet 21 when he left East Texas and went by way of Houston to Mexia, the nearest railroad station to Brewer. But he almost didn't get there as he insisted to the ticket agent that he wanted to go to "Meck-sia". The agent finally realized that Sam was headed for "Me-hay-a." The 12 mile trip from Mexia to Brewer by wagon took four hours. Brewer (Teague) at that time, consisted of the schoolhouse, Union Church, Blacksmith shop and two stores..... "
Row 5/ Block XXV
"The biographies of Misses Alta ( 1883-1976) and Clara (1889-1975) Headlee should be written as one, as they spent their entire lives living together, enjoying the same activities, vacations, and devoted to the same religious endeavors.
Within their immediate family, the sisters had a younger deaf brother. The Misses Headlee and their siblings always felt obliged to make allowances for their more unfortunate brother. Consequently when either of the Misses Headlee was asked out on a date, they asked their deaf brother's permission. The Misses Headlee were not allowed to keep social engagements unless their brother had made arrangements to have other individuals "entertain" him that evening.
The Misses Headlee attended Sam Houston State Teachers College ultimately to be certified in Elementary Education. At that time only one year at college level qualified a person to teach. The "Sheep Shed" became the first school building which the Misses Headlee held classes. After teaching in both the Horace Mann and the O.M. Roberts buildings. The Misses Headlee each began keeping a yearly roll of their students. Miss Clara records in the O. M. Roberts building to teach first grade/ Among her 51 first graders was her own niece, Jane E. Headlee. At one point, The Misses Headlee each taught fifty-nine students in a single year: respectively first and second grade.
During their teaching careers, the sisters also attended North Texas State Teachers College, obtaining B.A. Degrees in Elementary Education. At the close of the school year 1951-1952. Clara Headlee wrote in her roll book, " Retired. Most unhappy person in the world." In 1952-1953, however, she became a very happy person teaching a private kindergarten composed of seven boys and five girls.
Both Miss Alta and Miss Clara were dedicated to Christian education for children. Every Sunday, they taught Sunday School in the First Methodist Church for as many years as they were involved in public education. One of my fondest memories is watching them working together all day in their kitchen to dye Easter eggs for the yearly Sunday School Class Easter egg hunt. How well I remember that, when all the eggs were found , the group had to sit in a circle and count eggs to make sure every member had his / her fair share.
After retirement, Alta Headlee delighted in putting up a lighted display of the Nativity Scene in the front yard. On the second floor gallery windows of their home, spot lights illuminated glistening white styrofoam figures of the three wise men on camels following the bright star of the East.
Near the close of the Misses Headlee active lives, the two story Headlee home was dedicated as a historical sight. It was on this occasion, that Miss Clara pointed out to the people of Teague that generations of children were the focal point of the sisters' lives."
"Roy Simmons, son of Hamilton Franklin (H.F.) Simmons and Anora Means Simmons, was born in a log cabin on the Cotton Gin farm purchased by his grandmother, Mrs. Lucy E. Simmons, September 18, 1868. The cabin where he was born On March 16, 1876, was located one-half mile east of the Cotton Gin cemetery, and was destroyed by a cyclone in the 1920s.
Roy Simmons was educated in the Mexia Public Schools and graduated at the age of 14. His mother, Anora Means Simmons, had graduated from Trinity College in Tehuncana, which later became Westminister College, and was well prepared to tutor him in preparation for attending Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Roy graduated from Austin College where he was Captain of his Military Company and received medals in oratory.
In 1900, Roy joined his father, H.F. Simmons, in establishing the Simmons Dry Goods Company in Wortham. The firm prospered and branch stores were established in Coolidge, Malone, Streetman and Quanah. On March 17, 1901 he married Kate Page Moseley of Mexia. The Moseley family had migrated to Texas from Bucking ham County, Virginia in the middle eighteen hundreds.
Two sons, Ed Roy Simmons, and Franklin Page Simmons were born to the union: Ed Roy on December 24, 1901 and Franklin on August 2, 1907. Mr. Roy Simmons was Wortham's first Mayor. He was a devoted Christian and served as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in Wortham, beginning in his early twenties.
It was on the Simmons land in Wortham that the first oil well was discovered on Thanksgiving day in 1924. This marked a turning point in a peaceful little town. Roy Simmons befriended many people during the Wortham oil boom and generously shared his new found fortune with others.
He was fatally injured in an automobile crash in Ennis, Texas on May 27, 1941. Mrs. Simmons continued to live in Wortham until her death in February of 1971. Five weeks after her death, her eldest son, Ed Roy, (QR4 / Block XVI ), who practiced law in Mexia , died. At the time of Ed Roy's death, his wife Sallejo Simmons and he were living on the Cotton Gin farm. The farm at Cotton Gin, the site of the log cabin in which Roy Simmons was born, is now owned by Franklin Simmons and his wife, Mildred Wolters Simmons. It has been a cattle ranch for the past twenty-five years and is operated as such at this time."
" Franklin's eyes light up (Roy's youngest son) ...when he speaks of his father and he delights in telling tales about his childhood. In the early days of the Dry Goods store, people would trade eggs, milk, chickens or anything that they could with Roy Simmons for clothing. A chicken pen was built behind the store building for the chickens, and a cream separator was set up in the back of the store to separate the milk from the cream.
After the discovery of oil, and during the days when so many people moved to Wortham without housing, many of them would stay in the store as long as possible to keep warm in the winter. Often, Roy would give them a $1.00 bill at midnight to enable them to rent a cot in the tent hotels that were set up near the depot, and to enable him to go home after a very long day.
The changes brought about by the boom were taken in stride by Roy Simmons, and he contributed a great deal to the early history of the City of Wortham, and left a rich heritage to his family....."
"Ed Roy Simmons worked with his father, Roy Simmons, at Simmons Dry Goods Co. and in the oil business after the first oil well in the Wortham Oil Boom came in in 1925 and had the Ford Automobile Agency in Oakwood, Texas. He was an officer in the Teague National Bank, which later merged to become the First National Bank of Teague, Texas, and he also had a drug store in Teague during this period with Clydell McSpadden.
In 1931 and 1932, Ed Roy Simmons lived in Coolidge, Texas and studied law and was associated with the Southern Cotton Association. In 1933 he returned to Teague, Texas and operated a private law practice as well as being the City Attorney for Teague until 1936 when he moved to Austin, Texas to assume duties as Assistant Attorney General as head of oil, gas, and transportation division of the Attorney General's office under Gerald Mann. Ed Roy had a distinguished career while head of oil and gas division, with original significant cases before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Texas and winning valuable rights for Texas and the power of the Texas Railroad Commission to regulate oil and gas activities. Mr. Simmons handled Beauford Jester's campaign for Governor in 1941 and later joined Mr. Jester's law firm, in Corsicana after Beauford Jester was elected Governor.
In 1952 the Simmons family moved back to his home place on Hwy. 84, near Cotton Gin, Freestone County, Texas and he began practicing law in Mexia in 1954. Mr Simmons continued his law practice in Mexia until death on February 12, 1971 at his home near Cotton Gin....."
"Franklin Page Simmons was born the younger son of Thomas Leroy (Roy) Simmons and Kate Page Moseley Simmons on August 2, 1907, at home in Wortham, Texas. He attended school in Wortham and graduated from Wortham High School in 1924. Franklin loved sports and played on the first football team ever fielded at Wortham High. He also play second base for the baseball team, and was alleged to be pretty good. That's when his older brother Ed Roy gave him the nickname "Bucky" after Bucky Harris, the famous second baseman with the Washington Senators. The nickname remained with him all of his life. After high school graduation, Franklin attended Schreiner Institute in Kerrville.
Thanksgiving Day of 1924 was a day that Franklin Simmons never forgot. On that day oil was discovered on the Simmons property and marked the beginning of the oil boom in Wortham. It changed life in Wortham for several years. Franklin's parents owned Simmons Dry Goods Store, opened in 1900, in Wortham. Business picked up considerably after oil was discovered. During boom days there were as many as 27 clerks working the store. In later years Frank loved to tell stories of the boom days. He told his children of a typical Saturday at the store. There were so many in town that you couldn't walk down the street. People would come looking for work in the oil fields and when they arrived, had no place to go and no money. On Saturday night the store stayed open until midnight, and 12 to 15 people would be sitting around the fire trying to keep warm. Tent hotels were set up around town that charged $1 a night for a cot. Franklin said that when his father closed the store, he would give each person a dollar so that they could have a place to stay and a way to keep warm.
Franklin's first business venture began when he was 15 years old. He bought ice cream and cold drinks from a man in Mexia and made a stand from wooden crates. The ice cream came in five gallon containers and was packed in a wooden barrel with ice around the sides. While sell the ice cream, he packed cold drinks down in the ice. Everyone thought that that was really something and he had quite a business.
He and a friend, Robert James Poindexter, also operated an amateur radio station for a short while in Wortham. They broadcast live with stories, songs and news.
Franklin moved to Dallas in 1931, with his wife, the former Waurine Dearing, and children, Franklin Page, Jr., and Nancy Katherine. He was in the oil business, associated with Royal Petroleum Oil Company. He remained in Dallas until May of 1941, when his father, Roy, was killed in an auto-train accident in Ennis. Franklin moved home to help his mother operate the dry goods store and raise cattle on the family ranch in Cotton Gin.
On November 6, 1942, he married Mildred Marie Wolters in Dallas and brought her to Wortham where they made their home for the next forty years. Franklin and Mildred had two daughters, Karla Page in July, 1945 and Cynthia Marie in October, 1952. Following their marriage they continued to operate Simmons Dry Goods and in 1951 opened a new store, SIMMONS, at the other end of Main Street. This was primarily a gift and apparel store that operated until they sold it and retired in 1977. Franklin continued his cattle ranching on the land where his father was born until his death on April 3, 1982.
Both Franklin and Mildred were very active in church and community affairs. Franklin was an elder in the Central Presbyterian Church and served as Sunday School Superintendent for a number of years. He was an active member and served as president of the Wortham Loins Club. Franklin was instrumental in organizing the Wortham Ex-Students Association and was chosen as its first president. Franklin served on the Wortham City Council for 27 years. He was also a director in the First National Bank of Teague. He was a Mason and a member of Karen Temple in Waco. In 1978, he was honored for his 50 years as a Shriner.
Franklin was a faithful Christian who will always be remembered lovingly by his family and friends as a generous and good person. He died in 1982 in the same house in which he was born, having been preceded in death by his mother and brother...."
( Willie Mae Howell-Owens is listed at Row 6 / Block XXX on this signature quilt, along side the name of her daughter Opaline Owens.) Her personal legacy appears in the History of Freestone county, volume II, story # 636, page 399.
"....her incredible talents with fabric, needle and sewing machine were recognized, and her own love for employing those talents for both herself and others laid (a) foundation for her reputation as a seamstress of real artistry."
However , throughout her adult life her career for more than 40 years with N.W. Bendy Company embraced her equal talent in salesmanship for which she was honored by Teague townsmen and especially local merchants as "Saleslady of the Year".Her bubbling countenance behind the Bendy store counters gradually , no doubt, contributed to everybody within borders of Teague trade territory calling her "Miss Willie"..."
Willie Mae Howell-Owens is a Sims family descendant. She is the Great granddaughter of Sterling Sims, the granddaughter of George Anderson and Charity Jane Manning-Sims ( a quilt maker) and the daughter of William Augustus and Sallie Fitzhugh Sims-Howell .( Quilt Row 2 / Block VII.)
Willie came from a long lineage of quilt makers, painters and crafts men and women. She was well respected in the community ( of Teague, Texas) and known for her sewing skills.
Sims Family Seamstresses / Quilt makers / Artists
and Crafts persons and their relationship to "Miss Willie"
Corin (Johnson) Sims, grand daughter -in -law to Malinda Rutherford and Thomas Whaley Sims. She died in 1900 while giving birth to her second child. Corin was a schoolteacher, painter, artist, quilt maker. She became the mother to Ezra Lucille Sim- Neyland. She is a second cousin to "Miss Willie"....via marriage ties.
Ezra Lucille Sims - Neyland was great grand daughter of Sterling Sims and grand daughter of George Anderson Sims. Lucille was born January, 16, 1897 and died June, 27, 1 987....
Charity Jane Manning-Sims is the daughter -in - law of Sterling Sims...and grand mother to "Miss Willie." Charity Jane was an exceptional quilt maker according to Sims family legacy.
"George Anderson Sims was well-to-do farmer in the Simsboro community. He served in the War between the States. His wife was Charity Jane Manning. ("...Charity Jane Manning -Sims was born 1-5-1839 / d. 6-20-1880.) She was a quilt maker as noted by her grandson John Sims Newell.....
"....The Newell family has in safe keeping the quilt , the wedding gift to Mary Catherine Sims from her mother Charity Jane Manning-Sims. The marriage date 11-26-1873 indicates the quilt is more than 100 years ( at least 115) old. The quilt is "Tree if Life" pattern , constructed of red and green calico on white. The stitches are unbelievably small and beautiful."
Malinda Rutherford- Sims married Thomas (Tom) Whaley Sims. She is daughter - in- law to Sterling Sims and Sarah Fitzpatrick Heard - Sims.
History of Freestone County, Texas. volume II, story #782,page 464. She is located at QR3 Block XII. She is the aunt of "Miss Willie".
LeNere (Sims) Alderman is the grand daughter Thomas Whaley and Malinda Rutherford - Sims. She is located at QR3 / Block XII and her personal family story is told in History of Freestone County volume II, story #001 ( as a wife) and Volume II Story # 784, page 464,Sims, Mr. and Mrs. W.H., by LeNere Sims - Alderman (as a daughter). She was born 12 / 22 /1900. She is "Miss Willie's second cousin.
Note: Knowing Willie's background and knowledge of sewing skills, the position of her name on this signature quilt leads me to wonder if she may perhaps be the person who stitched the top together and embroidered the names...maybe even quilting the complete Textile, also. Her female family members were very skilled in the arts...from painting to quilt making...and would surely understand that a good artist signs his/her work when it is finished. Willie's signature is placed in the lower right hand corner area of block XXX, approximately where an artist would place a signature on most any work of art. It causes one to ponder "Why this area for her name...since she was a noted seamstress of the town and area?"
Mrs. W. H. Howell (Sallie Fitzhugh Sims) ,of Teague,Texas
...married William Augustus Howell. She was the daughter of George Anderson Sims and Charity Jane Manning-Sims.(Charity Jane was a quilt maker.)
Sallie's grandparents were Sterling Sims and Sarah Fitzpatrick Heard-Sims.(Sallie Fitzhugh Sims -Howell's name is also located on Row 2 / Block VII of this signature quilt.)
They had one daughter named Willie Mae (Willie) Howell (b.7-27-1899 / d. 5-24- 1977). "Willie" or "Miss Willie", as she was called, married Horace W. Owens ( b. 1885- d. 1945), the Chief of Police, Teague,Texas. They wed on August 17, 1907.
Horace and Willie Owens had (3) children:
Weldon Owens....Worked 23 years as a daily columnist and broadcaster for the Dallas Times Herald and Radio KRLD. Then he retired.
Opal Owens-Tucker....was employed for the Cox Department Store chain for many years in Fort Worth, TX, before retiring.
Wroe Owens...graduated from the University of Texas where he received his law degree and established law offices. However, during the J. Edgar Hoover regime, he joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as Special agent and was prestigious cited for World War II prisoners security. After the war, he returned to reopen his law offices in Austin where he has long been active in various Masonic civic and chamber of commerce activities. After assigning most responsibilities of this law firm to his son-in-law , he has been retained as consultant and resides in Austin with his wife Dorothy.