"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,
...as is noted by Dr. Headlee's grand daughter, Alta, to the Teague Chronicle editor,Thursday, April 22, 1999, in the following letter:
"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
Dr. Emmet Headlee married Mary M Harrison Headlee (1849 - 1934). They had 10 children:
Clara I. Headlee Born 1888 - Died 1975.... Row 5/ Block XXV
Nettie Wilmuth Headlee Born 1874 - Died 1875
Ida Mary Headlee Born 1877 - d. 1877
Emmet Jerome Headlee Born 1880 - Died 1977
Henry H. Headlee Born 1888 - Died 1888
Mary K. Headlee Born 1885 - Died Unknown
Dr. and Mrs. E. V. Headlee - Born 1900........Headlee Hospital
Emma Dean Headlee Born 1879 - Died 1882
Alta A. Headlee Born 1881 - Died 1976... Row 5/ Block XXV
H. H. Headlee (Horace) Born 1891 - Died 1974 ....
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
* ( corner names )
Mrs. Dave Alderman
Annie Lin Alderman
J. T. King
Mrs. J. T. King
Mrs. J. W. Sanafer ?
Mrs. J. E. Woods
J. E. Woods
Miss Clara Headlee ... ( Teague Elementary school teacher / daughter of Dr. Emmet Headlee)
(Born 1888 - Died 1975)
Miss Alta Headlee ... ( Teague Elementary school teacher / daughter of Dr. Emmet Headlee)
(Born 1881 - Died 1976)
Mrs. R. E. Hayes
Miss Ellen Victory
D. E. Cochran
Mrs. D. E. Cochran
Mrs J. B. Gordon
Dr. J. B. Gordon
"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."