Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dr. V.M. Holland, M.D. : The Life of My Husband, an East Texas Country Doctor

Dr. V.M. Holland M.D.: The Life of My Husband,an East Texas Country Doctor,
 by Mrs. V.M. Holland, Evangeline Neal Dennard Holland, R.N., Captain US Army WWII
Trans-scripted letter posted by Fred L. Holland, entitled "Virgil M. Holland, V.M. Holland, M.D"., dated 4 March 1995

Virgil Holland was born in Fairplay, Panola County, Texas, on 4 March 1918. His parents were Lois Allison Holland of Fairplay, Texas and Mordie Holland of Benton County and Carol County, Tennessee. Virgil had one sister, Marguerite, and three Brothers, Samuel, Leland, and James (known as “Bill”) Holland. His Father was a farmer, rancher and carpenter. His mother was a homemaker. Both parents were life long community leaders in the Methodist Church, local schools, county fairs, soil conservation, home demonstrations, and youth socials and activities.

Virgil attended the rural school in Fairplay and graduated from from Carthage High School in 1934. Only 11 years of public schooling was required for graduation at that time, and he had been advanced two grades. He was valedictorian and only 15. After graduation, he enrolled in the Baptist College of Marshall in Marshall, Texas. His Uncle Sam Allison paid his tuition and book fees: he paid his room and board by waiting on tables and washing dishes in the college cafeteria, managed by Mrs.Fant, mother of the Mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, Mr. Clyde E. Fant. [ Mayor Clyde Fant would be the guest speaker at the CHS graduation commencement of Virgil’s son, Frederick Leon Holland, in 1971.] According to Wikipedia,
Clyde Fant was a native of Linden in Cass County, Texas. He was one of six children of Mr. and Mrs. John Preston Fant. John Fant was a cotton gin owner and a onetime Texas state legislator. Fant graduated in 1925 from the former Marshall (Texas) College, now East Texas Baptist University. He taught school for a year in Blocker, a since abandoned community near Marshall, the seat of Harrison County. He then worked for a lumber company in east Texas and was thereafter associated with Southwestern Gas and Electric Company. He was an executive with Interstate Electric Company, with seven years of service with the firm, when he was transferred to Shreveport.]
Mrs. Fant was a lifelong friend and was admired and respected by her “helpers.”

Virgil was a “whiz” in math, chemistry, biology, physics, and history. This background provided good career choices and upon completion of enough hours for a teacher’s certificate and for graduation, he taught in the Fairplay School. He was a scholar, educator, hard worker, and teacher all of his adult life.

In May 1941, Virgil Mordie Holland joined the US Navy and served 4 years, 4 months, and 22 days. During those years of service, in Florida and California, and overseas on Guam and Australia, he was honorably discharged in 1945 as a Chief Pharmacist's Mate, (A.A.). It was during his WW II service that he decided his goal was to “ enter medical school after his discharge from the service, and to become a general practitioner (G.P.) of medicine after graduation and proper training.”

Virgil obtained a B.S. Degree through extra college work at Stephen F. Austin College, Nacogdoches, Texas. Graduating from there with honors, he was admitted to the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston, Texas without having to take an entrance exam in 1946. While there for four years of study, he worked at night for the Sisters of Charity and the John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. During the Summer, he “externed” at the Memorial Hospital in Henderson, Texas, and the Marshall Hospital in Marshall, Texas. In school, he was a member of a fraternity, living in their house and enjoying all their activities. Virgil graduated from the University of Texas Medical School in June 1950. He was third in his class of 96 and was admitted into Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Honor Medical Society.

The Texas Board of Medical Examiners granted Virgil M. Holland, B.S., M.D., this license to practice medicine in Texas in July 1950. Before the examination, he had taken time to marry Evangeline Dennard, Carthage I.S.D. public school’s first and only school nurse from 1947 - 1951. The couple felt they were very fortunate to be able to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary together, before his death in 1990.

Dr. Holland interned at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas. Dr. Gregory, head of the Medical Department in the school wanted him to specialize in internal medicine and become an internal medical diagnostician. Dr. Holland was pleased to receive the offer, but he he felt it “would take too long and I wasn’t getting any younger.” He wanted to enter general practice, become a family physician, and fulfill his goal. He was a life [“Old Red”] member of the U.T. Galveston Medical School’s Alumni Association.

Upon completion of his John Sealy service, Dr. V.M. Holland had been offered a partnership to enter general practice at the Carthage Medical and Surgical Clinic in Carthage, Texas with Dr. Carl Prince and Dr. W.C. Smith: Mrs. V.M. Holland would continue to be the school nurse, but their plans had to change. Dr. W.C. Smith notified Dr. V.M. Holland that the partnership had an obligation to take back their partner, Dr. James M. Ashby, who was returning from the Korean War. The office space that was to be Dr. V.M. Holland would instead be returned to Dr. Ashby.

Dr. Lynn Hooker, whose clinic was also on West Panola, wanted Dr. V.M. Holland to join his clinical practice: but there was not enough room to set up an immediate practice there. This emergency need was taken care of by Dr. D. B. Daniel graciously offering to rent an office to Dr. Holland at the Panola Clinic on North Daniel Street for solo general practice. This help at this crucial time, after years of study and work, was always appreciated by both Dr. and Mrs. Holland in the years that followed.

However, Dr. Holland desired to enter a group practice, and soon he received an offer to join Dr. Coy Stone and Dr. Alfred “Al” Menson in Hobbs, New Mexico. It was too good an offer to turn down. Mr. Q. M. Martin, Superintendent of Carthage Independent School District, promised to release Evangeline, if she could talk Lou Tatum, R.N. into becoming the school nurse for Carthage I.S.D. The rest became history for Lou Tatum and school nursing in Panola County!

 (Hurray for Lou and Coach Tatum --- God Bless you! Always!)

-Evangeline, March 4, 1995


Friday, December 27, 2013


Letter from Dr. Virgil M. Holland to his daughter, Mary, who has provided some editing additions for clarification. -- Dated July 29, 1982

Dear Mary,
That was an interesting article on the large Ginkgo tree on the old Sam Allison farm out in Fairplay, Texas. There were a few things that even my book did not mention. Sammie was a great one for plants of all types. In his best years, I can remember that he had an orchard with pecan trees, apples, cherries, and pears; in the plot across the road from his house on FM 159 from the Henderson Hwy, US 79, to the north (right) of the barn. In the corner of the garden next to the smokehouse he had raspberries of several different types and colors. It was my delight to pick these through the picket fence when I was about four.

In the chicken yard where the fig trees are now behind the house, there were two huge fig trees. The trees there now are only the remains of one of these large figs. In the turkey yard, he had three fig trees of the large variety. These never seemed to have ever amounted to much... even though one persisted around by the pear tree until a freeze a few years ago did it in...to the roots. Over to the right of the pear tree was an apple tree that ripened in June. It was the first fruit to be available. There were small apples, seldom ever as large as lemons, but they were the best tasting apples that I can remember.

Further back in the orchard proper that now has only three large pecan trees; he had a chinquapin tree, a “Japanese” walnut tree, several varieties of plum and at least a dozen or more peach trees. Among the peaches were the Indian peach for pickles, peaches which the meat adhered to the seed, and peaches of the “clear-seed” kind and several Alberta’s, which are now synonymous with modern day peaches. There were about four apple trees of a type he called “horse apples”. I never saw one ripen. They were fit only for apple cobblers and pies, of which he was very fond. They were also used to make jelly. [Mary’s addition: there were also Hachiya “Japanese” persimmon trees. These had seeds and needed to be fully ripen before eating or they would cause one’s mouth to “pucker”.]

The yard around the house was full of flowers [Mary’s addition from memory: daffodils, hyacinths, jonquils, wisteria, snowflakes, a tulip tree and a massive old Magnolia...to name a few] and there was a rose garden (heirloom varieties with trellises) over on the south side of the driveway, by the house. [Mary’s addition: a red crepe myrtle and pomegranate tree were nearby] I can remember Sunday afternoons when he had visitors from all around... that were flower people...that came only to wander through the yard and garden to see his flowers and see what new varieties he had added in previous Winter. These folks usually left with an arm full of cuttings or bulbs. Sammie, no doubt, spent some time admiring their flowers and brought home new varieties.

He always liked to try new flowers and trees as witness the Ginkgo tree and Tulip tree that still blooms. (Mary’s addition: Great Uncle Sam once had a beautiful Japanese red maple outside the kitchen window.] The Ginkgo tree made it under very adverse circumstances. For years, it seemed to have been a mere sprout of a tree. Diamond Pope’s kids all rode it down when they were left under the sycamores while Diamond was working in the field. Sammie would get on to Diamond for letting the kids ride his tree, then she would break switches by the armloads from the same tree to whip the misbehaving kids. (The tree’s ancient ancestors probably survived similar treatment by animals, dinosaurs and such!)

Sammie’s real love was flowers and he always carried bundles to the church every Sunday. He eventually had enough varieties planted to have material for bouquets at any season of the year. In his dotage he even carried this a bit too far...and would make special trips to town just to pass out flowers to people. He didn’t just bring flowers, but had to visit for a spell and give a bit of the history of every flower. (I suspect a lot of his flowers ended up in the waste basket when he was gone.)

He had some of the same interest in certain animals. Pigs were just for bacon and ham ...cows, milk...and horses just draft power.
Poultry was where he gave way to his interests...He always had turkeys as far back as I can remember. He did not like ducks or geese...or Guineas...they always were getting out and messing up his flowers. His chicken yard looked like a Babylon of varieties...He specialized in the bizarre. He had “frizzled” chickens with curled up feathers...”bunnie” chickens that had no tails...bantams, and various other varieties for color and size. He kept all of these together and every setting of eggs was always a surprise package!

Love, Dad

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Eula Holmes Dennard, Mother of Evangeline Neal Dennard Holland, Wife of Dr. V.M. Holland

Eula Holmes Dennard

Birth: Dec. 22, 1896 Death: Jan. 26, 1919

Photo: After review this unmarked photo might be Eula with her mother Ada Costilla Drikell Holmes

If you have seen this photo before or have a copy of it and know who is in it, please leave a comment for me. FLH Editor

Spouse: Buford Leon Dennard

Parents: Henry Franklin Holmes (1868 - 1941) Ada Driskell Holmes (1873 - 1959)

Inscription reads: Wife of B.L. Dennard

Burial: Antioch Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery Carthage Panola County Texas, USA

Created by: EastTexan, on Find A Grave Memorial# 19760849

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Indian Troubles near Clayton from "Know Your Heritage" By Leila B. LaGrone

  Indian Troubles near Clayton "Know Your Heritage" By Leila B. LaGrone
The first Americans who inhabited what is now Panola County, were of two confederations: the Caddo and the Hasinai. The Sabine River was more or less the dividing line. The Caddo tribes lived from the Sabine northward to the Red River and into the Texarkana area. The Hasinai tribes lived west and south of the Sabine to the Angelina and upper Neches Rivers. Both confederations were settled people who had been living in the region for centuries. Apparently there was a tribe of Hasinai living in the Martin's Creek area and another near Old Trammel's Trace in southwest Panola County. A village of the Caddo confederation was in the Deadwood vicinity long before the migration began from the United States. Of the "Timber Tribes" of East Texas, there were two main divisions, the most important being Hasinai (ha-see-ni). These were the Indians commonly called Tejas by the Spaniards. There were several tribes of the Tejas. Although they were hunters, they were not fierce and warlike as were the Indians of the plains. Before any European explorers reached Texas, these confederations were friends with each other. Tejas meant "friends" or allies; and this title continued to be used by both Spanish and French in referring to the Hasinai and the name for the state came from Tejas. The Spaniards first named the land between Sabine and Angelina River "Texas" but later they expanded the territory to the Brazos, and still later, to the Rio Grande. In the early 1800's the Cherokee Indians, from their original home in the western Alleghenies, migrated to East Texas. They settled principally in Cherokee County, but some wandered into Panola and Rusk Counties. The first American settlers in Panola County were not disturbed by the Caddo nor Hasinai tribes. The bountiful supply of wild game made life encouraging for the pioneer settlements until after the Texas Independence. In 1837, the year after the Battle of San Jacinto, Mexican agents incited the Cherokees to hatred toward the settlers. The Cherokees were able to enlist the Caddoes as Allies and together they made attacks on many unprotected settlements. In February, 1837, an Indian attack hit the REED-HERRIN settlement near Clayton. In a skirmish with some half-dozen families in this settlement ISAAC REED JR., son of a founder of the settlement, was shot. When the Indians had become especially active, ISAAC REED had built a fort for protection of his settlement. When the news spread about Indian unrest, the settlers in the REED-HERRIN area moved into REED'S Fort. One evening the men went out to scout the countryside to see the damage done by Indians. They found a band stealing corn from REED'S son-in-law, HOUGH SHEPPARD. In the confrontation which followed, ISAAC REED JR., was mortally wounded. He killed the Indian who shot him and the body was found the next morning, and though REED was brought into the fort, he died during the night. He was wrapped in a blanket (or quilt) and buried, the first grave in Old Bethel Cemetery, near the REED home.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Andrew Jackson Holland, great grandfather of Dr. V.M. Holland

Andrew Jackson Holland, great grandfather of Dr. V.M. Holland

Birth: Dec. 22, 1860
Benton County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Nov. 22, 1941
Carroll County
Tennessee, USA

Son of Gilbert and Martha Frances Brigham Holland; Married Margaret "Maggie" Young 28 Aug 1888; Father of Eddie, Jewell, David Mordie, Halley Leroy, Adrain and Mammie.

Family links:
Gilbert Holland (1835 - 1896)
Martha Frances Brigham Holland (1840 - 1906)

Margaret Adaline Young Holland (1869 - 1941)*

Eddie Calvin Holland (1889 - 1904)*
Jewell Frances Holland Neely (1891 - 1985)*
Mamie Pearl Holland Kennon (1893 - 1950)*
David Mordie Holland (1895 - 1972)*
Willie Halbert Holland (1900 - 1967)*
Adrain Jackson Holland (1906 - 1990)*
Hal L Holland (1910 - 1976)*

*Calculated relationship

McLemoresville Cemetery
Carroll County
Tennessee, USA

Created by: Christa
Record added: Feb 12, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84850275

Andrew Jackson Holland, great grandfather of Dr. V.M. Holland

Andrew Jackson Holland, great grandfather of Dr. V.M. Holland Birth: Dec. 22, 1860 Benton County Tennessee, USA Death: Nov. 22, 1941 Huntingdon Carroll County Tennessee, USA Son of Gilbert and Martha Frances Brigham Holland; Married Margaret "Maggie" Young 28 Aug 1888; Father of Eddie, Jewell, David Mordie, Halley Leroy, Adrain and Mammie. Family links: Parents: Gilbert Holland (1835 - 1896) Martha Frances Brigham Holland (1840 - 1906) Spouse: Margaret Adaline Young Holland (1869 - 1941)* Children: Eddie Calvin Holland (1889 - 1904)* Jewell Frances Holland Neely (1891 - 1985)* Mamie Pearl Holland Kennon (1893 - 1950)* David Mordie Holland (1895 - 1972)* Willie Halbert Holland (1900 - 1967)* Adrain Jackson Holland (1906 - 1990)* Hal L Holland (1910 - 1976)* *Calculated relationship Burial: McLemoresville Cemetery McLemoresville Carroll County Tennessee, USA Created by: Christa Record added: Feb 12, 2012 Find A Grave Memorial# 84850275

Friday, August 2, 2013

Leland Holland's Family in Fairplay Texas

June Holland; three sons, Steve and wife Cindy, Tim and wife Sue of Shreveport,
and Terry and wife Debbie Jo, and their daughter Khakie Jo

Sunday, April 7, 2013

William Charles "Chuck" Sutlive, Jr. of East Texas, son of Robbie Jewel Fort Sutlive of Deberry, Texas

William Charles “Chuck” Sutlive, Jr.

Funeral services for William Charles ("Chuck") Sutlive, Jr., 59, of El Paso, TX, were held Sunday, September 16, 2012, at Peaceful Garden Funeral Home in Pecos, TX.

Born March 5, 1953 in Marshall, Texas, the son of Robbie (Fort) Sutlive and William Charles Sutlive, Sr., Chuck passed away Friday, September 14, 2012 at Kindred Hospital in El Paso, Texas, following an extended bout with diabetes and complications from that disease. Interment was in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery in Pecos, where several members of his wife's family are buried.

He was preceded in death by his father and his grandparents. His mother, Sutlive, Robbie Jewel Fort, 1929- , worked with Dr. V.M. Holland on the historical records of East Texas. She is a member of  Daughters of Texas Republic,  United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC).  Her major work was her own family: "Robbie Fort Sutlive's genealogical collection."  Contents: v. 1. James Sutlive and his descendants - v. 2. John Wesley Sutlive and his descendants, 1789 forward - v. 3. California J. Sutlive, daughter of John Wesley Sutlive, Sr. - v. 4. Mary (Polly) Catherine Sutlive Nading. Her research into the Sutlive, Nading, Moore, Gray, Henderson, and related families. She also complied three other works related to her family interests:

Register of deaths, Panola County, Texas, 1903-1917 Sutlive, Robbie Jewel Fort, 1929-

Walnut Springs Baptist Church and cemetery Sutlive, Robbie Jewel Fort, 1929-

Walnut Springs Cemetery Sutlive, Robbie Jewel Fort, 1929-

Mr. Sutlive attended Carthage Public Schools and graduated from Karnack High School in Karnack, TX with the class of 1972. He graduated from Panola College and attended Stephen F. Austin University for three semesters, majoring in journalism.

Chuck was exceptionally talented in writing and enjoyed covering sports events.

He worked in various capacities for several newspapers in Texas and Louisiana, including the Panola Watchman and the Panola Post in Carthage, as well as newspapers in Livingston, Katy, Marlin, Marshall, Pecos, Plano, Dallas and Atlanta, Texas. He also served on the staff of publishers in Vivian and Oil City, Louisiana.

He was a former policeman with the Pecos Police Department and served as a deputy with the Reeves County Sheriff's Office. He was employed with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for the past 15 years. He retired in 2012 due to complications from diabetes.

Chuck was an avid hunter and fisherman and was extremely knowledgeable about firearms. He was often contacted by other gun enthusiasts for information about the mechanism of all types of firearms. He was a very reliable source on that subject. He also enjoyed horseback riding and had received numerous awards in riding events while growing up in his beloved East Texas.

He accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour when he was eight years old and joined the Shady Grove Baptist Church, near DeBerry. He later united with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Marshall in 1975. Chuck had a strong Christian faith which he shared with his family and friends. He was a man of deep integrity and honesty. As a child, he would choose to tell the truth and accept his punishment, rather than tell a fib and escape discipline. Those characteristics remained a part of his personality for his entire life.

Survivors include his wife, the former Maby Hortencia DeLaGarza, of El Paso; one daughter, Briana Yvette (Sutlive) McRoy and husband, Casey, also of El Paso; one son, William Charles Sutlive, III; grandchildren, Alana and Casey McRoy, Jr., all of El Paso; his mother, Mrs. Robbie Sutlive of De Berry; and two brothers, Gary Lynn Sutlive and wife Dawn of Henderson and Jerry Glynn Sutlive of DeBerry; niece Cary Lynnita (Sutlive) Peterson and her husband, Jalon Peterson of Nacogdoches; one nephew, Derek Heath Sutlive and wife Kristin, of Henderson; numerous cousins and a host of friends who will miss him and mourn his death.

Pallbearers included Gary Sutlive, Jerry Sutlive, William Charles Sutlive, III, Casey McRoy, Sr., Edel DeLaGarza, and Manuel DeLaGarza.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6, 1836 Tapley Holland died at The Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) was a
pivotal event in the Texas Revolution.

Dr. V.M. Holland never found a link in his Holland family research to Tapley Holland who died at The Alamo on March 6, 1836. What seems to be true is that Colonel William B. Travis, who commanded the Alamo never drew a line in the sand and asked for volunteers to defend The Alamo to their death; therefore, Tapley Holland never stepped across it saying, "I regret having but one life to give for Texas!"

HOLLAND, TAPLEY (1810–1836). Tapley Holland, Alamo defender, one of six children of Margaret (Buck) and Francis Holland, was born in Ohio in 1810. His father had migrated from Canada to Louisiana and moved to Texas in 1822 as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred settlers. Tapley Holland, a resident of the Washington Municipality (present-day Grimes County), took part in the siege of Bexar. Later he served in the Alamo garrison as a member of Capt. William R. Carey's artillery company. Tapley Holland died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.


Daughters of the American Revolution, The Alamo Heroes and Their Revolutionary Ancestors (San Antonio, 1976). Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Bill Groneman, Alamo Defenders (Austin: Eakin, 1990).

Monday, March 4, 2013

My father, Dr. V.M. Hollland, of Fairplay, Texas was born today.

His father was David Mordie Holland. His mother was Louise Allison. Into a farming family in Fairplay, Texas, which is between Carthage, Texas and Henderson, Texas, he was the oldest of five children.

He is shown here with his family in Hobbs, New Mexico, where he was a physician, next to him is his son Frederick Leon Holland, his wife Evangeline Neal Dennard Holland, who is holding his daughter Mary Marie Holland. Dad was 72 when he died. What my mother told me was that he had been working out at the farm at Fairplay clearing a blocked sewage line to a septic tank on a white house where Bob Tatum, who was laying claim to being one of Mother's Dennard relatives,  and his  aging mother were staying. It was a cold October day and dad had gotten back after dark and was sitting in the kitchen drinking hot tea when he died suddenly and quickly in his work overalls and muddy farm boots, in his own home. This blog is dedicated to Dr. V.M. Holland, who grew up in East Texas, traveled around the world in the US Navy during World War II and ended up back in Panola County with the neighbors and family he grew up with during the Great Depression of 20th Century America. He was a young man during WWII and joined what has been called "The Greatest Generation" however, he would have argued with that assessment of his generation.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jessie Jo Dennard Wedgeworth, Sister-in-Law to Dr. V. M. Holland

Jessie Jo Dennard Wedgeworth

"Streaks Across The Sky"

by Jessie Jo Wedgeworth © 2013
from from her book Chimes of Time: A Collection of Poems

This morning-blue sky
Is overlaid with light streaks,
As tiny specks move swiftly
In the endless vastness,
Criss-cross to form contrails,
Which puff full, then,
Pushed by wind currents,
Break into thin wisps
And drift away into farther blue;
Streaks left as jets pass through.

What streaks do I leave, passing?

Occasional clean streaks
Sweeping dirty floors
Swiping spotted windows
Swishing dusty furniture

Little streaks of cheer
Cover others’ heartaches
Carry their loads
Comfort their souls

Is this all I can do?

My Prayer —
Please help me,
Speck that I am,
Leave meaningful streaks
Across the arch of my existence.

NOTE: my Aunt Jessie Jo was buried on the 10th Anniversity of  the tragic lost of  the shuttle Columbia, which broke apart as it re-entered the atmosphere and streaked across the Texas skies. Burned parts of the shattered spacecraft rained down across a broad expanses, much of it centered over Hemphill, Texas.

Jessie Dennard and family, c. 1930  based on the image of  Hilda Dennard (  85 in 2013) who appears to be  between 1 and 2 in this photo in the arms of her mother. Marion Dennard holding the doll in the front row thinks that is a good date for this photo, which shows Jessie Jo Dennard between her older step-sister Evangeline Neal Dennard ( to become Dr. V. M. Holland 's wife) and her younger brother James Dennard.

Like most members of both the Dennard and the Wedgeworth families, I have always felt close to my Aunt Jessie Jo Dennard Wedgeworth.  Her son Tracy Wedgeworth (Denny) was like my brother when I was grewing up as a boy up in Panola County. Her husband Tracy Wedgeworth (Uncle Tracy)  was one of the greatest men I have every known in my life. I used to follow him around like a puppy on trips to the dairy barn,  where I listen to the sounds of his voice and the sounds of the dairy and the smell of his pipe smoke and the cows with their feed, to the pasture to help out a cow having troubles with calfing, to a haunted house in a tractor pulled hay wagon one night, to have a gilt serviced by a boar, and always back again to Aunt Jo's table for my first (and by means not last) cup of coffee at the age of four or five... Jo had the largest platter of fried eggs I had ever seen in my life at her breakfast table for hard working dairy hands.  Later she worked at First National Bank where she retired with plans to travel with Tracy... who then passed away. Her Nanna grandmother career kicked into high gear... and along with it came her passion for writing poems, short stories, observations on life in and around Panola county. Her books were published for awhile ( and she had a large email list following and won  regional awards for poetry and short stories. Those books, especially the Joisms Series, were very popular with my Mom, Evangeline Neal Dennard Holland, who was her older step-sister,  and with my Wife, Deborah Ann Richey McAlister Holland, who is also an author,  and her small, self published booklets can still find them in libraries if you look hard enough. And then her brilliant flame slowly went out that fueled her writing. Her life became very quite.  She was always so polite and courteous when we visited in those later years... she told me on one visit not long ago that "I am done with that [my writing] you will have to make do with what you've got." Then she smiled and asked about how I was doing and how my family was doing ... Her life story was a great one. I will have to do with what I got of it. Hope you were in it. I am glad to have been in her story among the histories of  East Texas.

Jessie Jo Dennard Wedgeworth
July 1st, 1922 - January 30th, 2013


Quotes were writen by Jessie Jo Wedgewoth from her bio, "About Me" , from Chimes of Time: A Collection of Poems

"When I was born on a cotton farm near Terrell, Texas on a hot summer day in 1922, I was named after my grandfathers, Jesse Dennard and Joseph Heath. I have always been proud of my name.” Jessie Jo Dennard Wedgeworth was born July 1, 1922. She was one of four children born to the marriage of Buford Leon Dennard and Loma Heath Dennard. “We moved to East Texas when I was twelve; two years later we settled in the Clayton Community, and I still live within two miles of that place, as the crow flies. I graduated from Carthage High School in 1939 and attended SFA at Nacogdoches.”

Jesse married Tracy Howard Wedgeworth November 27, 1940. “In WWlI my husband, Tracy, was drafted and with our two little girls, Peggy and Patsy, I lived with my parents at Irving. When my husband was discharged from the army, we returned to East Texas, bought land and operated a daiiy many years. Our son, Denny, was born during this time. We worked hard developing the lfe we wanted and we were a happy, close-knit family, with our home and church the center of our lives.” Mrs. Wedgeworth was a member of the Cedar Grove Baptist Church where she served as the church clerk for 50 years. “After our two daughters left for college, I began a career in banking, which lasted over twenty-three years.” Jesse worked for the First National Bank of Carthage. “This was a very educational and fulfilling experience. My husband died of lung cancer two months after I retired in 1987, and I seriously began writing poetry and articles to help heal the grief of being forced to carve a new life alone.” Mrs. Wedgeworth was a writer of Poetry and member of the Rusk County Poetry Society. She volunteered with the Panola County Historical and Genealogical Association in the Old Jail House [where she worked with Dr. V. M. Holland, her brother-in-law, on historical reseach of Panola County]. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Tracy Wedgeworth in 1987, son-in-law, John Meek, sister, Evangeline Holland and brother, James C. Dennard.

Mrs. Wedgeworth is survived by her children, Peggy Wedgeworth of Nacogdoches, Patsy Waldrop and husband Doug of Carthage, Denny Wedgeworth and wjfè Barbara of Longview, brother, Robert H. Dennard and wfe Jane of Croton-on-Hudson, NY, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Dawn and Dan Killough, Abbie and J.P. of Winters, David Waidrop of Clayton and Fiancé Cris Barkowski of Bentonville, AR, stepdaughter, Madeline Lee of Pine Tree, Jessica and Kirk Carlisle, Anna Grace of Longview, Sabrina and Mark Westfall of Nacogdoches, step grandchildren, Jamie and Bart Eppenauer, Alex, Alyssa and Luke, Tern Lightfoot, Nolan and Pam Meek, Keith and Karen Meek, and Melanie.

Serving as pallbearers will be the Dennard and Wedgeworth nephews. The family
requests memorials to
 Cedar Grove Baptist Church, 1896 CR 106, Carthage, Texas
75633, Bethlehem Cemetery, 181 Emma Drive, Diana, Texas 75640, Marian Place
Assisted Living, 1690 NE Loop 59, Carthage, Texas 75633 or The Old Jail, 213 N.
Shelby, Carthage, Texas, 75633.

Funeral services for Mrs. Jessie Jo Dennard Wedgeworth, 90, of Carthage, Texas were held at  2:00 p.m. Friday, February 1, 2013 at the Cedar Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Freddy Mason and Rev. Dale Read officiating. Burial followed in the Bethlehem Cemetery under the direction of Hawthorn Funeral Home. Family visitation was on  Thursday 6-8:00 p.m. at the Wawthorn funeral home. Mrs. Wedgeworth died January 30, 2013 in Carthage, Texas.

Bethlehem Cemetery
1343 CR 108
Carthage, TX 75633

Books by Jessie Jo Wedgeworth (c) 2013

Chimes of Time: A Collection of Poems


Joisms 2, Etc.

A History of Cedar Grove Baptist Church

Bethlehem Cemetery, Genealogical Survey 1867-1990: Panola County, Texas

(c) Bethlehem Cemetery Association, 1990 - 114 pages


Sister to Robert H. Dennard , Fellow at IBM, inventor of DRAM