Saturday, March 16, 2013

John Jefferson House: Basic Family information


     1845 - 1928                                                                       1849 - 1919
John Jefferson House                                                    Samantha Jane Arnold

Samantha Jane (Arnold) & John Jefferson House
(Jane had brown eyes; John had blue eyes)

John Jefferson House was born on April 1, 1845, possibly in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Tuscaloosa county, which later Hale county after 1867). According to census records, his parents were born in South Carolina.  John had a sister named Alice who later married a Mr. Hunt; they lived in Wharton, Texas. John Jefferson House married Samantha Jane Arnold ("Jane") on November 15, 1872 (1874?) in Monroe, Mississippi.  (Note: Lottie Dean Burks House said her name was Mattie Samantha House.  Helen House says she has several notes in a writing desk that had "Mattie Samantha House" written on them).

The photos above are of a creamer which Samantha Jane (Arnold) House owned.  Mattie (Digby) Wesson graciously let me photograph it for this blog post.  Another item of Samantha Jane (Arnold) House that Mattie had is the hairpin depicted below:

Jane Arnold hairpin
Samantha Jane Arnold (tin type)

Samantha Jane Arnold was born on April 10, 1849, possibly in Monroe, Mississippi (Franklin county).
Jane had at least one sister (Note: She  had a sister named Molly Goode, who was a widow for many years) and a brother named Tom.  Her parents were born in either North or South Carolina, according to census records (One source lists both of her parents as coming from Georgia).  Her parents were William A. Arnold and Nancy (West) Arnold.  Samantha had a walking cane made from an apple tree.

Jane House's apple tree walking stick
(In possession of Bernice Cooper).

Brick from John Jefferson home in Mississippi which he
used as a doorstop.  He brought it to Texas
(In possession of Bernice Cooper).

John J. House was a farmer.  He and his wife resided in Pontotoc, Mississippi.  They came to Texas from Mississippi on a train when their son, Tom, was about 2-3 years old.  John J. House brought a brick with him to Texas which he used as a doorstop at his home in Mississippi.  In 1890, they lived in the Academy/ Heidenheimer area of Bell county (land between Academy and Temple in Bell county - about 3/4 miles from Little River - Academy school).

John J. & Samantha Jane (Arnold) House
 homeplace.  Val Verde, Texas
(Drawing by Carmen Snyder)

Interior of John J. House homeplace
Val Verde, Texas
(Drawing by Carmen Snyder)

In August, 2006, Pearl Digby said: "Samantha Jane (Arnold) House had a solid oak, square table in the middle of her living room.  She kept the family Bible on this table.  John J. House was always looking for somewhere to play dominoes and she said, 'You can play dominoes anywhere you want, but NOT on my Bible table.'"  In response to this story, Susan Blair said, "She was trying to keep him in line, wasn't she".  To this, Pearl replied, "No, he didn't need to be kept in line".

On June 4, 1900 (from census records), a boarder named Emma Howell lived with the John J. House family; she was born in March of 1865 in Mississippi (Note: Her father was born in Alabama; her mother was born in Tennessee).   Jane (Arnold) House died on December 18, 1919 in Temple, Texas (Route 7) at 7 am of pneumonia.  She was buried the next day at Greathouse cemetery in Bell county, Texas.  (Note: Her death certificate was filed on December 20, 1919; the undertaker was George W. Evans).  John Jefferson House died on October 13, 1928 (possibly at Little River, Texas in Bell county) and is also buried at the Greathouse cemetery

John Jefferson House
tombstone inscription
Greathouse Cem. Bell Co. Tx.
1' 1/2" tall; 1' 8 1/2" wide
Tombstone faces east.
Samantha Jane (Arnold) House
tombstone inscription
Greathouse Cem. Bell Co. Tx.
1' 5 1/2" tall; 1' 5" wide
Tombstone faces east


John J. House Death Certificate
Bureau of Vital Statistics in Ausin, Texas


Samantha Jane (Arnold) House
Death Certificate
Bureau of Vital Statistics,
Austin, Texas


 (Note: There is no death certificate in Bell county for John J. House.  The Falls county, Texas death records for 1928 - 1929 were burned over a drug store; the only way to get a copy of the certificate is to write the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Austin, Texas).  Pearl (Griffin) Digby remembers John J. House and Samantha as "the sweetest people."  She recalled an incident when she had just scolded a couple of kids for making too much noise in the house.  She said that John J. responded by saying, "The only time the kids bother me is when they cry."  Pearl (Griffin) Digby helped take care of John J. House the last few days of his life; she will always remember him as patient and kind.  She said they were the "ideal grandparents."  John J. and Samantha's old homeplace was still standing near the Little River-Academy school in 1979, according to Pearl (Griffin) Digby.  The homeplace was being used as a barn at that time.  Pearl Digby remembers the following stories about the old homeplace:
     a.  When the kids would come in from playing, they would have to sit in the chair on the front porch and stick their feet in the # 10 washtub (which always had clean water in it).  They would have to clean their feet before coming into the house.
     b.  The House family Bible sat on a table in the front bedroom/ living room off the front porch.  The kids would move the Bible off the table to use the table for playing dominoes.  J.J. House didn't mind them playing dominoes, but he didn't like the family Bible being moved around to accommodate  it.  John and Jane had eight children; one source says that five of the eight were born in Monroe, Mississippi (this disagrees with census information).

Bernice Cooper has John Jefferson House's pouch, which was stuffed full of old receipts from the 1800s.  She graciously let me photograph them:

John Jefferson House receipt pouch.  (In possession of Bernice Cooper).

Example of J.J. House receipt
Example of J.J. House receipt

John Jefferson House and Samantha Jane (Arnold) House had the following children:

The Children of John J. & Jane (Arnold) House:

Left to Right:
Bettie (Griffin) House, Luther House, Tom House, and Luce House

I.  Martin Luther House ("Luther"): He was born on September 13, 1873 in Monroe, Mississippi; he was a farmer.  He married Rachael Elizabeth Cable ("Lizzie") in 1894.  Lizzie was born in October, 1878 in Mississippi and died in 1931.  Both of her parents were born in Mississippi.  On June 4, 1900 (according to census records), a boarder named Jordan Jance (?) lived with Luther and Lizzie; he was born in Texas in April of 1880.  He was a farm laborer and his parents were from Arkansas.  Doris (Griffin) Herrington said that Luther was raised in Midland and had two adopted sons.  Luther died in 1948 and is buried in the Greathouse cemetery in Bell county, Texas.  They had the following children:
     A.  Lola House: She was  married and had two daughters.  She has been deceased for many years.
     B.  Bell House: She married a Mr. McBride.  They lived in the valley and had children.
     C.  Efie House: She was born in May, 1896 in Texas.  She married a Mr. Mills; they had no children.
     D.  Gene House:
     E.  Ernest House ("Slim"): He was married, but had no children.

II.  L.E. House (or W.Lucius House) ("Luce"):

Luce House

He was born on July 21, 1875 in Monroe, Mississippi (another source says Pontotac, Mississippi). Doris (Griffin) Herrington told the following about Luce: "He was tall and thin and was quite a character.  He worked in the cotton fields.  He was always telling funny stories about the black people who picked cotton with him. They went to the wash trough to clean up one day and Luce took his teeth out and laid them down by the trough.  A black boy just stared at them in disbelief.  Luce looked at him, then held the teeth out toward him and said, 'Hold these teeth while I unscrew my head.'  The boy was scared to death." He married Anna Jane Cobb ("Janie") in Bell county, Texas; she was Lizzie's neice (Luther House's wife).  Janie was born on August 4, 1876 in Pontotac, Mississippi, where her father was also born.  She died on June 21, 1952 in Heidenheimer, Texas in Bell county and is buried in the Greathouse cemetery with her husband.  Luce was a farmer by occupation and a Baptist by faith; he was not in military service.  He and his wife resided in the Academy area of Bell county, Texas.  Luce died on May 22, 1950 in Bell county and is buried at the Greathouse cemetery.

The Luce & Janie  House Family

     1   2    3    4                                   1.  W. Lucius House ("Luce")
             5    6                                      2.  Anna Jane (Cobb) House ("Janie")
                                                           3.  Inez House
                                                           4.  Anna Mae House
                                                           5.  Cleo House
                                                           6.  Clyde House

They had the following children:
     A.  Una House: She married Bryan Camp.They had children.
     B .  Inez House: She married Delton R. Chaney.  They had children.
     C.  Zula House: She died of diptheria when she was only twelve years old.

Zula House

     D.  Anna Mae House: She married Daryl (Daryll?) Webb.  They had children.
     E.  Clyde House: He married Jean Evans.  They had children.
     F.  Cleo House: Married Willie Thorpe.  They had children.

Doris Herrington said that Luce had a daughter named Ruby Lewallen, who lived in Temple, Texas.

III.  Nellie L. House: She was born on December 19, 1877 in Monroe, Mississippi.  She was not married and died in 1895.

IV.  Early Egbert House ("Early"): He was born on April 24, 1879 in Blue Springs, Mississippi (Union county) (Note: Bible records say Monroe, Mississippi).  He married Alice Smith on April 12, 1905 in Bell county, Texas; they were married by elder L.W. Preddy (Note: Billy Blair has the original wedding license).  (Note: Alice Smith was George Washington Griffin's cousin).  Early House was a ginner and retired farmer by occupation.  He lived in Bell county and never served in the military.  Early died at 6:15 am on November 2, 1957 on Route 1, Salado, Texas in Bell county; he died of heart disease.  Hewett Funeral Home made the arrangements and Early House was buried in the Salado cemetery in Bell county.
     A.  Gayle House: She  married Paul Spruill.  They had children.
     B.  Carmen Ercell House ("Carmen"): He married Edith Zelma Simmons ("Edith").  They had children.

V.  James E. House ("Jim" or "James"): He was born on March 14, 1883 (possibly May) in Monroe, Mississippi.  He was married to Bessie McDonald on February 9, 1908 in Bell county, Texas; they were married by J.G. Walker.  She was placed in a Buckner's orphanage when she was young.  Jim and Bessie resided in the Little River/ Academy area of Bell county.  Jim died of meningitis in Bell county about 1917-1918 during a flu epidemic and is buried in the old Volo cemetery in Bell county.  Bessie had a second husband named (2) Mr. Parker (Note: He was a relative of Bonnie Parker of the "Bonnie & Clyde" gang).  Bessie McDonald House Parker died in Pampa, Texas.  They had the following children:
     A.  James Clifton House:  (He went by the name Clifton until the army, then went by Jimmy).  He was born on February 10, 1913 in Bell county, Texas at the town of Little River.  He married (1) Betty June Keys in Pampa, Texas, (2) Ida Mae Hall in Burnett, Texas (When they separated, they both thought the other person filed for the divorce.  They married other people, then found out when they got back together again later), and (3) Ruby Mae (Courtney) Smith in Austin, Texas.  Jimmy died in September, 1981 of a heart attack in Lampasas, Texas.
     B.  Willie Gertrude House ("Bill"): She was possibly born in Bell county, Texas.  She married (1) Tommy Shores; he lived in New Mexico and was a ranch foreman, and (2) Billie O. Burgett, who lived in Safford, Arizona.  Bill House died in Shamrock, Texas (?).  She has children
(Note: Jimmy and Bill House have a half brother and a half sister).

VI.  Mary Elizabeth House ("Bettie"): She was born on December 30, 1885 in Pontotac, Mississippi.  She married George Washington Griffin ("G.W.") on November 29, 1903 in Milam county, Texas at the Methodist parsonage.  G.W. was born on May 14, 1883 (?) on the family farm in Milam county, Texas (?).  His parents were Joseph Griffin and Susannah Elizabeth Edwards.  G.W. Griffin's family moved to Milam county, Texas from Van Zant  county in east Texas.  Three places G.W. and Bettie resided in Bell county were: Salado, Val Verde, and Belton.  G.W. died on October 24, 1947; he is buried in the North Belton cemetery in Belton, Texas.  Bettie (House) Griffin died on November 21, 1981 at Crestview Manor Nursing Home in Belton, Texas and is buried in the North Belton cemetery.  They had the following children:
     A.  Ivy Griffin: She was born on November 28, 1904.  She was Baptist by faith and schoolteacher by trade.  Ivy died in 1948 in either Milam or Bell county, Texas; she is buried in the North Belton cemetery in Belton, Texas.  She married Lynn Moore on December 24, 1928.  They had children.
     B.  Pearl Griffin: She was born on February 15, 1907 east of Salado,Texas in Bell county.  She was a teacher by occupation; she was of the Methodist faith at first, then became affiliated with the Disciples of Christ church soon after her marriage in 1929.  Her family attended the First Christian Church in Belton, Texas.  She married Martin Van Digby ("Mart") on December 7, 1929 at the Methodist parsonage in Belton, Texas.  Mart was born on April 1, 1907 at home in Santa Anna, Texas in Coleman county.  He worked as a clerk and ran "The Car Mart" in Belton for many years.  He was in the Civil Service at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas during World War II.  His religious faith was at first, Baptist, then later was Disciples of Christ.  Mart died on August 22, 1966 at Scott and White hospital in Temple, Texas and was buried the next day at 4:00 pm in the North Belton cemetery in Belton, Texas.  His parents were William Seaborn Digby ("Will") and Mattie Minerva Wallace ("Mattie").  Mart and Pearl had children.
     C.  Jewell Griffin: She was born on September 30, 1910 near Salado, Texas.  She married Hubert Johnny Elsik on September 8, 1934 in Temple, Texas in Bell county.  He was born on February 3, 1908 in Burleson county, Texas.  He was a public school administrator; they have resided in Snook, Amarillo, Killeen, and Houston, Texas.  He was an instructor at Air Cor during World War II.  He is a member of the Christian church.  He died on February 24, 1963 in a Houston hospital and is buried at Memorial Oaks cemetery in Houston.  His parents were John F. Elsik and Teresa Kocurek.  Jewell's occupation was that of a registered nurse.  She was an Episcopalian in 1979, but later became Methodist.  They had children.
     D.  LaRena Griffin ("Rena"): She was born on August 15, 1914 near Salado, Texas in Bell county.  She married Carl Alfred Shine ("Alfred") on May 25, 1935 at the Everett Boarding House in Teague, Texas.  He was born on April 24, 1914 in Belton, Texas.  He was a telegraph operator by occupation and Methodist by  faith.  His parents were James Edmond Shine and Ella Kirchner.  Alfred had another wife named Lucille Barach. Rena was also Methodist and a telegraph employee.  She died on March 22, 1985 in Waco, Texas and was buried on March 25th in Waco Memorial Park.  They had children.
     E.  Georgia Ruth Griffin ("Georgia"): She was born on February 24, 1924 in Val Verde, Texas.  She married Arnold Roen; they met when she worked at the Air Force base in Waco,Texas.  Georgia later worked at the Registrar's office at Mary Hardin Baylor College, which helped pay for their children's education.  Georgia was a musician, did oil painting, and was a housewife.  For a period of time, Georgia worked for Glenn Blair at his office at Hill Top Courts; she had a desk in the back room of his office and helped with bookkeeping.  The death of Carol, her youngest child, was very difficult for her.  They are Baptist by faith and attend First Baptist Church in Belton, Texas.  Georgia died at the end of 2016; her funeral was at First Baptist Church in Belton, Texas where she and Arnold were very active.  It was stated at this service that they had written down their life story for their family.  Craig Pearson spoke at the service.  The Pearsons were Swedes and the Roens were Norwegian.  Arnold and Mr. Pearson would "go at it" all the time in fun with a twinkle in their eyes.  Pastor Andy Davis said that one of Georgia's most memorable quotes regarding Arnold was, "Don't get him started".  Arnold had a great sense of humor, was a wonderful storyteller, and a great mechanic/ handyman.  Georgia and Arnold had  the following children:
          1.  Janet Roen:
          2.  Karen Roen:
          3.  Carol Beth Roen: She was born on October 18, 1952 and died on April 20, 2006 after many years of struggling with a brain tumor.  She was cremated and her ashes were spread among the wildflowers in her back yard.
     F.  Virginia Doris Griffin ("Doris"): She was born on October 9, 1928 at home in Val Verde, Texas.  She married Kenneth Herrington on October 20, 1951 at First Baptist Church in Belton, Texas.  He was born on October 12, 1927 at home in the Killeen, Texas area.  He was an M.P. (Military Police) in the Army for eighteen months.  His parents were Felix Harvey Herrington and Sarah Manurvia Burris.  They had children.

VII.  Thomas Edward House ("Tom"):

Thomas Edward House, Lois Vernice Owens and Effie (House) Mills 

Tom & Lois House, Greathouse Cemetery, Bell Co. Tx.
Thomas House - World War I Service

Thomas Edward House was born on January 2, 1888 in Pontotac, Mississippi.  He married Lois Vernice Owens ("Lois") on September 5, 1920.  She was born in 1897 in Milam county, Texas and she died in 1979.  In World War I, Tom was a private in MG Co. 141 Infantry.  Tom died on March 29, 1955 and is buried in the Greathouse cemetery in Bell county, Texas.  They had the following children:
     A.  Margaret Alleen House: She was born on January 25, 1923 in Temple, Texas in Bell county.  She was married and she died at 7:10 am of a ruptured appendix on September 29, 1937.  She is buried at the Greathouse cemetery in Bell county.
     B.  Thomas Owen House: He married Margaret Cooper (or Cooke).  They had children.
     C.  Bernice House: She was born on August 12, 1926 at home in Bell county, Texas.  She married Joe Cooper on August 19, 1944 at a parsonage in Salado, Texas in Bell county.  Joe was born on August 1, 1925 at home in Bell county.  He was a farmer and a Methodist preacher.  He served thirteen months in the Air Force.  His parents are James Blasdel Cooper and Bessie Mae (Northern) Cooper from Salado.  They have resided in several towns in Texas including Holland, Coleman, Troy, Temple, Whitney, and LoRena.  They had children.
    D. Bernard  Lee House: He was born on August 12, 1926 at Little River, Texas in Bell county.  He married Patricia Louise Wallach ("Pat" or "Patti") on November 26, 1948 in Eunice, New Mexico.  She was born on July 27, 1930 in Seminole, Oklahoma; they are both Methodist by faith.  Patti's parents are Paul Wallach and Louise (Misenheimer) Wallach.  Bernard and Patti had the following children:
          1.  Bernard Lee House Jr.: He married Jennie Lang.
          2.  Charles Leon House: He married Ellen Ward.
(Note: Doris Herrington said that Bernard's daughter has pictures and tin types of the family.  She also said that Bernard's wife Patti has the House family Bible.  She has been living in Midland, Texas since Bernard died).

VIII.  Fred House:  He was born on July 6, 1893 at Little River, Texas in Bell county.  He married Lottie Dean Burks ("Lottie") on May 6, 1916 at Heidenheimer, Texas in Bell county; they were married by J.G. Walker.  Lottie was born on August 14, 1897 in Prairie Dell, Texas.  She was Baptist by faith; her parent's names are Richard Burks and Mattie Dean.  Lottie died on November 2, 1994 in Tahoka, Texas in the panhandle and is buried there.  Fred's occupation was that of a farmer and carpenter.  He did a lot of work at Air Force bases.  He and Lottie lived in Bell county, Texas around Holland and Salado.  He played baseball at the town of Academy.  He ran a meat market in Salado.  Fred was a Baptist by faith; he did not serve in the military.  In August of 1926, they went to Lynn county, Texas; Fred had always wanted to go to west Texas.  Fred died on March 8, 1976 (?) in Tahoka, Texas and is buried there.  They had the following children:
     A.  Clint House:  Samantha Jane (Arnold) House said she always wanted to have a grandson named Clint.  He was born on May 22, 1923 in Holland, Texas in Bell county.  He married Wanda Scherer; they have no children.  They live at Henrietta, Texas near Wichita Falls (Note: One source said they lived at Burt Burnett, Texas near Wichita Falls).  They were  married on June 29, 1963.
     B.  Helen Samantha House: She was born on February 7, 1917 at Little River, Texas in Bell county.  She married (1) Bill Biggerstaff.  They were married on June 4, 1949.  He died in November, 1976 in Lubbock, Texas, and (2) W.H. Farr on June 11, 1981 in Tahoka, Texas.  Helen worked for the Justice of the Peace.  She had no children from either marriage.

1.  House/ Griffin reunion in Belton, Texas (Bell county) on June 9, 1990.
2.  Census:
     a.  1900 Milam county, Texas.
     b.  1900 Bell county, Texas.
     c.  1850 Monroe county, Mississippi (Samantha Jane Arnold).
3.  Bell County History, volumes 1 & 2.
4.  Pearl (Griffin) Digby: 1979; August 19, 2006
5.  Thomas House.
6.  Cemetery Records of Bell County (Greathouse cemetery, page 41).
7.  Early Egbert House death certificate, Bell county, Texas.
8.  Samantha Jane (Arnold) House death certificate, Bell county, Texas (John J. House is listed as the informant).
9.  Tap Root magazine (Alabama section), volume 12 (Misc. "House Family Bible" information).
10. South Carolina wills (downtown Fort Worth library).  (Misc. "House" information).
11. Information from Mary Elizabeth House family Bible (supplied by Pearl Digby in March, 1979).
12. House/ Griffin reunion in Belton, Texas (Bell county), 1993.
13. Wanda House.
14. House/ Griffin reunion in Belton, Texas (Bell county) in 1995 (Lake Belton pavillion).
15. Bernice Cooper, 1993 (Information the sister of John J. House and the brother/ sister of Samantha Jane Arnold.  Bernice has Samantha Jane Arnold's photo album, a picture of Alice Hunt, Samantha Jane Arnold's apple tree cane, and a brick used as a doorstop from John Jefferson House's home in Mississippi).
16, Pearl (Griffin) Digby conversation, June 9, 1990
17. Early Egbert House death certificate, Bell county, Texas (Informant: J.C. Spruell).
18. Early Egbert House & Alice Smith wedding license.
19. Barbara Kinsey, 1995.
20. Bernard Lee House ("Bernie"), 1995 House/ Griffin reunion, Belton, Texas. (He's from Midland, Texas.  Sabine Production Co.).
21. Death certificate of Margaret House, Bell county, Texas.
22. Clint & Wanda House, June 17, 1995.
23. Helen House.
24. Jewell (Griffin) Elsik, 1993.
25. Kathy (Shine) Hamilton, 1993.
26. Doris Herrington, June 19, 1993.
27. Doris Herrington letter dated January 13, 1994.
28. House/ Griffin Reunion at Belton, Texas (Bell county), 1997.
29. Pearl (Griffin) Digby, 1997 Reunion.  Stories about the John J. Homeplace in Bell county, Texas.
30. Carmen Snyder (Drawings of John Jefferson & Samantha Jane (Arnold) House homeplace, Val Verde, Texas (Bell county).
31.  Mary Elizabeth (House) Griffin.
32.  Odell & Cody Hyer.  106 West 14th street. Belton, Texas. 76513.  (817) 939-2577.
33.  Information from back of photo of John & Jane House (photo in possession of Arnold & Georgia Roen family in Belton, Texas).
34.  Doyle Ray  Moore, 1979.
35.  Heartfield Funeral Home records, Belton, Texas regarding Mary E. Griffin on December 21, 1981.
36.  John J. House Death Certificate, Bell county, Texas.  Bureau of Vital Statistics in Austin, Texas.  Image copied from website.
36. Mattie (Digby) Wesson: Has Samantha Jane (Arnold) House's creamer and hairpin which she allowed Billy Blair to photograph.
37. Doris (Griffin) Herrington phone call in August, 2006.

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