Shelby County Rootsweb Facts
Week Ending February 21, 2003


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LOVE AND A TRAIN WHISTLE---An often told story of love and a Train Whistle that touches the heart and reminds us of a time when love and fidelity were synonymous occurred in the early 1900's.  An epitaph on a stone in Fairview Cemetery is inscribed "Inez Mills, d. of A.H. Mills, Jan. 1 1893, March 11, 1911. Beautiful, lovely, she was given a fair bud on earth to bloom in heaven." No praise written on a tombstone however can equal the eulogy of brokenhearted Tom Williams to his dead sweetheart whom he never forgot.  It had no words, but no one who heard it ever forgot it.  Tom was an engineer for the Gulf Coast and Santa Fe Railroad; and from the first, his train whistle was distinctive, and people recognized it.  During stopovers in the town he met, courted and won the hand of Inez Mills.  She would get into her buggy and meet him near the tracks on Shelbyville Street.  On a particular occasion, while she was waiting for Tom to arrived; he in anticipation, let out a whistle blast that spooked the horse and the buggy overturned; Inez was killed and was buried in Fairview Cemetery.  Tom never forgot his sweetheart, and until he retired he never let us forget her.  From about five miles out, from Fairview Cemetery, he would let out long, lonesome blasts on that special whistle until he reached and passed the cemetery.   He never married, and only after he retired did he take his special whistle with him to Jasper where the lived until his death. 



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   Jo Ann Thompson, 68, of Timpson died February 15, 2003 in Nacogdoches. Burial was in Corinth Cemetery.  Born January 9, 1935, in Timpson, she was the daughter of Talmadge and Clara Rhodes Stilley.  Ms. Thompson is survived by husband, Billy Thompson; Daughter, Pam Todd of Carthage; Brothers, Delton Stilley of Wichita Falls and Bobby Stilley of Houston; Sister, Hilda Watson of Brownsville.  Taylor Funeral Home.
   Neppie "Bea" Spurlock, 76, of Center died February 15, 2003 in Lubbock.  Burial was in Willow Grove Cemetery.   Born October 9, 1926, in Deadwood, she was the daughter of Jim and Nannie DeWitt Pugh.  Ms. Spurlock is survived by Sons, James Owen Spurlock of Mineola, Robert Allen Spurlock of Longview and John Thomas Spurlock of Allen; Daughters, Nelda Spurlock Flores of Lovington, New Mexico, Patricia Spurlock Gurganus of Livingston, Betty Spurlock of Stone of Teague, Eva Spurlock Lewing of Mexico and Penny Spurlock Gourdon of Floydada; brother, Joyce Pugh of Stanford.  Mangum Funeral Home.
   Jesse " Bubba" Allen, Jr., 72, of Center died February 18, 2003 in Center.  Burial was in Shelbyville Cemetery.   Born March 3, 1930, in Gonzales County, he was the son of Jesse T. Allen, Sr. and Evelyn Ruth McGinty Allen.  Mr. Allen is survived by his wife, Iris McLean Allen; Sons, Terry Allen of Center and Michael Allen of Joaquin; Sisters, Shirley Carter of Shelbyville and Marilyn Allen of Longview.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
   Tramarsha Gilbert, 51, of Orange, died February 16, 2003.  Cremation was requested. Born November 15, 1951, in Center, she was the daughter of Travis Raymond and Martha Warren O'Rear.  Ms. Gilbert was preceded in death by her husband David Gilbert.  Survivors include her daughter, Tisha Watson of Center. 
   Clinton Webb, 68, of Shelbyville died February 13, 2003 in Shelby Regional.   Cremation was requested.  Mr. Webb was born June 6, 1934 in Shelby County.   Survivors include nieces Lisa Galloway of Bronson and Savannah Gould of Nacogdoches.   Mangum Funeral Home.
   Preston Roy Hancock, 92, died February 19, 2003 in Houston.  Burial was in White Rock Cemetery.  Mr. Hancock was born September 18, 1911 in Waterman Community.  He is survived by grandson Roy Glen Brown and many cousins.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home