Shelby County News

Week Ending February 24, 2005


Corrections/Additions/New Stuff 



        In the early 1930's, across from the grammar school on Nacogdoches Street stood the Napier Hotel.  Next to this hotel was a small building known as the "Little Rock Inn."  It exists now only in memory, but was a special place for the 30's and 40's generation that attended the two story grammar school.  Built in native stone; it couldn't have been more than 15 feet wide and 18 feet deep.  A small bench sat in front, where you would see children enjoying the treats purchase in the Inn. 
        Mr. Eli Napier had it built and operated it along with the Napier Hotel.  Inside on the left was an ice cream box holding such wonders as Fudgesickles, Popsickles, Double Dip Cones and best of all frozen candy bars and frozen cokes.  With a purchase Mr. Napier would had you a long coil of wire to jog up the ice.  You stood there while the "Coke" spewed out on your hands to be licked off.  All items were 5 cents.  In the back stood the stove with a pot of chili and another pot of made up hamburgers - again 5 cents each.  Change was made from Mrs. Sanford's apron pocket; she'd  hold the hamburger till you paid, drop the coin into her pocket and hold out another burger for the next child.  When you asked, she would dip up a bowl of chili and and hand you a napkin wrapped pack of four crackers.  Eating was a quick matter at the little counter or outside in the shade, but nothing ever tasted better. 

        To the right an ice box and three shelves, the length of the store with penny candy galore, and to one side, the more sophisticated 5 cent bars and unimportant things like pencils and paper.  Mr. Napier kept count as you selected: "That's one, that's two," dropping them into a small sack.  If you wanted more than 5 cents worth, he'd ask to see your money, since most of us had a nickel or less.  Very small children had to lay their money on the counter before the transaction began.  What a thrill to walk away feeling the knobby package while your friend who'd already eaten his or her candy looked on.  "Give me some of yours, and I'll give you some of mine tomorrow."
        At the end of the counter was a metal box with a coin slot, a trigger and a viewing window.  For one cent you could look at such wonderful scenes as Niagara Falls, Indian Chiefs in full dress, wild animals and tropical flowers.  When you left the store, you might meet Mr. Wheeler coming over to check on things, to see that the students didn't linger too long and maybe get something himself.
        The "Little Rock Inn" operated into the 1950's, but time and students brought about it close.  The building was sold and was used for an office.   The little place that had so many memories was torn down along with the old hotel about 1970.  It is now wonderful memory of those who experienced those days with the"Little Rock Inn."

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    James Ellis Pate, 82, of Huxley died February 16, 2006 in Center.  Burial was in Wimberly-Rayburn Cemetery.  Born February 10, 1924, in Dry Creek, Louisiana, he was the son of J. E. Pate, Sr. and Eugina Cole Pate.  Mr. pate was a veteran of World War Ii and retired from Texaco.  Survivors include his wife, Bernice Tamplin Pate of Huxley; son, Donald Wayne Pate of Orange; daughter, Julie Boese of Magnolia; sisters, Letha Langford of Vidor and Louise Powers of Moss Bluff, Louisiana.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
    T. E. "June" Whitten, 82, of Patroon died February 16, 2006, in Center.  Burial was in Patroon Cemetery.  Born September 14, 1923, in patroon, he was the son of O. B. and Delia Mae Whitten.   Survivors include his wife, Margaret Whitten of Patroon; daughters, Donna Husley of Patroon and Holly Hagler of Shelbyville; son, Pete Whitten of Patroon; sister, Neil Fields of Center.   Mangum Funeral Home.
    Marie Robinson, 73, of Center died February 17, 2006.  Burial was in Oaklawn Memorial Park.   Born September 6, 1932, in Center, she was the daughter of K. E. Walker and Maurine Humphries Walker.  Survivors include her husband, Billy Robinson of Center; daughters, Linda Mason of Woden and Terri Byran of Jasper; brother, Gene Walker of Center.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
    Malakai Mitchell Glaze, 2-1/2 months, died February 18, 2006 at his home.  Burial was in Restland Cemetery, Tenaha.  Born December 14, 2005, in Center he was the son of Tasha Glaze and Eric Nobles.  Survivors include his parents; sister, Lexi Dupree of Tenaha; brother, Nicky Dupree of Tenaha; grandparents, Susan and James Conner of Galveston and Carlyon Edwards of Center.  Mangum Funeral Home.
    Irene Largent, 90, of Center died February 19, 2006.  Burial was in Oaklawn Memorial Park.   Born January 27, 1916, in Center, she was the daughter of George and Nancy Biggers Hughes.  Mrs. Largent was married to Arvin Largent and he preceded her in death.  Survivors include daughter, Mary Eddins of Center; son, David Largent of Brownsboro; sister, Lela Mitchell of Center.   Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
    Marjorie Evelyn Johnson, 76, of Jasper died February 17, 2006 at her residence.   Burial was in Mt. Herman Cemetery, Shelby County.  She was born November 19, 1929.   Mrs. Johnson was a member of Eastern Star, Daughters of The Republic of Texas and the Texas Historical Commission.  Survivors include her husband J. Howard Johnson of Jasper, daughter, Daphine Sandoz of Port Arthur; stepson James Johnson of Bridge City  and stepdaughters, Sandy Stell of Houston, Yvonne Krumnow of Bridge City and Fran Johnson of Jasper.   Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
    Caroline Brown, 82 of Keachie Louisiana died February 11, 2006 in Nacogdoches.  Burial was in Africa (St. John) Cemetery.  Survivors include daughters, Gloria Fields of Chireno, Dorothy Thomas of Center and Ladell White of Oaklawn, California; sons, Willie Brown and Nathaniel Brown, both of Nacogdoches.  Community Funeral Home.
    Arvin Wilson, 85, of Eastland died Febrary 15, 2006.  Burial was in Willow Grove Cemetery.  Born December 10, 1920, in Paxton, she was the daughter of Alex and Edna Singletary.  Mrs. Wilson was preceded in death by her husband Steve Wilson.  Survivors include relatives and friends.  Mangum Funeral Home.
    Cloteal Jansen, 89, of Center died February 21, 2006 in San Augustine.  Burial was in Oaklawn Memorial Park.  Born July 8, 1916, in Shelby County, she was the daughter of Willie and Annie Anderson Elshire.  Mrs. Jansen was married to Clyde Jansen, and he preceded her in death.  Survivors include daughters, Marie War of Diaboll and Helen Holloway of San Augustine; son, David Jansen of Huxley.  Mangum Funeral Home
    Gene Warren, 76, of Center died February 21, 2006.  Burial was in Zion Hill Cemetery, Henderson.  Born July 5, 1925, he was the son of Shorty and Winnie Lee Warren.  Survivors include wife, Ruby Warren of Center; son, Randy Warren of Center; daughter, Jan Rowold of Tenaha; sister, Clara Nell Bradshaw of Center.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
    Anita Watson Nichols, 59, died February 23, 2006 in Tyler.  Burial was in Oaklawn Memorial Ppark.  Born December 2, 1946, in Shelby County, she was the daughter of Robert Earl Watson and Mittie Buren Cassell Watson.  Mrs. Nichols was preceded in death by her parents; husband, W. H. "Hookey" Nichols; infant daugther Carla Nichols.  Survivors include daughters, Barbara Walton, Rose Fuller, Carol Fram, Marter Kenderdine all of Center; brothers, Bobby Watson and Bill Watson, both of Center.  Mangum Funeral Home.
    Alton Dickerson, 68 of Joaquin died February 19, 2006. Burial was in Brookland Cemetery.   Mr. Dickerson was preceded in death by his parents Clinton and Ida Dickerson.  Survivors include sister, Lucy McGee and Annie Ruth Stephens: brothers, Jack and Wayne Dickerson.

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