Shelby County Rootsweb Facts
Week Ending December 26, 2003


WALLER Sarah Beane PRESCOTT Sarah Beane WHEAT Sarah Beane

Corrections/Additions/New Stuff 

To view previous weeks Shelby County Facts - Click here

Sign our Guestbook ----   images/sign.gif (4015 bytes)

Joe Shields, died 1892 has been added to the Buena Vista Cemetery.


******Did you know?******

Coal Mine in Shelby County

        Hidden by pine trees not far from the town square is an old abandoned mine rich with the mineral that has lured men into the depths of the earth.            The mineral is coal, but trying to market it here would be like piping natural gas to London.
        Time was, around 1910, when men and machines and money were poured into a mine operation here, but the project ended up as worthless as a garbage dump.
        The mine opened about 1910 and from the beginning had a limited market.  Because of the abundance of wood, individuals weren't interested in paying good money for "dirty rocks."
        The mine's main customers were the cottonseed oil mill and light plant which used the fuel to feed its steam engines.
        During the several years of the operation, mines were tunneled under a large section of the pine forest near Center.  No one was ever killed or even hurt in the mines, but a couple of men were trapped by a cave-in for a few hours, but they were rescued.
        It was the market, not the mines, that finally gave out.  The No. 1 customer -- the Mill -- was moved to another area of the state, and a short time later the light plant was sold.  Although long abandoned, the mines are still there and so is the coal.
        The Zeb Bridges home located near the mining area, sits on a solid hill of coal.  Right after World War II, Mr. Zeb Bridges was drilling a water well and hit coal at a depth of 18 feet, they went on to bring in water, but it had so much iron in it that it ruined utensils.
        During one period the city used the area as a junk yard, filling up some of the tunnels and cave-ins with garbage and scrap metal.    After the coal operation folded in the early 1900s, there was only one other time that the area was excavated.  During World War II some people dug up the old wrecked cars that had been there since the junk yard days and got parts off them.   (edited from article in Chronicle of East Texas bureau, date unknown)


   This page is open for anyone to submit information or queries.
Just email


I would like to contact any relatives of Hansel Ritter b. 4/4/1929 son of Snap Ritter and Myrtle Scott. William Pressly e-mail 2


Would like to find the father of Martha L Kennon w/o Samuel H. Denby.  Her children were born in 1907 and 1909. Any help appreciated.
Theresa 2


   Jack Earl King, 71, died December 16, 2003.  Burial was in Truitt Cemetery, Shelby County.  Mr. King was born October 7, 1932, in Seattle, Washington. Survivors include his wife, Joyce Ann King; daughters, Debbie Valentine and Angela Malaer.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home.    
   Vera G. Phillips, 69, died December 8, 2003. Burial was in New Hope Cemetery, Timpson.   Born December 17, 1933, in Eudora, Arkansas, she was the daughter of Ephfrin Griffin and Flossie Todd Griffin.  Mrs. Phillips was preceded in death by her parents Ephfrin Griffin and Flossie Todd Griffin.  Survivors include husband, Douglas Phillips; daughter, Joan Jefferson of Dallas; son, Floyd Phillips of Dallas; sisters, Hattie Griffin of Arkansas and Dossie Lee Griffin of Chicago, Illinois.  Hicks Mortuary.
   Marie Oliver, 68 of Center died December 21, 2003 in Longview.  Burial was in Spann Chapel Cemetery.  Born June 15, 1935, in Panola County, she was the daughter of Odis and Ruth Barron Ross.   Survivors include husband, J.C. Oliver of Center; daughters, Diane Shurtleff of Mt. Pleasant and Patsy Parry of Center; son, Michael Oliver of Center; brothers Glenn, Ross and Billy Don Ross, both of Center and Reed Ross of Longview; sister, Elaine Bryant of Crockett.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
   Clara Capers Nettles, 88, of Timpson died December 21, 2003, in Mansfield, Louisiana.  Burial was in Corinth Cemetery, Timpson.  Born July 30, 1915, in San Jacinto County, she was the daughter of Julius L. and Bertie Adams Capers.  Survivors include husband Henry M. "Paul" Nettles of Timpson; son, Harvey A. Tipton of Timpson; brothers, T.L. Capers of Dodge, Charles Capers of Florida, J.M. Capers of Houston, Jimmy capers of Cleveland; sisters, Lula Currie of Oakhurst, Mollie Mae Currie of Staley and Mary Lou Pridgen of Livingston.   Taylor Funeral Home.
   Roy E. Fenton, 79, of Center died December 22, 2003, in Nacogdoches.   Burial was in Good Hope Cemetery.   Born October 7, 1924, in Cushing, he was the son of Albert and Susan Anna Mason Fenton.  Mr. Fenton was preceded in death by his son, Jeff Fenton and grandson, Clint Fenton.  Survivors include his wife, LaVerne Cates Fenton of Center; sons, Johnny Fenton of Brazosport, Jimmy Fenton of Nacogdoches, Spencer Fenton of Shelbyville and Bill Fenton of Center; sisters, Charlsie Harrison and Vivian Mott of  Zavalla, Louisiana; brother, Hester Fenton of Hearne.  Mangum Funeral Home.
   Bennie F. Lindemann, 83, of Joaquin died December 23, 2003 in Center.   Burial was in Oaklawn Memorial Park.   Born January 14, 1920, in Hamburg, Germany, he was the son of Richard and Bertha Lindemann.  Mr. Lindemann is survived by his wife, Bonnie Lindemann of Joaquin; son, Ted Lindemann of Friendswood; sister, Lillian Lindemann Smith of San Antonio; brothers, Albert Lindemann of Seguin and Gehardt Lindemann of San Antonio.  Mangum Funeral Home.
   Edwina A. Jones, 78, of Orlando, Florida died December 22, 2003 in Orlando, Florida. Burial was in Oaklawn Memorial Park, Center.   Born May 11, 1925, in Mullins, she was the daughter of Mark C. Newbury and Dora Hensley Newbury.  Mrs. Jones was married to Arlon Jones, and he preceded her in death.  Survivors include son, Ron Jones of Orlando; daughters, Lynn Partain of Shreveport, Louisiana; Arlene Padgett of Orlando and Deniece Mungo of Charlotte North Carolina; sisters, Faye Brewer and Aline Teague, both of Brownwood.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home
   Betty Ruth Hailey Jones, 69, of Nacogdoches died December 23, 2003 in Nacogdoches.  Burial was in Smith Cemetery.   Mrs. Jones was married to Charles Jones and he preceded her in death.   Survivors include daughters, Joy Honea of Woden, Glenda Lightfoot and Susan Hargis, both of Nacogdoches; sister, Novis Cox of Normangee.  Mangum Funeral Home.
   Albert Benjamin Smith, 85, of Center died December 22, 2003.  Burial was in Cedar Yard Cemetery, Center.  Born February 19, 1918, in Sharon, Idaho, he was the son of Thomas and Lucy Crossley Smith.   Survivors include his wife, Maurine Smith of Center; sons, Gerald Smith of Tremonton, Utah, Hayden Smith of Roy Utah, Warren Smith of Denver Colorado; daughters, Carolyn Tibbetts of Moab, Utah, Melanie Liechty of Logan, Utah; brother, Nathan Smith.   Mangum Funeral Home.
   Wilma Tidwell Eddins, 79, of Center died December 23, 2003 in Center. Burial was in New Hope Cemetery.  Born January 5, 1924, in Shelby County, she was the daughter of Dee and Arleva McSwain Williams.   Survivors include son Benny Eddins of Center; daughters, Jeanette Willis of Henderson and Edwanda Rigsby of Las Vegas, Nevada; brothers, Norman Williams and Charles Ray Williams, both of San Augustine.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home.
   Branda Gail Williams, 54, of Center died December 24, 2003 in Center.   Burial was in Jackson Cemetery, Joaquin.  Born October 24, 1949, in Shelby County, she was the daughter of Doyle windham and Myrtle Stanley Windham.  Survivors include husband, noah Melton of Center; sons, Danny T. Jones II and Alan D. Jones, both of Center and Oscar A. Jones of Joaquin; daughter, katherine Gail Williams of Center; mother, Myrtle Lee Windham of Joaquin; sisters, Anita Pierce of Timpson, Sherry Kilpatrick of Paxton and Donna W. Green of Joaquin; brother, Jerry D. Windham of Joaquin.  Mangum Funeral Home.
   Cecile B. Scates, 89, of Center died December 24, 2003 in Center. Burial was in Cedar Yard Cemetery.  Born June 22, 1914, in Shelby County, she was the daughter of Charlie R. Brittain and Mahala Risinger Brittain.  Mrs. Scates was married to Harry D. Scates and he preceded her in death.   Survivors include sons, James D. Scates, Harry Scates and Jerry Scates all of Center; sister, Clara Anderberg of Oklahoma City, Okalhoma; brother, William Briggain of Mooringsport, Louisiana.  Watson & Sons Funeral Home.

****from the files of Matte Dellinger

You are visitor   to this page   wcfacts.gif (1978 bytes)

To comment on this page please email Ray Jackson at