Tidbits of Shelby County History
Biographies III

 For this week’s article, I am continuing the information shared by the 8th Grade Center Social Studies, Center Junior High School, Miss Jim Ann Taylor, Teacher.

 Dr. T.G. Carroll

On September 28, 1920, a child was born. It was in Shelbyville, Texas, a small community eight miles southwest from Center, Texas. He was called T.G.

T.G. lived on a farm most of his childhood and enjoyed working with the animals. His parental guidance was a hickory switch which was in use most of the time.

T.G. started to school just like every other child in Center. In the first grade he had a bad case of measles and was kept back along with some of his other friends which were in the same boat.

When he finished high school, he went to Northwestern University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Then he joined the Air Force for three years. After the Air Force, he went to Texas A&M University for five years and majored in Veterinary Medicine.

In June of 1951, he married to Mary Kathryn Johnson. In February of 1952 a child was born named John William (Bill) Carroll. In May of the same year, T.G. graduated from Texas A&M University.

Later he and his family moved to Center, T.G.’s hometown to practice veterinary medicine. In March of 1955 another child was born. His name was James Robert (Bob) Carroll. In February of 1957 a third child was born, and her name was Courtney Carroll.

Some of Dr. Carroll’s hobbies are boating and fishing. He also gets to take the kids skiing, but this isn’t a hobby.

His advice to teenagers is to strive to do your best and take advantage of all opportunities. His philosophy is “there ain’t no free lunch.” In other words, nothing is free, someone always has to pay.

Some organizations he has been a member of are:  The American Veterinary Association, The Texas Veterinary Association, and the East Texas Veterinary Association. Some offices he has held are:  Chairman of the Board in the First United Methodist Church, Church Lay-leader, and Chairman of the Finance Committee.  Written by Courtney Carroll (Note: Dr. Carroll died in 2005 and is buried in the Shelbyville Cemetery, Shelbyville, Texas.)

Tennie B. Sanders

Tennie B. Sanders was born in Angelina County, near Lufkin, Texas. She had seven boys and three girls in her family.

“We were poor, but didn’t realize it, for we had the best home in our community, a nine room home painted outside and papered inside,” she says. “Our parents were hard-working, God-fearing, and law-abiding. They disciplined us. We walked a mile and a half to a country school every day.”

Her parents were uneducated in the sense of going to high school or college. They were people of high intelligence and retained those things they did learn. They urged their children to become as well educated as possible. She went to college for two years, working her way through.

She married into her present job as that of a housewife. She has been teaching public school, although at the time she was a checker in her brother’s store here in Center.

Her hobbies are reading and travel. She has been in all 48 original states and was planning to go to Alaska, when she had an accident that crippled her for life. She has overcome it and has even made a trip to Europe and visited 11 countries. She says this trip was her most, rewarding experience in her life.

“My philosophy,” she says, “has been the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them to do to you.” “I have always been happy in whatever circumstances I have found myself in.”

Her advice to teenagers is:  “Place God first in your life, respect and be obedient to your parents, and seize every opportunity to improve your mind in preparation for the future.” Also, she says, “Do not let present trends exploit your body. Do not strive to be popular, because it is temporary. Seek the higher and nobler things in life.”

“All my teachers that I recall from childhood and college were of high caliber and they, along with parental teaching, have given me great satisfaction that I have used to the best advantage opportunities that I could grasp. I can think of but few things in my life I would change if I could relive it.”  Written by Lisa Sanders (Tennie Brookshire Sanders was born 16 Jan 1898 and died 16 Jul 1979 in Center, Texas. She is buried in Fairview Cemetery. She was married to Herbert Loraine Sanders. The writer of this biography was her granddaughter.)

Mrs. Henry F. Runnels

 Mrs. Runnels, a retired businesswoman, was born in Center, Texas. Her mother died when she was two years of age, and she was reared by her mother’s mother and father until her father married again. When she was six years old her father married again. She didn’t have many problems, because she had a wonderful stepmother. She received a high school education and took a business course.

Her husband was an automobile dealer for 38 years. Mrs. Runnels joined the firm as secretary-treasurer and served in this position for 30 years. She was also assistant bookkeeper and her husband’s secretary.

Humanitarian work and flower gardening which “brings me closer to nature and especially God,” are her hobbies.

The first most rewarding moment of her life was her marriage to a very fine man, and the second was having her two boys. The creed Mrs. Runnels has always followed is that of “cultivating self-discipline by listening to counsel and advice of my elders.” Her advice to teenagers is to put your faith in God, do his work, and honor your father and mother, love all mankind. “Since becoming a Christian, she has dedicated her life to God’s church.”

Mrs. Runnels is the first woman in the First Methodist Church in Center to be elected as a member of the Administrative Board. She is the only woman ever elected as a member of the Finance Committee, and the only woman on the nominating committee to be elected by the Conference of the Church. Her other activities include serving as co-chairman of the parsonage committee for 10 years, chairman of the worship committee for two years, Sunday School teacher in the Junior Department for 14 years, and adult sponsor of a Sunday School Class for 14 years. She has also served as secretary-treasurer of the WSCS of the church and of the Fairview Cemetery Association. She was a member of the Music Club for several years and is a member of the Historical Society. Mrs. Runnels has served three and one-half years as director of the First National Bank, the first and only woman to serve as bank director in Center.  Written by Beth Hardy(Mrs. Henry F. Runnels maiden name was Lou Ella Todd. She was born in 1894 and died in 1973. Both her and her husband are buried at Oaklawn Memorial Park, Center, Texas.)