Grandmother, Glendale, Texas
by Bruce A.
Settled before the Civil War, the “Texas State Historical Association”
website provides a brief introduction into the origin and evolution
of the community of Glendale, TX, located on Hwy 94, about eleven
miles west of Groveton. A prominent
land owner was the antebellum Tullos Plantation.
Apparently, the establishment of the Cameron Lumber Company attracted
workers for employment in its sawmill. By 1886, a population of
100 had developed and a post office, called Bissell (named for a
local family), was opened a year later. Settlers, primarily from
Illinois and Missouri, renamed the town Glendale for the rolling
hills in the area. Another industry introduced by the new residents
was that of growing peaches and other fruit. They formed the Glendale
Orchard Company on 1,000 acres of purchased land. At its peak population
of about 1,200 around the turn of the 20th Century, Glendale had
a two-story hotel, school, several churches, and a newspaper. However,
as the lumber industry began to decline, many residents moved out
of the area. The newspaper relocated to Trinity
in 1905. Today, there are less than 200 residents.
Nellie (Campbell) and William Herman Nicholds acquired land on the
outskirts of Glendale, towards Trinity,
to “set up housekeeping” and live off of the land by farming for
their personal provisions. It is said that Herman worked as a “hired
hand” for wages. Herman also trapped mink and sold the pelts. Nearby,
Trinity River, its tributaries and back-waters, provided fishing.
And, hunting for wild game provided other meat sources.
Herman’s parents were originally from Arkansas and had first settled
in rural Cherokee
County; he was born in Troup in
1892. Nellie was born 1894 in Holly, TX.
They are buried at the Glendale Cemetery, along with other members
of the Nicholds and Campbell families.
The Nicholds’ sons (Woodrow Wilson and Hulen Cleo) and daughters
(Minnie Iscetta, Marcella Elva, and Joyce Marie) attended the Glendale
Grandchildren loved to roam through the woods and go to the fishing
tank. It was sad when, in later years, the house was moved to property
on the outskirts of Trinity, off
Hwy 19. Nellie had a great big gardenia bush in her back yard. When
going to nurseries today, and seeing those plants in bloom, it brings
memories of the “old home place”.
[Marilyn Nicholds Bessire / Driftwood,
TX] Granny Nicholds kept her left-over fishing minnows in a
glass fish bowl in the refrigerator “for another day”. She always
had prunes and tried to get us to eat them. There was also a grove
of plum trees, and I like plums, so that was something to enjoy.
She had several bonnets that she wore out in the sun and made one
for me. I liked to sit on the porch in the swing. Granny had an
old style washing machine and a scrub board on the back porch and
some kind of homemade cabinet or storage bin for the flour. In her
house was a vanity that I loved to sit at and which her rouge and
makeup were kept; and, an old pin cushion hanging on it; and, a
blue vase. She wanted us girls to start a new fashion trend and
wear maxi-dresses instead of the mini-skirts that were in style.
She chewed tobacco and had a brass spittoon, which was strange to
me. An old antique clock was in the living room.
[Sharon Nicholds Martin / Leawood, KS]
I’m not sure Nellie ever used a toothbrush. She would use a peach
twig to clean her teeth and massage her gums. And, you know, she
never had a single cavity in her 87 years of life! Her cakes and
banana puddings were always tasty.
[Martha Nicholds Tutor / Dayton,
A trip to the country to visit the grandparents was something that
I looked forward to. Dad loved nature, he found beauty in the simple
things, and we would take the back roads from Channelview
through Highlands, Crosby, Cleveland,
Dodge, and Riverside
to reach Glendale. Along the way, dad would talk about the tall
pines and the many sights that caught his eye. With four young children
crowded in the back seat, it sometimes got a little rowdy; but,
if we were good, we sometimes stopped for a treat at the 5 & 10
in Trinity. After we got there,
we would get to see the animals and go for a walk to the pond. If
the weather was good, we sometimes got to fish for perch and small
bass. One year, I remember going with Granny to the church to see
the Christmas play. The church was very small, with open rafters,
and hard benches.
[Delores Vacek Brown / Georgetown,
Granny would hang her clothes on the fence around the house to dry.
The bed linen and clothes smelled sunny and fresh. We would catch
horned toads to put in the garden to eat the bugs and insects. I
can remember a couple of aunts coming over to shell peas, using
their large skirts as "pans". Churning butter was a mystery to me.
It was unique to drink the well water from a dipper. In the mornings,
granny would be using the wood burning stove to cook bacon, eggs,
and homemade biscuits while, at the same time, warming the house.
Walking barefoot in the warm sand to get mail from the box across
the street felt good.
A cousin, Bobby Ray Nicholds, son of Hulen Cleo, has served as Justice
of the Peace, Precinct 3, Trinity
County, TX. He has two years remaining in his term, prior to
a planned retirement.
© Bruce A. Martin
April 26, 2012