Bruce A. Martin
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
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.
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 school.
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, TX] 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,
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,
TX] 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