PLANT TO CONSTRUCT
A new Methodist
church is shortly to be constructed at Vickery, on the McKinney
interurban line, just beyond the Dallas city limits.
- January 11, 1920,
Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. II, p. 17, col. 3.
The congregation have already secured
a lot and committees are at work under direction of Rev. Harry
S. DeVore, pastor, raising funds for the construction of the
new building, which will cost about $5000.
The Vickery congregation, at present,
is forced to worship in the Vickery Woodman's Hall. Many Dallas
people are aiding in the construction of the new church building.
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Vickery Woman Has Lived
in Same House for Past Fifty-Three Years
Came to Texas in
From Kentucky in 1869 With Husband
and 18-Months-Old Baby.
By Wilber Shaw, Jr.
|Home of Mrs.
Eliza Ann Spillman near Vickery. The two rear rooms of the house
(upper right) were built of timber cut from White Rock creek
bottoms more than fifty years ago.
who still lives in the old home place.
26, more than fifty-five years ago, five covered wagons, besmeared
with mud and drawn by horses that plodded with faltering steps
over roads that were but little more than cattle trails, arrived
on the outskirts of Dallas after a forty-eight day journey, which
has seldom been equalled for hardships and privations. Of the
seventeen occupants of the wagons, who made the perilous journey
from Scottsville, Ky., to Dallas, overland, but four are alive
today. And, perhaps no one of these remembers the trip more graphically
than Mrs. Eliza Ann Spillman of Vickery. Bedridden for the past
four years in the home in which she has resided for fifty-three
years, she often entertains her friends and visitors with accounts
of the journey and its hardships.
Shortly after the Civil War was
over, a small group of residents of Scottsville, Ky., including
James Virgil Spillman and James Wells Pinson, decided to move
to Dallas with their families. Mr. Spillman had been in this
section of the country during the war and was much impressed
with it. Then, too, a number of his neighbors in Kentucky had
moved to Dallas, including W. W. Caruth, Bob Weatherhead and
an uncle, E. B. Spillman, and he desired to settle in a community
where he would not be an utter stranger. The trip was planned;
household effects disposed of, and only the necessities for the
journey piled into the five covered wagons, horse drawn, which
were to take them to the "promised land." The party
left Scottsville on November 12, 1869. In Mr. Spillman's wagon,
with him, were his wife and little daughter, Otelia, then eighteen
months of age.
Had Wet Journey.
It was a dismal day, cold and raining
steadily, when they bid their friends and neighbors "goodbye"
and started on their trip, which carried them across Tennessee,
Arkansas and part of Texas. "It rained on an average every
other day during the entire forty-eight days of the trip,"
Mrs. Spillman said, "and we were also handicapped by the
cold. Often, when we stopped to camp at night, we had difficulty
in finding dry wood with which to build a fire. At other times,
we would awake in the morning to find our wagon wheels frozen
to the ground and we would have difficulty in extricating them
from the ice before we could continue.
"We ferried across the Mississippi
river at Memphis, Tenn., and followed the old federal highway
through Arkansas. After we arrived in Texas, there seemed to
be nothing but broad prairies without end. We would locate the
direction of our destination and strike out in that direction
without the semblance of a road to guide us.
"The weather had been bitter
cold, but we experienced our first Texas norther at Bonham. We
reached there on Christmas eve and a regular 'blue norther' was
blowing. Just as we were leaving town, two men on horseback passed
us and Mr. Pinson yelled at one of them, 'Do you think we are
going to have a norther?' 'It's already here,' was the reply,
and it was, but we didn't know it.
Traveling is Slow.
"The next day, we made scarcely
ten miles, but that was the slowest going we had on the entire
trip. We arrived at the home of Bob Weatherford, north of Dallas,
on Dec. 26, and spent the night there. The next day, we went
to the home of E. B. Spillman, where we stayed for a week, resting
ourselves and our team. From there, we went to the W. W. Caruth
farm, where we had been told there was a house we could occupy.
When we got there, however, the house was occupied by two bachelor
brothers by the name of Milwee. They
consented to go to Mr. Caruth's house, however, until one could
be built for us. The next morning, Mr. Caruth sent his hand into
the White Rock bottoms, where they cut timber to build our new
home. This was a one-room affair, 14 by 16 feet, and we lived
there for three years.
"The timber was green when
the house was built, and pretty soon, it began to warp and shrink.
One day, Mr. Pinson came to see us. He always like to chew tobacco
and, as usual, he had a quid in his mouth. With a dexterous aim,
he could spit between the cracks in the floor and didn't have
to leave his chair. After spitting though one or two of the cracks
where the timber had warped, he said with a smile, "Don't
you see what a handy country this is? A man can sit right in
his own home and chew tobacco."
- February 8, 1925,
Dallas Times Herald, Sec. II, p. 4, col. 3-7.
After living on the Caruth place
for three years, Mr. Spillman bought a hundred acres from Mr.
Caruth, just south of Vickery, and moved onto his own place.
A two-room house was built from timber, also out in the White
Rock bottoms, and, although it has been added onto, the original
two rooms still stand as part of the home now occupied by Mrs.
Spillman, her son and two daughters.
Mr. Spillman died in April, 1905,
leaving Mrs. Spillman and ten children. A daughter, Mrs. Otelia
Guinn, died in March, 1923. Surviving children are: C. R. Spillman
of Holdenville, Ok.; Mrs. Elizabeth Inclear of Seymour, Texas;
Mrs. Hattie James of Wichita Falls, Mrs. Lula Hibler of Austin,
Mrs. Stella Miller of Dallas, Euclid Spillman of Vickery, and
Miss Emma, Ernine and Joe Spillman, who reside with their mother.
Of those who made the trip to Texas
in 1869, there are but four surviving -- Mrs. Spillman, Mrs.
Mattie J. White of Richardson, Dr. Perry Pinson of Paris, and
Rev. Tom Pinson of Dallas.
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July 2, 2004:
OVER 47 YEARS IS
WRITTEN IN BOOK
of the Vickery school has been prepared in book form by members
of the school's P.-T. A. and placed in its library, for the use
of the students. The book contains the history of the school
for the last forty-seven years.
- May 9, 1937, Dallas
Daily Times Herald, Sec. II, p. 7, col. 6.
Mrs. John E. Surratt has spent
more time on the book than other members of the association.
The period from 1890 to 1931 was written by Mrs. Surratt. Mrs.
J. F. Godfrey was the historian for 1931 and 1932; Mrs. E. B.
Miller, 1933; Mrs. A. H. Hoose, 1934, and Mrs. William S. Skiles,
1935 and 1936.
The book points out that the school
building has been erected six times on different sites. The
school has changed names three times. In 1890, there was a two-room
school building, with the same number of teachers. It was called
Fairland. The name of the school was changed to Highland in
1909. In 1934, the Vickery school opened in their new $121,515
brick building, with a staff of twenty-two teachers.
Photographs of various presidents
of the school's P.-T. A. may be seen throughout the book.
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