This week in Wills Point History Friday, March 18, 1960

The city of Wills Point this week passed an ordinance providing for the construction of a general market and manufacturing building and called for bids on its construction.

First construction on Interstate 20 in Van Zandt and Smith Counties is expected to begin about April 10 or 15, according to district highway engineer, W.W. Potter. Mr. Potter stated that bids would be let Tuesday or Wednesday for the work. Set for construction are 6.62 miles of grading and bridge structures from the Van Zandt County line to a point 6.6 miles east. The same type of work is set for Van Zandt County from Highway 64 north of Canton, east 4.2 miles to highway 19.

Advance report forms for the 1960 census of population and housing will be distributed by post office employees this week to all households in this area, District Supervisor Paul H. Jameson announced today. The advance report form is a new census-taking device, which is designed to speed up the field canvass and provide more accurate statistics. Distribution of this form before the start of the house-to-house canvass gives the family a chance to assemble information about each member in advance of the census taker’s visit. The district supervisor urges all residents to fill out the form and have it ready for the census takers when they start their rounds on April 1.

Miss Wanda Hughes of Texarkana, 14 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phil Hughes, who formerly lived here, and granddaughter of Mrs. J.C. Lybrand, was awarded membership into the honor society recently where she attends junior high. She received this honor for outstanding leadership and character-ship and for her average of 92 in all subjects.

News of Our Men, Women in Service: Mayport, Fla.-Charles W. Willis, aviation machinist’s mate third class, USN, son of Mr. and Mrs. T.E. Willis of Wills Point returned to Mayport, Fla., Feb. 26, aboard the attack aircraft carrier USS Saratoga after a six-month tour of duty with the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.

Several members of the local Eastern Star Chapter attended the Eastern Star School of Instructions in Mineola Friday at the Masonic Temple. Mrs. P.V. Hubbard, W.M. and Mrs. Neil Cook, A.M. participated in the program. Others who attended were Mrs. J.P. Boswell, Mrs. B.L. Breckenridge, Mrs. Leddy Johnson, Mrs. J.L. McElvany, Mrs. Raymond Martin and Mrs. Marvin Chandler of Dallas. Mrs. Homer Pickens of Edgewood is deputy Grand Matron in District 1, Section 10.

Mrs. Q.A. Wilbourn returned Tuesday from a 12-day trip to California and the western states with Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Granberry and children of Dallas. En route home they visited with John Wilbourn and family in Elko, Nev.

Wendell H. Oliver, County School Superintendent, announced this week that the scholastic census reports from all school districts in the county have been filed in his office. After completion and approval, the reports were sent to the Austin office. There was an overall gain in the county of fifty scholastics, he said, in comparison with the reports of last year. Totals by school districts for the 1960-61 school year are as follows: Redland, 63; Prarrie Creek, 46; Edom, 105; Myrtle Springs, 77; Ben Wheeler, 117; Martins Mill, 127; Fruitvale, 164; Canton, 709; Wills Point, 806; Edgewood, 475; Grand Saline, 858; Van, 638. Total of the county is 4,185.

Graveside services for Mrs. Allie Burnett Matthews were held Monday afternoon at White Rose Cemetery. Rev. Herbert Garrett, Jr., pastor of the First Baptist Church, conducted the last rites. Mrs. Matthews died in Dallas on March 12. She was born March 11, 1870 in Wills Point.

Funeral services for Mrs. Walter Tull were held Sunday in Baytown. H.C. McCaughren, minister of Church of Christ in Baytown officiating. Interment was in White Rose Cemetery. Mrs. Tull died suddenly at her home Friday afternoon. She was born Ethel May Brockman on May 5, 1889, daughter of W.B. and Katherine Newton Brockman. She was married to Walter N. Tull on May 3, 1907 and to this union five children were born, two sons and three daughters; one of whom preceded her in death. Survivors include her husband; two daughters, Mrs. Weldon Lynn and Mrs. Arthur Lamar of Wills Point; two sons, two sisters and four brothers. (See newspaper for complete obituary and names of other survivors.)

James A.G. McDonald died at his home on Canton Street, March 12 after an illness of several months. Mr. McDonald, son of the late John W. and Mary Wright McDonald, was born Feb. 21, 1881, in Alabama. He came to Texas with his family as a small child. The family settled near Elmo. Services were held Sunday afternoon at the First Baptist Church with internment in White Rose cemetery. Mr. McDonald was a retired ginner having operated the gin now owned by Floyd Weeks. Mr. McDonald was married to Lucia Meredith on March 7, 1923. She survives with one son, John Paul McDonald of Monroe, La., a daughter, Mrs. F. Marion Smith of Anaheim, Calif. (See newspaper for complete obituary and names of other survivors.)

William George Johnson, Jr. died at his home north of Wills Point, Monday afternoon. Funeral services were held for the farmer and stockman Wednesday morning, March 16, with interment in White Rose Cemetery. Mr. Johnson was born in Wills Point Sept. 2, 1912, son of Mrs. Inez Spires Johnson and the late William G. Johnson. Survivors include his mother, a brother, Daroe Johnson and a sister, Mrs. Lewis Steadham of Wills Point. (See newspaper for complete obituary and other survivors.)

These articles have been extracted from original copies of the Wills Point Chronicle and may be viewed on microfilm at the Van Zandt County Library of Genealogy and Local History, located in the courthouse annex in Canton.