Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#52Ancestors: WK 17: WALKER, Elsie Lee

** cross posted from Lass Chronicles **
Granny and Patricia Gayle, c1937
Elsie Lee WALKER was born 03 Jul 1880 in Atascosa, Texas.1 She was born the fourth child (of six) to James Henry and Margaret Jane (MOSELEY) Walker.2 Elsie spent her entire life in three Texas counties: Atascosa, Bexar and Dimmit.3-7 In 1902, she married James Wheeler MOORE. They had eight children: Gracie (1904 - 1916), Elliot Elice or Elias (c1905 - 1989), Elmer Earl (1906 - 1907), Franklin Wheeler (1908 - 1909), Bertha Beatrice (1909 - 1999), Bertia Mae (1912 - 1990), Dorothy Nadine (1919 - 1974), and Winifred Lee (1924 - 2013).

I know Elsie and James as Granny and Jim Papa. Unfortunately for me, they died in 1959 and 1961, respectively. My father tells stories of Granny and Jim Papa. I've asked him to write about Granny for this post.

Elsie Lee Walker Moore, Granny as we all affectionately called her, was bigger than life as we were growing up as children in late 1940s and 50s.  Granny gave all of her grandchildren a compass to guide us through life.  Your bond was your word and you treated everyone equally.  I said she was “bigger than life” -- that is what she seemed but by the time I was 16, the year of her death (1959), I could hold out my arm, slightly elevated, so she could stand under my arm.

Sunday lunch was always at Granny’s house.  She prepared food from her yard and animals she kept such as chickens.  One of her “tricks” to entertain her grandchildren was to “wring” the chicken’s neck.  One Sunday I recall she did two at once.  Everything was prepared in her kitchen.  I recall she prepared shortbread cookies (my sister says they were tea cakes), pressing the dough in the palm of her hand just before baking.  I can still see the imprint of Granny’s hand on each cookie.

The stories she told us at night when we stayed with her were scary.  She would tell us how the Indians and Comancheros would come at night to steal the cattle and chickens.  To small children, the stories seemed real and we were frightened.  We were expected to behave in a manner that always brought honor to us including our families.

I recall Granny made all of her clothes from flour sacks and other materials she gathered for clothes.  Her “uniform of the day” was a long shirt, to her ankles, an apron, and a handmade bonnet.

I do not know if she ever cut her hair because she always had a braid down her back to below her waist.  Granny married James Wheeler Moore, son of Franklin Wheeler and Martha Deborah Moore.

I could go forever, but I will save more for later. -- James MOORE, 26 Apr 2015

1. Texas, Death Certificates, 1903–1982 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

2. The Walker children were: Elmer (dates unknown), Evie (dates unknown), Cora (1878 - ?), Elsie Lee (1880 - 1959), William E. (1885 - ?), and Emily A (1897 - ?)

3. Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Atascosa, Texas; Roll: 1608; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0003; FHL microfilm: 1241608

4. Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Dimmit, Texas; Roll: T624_1547; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1375560

5. Year: 1920; Census Place: Justice Precinct 5, Dimmit, Texas; Roll: T625_1796; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 43; Image: 587

6. Year: 1930; Census Place: San Antonio, Bexar, Texas; Roll: 2292; Page: 26A; Enumeration District: 0012; Image: 122.0; FHL microfilm: 2342026

7. Year: 1940; Census Place: San Antonio, Bexar, Texas; Roll: T627_4204; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 259-119

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