By Susan Hooker
Hurricane has been experiencing the dog days of summer with the high temperatures. Our Mississippi cousins have been to Texas for the Warren-Graham Reunions in De Leon and Loraine, Texas, respectively. Gardens are also the talk of the community as residents are reaping their harvests.
Bobbie Hale and her grandson, Aaron, enjoyed a week in Houston, Texas, as guests of her son, Keith Hale, who was working in Houston. The next week they enjoyed the hospitality of Keith Hale at his home in Austin, Texas. Aaron enjoyed the week at YMCA activities as swimming and golfing classes were scheduled. Aaron hit a hole-in-one. Joining the family in Austin were Ronnie, Elizabeth, Bella, and Jessica Hale. The group went to Six Flags Over Texas. Bella celebrated her eighth birthday on July 20 in Texas.
The Mississippi delegation to the Texas Reunions on July 19-20 included the following: Bob and Jo Lane Warren, Sand Springs; Kenneth and Ann Warren, Tupelo; Dock and Reba Graham and Brenda Bain, Ecru; Neva G. Graves, Pontotoc; Freida G. Browning and Susan Hooker, Hurricane. The weather was a surprise as most of the week had flash floods, and the temperatures were in the 70s and 80s. When we left on Sunday, July 21, it was back in the 90s and 100s, the heat that we had anticipated.
The traditional, potluck luncheon for the Warren-Graham Reunion was held in De Leon, Texas, on Saturday, July 20, at Heritage Hall at First Methodist Church. Some of those hosting the event were as follows: Gerald and Bernice Warren, Kenneth Welch, Doyle and Elizabeth Welch, Rev. Roger and Vickie Pounds, Suzan Lipson, and Curly Lipson. Curly Lipson, 91, of De Leon won the Graham award for the eldest attending, and Maxie Griner of Ft. Worth won the Warren award for the eldest attending. Dock and Reba Graham won the Graham award for traveling the farthest, and Kenneth and Ann Warren of Tupelo won the Warren award for traveling the farthest. The De Leon Free Press covered the day’s activities as most of the pioneer families of Comanche County, Texas, came from Pontotoc County, Miss. One of the interesting photos shared was an unidentified photo of a young Hurricane girl that stated Earline sent it to Buena Graham Bateman. It was Brenda Montgomery Barton of Pontotoc, who has both Warren and Graham family ties. Suzan Lipson of Gorman was trying to identify her grandmother’s collection of photos. Next year, the reunion will be in Hurricane on Saturday, July 19, at the community center as Jo Lane Warren announced the plans. By the way, it is 732 miles to De Leon. Wagon wheels have kept on turning since the family exodus to the great expanse of the American West. A lot of the families also left from a train stop at Myrtle, Miss., to get to Texas and to New Mexico was shared.
Kenneth and Ann Warren of Tupelo and Bob and Jo Lane Warren of Sand Springs traveled to De Leon for the reunion. They were guests of G. I. and Bernice Warren at their ranch. Kenneth and Ann were anticipating the arrival of their granddaughter Lauren Fay, 4, of Miami, Florida, via Memphis airport as she will be at their home in Tupelo for two weeks. Her sitter in Miami was to fly with Lauren to Memphis and then return to Florida on Monday as the grandparents would be there for her flight.
Tommy and Brenda Graham Linnam hosted a cookout at their ranch in Loraine, Texas, on July 19. It is located near Lone Wolf Mountain, and it is also near the home place of her grandparents, the late Fert and Della Huckaby Graham. There are only two brothers, Bob Graham (Wanza) and Donald Graham (Doris), both of Loraine, who survive from the late Jim and Sallie Warren Graham family grandchildren in Texas as well as one Mississippi first cousin, nee Fay Graham, the daughter of the late Jink and Lily Graham of Sand Springs. Shirley Graham of Loraine, the widow of Clay Brooks Graham, and her daughter, Nancy Swindle of Sweetwater, also attended. Brenda Linnam’s siblings helped her host the visitors and are as follows: Dewayne and Patty Graham, Tom and Debby Carlock, Glenda and Mike Hemphill, all of Colorado City and Diane and Willis Hughes, Roscoe. The scenery is one of mesquite, cacti, rock ledges, sandy soil, and the wind turbines that dot the countryside now as well as an oil well boom is anticipated for the Mitchell County area.
Texans Della and Bob Vickers of Rowlette, Ruth and Billy Kelly of Loraine, and Annette Cooper of Savalla, the daughters of the late Earl and Annie Graham Browning of Loraine, attended both reunions.
Dock and Reba Graham, Neva Graves, and Brenda Bain enjoyed the hospitality of Donald and Doris Graham at their farm in Loraine, Texas. It is located next door to the native Texas rock home of the late Fert and Della Graham, high atop a terraced driveway to the homes. Doug, Anita, Ryan and Erin Graham of Colorado City and Sandra Graham of Roscoe visited.
Freida Browning and Susan Hooker enjoyed the hospitality of Ken and Jo Nell Graham Strong in Burleson, Texas, south of Ft. Worth. The Strongs introduced us to their ghost-busting technology last year in Mississippi. Ken shared that cannon fire was one of the background noises detected while at Shady Grove. We related that this is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mud Creek fought during the Civil War. Of particular interest to the ladies, this town’s founders included the Norwood, Taylor, Warren and Graham families of Thaxton, Miss. The downtown businesses still have the original buildings of the early settlement circa 1881. Rendon Cemetery has the gravesite of Rev. Gray Robbins, the first preacher and founder of present-day Hurricane Baptist Church. Surnames on the stones read much like those at Thaxton and Sand Spring cemeteries. Our next stop was in Sweetwater at the home of Roger and Dayla Alderman Graham. We were treated to a steak cookout there featuring mesquite and pecan firewood. Older brothers, the sons of the late Joe and Mary Helen Noel Graham, Jerry Graham of Loraine and Steve and Debbie Shumaker Graham of Colorado City, also attended. The ”Rattlesnake Roundup” at Sweetwater is the featured town festival. Jo Nell Strong is their double-first cousin as she is the daughter of the late Stanley Graham and of Laveda Noel Graham, also of Burleson. In Loraine, we visited with Donald and Doris Graham and Shirley Graham. Wanza was in the hospital at San Angelo due to surgery; so we missed our visit with the Bob Graham family. Our turn around in Colorado City on I-20 West had our mileage at 872 miles at the home of Steve and Debbie Graham. While there, we visited with Dr. Robert N. Gray, a descendant of the Chickasaw, both Colbert and Folsom families of Pontotoc. He always asks about the oldest home in Pontotoc as it is designated by a historical marker. Other ancestry of Doc Gray’s includes a prominent Choctaw Chief noted in Mississippi history. He is fluent in the Native American languages mentioned previously and always sings ”Amazing Grace” in Choctaw before we leave. The melody is hauntingly beautiful in any language. Siblings, Roland Graham of Loraine and Patsy Long of Sweetwater, the children of the late Tom and Lottie Graham, made a brief visit. They had planned to be in De Leon also, but had to cancel. Carl and Sandy Graham of Loraine represented the family of the late Elwood and Mable Graham. Around 75 people that represent ten families welcomed the Mississippians to Loraine.
The family of the late Willie and Nora Nowlin Warren will have their reunion in Tahoka, Texas, on July 27 at the homestead now owned by Billy Jack Warren.
Sympathy is extended to the family of Louise Norwood Kyle, 93, of Memphis, who was the widow of Jimmy Kyle of Coldwater. Louise was the daughter of the late Bob and Cordie Warren Norwood of Rocky Ford (Etta). She was the granddaughter of the late Joe and Amanda Warren of Sand Springs and the late Cal and Peachie Norwood of Etta. Her ancestors were pioneer settlers of Pontotoc County, Mississippi. She was the surviving sibling of a family of ten including my dad, the late Warren Norwood of Hurricane, the youngest of the family. Aunt Louise was an All-State basketball player at Holmes Junior College in Mississippi. Survivors include the following children: Senator Jim Kyle (Sarah), Mike Kyle (Cathy), all of Memphis; and Pam Miller (David).