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Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Remembering Uncle Billy (1929-2001)

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Billy Ray Sanders
aka Uncle Billy
07 JUNE 1929 ~ 06 NOVEMBER 2001

Billy Ray Sanders went to be with the Lord on Tuesday November 6, 2001. He was born on June 7, 1929 in Sodville, Texas to Romanious Alfred Sanders and Ida (Schmalstieg) Sanders. He lived all of his life in the Sodville/Sinton Area. Billy was a farmer and a retiree of Reynold's Metal Company. He was an active member of the First Baptist Church and a member of the Masonic Lodge in Sinton. His hobbies were golfing, gardening and cooking, which he loved to share with his family & friends. . . . Billy was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Romanious Alfred Sanders, Jr. (Roe). . . .

Saturday, October 20, 2001

2001 Reunion :: Tell me about the good old days

On this date in our family history . . . the 20th day of October . . . in the year 2001 . . . descendants of the children of William Paschal Henry and his wife, Josephine Wingfield Henry nee Davis, gathered in Milam County, Texas for a family reunion . . .

Dear Great-Great-Grandpa:

I stopped by the cemetery recently, shortly after the 11th of September, to put a new American flag near your grave marker. As I fixed in place that small star spangled banner, I wondered what you, a Confederate veteran of the civil war that was fought in these United States, would have to say about the events going on in our world today.

When I visit that cemetery, I can almost see you and the family members gathering there on the autumn day in 1899 when you buried your wife of 35 years. How sad you must have been at the funeral on that Sunday afternoon. From the family lore that has passed down through the generations, I can only imagine the anger and frustration you and your children must have felt at that time.

I have read the two articles that ran in the Nov. 1, 1899 edition of The Rockdale Reporter the week following Josephine's death. The story tells how her buggy was involved in a collision with a wagon, but that the occupants of the wagon claimed they did not realize she had been thrown from the buggy, and hence did not stop to render aide.

The unidentified reporter goes on, in rather graphic detail, to tell of the deplorable tragedy of the death of my g-g-grandmother....

When she was found ... she was lying across the axle dead, with her hair and clothing wound around the spindle of the buggy.... The road over which she went showed where her limbs had been dragged from the point where the collision occurred to the place where she was found....
Family lore says that Josephine was often called upon to tend to ailing friends. They say that was what she was doing on that autumn afternoon toward the end of the 19th century. I often wonder if she picked up her medical leanings from working with her brother-in-law, Milton Antony, M.D., when he was a Confederate surgeon in Brazoria Co.

I have so much more I would like to talk to you about, and the list of questions I would like to ask is endless, but to sum it up, I'll simply borrow a few lines from a popular song of The Judds from a few years ago ...

Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days
sometimes it feels like this world's gone crazy
and Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
when the line between right and wrong
didn't seem so hazy

By the way, we had a little family gathering of our own, Grandpa, on the 20th of October this year. Although the majority of us were descendants of your son, Edgar and his wife Berta Mary (Sharp) Henry, Bert and Arlene Henry also joined us, representing your namesake, William Paschal Henry, Jr. and his wife, Annie (Calvert) Henry.

I thought of y'all that day as I drove into town along the old Cameron highway which crosses the former path of the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad. Haven't quite figured out yet just exactly what strip of land you sold to them for one dollar, but we've definitely got it narrowed down.

Haven't had much luck finding living descendants of your son, Jerome Bonaparte Henry and his wife Sudie, or descendants of your twin daughter, Emma (Henry) Sharp and her husband Sam. I was in touch with Emma's grandson, Stuart Leaverton, but I guess you know he died earlier this year, as did Edgar's granddaughter, Georgia Faye (Henry) Kaseberg. We sure do miss them. We also keep in touch with Ella (Henry) and Jim Hamilton's descendants, but they weren't able to join us this year.

Among your descendants who gathered to celebrate the legacy of your life were ... Dale Henry; Vaun Henry; Scott Henry; Milford & Dorris Henry; Glenn, Heather & Morgan Williams; Laura & Madison Smith; Vickie Everhart; Iola Avrett; John, Darla & Hannah McMillan; Monica & Paul Landi, Josh & Brian; Arlene & Bert Henry; Carla, Jonathan & Caitlynne Schomburg; Rebecca Nink; Jaime Northern; Emily Northern; Jacob Nink; Monty Northern; Roberta Pounders; Trent Northern; La Rhea & Justin Southern; Susan & J. D. Aigner; Elaine & Gale Clee; Kevin Sanders; Robert Pounders.

Anyway ... we plan to get together again as an extended group on Saturday, October 19, 2002. Your great-granddaughter, Susie (Henry) Aigner, and crew will be in charge of that one.

We'll be thinking of you. And thank you ... for everything.

With love,
Your great-great-granddaughter

The Rockdale Reporter
November 1, 2001
Written & submitted for publication
Vickie (Pounders) Everhart

Friday, March 02, 2001

Georgia Faye (1925-2001)

Georgia Faye Kaseberg nee Henry (1925-2001) spent the last year or so of her life as a resident of a nursing home in Cameron, Texas, a victim of Alzheimers . . . she died exactly ten years ago today . . . on the 2nd day of March in the year 2001 . . . her burial on the 5th of March coincided exactly with the 101st anniversary of the birth of her mother, Willie Ruth (Jennings) Henry . . . her Daddy (George Rettig Henry) and my maternal Grandpa (Robert E. Henry, Sr.) were brothers . . . Georgia Faye was a witness at my Mom and Dad's wedding in Freeport in 1950 . . . she was an editor of Matchless Milam which was published during the Texas Sesquicentennial (1986) . . . and she was a wonderful supplier and sharer of a wealth of genealogical info on our family . . . we loved her dearly and are forever in her debt . . . she is missed . . . the following is Georgia Faye's story written c. 1986 . . . in her own words . . .

Georgia Faye Henry was born August 31, 1925 in Norton, Runnels County, Texas to George Rettig and Willie Ruth Jennings Henry. She (had) one brother, Weldon Lee Henry, born August 30, 1927.

Georgia started school at Norton School; later that year transferred to a two-room schoolhouse in a cotton field at North Norton. After finishing grade seven, she graduated in 1942 from Norton High School.

Georgia came to Rockdale in January 1943 looking for work. She applied for an opening at Western Union as a morse code operator trainee. Mable Luckey trained several such students in what is now (1984) Promenade Building. Upon completion, she worked in Bastrop, Texas, near Camp Swift. She later worked in several Texas towns and in 1943 went to teletype school in Springfield, Missouri. After graduating, she worked in several towns making vacation reliefs. In 1944 she was offered a six-week job in Freeport (Brazoria County) Texas, which extended until June 1960. During her life in Freeport, she saw the streets of Freeport paved and saw the town of nearby Lake Jackson created where only trees and marsh once were. She witnessed several hurricanes, staying through two. All that water was a far cry from dusty West Texas. She learned about the Gulf, beaches, deep sea fishing, and enjoyed seafood which definitely was not in her hometown of Norton. While in Freeport, she married Albert Samuel Edward Kaseberg, Sr. June 14, 1956. They moved in 1960 to Baytown (Harris County). A son named Albert Samuel Edward Kaseberg, Jr. was born July 27, 1961. Georgia divorced Albert, Sr. in 1966.

Georgia and Albert, Jr. moved to Big Spring in 1968, then to Lafayette, Louisiana and Lake Charles, Louisiana. When that telegraph office closed, they moved to Rockdale in 1974. They moved to Monroe, Louisiana later for six months, and returned. Georgia took her retirement after 35 years of service. Georgia later worked from 1976 to 1982 as manager of Gold Bond Stamp redemption store in Rockdale before it closed.

Many interesting and sad times are recalled during her career. How can you explain to a sweet lady you cannot wire her homegrown flowers to a daughter? How can you explain you cannot wire some papers to a son to be signed and wired back? The work was gratifying by delivering messages about a new grandchild or offer of a job. Many times though, you got a nervous stomach, grabbed a box of kleenex and deliver a death message, many during World War II and Vietnam and Korean conflicts. Often these were about persons she knew personally. You got the feeling everyone dreaded to see you approaching. She still has her old morse key and the later model called a bug. Both still work. She came a long way from morse code to computer operation in 35 years!

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