Oct. 9, 1978 Clarksville Red River County Texas, USA
Cause of death: Cancer
Clarence Melvin Raulston "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918" Name: Clarence Melvin Raulston Event Type: Draft Registration Event Date: 1917-1918 Event Place: Red River County, Texas, United States Gender: Male Birth Date: 08 Jan 1894 Birthplace: Dimple, Texas, United States Nationality: United States Affiliate Publication Title: World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards Affiliate Publication Number: M1509 GS Film number: 1983580 Digital Folder Number: 005153626 Image Number: 04873
Children: Two infant children (passed away before one month of age), Clarence Melvin Raulston, Jr., Katie Raulston (died age 10), Willie Garland Raulston, Herbert Wayne (Hub) Raulston, Kent Raulston, and Cora Sue Raulston Boone.
Written by CM Raulston, Jr. partially in 1973 and partially in 2001. CM passed away (the author) in October of 2003.
Clarence M. Raulston, Sr., was born January 8, 1894 in the house that his grandfather built. He was the first son and third child born to William G. Raulston and Katherine Hufferd Raulston and he lacked two months being eleven years old when his father died leaving him figuratively the head of the family. He was fortunate to have had an older cousin, Amos, son of John, who taught him how to farm.
In 1914 his mother died leaving him with two younger brothers aged ten and sixteen to care for. After a year of this he decided that something must be done. There was a young lady in Fannin County with whom he had come to an understanding. [The detailed story of their meeting and subsequent marriage is at the end of this chapter, and it's a great read!] Her family had returned to Fannin County after their house, the John Raulston home place, burned. On the day that he decided to go for her, he loaded a fattened hog into the wagon and drove into Clarksville where he sold the hog for just under fifteen dollars. He left his wagon at the livery and boarded a train for Honey Grove. Upon arriving there he rented a rig and drove to the home of his intended South of Windom. They returned to Honey Grove and on that day, April 7, 1915, Clarence M. Raulston, Sr., married Nannie Bess Yarbrough. They returned by train to Clarksville, picked up the wagon and team at the livery and drove out to the farm. When he reached home he had fourteen cents in his pocket. He brought his bride to a home where he had two younger brothers and an indigent sister and her family to care for. He has said to me that it must have seemed a very bleak prospect to a young girl.
The youngest of the two younger brothers was Farris (1904-1957) who was a month or so shy of eleven years of age when Nannie Bess became part of the family. The two of them formed a bond which would endure the remainder of their lives. I never heard him refer to her as anything but Sis. Nannie Bess died in 1962 a few months short of age 65. They both died from coronary occlusion.
Mother and Father had two daughters die in infancy then two sons were born. In 1923 Father came down with dengue fever, commonly called "breakbone fever," and was told by his doctor that in order to survive he must change climates. He loaded his wife and two infant sons into a covered wagon and headed West. The wagon was furnished with a full size mattress, a coal bucket, and a minimum of clothing, utensils and tools. They had no specific destination in mind when they left. When they reached a point just west of old Camp Bowie, in what is now the Ridglea Section of Fort Worth, a decision had to be made. Here the road forked, one branch turning south to the Rio Grande Valley, the other pointing straight ahead to the South Plains. After a short conversation they agreed that the road going west looked better and proceeded in that direction. Twenty-seven days after their departure from their farm in Red River County they were in Lubbock, a distance of more than four hundred miles.
These two transplanted East Texans stuck it out for two years in the Lubbock area farming rented or leased land. Many were their trials and tribulations, and deep was their longing for the Piney Woods of home. Mother had to learn simple things such as it takes much longer to cook boiled vegetables at that elevation. Father had to learn to use multi-row implements such as go-devils behind a four-horse hitch. In the late summer of 1924, Clarence M., Sr., was sitting on the fence with his landlord looking across his acreage of lush cotton. They were speculating that the yield would be a bale and one-half to two bales per acre. They were also speculating that the small thunderhead approaching from the southwest might yield a cooling shower. Thirty minutes later, after a brief but very violent hailstorm, there was nothing but stubble left in the cotton fields. Father decided immediately that he would subject himself and family to no more hardships in that strange country.
He sold out lock, stock and barrel and loaded his family on a train whose destination was Red River County. They lived one year in the small town of Bagwell, and in the autumn of 1925 Father moved back to the Raulston home place where he remained until his death.
My Father often commented that it seems his accomplishments in this life have been minimal. My Wife and I have told him that for him and Mother to have reared and educated four sons and a daughter on the proceeds from a small sandy land farm in times of depression are by no means small accomplishments. Their work day started before dawn and ended after dark, and bed time was when the supper dishes were washed, for it had been a hard day and tomorrow would be another.
Two machine age innovations came to the farm during my Father's working years. Others would come, but the first was a 1924 model T truck rigged for hauling logs. He worked in the timber business during the off season to supplement the farm income, and the truck enabled him to increase that supplementary income considerably. He later owned two or three different model T touring cars which were the pride of the family, as well as a farm work horse, for he hauled fresh vegetables to market in them. The second innovation was the battery-powered radio. It did not come to our house early, but two or three neighbors in the community owned one and I walked many times, on a Saturday night, to the home of a neighbor to listen to the radio. The first radio I encountered was in the home of Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Tom Mosley in 1927. It was an Atwater Kent with a morning glory horn and I surreptitiously peeked in the back of the cabinet looking for the people who were talking. The favorite program down on the farm was the "Grand Ole Opry" on Saturday nights.
The great depression of the 1930s was felt on the farm later and to a lesser degree than in the cities. In the city the family bread winner lost his job suddenly and the family had no recourse except to get in the soup line. On the farm, life's three essentials - food, clothing, and shelter - came directly or indirectly from the land. It meant that we had to work harder and get by with less, especially those items that came from town that cost money. Life on the farm was never easy and it would become even less so during the depression years.
Father was made acutely aware that hard times were upon him in 1933 when younger brother, Earnest G. Raulston, returned to the farm looking for a place to live and the chance to earn sustenance for his family. The next year the other brother, George Farris, returned with his family to seek a new start.
Grandfather William G. had acquired a tract of land across the road North of the home place. The two tracts comprised a total of over two hundred twenty-five acres which was divided between the three brothers in 1934, each taking seventy-five acres more or less. Farris moved into a house across the road that had previously been used as a house for share-croppers. Earnest took the Northeast tract and built his home there.
In 1934 my parents had a family of four boys and a girl. Betty Katherine Raulston was bom September 13, 1924. She died June 2, 1934. In the weeks following the funeral, my Father found it very difficult to come up with the sixty-five dollars he owed for the casket. A badly needed milk cow, stock feed, and other produce had to be sold. My Mother was never the same sweet, pacific person, even after her terrible grief had been assuaged by the soothing lotion of fading memories.
It was a great joy and comfort to her when on August 24, 1938, a second daughter, Cora Sue was born.
In the depression years money was very scarce throughout the nation. This caused prices to be very low. Some prices I remember are: a 48 pound bag of flour cost 65 cents, gasoline was 9 cents per gallon, and cigarettes (ready-rolls) were 12 cents a pack, a boy's overalls were 75 cents, a spool of thread was 5 cents, and ten hours hard work at the sawmill got you 75 cents.
The war years, starting in 1941, brought relief from the depression and Anxiety to every mother's heart. I was too short to get into uniform so served in a civilian capacity with the military across the nation and in the Hawiian Islands. My Mother's letters to me were so filled with worry and concern that I sometimes got the impression that she thought I was at the front.
My brother, Garland, enlisted in the Navy and served three years as a dry-land sailor. He even did a short tour in the desert at a place called Twenty-nine Palms in California. During the war years my Father was one of the few men back home who did not work in a defense job. By this time his farming operation had turned to stock farming, some romanticists call it ranching. He supplemented this income by working at the local sawmill and by independently operating in the timber business. He had two sons and a daughter who had yet to finish high school, and the increasing demands of an escalating economy had to be met. He too worried about the war and listened attentively to the news at every opportunity.
In late 1945 and early 1946 "Johnny came marching home" by the thousands. Our parents were inclined to lean back and let the boys take over.
In the middle 1950s, my sister, Sue, completed high school. Her graduation must have been a joyous occasion for my parents for one of their primary goals had been achieved, all of their living children had graduated from high school.
When Sue married in 1956 my parents were alone for the first time in their entire life together. Their loneliness was tempered somewhat by frequent visits from sons and grandchildren. Cora Sue Raulston Boone and husband, James, were in the Air Force at the time and were therefore not able to visit the home folk so often.
After James' discharge from service they moved back home. Their timing was fortunate for Mother's health was failing rapidly. I think that very few, if any, of the people concerned realize what a tremendous service James and Sue rendered the family by being there to care for Mother the two or three years prior to her death. After Mother's death, James and Sue built a new home on the Northeast corner of the Raulston homestead tract and Father moved in with them. We were pleased to have them move into a comfortable new home but our pleasure was accompanied by a sadness because after one hundred and thirteen years of continuously providing shelter for four generations of Raulstons, the old home was abandoned. There is nothing in this world which looks more lonesome than an abandoned house, especially if that house was your home for the first twenty years of your life. I feel pangs of remorse and guilt each time I look at it, for although it is not economically feasible to repair or rebuild the old house, it seems a disgrace and a shame to allow it to rot away.
During his lifetime, Clarence Melvin Raulston, Sr. saw the invention of the automobile, and the first person to walk on the moon, while still enjoying simpler times. He passed away at the age of 84.
He was a brilliant scholar, and all the tales, legends, and history came from him - passed down from generation to generation.
Fun statistics from the 1930 records. My Mom said Pa was always taking folks in... check this out!
Clarence M Raulston, "United States Census, 1930" Name: Clarence M Raulston Titles and Terms: Event Type: Census Event Year: 1930 Event Place: Precinct 1, Red River, Texas, United States District: 0005 Gender: Male Age: 36 Marital Status: Married Race: White Race (Original): White Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Head Birth Year (Estimated): 1894 Birthplace: Texas Immigration Year: Father's Birthplace: Texas Mother's Birthplace: Texas
Household Gender Age Birthplace Head Clarence M Raulston M 36 Texas Wife Nannie B Raulston F 33 Texas Son C M Raulston M 9 Texas Son Garland Raulston M 7 Texas Daughter Katy Raulston F 5 Texas Son Herbert Raulston M 1 Texas Son Ollie J Raulston M 0 Texas Niece Bertha Brady F 17 Texas Head J E Haley M 55 Texas Wife Martha Haley F 52 Texas