Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

The Travis Goodgion Family
by Ruby Goodgion Yates

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

T. Homer Goodgion and Bessie Tarter, both came to Coleman County at young ages.  Homer was about 17 years old, came from Delta County with his widowed mother and his many brothers and sisters (see Z. D. Goodgion) and settled just north of Trickham in 1907, with the Mukewater Creek close by.  Times were very difficult for this widowed mother and her brood.  The children went without shoes even in the winter time and had very few worldly goods.  Homer told in later years of being delighted as a young man to get a job grubbing stumps for $1.50 a day; his work day lasted from sun-up until dark.  Eventually, most of the children married and had families of their own, continuing to have ties within or near to Coleman County.

Bessie Tarter's family also lived at Trickham.  They came to the county in about 1909.  They had survived the terrible Galveston hurricane in 1900.  Her family consisted of her mother and six children: sons Arthur, Will, John and daughters Etheleen, Jimmie and Bessie.  The first five children were by her mother’s first husband, George Oaks, who had passed away.  Later, Bessie’s mother married James Tarter.  He and his step sons could not get along, so he left the family, but they never got divorced.

Bessie, as a young girl, met Homer Goodgion about 1915.  They were married June 18, 1916, and lived for a time with his mother until they obtained their own farm of about 134 acres about two miles from Trickham.  He built a new house about 1926.  Their children: Hayden Wilburn, born in 1917, Floyd Allen in 1918, Zona Violetta in 1920, Doris Lee in 1926, and twins, Reba Merle and Ruby Pearl, May 21, 1930, all born and raised on the family farm.

A gas well was dug on a neighbor’s land potentially for the community of Trickham, but it did not produce enough gas.  Since Homer's house was the closest to the well, it was agreed that he could use the gas from it if he would see to the well.  So his farm house had gas ceiling lights in every room, and a gas ceiling light in the storm cellar.

Homer and Bessie attended the Trickham Union Church.  They sent their children to the Trickham School, where they each went from 1st grade through 8th grade.  They traveled by bus daily to Santa Anna, for their high school education, with each graduating from high school there.  Hayden and Floyd went to Daniel Baker College.  Hayden graduated from there and Floyd later graduated from McMurry College in Abilene.

Hayden married Ruth Rollins from Rising Star, and two children were born to their marriage.  During WW II, Hayden worked in a defense plant, later becoming a public school superintendent, at Winchell, Lawn, Oplin, ending his days as school superintendent in Denison.  He now is regional education director of Dallas County.

Floyd served in the U.S. Army in WWII.  He became a school teacher, then elementary school principal in Clovis, New Mexico, marrying a school teacher, Gay Outlaw, and raising his family of two daughters in Clovis.

Violetta attended Daniel Baker, married Don Plaskett.  They settled in Vallejo, Cal­ifornia, had two boys . Violetta has worked as a draftsman for the government for many years.

Doris attended Daniel Baker, married Winifred Weldon Shaw, and they raised their family of five children in the Dallas area.

Reba married Robert Lynn Jongema in Santa Anna Methodist Church, soon after high school graduation.  They moved to Corpus Christi, where Robert worked as a chemist.  Robert’s parents, Reverend and Mrs. Henry Jongema, a Methodist minister, had Santa Anna ties of its own (see L.D. Boyd).

Ruby graduated from Hardin-Simmons Uni­versity in Abilene, married Jack Yates, who became an attorney in Abilene.  They have two daughters

(Ruby and Reba were twins.  Ruby was born first, then Reba was born minutes later.  --- from Roxanne Jongema Peeples, 2008.)

Bessie (Tarter) Goodgion died at the age of 77 in 1969, and Travis Homer Goodgion died at the age of 92 in 1982, both buried in Trickham.

The family participated along with other farm families in community enterprises, such as wheat threshings, at which time Bessie would feed the large threshing crews with good home cooked meals.  They had several milk cows, horses or mules until a tractor was bought which they called "Poppin Johnny."  They raised hogs, turkeys and white leghorn chickens.  They also had sheep.  Homer loved to sing and attended the noted singing school of Mr. Carnelious in central Texas.  He often led the singing at the Trickham community church and sang at community singings and funerals for many, many years.  One of his great loves even when he was in his nineties was the yearly "homecoming" which he hosted for family and friends, where once again he led singing as in earlier days.  The Goodgions and their Trickham neighbors helped each other during special hog killing season; with quilting, canning and preserving. Bessie made her own lye soap.

Homer and Bessie sold their farm in 1946, and moved to Santa Anna, where Homer, with Floyd as a partner, set up a lumber yard known as Goodgion & Son Lumber Yard.  Homer operated this until he was 91 years old, some 16 months before his death.  He and Bessie made friends in Santa Anna, but many of their dearest friends were from Trickham, the place where they married and where their six children were born and reared.

(Images to be added)

Travis Homer and Bessie

Hayden Wilburn with son, Hayden Gary, first grandchild

Floyd Allen Goodgion - 1916

Violetta Goodgion

Ruby, Doris and Reba Goodgion

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This page last updated February 26, 2008
© 1982 - 2008 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.