Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Emily E. Griffith Wade

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

Emily Elizabeth Griffith was born on June 21, 1918, to Ernest Howard and Maggie (Bush) Griffith, at Gouldbusk, joining sisters Dorothy Evelyn, Bonnie Lee, Frances Ruth, and brother Ernest Howard, Jr. (affectionately known as “Son”).  Another sister, Helen Virginia was born five years later, May 6, 1923.  I was named for my paternal grandmother, Emily Hunton Griffith (see A.D. Griffith).

Our daddy, coming to Gouldbusk in 1906, helped to get Busk’s first cotton gin going, then got a job as rural mail carrier.  There was a saying aroung Busk, “If Mr. Ernest couldn’t cross the rain-swollen creeks or travel the muddy roads, it couldn’t be done.”  Relatives, friends, neighbors and patrons honored him with a party when he retired after 44 years of devoted service.

Our mother graduated from the Kings Daughters Hospital School of Nursing in Temple, before her marriage to “Mr. Ernest.”  In addition to caring for a family of eight people, she was always willing to help nurse a sick person in the neighborhood back to health.  She assisted Dr. Spruiell when needed.  Although she was a member of the Church of Christ (there wasn’t one in Busk) she taught Sunday School and was active in the Gouldbusk Methodist Church.

Previous to marrying Maggie Bush, our father had been married to Maude Griffith (a distant cousin) who died at the birth of Margaret (Griffith) Gustafson.  Margaret’s mother was the granddaughter of Angelina Elizabeth Dickinson, the babe of the Alamo, about whom much was written in the history of Texas.  Margaret was raised by her grandparents, Almeron Dickinson and Jessie (Freeman) Griffith.

(1) Dorothy, married C.B. Edwards, an Ag teacher at Mozelle High School in 1935.  They later moved to a ranch near Stephenville, where they built a lovely home. Dorothy now lives in San Diego, California.

(2) Bonnie Lee, died at age 14 due to what may have been encephalitis (sleeping sickness).

(3) Ruth, after working as a secretary in Abilene, married Elmer E. Little.  They have two children, Bonnie (Little) Martin and Robert, now living in Houston.  Bonnie and George live in Chicago, Illinois, and have one child, Mary Michelle.

(4) Ernest, Jr., married his childhood sweetheart, Mildred Smith in 1938, and kept the Griffith name going by having two sons, Don and Leslie Howard.  We were saddened by the news of his death in 1961, while on a fishing trip.  Mildred has just recently passed on.

(5) Helen, after finishing school at Mozelle High School, went to Draughon’s Business College in Abilene, then to Tarleton College at Stephenville.  She worked at Sears in Dallas, Cox-Hunter-Hall and for the late Sol B. Estes, M.D. in Abilene for five years.  She is now living in San Diego.

(6) Emily graduated from Gouldbusk High and attended Draughon’s Business College to become a secretary.  About 1 1/2 years later, I married James Brooks Wade of Abilene, where we lived before moving to San Diego.  We were both employed at Consolidated Aircraft during WW II.  Our marriage was blessed with four sons:  Brooks Howard, who married Rita Louise Edwards, now lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with their two daughters, Kirsten Ashley and Cara Alison. Carl Norman, married Katherine Louise Thomas, now living in Abilene, with their two daughters, Monica Monique and Autumn Marissa. Dennis James, married Sharron Perkins, now lives in El Dorado Hills, California with their three children, Tyler James, Sarah Kay, and Heather Louise.  Andrew Ernest is a bachelor, living with his father in Abilene, and works for I. A. Parmer Oil Company.  James and I were divorced in 1971.  I have spent the last ten years going to Grossmont College in El Cajon, California, receiving my Associate Art Degree in art in May, 1982.  At present, I am doing Indian-related pottery and teaching pottery at the Girl’s Club in El Cajon.

(Image to be added)

Top: James [Jimmy] Wade, Wilfreda, Wilfred and Margaret [Griffith] Gustafson, Dorothy [Griffith] Edwards, Helen Griffith, Mildred [Smith] Griffith, Elmer Little, wife Ruth, sitting in front of him; bottom: Emily [Griffith] Wade, Ernest Howard Griffith, Sr., Ernest Howard, Jr., Maggie [Bush] Griffith, and their grandchildren, Bonnie [Little] Martin, Robert "Bob" Little, Brooks Howard Wade, Carl Norman Wade, Dennis Wade and Andrew Ernest Wade, Don and Leslie Griffith.

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This page last updated August 14, 2005
© 1982 - 2005 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.