Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by R. W. Haynes

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

Joe H. Haynes is the son of Isaac Newton (Charlie) and Clara Jane Haynes (see Charlie Haynes), and was born October 8, 1897.  Joe remembers a particular incident that occurred in 1909 when he was still a boy.  During 1908 and 1909, the Santa Anna lake was being built northeast of Santa Anna.  In 1909, Joe and his dad, Charlie, went in their wagon to Santa Anna to locate Mr. L. L. Shield.  They were informed by a person in Santa Anna that Mr. Shield was at the lake site helping with its construction.  The lake was being constructed by men, oxen and plows, known as “slips” or “scrapers.”  The oxen were hitched to the plows with yokes and chains, in pairs with six oxen as a team.  The future bed of the lake was quite rocky.  As a result, when the plow hit a large rock, the men holding the plow had to shake the plow from side to side to dislodge the rock.  As Joe and Charlie watched the plowing, Mr. Shield, a large man over six feet tall, yelled to the man operating the oxen team to “Shake the plow; shake the plow.”  Mr. Shield became impatient with the man and grabbed the plow and shook the plow himself.  When he did, a pistol fell from his coat.  Mr. Shield calmly picked up the pistol and returned the pistol to his coat and the plow to the team’s operator.  After seeing the pistol, the man operating the team shook the plow vigorously.  Joe remembers his own eyes growing wide when the pistol fell.  He watched Mr. Shield cautiously while he talked with his dad.  Joe remembers the oxen and the man that guided them.  Oxen, especially six together, were an unusual site.  The team’s operator had a long whip that was used to control the oxen.  The men never struck the oxen.  The whip was used to signal to two lead oxen.  They were trained to respond to the popping sound of the whip.  If the whip was popped on the right side of the oxen, they turned left and vice-versa.  The oxen played a large role in building the lake.

In the fall of 1917, Joe started school at Texas A & M. In the spring of 1918, Joe’s Dad was suffering with meningitis, so he left school to return home due to his father’s illness.  In March 1918, Joe married Bessie Grant, the daughter of Charlie Owen and Frances Evelyn “Fannie” (Chestnut) Grant.  Mr. Grant’s farm adjoined the Haynes farm (see Charlie Owen Grant).  During the same year a drought had started in Coleman County.  During this time many families left the Rockwood and Trickham area.  The crops produced little or nothing and grazing for cattle was limited.  The drought turned many people away from farming to other jobs.  Joe Haynes was one of those.  He was renting a house on his Uncle Elmer Haynes’ land when he decided to work in the oil fields.  In 1919, he worked as a tool dresser.  Between 1923 and 1939 he was the overseer of the Robertson ranch and lived in Santa Anna.  While in Santa Anna, their four children were born.  They are:

(1) Joseph Charles (J. C.), April 14, 1919-October 23, 1959, (killed in an automobile accident), married Sue Joyce McDaniels, May 6, 1943.  They divorced in 1953.  No children.

(2) Elsie Daphane, October 26, 1921, married William Luther (Bill) Jones, born March 3,1919, in August 1940.  Their children: William Galen, Gary Luther, Joe Ken and Shirley Elaine.  Elsie and Bill lived in Coleman where they had an appliance store, but now have a horse ranch near Lawn.

(3) Wayne Galen, March 11, 1925, married Jerlene Hodges, February 14, 1947 (see Joseph Sylvester Hodges).

(4) Shirley Imogene, November 14, 1934-February 11, 1936, buried at Trickham.

By 1942, Joe and Bessie and family left Coleman County and moved to Fort Worth. Since Bessie’s death, Joe lives with his son, Wayne G. and family, on a farm at Roanoke.  He is 85 1/2 years old and is still quite active.

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This page last updated November 12, 2005
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