Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Theatus LeMay

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

“Pappy,” as Albert Herman LeMay was fondly called by his grandchildren, was born near Leighton, Alabama, May 19, 1863. He was an exceptionally tall and strong man. He was both a farmer and a blacksmith. Besides shoeing horses, he made or repaired any metal parts his neighbors needed. He was well known throughout Coleman County for his ability to make parts for and to repair guns. After his hip was broken, he spent many hours a day on the front porch in his wheel chair repairing guns and making paring knives. The knives he made from parts of a plane that fell near Valera, during World War II. When the blacksmith shop was built at the Coleman City Park, his children donated his blacksmith equipment to be placed in it.

He had been an outdoors person all his life. As a young man, he often used his gun to furnish food for the family, but his favorite sport was fishing. He was never happier than when he was on the banks of a creek or lake throwing in a hook and catching a “mess of fish.” He was very proud of his membership in the Masonic Lodge and was a member of the Methodist Church.

Albert H. was married three times. He was unfortunate in that he lost his first two wives to dread diseases, in less than 11 years. His last marriage lasted some 53 years, after which he lived another 8 years in his home. On November 1, 1887, he and Pattie Hurley, July 4, 1868-January 27, 1894, were married in Brick, Alabama. She is buried in Rice, Texas. They had two sons: Thomas Wesley, December 19, 1888-1946, and Albert Harvey, September 27, 1890-August 7, 1892, buried in Rice. Toni married Mrs. Dee Saunders, February 14, 1885-May 19, 1969, on December 13, 1926 (see Rae-Minor).

On June 13, 1894, Albert H. and Mary E. Wasson were married in Rice. She is buried in Leland, near Rice. They had one daughter, Meithel Hart, born September 2, 1895, married William Byron Cathey, February 13, 1916 in Coleman (see Cathey Family). Byron worked many years for the Texas Highway Department. They were members of the First Christian Church and Byron sang in the choir. They had six children: (1) Mary Emma married Leslie Taylor, no children; (2) Edna married Henry Sayles, had two daughters, Cathey Lynn and Carol Ann. Cathey married Joe Gillespie of Coleman (see George W. Brewer); (3) Buena Vista married Mcndol Pool, no children; (4) Herman R. married Betty Archibald. They had four children: Debra (Betty’s daughter), Byron. Mark and Gregg; (5) Billy Dan married Kathleen Meadows. They had three children: Lloyd Dan, Mary Ann and Leslie Kay; (6)Jo Ann married ,Johnny King of Glen Cove. They have three children: John Michael, and Johnny’s daughters Donna and Debbie. Mary Emma and Buena are the only ones still living in Coleman.

Early in 1899, Albert H. and Emma Caroline Ander­son, January 12, 1875-January 7, 1946, were married in Rice. They had three sons:

(1) Joseph, May 25, 1900-November 3, 1968. He was a farmer. He specialized in raising sheep and training sheep dogs to work them. He often demonstrated his dogs fascinating work at sheep shows. Becoming well known for his fine sheep, which he registered with The American and Delaine- Merino Record Associa­tion. He sold some of them, according to letters found in his papers, as far away as Ohio and South America. Among Joe’s many records was one for the champion ewe in Cole­man in 1957. Joseph and Laura Leola Griffis of Valera were married February 13, 1927. They lived in Coleman County near Valera most of their married life (see John P. Griffis);

(2) Albert Edwin (see Ed and Theatus LeMay);

(3) James Peerson “Jake”,July 31, 1905-February 12, 1964, and An­nie Mae McMillon of Coleman were married November 19, 1932 in Coleman. They had three children: Martha Ann, James Irvin “Bill” and Joe Dan. Ann, Martha and the boys live in Coleman. Joe married Laura Needham of Coleman and they have a daughter, Amanda Kay. Bill has a son by his first wife; he is now married to Kay Holhingsworth and they have a son, Clint Eugene. “Jake” was a banker. He was working in the First Coleman National Bank when he became ill. He died in St. John’s Hospital in San Angelo. In 1908, Albert H., Emma, and family moved to Coleman County. According to son, Ed, they lived in different com­munities in the county through the years, but most of that time in Valera before they moved to Coleman. All the children married Coleman County people and all, except Harvey, are buried in Coleman.

Emma LeMay was kind and loving mother to all five of the LeMay children. The Cathey grandchildren lovingly called her “Granny May”, a name that she was called as long as she lived. Since Emma lost both her parents, when she was quite young, she grew up with different relatives; one was a cousin whose husband was a doctor. She learned much about caring for the sick and was often asked to help neighbors in time of illness and was always willing and ready to go wherever she was needed. Like Albert, Emma was also a very determined person. After suffering a broken hip a few years before Albert’s accident and having resigned herself to the idea that she would never walk again, she, when told her husband had broken his hip, immediately announced that she was going to walk and she did. She said that no way could they both be cripples.

Upon the request of “Pappy”, he and “Granny May” were both buried in Valera, on lot which appealed to him because it was a quiet restful-looking spot at the foot of a hill under a lovely young mesquite tree.

(Images to be added)

J. P., Ed and Joe LeMay, Meithel (LeMay) Cathey, Tom, Emma and Albert H. LeMay

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