Born July 24, 1886  and was the 5th child of Thomas Vestal Johnson and Harriett "Hattie" Araminta Clemmons




hillyeraltonjohnson.jpgHillyer and his wife Luda lived in Fort Worth at the time of Hillyer's death in 1966. They also lived in Martin, Oklahoma, in Burkburnett, Texas, and in South Texas. Hillyer lost the fingers of one hand in a cotton gin accident.  Having spent a lot of time during his early years and his mother's illness with the Johnson family's Swedish neighbors, Hillyer spoke fluent Swedish.  He worked at many jobs including cotton gins, baking, farming, mining, and oil field work.  It was an oil derrick accident when a boiler exploded in his face that left him with a permanent pinkish-red complexion on his face.    As a result of that accident and the fact that he could speak Swedish, his nickname was "Olie," and he was teased about being a "red-faced Swede".  Hillyer believed the Johnson family was from Sweden.


According to Elmer, Hillyer and Guice at one time operated a bakery on Mustang Island down by Galveston.  They had a contract with the Navy and were reportedly doing pretty well.  Their father Thomas moved down with his sons to "help" them run the bakery.  He made a muddle and interfered continually.  Hillyer and Guice got so mad at their father that they left and turned the bakery over to him.  Thomas soon went bankrupt and returned to Oklahoma.


Hillyer at one time owned thirteen acres of bottom land near Burkburnett.  When the Texas/Oklahoma line was redrawn, the location of the land placed it in a different state.  The court house in which the deeds were recorded burned and Hillyer had no proof of ownership to certify his claim on the land.  Hillyer hired, according to Elmer, "the crookedest lawyer in Burkburnett" to reclaim the land for him.  Unfortunately, the lawyer wound up with the land instead of Hillyer.  Elmer said the land had thirteen oil wells on it when he last saw it.  The 1920 census shows Hillyer and Ludee (census spelling) living at 409 West 3rd Street, in Burkburnett, Texas, with Floyd age 14 and Marvin age 2 1/2.  The same census indicates that Floyd was born in Oklahoma and Marvin in New Mexico.


Before Ludy married while she still lived in Greer County in Oklahoma, her aunt had wanted her to come live with her in Texas and study to become a teacher.  Ludy chose to remain in Oklahoma where she married Hillyer.  When Ludy was a young girl, she fell from a hayloft onto a pitchfork.  One of the tines of the fork punctured her spine.  The family was afraid she would never walk again, but the only permanent damage was her crossed eyes.  Luda always told her family that she wanted to live to be a hundred.  She had a big celebration when she reached one hundred with a feature write-up in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  However, according to her son Elmer and daughter-in-law Doris, after reaching that goal Luda seemed to lose interest in living and died just a few weeks later.


Ø  Hillyer and Luda had four children: Floyd, Marvin, Claude (died as an infant), and Elmer. 

o   Floyd married Katherine (unknown last name) and their children:

§  Jimmie

§   Jerry

§   Peggie Joyce

§   Judy

§   Camelia (who died young). 

o   Marvin first married Teola (unknown last name) and they had 2 daughters:

§  Emma Nadine

§  Linda Sue

o    He remarried Meryle (unknown last name)  and had 1 daughter:

§  Margaret Ruth on April 1, 1950 in Ft. Worth, Texas

o   Elmer (Dec 8, 1922) married Doris Marie Genest (Nov 14, 1926) and they have two sons:

§   Thomas Allen on Sept 8, 1946 in Ft. Worth, Texas

§   Robert Stephen on Oct 2, 1947 in Los Angeles, California 


Elmer tried to enlist in the Air Force when World War II came, but was turned down because he was color blind.  For the same reason, he was not hired by Montgomery Ward catalog warehouse in Fort Worth.  However, he was able to get a job driving a mail truck for the post office, and worked at that job until he retired.  The traffic lights in the portion of Fort Worth in which Elmer drove a mail truck were all standardized and gave him no problems.  Elmer said that when he and Marvin would go fishing together at Texhoma, traffic lights in the small towns along the way were a problem because the lights were not standardized at that time.  Both he and Marvin were color blind, as was their father.  If there were no cars waiting at a light, he and Marvin would pull over to wait until they could see how traffic was moving before they crossed the intersection.



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