Pearson and Guice were close to Claud and his family since Claud and Daisy really acted more as parents than as brother and sister‑in‑law.  Pearson was very fond of his niece Tressie whom he said was like a younger sister.  He was also fond of Tressie's brother Ervin, and of Ovid, but he had left their home by the time Thelma was growing up and didn't know her as well.


Pearson said that when he was about seven a carnival came nearby and the boys all wanted to go.  Thomas would not give them any money for the carnival.  The boys took one of Thomas' pigs and dyed it with shoe polish.  They then told their father that a neighbor had given them the pig in payment for some work they had done for him.  Thomas bought the pig from them and the boys used the money for the carnival.  Soon the polish began to wear off and Thomas realized he had bought his own pig.  Pearson said they got a whipping, but they didn't care because they had already been to the carnival, spent the money, and had fun.


In 1895‑96 there was extreme weather in North Central Texas.  According to Pearson, a record‑setting late, late snow storm on May 5 one year killed a lot of cattle, especially calves, and ruined the crops.  The remaining cattle had to be saved to sell or build the herd and couldn't be used to feed the family.  The swine also had to be sold to have money for supplies.  The only meat for the next year was chicken‑‑every day.  According to Pearson, that is why he hated chicken for the rest of his life!


The year 1896 was filled with killer tornadoes which also killed a lot of stock as well as people and wiped out a large portion of the nearby town of Sherman.  Pearson said anyone who had been in the tornadoes he had seen would always be afraid of storms.  Mattie Holsapple Hall in her book A HISTORY OF GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS says that the tornado on May 15, 1896, was the worst disaster in county or area history, killing 73 people.


Jolene Doering has in her possession a letter from James Sanders' mother to Venice telling her about life on the Oklahoma range and encouraging her to come to Oklahoma to homestead with James (see text of letter under Venice's section).  In 1899, when Venice and her husband James Sanders moved to Greer County, Oklahoma, Thomas Vestal also moved there.  Thomas lived in Louis, in Duke, helped found the township of Martin, and lived in the county seat of Hollis.  When moving to that area of Oklahoma from Texas, most people crossed the Red River by ferry at Quanah.  According to Paul Bible in his history of Hollis and Harmon County, Thomas Vestal Johnson was the first man to bring Guernsey cows into Harmon County.



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