Website Status – April

I have been receiving quite a few queries so I have been busy working on those and there has been some great connections, including a letter and some photos returned to family members. Those are the kinds of things that keep me going.

I have started working on the headstone notations in the gallery again and I am to the “G’s.”

I was looking through the obituaries and a test that I did, adding a link to the headstone in the gallery, a link to Find-a-Grave, and a link to that individual’s death certificate on Familysearch.org. As I feared, the links to the obituaries on family search are now broken. They also don’t seem to allow you to look up every death record for that county right now either so the link on the main page will show an error though it gets you to the database so you can do a lookup. This could be to a Texas privacy law that does not allow you to create a list of the death records online. I’m not sure at this time. But I will figure out a solution soon. I also noticed that in general, some of the tables are too big for the pages. I will fix that as soon as I can.

If you are on Facebook, you are welcome to “like” the page created for this website. Click the banner on the right hand side of this page. We have a lot of new members lately I’m sure due to a referral from a lovely lady who has a Facebook Page called Panhandle Tidbits. She is a great historical writer and she includes histories on Swisher County and posts some wonderful photographs that I’m sure you will enjoy if you have ancestors from the Panhandle.

I am still moving pages from the old sites. If there’s anything that you want to see that isn’t working properly, please let me know and I will see if I can get it fixed for you. If you have any photographs or information about your family that you would like to archive on this page, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email is listed in the image at the top of this page (to prevent spammers).

Speaking of spammers… I’ve been trying hard to combat it at this site. I have got over 43,000 spam comments since I installed an addon to combat it a few years ago! So glad I don’t have to do that on my own. I also get at least 20 spam user registrations a day. Several months ago, I was alerted that someone had been able to attach coding to my site to add spam links to every legitimate comment made. I’m hoping I was able to get rid of that. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before something else happens. I sure wish I could spend that time working on the website instead. Please let me know if you see anything unusual and my apologies in advance if anything gets missed.

Thank you for your patience!

~*~ Sharon

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Gallery Progress

The “D” headstones are now indexed in the gallery. It’s not much, but it’s progress! :)

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Update March 2013

I just wanted to let you know that I’m still around even though I haven’t posted any news recently. I’m piddling around in the background, answering an increasing amount of queries, and getting ready to dive in again. I’ve been absolutely thrilled at the number of family heirlooms people are coming forward with wanting to get them back to family. I love that and I’m happy to help all that I can.

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Quilt Update

I have just learned that the quilt I posted about earlier this year is in the process of being donated to the Swisher County Museum. It will make a great addition!

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Potential Delay in Responses

I just wanted to let everyone know that I might have a delay in responding to any inquiries. I will kind of be “on maternity leave” for a week or so. I can’t really predict what might happen, how long I’ll be in the hospital, or how long my recovery will be but hopefully not long at all. But by all means, continue to send them and I will answer as soon as I can!

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Flooding in Kress, Texas May 24, 1957


Flooding in Kress, Texas 1957. James W Moore Collection.

Flooding at a business in Kress, Texas, May 24th, 1957. Does anyone have any more information or photos that I can post?

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Robert Leonard Photo Collection Added!

Robert Leonard was an carpenter who designed and built a lot of homes and some businesses in Tulia. His daughter, Cora Leonard Speck was in Tulia’s first graduating class and became a teacher at Tulia Public Schools. Robert’s grandson, Jon Speck, just submitted a wonderful collection of his photos to the site! Click the photo to view a slideshow! If you are from the area, you may recognize some of the homes and businesses in some of the photos.

 Tulia Mademoiselles

Robert with a young tung tree

Robert McDonald LEONARD

“My great-grandfather, Robert McDonald Leonard was born in Ellis County, Texas, in January, 1858. On December 14, 1883, he married Adella Patterson (1864–1957) in Johnson Co. The couple had six children, Ethel (b. 1887), Cora Roberta (August 1890–1968), J. Lamar (d. December 9, 1934), Andrew Berry, (b. June 1897), Raymond (b. July 1898), and Alberta (b. July 1903).

Robert’s parents, John W. Leonard and Martha Elizabeth Berry Leonard (married in Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Ovilla, in 1856), moved from Ellis County to Johnson County between 1870 and 1880, and then by 1900 moved again to Randall County.

Robert’s family followed his parents to the Panhandle, settling in Tulia sometime in 1907. They joined First Presbyterian Church of Tulia where Robert was ordained Elder and served as Clerk of Session. He was elected delegate to Presbytery in Childress, 1911. In 1908, Adella was named the first president of Tulia Presbyterian’s Home Missionary Society. Robert was a carpenter, designing and building houses and other structures. He also served as Swisher County Tax Assessor. He made a formal appeal to the state Controller and Attorney General in 1909 to uphold his assessments when the Board of Equalization drastically cut the values of properties in Swisher County (Dallas Morning News 8-1-1909) . His daughter, Cora (my grandmother) was a member of the first graduating class of Tulia High School, 1910, along with Carl Hale and Velma French. Cora attended West Texas State Normal School in Canyon, and taught public school in Tulia. The family left Tulia for Tarrant County in 1914. Robert moved to Dowling Park, Florida. He built the first building for Advent Old Folks Home, an institution still in operation as Advent Christian Village. In 1924, he raised tung oil trees developed by the Experiment Station (University of Florida). After his death the trees were considered a noted success (Suwannee Democrat, 1-31-1930). Robert returned to Texas and died in Grand Prairie in 1929.”

Jon Speck, April 16, 2012

Do you have photos and stories you would like to contribute? Message me using the contact form or the email address listed in the image on the main page.

 

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Obituary and Other Progress

I am still working on the obituaries and the obituary index. I am experimenting with making them all one file. You can view an example here where I have taken the index, added the obituary underneath the name if I had the full obituary, and linked their headstone in the gallery if it was there, as well as their death certificate on familysearch.org if it could be found. I also linked anyone I found on findagrave.com since I volunteer some with that project. I also requested permission to add any photos of headstones that were not available in the gallery on this site so I’ll be adding them as permission is granted.

I did move some of the birth records (through 1969) here to this site but they are not displaying correctly at the moment. You can still view them at the old site if you are having problems with any of the files. The good thing is that all the ones I moved will now show up in search.

In adding photos to the gallery, I did discover an issue. The default view of tags is not immediately updating the names. I don’t know if there’s a limit to the tags or if it’s just a glitch. If you click the icon with the various sized A’s, you can view an alphabetical list. They all seem to display there. I have linked that view in the gallery link description where it says “tags.”

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The Gallery is a go!

The new gallery seems to be working out pretty well for what I was needing. I almost have it completely set up. I just need to go through the landmark album and then begin the long process of adding the headstone inscriptions. This will allow you to quickly find the one you are looking for using search. All the headstones are tagged with the last name so that should help you narrow down the choices to find what you are looking for. I also have a new collection of photos from the Leonard family to go though. Mr Leonard was a home builder in Swisher County and one of his descendants was kind enough to contribute his photo collection to the site. Other than that, it’s ready!

Check out the Gallery! You can now find most photos by using the tags I have added.

Do you have photos you’d like to contribute? Send an email to me at webmaster@swishertx.com and I’ll be happy to get them added!

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New Gallery, More Obits Consolidated

I’m experimenting with another Gallery. The first one I tested just didn’t do what I needed it to. It’s in the process of being built, tagged, and labelled, but please feel free to check it out! If you are looking for a particular surname, you can use the tag page here, but please note that not all of the photos are tagged yet.

I’ve also been working on moving, consolidating, and alphabatizing the obituaries some more. They are getting there!

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