My granddad was a wealthy banker in the roaring twenties in Slaton, Tx.
On a black Friday in 1929 all that changed. The stock market crashed. The Great Deppression began. The bank failed. He took care of his depositers and drove to San Angelo with enough money for gas and a place for his family. He got a job as credit manager for Whitaker Bros. Implement Co. (Porter Henderson married one of the daughters and later took over the company). The Olive family was loving life in their new home town. My dad, John, was eleven when they moved, and my uncle Bill, who was older, found a beautiful girl to marry him!
In 1936 Bill had an infected tooth. Penicilin was yet to be discovered, so infections were serious. He wound up in Shannon Hospital. At the same time my grandmother, Beulah, got a bad cold. So bad she finally went to Shannon. It was pneumonia and she died the next day. The family was devasted. So much so that no one in my generation ever heard her name mentioned. Without my Aunt Ilene I would never know anything about her. She told me wonderful stories. I understood their devastation.
My granddad couldn't function...for six years. In 1942 Eugene Monroe walked home from Junior High School to his dad's seed store at 42 East Concho Ave. He found his dad dead of a heart attack in the back of the store. Eugene told me he had no family left. Within a few days he jumped a train to Dallas. Life was different then. My granddad wound up buying the store and called it Olive Seed Store. His hopes were that his sons, both in the army and both in Europe at the time, would come home and join him.
My dad, John, joined him in 1951 or so. My mother, Mary, joined about 1955, and I in 1976.
It's been eighty-one years.
West Texas has been good to us, and we've tried to be good for West Texas.
Please come by as we celebrate eighty years in the family.
Olive's 1942 - 2023