"James Noble Haile"


"The night Paw and Mrs. Lizzie got married the neighbors decided that they would shivaree them," Alma recalls.  "Dud found out about it and told Paw.  Paw and Dud stretched ropes all around the house so the neighbors would trip on the ropes when they tried to sneak up to the house.  Then Paw and Mrs. Lizzie went down to the little gray where Dud lived and sat in the dark so the neighbors couldn't find them.  Ollie found out where they were hiding so he told the men.  Paw and Mrs. Lizzie had hid the buggy so maybe they would think they had gone back to her mother's to get her kids, but the shirareers figured it out and went down to the little house and started banging on pots and pans and making all kinds of racket and yelling "Jim Haile, you come out of there!"  "Well, finally Paw and Mrs. Lizzie came out and they all had a big party with lots to eat and a little after midnight everybody went home," Alma says.
"Paw never would let Maw order anything out of the Sears and Roebuck catalogue," Alma says, "but he would let Mrs. Lizzie order a few things but he never did like it much.  He figured it would be better if he did all the buying I guess."
"Right after Paw and Mrs. Lizzie married; Paw bought the little house that Mrs. Lizzie had lived in, and moved it to the ranch and set it among some bois d'arc trees just a little way from the ranch house.  Then Dud and Allie and their children moved into Mrs. Lizzie's house and Paw tore the little gray house down," Alma recalls.
It was spring of 1911.  Ollie, Dud, Jim and Cubbie had the oats, cotton and corn planted and up the calves castrated and branded and were breaking some of the horses that Jim had raised and bought.  "Paw bought, sold and traded horses almost every week," Alma says.  "He just couldn't resist a good horse swapping with some of the neighbors or just anybody that came through the country."  The girls and Mrs. Lizzie had the garden up and were getting ready to make grape and plum preserves and start the peaches to drying.
"Paw knew every rancher within a hundred miles," Alma says.  "Mr. Bryson, who lived in Comanche, about 45 miles northwest of Hico, wanted to buy some young heifers and also some steers.  He and Paw made a deal for Paw to deliver about 500 head of young stock to him.  Paw would get on his horse and ride all over the country buying cattle.  When he got about 500 gathered on the ranch he would start his drive.  There was Paw, Ollie, Dud, Jim, Cubbie, Noble, Ollie's oldest boy who was 7 years old, Wyley, Allie's husband who went along to do the cooking and Babe Garner, a young cowboy of 19 who had been working on the ranch for awhile."
"Paw would go ahead of the drive and find a place to keep the cattle at night, usually in some rancher's pasture," Alma recalls.  "He would pay the man for use of the pasture and any damage that the cattle might do.  The first night out it rained and stormed and the cattle stampeded the tore down the rancher's fences.  Wyley had to cook breakfast under the wagon next morning because it was raining so hard.  They fixed the rancher's fence and were on their way.  The next night they stayed at another ranch and it rained again and the cattle tore down the rancher's lot fences.  They were all sleeping in the barn and when it started raining, and the cattle broke out, Babe, Jim, and Noble acted like they were asleep and didn't get up and help.  Paw, Ollie and Dud got up right quick and started getting the cattle back in the lot.   After they got the cattle back and settled down Dud said, "if those crazy cattle had broke the fence down that was next to the barn and started in, I'll bet those boys would have quit possuming and got up and out of there!"
"Paw said he never made a cattle drive that it didn't rain," Alma laughs.  "They had a lot of trouble with blackleg in those young cattle.  When some calves got sick with the blackleg Paw had to leave them and when he came back they would be dead."
"Noble, Ollie's boy, was about 7 years old and wasn't big enough to get on his horse by himself," Alma recalls.  "The bigger boys got to kidding him about this and Noble said he was as big as any of them.  The bigger boys told him if he was so big, why didn't he just toss his hat to the ground and get off and get it.  Well, Noble took the dare and threw his hat to the ground and got off to get it.  The bigger boys put the spurs to their horses and ran off and left him.  Of course Noble couldn't get back on his horse, so he started squalling and bawling.  His daddy, Ollie, heard him and asked them what was the matter and the big boys said they didn't know but for some reason he just threw his hat to the ground.  Well, Ollie figured there was more to it so he just let it pass and went back and helped his little boy back on his horse."
They delivered the cattle to Mr. Bryson and Jim Haile collected his money and when it was all done he found that he had made about $2 a head profit on the 500 steers and heifers.  "Paw made a lot on the little short cattle drives," Alma recalls.  "He bought lots of cattle for that man in Comanche."
Little Jim and Babe Garner were working with the cattle one day and Little Jim happened to remember that it was May 25, 1911, Alma's (Tug's) birthday.  Jim said, "lets go inside and give Tug a whipping."  "That's about all we ever got for our birthdays," Alma recalls.  "Well, Paw was gone so Little Jim and Babe came into the house to whip me and we had one of the awfulest fights you ever saw," Alma laughs.  "Everybody helped me, Kate was big and strong and Mrs. Lizzie and Mollie helped me too.  Babe was coming after me and Mrs. Lizzie got hold of him and he slung her clear across the porch.  Mollie got hit in the head with a shoe and it raised a big knot on her head and we never did know just how it happened.  Well, I ran into the front room and Kate got hold of Babe and held him and I didn't get a whipping!  That Kate...... she was really stout."
It was fall and all the Haile kids were looking forward to starting to school.  "We had to pick the cotton and gather the corn first," Alma remembers.  "We all went to school even though Kate and I had studied every book there, we went anyway cause we just liked to go to school.  There was me, Kate, Little Jim, Mollie, Cubbie and Ella."
"Mrs. Lizzie got Paw to do things that Maw couldn't do," Alma recalls.  "Paw built us an outside toilet, screened in the back porch and put up a cloths line.  Course Mrs. Lizzie brought the clothesline with her when she married Paw.  Up till then we had to hang the clothes on the fences, trees and bushes around the house and it was a mess when the wind blew them all off.  We also got a phone too.  They ran the line down from Olin which was about 3 or 4 miles away and it was really nice being able to phone folks in Hico and other places right from our own house.  I think the phone was put in during the summer of 1911."
It was early December and all the Hailes were excited because Mrs. Lizzie was expecting a baby just any day.  "Paw sent for the doctor, or rather he called on the phone to Hico for the doctor and sent me with all the kids up to Ollie's," Alma recalls.  "Dora went down to help and also a neighbor, Mrs. Miles was there.  On December 8, 1911, David Crocket Haile was born.  Paw named him after that famous man that died fighting the Mexicans at the Alamo."
Jim Haile was now the father of 13 children, 12 living, including his brand new son David Crockett.  All the Hailes were very excited about the new baby boy because there hadn't been a baby on the Haile ranch for some time.  Ella was the last baby and she was 7 years old now.
On the 14th of December 1911, Jim bought 277 acres of land from the G.W. Poe survey for $800.  This last land purchase gave him a total of just over 3200 acres.  The Oxley place was a part of this land and Jim Haile gave the Oxley place to Dud who then moved his family from Mrs. Lizzie's little house in the bois d' arc trees on the ranch to this farm.  "Dud had married Allie Lynch in December of 1908 and moved to the little gray house just down the hill from the ranch house.  Then when Paw married Mrs. Lizzie, he bought the house where she had been living and moved it to the ranch and put it right in among the bois d' arc trees," Alma recalls.  "Then Dud and his family moved from the little gray house to Mrs. Lizzie's house.  Then Paw bought the Oxley place and gave it to Dud then he moved his family there."
There was another family of Lynchs that lived on a farm a few miles from the Haile ranch.  One of the sons, Bernard, had worked for Jim on the ranch off and on for several years.  During the fall and winter months, Bernard had helped haul cordwood that the Mexican families had cut along the river.
"They hauled four or five wagon loads of wood at a time and when we saw the wagons coming, Kate or I one, would have to go out and open the gate to the ranch, and the others would have to go put out feed for the horses and then stay and keep the chickens away from it," Alma remembers.  "Well, I was bashful so I would make Kate go open the gate and I would put out the feed.  Just as soon as Kate got the gate open she would run back to the house, and as soon as they started bringing the horses in the lot I would jump over the fence and run to the house," Alma laughs.  "We weren't allowed to be around close to the men."
"The men always kidded Bernard about having to come to the ranch and work him out a girl," Alma recalls.  "Bernard said he never got to see the girls so he would just take the fastest one on foot."
It was December and another Haile was getting married.  Ollie, Ada, Dud and Allie had all married in December and now Kate and Bernard Lynch were getting married.
The day was Sunday December 17, 1911.  "All the Haile kids, except Lola, were there and a lot of the neighbor kids too," Alma recalls.  "Mrs. Lizzie got out of bed and sat in a rocking chair for the first time since David Crockett was born nine days before.  The ceremony was about 10 o'clock and after the marriage we all went to Gum Branch to church.  It had been organized into a church after Maw died and we called it Pilgrims Rest, but it was in the Gum Branch schoolhouse.  Then we came back to the ranch house and had a big dinner. Kate seemed so happy, but I wasn't.  I bawled all day cause I was losing another sister and I thought it was awful for a family to be broken up.  Well, we went back to Pilgrims Rest Church that night for a big singing, and I bawled all the time we were at the church and until we got back home."
"Paw gave Kate and Bernard a horse, a cow, and two pigs as was his custom and they moved on to a farm near by and started making their own way."  There were three daughters born to this union.  Oma Lee, February 9, 1913, Ellan, February 3, 1917 and Jamie, March 14, 1919.
"We all went to Hico more than twice a year now," Alma recalls, "cause we could go up and back in a buggy in a half of a day.  Paw still did some of the shopping but Mrs. Lizzie did quite a lot too.  Paw let her spend some money for awhile after they married, but that didn't last long."