Babe Garner had worked on the ranch for Jim Haile off and on for several years. He went to Rosebud to pick cotton and got Southwest fever and had to come back home. "Babe and Jim were pretty good pals so he came to the ranch and stayed all night," Alma remembers. "He had a horse and buggy by then. There was a baptizing one Sunday afternoon and my girlfriend and I rode down with Ada and Fred. Babe went to the baptizing too and met a friend there so they asked me and my friend if they could take us to Fairy to church that night. We went with them and then Babe and I started going together, but it was three or four years before we got married."
Jim Haile was a happy man. He owned 3200 acres of land, leased several hundred more acres besides, and had at least 300 head of cattle, 75 head of horses and several hundred goats. All his married children and grandchildren, except Lola and her children, lived within a few miles of him and he saw them sometimes daily. He had a young wife and a new baby, his 13th. He had several ranch hands besides the boys to work his land and cattle; he had several families of Mexicans that herded his goats, cut wood and worked in the fields.
The year 1912 was a year to stop and count blessings. There was Ollie and Dora and sons Noble, Wallace and Dan, Ada and Fred Gordon and daughters Edna, Irene and Lena, Dud and Allie and children Jim, Lillian and Mable, Sue and Wyley Trammel and daughter Gertrude, Kate and Bernard Lynch, all who lived within a few miles of the ranch. Lola and Carl Carson and sons Oran, Clyde, Aubrey and Thurman lived in Chattanooga.
Still living on the ranch were Jim Haile 56, Mrs. Lizzie 25, Alma 21, Little Jim 17, Mollie 13, Cubbie 10, Ella 8, David Crocket 6 months and Mrs. Lizzie's children a boy about 4 and a girl 6.
MOTHER OF PROMENENT COUNTY RANCHER DIES
Sarah Majors Haile was born in Bedford county Tennessee May 22, 1830. She and her husband, Peter Oliver Haile, and two children, Susan Elizabeth and James Noble, moved to Collins county, Texas in the late 1850's where another son, Oliver, was born. The Hailes were well known around the settlement towns of Nevada and Farmersville as a farmer and rancher. His first son, James Noble Haile, came to Hamilton county in the year of 1874, married a daughter of a Texas Ranger, raised a family of 12 children and at present owns and operates a 3500 acre ranch along the Leon River. Mrs. Haile passed from this life April 26, 1913, at the age of 82 years, 11 months and 4 days. She was buried in Nevada cemetery, Nevada, Texas, next to her husband, Peter Oliver Haile, who preceded her in death August 31, 1900.
Jim Haile was reading 'Fort Worth Star Telegram' when he noticed the write up of this mother's death. It was such a shock! Jim had not known she was ill. He couldn't understand why his sister Susan Stienebaugh or brother Oliver had not notified him. If he had known in time he would have gone to the funeral. By the time he got a letter from his sister Susan, he had already read about it in the Hamilton paper. Jim was so upset that he cried.
It was harvest time and the Hailes had gotten up at 3 o'clock in the morning this June 23, 1913. Jim and the boys were getting ready to go help Mr. Cole thrash his oats. "Mollie and I were up too," Alma recalls, "we picked up all the pallets that were on the front porch where we all slept during the summer. We were getting ready to go milk the cows and Mrs. Lizzie was getting ready to cook breakfast. She had just sifted her flour to make biscuits when she came to me as I was leaving the house to milk, and told me that I would have to cook breakfast cause she was sick."
"I had just gotten to the kitchen when Mrs. Lizzie called me into the hall where she was laying on a cot. She was having trouble breathing and seemed to be in a lot of pain in her chest and arms and she wanted me to hold her hand," Alma recalls. "She told me she was dying and it almost scared me to death. I was there in the hall in the dark with her by myself and I was crying. I called for Josie, her daughter who was in a room right close by, to come help me. Josie was just a little girl and wouldn't come because she could hear her mother gasping for breath and it scared her. Mollie ran out into the yard to tell Paw and he sent Dud after the doctor. Little Jim was out in the pasture getting the horses when one of the hired hands ran to tell him. Jim then sent the hired hand up to get Mrs. Murry who was good with sick folks."
"Paw got back into the house in just a few minutes and I told him to hold her hand while I put her feet up on the cot. She died in just a minute or two after Paw got there," Alma remembers.
"All the people on the ranch were so shocked! Mrs. Lizzie apparently had never had a sick day in her life, but she became terrible sick and was dead in less than an hour of a massive heart attack," Alma recalls, "she was only 26 years old and would have been 27 in September."
"The women bathed her and dressed her and placed her on the bed and sat up with her that night. The next day a hearse came out from Hamilton and took her to an undertaker where she was embalmed. Then she was buried the next day in the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Hamilton," Alma says. On her tombstone was placed the following inscription:
LIZZIE, wife of
Sept. 4, 1886
June 23, 1913
Jim Haile was a sorrowing man. He had lost his first wife, Lizzie Atkinson Haile, the mother of 12 of his children, 11 still living, in the spring of 1909. He had married another Lizzie on December 18, 1910. She had borne him his 13th child in December of 1911. His mother, Sarah Majors Haile, had died in April of 1913 and then just two months later in June his second wife, Lizzie Jones Haile, had suddenly died of a heart attack. It was so unbelievable to Jim. She was gone in less than an hour after she was first taken ill. All the Hailes just couldn't accept the fact that she was gone. She, like the first Lizzie, was a good gentlewoman.
"I was the oldest child left at home again," Alma says, "so I became the 'mother' again." Jim Haile was 58, Alma (Tug) was 22, Little Jim was 18, Mollie was 14, Cubbie was 11, Ella was 9 and David Crockett was 1½. "Mrs. Lizzie's mother took her two children for awhile, then Mrs. Lizzie's first husband's folks took them and finished raising them in Hamilton," Alma recalls. "The son was later killed in a car wreck, and the daughter, Josie, now lives in De Leon, Texas."
Life had to go on. The oats had to be harvested, the cotton and corn cultivated, the cattle branded, the new horses broken to ride and work in the harness, the goats required a herder night and day, the land had to be plowed, the garden gathered and put up, the grapes and plums picked and made into jellies and jams, the peaches gathered and dried and water had to be pumped daily for the cattle on the home ranch. The turkeys, chickens and ducks had to be looked after and the kids had to chop the cotton and corn and kill the jumbo grasshoppers that had started working on the cotton.
The kids picked the cotton and gathered the corn this fall of 1913, then they all went to school. Jim Haile made another cattle gather, and drove them to Ft. Worth to be sold.
Alma and Mollie fixed a turkey for Thanksgiving and all the Hailes got together for old fashioned Christmas parties and gifts but it just wasn't the same for Jim Haile. He was becoming despondent about the losses of his loved ones, but he realized he must go on.
On January 14, 1914, he bought 91 acres of land, which gave him a total of 3316 acres. "He gave Ollie and Dud another farm each," Alma recalls, "but Paw owed a lot on all this land. The married boys would come to him for money and he would give it to them. If he needed more money he would go to the bank and put a bigger mortgage on his land. The boys were supposed to help pay off the mortgages but they didn't always do it because they didn't have any money."
It was summertime of 1914 and the Hailes had received a letter telling them that the Carsons from Oklahoma were coming to see them. The train was to arrive in Hico about midnight so Jim Haile sent Little Jim and a hired hand in a wagon to meet them. "It was after dark before they started to town," Alma says, "and the rest of us went to bed." " I'll wake you all up when I hear them coming," Paw Said. "He was sleeping on the front porch but I had to wake him up," Alma laughs, "I was so excited I couldn't sleep."
"It was way in the night when they got to the ranch and boy, we were all glad to see them. We all ran out and hugged Lola and Carl and the five little boys," Alma recalls. "Oran was 9, Clyde 8, Aubrey 5, Thurman 4, Raymond 1½, and Lola was expecting another baby."
"We were all up talking and visiting. Paw and me, Little Jim, Mollie, Cubbie, and Ella. David Crockett was asleep in the house. We just had so much fun talking and laughing and talking over old times," Alma says, "but it was awful late in the night." "Well, it's getting pretty late," Paw said, "it's almost 4 o'clock in the morning so I guess we had better all go to bed." Mollie and I already had a place for everybody to sleep and soon we were all asleep.
"Breakfast that morning was very exciting cause we had so many to feed. It was like it used to be when we were all home," she says.
The next day Carl and Lola and the boys went to see Ada and Fred Gordon and their girls, Edna, Irene and Lena. The next day they went to see Ollie and Dora and their boys Noble, Wallace, and Dan. In the next few days they visited Dud and Allie and their kids, Jim, Lillian, Mable, and Gracie, Sue and Wyley Trammel and their girls Gertrude and Oveta, and Kate and Benard Lynch and their daughter Oma Lee.
Ollie's barn had burned sometime before and they were rebuilding it while the Carsons were there. "WE had a hired hand named Benny who was helping Ollie build his barn," Alma remembers, "and Clyde and Oran were up visiting with Ollie's boys Noble, Wallace and Dan."
"They always kidded Clyde cause he couldn't talk plain," Alma laughs. "He was up on the roof while they were nailing on shingles and they were about to run out of shingles. Benny says, "Clyde, climb down the ladder and bring up another bundle of shingles." Well, Clyde climbed down and tried to pick up the bundle but he couldn't lift it because he was only about 8 years old. Clyde tried a time or two to lift the shingles, then he called back to Benny and said, "Benny, this is just a itta bit too much trouble, if you want em, you'll just haft to come get em," Alma laughs. "I used to tell Lola that story and she about died laughing every time."