"After Maw died in 1909, Paw began to become more careless about his business dealings," Alma recalls. "The bank just kept on lending him money and it just seemed there was no way to stop."
Jim Haile sent word to Babe and Alma's house down close to Agee, where Carl, Lola, Raymond and Evelyn were staying and invited them to come up to the ranch.
"It was cold when we got there," Raymond recalls, "and Mollie and Ella were cooking meat in kettles in the fire place. We would back up to the fire and roast on one side awhile, then turn the other side to the fire and warm. There were cracks in the floor and the wind came right through. There were some large braided rag rugs scattered around on the floor and Evelyn, David and I would play games jumping from one rug to another. It was very hard to keep warm in that house."
"The next morning early, I went out on the front porch of the ranch house. The edges of the boards that extended out a little bit were broken off and some of the boards were broken thru in the middle. Grandpa and his sons, Ollie, Dud, Jim and Cubbie were all on paint horses lined up in front of the house," Raymond remembers. "Paw still had old Mungo," Alma recalls, "but he was getting pretty old, probably about 15, but Paw still rode him."
"All of a sudden Cubbie blew the cow horn and hounds from all directions came running and yelping and it was very noisy. Then they were off for a wolf hunt and every now and then Cubbie would blow that hollowed out cow's horn and you could hear it for a mile," Raymond says.
"We went down to Uncle Dud's house and while we were there he put on quite a show with his roping abilities. He practiced on a Billy goat. Roping a goat running around in the brush is something to watch but when Uncle Dud took out after a goat it was for sure that the goat would be roped," Raymond says.
Soon it was time for the Carsons to start back to Oklahoma. Lola was very sad because she could see how her dad had changed. "He was a big rancher at one time," Lola used to tell her children, "but after Maw died in 1909 he seemed to become careless in his business dealings. He borrowed more money than he could afford to borrow and then he couldn't pay it back and he just gradually began to lose his land and cattle because each time the bank loaned him more money they took mortgage on more of his land and cattle."
"We were all worried about the vertigo that plagued Paw," Alma says. "He would get so dizzy that he couldn't stand up and sometimes he would fall and skin himself up. It seemed to be getting worse all the time too."
"Mother always thought she would get quite a large inheritance from her father's estate," Oran recalls, "but after she got back to Oklahoma, after the 1919 trip, she began to realize that most of the inheritance she had hoped for was gone."
March 14, 1919, was a happy day for Kate. Her last daughter, Jamie, was born. However, it became a sad day when she remembered that Jamie's father, Bernard Lynch, had died the summer before from heat stroke. Kate was very thankful to her brothers and sisters for giving her and her daughters a home while she was waiting for Jamie to be born. "We had to help each other in those days," Alma recalls. "Kate wouldn't have had any place to stay if we hadn't taken her in, and we were glad to do it."
"Kate moved back to the ranch into Mrs. Lizzie's house in the bois d'arc trees right after Jamie was born," Alma remembers. "She felt like she could help Paw, especially since he was more troubled with vertigo and he was also 65 years old."
Jim Haile's farming and ranching operations were moving on but at a slower pace. It was on his mind constantly that he was in financial trouble and probably would never be able to pay his way out of debt.
The fall of 1919, cotton and corn crops were better than average and with the calves, goats, horses and cotton that he sold, he was able to make a payment to the bank officials that seemed to satisfy the. The bank hadn't taken all his cattle and horses so Jim Haile still had enough stock to start building his herd again.
John Guest had been coming to see Mollie at the ranch for more than a year. "We lived about 3 or 4 miles from the ranch and they would come eat supper with us almost every Sunday night," Alma recalls. "Then we moved down by Agee, about 10 miles from the ranch and they didn't come anymore because it was too far."
"Uncle John came to the ranch one Sunday afternoon in December, 1919, to see Aunt Mollie," Oma Lee recalls. "My mother, Kate, and us kids, Ellan, Jamie and I lived in Mrs. Lizzie's house on the ranch." Mother said, "I know why John has come today. He is going to ask Mollie to marry him."
"We were in the bedroom listening thru the door and taking turns looking thru the keyhole," Oma laughs. Uncle John said, "Mr. Haile, I guess you know why I am here." Grandpa said, "no, I haven't the slightest idea." You see, Grandpa was pretty strict and he made all his son-in-laws ask for his daughter's hands in marriage.
"The same preacher that married up performed their marriage ceremony," Alma recalls. "It was Willie Rogers and they went to his house. When Brother Rogers asked them to join right hands, John just stepped out in front of Mollie and shook hands with her," Alma laughs, "I guess he figured he was going to shake hands on the deal. John already had a farm and that's where they lived. Paw gave Mollie a horse, a cow and two pigs."
The following children were born to this union: Wynama, December 23, 1920, Frances, September 3, 1922, and Ida Mae, October 8, 1926.
"When Mollie married, Kat4 moved into the ranch house and was the 'mother' to all the kids that were left at home," Alma says. Jim Haile was 65, Kate was 26, her three daughters, Oma Lee was 6, Ellan was 2, and Jamie was 9 months. Cubbie was 17, Ella was 15 and half brother David Crocket was 8.
Money was a scarce item. Since the bank had refused to loan any more money on Jim Haile's land, then everybody was forced to finance himself. Dud decided to sell his two farms and lease a farm down on the sand hills. The money Dud got from the sale of his farms was used to buy some necessary things for his family and to set himself up to farm on the sand hills. There was no money left to pay on the mortgage that was against the farms. This move was made in the early part of 1921.
"He stayed on this farm about a year and could see he wasn't going to be able to make a living for his family, " Alma says. "So in June of 1922, Dud moved his family and few possessions to the west Texas town of Haile Center. We never did hear much more from him. He, his wife Allie and four of his children have all died out there. Jim, his oldest boy used to come back to Hico and see us once in a while, but he doesn't come much anymore. We just don't know much about Dud and his family since he left Hico,
Jim Haile, once a big rancher and farmer was slowly being reduced to a single farm operation. He owed more money on his land than it would bring if sold. He was now no longer able to borrow money at the bank. His farming and ranching was slowly being fazed out. He was trying to save money wherever he could so he decided to let his hired hands to and even his Mexican goat herders.
"Paw started herding the goats himself cause he didn't have anything else to do," Alma says. "I guess he just got the blues and gave up. He knew that before long the bank was going to take all his land except the home place. He had declared that his homestead and by law a creditor couldn't take a homestead."
"The summer of 1922 was dry and hot and Paw had to drive the goats three miles and back each day to the river to drink," Alma says. "Then he would pen the goats in a shed there in the Chitwood pasture. The pen was just a little ways south of the road across the pond dam that went to our house when we moved there later. Before he came back to the ranch house he would take a bath in a little spring that never did go dry. He kept a little hold dug out about knee deep."
"Paw hadn't come home from herding the goats and Kate was worried about him because it was getting dark," Alma remembers. "Little Jim lived on a farm just east of the ranch and he was working in the field. Kate sent one of the kids to tell him to come to the ranch house. Jim said he would go down to the goat pasture and see if he could find out what was wrong. When he got there, he found Paw's clothes at the edge of the little spring and Paw was in the little dug out pool with his head under water."
"Jim knew he was dead and he knew you weren't suppose to move a dead person until a doctor had witnessed the scene to determine the cause of death," Alma recalls, "so he went to Mr. Oxley's house just a little ways from there, and they went to Hico and brought a doctor back."
"When the doctor got there they took Paw out of the water and the doctor examined him," Alma says. "The doctor said he must have had an attack of vertigo and fell and hit his head on the rocks as he was getting into the water. He had scratches on his chest and the doctor said this was probably done when he was trying to get out of the water. He must have scratched his chest on the rocks that were in the pool."
"They took Paw to the ranch house and bathed him and dressed him and put him in a casket that they had bought in Hico. Then they notified all the children and some of the neighbors sat up with the body that night," Alma recalls.
"We lived down on the river," Alma says, "but we went up there the next day. A neighbor, Mr. Bruitt, had a car and he took me and Babe, Woodie, Evadean, Obie and Dale who was just 9 days old, to the ranch."
"We are gathered here today," began the preacher, "to pay our last respects to our good neighbor and friend. James Noble Haile was truly a friend to us all. He was born December 2, 1854, in Bellsbuckle, Tennessee. His father and mother, Peter Oliver Haile and Sarah Majors Haile and two children, Susan Elizabeth and James Noble moved to Collin County, Texas in about 1856. Peter Haile bought land and became a prosperous farmer and rancher. Another child, Oliver, was born to this family in 1857. In 1874, when he was 20 years old, James Noble Haile left Collin County and came to Hamilton County where he bought land and started raising cattle, horses, cotton and corn. On May 6, 1879, he married Eliza Elizabeth Atkinson who lived on a farm not far from here. They became the parents of 12 children, eleven living. Mrs. Haile preceded him in death on May 18, 1909 and is buried in a family cemetery under some live oak trees just a little way down the hill from here. An infant daughter, born dead in 1898 is also buried there. Mr. Haile married a second wife, Mrs. Lizzie Jones who gave him one son, David Crocket Haile. The second Mrs. Haile died June 23, 1913, and is buried in I.O.O.F/ cemetery in Hamilton.
Mr. Haile was a good neighbor. Many times his neighbors were hard pressed to have enough to feed their families. Jim Haile loaned them milk cows and allowed them to cut wood off his land. He would take his family and help a neighbor chop or pick his cotton if the man became sick and was unable to work. Any traveler, whether friend or stranger, was welcome to stay the night at the Haile ranch.
Mr. Haile is survived by 12 living children, Ollie, Ada, Allie, Alma, Kate, James Travis, Mollie, Cubbie, Ella, and David Crocket. All but two are here today and live in the home or on farms close by. Dudley, who lives in Haile Center, Texas and Lola, who lives in Chattanooga, Oklahoma, were not able to attend today. He is also survived by 33 grand children, 3 daughters-in-law and 5 sons-in-law and a great number of friends and neighbors.
"We buried Paw at the side of Maw and the little sister and then we all went home,"
Alma says. "Kate and her girls Oma, Ellan and Jamie, Cubbie, Ella and David stayed at the ranch and finished making the crop that was started."
When Carl and Lola Carson in Chattanooga, Oklahoma learned of Jim Haile's death they made plans to go to Texas because they knew there would be a foreclosure on the part of the bank to get as much of Jim Haile's land and livestock as possible. They were very sorry that they couldn't come in time for the funeral.
They made the trip in the 1916 model Chevrolet that they had driven down in the summer of 1916. Carl had sold the car in 1917, but had bought it back just before they went to Texas in August of 1922 after Jim Haile's death. They left Oran and Clyde in Chattanooga and took Aubrey, Thurman, Raymond and Evelyn with them. They arrived at the ranch house in the afternoon of late August 1922.
"I kept Lola's kids with mine the next day while everybody else went to Hamilton to check the records," Alma recalls, "and Evelyn and Woodie just fought all the time. They were both high tempered and I finally had to separate them. We lived in the big two-story rock house on the Groomer place. I shut Woodie up upstairs and it made him so mad that he tore his sheets up," Alma laughs.