When all was said and done, the bank and court house records revealed several different aspects of Jim Haile's financial dealings. The amount of money that was due the bank was approximately $18,000. Also, Ollie and Dud had both signed the morgage notes along with their dad. Little Jim didn't sign because he was to young when the land was bought and morgaged. There was a block of 600 acres of land that was part of the Chitwood pasture that was still in Jim Haile's first wife's, Lizzie Atkinson, name. She had died in 1909. The land was not morgaged and was deeded to the daughters. Little Jim decided to sell his 160 acres which was morgaged with the other land. However, he was allowed to keep what money he had paid on the morgage since his name didn't appear on the morgage papers.
Dud had sold his 320 acres a year before but did not pay the money from the sale of the land on the morgage. He had moved to West Texas about 2 months before his dad had passed away. Ollie was allowed to keep his 320 acres because he declared it his homestead. The 200 acres where the ranch house was located was declared Jim Haile's homestead and was not a part of the land that went to the bank in the settlement.
There was a total of 4,388 acres in Jim Haile's estate. Some today say there was more and some say there was less. Figuring the bank sold what was left of the land for 50 cents an acre, they got about $14, 740 plus some extra from the sale of some of the livestock. Alma said that she didn't think the bank got all their money.
Since the boys didn't get any part of the 600 acres of their mother's part, the girls, Ada, Lola, Allie, Alma, Kate, Mollie and Ella agreed to pay the lawyers fee for settling up the estate. The fee was $1,800 and was devided up among them.
John Guest, Mollie's husband and Babe Garner, Alma's husband the bough bought the other sister's part of the 600 acres. The estate was now settled. Jim Haile's homestead, the 200 acres where the ranch house stood would be sold and devided at a later date.
This author made a trip to Hamilton Co., Texas in the winter of 2004. I was fortunate to be able to speak with Don Haile, grandson of Jim Haile. He told me of the fire that distroyed the main ranch house back in the '60s. For now, there are only memories and a few photos carried over from family members of those grandiose days of long ago.
Much of the land is now under control of descendants of Jim Haile, but while there I couldn't help notice the thin base of soil and the rocky terrain. This is not easy land to carve out a living in. You can't run a lot of cattle on a small amount of acreage, and scrub cedars and prickly pear cacti are more at home than humans or livestock.
I hope you've enjoyed this story as much as I have bringing it to you. It all started out as a dream of a young man. The trials and tribulations of a family making it on the harsh soil of Hamilton County.
Remember, Jim Haile is not kin to me, but was the father-in-law of my greatuncle, Fred Gordon, husband to Jim's second child and oldest daughter, Ada May Haile. While Aunt Alma made the family life of the Haile's look so good and happy, there were others there that might disagree. Aunt Ada wasn't to happy about her mother continuing to have babies. As for the most part, Ada was the one that had to take care of them till her mother could regain her strength, and the more babies she had, the longer it took for her to recuperate. Aunt Ada was also the main person to do the meals as well. But poor Aunt Ada may well have stepped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire, because for so many years she took care of my great grandfather, Robert Erwin Gordon, who may have had Alzheimer's at the time. It was an unknown disease back in those days. Robert's brother, Thomas Tolson Gordon, died of a similar disease.
Aunt Alma lived to be 104 while living out her last days in a rest home in Hico, Texas, but before she passed on, she left us a glimpse of the way it was more than one hundred years ago. Now think about it...... has anyone left you a story of long ago?