The Col. H. H. Hayley
Coke County, Texas
Incidents in the lives of the very
early hard working
Pioneers who wrought so well to build West Texas
By Ethel Anna Pearce Hayley
The family of Jake Hayley began to migrate to Texas from Mississippi
in the early 1870s. There were 4 Sons and 4 Daughters, some of
them were married. Some came at different times, all stopped
in Hill Co. After a few years, they were settled permanently
at Seymour, Texarkanna, Coleman and Coke Counties. Now, the 4th
and 5th Generations are scattered all over Texas and other states,
some living as far away as California and N.Y. and overseas in
Service of the U.S.
In early 1879 the Col. Holiday H. Hayley family was the last
of the Hayley's to come from Mississippi. They came via Railway
to Ft. Worth and were met by some of the relatives from Hill
Co. where they spent the cold, wet winter. A big crop of corn
was raised by their kin in 1878. About 80 bushel per acre was
sold for only 12 cents a Bushel. As they couldn't get to the
timber, in the black mud they burned corn on the cob as fuel,
it made a very good fire. Finally the family located 1 mile west
of Itaska, later moving to Jack's Branch near Peoria. This Branch
was covered with wild grapes, plums, blackberries, and pecans.
The country was full of prairie chickens and when the children
could find a nest full of eggs, it was a real treat for the whole
family. It was hard for the early settlers to get grub, as money
was scarce and hard to get, as well.
In 1879 some of the Hayley's decided to go further West where
they could take up a homestead as they had no money to buy land.
Col. Hayley had to stop often to soak the wood to tighten the
tires on the wagon wheels and let the horses graze. The team
consisted of one very tall horse and one extra low horse, so,
attracted a lot of attention. They located 2 miles from Rough
Creek in Coleman Co. They went to the timber & cut logs for
a one room house; cooking was done on the fire place. A good
wheat crop was made. Only feed for horses was raised. Cattle
feed was unknown. They did well when it rained but the cattle
died during drouth years. The Hayley's under went all the hardships
of the early pioneers, grubbed the land to plant a crop and garden
with scarcely any tools, broke land with a one horse plow and
etc. These years the children went to school only a few months
at a time. Fortunately, Mrs. Hayley, who was Eliza Bailey of
the prominent Bailey's of Mississippi, had a good education.
Along with teaching her children, reading, writing and arithmetic,
she gave them great lessons every day from the Bible. She was
very busy sewing for her family by hand. None of those very early
pioneers had sewing machines. Mr. Hayley peddled house hold utensils
over the country, mostly trading them for chickens, which he
sold for money to buy grub. Most people only bought meal for
Bread, but the Hayleys always bought Flour. They had more of
a variety to eat than most of the early neighbors, the nearest
being 2 miles away. Occasionally, a singing master would pass
through and teach a Singing School in the Schoolhouse. They would
teach a 2 week Singing Course for $1.00 each. A Methodist Circuit
Rider and a Missionary Baptist Preacher would occasionally come
and hold services in the homes visited, or in the school house
Mrs. Hayley was a small woman weighing less than 100 lbs.
and seemed very frail, but she never stopped going or complained.
One day, when the family was away and she was alone, a travelling
Dentist came along. Her teeth were bad, she had him pull 22 teeth,
all that she had, at one time. At that time they didn't use anything
to ease the pain. He charged her $5.00 for pulling all of them.
For nearly a year pieces of jawbone worked out.
As they were unable to get a homestead in Coleman Co. the
family moved to the newly organized Coke Co. The land belonged
mostly to the State & K. & T C C Ry. Co. The State had
given this land to the Railway Co. to survey it. The State got
one Section and the railroad got the alternate sections. The
cattlemen had been using it free, so the State put their part
of land on the Market at $1.00 per acre. You could pay 1/40 down
and 1/40 a year at a low rate of interest. That took $16.00 to
File and make the 1st payment on a Section. Mr. Hayley located
a Section in the N. E. Corner of the County about 6 miles from
Old Fort Chadbourne. This was a fairly good Section of land,
about 200 acres tilable, the balance good pasture land with good
sized cedar on it. There was no house, fence, or anything. Soon
after the County was organized in 1889, they came in a new wagon
with 5 head of horses. They brought everything they had, even
Farming tools in the wagon. There were 6 children.
The weather was fine. They camped out 2 nights. They were
a happy family, going to a new land with the promise of a home
of their own.
Mr. Hayley quit peddling to improve his lands. This was a
good year, plenty of rain. They made 15 acres of fine corn, some
potatoes, pumpkins, melons and kershaws. With a good garden and
the wild game killed, there was plenty to eat. In crossing the
prairie, in Runnels Co., they would sometime see as many as 4
or 5 herds of antelope at a time. It was hard to get close enough
to kill one. Cattleman was glad for them to pen and milk their
cows that roamed the unfenced range. Sometimes they milked as
many as 1/2 day to get plenty of milk. As the cows only had grass
to eat, they didn't give much milk.
Col. Hayley and his boys got a job of building a fence around
a Section of Land below Ballinger. They got $15.00 per mile.
They fenced 40 acre of their own land and planted feed which
The eldest daughter Annie taught a pay school for 2 months.
She had 30 pupils at $1.00 per month. The next year she taught
a school and boarded in the H. H. Luckett Ranch home. Mrs. Luckett
was a sister to Col. T. L. Odom. The estate now has many oil
wells on it.
At this lonely home one morning, they heard a rattlesnake
in the yard. They killed it with a hoe, it was 6 ft. 2 in. long.
They hung it up with the head down and their fine dog ran up
and grabbed the snake by the head. The dog died within 30 minutes
so there was a grief stricken family, for they had lost their
Many cedar posts were cut, hauled, and sold as land was being
fenced. The money they brought was a great help while improving
their own land. Also, the Col. & sons, Albion & Larkin
built many fences for other Land owners.
In the 1st year in Coke Co. there was a big camp meeting on
Oak Creek, held by a Methodist Missionary and a local Protestant
Minister. People came from 20 miles, some brought their cows
to milk, stretched their tent and camped. These early settlers
got better acquainted; as well as a great Revival of their religion.
There was no church organization in Coke Co. at that time. On
the last day Mrs. Hayley was bitten by a spider, nothing much
was thought about it but after reaching home, she became seriously
ill. Her son, Albion went 20 miles horse back for an old Dr.
living on Colorado River.
In 1889 Coke Co. was organized. Most of the voters lived in
the east part of the Co. They voted for the County site to be
located at the foot of Hayrick Mountain about 12 miles from the
center of the County. A dryer place could not be found anywhere.
Drinking water was hard to get. People swarmed in from everywhere
and it seemed like they all wanted to run for office. There were
about 25 candidates to run for the different officers. When all
the votes were counted, except a little box at Tennyson in the
S. E. Corner of the County, it was conceded that certain men
had been elected, because there were not enought men in Tennyson
to change it. It was several days before they got returns from
Tennyson. They declared that 3 men had been elected for Sheriff,
Judge and Clerk. The 3 men defeated claimed fraud & entered
suit; but it was so long before they could get their case to
trial, that it was nearly time for the next election. The lawyers
advised them to drop the suit, claiming that it would cost more
to try the suit than the offices would pay the balance of the
Term. The clerk, who was defeated was elected next election.
The Judge elected was defeated by another man. The Sheriff was
re-elected for another term; but in a year or 2 after he went
out of office, he was sent to the Federal Penitentiary in N.
Y. (SingSing) for complicity in robbin Robert Lee Mails. The
County had a bad time trying to get off to a good start. The
Records for titles of lands in the new County had to be transcribed
from the records of Tom Green County from which Coke Co was sliced.
The temporary building, which was built to hold these Records
was burned twice during the clerks tenture of Office (it maybe
1 1/2 yrs.) one, at Hayrick and once at Robert Lee, so he had
to transcribe the Records 3 times. They got 15 cents a hundred
words for the work, it was done in writing in Pen and Ink, so
he certainly didn't get rich.
About this time the 1st man was killed in Coke Co. The great
LaGripe epidemic struck the people fo the new County. Those who
had it say the Flu of the present day are mild compared to the
aches & pains of LaGrippe 60 years ago. With no Doctors and
only simple remedies to combat the disease, many died.
The Col. Hayley home was a remote place, with no school near
so they decided to sell it in 1890. People were coming in from
everywhere to buy land. The place (Section of Land) was sold
for $525.00. $225.00 was paid in Gold money and 3 yokes of oxen.
Some gold was in a Tobacco Pouch. His son, Larkin, would get
him to show him this money often. His Uncle Larkin A. Hayley,
for whom he was named, had the distinction of Raising and having
ginned the first Bale of Cotton raised in Coleman Co. Later,
he came to Coke Co. and had taken up a 1/2 Section of Land about
5 miles west of Hayrick. Col. Hayley bought it, no improvements
on it. So they lived in a tent, while they grubbed out the Mesquites,
built a house and etc. It was very dry. They had to haul water
5 miles so another farm in Coke Co. was made ready for human
abode. Prairie dogs were thick in the Mesquite flats. When you
cleared and ploughed a field they would move out around the edges.
When the crop came up, they started in on it and they ate it
down, as they come closer crops were completely eaten up. Men
came around poisoning them at so much per acre but they were
so thick everywhere they would move right back in. They destroyed
about 1/3 of the crop and the Hayley's killed more than 200 Rattlesnakes.
Albion Hayley rode horseback to a month Pay School in Mathematics
at Hayrick which was all the school advantages they had.
Col. Hayley's father and 2 Uncles were the only close neighbors.
They took a camping out fit and went on a fishing trip to the
Colorado River. The river was deep every where. There was a big
hole of water about 1 mile long close to where Robert Lee now
stands. They caught 25 cat fish that weighed more than 12 lbs.,
the biggest weighed 25 lbs. It was fine sport to catch them,
but to get rid of them was another matter. They couldn't afford
to fry but a meal or 2 of them because of the lard needed. They
tried boiling & baking them but they were no good. There
were no neighbors to give them to so they had to throw them away.
The river was full of Yellow Cat, blue cat, and channel catfish.
The next home of the Hayley's was in the northern part of
Coke Co. about 6 miles above Sanco. Tt had a 4 room house on
it and a little land in cultivation. After digging on a well
all summer, it was a dry hole. This was a dry year. They had
a good garden early, but the cane planted never came up. They
got by by selling a span of mules, 3 horses and 6 yearlings.
About this time the County Seat was moved from Hayrick to
Robert Lee in 1890. The country around Sanco was filling up with
people. There would be Singings and parties and the three oldest
children, now grown up, went on horse back and had a good time.
They made some very good friends that year that they have held
through the years. There was good hunting along Yellow Wolf Creek.
The happy times was clouded by the family dog going mad and having
to be shot. Real sorrow came when the 4 year old baby in the
family died. The little coffin was made of pine lumber, he was
buried in the little grave yard at Sanco.
This was another year with no school. Larkin was 16, Lottie
10 & Lula 7 1/2. The girls had not ever been in school. The
Court House at Robert Lee was started building. A contract for
building a bridge across the Colorado river had been let. Col.
Hayley got the contract for hauling out the bridge material from
San Angelo. The way the road ran it was about 40 miles and very
bad roads. The worst was coming down the Mountains with the loads.
The hind wheels of the wagon had to be locked and ease down as
best as you could. The contract price was 20 cents per 100 lbs.
The regular price was 25 cents, but by getting this big haul,
he took it cheaper. A good load for 2 horses and a wagon was
2000 lbs. That would make $4.00 for the trip. It took 1 1/2 days
to make the trip. It took one driver and a team. The driver had
to feed himself and the team. There was no feed made; the feed
was all shipped in. Corn was always from 75 cents to a dollar
per bushel and hay 50 cents a bale. There is no way you could
figure it where a man could count on clearing over $1.50 for
this 1 1/2 days trip. Not county anything on the wear and tear
of your team and wagon which was terrific. Some few wagons would
stand a 4000 lb. load and you could hitch 4 horses on. It would
take only 1 driver. He was hauling out some of the girders, or
big timers, with a 4 horse load. b y the time he got to the mountain,
the ground was frozen and slick from a little sleet on the ground,
he locked both hind wheels and started down. The wagon slipped
and broke off both hind axles, up against the wheel. It was 18-20
miles from town, this heavy material had to be unloaded. The
wagon had to be taken into town, repaired with a new axle at
the blacksmith shop, taken back and loaded with the heavy materials
on the hillside before the journey could be completed. I have
gone into detail in this matter in order that the present generation
can get an idea why a man would trade 1/2 Section of land for
a horse and sell the horse
for $35.00. Somesay "That opportunity is gone, if I had
a chance, like my ancestors had, to get good land for nothing,
I would have gone places." Now, if you break an axle on
your car, a few miles from a garage, don't grumble about it!"
The Hayley Family moved to Robert Lee and bought a home on
the Colorado River while filling this contract, so the children
got to go to school part of the 1891-1892 term. Sam Hearne taught
this school The eldest girl, Annie, married J. T. Parker March
10, 1892. Years after, in 1912, she was elected County Treasurer
of Coke Co. She served 6 years. She was one of the first women
to hold office in Texas. Robert Lee had about 600 or 700 people
in it at this time. There were no utilities of any kind, no telephones.
People hauled their own water from the River or for 15 cents
per barrel. Wood was used as fuel, so Larkin & Albion hauled
a lot of it and sold it for $1.00 per Load or $2.00 a cord.
Besides helping to haul out the Bridge Material they moved
houses charging $20 to $25 to move a house, putting it down and
leveling it up at a new place. Albion often helped Cattlemen
with their cattle for which he got .75 a day. I think the Court
House and Bridge were both finished in early part of 1892. Rock
was hauled from near Hayrick, 12 or 15 miles. The contract for
building the court house was let for $28,000.00 but the contractor
relet the building of it for $14,000.00. The house was 2 stories
high, there were 2 halls and offices for all the County Officers
downstairs, it was in very good shape after 50 yrs. At one time
it looked as it would pull apart but the commissioners got several
rods and ran them through the building up stairs & pulled
it back together - it seems to be holding fast since. I know
they have put new roof on it and maybe two. In the old days there
was a trap door to go out on the roof and sometimes the young
people would go out on a Sunday evening and sit on the shady
side of the Cupola.
One of the best early Revivals of early Robert Lee was held
in the new Court House. A Rev. Brown, a methodist preacher, conducted
it and most all the young people were converted and joined some
church. The Methodist had a Missionary Pastor who preached onece
a month and the Baptist would occasionally have a man to preach.
The Courthouse & Bridge cost $35,500.00 and was paid for
There was an epidemic of Typhoid Fever in Robert Lee in 1892
and several people died. Every summer there would be some one
around sick with it. It lasted usually 60 days and months before
they were well again. So the people hard pressed for money could
hardly pay the Doctor bills of $100 or more. Some struggled along
3 or 4 years to pay it. Others never did. There were no nurses
but neighbors were good to help through these long illnesses.
There were no church in Robert Lee. Services were held in
the Court House. A presiding elder began to come around to hold
conference every 3 months About the 3rd Quarter of 1892 he wanted
to build a Methodist Church. After preaching a stiring Sermon
a collection was taken. He proposed if 3 more men would join
him for $25 each, they could build a church. Col. Hayley was
1 of the 2 to make the $100.00. They got up more collections
and started the church. Col. Hayley went before the committee
and got permission to pay his part by hauling the lumber from
San Angelo. Albion & Larkin took off the wagon bed, fastened
their bedding on the rocking bolster for to sit on and pulled
out to San Angelo for the first load. When they got to San Angelo
it started raining and rained all night. Next day they pulled
out for home with the lumber, the rain poured down steady all
day. They sat on the bedding which was wet. No raincoats as today,
so they were soaking wet all day. It was a cold rain. On the
road home they met J. W. Timmins, the District Judge, and Jas.
L. Slayden, who was running for Congress. They stopped and insisted
on the cold, wet boys taking a drink of whiskey to keep them
warm, but nothing they could say would induce the boys to take
a drink. The men were in a buggy and able to keep dry. Slayden
was elected and came back to Robert Lee to make a speech. He
remembered and mentioned about the boys not yielding to temptation.
Judge Timmins was a very fine man and Judge. He kept the place
of Dist Judge for 25 or 30 yrs. The boys knew that many of the
first settlers had come to Coke Co. to get away from whiskey
and the open saloons, only to find the flourishing wide open
in New Coke Co.
The weather cleared so the boys went back and made several
more trips until the $25 was paid. The Col. said that was the
best investment he ever made in Coke Co. It was several years
before there was any other church in Robert Lee. Anybody could
preach in the new church who wanted to. There were two saloons
in the town that was where most of the men staid. There were
several small grocery and dry goods stores in the town during
this period but they could not buck the saloons. After a few
months most of them folded up. There was only one that survived
until after Whiskey was voted out, then he made $30,000.00 to
$40,000.00 before he died. Behind one Saloon there was a tall
board fence you couldn't see over and one on the inside was a
small building where poker was played. Men would come for miles
around, leave their horses hitched at the hitching post for several
days without feed or water, playing poker and drinking and shooting
up the town. As there was no jail, if drunks got unmanageable
they would be chained in one of the rooms in the Court House.
So finally a dog house, as it was called, was built to lock up
the drunks until the Jail was built. If one had to be kept any
length of time, he was carried to San Angelo Jail. These tough
cow boys had come west for adventure. 1891 and '92 were dry years.
Sandstorms were bad.
The Hayley children went to school and Larkin and several
boys took advantage of the opportunity to read Judge G. W. Perryman's
Law Books. He was a great friend of the young people and delighted
in assisting them anyway he could. From 1891 to 1900 there was
always as many as 3 or 4 lawyers, & that many doctors in
Robert Lee, a town of not over 800 population.
John A. Stewart was school teacher in 1894-95, a very fine
man. One of his last 2 terms of school and during vacation Larkin
Hayley had a job working in Coke Co. Clerk's Office. This was
a good education for him. The County Clerk's name was R. R. (Dick)
Smith, a very fine man. These two years and much reading was
Larkins best school years.
Col. Hayley was prominent in advancing all the best things
for Coke Co. He helped to organize the Confederate Veterans and
was furthering the things for which the "Lost Cause"
stood for - by promoting these Reunions. An Association was formed
in Runnels, Coke and Tom Green Counties - where a 2 or 3 day
ex-Confederate Reunion was held. The Hayleys were always on Program.
The people of Robert Lee had a lot of fun as well as hard
falls, when the first Bicycle was brought to the town. Before
long many owned them. Two lawyers making the District Court at
San Angelo and Sterling city made these trips on Bicycles. Soon
there was a Bicycle Shop where one could be rented for 25 cents
an hour. At first the men thought it a disgrace for the girls
to ride them. They soon gave in for they saw they could not retard
"The March of Progress".
One of the first teachers in Edith school was named Thompson.
He got $35.00 a month and had to pay $10.00 a month for board.
His father in Coleman Co. was old so the boy was very saving
to send money back to him. He would walk into town every Friday
and spend the weekend with the Hayleys. In order to save wear
on his shoes, he would carry them and walk barefooted until he
got to the edge of town. People today in 1953 do not know the
real meaning of saving as our early pioneers did.
About 1892 or '93 the mail on stage coach was robbed a few
miles out from Robert Lee. A Federal Investigation was sent and
4 men were sent to SingSing Prison in NY. While there, one of
them met a man andgot him interested in trying to build a Railroad
in W.Tex. About the middle 1890s the men began to come home from
prison. An Englishman by the name of Wheatcraft came out from
NY and came to Robert Lee to try to get the people interested
in Building a railroad from Sweetwater to San Angelo via Robert
Lee. He was a handsome man, dressed nicely, wore a high silk
hat and was a good mixer. Everybody was thrilled for in those
days Railroads were the only things that built towns.
The Hayleys owned 200 acres of poor land adjoining Robert
Lee. So they imagined the railroad coming, this land being cut
up into lots and sold at fabulous prices & etc. While trying
to get right of way and etc. he entered into the Social Activities
of the town. He organized a glee club, one song that they especially
prided themselves in was "I Went to the Animal Fair,"
which they sang, gleefully, at all the picnics. Soon the boys
all came out wearing tall silk hats, stiff bosomed shirts, big
ties, $5.00 cuff buttons and $3.00 to $5.00 stick pins in the
lapels of their coats and big, shiny pins in the bosoms of their
shirts. On special occasions they would wear white gloves and
carry canes. They had parties and singings galore, for it was
indeed the "Gay Nineties". The boys played pranks on
Mr. Wheatcraft, take him horseback riding, push him in the trees
and run the horses. Skinned him up a little but he never whimpered.
He would laugh bigger than any of them.
He finally brought a Civil Engineer and wife out, but we never
knew of him doing any surveying. He was having such a big time
he forgot about the railroad. In 2 or 3 yrs he moved his headquarters
to Sweetwater, by some means. He got the money and right of way
and graded 25 miles of road out of Sweetwater toward Robert Lee
and San Angelo. Something happened and he quit. It seems Thos.
Trammel & Co. had been advancing him a lot of money &
had quit. They took over the right of way and the road that was
built, and everything stopped for a year or two.
About this time another man by the name of A. E. Stillwell
was trying to promote a R.R. from Kansas City through West Texas
and old Mexico to Port Topobampo on the Pacific Coast. Trammel
& Co. heard of it and got them to take over this graded road.
The railroad was changed to run by Bronte instead of Robert Lee.
The road was finished from Sweetwater to San Angelo about 1907.
Robert Lee had another little railroad boom about 1908 or '09.
Austin Spencer a capitalist of San Angelo got right of way to
build a road from Robert Lee to a point on the Orient between
Bronte and Ft. Chadbourne. He threw up a grade 5 miles out of
Robert Lee, surveyed out a townsite at the interesection of the
Orient and had a big lot sale. One man built a store, the idea
was to move the towns of Bronte and Ft. Chadbourne to the intersection
of the 2 roads & sell these lots to build the road, but the
lot sale was a fizzle. The store closed; and the dreams of another
railroad for Robert Lee went up like the first. There is no doubt
it was Wheatcraft in his first efforts that was the cause of
the Orient being built through Coke Co. It would have gone further
west and missed Sweetwater and San Angelo. Wheatcraft was a real
sport and in lots of ways a swell guy.
About 1897 Albion Hayley went to work on the Childress ranch
for $20.00 per month.
The 1st business venture of Larkin Hayley was helping a blacksmith
make a homemade Merry Go Around at his measurements and instructions.
It had seats for 8 people, he did a flourishing business at picnics
and Ex-Confederate Reunions for 2 years- it completely wore out.
It was powered by 2 horses, that driving round and round got
so drunk the team had to be changed often. His 2nd business adventure
was farming. He got 5 cents a lb. for his cotton. He had a good
horse & saddle and 2 dozen girls he sparked. He would ride
his horse out to see those living in the country on Sunday and
call on those in town at night week days. That had parties and
singings and some Sundays he would hire a buggy and team from
the Livery Stables and take his girls driving. At times horses
got scared and ran away and tore up the buggy - then he would
have to save and work hard for months to pay the damage. All
those girls married and have fine families and these friendships
through the years are still enjoyed. He finally met, at Reunion
and married Ethel Pearce of Ballinger. A few years later Albion
met and married Leila Taylor, whose father was a Baptist Minister
in Kentucky. Lula Hayley taught school several years, and married
Book Peeler a rancher near Lamesa. He died with Flue & Pneumonia
in that great epidemic of 1918.
He left her with 5 small children to raise. All are fine citizens
with growing families. Many of Col. Hayley's grandchildren served
with honor in World War II. Only two were old enough to serve
in World War I. Zula Parker, a fine young woman took Civil Service
Exam and got a job in Washington, D.C. She had been there only
6 weeks when the terrible Flue epidemic of 1918 came. She fell
victim and died. Col. Hayley's good friend, Marris Sheppard,
saw to it, the body was returned to Clyde where the Parker Family
lived. At this same time Hubert Hayley, in France, was stricken
with Flue as the 36th Headquarters Troop was marching to the
battle front, so many had Flue Hospitals couldn't care for them
so his Capt. and the cook cared for him as they marched on. Later,
this 18 year old boy saw his school chum, George Scott, dead
on the battlefield. He was one of Coke Co. war casualties in
World War I.
A number of granchildren served in the war, several wounded.
Pat McMullan, Jr. was wounded at 2 different times - he lost
a leg on the battlefield. Bert Hayley, in the Navy, saw the havoc
of the Atomic Bomb at Nagasaki, when his ship, the Buckingham
docked there, soon after. A granddaughter, Mary Lou Peeler, a
nurse served as Lt. in McClusky Hospital in Houston. So many
and not much data on their war record, I shall not record all.
So you may know how widely read the San Angelo Standard is, I
want to tell you a grandson in law of Col. Hayley, wounded, was
in a hospital in Paris, France. A buddy from West Texas asked
him if he would like to read his Standard-Times. Turning the
page the first thing he saw was photos of W.L. Hayley and I and
a writeup of our 45th Wedding Anniversary Celebration here in
Snyder. I wrote many letters and cards to those overseas whom
Albion and Leila Hayley had no sons, but their 4 daughters
did their bit during the War. Two of them taught school several
years before they married. During the War Mildred Lasswell taught
in the Bronte School several years going and returning home with
her children. After Col. Hayley's death, Albion became owner
of the old home place at the foot of Hayrick Mountain. Part of
the first County seat, Hayrick, and the cemetery were on this
land. Their fine girls were raised there and the eldest, Mildred
and Lum Lasswell, own the farm today, which has been in the family
54 years. Albion and Leila Hayley's bodies were laid to rest,
along with a few more, of the early pioneers, in the little graveyard
at the foot of Hayrick Mountain. The four girls married fine
boys of pioneer neighbors: Lasswell, Kirkland, McCutcheon and
Fields - all linked with the real pioneers that started Coke
The Hayleys have helped to build every Methodist Church in
Coke Co., have contributed to all causes that was good for the
up building of their town and country.
I have a wonderful letter in my Scrap Book from Congressman
Clowd Hudspeth written to the family upon hearing of the death
of Col. H.H. Hayley, that goes to show Riches are not so important,
as are those of the mind and heart that cause people to live
for others, their God and their Country.
Closing I'll quote Edgar Guest "In the End"
If in the end all things prove well
What matter failures here and there,
Or hours of anguish and despair,
Or the rough ground on which we fell?
If out of trials darkening spell
We come at last to sunsets fair
And Find the peace which follows care
We'll have adventurous tales to tell.
Tis this which adds to life its zest;
The future's an unwritten book,
One never knows whats worst or best.
Upon our cares we'll proudly dwell,
If in and all things prove well.
Note: Jo Collier found this manuscript
in the Jail Museum, Robert Lee, TX, and sent me a copy of the
handwritten copy. Much of this material has been published in
the San Angelo, Ballinger, Bronte and Robert Lee Newspapers,
but this is the most complete manuscript that we have of her
writtings. She mentions a lot of other folks besides her family
because my grandparents had more friends than anyone I ever knew.
You will also want to check out the H. D. Pearce page. And a
very special thanks to Jo - I couldn't do Coke County without
A very proud granddaughter - Mary Love
Copyright 1998/1999 by Mary
Love Berryman. All rights reserved. This site may be freely linked
to but not duplicated in any fashion without my consent.