This has been a memorable fall. First of all, the Lt. James Rector Cunningham tribute and memorial, along with special guests from France, what a wonderful time for Comanche. This is the 100th year of the ending of World War 1 in 1918 and special events will make more and more people research and remember the many family names that are still fresh in our minds.
The SPANISH AMERICAN WAR. Yes, there were men from this area who served in that war. For Instance, the grandfather of JAMES, PHILIP AND CLIFFORD MERCER-- that was their grandfather, WADE A. MERCER served in that war. My dear sister, Geneva Cox Mercer, was married to the boys’ dad, Alton Mercer. I remember that she told me that Mr. Wade A. Mercer had been a veteran of the Spanish American War and received a small pension. After he passed away, his wife, MILLIE MCCULLOUGH MERCER continued to receive this pension as long as she lived.
We were very happy to host the Veteran’s Day Luncheon recently and my dear friend Bobby Lane put on FACEBOOK a picture of our dear friend to the Museum, BROOKS KERLEY. He was the oldest veteran from WWII at our luncheon at 90 years old. Way to go, Brooks.
I hope the students at Jefferies Junior High and the Comanche High School understood just what a special time for them to be ab le to escort a veteran or a veteran’s spouse at the program at the High School.
I have mentioned before that I was 11 years old when Pearl Harbor was bombed and World War 11 started for the United States. No, not a one of these men really wanted to go and serve in that or any other war, but they felt that it was their duty. They left home, their wives, children, parents and other family members and their jobs and left Comanche.
Many of them left by train. I especially enjoyed the article in the Comanche Chief about the Comanche train depot. I recognized many of the names that were listed as working for the railroad. Especially Frank Ross, his wife was named Beulah, and they were the parents of Marguerite Ross, long time school teacher at Comanche High and also served as a coach.
I remember seeing trains coming through Comanche, loaded down, flat cars, one after the other, with tanks, strapped down, and many flat cars with jeeps strapped down. These were all going east. Probably going to a port where they could be transported to war zones. Yes, I am old enough to remember lots of things that were going on in this area concerning the war. Especially with Camp Bowie being at Brownwood. These soldiers were all lonesome, away from home and they would be here in Comanche on the weekend. Many people invited them to go home with them for the weekend.
I remember we had friends from West Texas, the Wes Nichols family that my family had met in the mid to late 1920’s and we were always good friends with them. One time, their son Leo was stationed at Camp Bowie in Brownwood, and Wes and Lena Nichols came down, we went over to the camp. I remember how confusing it was, we were looking for MAYBE AVENUE G, and there were small tent looking houses that the soldiers were quartered in, everywhere. Anyway, we did locate Leo and he spent a number of weekends with us. My mother was a very good cook and he hadn’t forgotten that.
We invite you to come to the Museum to visit with us, we have changed a lot of displays, and we especially invite you to visit the Veterans’ room and see all of the displays. Also, remember our CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE, WHICH WILL BE DECEMBER 8TH, ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON. More about this later.