|Jeremiah "Sank" Havard
Henry Harris & Tinsey
John, Ada E., Ida M., Norman Page,
Charlie Harrison, Sank Willis, Jinnett,
Arthur B, Carrie Stella, Clyde Johnson
|Jeremiah "Sank" standing with Rhoda in checkered dress
|1870 Census- Rhoda's name is spelled incorrectly on the census record
|1900 Census for Jeremiah "Sank" and Rhoda Caroline Page-Tarkington Prairie
Rhoda was married twice. Her first husband was Charles D. Havard, son of
Thomas and Nancy. Charles was born in 1839 in Mississippi and died in 1862
during the Civil War.
Charles had been home on leave and developed the measles. He had to get
back to camp and went back too early and died several days later.
Charles and Rhoda married Sept. 8, 1861. Had no children.
After Jeremiah returned from the Civil War he married Rhoda on Dec 7, 1865.
|Interview with Era Havard Perry, Granddaughter of Jeremiah "Sank" Havard
Recorded by Peggy Sue Young Lee
INTERVIEW WITH ERA HAVARD PERRY
Daughter of Willis Sank Havard
and Mary Malisse Cole
September 6, 1990
Do you remember Jeremiah "Sank" Havard?
Why certainly, honey. I rode behind him everywhere he went. I was nearly twelve years old when he died. Now the rest of the Havards were fairly short
people, but he was rather tall. Grandpa was a good man. He' been in the Civil War and he came out the Civil War somehow with his money: gold. I can
remember where he had his gold hid. His heart got a little bad and they didn't want him to go off by himself. He thought I was such a brat and I was a brat but
if he'd start off somewhere, he'd come around by our house and pick me up. I've seen he get down off his horse and go dig around an old tree stump and get
a little money. He gave me a little dab of money every once in awhile. He told me, "When you get home with this, you put this in a little sack, an old piece of
deerskin and put it up under the house." He told me where to put it. We were living in the old house that he had built before he built the one he was living in
then. He said, "Now don't tell Mary or Willis that I give you this" Well, it didn't look like money to me.
I was too much of a kid for it to mean much to me. So guess that I was about sixteen and we got up one morning and the banks were all closed. Daddy kept
moaning and groaning. Two or three times, I said, "Daddy, I've got some money." Finally, he said, "I want to see this money!" I had better than three
hundred fifty dollars in gold pieces. He said, "where did you get this?" I said, "in that hole under the house, where the sills went together." grandpa told me to
jam it back in there so the rats and the dogs wouldn't get it. Even at sixteen years old, that wasn't money to me. By that time we had silver money. I certainly
wish I had sense enough to keep at least one piece of that gold money!
I remember that we lived on that money. Daddy raised lots of sweet potatoes back then and he went to the woods and gathered up a bunch of shoats, young
hogs about two tall, a lumber company had a sawmill camp back near Macedonia about ten miles from here. They hauled the logs out of those woods back
there and took them to Conroe to the railroad. Grandma and Aunt Ider sold milk and butter and eggs and Daddy sold pork to the camp. We didn't live too
bad. I don't remember why the bank closed or when it reopened.
Is Sank a nickname?
Oh yes, I don't know where he got that. On the cemetery monument though, it's Jeremiah! My daddy's name was Willis Sank and Clyde Havard had a son
he named Sank. So even thought it was a nickname, it got passed on down.
Did Louise Havard Bazzoon tell you that she had a twin brother? His name is Luther and he lives in Houston. Their mother told Clyde she would stay with
him until the two children finished school. The morning after they finished high school, she packed up and left. He married again to a woman named Nider.
She was an Indian woman, very attractive and very educated. She took good care of Clyde.
Was Clyde a little on the rough side?
Clyde was as mean as they come. I guess I was about thirteen and they were fixing to sell calves. When each of us kids was born, Grandpa gave each of us
a cow and a calf. They had gathered the cows up to sell the yearlings. My old cow was walking around and bawling. I said, "I wonder where Fig's calf is?"
Daddy said, "I'll tell you where it is if you want to go after it. Clyde's got it in that pen down there; it wasn't marked with a brand."
I went down there and told him I come after my yearling. He said, "you don't have one." I said, "Yes I do." I took my little piece of rope and put it around his
neck and led him out of there. He didn't say a word. There were too many men standing around there that knew that he was fixing to steal that yearling.
Daddy knew where it was but he said he wouldn't go down there. I said, "I'm going to get my calf!"
He had a stroke some time after he and Nider married. He never was able to talk again. I went to see him and he just cried. I said, "Now listen, don't cry
because I'm not going to cry with you. You be nice and I'll come see you, I'll be your friend and I'll be your niece."
One time while Perry and I were stationed in Germany, Nider accidentally let Clyde fall when she was trying to move him. She sat down right then and wrote
me to tell me. She said she didn't want me to hear about it from someone else. Once when she was sick, she was laying on the bed, trying to rest. Clyde
kept running his wheelchair into the bed to disturb her. He was that mean.
John Havard liked to talk rough but what kind of man was he?
Oh, Uncle John would say, "Good morning, God Damn You." Even when he said good morning you were going to get cussed. Nobody thought anything
about it, it was just part of him.
Now you knew that Devereaux stole Mollie? He stole her. The girls, Emma and Sweet, knew it. They were drilling for oil out there. John built a bunkhouse
out there for the roughnecks and the girls cooked for them. Devereaux asked for her and Uncle John run him off. So that night or a night or two later, she
walked out the back door, up the gully and under the bridge. It had rained and that black land was muddy so those roughnecks pushed the car out of that
Uncle John and Aunt Minnie stayed in bed and the girls brought their breakfast to them every morning. That next morning, Emma took their breakfast in and
Uncle John asked where Mollie was. They say that when Emma told him that Mollie had run off that night and married Devereaux, he jumped out of bed and
was so excited that he put his pants on backwards!
For her first pregnancy, Mollie miscarried. They were living down at Macedonia where that sawmill was; and she near about died. Uncle John came and
asked Mamma if she would go tell Mollie to come home. Mamma went down there and Mollie asked if Devereaux could come too. Mamma said yes.
From then on Uncle John had one son-in-law and that was Devereaux! Devereaux was a good man. And I don't know how he stood it! There were times
when Sophie, his mother would be there and Aunt Ader, Uncle John's sister would be there and Mrs. Percell would be there and sometimes even Aunt Ider
McGee would be there too! Four of them old women -- I don't know how he stood it! I would have moved to the barn!
He was very easy going though. One time during WW II, I was working in a liquor store. You just couldn't hardly get whiskey and if you did, it was rationed.
So, Deg come up there and told me, "Era, would you save me two quarts of whiskey when it comes in, if you can?" When it came in, I went and put it in my
car and put the money in the cash register. Daddy would always walk over there in the evening when I got off and ride home with me. I drove up there to
their house. Mollie was on the porch and Deg was out at the barn. I got out and said, "Mollie, here is Deg's whiskey." She said, "I didn't order any whiskey,"
and turned around and went back into the house. I went on down to the barn and said, "Deg, I brought your whiskey but Mollie wouldn't pay for it." He walked
to the back door and said, "Mollie give Era some money." I forget how much it was but she come out there and paid me.
I remember when somebody in the Fitzgerald family died with TB. Mamma and Aunt Minnie went to help bath and care for the shroud. I had to stay in the
buggy with Uncle John all day long.. I could see Mamma moving around in the house and I start to cry and Uncle John would tell me to shut up. When it
come time to go home, I had to ride in the buggy with Uncle John but mamma and Aunt Minnie couldn't ride with us because they were contaminated. They
had cared for that body and they were contaminated. I remember that they burned all their clothes when they got home, too. When we got to the cemetery
and I saw my daddy, I got aloose from John Havard!
What else do you remember about Jeremiah "Sank" Havard?
Where we all lived there was just one fence between the two fields and they had steps over the fence. Grandma or Grandpa one would blow the horn and
they would have me go down there and see what they wanted. I was under foot a lot. I can remember one time that Grandpa was getting corn ready to go to
the mill. I said, "That one got weevils in it." He said, "Bread and meat goes together!"
He would tell me, "You sit right there in that chair till I take me a nap," To me it seemed like he slept for hours. He probably didn't lay there five minutes but I
knew to stay right there in that chair until he got up!" I learned to mind when I was very young.
I was with him one time when they were working the cattle. Some man was riding for him, using one of Grandpa's horses and saddles. I never did know
what that man said whether he cussed or foul-mouthed or what. But whatever it was , Grandpa told him, "You get down off that horse and go to the house and
tell Rhoda to give your pay. You're through." That man got down off that horse and walked it back to the house. I never did know what that was all about.
When he said "frog," whoever was around jumped except Clyde! Grandma stood between him and Clyde; she always did. Clyde was the baby. She had
two other children but they died very young. I don't know what happened to them. I do know that she couldn't cry. She never had tears in her eyes. In later
years, someone said that she cried so much when one of those babies died that she damaged her tear ducts.
When Jeremiah died, did Rhoda live alone?
No, Aunt Ider Havard McGee came to live with her. She was a widow so she and her son, Lubie, came to live with Grandma. He farmed there for a number
of years and never married.
Tell me about your Grandmother. What was Rhoda like?
She was a very small, prim and precise little thing. She always had on a little cap of some kind. She taught me to knit with little double pointed knitting
needles. I know, now that I'm grown, why she did it. When you knit and you make a mistake, you take it out; when you crochet and make a mistake, you
cover it up! She was always knitting socks and I was jumping around and asking questions. So she went and got me a pair of double pointed knitting needles
and sat me down and showed me how to knit. I always knitted ropes. I use them in these to hold my flower pots.
I know I was just a kid of course and I wasn't listening too close but she said, "When my Pa died, he gave my brothers land." He gave us girls a slave and a
oxen apiece. The slave run away and the oxen died." Well, I listened to that part pretty close and it stuck with me. Then when I got a copy of old man's will
and read it, I laughed for thirty minutes. Can you imagine your father giving you a oxen and a slave when he gave the boys land. But you see back in those
days girls were useless. They were here to reproduce and that was all. Yes, Nehemiah Page, her father was very well off. He had lots of property and
Do you remember Rhoda telling anything else about her parents?
Not too much. Now she had a brother named Willis Page. Now it was his granddaughter and Miriam Tatum, Uncle Jim Havard's granddaughter, who
started working up all this stuff. They finished what they started and I got a copy of anything they ever had. They came here quite a few times and we went to
the cemetery and other places. This girl, I can't think of her name, lived in West Texas and was killed in a car accident on her way back home.
Ray Miller's "Eyes of Texas Travel Guide" has a picture in it of Great Grandpa's old home place. That's Henry Harris Havard's old home in Angelina
County. Now that is the house that has been moved to a park in Lufkin. Now, Miriam Tatum was originally a Havard and that was her plan; the old Havard
Cemetery is right there too.
I went back up there to Homer, Texas which used to be a big sawmill town. All that area used to be sawmills because that was the only way they had of
making any money. The railroad crew came through there laying out the plans for the railroad. The crew got real drunk and rowdy a
and the townspeople run them off. The foreman of the crew got mad and bypassed the town of Homer so that the train didn't go into town!
Did Jeremiah and Rhoda go to church?
Yes, Grandma and Grandpa went to church. Grandma and Aunt Ider went to church after Grandpa died. They all went to Rural Shade Baptist Church at
Had Rhoda been married before?
Yes, she had been married to Grandpa's cousin. That's why the Bible shows that Sank married Rhoda Havard. She was a Page originally but she married
his cousin and he was killed in the Civil War. When Jeremiah came back home from the War, they got married. He brought her on horseback down into this
country somehow. He led a pack horse. I know that they lived out close to Oak Shade first. I don't know how long they lived there before they moved out on
the prairie. Since they came here on horseback, most of their family was still in Angelina County. I do remember James and Jane Havard, the ones that
witnessed their wedding vows. They came to visit some.
Grandpa had a niece, Cybie, that came and stayed for awhile. She was wild as a March Hare. I do remember that. We had a big rain, the gully got full of
water and she went swimming, buck naked. It caused quite a stir. It wasn't long before she went back home on the train!
Did Jeremiah "Sank" Havard talk about the Civil War?
The story goes, my dear, that Grandpa Havard was part of Quantrill's Raiders. He couldn't have been very old because if I remember right, his discharge
from the Confederate Army listed his age at 21 then. He was probably about eighteen when he joined up. Grandpa never told this but I heard that Quantrill's
gang was making a raid somewhere. Now, they never rode their own horses. They would tie their horse up and leave a young man to watch them. They
rode different horses when they made these raids and burned and whatever. Something happened that didn't set well with Grandpa and he went back to their
horse and got his horse and that young man they had left to watch the other horse and brought him to Texas. Now who the young man was, I don't know.
Every once in awhile my Grandpa would ride up to see old man Lee, Margie Havard's grandfather. Grandpa would go see Mr.(Jim) Lee and they would go
way off to talk away from anybody. They would go off and sit under a tree where there wasn't anybody around.
My Grandpa never talked about the Civil War; I never heard him say a word. His sword and gun is in the Masonic Lodge museum in Waco.
One time Grandpa had leased some land to a man to farm on the halves. When the man was loading the corn, he would stomp it to make it go down in the
wagon bed for himself and just throwing it loose for Grandpa's. They were working on the halves, Grandpa caught him and made him unload the wagons
and start over.
He was a honest person. Grandpa, old man Jeff Cockrin and Uncle_______ put up the money to start this Farmers Bank here. They used to have wooden
gates that you had to open to get to the tellers. He said, "You go to that man at that desk and give him your money and he'll take care of you." I think that he
had sold some of my calves; yearlings. That's when I opened my first account and I've had one there ever since.
We lived close by. The field between our houses was about twice as wide as the distance from here to 321. So I was always over there. Now Grandpa didn't
allow dogs in his yard. He had a dog yard built for them. He used the dogs to hunt and work the cows but he didn't allow them to come in the yard around the
house and they knew that.
After her husband died, Aunt Sallie Evans, Devereaux's grandmother, received a vulgar letter from a man down at Dolan. The man was a Mason so she
gave the letter to my Grandpa. He took it to the meeting and they voted him out of the Masons. See that's one of the things that they swear they will never do.
They promise to help take care of the widows and children.
Do you remember anything about Sallie Evans?
Oh sure. She was short and heavy set. She always wore a blouse and skirt. It buttoned down the front. I can remember being in her house quite a few
times. She had a sister or sister-in-law named Kate who was kind of crazy. Anyway, we were over there one time and Aunt Sallie was trying to cook
supper. I remember it very well. Aunt Kate kept coming over there telling her that her old cow had swallowed her cud. The story goes that if a cow loses her
cud she will die. So after awhile, Aunt Sallie picked up an old oily rag and wadded it up and handed it to my daddy. She said, "Willis give this to that old cow.
Kate will think that she's chewing her cud!" I can remember Mamma and Daddy talking about it on the way home that night. Daddy said, "Aw, Kate's crazy
anyhow!" I believe that Aunt Sallie was an Isaacks and Margie Havard's mother was an Isaacks, too. Her name was Buela.
Tell me something about your parents.
My daddy was much like Uncle Harris. Very calm and quiet. He went to church. As far as I ever knew, as honest as the day is long. He and Clyde were
completely different. The meanness came out of Grandma. She was a spiteful little thing but Grandpa was good.
How did your parents meet?
I imagine that they met at church. My Grandpa Cole never missed a service in his life and I am sure those girls went too. Aunt Iva and Uncle Harris and
Mamma and Daddy got married at church but they were married in their buggies. They didn't stand up; they were in their buggies. I don't know if the
preacher married them both at the same time or not, at Rural Shade Baptist Church.
It seems like everybody in the family had a great deal of property.
I don't know how Uncle John got his property but Grandpa told my daddy, Uncle Harris and Uncle Norman that he would pay for them to join the Masonic
Lodge or give them land and they took land. Uncle Harris lived on the river down here. Then he sold that place and moved to Huffman.
What was Minnie Era Havard like?
I loved her. She was fat, not real gobby fat, but about like Mollie. She was short, but none of them were tall. The Gossetts were never tall and she was a
Gossett. I liked Aunt Minnie. She was very quiet; I don't ever remember seeing her smile or laugh much. I can always remember seeing her in church with
a turkey tail to fan with. I can remember Uncle John saying, "Woman, you're fanning me out of the God Damned place with that turkey tail!" They used to take
a turkey's tail and cover the base with some fabric and it would make a real nice fan. That's what she always fanned with.
What about Uncle Ovie?
I'm sure that Ovie and Page both joined the Masons as soon as they turned 21. Ovie was a good man. He and I were always good friends. I do remember
one time when he had been out all night drinking and dancing and partying. He didn't even go home at all that night. I always rode a horse to school every
day. When I got up that morning to go to school, mamma said, "Ovie came by and took your horse this morning so he could go help Uncle John work the
cows." I said, "Well, that's fine, how am I supposed to get to school?" She said that he had left his car there for me to drive. Well, it was standard shift and I
had never driven anything before. I like to have never gotten to school that day! I made a great big circle out there in the school yard and headed that thing
towards home. I didn't know how to make the silly thing back up! He came back that afternoon to swap with me but he knew that he better be on the job that
morning Uncle John would really have been after him if he had missed work.
After he and Margie married, she never hung up another load of washing again. She washed them and he hung them up. Margie washed clothes on
Monday morning come hell or high water and it was his job to hang up the clothes to dry.
Now Byron, Skintight, well, he was a real rascal. I don't know how he got the nickname though. He was little and scrawny I guess. Emma and Albert were
twins. During the Depression, Tom Lowe told Albert, "I've got men with families that need jobs. You're single and I'm just going to have to let you go. So
Albert went to work in the oilfields in West Texas for awhile but when he came back, he said to Tom. "You don't have to pay me or anything but I'm going to
say right here where Emma is!" He never did leave again. He stayed right there until he was killed.
Emma was the first person that I ever saw with a brain tumor. She didn't even look like herself anymore when I saw her. Juanita's husband just took over at
Emma's funeral. Tom wanted to bury her in one of her own dresses but Harold said no. "She's been sick for such a long time that none of her clothes fit her
anymore. We're going to make her look pretty and get her a new dress." I remember it was a blue dress that buttoned down the front and had a peter pan
collar. He was very good about making all the arrangements for Emma.
Did everybody get together for Christmas or other holidays?
After I got big enough to remember, we always went to visit my mother's family at Christmas. After Uncle John moved here to town, one time we all got
together over there. Tom and Emma, Sweet and Sherman, and everybody seemed to be there that Christmas. They had eggnog. Uncle John was sitting in
the living room, in front of the fireplace, and they sent me in there to give him a glass of eggnog. He wasn't mad at me. He said, "They told you to bring it,
didn't they?" I'm not going to drink it, but if I wanted to, I'd drink the whole God Damned mess.
Mrs. Era Havard Perry and her husband, Elton Perry invited my mother, Louise Young and me into their home today to share a little bit of Havard history.
Mrs. Perry has the old Jeremiah Sank Havard family bible and allowed me to make copies of the information recorded in it. She also showed me a photo
album of old family pictures. Unfortunately, most of the pictures are not labeled and no one knows who they are anymore. She is a lovely lady with lots of
good information and interesting stories to share.
She and "Perry" did not have any children of their own. They have one foster daughter. Mr. Perry is retired after more than 20 years of military service. Most
of the time he served, was with top secret clearance. He could not tell her where he was going on most of his assignments. He served here in the states,
Germany, and Japan. Era went with him to Germany but stayed in Cleveland while he was stationed in Japan. After he retired, he went back to school to
study waste water management and worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for several years.
They have a lovely home at 314 Fenner in Cleveland, Texas. It has a patio door that faces east and looks out on the back yard where she has lots of beautiful
flowers, trees, and several bird feeders. Both of their easy chairs face the patio door so they have a great view all day long.
Mr. Perry suffered a stroke recently but has made great progress. He drives again and his speech is basically back to normal.
Era turned 81years old this year and has worked as a volunteer with the American Cancer Society for 21 years. She is the Service Chairman for their chapter
and was recently recognized for her many years of service.
Peggy Sue Young Lee
Era Lois Havard Perry was born February 12, 1909 at Tarkington Prairie, Liberty County, Texas, married Elton Lewis Perry, and passed away July 3, 2002 in
Cleveland, Liberty County, Texas.
She was the daughter of Willis Sank Havard (February 3, 1878 - March 8, 1953) and Mary Molassa Cole (December 8, 1885 - January 20, 1945). Willis
Sank Havard was the son of Jeremiah Sank Havard (May 11, 1839 - June 12, 1919) and Rhoda Caroline Page (December 2, 1846 - July 2, 1927).
Jeremiah Sank Havard was the son of Henry Harris Havard (1811 - April 14, 1877) and Tinsie Denny (April 2. 1812 - September 22, 1873).
Peggy Sue Young Lee is the daughter of Lubie Page Young and Alice Louise Rush, granddaughter of Lubie Devereaux Young and Mollie Etta Havard, great
granddaughter of John and Minnie Havard, and Great, Great Granddaughter of Jeremiah "Sank" and Rhoda Havard.
|FAMILY OF JEREMIAH (SANK) HAVARD
Tarkington Prairie, Liberty County, Texas, Cira 1894
Seating on edge of porch: Norman Page Havard, Sank Willis Havard, Charlie Harris Havard
On porch from left to right: William Logan Cannon, daughter Rhoda Estelle Cannon, Ada Elizabeth Havard Cannon,
Jeanette Jane Havard, Rhoda Caroline Page Havard, son Clyde Johnson Havard, Jeremiah (Sank) Havard, Minna Era
Gossett Havard, daughter Fannie Kate Havard, and John Havard.
(All of Jeremiah and Rhoda Havard's children are present except Ida Marie Havard McGee who had married and moved
away, Arthur B. Havard born April 25, 1885 and died November 2, 1886, and Carrie Stella Havard born November 13,
1887 and died December 18, 1887).