Tidbits of Shelby County History
A Collection of Biographies

This week’s article is taken from a collection of biographies complied by 8th grade Social Studies, Center Junior High School, teacher-- Miss Jim Ann Taylor, 1970-1971.

Mrs. Lula Cox

One hundred and three! Mrs. Lula Cox is a retired resident of Center. She was born in Freestone County, Texas in 1867. When she was two, her parents took her to Many, Louisiana, and she lived there until she was eighteen. Because of having to work in the fields, Mrs. Cox didn’t get a very good education.

When Mrs. Cox was eighteen, she married Samuel Cox. They raised eleven children, who went to school when there wasn’t any work to be done in the fields.

Mrs. Cox is now living with her daughter and son-in-law. She lived by herself until she was one hundred years old. I asked her if she had a belief which she had followed through life and she replied, “No, I’ve always eaten good country food, worked hard raising my eleven children and put lots of time in the cotton fields.”

Then she was asked if she had any advice for teenagers. She said, “Live right, do right, and trust in God. Then they will have a pretty good life.Written by Brenda Tyer(Note: from her obituary Lula E. Cox died March 14, 1971, at 103 and left 176 descendants. She was buried in East Hamilton Cemetery and had lived in East Hamilton community until the death of her husband 36 years ago.)

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown was born in Tenaha, Texas just before the depression. In Tenaha his family owned a drugstore. They were never rich but always had food on the table. He went to church regularly and was taught to be thoughtful of others.

In 1944 he graduated from Tenaha High School. He went to Stephen F. Austin State College in Nacogdoches, Texas until 1945 when he joined the Navy.

While in the Navy he became interested in health services and was assigned to a navy hospital where he stayed until his discharge.

After his discharge from the navy, he entered pharmaceutical school at the University of Texas where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy. During this time, he made friends and learned to think for himself.

Today Bruce Brown is a Pharmacist at Brown Drug Company in Center, Texas. He is a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association. The National Association of Retail Druggist and Texas Pharmaceutica Association.

The philosophy he has followed through life is to be as nice to people as you can, they will be nice to you. His advice for teenagers today is: “Don’t be in too big a hurry to change the world. It will still be waiting for you a few years from now, and you might like it better by then.” Written by Bill Bell

Sue Nell Ballard

This woman’s desire made her what she is today. Mrs. Ballard was born with teaching in her blood. She followed her mother’s footsteps in an adventurous profession and future of teaching school.

Mrs. Ballard was born in Milam, Texas in Sabine County. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. Allen A. Wilson. Three brothers and three sisters completed this family.

Mrs. Ballard has taught school for twenty years. Presently, she is teaching seventh grade history at Center Junior High in Center, Texas.

She has several saying that have helped her along through the years. Three of them are: “If first you don’t succeed, try again.” “The only people who never make mistakes are those who never do anything.” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Mrs. Ballard has had many exciting moments, but the one that takes the cake is the one on February 18, 1971. This proud mother became a grandmother. This was her first and you should understand how excited she was.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Elementary Education degree from Stephen F. Austin University. She has accomplished what she wants in life. To be happy, to be busy, to be loved, and to have a wonderful profession is her goal.  Written by Brenda Askew (Note: George Bruce Brown was born 30 May 1927 and died 03 October 1998. His wife was Nell Bishop Brown, and both are buried in Oaklawn Memorial Park.)

Margaret Booth White

Margaret White is a mother and housewife whose childhood terms of living conditions, parental guidance, problems, and education opportunities were about like any other of the time. Her living conditions were suitable. Her educational opportunities were very much limited. Of course, she had the opportunity of going o school but there were textbooks in bad condition and many times there were not enough to go around.

Margaret’s reason for her occupation is obvious. She got married and in her world a marriage isn’t a marriage without children and so she had two. Being a housewife and mother leaves her little time for hobbies. Sometimes she takes time out to read and she really enjoys it. She also enjoys sports, although she has never had the place or time, she’d really enjoy a game of tennis or to go bowling.

Margaret’s most rewarding and exciting moment of her life was when her little daughter, Shironda, took her first step. She says, “It was like seeing her grow.” Margaret doesn’t have any particular or specific philosophy, but she just tried to do her best in whatever she was involved in. She had a tendency to be rather outspoken and learned never to volunteer information that she had not obtained directly or information that was given to her in confidence. Margaret’s advice to teenagers today would depend upon the problem. She would tell the person to try super-hard to control his mouth and temper. She thinks that these are things that are important because Black teenagers have to go through quite an ordeal. She states, “In fact they have to control themselves a well or better than white adults because they endure more emotional strain.” She also advises them to stay in school at any cost because they’re going to need the education. Written by Felicia Himes

Howard Fulsom

Authur Howard Fulsom was born on September 16, 1918, in Grisby, Shelby County, Texas. He was an orphan since the age of four. His mother was run over, and his father died of tuberculosis. After his parents died, he went from house to house, usually to the homes of his relatives.

As he was growing up life seemed to get harder and harder. It was hared to find a job of any kind. Then the depression came, and life almost became unbearable. His only possessions, his cows, were shot by the government. He was paid only a quarter a head. This made him look for a new way to make a living. He ad always been able to build almost anything he wanted to, so he became a carpenter. He liked the job and there was good money in it

Then he met Ruby Williams which later became his wife. They had four children now. He has said the most rewarding time in his life was to watch his children grow up and go out on their own. He has still got two more left at home.

Since he was a young boy, he has liked to hunt and fish and to grown and raise a garden. He has said that he had spent a lot of time hunting and fishing and that they were happy times.

He hates nosey people, especially the ones who try to find out a secret and don’t, and then make up their own story. He said he had lived by one old saying and that is, “If you will sweep under your own doorstep before you start sweeping under someone else’s, you’ll be a whole lot better off.

He thinks teenagers today should obey their parents and that they should have more respect for their parents.

Mr. Fulsom now lives on the Arcadia Road. He has a garden, and he goes hunting and fishing when the seasons are open. He also is still a carpenter after thirty years of the same occupation. Written by Donald Fulsom (Note: Authur Howard Fulsom died 02 July 1982 and is buried in White Rock Cemetery. He and his wife, Ruby Williams, married by 1940. On his World War II draft card, his employer is listed as R.L. Warr.)

Life of Clifford Perry Sampson, Sr.

Mr. Sampson was born in Naples, Texas. He was the member of a family consisting of five children. His father died when he was five and he was brought up by his mother. She got money to support the family by doing farm work and domestic work. Knowing what it was like having little education, his mother made her son go to school every day, while the other boys worked

Mr. Sampson now works as a teacher in the Center Independent School District. He became a teacher due to his great like for his own teachers and adults’ leaders. His like of people also influenced him.

His favorite hobby is fishing. His weekends are usually quite busy, but his fishing is very seldom delayed.

The most rewarding moment of his life was when he won first place in a vocal contest, while competing in the State League.

The philosophy he has followed during his life is the Socratic maxim “Know thyself.” The advice he gives to teenagers is take the road less traveled. Don’t follow the crowds but be a separate individual. As he put it, “Live so that others will hate to see you die.”

He has belonged to many civic clubs and organization from childhood until present day times. Some of these are Boy Scouts, Schoolman Clubs, Athletic Clubs, State Advisory Board, and Y.M.C.A. He had four years of military service. He has three college degrees. Written by Doris DeNise Sampson (Note: After a term in the military, he worked at C.H. Daniels as a teacher-coach and soon became principal in 1950. Perry Sampson Park, a 4-acre neighborhood park, in Center, Texas is named in his honor. The park contains a playground area, one baseball field, basketball courts, and a pavilion with picnic areas and was recently updated.)