Colorado County Obituaries


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Rees, Bertha Anna (Herold)


Bertha Anna Herold Rees, surrounded by family and loved ones, peacefully passed away on Feb. 9 at the age of 89.

Born on August 25, 1918 in Corpus Christi, she was the youngest of 12 children born to Bertha Eva (Macha) and Jaroslav Francis Herold. She and her late husband, Melvin C. Rees, were married on June 30, 1946.

She was a graduate of Corpus Christi High School, Corpus Christi Junior College and an honor graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

She met Melvin when they were both first year teachers at Harlingen High School in Harlingen - he as the agriculture teacher and she as the home economics teacher. Prior to marriage, she also taught at the University of Texas in Austin. She and Melvin began their married life and family in Garwood where she resided for the next 60 years.

She was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who devoted her life to her family and community. She was a talented seamstress and quilt maker, as well as an avid tennis player and fan. She shared her time and talents serving as den mother and leader for both the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.

She was a longstanding member and leader of the Home Demonstration Club, for which she served on the state and national board. President Lyndon Johnson appointed her a member of the National Family Life Committee.

The family wishes to express appreciation for extraordinary love and care shown to Bertha by the staff of Cambridge Square Retirement Center during the last two years of her life. In addition, the family wishes to thank Evercare Hospice for making her comfortable in her final journey home.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and 11 brothers and sisters.

Fond memories of her forever will be cherished by her loving family, son Carl Rees and wife Joyce of Houston and daughters Carolyn Berger and husband Jim of Richmond and Kathleen Rees of Kingsville. Grandma will be lovingly remembered by grandchildren Carly Ricondo and husband Denney of Round Rock, Chase Rees of Houston, Caryn Brown and husband Michael of Waco, and Reesa Berger of Austin. "GG" will always hold a special place in the hearts of great-grandsons William Lee Brown and Edward Riley Brown of Waco. She will be greatly missed by numerous nieces and nephews, as well as great-nieces, great-nephews, and friends.

Her life will be celebrated at Lehrer Memorial United Methodist Church Educational Building in Garwood at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16. [Cremated]

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to one of the following charities very dear to Mrs. Rees, Youth with a Mission - Haiti, P.O. Box 236, Akron, PA 17501; Evercare Hospice, 9702 Bissonnet, Suite 2200W, Houston, TX 77036; or the Garwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Colorado County Citizen, February 13, 2008
Courtesy The Citizen

Reese. Burrell Green Whittington "Dick"

Weimar Local Matters

Last Thursday morning after the usual breakfast hour, when the telephone office was opened, some one at Columbus was calling Weimar. The story of the tragedies at Columbus the night before was quickly told. The news spread over this town like wild fire, and many hurried to (the) telephone office with the hope of hearing further particulars. Such an ocurrence was sad news to all.

Late last Thursday evening the remains of Mr. Dick Reese were buried here, in the Weimar cemetery by the side of his brother Sam, having been brought here that day from Columbus on the mid day train. It was not generally known when the funeral would take place, many having heard that it would be deferred till the next morning. Consequently not many attended.

The outburst of grief from relatives at the grave were truly touching, and excited the sympathy of all present. The people of Weimar are naturally sympathetic and always feel for the distressed. Near relatives of the deceased reside in this town, and they and other sorrowing relatives have the sympathy of all in this community in their grief.

County Treasurer Burttschell, Jas. Coleman, and others from Columbus, whose names we did not get, were here last Thursday.

Mrs. Sam Reese of Columbus attended the funeral of Mr. Dick Reese. She came from Yoakum, where she was visiting, accompanied, we think, by Walter Reese, her brother-in-law.

Colorado Citizen, May 25, 1899
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Rees, Clara I. (Smith)

Reese--Mrs. Clara I. Reese, died at her residence, 402 Greer Street (San Antonio), Monday afternoon, aged 79 years.  She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. O. G. Lord; sister, Mrs. S. E. Montgomery; grandchildren, Mrs. N. B. Brown and T. D. Beauchamp; three great-grandchildren.  Services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock from the Porter Loring Chapel, Rev. Neal Ellis officiating.  Interment in Mission Burial Park.

San Antonio newspaper, October 7, 1940
Submitted by Deborah Smith
[This is Clara Smith, daughter of Asa W. and Mahala (Hope) Smith, and wife of Fleming Sanders Rees, son of F S and Nancy Whittington Rees. DS]

Rees, Essie Isabel

Oakland Remarks

Mr Flem Rees and wife of Yoakum were in Last Saturday on a very sad mission--to bury their youngest child at the old family burying ground.  They have our condolences.

Weimar Mercury, February 6, 1892
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Reese, Iva (Ilse)

In Memory of Mrs Iva Reese

Love shall stand guard for thee,
Friends without number,
Bereaved and disconsolate over
thee weep;
Sweet be thy dreams.
Untroubled thy slumbers;
Tranquilly, peacefully, restfully

In the warm sunlight of that day we call Life, the Angel of Death with noiseless footsteps comes and bears away the one whom we love most. The life of our friend and sister has changed, but not ended. Her soul has passed "into the house not made with hands, eternal in Heaven," the home of the pure and good.

Miss Iva Ilse was born April 25, 1887 in Columbus, and here she lived her whole life; as a child going to school, and playing beneath our beautiful oaks, as a girl shedding the radiance of her smile and wonderful personality on those with whom she came in contact, as a woman she was a blessing and a comfort to all who knew her. On the altar of her whole life burned the flame of unselfish love, constant devotion, and loving solicitude for those nearest and dearest to her.

She married S. H. Reese, June 17, 1907, who preceded her to the grave.

At the hour of 3:05 in the morning of November 26th, after a long and painful illness, after everything that was humanly possible was done for her by physicians, nurses, relatives and friends, she passed away quietly and serenely, surrounded by those who loved her best. Mrs. Reese is survived by four sisters, Misses Ella and Hattie Ilse, Mrs. Lillian Miller, and Mrs. Martha Hughes, and one brother R. C. Ilse and two nieces, Misses Nancy and Ilse Miller, all of Columbus, one nephew, James Henry Ilse of Hermosa Beach, Cal., two great nephews, James Dixon Ilse, and Louis Roderick Ilse. Among those friends who attended the funeral from out-of-town were: Mr. and Mrs. Baring, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Baring, Mrs. Lottie Baring and daughter of Houston; Mrs. Arthur Baring and daughters, Miss Johanna Baring of Eagle Lake; Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Miller of Elgin, Mrs. J. D. Walker, Dr. and Mrs. T. M. Johnson of Luling; Mrs. K. B. Reese, Miss Lillie Reese, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Johnson, Dr. and Mrs. Si Houston Johnson of Austin; Dr. and Mrs. Joe Lessing of Schulenburg and Mrs. Doll Hinson of Richmond.
Active pallbearers: Messrs. W. Miekow, Ellis G. Miller, Emil Rabel, Edgar Litzman, Aubrey Chapman, Oscar Schade, Thomas Glithero and Albert W. Hahn.

Honorary pallbearers: Messrs. A. P. Hinton, C. R. Grobe, H. Braden, John Hastedt, W. C. Papenberg, Bob Wells, Charley Rutta, Judge J. J. Mansfield, S. K. Seymour, Sr., H. A. Harbert, W. Kindred, John Krause, Roby Hadden, Wm. Wallace, G. A. Zumwalt, E. C. Fehrenkemp, Joe Shaw, W. H. Glithero, J. H. Wooten, Dr. W. W. Gunn, Frank Auerbach, Owen Hoegemeyer, Henry Hahn, Henry Ilse, Ed Goldsmith, Albert Goldsmith, Walter Dick, John Adkins, Henry Montgomery, Houston, Sam Hamburger, George Little, Houston; I .G Wirtz, Sugarland; Mayor C. K. Quin, San Antonio, W. M. Stephenson, San Antonio; Henry Buescher, T. P. Luck, Gus Obenhaus, Dr. R. H. Bell, Dr. S. H. Kirkham, L. Voskamp, Dr. S. B. McLeary, A. L. McCormick, Louis Waldvogel, Paulsen Bros., Dr. H. C. Moeller, Charles Klein, Paul Grey, Henry Hurr, C. B. Stafford, Roy Burt, S. L. Hastedt, J. Mattern, S. J. Nussbaum, W. L. Nesbitt, Brandon Fitzpatrick, L. S. Lawrence, G. H. Miller, Joe L. Burttschell, John Duncan, Glidden; E. B. Mayes, E. C. Thrower, Earl Sandmeyer, T. E. Hillmer, P. K. Finley, R. W. Gillette, Sam Harbert, Jr., S. K. Seymour, Jr., and J. D. Seymour; William Struss, Elo Girndt, Felix and A. R. Fehrenkamp, H. B. Tanner, Ned Burford, L. T. Richardeson, Roland Jackson, B. H. Meinert, O. P. Moore, F. M. Tolbirt, A. W. Pridgeon, E. R. Spencer, P. F. Heller, W. R. Juren, Will Wirtz, Ben Henneke, J. R. McMahan, John Goeppinger, Herman Girndt, J. E. Hester, Hugh Wilson, Lavo Hester, N. P. Isgrig, C. K. Gay, E. C. Gay, Geo. Stansbury, Thurmond West, Ford Wegenhoft, and Ben Wilde.

Mrs. Reese as a young woman became interested in the abstract of title profession and was most skilled and proficient in her chosen line of work which she followed until her last illness. She was a member of the St. John Episcopal Church of this city. The funeral was conducted from the Ilse home and she was laid to rest as was her wish in the family lot in the City Cemetery. Rector J. W. E. Atrey, now of Houston, but formerly of Columbus officiated, assisted by the local Rector Frank Walker.

Mrs. Reese possessed those elemental human virtues that made all those who loved her and who knew her, or came in contact with her, better and happier because she lived. A wonderful devoted loving heart, a happy radiant smile, and wholesome merry wit that drew to her numberless friends and admirers, who now mourn because she is not here. There is no other to take her place.

Followed by a long concourse of sorrowing relatives and friends to her last resting place covered by mountains of the most beautiful fragrant flowers under the shade of the protecting live oak trees, she was consigned to the Father's Blessed keeping.

Adieu if ever fonderer prayer
Avail for others' weal on high--
Ours will not be lost in air
But waft thy name beyond the sky.
--A. P. Hinton

December 1937 Colorado County Citizen obituary from Lillie Rees' scrapbook in the Nesbitt Memorial Library
Transcribed by Deborah Smith

Prominent Columbus Lady is Claimed by Death

Columbus--Funeral services for Mrs. Iva Reese, 51, were held. Interment was in City Cemetery. She is survived by four sisters and one brother: Miss Ella Ilse, Mrs. Lillian Miller, Mrs. Martha Hughes, Miss Hattie Ilse, and R. H. Ilse, all of Columbus.

Weimar Mercury, December 3, 1937

Dr. and Mrs. J. F. Lessing attended the funeral of Mrs. Iva Reese in Columbus last week. Mrs. Reese was a sister-in-law of Mrs. Lessing and had been ill for a number of weeks.

Weimar Mercury, December 17, 1937
Contributed by Deborah Smith

Reese. John Walter

Death of J. Walter Reese

Dies of Injuries Received in Auto Accident Five Weeks Ago at El Paso

News was received here early Friday morning that J. Walter Reese, son of late Sheriff S. H. Reese of this county and Mrs. Reese of Columbus, had died the previous evening at El Paso, as a result of injuries received five weeks previous in an automobile accident. The remains were brought here Saturday afternoon on the Sunset Limited and followed by a large concourse of sympathizing relatives and friends of the family, were laid to rest in the Odd Fellows' Cemetery west of town. Rev. Garrard, Baptist minister of Columbus, officiating. Due to the exceedingly disagreeble weather prevalent at the time, many friends of the family were prevented from attending the funeral.

Mr. Reese, if we mistake not, was born and reared in this county. He lived to young manhood in Colorado county, then moved to El Paso, where for a number of years he was captain of detectives and police inspector. He was about 40 years of age at the time of his death. He was well and favorably known to many Colorado county people, who deeply and sincerely regret his death. He leaves a mother and three sisters to mourn his death, to whom our heartfelt sympathy is extended.

Weimar Mercury, December 19, 1919
Submited by Deborah Smith

 In Memorial

I deem it a privilege to be permitted to render an account of the last illness of my brother J. Walter Reese.

On the night of Nov. 6th, 1919, he and a friend, William Kell, were in an automobile driving on the country road near Val Verde, when the car skidded, overturned and then righted itself.  Mr. Kell with three ribs broken, and an injured spine lay unconscious for some time.  When he regained consciousness, he heard a groan and on further investigation saw his friend J. Walter Reese hanging out of the car door with his foot jammed between the brake and clutch.  Mr. Kell immediately took the poor broken and bruised body and lay it on the ground, first placing the cushions under his head.  Knowing that something must be done, and seeing a light some distance, he went out in the rain to secure assistance.  No phone at the farm house compelled him to seek other aid.  As he started to another farm house he espied a large car coming his way and flagged it down.  All this time my brother was exposed to the rain, and suffering only God knows what agony.  They took him to an emergency hospital, then to Hotel Deiu, where every attention that medical skill and loving hands could give was rendered.

My mother and I reached his bedside at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8th and we were informed that it was only a question of hours and that he would never regain consciousness.  We knew that our faith in God would be justified and the very next day he began to recognize us.  Two weeks later his other sisters, Mr. J. F. Lessing of Schulenburg and Mrs. J. T. Johnson of Austin were in attendance at his bedside.  We thank God that he expressed himself as most ready and willing to go, depending on the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour.  His last moments will always be most precious to us, for he kissed each of us good by, and asked that we meet him over there, and the last word those dear lips uttered was "mamma."  He knew that his devoted mother had never failed him in prayer, thought or act.

J. Walter Reese was the son of Sam Houston and Keetie B. Reese.  Born of love, he knew and felt the most intense love for his own people.  From the hour of his birth, June 3, 1879, he was a source of great joy to his beloved parents.  He became a member of the First Baptist Church, Columbus, Texas, when he was a boy 14 years old.  He lost his father twenty years ago, and the agony of a separation from his younger brother, S. Herbert Reese, was only seven years hence.  Those things he always remembered and even when the angel of death was hovering near his bed, he gave the assurance that he would soon be with his father and Herbert in Heaven, and as I review the life of my beloved and most precious brother, I am reminded of a broken column as most fitted to represent the untimely death of a man thus in middle life.  And when to live was most desirable--when the work to be done had been but just commenced, it is doubly painful to bid adieu to the loved brother and honored friend thus passing into the unknown.  For as he was, so is he still--in the hands of the Heavenly Father.  "God giveth his beloved sleep."  He has laid his burdens suddenly down.  We can hardly reconcile ourselves to the thought that others should take them up and yet, the future may reveal the good, the discipline that there may be in this.  He goes out into the unknown and all is blank.  He leaves his labor here unfinished and unskilled hands must carry to completion the work which he has begun.  All seems wrong, and we refuse to be comforted; and yet, who shall say it is not best?  Other hands and minds may assume his task and do it so well that, his labor and influence shall not be lost.

And he--well, we do not know what grand fields of thought and action he may enter upon, but we feel that he is not dead.  To say that death ends all is to admit creation a failure.  Why be born?  Why be brought into existence merely to tell to suffer and die, with no compensation on earth?  God forbid.

To millions, if this earth was all, life would not be worth the living.  To create man simply to live out his brief time here without purpose and then die would be like the construction of a machine for the simple purpose of making it.  But as we do not construct for simple experiment as we do not build to simply tear down again, so we do not believe that good and omnipotent God makes anything in vain but, on the contrary, that in the creation of man he had a great grand plan, the fulfillment of which we see but dimly shadowed on earth.  "Not by works but by faith art thou saved."

The house in which my brother dwelt is left behind.  It was but the simple habitation fitted for use while he remained here.  Between himself and us, there stands a curtain beyond which, wisely we cannot see.  But we can hope and believe and as in nature, there is no death, so faith in God tells us our own Walter is not dead, but living--wiser, greater, grander than ever before, because he was great and good here, with opportunities multiplied for happiness and advancement a thousand fold.  For do we not, if we live rightly here, and trust in Christ, advance from a lower to a higher sphere on earth, and shall not our advancement be always?  We mourn today for the departure of our beloved one whom we shall not soon see again, but we have faith that we shall meet him a little way on the future and the eye that shone so keenly and brilliantly, the voice that addressed us so kindly and lovingly, the hand that grasped our own so cordially, the lips that pressed ours so tenderly will again greet us on the other side.

J. Walter Reese passed away Dec. 11th, 1919, and leaves a wife, a baby Lola Herberta, whom he more than idolised, his devoted mother, Mrs. K. B. Reese, three sisters, Mrs. J. F. Lessing, Mrs. J. F. Johnson and Miss Lillian Reese.  With Longfellow we bow our heads and humbly say:  "We will be patient and assuage the feeling,"

Colorado Citizen, December 19, 1919
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Reese, Keron Blanche (Townsend)

Funeral services were held Tuesday for Mrs. Sam Reese, 86, at her home, Monday. Dr. Melvin Edison of the Luling Baptist Church, officiating at the home and at the Weimar Cemetery where she was buried by her husband, her sons, and a great grandson, Clarence Howard, Jr.

Mrs. Reese was born Keron Blanche Townsend on August 4, 1858, a daughter of Spencer Burton Townsend and Louise Dillard Townsend, both pioneers of English descent. Her father was one of the early Indian fighters and was later a hero of the Battle of San Jacinto where he lost the small finger of his right hand. Mr. and Mrs. Townsend were married in a fort in pioneer times.

On September 1, 1876, a romance of early youth culminated in the marriage of "Keetie" B. Townsend and Samuel H. Reese", as the marriage certificate stated. The bride was 18 and the groom was 17 years of age. To their union was born Nuddie Ela, John Walter, Spencer Herbert,Keron Virginia and Lillian Estelle.

Mr. Reese died on March 16, 1899. He had been a Sheriff of Colorado County.

Mrs. Reese was a member of the Baptist Church for over forty years, and was a charter member of Shropshire Upton Chapter, UDC.

Among the surviving relatives are three daughters, Mrs. J. F. Lessing of Schulenburg, Mrs. J. F. Johnston of Austin, and Miss Lillian E. Reese of Columbus, and one sister, Mrs. N. A. Watts, New Orleans.

Colorado County Citizen, November 9, 1944
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Reese, Lillian Estelle

Lillian Reese, Music Teacher, Dies Here at 90

Services for Miss Lillian Estelle Reese were held at the First Baptist Church Tuesday. The Rev. Gus Prince was assisted in the services by Miss Reese's nephew-in-law, The Rev. Jasper Morris of Freemason Baptist Church, Norfolk, Va. She died Saturday in the Columbus Hospital.

Interment was in the family plot at Weimar. Active pallbearers were Neville Miekow, Hollis Massey, Bob Richardson, Gus Miller, J. D. Seymour, Jr., and Arthur N. Evans. Columbus Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Honorary pallbearers included Dr. Cecil Marburger, C. I. Shult and James H. Wooten, and Ellis Miller, W. T. Richardson, Boyd Smith, S. K. Seymour, Jr., J. D. Seymour, Sr., Lester Bunge, Sr., Marley Giddens, Ford Wegenhoft, E. W. Campbell, Tanner Walker and P. K. Shatto.

Known as "Miss Lily" to her many friends, Miss Reese was born April 26, 1884 at Oakland. Her father, Sam Houston Reese, preceded her in death March 16, 1899 and her mother, Keron Blanche Townsend, died in 1944.

A brother, Spencer Herbert Reese, who married Iva Ilse of Columbus, died in 1912. A second brother, John Walter, died in El Paso in 1919.

Her two sisters also preceded her in death, Mrs. James T. Johnston of Austin was known to Columbus friends as Sadie. Mrs. Joe F. (Nuddie Ela) Lessing of Schulenburg died in 1962 at the home of Miss Reese after having been very active in music circles with "Miss Lily" for many years both in Columbus and Schulenburg.

A nephew, Dr. S. H. Johnston, of Austin, died in 1965.

Survivors include several nieces, great-nieces and many close friends.

Many relatives of Miss Reese have figured prominently in local Columbus history as well as in the history of early Texas. Her maternal grandfather, Spencer Burton Townsend, an Indian fighter and an officer in the Texas was with Mexico, was wounded at the battle of San Jacinto.

Other relatives served with the Mier expedition to Mexico whose survivors are buried at Monument Hill in La Grange. This was the famous "black bean" expedition described in Texas history books.

Her father served as sheriff of Colorado County during the turbulent 1890's which are described in the book she edited, "Flaming Feuds of Colorado County". the material for this book was largely taken from her brother's notes and diaries at the turn of the century.

In the field of music, Miss Reese was not only a talented pianist, she composed, directed, and taught music until 1972. As a teacher, she leaves behind many ex-students.

She was a graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory. After teaching in Columbus several years, she moved to Austin about 1918. In 1920 she founded the Austin Conservatory of Music. She remained its director until 1940.

She moved to Columbus with her mother who wished to return here to live. During her years in Austin, she was very active in the cultural life of that city. She organized the Schubert Music Club in 1921 and it was federated in 1932.

Other active memberships during this time were held in the Austin Community Concert Bureau, the Texas Manuscript Association, Austin Women's Club, Ex-Students Association of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, First Baptist Church, Texas State Music Teachers Association, and Austin District Music Teachers Association.

After returning to Columbus in 1940, she organized the Columbus Music Club in October of 1941. She remained active in this organization and in giving private piano instruction until several years ago. During the 1940's and early 1950's she also taught classes in Schulenburg.

Colorado County Citizen, August 14, 1975
Submitted by Deborah Smith


From the Dallas Times Herald, April 21, 1985, article by C. L. Sonnischen "Southwest Letter":

I like to remember Miss Lillian Reese of Columbus, Texas. Only Texas could have produced her. Only Texans could really appreciate her quality. As an outsider, adjusting to Texas ways in 1943, I was slow to understand who and what she was---but I finally did, and I cherish her memory.

I almost didn't get to know her at all. She did her best to see that I didn't, but time and luck were on my side. I was on the road that summer collecting information about Texas feuds, and the trail brought me to Columbus, 70 miles west of Houston, in what has been called the "Pure Feud Belt" of Texas. Columbus, a picturesque town on the banks of the Colorado River, was the center of a complicated vendetta between the powerful Stafford and Townsend families that evolved into a shooting feud between Sheriff Sam Reese and his wife's Townsend kin. ...There were still hot coals among the ashes when I arrived, and a prudent man would have let them lie, but I was a naive outsider from more peaceful regions who was fascinated by this aspect of Texas history and wanted to tell about it.

...At 4 a.m. I dismounted (from the bus from Houston) on a dark street in a town where I have never been (Columbus), but luck was with me, and I found a room at the Liveoak Hotel.

The next morning, I called on the editor of the Colorado County Citizen, who turned out to be Mabel Claire McGee, a red-headed dynamo who knew at once what I should do.

"You'd better start with Miss Lillian Reese," she said. "Her father was Sheriff Sam Reese...Miss Reese teaches music here and directs the Columbus Music Club. She has strong feelings about the family troubles, but she is my friend, and she might talk to you. I will call her and see if she is willing."

I could hear what Miss Lillian said clear across the room:

"No, I won't talk to him. I am writing a book myself and he had better be careful what he says."

I interviewed various old timers that summer, but Miss Lillian's iron gate, across from the Liveoak Hotel, was closed to me....Miss Lillian was not easy to know.

I knew I was coming back, however, and I so informed Miss Lillian by letter, explaining my project and assuring her of my good intentions. I had no answer, and expected none.

A few months later I was back in East Texas talking to old men...In due course I came to Hallettsville, 40 miles from Columbus...(and saw) Doc Houchens (who accompanied Sonnischen to Columbus to visit Lillian Reese)

"Miss Reese," I told her, "this is your cousin Doc Houchens from Hallettsville. My name is Sonnichsen."

She hesitated for about two seconds. Then she said, "Won't you come in?"

It was the beginning of a friendship of which I am proud. When she found that she could trust me, Miss Lillian...talked about the bad times her people had known. She told me about her book, which contained a great deal of family information and many newspaper clippings. On the title page she had put the name of her brother Walter--who had been killed in an automobile accident near El Paso in November 1919--along with her own, but it was really her book.

I was able to find a publisher for her and the Anson Jones Press brought out her book in 1962 under the title "Flaming Feuds of Colorado County." Her prologue is revealing:

"I do not intend to shield nor do I intend writing anything but facts, and these facts are going to irk somebody, and you are going to hear a lot of hot air going about on two legs and making a noise like a cyclone that tears down everything in its path. When you hear that, you need not doubt but what some nighthawk or assassin has heard, and the truth contained herein has hurt him and he is awfully mad. Now do not become alarmed at him for he amounts to nothing, and as long as you keep him from your back you are dead safe..."

The final seal of friendship between Miss Lillian and me came a few years later, when I stopped for a visit. We had a good meeting and as I prepared to go, Miss Lillian informed me that she was about to attend a meeting of the Columbus Music Club. No man had ever been invited, but she would be happy to take me if I wanted to go. I went, of course, and had a delightful time. If the club is still in existence, it is still probably unsullied by male presence, for Columbus is a conservative town. I am not sure how the ladies felt about having me with them, but I felt supremely honored.

That was the last time I saw her, but we kept in touch and at Christmas she always sent me a box of homemade cookies. I knew it was a gift from the heart.

She has been gone for a good many years now (she died in the old Reese house) but she is a happy memory, and should I see her again on a farther shore, I am quite sure she will be in charge of music and that I will be invited to enjoy it.

from the Dallas Times Herald, April 21, 1985, article by C. L. Sonnischen "Southwest Letter":
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Reese, Lucille F. (Wilson)

Mrs. Lucille F. Reese

Mrs. Lucille F. Reese, 82, of Eagle Lake, died at 7:15 p.m. February 27 at the Eagle Lake Community Hospital in Eagle Lake. She was born on April 21, 1905 in Weimar, a daughter of Theodore and Mamie Delestershea Wilson. She had been a resident of Colorado County and Eagle Lake all of her life. She married Cleo P. Reese on July 3, 1924 in Eagle Lake. She was a member of the United Methodist Church of Eagle Lake.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 from the Dulany Funeral Home Chapel in Eagle Lake with Rev. George Welsch, pastor of Christ Episcopal Church of Eagle Lake, officiating. Burial followed at Lakeside Cemetery in Eagle Lake.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband on January, 1971; one sister, and two brothers.

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Harrison (Dorothy) Walker of Eagle Lake and Mrs. Zack (Ethel) Crittenden of Selma, Alabama; six sisters, Ruby Wilcox of Ft.; Worth, Gladys Pickett of Alvin, Ethel Blessing of Irving, Hazel Tise of Eagle Lake; Evelyn McRae of Refugio and Bernice Westbrook of Angleton; a brother, Ted Wilson of Corpus Christi; two grandchildren, Harrison Walker Jr. of Denver, Colorado and Bill Walker of Houston; four great grandchildren, Adam and Tiffany Walker and Kim and Kristie Walker; numerous nieces and nephews, and other relatives and loved ones.

Pallbearers were Gary and Terry Westbrook, Gary Tise, C. J. Pickett, Frank Davidson and Frank Reese.

Family request memorial contributions be made to the Eagle Lake Community Hospital Auxiliary.

Sympathy is extended to the family in their loss.

Eagle Lake Headlight, March 3, 1988


Reese, Nancy (Whittington)

Relatives and friends here regret to learn of the death of Mrs. Nancy Reese, whose death was reported in Austin County. She for years resided in this section.

Colorado Citizen, November 10, 1898
Oakland Newsy Notes
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Mrs. Nancy Reese died very suddenly Nov. 9, at the residence of her son, Mr. K. W. Reese of Sempronius, Austin county. She had reached the advanced age of 85 years, and was a consistent member of the Methodist church.  She leaves to mourn her death 11 children, 73 grandchildren and 62 greatgrandchildren. She moved to Texas from Alabama in 1850, and in 1865 moved to Colorado county, where she has since resided. She was on a visit to her son's family at the time of her death. Her remains were interred in the Bellville cemetery Nov. 10, at 2:30 o'clock. She was the mother of Mr. Sam H. Reese of Columbus and Mrs. J. M. Styers, sr., of this city, to whom our sincere condolence is extended.

Weimar Mercury, November 19, 1898
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Rees, Orval A.


Fifteen Year Old Boy Instantly Killed When Gun Is Accidently[sic] Discharged

The people of the Garwood community were grieved to learn of the sad accident which occurred Monday afternoon in which Orvile[sic] Reese[sic], fifteen years old, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Reese[sic], who live about two miles from Garwood, was instantly killed by the accidental discharge of his gun while out hunting.

He, with his two younger brothers, Boyd and Melvin, was hunting frogs on the canal near the re-lift. In attempting to remove a board with the butt of his gun, while holding the barrel in his hand, the gun was discharged, the full load of bird shot striking him in the side of his head.

Orville[sic] was a splendid boy, a quite well-behaved and a splendid working lad was well liked by all who knew him.

The funeral was held at Rock Island [Myrtle Cemetery] Tuesday afternoon, services being conducted by Revs. Mr. Ryan and Mr. McLaughlin.

He is survived by his parents, his two brothers and two sisters, Misses Opal and Esther, to whom the people of the Garwood section, and all who know them, extend sincere sympathy in their hour of deep sorrow.

Later accounts received by the Headlight from Garwood concerning the sad accident, which was obtained by a Headlight reporter from the two smaller brothers who were with Orval at the time he was killed, is that he was punching the butt of the gun around in grann[sic] along the edge of the canal to make some frogs move. In doing so, the hammer of the gun struck a board that was sticking up in the side of the canal, causing the gun to explode. The load of shot struck the unfortunate lad near the right ear, tearing away part of his skull.

The funeral at Rock Island was largely attended, the pallbearers being Ed. Shaw, Jodie Kalina, T. B, and Crawford Jackson, Howard Harry and Richard Trafton, all of whom were Orval’s school mates.

Eagle Lake Headlight, November 15, 1924

Reese, Samuel Houston

Mr. Sam H. Reese, whose tragic death in this city last Thursday afternoon is elsewhere printed, was a man of many estimable traits of character. He was a brave man, fearless in the discharge of official duty, energetic, industrious, devoted to his family and true to his friends. He was born in Sempronious, Austin county, Texas, August 4, 1859; moved with the family to Colorado county in November, 1865; was married to Miss K. B. Townsend September 21, 1876; was elected constable for Oakland precinct in November, 1886; served in that capacity until 1890, when he removed to Columbus as deputy sheriff and jailor (sic)for Sheriff J. L. Townsend for four years, during which time he was elected city marshall; was elected sheriff of Colorado county in 1894, and served four years. This year he has been engaged in agricultural pursuits. His remains were conveyed to Weimar last Saturday and committed to earth in Odd Fellows' Rest under the auspices of Woodmen of the World, of which order he was a respected member, a large concourse of relatives and friends from several parts of the state attending the solemn and impressive obsequies. To the stricken wife and five children who survive him, the Citizen tenders its sorrowful sympathy.


About a quarter past five o'clock last Thursday afternoon, the harsh and demoralizing intonations of the frightful six-shooter near the opera house were heard upon our streets, and our quiet little city was thrown into a panic of excitement. Citizens on the streets sought cover from the flying missiles and others ran up to see who was engaged in the affray and what victims suffered from the fire-arms. When the smoke had cleared away and something of quiet restored it was discovered that ex-Sheriff Sam H. Reese and Mr. Charles Boehme of Cummins' creek, were in the throes of death and little Johnny Williams, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Williams, was dangerously wounded in the hip, a 38 calibre ball having traversed a block and passed through his left hip. Mr. Reese, an eye witness tells, us, must have been mortally wounded (the first or second shot by Deputy Sheriff Clements, the ball entering the right side of the neck and severing the carroted (sic) artery and windpipe, and he fell near Hamburger's store, and died firing his pistol. Mr. Boehme was in a wagon with his wife and two children between the store of Mr. Williams and the saloon of Mr. Juenger when he was shot through the body, the ball entering near and to the rear of the right nipple and passing out the left side. He fell from the vehicle with the reins and whip in his hand, and the team ran off and were stopped by Mr. Gloger. Mr. Boehme lived only a few minutes [place of interment unknown], and when the terrible truth dawned upon the terror stricken wife, she fell over unconscious in a dead faint, lasting sometime before restoratives could revive her.

The cause of the trouble seems to have originated in a wordy altercation between Deputy Sheriff Clements and one Scott, a man confined in jail for several months on a charge of burglary, but against whom the grand jury failed to find an indictment and who was released. It is in evidence that Scott told Clements that he had the advantage of him, but if was heeled he would show him something. Mr. Reese, riding up from his farm on horseback, said he had a big shooter with him, upon which Mr. Clements asked him if he wanted to take Scott's part. Reese and Clements were not on friendly terms. The stories are conflicting as told by different persons, but this is believed to be the substance of the commencement, and at this stage the firing began, with the results above detailed. It is said that others participated in the firing, as there were probably fifteen shots in all, and M. H. Townsend, Esq., Messrs. Marion Hope and Will Clements were arrested and jailed for this offense. The affair is greatly deplored by our citizens, and will have a bad effect upon our town.

The grand jury was convened last Tuesday to inquire into the case, and as yet have not reported. **************

At the request of Judge Kennon, Capt. McDonald of the Rangers arrived yesterday.

Colorado Citizen, March 22, 1899
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Reese, Spencer Herbert

Herbert Reese Dead

Herbert Reese, youngest son of ex-Sheriff Sam H. Reese, while handling a pistol at his home, in Columbus Tuesday afternoon, accidentally dropped same and it was discharged, the ball entering his body and ranging upward, inflicting a wound which terminted fatally the following morning. The remains were prepared for burial, and will be brought to Weimar this (Thursday) afternoon on a special train for interment in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. Mr. Reese was married to Miss Ilse, daughter of the late Henry Ilse of Columbus, several years ago, and she, his mother, one brother and three sisters survive him. Mr. Reese was quite well known throughout this section, where he had many friends, and his untimely, tragic death is sincerely deplored. Our heartfelt sympathy is extended the bereaved family in their sad misfortune.

Weimar Mercury, March 8, 1912
Submitted by Deborah Smith


News reached this city this morning that Herb Rees, son of the late Sam Rees of Colorado County, and nephew of F. S. Rees and Mesdames W. S.Woolsey and J. P. Williams of this city was killed last night about ten o'clock.

Details of the affair were unobtainable, but the statement is that he was killed accidentally.

He was deputy sheriff of Colorado County and it is the theory of friends here that he was tinkering with his pistol when it was accidentally discharged.

Messrs. F. S. Rees and J. P. Williams will go to Columbus tonight to attend the funeral.

Herbert Rees resided here with his mother a number of years and has many friends here who will deeply deplore the tragedy that resulted in his death.

..J. P. Williams and wife, F. S. Rees and daughter, Mrs. Beacham and H. L. Wade left last night to attend the funeral of the late Herbert Rees.

Yoakum Herald, March 12, 1912
Submitted by Deborah Smith

Rees, unknown


The infant child of Mr. and Mrs. Capt. J. W. Rees died on the 17th inst, near county line neighborhood. [Place of interment unknown]

Colorado Citizen, December 24, 1885


Rees, unknown (2)


We learn through Dr. Stockton that Mr. Walter Rees’s baby was burnt †o death the first of last week near county line. It seems that Mrs. Rees, the mother, had left her baby lying in the cradle in the care of an older child some four or five years old, while she went in the garden some little distance from the house, and in her absence the child in charge of the baby began to play and strike matches for the amusement of the little one, when one of the matches took fire, and by some means fell upon the baby’s clothing, igniting them, burning the baby so horribly before the mother;s return that there was no hopes for the poor little sufferer. [Place of interment unknown]

Colorado Citizen, April 29, 1886
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