Colorado County Obituaries


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Toliver, Annie Lee

Died, in our city, last Sunday night, little ANNIE LEE, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James A. Toliver.

Her illness, though not protracted, was severe, and as we witnessed her painful struggles for breath as it grew shorter and more labored, we recognized Divine mercy when some pitying angel pushed the golden gates ajar and the soul of the little sufferer entered into rest. While all the earth seems bathed in a flood of radiance, silence and desolation reign in that home where the patter of childish feet and the ring of baby tones are forever hushed. The glowing brightness of nature without seems only to mock the darkness within. And this presents to our mind one of life’s problems which greet us with every new turned page. While silvery-haired age sits with folded hands, the life work all complete,calmly waiting the Master’s call, this little bud of promise, this unfulfilled hope, falls before the reaper’s sickle, and old age waits wearily on. These mysteries can only be solved when the dear God reveals to us His purposes and plans all finished, and we shall perceive with a vision from which all mortal mists have cleared away, that these sacrifices are not required of us in vain. [Place of interment Odd Fellows Rest]

Colorado Citizen, February 5, 1885

Toliver, Annie Pearl

On the night of the 17th inst. Annie Pearl Toliver died of congestion, at the residence of Doctor John Toliver, Columbus, aged six years and six months. She was the oldest child of the late John D. and Emma Toliver. An interesting and promising child, her sudden death casts gloom of sadness over the numerous friends and relatives of the family. with whom Pearl was an especial favorite. We extend our sympathy to the bereaved mother. The funeral occurred from the residence of Doctor Toliver, on the 18th inst. and was largely attended by the people of Columbus and surrounding country. The funeral ceremony was conducted by Rev. Mr. McShan, Pastor of the Methodist Church, in this place. Little Pearl’s remains were laid beside those of her father in the Odd Fellows’ cemetery.
“Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.”

Colorado Citizen, July 24, 1879

Toliver, Benjamin Franklin

Mr. Ben. F. Toliver, surveyor of Colorado county, died at his residence near this city last Monday morning of consumption. He was an odd citizen of the county, having been reared in Columbus, with a large number of relatives and friends, who mourn his loss. For over a year he has been in failing health, and his death was not unexpected. His long illness and suffering were borne with christian fortitude, and loving hands ministered to him with kindly and assiduous attention. His remains were committed to the dust last Monday afternoon in the Odd Fellows’ Rest, Rev. M. S. Hotchkiss conducting services at the home. A good man and citizen has gone to his reward, and his devoted wife and children have the sympathy of the community. Peace to his remains.

Colorado Citizen, August 16, 1888, page 3

Toliver, Delores

Sister Delores Toliver

Sister Delores, affectionately known to many as "Bollie" was born to the late Henry and Lillie Toliver on December 12, 1943.

She attended the Riverside Colored School.

She confessed her life to Christ several years ago and was a faithful member of the Alleyton Church of Christ. She was employed at Columbus Inn for over 20 years which she enjoyed.

"Bollie" was a devoted mother, loving daughter, sister, auntie, grandmother, and best friend to many. She was someone who you could always count on and turn to whenever you need anything. She was a good listener who had a smile that touched everybody's heart. She never knew a stranger.

She departed this life on February 22. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

She was preceded in death by her father, Henry Toliver, Jr., granddaughter, Jemasheila Jackson; sister, Ella Mae Toliver.

She leaves to cherish her memories a mother, Lillie Toliver ("Big Mama") of Glidden; eight children, Brenda (husband, Mark) and Rickey (wife, Lisa) of Eagle Lake, Debbie, Clifton, Leona. (wife, Mary), Sheila (husband Anthony), Rachel (husband, Sean) all of Columbus, and Carolyn (husband, Vince) of Crowley, Texas; 10 brothers, Obie (wife, Martha), LeRoy (wife, Flora), and Carey all of Houston, Billye (wife, Carolyn) of La Grange, Bennie, Laird, Clarence, Jay Lynn, Tommie (wife, Brinda) and Johnny (wife, Darlene) all of Columbus; three sisters, Myrtle (husband, Marvin) Houston, Lillie (husband, James), and Barbara both of Columbus; 23 grandchildren; nine great- grandchildren; three extended daughters, Sandra Glenn, Jesse Hargrove, and LaGeri Perrino; all of Columbus; a special extended son, Thurman Hurd of Houston and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Celebration was held Saturday, March 1 at 1:30 p.m. at West Oaks Church of Christ in Columbus with Bro. Sherman Alexander officiating. Interment followed at Willing Workers Cemetery. Ben David Funeral Home of Columbus was in charge of arrangements

Pallbearers were Raymond Moore, Donald Ray Spears, Willie Stovall, Jr., Limmie Evans, Jr., Tim Fitzgerald, and Leon Scott.

Honorary pallbearers were Willie Toliver, Tommie Toliver Jr., Eric Toliver, Woodrow Brown, Johnny Toliver, Jr., and William H. Wright, Sr.

Sympathy is extended to the family in their loss.

Eagle Lake Headlight, March 6, 2008, page 4
Submitted by John Konesheck

Toliver, Edward Lee

Edward Lee Toliver

Edward Lee Toliver, 75, of Columbus, passed away May 9.

He was born April 16, 1935 in Wharton to Frank Sr. and Willie Mae (Peno) Toliver. He attended school in Vox Populi after which he joined the U.S. Army. To support his family he was employed at Utex Industries in Weimar, until he retired.

He was preceded in death by his sons, Marashall Edward Toliver, Marshall Toliver and Thomas Toliver; parents; brothers, Leon Perry Sr., Frank Toliver Jr., Purvis Toliver Sr., Robert Vans Toliver, Lloyd Toliver and Willie James Toliver; and sisters, Mae Etta Moses, Jerlene Johnson and Lucy Mae Kempt.

He is survived by his wife, Myrtle Toliver; son, Anthony Wright; daughters, Barbara Ray Toliver Middleton and husband Lloyd, Virginia Toliver and Kenny Vanterpool and husband Glenford; stepsons, Herbert James Perkins and wife Lillian, Willis Perkins Jr. and wife Mary and LaRay Perkins and wife Shirley; stepdaughter, Marilyn McIntyre and husband Sherman; brother, Artie Toliver; sister, Mablean Bluntson; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other relatives.

Funeral services were conducted May 15 at Booker Memorial Temple Church of God In Christ in Columbus with the Rev. Carl Evans officiating. Interment followed at Willing Workers Cemetery in Columbus.

Colorado County Citizen, May 18, 2010
Contributed by Judy Talkington

Toliver, Elizabeth Frances "Bettie" (Yancey)


Three deaths have occurred in town during the past week, which has cast a gloom over almost every home, Mrs. Martha Yates died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Heyser, on the 3d inst.; Mrs. Bettie Toliver, consort of Mr. Jas. A. Toliver, died at her home on the 6th, and little Willie Monroe, the 4-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam E. Monroe, died on the 8th instant. All were interred at the Odd Fellows’ Rest. The bereaved families and friends have our sincere condolence.

Weimar Mercury, September 13, 1902, page 5


Prof. J. W. Holt, wife and sons Ben and Will, Mrs. Jessie Townsend and Hennie Carlton, Editor John H. Brooks and wife, of this city, and Mrs. Sam Harrison and son Sam of Kinkler, Lavaca county, were called to Columbus last Saturday by the serious and fatal illness of their beloved relative, Mrs. J. A. Toliver.

Weimar Mercury, September 13, 1902, page 1

Death at Columbus

Died in this city September 6 of a lingering illness Mrs. Bettie Toliver, aged 52 years, daughter of Mr and Mrs William Yancey.  She was born and reared among us.  The years of her happy childhood and guileless youth sped swiftly away and at the age of 19 she was wedded to Jas. A Toliver, also of this city, who survives her, with their two daughters, Mrs Fannie Andrews of Beaumont, and Miss Jennie Toliver, also one son W.H. Toliver, residing here.  Five little mounds in the cemetery, so often bedewed with her tears, mark the resting place of little innocents committed awhile to her care, torn from her loving embrace, claimed by Him who gave.  When the red clouds of evening were arching low to the horizon, weeping relatives and friends stood around her bed with anguished hearts and silent prayers that would have stayed awhile Death's lingering hand, the pure spirit burst its prison bonds and floated far beyond our mortal ken.  Wide swung the pearly gates and when her sainted soul by angel bands was wafted in, amid the heavenly harmonies that greeted her sweet presence, heard ye not O, mourning friends, the childish loved ones gone before, as across the Elysian fields with outstretched hands they swiftly came, joyfully exclaiming " Mother is here! She is Here!"

Never was home more deeply shadowed.  Never did the long dark night of grief and pain more obscurely shut out all light and peace from an earthly abode

From life's pathway has departed the bloom, loving kindness so beautiful shed along the highways and byways marked by her dainty footprints.

\Mournfully we submit to the ordeal that deprives those near and dear to her of a guide and an inspiration, and from our midst removes an exemplary woman and a cherished friend.

May we not see thee waiting stand And while against the evening star the welcome of thy beckoning hand
--Columbus Citizen--

Weimar Mercury, September 20, 1902
Submitted by Terry Jackson

Toliver, Ella Mae


Ella Mae Toliver, 53, died Sunday August 5, 1995.
Born Jan. 14, 1942 in Columbus, she was the daughter of Henry and Lillie Toliver. She attended Riverside School in Columbus.

Funeral services were held Aug. 16 at Westoak Church of Christ in Columbus with Brother David McAffer officiating. Interment followed in Willing Workers Cemetery, Columbus. Ben Davis Funeral Home, Columbus, was in charge of arrangements.

Serving as pallbearers were Reginald Smithers Sr., Michael Coleman, Donald Ray Spears, Clarence Toliver, Leonard Toliver, Arthur Ray nd Kevin Long. Honorary pallbearers were Leroy Toliver, Cary Toliver, Johnnie Toliver; Tommie Toliver, Obie Toliver and Billie Toliver.

Ms. Toliver is survived by her mother, of Glidden; four sisters, Lillie Waddle of Glidden, Delores Toliver and Barbara Toliver, both of Columbus, and Myrtle Jones of Houston; 10 brothers, Leroy Toliver, Obie Toliver; Carey Toliver, Clarence Toliver and Jaylyn Toliver, all of Houston, Laird Toliver, Tommie Toliver and Johnnie Toliver, all of Glidden; seven children, Joe Toliver, Woodrow Brown, Dorothy Sims and Jeffery Perkins, all of Columbus, Deborah Spears of Eagle Lake, Janice Wright of Houston and Willie Toliver of San Antonio; a daughter-in-law, two sons-in-law; 12 grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father.

Colorado County Citizen, August 16, 1995, page 16

Toliver, James Asbury

Death of James A. Toliver.

Died in the city of Columbus, June 30th, James A. Toliver. of a lingering illness in his 69th year. He was born and reared in Columbus and lived there all his days except a short time he resided in San Antonio. The writer has known him and has been intimate with him since 1849. When a school boy he was a close student. possessed a brilliant mind and always led his class. In the latter fifties Columbus had the very best schools, taught by Profs. Riley, Scherer and Loomis. Under these able instructors. J. A Toliver received a good education. The civil war coming on, he put aside his books, joined Major R. L. Foard's company and went as a private soldier to the front. After the war he studied law and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced. He held various offices in the county-- justice of the peace. and member of the commissioners' court, sheriff and collector, postmaster, and up to the time of his death was county surveyor. In all of these positions he proved to be honest and efficient.

In 1869 he married Miss Bettie Yancy the beautiful daughter of William and Emily Yancy. To them was born eight children, two of whom, Mrs. Fannie Andrews of Columbus and Will H. Toliver of Galveston, still live. Mrs. Toliver his wife, died in 1902. [Interment in Odd Fellows Rest]

"Jim" Toliver was a good man, a good neighbor, punctual in visiting the sick and helping to bury the dead. His hospitality was unlimited. In his prosperity I have known him many times to take men who were attending court and unable to visit the hotels, to his house where they found shelter and something to eat. But he Is gone. Farewell, old friend! I'll follow thee soon,
A. Friend.

Weimar Mercury, July 7, 1911, page 1

Toliver, John D.

With sentiments of regret we announce the death of our young friend, Mr. Jno. D. Toliver, which occurred in Columbus yesterday evening at 5[?] o'clock. He was born and reared in this county, the youngest son of Dr. John Toliver and brother of the Presiding Justice of the county. Universally esteemed by all, his death causes general lament. He leaves a wife and two children, and a large circle of relatives and friends to mourn his early demise. His funeral will take place this evening at 3 o'clock. [Interred at Columbus Odd Fellows Cemetery]

Colorado Citizen, March 18, 1875, page 3

Toliver, John Franklin

We sincerely condole with Mr. and Mrs. James A. Toliver in the loss of their little boy, John Franklin, who died on the night of the 4th inst. with measles, aggravated by typhoid fever. He was a bright, intelligent child, about five years of age, and a great favorite. He suffered severely in his last illness. About half past 4 o’clock Tuesday evening he was laid in his grave at the Odd Fellows’ Rest, a large number of sympathetic friends being present.

There is no death! An Angel form
Walks o’er the earth with silent tread;
He bears our best loved things away,
And then we call them “dead”
And when he sees a smile too bright
Or heart too pure for taint and vice
He bears it to the world of light
To dwell in Paradise.

Colorado Citizen, April 7, 1881
Transcribed by Judy Talkington

Toliver, Sally

Sally Toliver, Aged Local Negro, DiesTuesday Night

Death came to 90-year-old Sally Toliver,Columbus Negro woman who was a well-known figure to both her"white folks" and colored citizens, Tuesday night at about10:30 in the home next door to Columbus hospital where shehad lived for the past 60 years. Sally had been ill for 5year and had been unable to leave her bed for 2 1/2years.

Native of Colorado County, she had spenther entire life in and around Columbus. Her 2nd husband,Walter Toliver, died about 1938.

Sally had worked for the late OscarZumwalt and the late Mrs. Bettie Walker and other Columbusfamilies. She was charter member of St. Paul MethodistChurch.

Funeral services will be held in thechurch Sunday afternoon at 1:30 and burial will be in theoldCity cemetery. Rev. La Valle Lowewill officiate and Robinson Funeral home will be incharge.

A son, Earl, of Houston, died earlier andshe leaves 2 other sons, Clifton, of Columbus, and Elbert ofLos Angeles, Calif; 4 grandchildren, and 6great-grandchildren.

Colorado County Citizen, January 29,1959

Toliver, Sarah Thomas (Harbert

Columbus Cullings.

Two funeral ceremonies were performed at the Odd Fellows' Rest last Sunday afternoon, when the bodies of Mrs. Sarah T. Toliver, wife of Mr. Ben Toliver, and Miss Mattie Crittenden, sister-in-law of your townsman, Mr. R. Phares, were laid to rest within an hour of each other. Revs. M. S. Hotchkiss and V. R. Stapp officiated at the former, and Rev. J. D. Ray at the latter obsequies. Peace to the departed.

Weimar Mercury, January 24, 1889
Submitted by Rox Ann Johnson

Mrs. Sarah T. Toliver, consort of the late Mr. Ben F. Toliver died at her residence in this city last Saturday night, after a brief illness. She was attacked with convulsions a short time previous to her demise from which she never completely rallied. The deceased was raised in this city and numbers a large number of our people among her cherished friends. Five children and numerous relatives and friends mourn her untimely demise. Her remains were committed to earth last Sunday afternoon at Odd Fellow’s Rest, Revs. V. R. Stapp and M. S. Hotchkiss jointly performing the sad rites. Peace to her memory.

Colorado Citizen, January 24 1889, page 3

Toliver, Thomas

Former CHS Star Toliver Killed in Club Shooting

Thomas Toliver, 23, a former Columbus Cardinal basketball star, was shot and killed following an argument at the Riverside Terrace Club in Columbus in the early morning hours of Christmas Day.

Theopolis Lewis, 37, of Columbus was arrested and charged with murder in the shooting. Bond was denied and he remains in the Colorado County jail.

Lewis turned himself in to Texas Ranger Ray Nutt several hours after the shooting.

Columbus Police Chief William Smith said the shooting
occurred at approximately 12:33 a.m. Thursday in the club parking lot following an argument inside the club over Karen Abney Lewis, the estranged wife of Theopolis Lewis.

The police report said Toliver and Mrs. Lewis were leaving the club together when Lewis got a rifle and fired three shots at them. The police said one shot hit the car Mrs. Lewis was in, one shot went astray and the third shot hit Toliver in the head.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Richard Schmidt.

Toliver was a star player on the Columbus High School. basketball teams that ranked among the state's powers in the early 1980s. He saw a lot of action as a sophomore on the 1981 team that lost to eventual state champion Rice, and was a star player on the 1982 regional finalist team and the l983 team when went to the State Tournament. He graduated in 1983.

He also was a talented art student during his days at CHS.

He is survived by his parents, Edward and Myrtle Toliver of Columbus, four sisters, Marilyn McIntyre of' Dallas, Kenny Read of Houston, Barbara Toliver of Spanish Camp and Virginia Toliver of Elm Grove; four brothers, Marshall Toliver of Dallas and Herbert Perkins, Willis Perkins and Laray Perkins, all of Houston and one grandmother, Eva Mae Glover of Columbus. [Interment in Willing Workers Cemetery]

Colorado County Citizen, December 31, 1987

Toliver, Walter

We sincerely condole with our friends, Mr. Jas. A. Toliver and lady, upon the loss of their infant son, Walter, which occurred about 1 o’clock last Monday, aged five days. [Interment in Odd Fellows Rest]

“If it be sad to mark the bowed with age
Sink in the halls of the remorseless tomb.
Closing the changes of life’s pilgrimage
In the still darkness of its mouldering gloom,
O, what a shadow o’er the heart is flung
When peals the requiem of the loved and young.”

Colorado Citizen, July 20, 1882, page 3

Toliver, Willie James

Willie James Toliver

On April 16, 1930, a precious boy was born to Willie Carter Toliver and Frank Toliver Sr. They named him Willie James. He was baptized at an early age. Willie James was raised in Garwood. He also attended grade school there.

Willie James later moved to Galveston and worked for Exxon. He was employed by Hartley Construction until he retired in 1993.

On Saturday March 1, God gently closed Willie James' eyes and whispered to him, "Peace Be Thine."

He is preceded in death by his parents; three sister, Geraldine Johnson, Mayetta Moses, and Lucy Kempt; and five brothers, Frank Toliver Jr., Robert Van Toliver, Lloyd Toliver, Pervis Toliver, and Leon Toliver.

He leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, Gussie Hurd Toliver; one daughter, Shirley Toliver Coleman of Houston; three sons, Willie Rogers (Patricia) of Galveston, Willie James Toliver Jr. of Galveston, Terry Toliver of LaMarque; six grandchildren, Willie Demby Jr., Timothy Gaines, Marteis Rogers, Michaela Rogers Wallace, Crystal Toliver, and Christina Toliver; six great grandchildren; one sister, Mablean Bluntson (Arvis) of Garwood; two brothers Artie Toliver (Betty) of Pampa, and Edward Toliver (Myrtle) of Columbus; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held Saturday, March 8 at noon at Greater Union Baptist Church with Rev. R. L. Robertson officiating. Interment followed at Willing Workers in Columbus. Services entrusted to Ben Davis Funeral Home.

Pallbearers were Laplark Estelle, Dewayne Hurd, Dewright Hurd, Glen Ford Van Terpool, Roderick Toliver, and James Montgomery.

Honorary pallbearers were Cornelius Alexander, John Fry, Steve Johnson, Ellis Hurd, Kenneth Hurd, and Arvis Bluntson, Sr.

Sympathy is extended to the family in their loss.

Eagle Lake Headlight, March 13, 2008, page 4
Submitted by John Konesheck

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