Saturday, April 9, 2016

Houston Papaw

This is what we called our grandfather on our mother's side. Papaw was born in Pennsylvania in 1904. (There were five other siblings.) He was a small man, standing five-feet-six with thick  white hair that he always brushed straight back. He wore dark rimmed glasses, at least that is how I always remembered him. His hands always shook from Essential Tremors that he had. (a form of Parkinson's disease)

In 1920 Papaw moved to Houston, Texas running a gas station that his brother Granville owned. This is where he met and married my grandmother. They moved back to Pennsylvania about a year
after they were married. My mother came along not long after this and by the time she was seven the family moved back to Houston.

My grandfather held lots of small jobs but eventually purchased three books and began to study for his engineers license. By the time he got his first-class stationary engineer's license he went to
work for Texaco and stayed there until his retirement.

Papaw would come to see us when the family lived out on the farm. Usually once a month with buckets of fried chicken. He also came every time a new child was born even though he said they all looked alike until about six months old. There were times when he came and helped build on the share cropper shack we lived in or repairing something. (he did this also every where we lived) If I remember correctly from what I was told my grandparents divorced when my mother was in her twenties.

I remember the last time my husband and I saw Papaw. It was on one of our many trips to Texas to see the family. I took a recorder with me to get some family history and am so thankful I did that. I never got the chance to see him again. Papaw's death was due to blood on his brain from a fall he took from his tremors. He was in his later nineties.

Papaw had a certificate from the Masons for fifty years of service and had been a Shriner for just as long.

(the above picture is of Papaw in his shriner cap and red gown)


  1. He sounds like a good hardworking man. My dad was born in 1904 also.

  2. What lovely memories to have, Thea. Sounds like he was a determined man! ~Liz

  3. Thea,

    Nice post about Houston Papaw.



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