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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Texas: Milam County

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Posted by: CARLENE MURRAY (ID *****1722) Date: January 21, 2003 at 11:39:13
In Reply to: RAWlINGS FAMILY - VARNER/GRIGSBY FAMILY by John Burdick of 1028

I was born in Gause, Texas and remember Varner's Grocery which was closed after its owner's death. I have a book entitled GAUSE, TEXAS, A LEGACY IN PIECES by Edrie Wilson Browder. There are several articles in this book about your VARNER and GRIGSBY families. There are also pictures of family members, both VARNER AND GRIGGSBY, and other articles about various activities in the community that mention these families. I'll quote some of the articles specifically about these families for you:

"A Mr. GRIGSBY was an early businessman in the community. Around 1870 he had a home located at the south and east corner of Olive Street and Front Street, a dirt road at that time. His stepson, ALLEN VARNER, became experienced in merchandising and later exercised his training in his own store."

"The ALLEN VARNER home is one of the oldest frame buildings in Gause. It was originally the living quarters built onto the RICHARD cox Store in 1872 at the east corner of Main on Front Street. ALLEN VARNER married RICHARD COX/S daughter, DUDLEY, and became owner of the store at the death of MR. COX in 1883. Later the living quarters were moved several feet north from the store. Minor improvements were made in both the home and the store building.
In later years, Allen and Dudley's son, GIRLAND R. VARNER, became owner of the store. About 1950 he built an attractive new building with a glass front and operated a general merchandise store there until his death in 1979. Shortly thereafter, lightning caused a fire that badly damaged the building. The home was later converted to rental property until it was finally dismantled and another smaller house was built on the property.
Mrs. Dudley Varner was always a friend to the children who patronized her son's store. In her later years, she told him, 'Son, you don't make a dime off candy because I give it all away to younsters.' Mrs. Varner had come to Gause in 1876 and her philosophy of life could be summed up in the words, 'Alwaysw be helping somebody else.'"

"On December 21, 1884, the first church wedding conducted in Gause united MISS DUDLEY COX and MR. ALLEN VARNER. The ceremony was read by Reverend STEVENS of Franklin and took place in the two-room shcoolhouse. Bridesmaids were Miss Minnie Horn (Littleton), Miss Luddy Cochran (Porter), Miss Pearl Dixon (Ely), Miss Jennie Littleton (Ferguson), Miss Sue Dollar (Baskin) and Miss Kate Gause (Fowler). The Varners had met at a prayer meeting in 1883; they were married for 68 years."

There is an amusing bit about a parrot that belonged to Mrs. Dudley Varner....When "Polly" died she was buried in the Varner's yard with an impressive gravestone (full-sized). When the Varners died, the tombstone was moved to the Gause Cemetery and placed between Mr. and Mrs. Varner's graves.

"WILLIAMS GRIGGSBY, who was orn in Kentucky, May 22, 1836 and died in Gause, January 8, 1913, was a major in the Union Army during the Civil War. His discharge papers are in the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin.
He was married to MARGARET REYNOLDS VARNER, who was born in Indiana, February 9, 1847 and preced him in death March 30, 1908 in Gause.
The three children from this union were PEARL, who died in infancy; my mother, MAGGIE, born in Austin January 10, 1887, and WILLIE, born September 17, 1889 in Gause.
Major Griggsby moved his family and his business from Austin to Gause where he had bought 997 acres in the T.J.Chambers survey.
Mrs. Griggsby had three sons by a former marriage, EDDIE, ALLEN, and CLARENCE VARNER. Major Griggsby set his stepsons up in business in his mercantile stores and warehouse which he owned and supervised until his death."


Hope this helps. Let me hear from you.

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