Oscar & Beatrice Pelton Merritt

Oscar & Beatrice Pelton Merritt

Oscar “Runt” Merritt was born to Robert N. Jr. and Udorah Flowers Merritt at Rowlett, Texas on August 29, 1902. Robert N. Merritt, Jr. was born in York County, South Carolina on May 18, 1864 and Udorah Flowers was born in Tennessee on August 8, 1866. Oscar was the sixth of eight children and an excellent ball player. He was known as “the left handed pitcher from Liberty Grove.” Runt was only three years old when he first met Beatrice. Bea was an infant and her mother wasn’t able to nurse. Bea’s parents, Pard and Carah Belle Poovey Pelton, would hitch up the wagon and take her over to the Merritts. Bea says, “Mrs. Merritt wouldn’t have nursed me if she thought that I”d be marring one of her sons.”

Bea went to spend the night with her Uncle Nolan and Bessie Knight Poovey when she. was fourteen. Clemmie and Oma Knight was also spending the night there. Clemmie had a date with Runt, but she was in love with Roy Garrison. Roy came into town that day and Clemmie wanted to be with him, so she told Bea that she could go with Runt. They began dating when Bea was fourteen and Runt was seventeen. They dated for several years and married when Bea was nineteen and Runt was twenty two.

Runt and Bea were married in Garland at the home of the Methodist preacher. After the wedding, Runt took Bea to live with his parents, but Bea and Mrs Merritt didn’t get along. Mrs Merritt thought Bea was to bossy, so they lived with Bea’s parents for a while. It was here that their daughter, Dorris Lorraine Merritt, was born on December 1, 1924. Soon after Dorris was born, they moved into a house that belonged to Pard Pelton.

Bea’s bride book indicates household furnishings form Jones Hardware in Garland totaled $169.80. Some of those items were a tea kettle for $2.25, a wood heater for $11, six forks and knifes for $2.50, and a dinning room table for $13.50. Bea says they would have starved to death if it hadn’t been for Al Forster. Albert “Al” operated a a near by country grocery store. He let us get groceries on credit”.

In December of 1929, Runt and Bea moved into a house belonging to Becky Price. The rent was $12.50 per month. January, 1930 they moved to the Ramsey farm and Runt began farming. They made four bales of cotton and got $150.48. In 1931 they moved into a house belonging to Mr. Merritt. They made three bales and got $89.80. This was during the depression and times were very, very hard. In 1933 they made one bale and owed everything to the bank. In 1934 they made three bales and barely got of debt. Runt passed away on July 12, 1961 and Bea followed on March 25, 1999. Both are buried at Restland Cemetery in Dallas.

Courtesy The Bois D’arc At Nacogdoches by Jim Foster