GIN DELIVERS Rowlett’s Electricity

6 December 2018

The first pioneer settlers in the Rowlett area used candles or flames from the fireplace as a light source. They were frequently off to bed right after sundown, up at daybreak and rarely used candles since they were considered a precious commodity.  They had not even heard of electricity. Kerosene lamps were later introduced and […]

WATERMELON, Disappearing Varieties

24 October 2018

Watermelon was always a special treat when I was growing up.  There seemed to be several popular varieties back then.  The three most desirable were the extra large dark green ones with dark red meat known as the Black Diamond in addition to the same exterior with a sweet yellow interior.  The third one, which […]


18 October 2018

Ethel Laverne Butler Sellers was born at Liberty Grove (NE unincorporated Dallas County) on January 27, 1930. Her cemetery marker indicates that she was born in 1929, but that is because her dad had the date of birth changed so that she could start work a year early. She was born during the great depression […]

KIRB MERRITT, Wagon Wheel Fellow

6 October 2018

Kirb Merritt was born at the old Merritt homeplace located on the corner of Liberty Grove Road and Merritt Rd just northeast of Rowlett. He married Kate Newman. Kate was the daughter of Flora Nelson and the granddaughter of Angeline Forster which was my grandfather’s sister. Kirb and Kate only had one son.  Duane was […]

CHIESA ROAD, Rowlett Landmark

29 September 2018

Oversize, reflectorized exit signs on Dallas expressways are among the more striking reminders of the community’s past. A particular example is the sign on Interstate 30 near the new Lake Ray Hubbard pointing to Chiesa Road, which is named for Giovanni Chiesa, pioneer landowner and settler in the area on the Dallas County side of […]

McENTEE Donates Catholic Church Land

26 September 2018

An Irishman by the name of Patrick McEntee (1846-1921) then purchased the land in 1893. The Patrick McEntee family had been living in a community known as “Irish Ridge” near Forney, Texas before moving to the Rowlett area. Mr. McEntee had grown increasingly aware that the religious needs of the Rowlett area Catholics were not […]


25 September 2018

George Dotson was born July 15, 1873 in Dalton, Georgia. At the young age of 15 years, he left his home and traveled to Texas by covered wagon with friends from Georgia. They arrived in the Rose Hill area of Dallas County in 1888. He later moved to Rowlett, where he worked as a farmer. […]


20 September 2018

Leita Bel Wood (1910-1994) was born northeast of Rowlett, Texas in the Liberty Grove community.  She was the daughter of James W. “Polk” and Ida White Spence Wood.  After Leita Bel was grown, she operated a store on Elm Grove Road. Leita Bel latter married William L. “Bill” Nichols (1908-1985).  Bill always stood out as […]


13 September 2018

Late last Thursday morning (Oct. 26, 1911) Floyd, the little sixteen months old baby of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Foster, was fearfully burned and died in a few hours afterward. Our information is that Mr. Foster, when at home, always did the milking, but was a little late rising that morning, and fearing that his […]

GRANDMA PELTON Leaves Handmade Quilt

18 July 2018

GRANDMA’S HANDMADE QUILT There’s a lot of history behind this ole handmade quilt. A history that would have easily faded had we not paused to record its unique origin. It’s one of many made by my great-grandmother, Carah Belle Poovey Pelton (1877-1967). ‘Carry’ was born in a log cabin near Raney and Yeager Road. Her […]

G. W. Nelson, Entertained Area Residents

13 July 2018

George and Miley Nelson  were the first residents of the Liberty Grove Community to own a television.  Miley Hatley Nelson was born in the foothills of the Ozarks alongside the Arkansas River. She was the only child born to Martin and Willis Hatley. However, her father already had six children before he married Willis, and […]


1 July 2018

The unofficial Mayor and First Lady of Rowlett would have been celebrating their 95th birthdays this week had they remained with us. But, Vernon Schrade passed to his reward on December 12, 2015 and Lorene followed on August 16, 2016. They were married for 69 years. Vernon was the son of Gottlob and Martha Bryant […]


22 May 2018

Rice Wells was born March 15, 1892 at Brown County, Texas. He was one of nine children born to James Madison “Uncle Matt” and Louisa Ballard Wells. Matt and Louisa were married on December 24, 1881 by J. L. Robertson, minister of the gospel.  Matt had a little grocery store in the Liberty Grove Community, […]


19 May 2018

Thomas Newell Merritt, another Dallas County lad who gave his life for his country will be laid at rest Sunday afternoon at 1 o’clock in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, not far from Rowlett. The soldier for whom the final services are to be held Sunday is Thomas N. Merritt, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. […]


15 May 2018

George William Boyd was born in Chester, South Carolina on June 30, 1876 near Chester, South Carolina.  He was the son of Henry and Martha J. Cannon Boyd.  George didn’t own a farm.  He worked for Jake Sachse for five years and then he worked at the Henry Barger farm. Emma Lela Spence Boyd was […]


5 May 2018

Nell Lorraine Foster Brawley, Lorraine Foster Brawley, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and treasured friend died Thursday, October 7, 1999 surrounded by her family and friends after a long struggle with heart disease. She was born in the Liberty Grove community of northeast Dallas County on September 10, 1915. She was the daughter of James […]


25 April 2018

My earliest memories of an old ice box date back to sometime around 1946 when I was just a small child.  Guess I was born with an inquisitive mind.  I will always remember opening the door of that old wooden ice box and wondering about that big block of ice.  Even wondered what would happen […]


24 April 2018

Len Thomas Wells, a resident of the Liberty Grove Community on Route 2, Rockwall (mail RFD, but lived in Dallas County) died at 4 a. m. July 28th in a Dallas hospital.  He was 78 years of age. Mr. Wells was born in the Liberty Grove Community and was a retired farmer.  He was unmarried.  […]


13 April 2018

This early photo (about 1895) is from my great-grandfather George Washington Forster’s pond in the Elm Grove community.  This area, located northeast of Rowlett, Texas, is one of the last remaining unincorporated communities in Dallas County.  This one of the very few ponds in the community in those days and the site of many early […]


11 April 2018

Additional businesses began to sprout up near downtown Rowlett in the early 1920s.  The southwest corner of Main and Commerce housed a filling station and a store.  Herman Buhler, J. E. Coyle, Jr., and Charlie Thompson ran the business at vari­ous times. Albert Henning then added a garage. Behind these businesses were three tourist cabins. […]