Florence (Parker) Way was the daughter of Matt and Clara (Withers) Parker. They were ranchers in Palo Pinto County, Texas. At the age of twenty-three Florence came to Rockwall. She was the bride of Jack Way, son of Jim and Amanda (Willess) Way.
Jack was a farmer and mule trader in the area. Jack Way also served as one of the directors of the Rockwall County Fair. He held this position form 1924 until 1925. Because Jack was a farmer, he and Florence lived in many different areas of the county. They made many friends along the way. The Ways were the parents of two boys, Harvey and Charlie Bud.
After the boys were grown and married, Mrs. Way moved to Rockwall. She first lived near where the telephone office is now located. Later she bought the Lowe home. It stood on the lot where the 7-11 now sits. Mrs. Way loved living In this house. She loved being able to see all the comings and goings to town and the courthouse. At the time she lived there both the M&R Grocery and the Drug Store would deliver anything she needed. Just as they did for all their regular customers. Her house, on the square, was quite large. She divided it into three apartments and shared it with many families.
Mrs. Way loved to sit on her porch and tell us about the days gone by. She told us about the weekly Saturday trips into town. She brought in eggs and butter to sell. They would do their selling, then spend the rest of the day visiting with their friends. Sometimes they visited into the night. Once there was a buggy wedding on the square. William Maxwell and his bride-to-be were in one wagon and the preacher in another.
All the guests in their separate wagons. When the preacher pronounced them man and wife, they took off and the guests followed in a blaze of dust. Coming into town became much easier after they had a car. Once she and her friend, Emma Rochelt, came to town visiting each afternoon. This lasted for thirty days straight and on the thirty-first day, they both had to admit that they were just visited out.
Mrs. Way liked to remember her mother-in-law, Amanda Way. She loved and respected her. Amanda Way would come and stay with Florence so she could do all the sewing for the boys. Mrs. Way considered Jack’s mother brave. That was because she went to Mexico to homestead. Mrs. Florence Way lived to be a grand eighty-six years of age. She loved every minute of the old times and the new.
Photo: Florence Parker before her marriage.
By Jerry Way for Rockwall County History by Rockwall County Historical Foundation.