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 Willis already had ten children.
Miley’s dad was killed by a team of runaway mules after his wagon broke on September 3, 1887. Miley and her mother buried him on a mountain top in the Ozarks. They later boarded a steam locomotive at Van Buren Arkansas and made the trip to Wylie, Texas. Miley lost her mother a few years later. She soon found her home with Mattie (Bozeman) and Joe Bowman. Their home was her home until she married George Nelson of Liberty Grove NE Rowlett).
Miley had always wanted a beautiful wedding, and wedding dress. So she got a job and worked two weeks for $5. She then went to Housewright Hardware in Wylie and bought the material, sash, trimmings and a pair of shoes for under $5.
The wedding gown was made by Sue Jo Bozeman who later married Ed Wood. Some of those attending the wedding were Butler Boyd, Rich Williams, Sam Newman, Flora Nelson, Ed Wood, and Sue Jo Bozeman. The next day, James Alexander and Evaline Forster Nelson gave a big dinner complete with chicken and dressing.
George Washington Nelson was born to James Alexander and Evaline Forster Nelson at Elm Grove on December 12, 1873. He wed Miley Hatley on February 21, 1900 and soon built a new home at Elm Grove. George Nelson was a blacksmith by trade and well known throughout the area. His speciality was building wagons that were made of solid Bois D’arc.
I remember, as a small child, how he could pump those bellows and get that iron heated to cherry red glow before he began to shape it. But most of all, I remember that George and Miley Nelson had the first TV. Neighbors would walk down to their house just to see that television. Then on Saturday night when the wrestling match was televised, the living room would fill up and neighbors would then gather on the front porch so they could view thru the window. Sometimes you couldn’t even get through the front door.
Mr. and Mrs. Nelson lived together for more than sixty years. He died as I sat beside his bed on August 27, 1962. She followed him in death on April 24, 1973. Both are buried at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.