Jack Parr was born at Lucas across Muddy Creek to James C. and Leona Moss Parr at the home of his grandfather, W.M. Parr, who owned 180 acres of land there. While Jack was a young child, the family moved two miles north of Wylie. Papa farmed and bought and butchered cows to sell to stores and meat markets.
At this home full of laughter, no one ever went to bed hungry Mother was a good cook. “She took that old egg beater in the left hand and stirred up good things to eat. Mother was left-handed, but she could write with both hands,” commented Jack.
James and Leona had five other children. They were Lela Mae who died young, J.C. Jr., Dorsey (Nig), John R. and Lucille (Curtis), They attended Lone Elm School. Jack was not interested in anything which required reading or writing. He wanted to farm. Throughout his life, he has farmed off and on and done many other jobs.
He became a member of the old First Baptist Church in 1923. Brother Rogers was pastor and Bob Balcomb held the service. Jack had brought his mother to the meeting in his 1920 Model T which had no top and had cost him $235.00. Jack recalled that there were two old coal stoves which kept the members warm throughout the years and an old pump organ in the Church’s ante room. Today Jack is the oldest active member in number of years of service in this Church. This is the only congregation to which he has ever been a member.
During World War Il Jack was in the Army Quartermaster, serving at Ft. Warren, Wyoming and Camp Stoman, California. He saw Lester Turner while there.
For 21 years Jack drove a school bus for the W.I.S.D., beginning in 1947. He never worried about getting the kids to school, but the black untopped roads were another matter. A bus would get stuck nearly every day near the Fritz Moss’ farm. Fritz would watch for it. One of Jack’s brothers and Mr. Hobbs owned an Army commando vehicle and would pull the bus from its muddy ruts.
On July 19, 1947 Jack married Mildred Morris Boyce (6/18/1911-12/30/1989). She was the daughter of J.O. and Katie Smith Morris. Brother Yarbrough, pastor of the First Baptist, performed the ceremony. Guests present included Kathryn and Jessie McGuire, Lucille Curtis and the mothers of the bride and groom. After 42 years joy still radiates in this home.
Regularly a “domino bunch” gathers at the Parr barn for stiff competition. It often consists of John Hatfield, Percy Long, Max Creel, Hubert Allen, Ross Watmiller, Tommy Patterson, and Bob Russell. Jack has won many trophies through his domino playing. He also collects old license plates. As he shows these, he explains, through memories, how they tie in with the history of Wylie.
Courtesy Wylie Area Heritage by Beb Fulkerson . Photo: Jack Parr with his domino trophies.