Andrew Thomas Pickett came to Dallas County in 1851, riding his horse , John which he had ridden from Kentucky. He was a school and singing teacher. He traded for 150 acres of land on the northwest corner of Shiloh and Loveless Grove Roads (now Belt Line Road) for the price of his horse and saddle. The seller added two cows and their calves to the acreage. He married Tabitha Strain Epps of Plano. They had six children: John Newton, Andrew Thomas, Mary Margaret, James A. , Bob Samuel, and Edna B.
James told of how he and his brother, B.S., hitched a calf to the buggy one Sunday morning and put their baby sister in the buggy. James led the calf and B.S. held the shaft. The calf reared up, turned the buggy over, and broke both shafts. James turned the calf loose and ran to see about his little sister, who was not hurt. When their father came out to go to church and saw what had happened, he gave both boys a spanking, which took away the fun.
When the father died, Andrew oversaw the cultivation of the crops with help from James and B.S. When he was sixteen James received a lovely gold watch from Andrew, who asked that James not smoke nor drink until he was 21. James treasured the watch to his death and never smoked nor drank.
James attended school at the Shiloh schoolhouse at the corner of Shiloh Road and Apollo Road. People had spoken of a panther loose in their vicinity. James took his first date to a program at the school. Afterwards he left his horse tied and walked home with his date. When he returned for his horse, some of the school boys had hidden nearby. As he climbed on his horse, they began screaming and followed him home on his speeding steed. When he came out of the barn, after tending the horse, their big shepherd dog met him, jumped up and put his paws on his shoulder. James was sure the panther had him. When he entered the house, the family said he was “as white as a sheet”.
James went into the hardware business in Plano. He was out putting up a binder and got too hot. He developed typhoid fever and was in bed nearly three months. He and Della Flook of Garland were to have been married in June, but the marriage had to be postponed because of the fever. Della always believed this delay was because she started to work on her wedding dress on Friday. Since it was a task impossible to finish by Sunday, it caused “bad luck”.
James and Della Flook of Garland were married at her parents’ home on Belt Line Road (now Forest Lane), August 26, 1904. They lived in Plano until their first child, Taylor Thomas, was two or three years old.
Della ‘s parents were L.M.T. Flook and Mary Catherine Bechtol Flook, who had come from Maryland as bride and groom. Catherine sewed all their money in hems of her skirts and petticoats. They “hired out” to an established family while L.M.T. looked for land. Catherine did housework and L.M.T. worked as a hired hand. When he came to tell his employer he had found the place he wanted, the man offered to lend him the money. Imagine the man’s surprise when he replied, ‘*Oh, I paid cash”.
It was the custom of L.M.T. to give each child a hundred acres of land and a hundred dollars as a wedding gift. This land was at the southeast corner of Buckingham and Shiloh Roads. There were 148 acres in this plot, so James bought the extra 48 acres. They moved to this farm where I was born six and a half years later than Taylor.
Della bought her piano with the money. A bedroom had no paper on it, so to decorate it, she used her piano as a “ladder” and painted about a 12 inch border near the ceiling, which always remained the decor of that room.
Taylor rode horseback to Garland Schools until I was six years old, when my parents permitted me to enter school by paying tuition for me all year. Then Taylor was given a car to drive. The roads were all Bermuda grass lanes, so when it rained we stayed in Garland with our Flook grandparents. One time when we were enroute back home from the Flook’s on rain-slick Shiloh Road, our suitcase was between us in our Ford “coupe” and I had a sack of candy; a scuffle resulted over who got how much, and the car slid into a ditch. That took some explaining when our dad came to pull us out.
Taylor became a doctor in family medicine. I taught school for almost eight years, then received a master’s degree in religious education from Southwestern Theological Seminary.
Taylor and Ida Mitchell Pickett had one daughter: Barbara Ann Sidner, San Angelo, Texas; and two sons: John Allen and James William Pickett, Dallas, Texas; and one granddaughter.
My husband, Clint Wyrick, and I have two daughters: Marilyn Wyrick Ingram (Mrs. William A. Ingram), Dallas, Texas, and Phyllis Wyrick Patterson (Mrs. J. Randall Patterson), San Antonio, Texas, and four grandchildren.
By Maydell Catherine Pickett Wyrick for Dallas County Pioneer Association‘s Proud Heritage, Volume I.
Photo: Andrew Thomas Pickett & Tabitha Epps Pickett