Lillie C. Stinson, the first child of Elijah Davis and May Elizabeth (Dillehay) Stinson, was born December 26, 1884 near Eulia, Tennessee. James William Rape, son of Peter Early Rape was born July 26,1879 in Midlothian, Texas. Lillie C. and James “Jim” William Rape were married 22 May 1904 on the front porch of Mr. John Anderson’s place in Midlothian, by Brother Carruth. They made their home on his father’s place between Midlothian and Cedar Hill. Their first child was born 28 March 1906 and they named him Elijah Nolan Rape. On 10 September 1908, their second child, Royce Leon Rape, was born.
In 1909, the state had a terrible drought and most of the farmers lost their crops. Jim bought Mr. Wesson’s cotton crop and moved his family there temporarily so they could pick the cotton. After it was picked, Jim and his family moved back to the old home place and remained there for about a year.
Their next move was to Hunt County, just across the line from Fannin County, where they received their mail through Ladonia. Mildred Pauline Rape was born 14 January 1911.
Lillie developed pellagra while living in Hunt County. In 1912, she returned to the Cedar Hill area to stay with her grandfather and grandmother Dillehay, while she went to see Dr. Shellmier in Dallas. They all returned to the old home place the following year.
Children were born at home back then. On 14 June 1915, Nolan, Leon, and Pauline were sent to Lena Hawkins’ house because Lillie was giving birth to her fourth child. They named him Thomas Johnson Rape after Lillie’s grandfather, Thomas Johnson Dillehay. Three years later on 27 July 1919, Alma Elizabeth Rape was born. Daniel Angela Rape was born on 28 May 1921 and was named after Rev. Frank Daniel. Dorothy Mae Farris Rape was born on 11 July 1926 and was named after Lillie’s sister, Lela Mae Stinson. All of Jim and Lillie’s children were born on the old home place except Pauline.
In the winter of 1929, a big blue norther hit. The sky turned a dark blue by the middle of the afternoon, and the temperature dropped quickly. Most of the children walked to school and, because it was clear and warm that morning, they were not dressed properly for such a change in the temperature. One of the teachers at Onward School, went in each of the two classrooms and told the students they could leave early. He told them to stay if they thought someone might come after them, but if they knew they had to walk home, it would be best if they left now because it was getting colder every minute. Some of the parents -were able to pick up the children and bring them heavier clothing.
T. J. had worn a sweater that morning and had left one at school the day before. They started to put the heavier sweater on Dan but Meatha Hawkins, a cousin, told them to put it on backward, button it up the back because they would be facing the wind and pull the collar up over his face and they could lead him. Alma, T. J., Dan, and Meatha Mae Hawkins started their two and one-half mile walk home. The creek was already frozen. Dan slipped and fell, he was nearly frozen. He got up and his chin was quivering. He said, “I will be glad when summer comes.” The children made it home, but Dan couldn’t have gone much further.
Farmers planted their grain in the summer, and used a co-op threshing machine in the fall. Nolan hired a crew and went farm to farm threshing the grain. Claude Rape used a cook shack on wheels to feed them, and baked 16 pies a day.
Life on the farm was hard and, as Jim’s children grew up, they chose a different way of life. At the age of 60, Jim became sick with the flu. After a long illness, he died on 24 February 1940. At his funeral, Rev. Frank Daniel brought out the fact that Jim was born, had lived and died on the same acre of land. T. J. continued on the farm with his mother and younger sister for several years.
Lillie Rape died 29 December 1979 at the age of 95. She was buried along side her husband at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Cedar Hill. Jim’s father, grandfather, son, grandson, and great-grandson are all buried at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.