JOHN STEVE WYRICK & ELLEN BEATRICE MERRIMAN
Early Garland Area Farmer & Merchant.
In the early years of this century, the central focus of each home during the winter months was the fireplace with its roaring fire. The whole family sat in that one room where their “central heat” was located. At least a portion of each evening was spent in reminiscing of times past. In just such a setting Jim, Roy, Gale, and Clint Wyrick gleaned many facts and stories from their heritage. Such questions as, “when did you come to Texas, Papa?” or “Tell us about your wedding. Mamma,” have given to Clint, the youngest and remaining son, many accurate and interesting facts.
He remembers his daddy, John S. Wyrick, said his
family came to Texas in 1879. John’s elementary education was in the Garland public schools. He had a couple of years of study at the University of Texas at Austin, then worked a few years in Dallas at the Dallas County Courthouse. He then bought 60 acres of land on Jupiter Road between Kingsley and Miller roads before he was married.
On 21 January 1906 (the coldest night of that year) he married Ellen B. Merriman. He provided for her and their four sons by farming, taking a produce route, and by managing their general store in Wyrickville. In his farm operation before the tractor, he kept eight teams of mules to work his farms. All
four boys did their share in the farming business. Mr. Wyrick always enjoyed having something to sell. He and his wife had a produce route into the neighborhood around Worth and Tremont streets in Dallas for 30 years. At hog killing season, they killed a hog every Thursday, ground it into sausage, and delivered fresh sausage to their customers on Friday. Butter and eggs were always on their list. At gardening season, all types of vegetables were included. When the crops were “laid by” in the summer, Mr. and Mrs. Wyrick always took a two week vacation to Mineral Wells, Glen Rose, or Marlin for
the mineral water and baths.
The general store was established about 1907 and was in existence for about 30 years. Another source of Clint’s education in those days was listening to the “old cronies” gathered around the pot bellied stove at the store. The woes of the government was one of their main topics. A blacksmith shop and a Model T repair shop were added to this enterprise a bit later.
Mr. Wyrick bought stock in every company that came around, Texan Car Company, Arlington, Parfay Bottling Company, East Texas Traction Company. He even bought stock in Hog Wallow Oil Company in Oklahoma. He never received a penny from any of these ventures. Mr. Wyrick lived at one time on a farm where Varo Manufacturing Company is today, and witnessed the first train run on the MKT Railroad tracks through Garland in 1886.
There were a few luxuries along the way. His first Model T brasshead Ford was bought from John Campbell in Richardson in 1915. Their first electric lights came from a Deico light system installed in 1917. Mr. Wyrick had, as all families did, a strip of timber land near White Rock Lake for winter heating and cooking fuel. This man of many talents taught the men’s Sunday School class at the First Methodist Church in Garland for several years. One of the best bits of training he did for his boys was that he promised each of them $100 if they didn’t smoke until they were 21. Clinton does not remember what happened about the other boys, but he became twenty-one in the heart of the Depression.When he asked for his reward, his daddy explained, “I said if you didn’t smoke or cuss.” No money was spent but none of the four boys ever smoked.
After retirement, he enjoyed playing dominoes with his buddies. Harp Rice and S. E. Lee. Even as his age increased, he stayed “sharp” at his domino game.
The Wyricks moved into Garland a few years before John Steven Wyrick died 1 March 1963. Mrs.Wyrick followed in death six months later.
By Cint Wyrick.for Dallas County Pioneer Association‘s Proud Heritage, Volume III.