Leita Bel Wood (1910-1994) was born northeast of Rowlett, Texas in the Liberty Grove community. She was the daughter of James W. “Polk” and Ida White Spence Wood. After Leita Bel was grown, she operated a store on Elm Grove Road.
Leita Bel latter married William L. “Bill” Nichols (1908-1985). Bill always stood out as the largest member of the Garland Owls football team.
I was well aware that Leita Bel served as match maker when she introduced my Uncle Carl Foster to his future wife, but I had forgotten about her role in another interesting introduction.
Boyd-George Introduction: Arvil Dewey “Buck” Boyd was born in 1910 at Liberty Grove (NE Rowlett). His parents were Emma Spence and George W. Boyd. He received his nickname from his love of horses. While living on the Jake Sachse place, as a young kid, Buck would to ride to the gate with Jake, then open the gate just to be able to ride. His Uncle John Boyd noticed Buck’s attachment for horses and gave him the nickname of “Buck”.
One of Buck’s cousins, Leita Belle Wood, introduced him to Miss Gene George over in Ft Worth. Gene told her parents that she was taking the Model T from Ft Worth to visit Buena Mae Boyd (Buck’s sister) one weekend. While she was in town Buck killed a hog, dressed it and sold it for enough money that the two took off to Durant, Oklahoma on December 24, 1931. They were married and returned to Wylie to live.
Times were so difficult they couldn’t even buy a penny postcard. Gene was raised in town and knew nothing about farming, but she quickly learned. She bought enough material and thread to make a bonnet and cotton sack. She didn’t earn enough money picking cotton to even pay for the material.
As the depression ended, Buck and his brother, Check Boyd became involved in the traveling picture show business. On the first trip from Rowlett to Crandall, the tires on their Model T blew out one right after another. On one trip to Crandall everything was so frozen that they couldn’t unload. So they, and the crew, slept in the show truck. They had to level the snow just to set up the show tent, but that next night a large crowd showed up to watch the movie. They continued with the traveling movie shows until replaced by the more modern movie theaters.
Gladys Poor Forster tells me that there was a school play at the Liberty Grove Schoolhouse in 1932 and she and her brother made the trip from Clear Lake (now under Lake Lavon) to see the play. After the play, Gladys was talking to Letha Belle Wood, and she ask who is that boy with the black hair and Letha Belle said, “Why that’s Carl Forster. Do you want to meet him”? Gladys ask if he had a girl and Letha Belle said no he sure doesn’t. You be back here next Saturday and I’ll set it all up. So Gladys returned and they dated for the next two years.
Carl and Gladys were married in the store owned by Matt Wells (James Maddison), the father of Rice Wells. Brother Chress, a Church of Christ preacher from Dallas rode the train to Wylie and was picked up and brought to the store to officiate. Gladys says that Uncle Matt had told them if they held the wedding at his store, he would give them a bill of groceries. She also says that, other than Uncle Rice’s dad, only two people were there when the wedding started and that was Cleddy Spainhour and Ted Wells. The preacher was on a tight schedule because there was only one train leaving Wylie. The wedding was over before the rest showed up. His store was located at Vinson & Elm Grove Road on the land where our house was located when I was growing up.
Courtesy Beb Fulkerson, and my personal files. Jim Foster.