PAT HOUSEWRIGHT of WYLIE Recalls Depression Days

Pat Housewright starts off as follows: I had $7.40 left, and me and four kids, and 200 miles from home so we had to leave the motel. We started downtown Mineral Wells and we stopped and went under a tent and there was some hay in it and I guess they must of been some cattle in it the way it smelled. It was raining and after while it let up and the sun came out. I knew I had to do something so I started down to send a wire to Mr. Emery Housewright for some money.

Pat Housewright Photo

Pat Housewright Photo

So I stopped at a car lot to price some of the cars and I told the owner what had happened and he said we can go and look at my car. We might make some kind of a deal. So we did and after he looked it over he said, ‘Well, you don’t have much left.” He asked me where we lived and I told him. He said he would take us home for the old car so I told him okay. We all loaded up and our camping outfit and he said he would have to go by his house and tell his wife. He did and he told her he was taking us home and would be back after while. I knew then he would be a lot longer than he thought.

We got started and it was an old open car and it was nearly night time so he drove and drove. It was getting way in the night and he asked how far did I say it was. I said that it was about 25 miles east of Dallas and he said he was going to have to get some more gas. So he did and he put on a pretty good show for us. He had asthma and he would choke up and he had a spray gun and ever little while he would have to spray his throat. The wind was so damp but the kids had plenty quilts to cover up with. We finally made it out to the Kreymer school house and it had been raining. At that time we didn’t have our roads graveled, so we had to put our stuff under the school house and walk home. The old man said he was afraid he didn’t have enough money to get home and wanted me to let him have some money and he would send it back. So I told him I could let him have a dollar and he thanked me and said he would mail me my dollar when he got back home. But maybe he didn’t get home, at least I never got my dollar back. So he started home and it was 1:25 in the morning, I guess his wife thought he had a wreck. After all this we were left a foot. Later I bought a little Ford truck from Morris Moss and it would run part of the time then we would have to push it about half the time. We used it to pull a power saw to cut wood and it caught afire and that was the last of it.

In 1934, Granny Seabourn passed away. That was a big loss to all of us. At that time we were working some land in the bottom and we would take our lunch with us. When dinner time came we would go out to the creek to eat. There was an old boy by the name of Wooten and he would climb up in the tree and watch every move we made. He had lost his marbles and the girls was afraid of him. Time went by and we finished making the crop and got it all gathered.

I rented the Housewright farm here, west of Wylie, in November 1934. Opal and George married November 17, 1934 and they moved in an old house down below Ed Woods. George worked some for Mr. Woods and the second year me and George put out a bunch of onions. That year was a bad year for onions and you couldn’t hardly sell them. Times was getting worse all the time and George couldn’t find any work. He was out of money. They had a little red rooster and Opal wanted George to take it up to Pat McDill and sell it for something and George said he wasn’t about to take it up there. Opal said all right, let’s go up to Daddy’s and spend the night. George said he was always glad when Opal would say, let’s go up to Daddy’s. So times didn’t get any better and Lucy’s sister lived in Houston and her husband said if George would come down there he would give him a job at the Port City Packing House. He went down there but Opal didn’t go right then. George went to work and said he slept out in the park so he could save enough money to get Opal down there. That is why they are down there now and all their children, which are Larry, Kay, and Terry.

On February 10, 1936 Duane Housewright was borned and we finally could say he was the baby child. As time went by, in May 1939, was the time the team ran away with me and tore my arm up but I came out lucky after all because if it hadn’t tore my arm up I probably would of been killed because the team jumped the ditch. If I hadn’t got loose I may not be here today. I didn’t get to do any more work until September. It was time to start picking cotton and I told Lucy I was going to the field and maybe I could pick a little with one hand. So I did and I soon found out that I couldn’t pick much that way. I went to the house and told Lucy to make me a sack and put two straps on it and she did. So I went back to the field and put them straps around my stomach and I pulled the sack all fall with my stomach and that was the way I saved my arm. It was just perishing away and after a time I could pick a bale with my crippled arm and hand. My arm began to fill out and the doctor said that was what did it.

Well, we had an old 1929 Model Chevrolet car. Me and L.D. Housewright drove it up to McKinney and L.D. had a few dollars and I had a few so we put what little money we had and the old car and made a down payment on a brand new 1937 Ford V8 car and started home and I felt like a fool. But I never saw anyone that was more tickled than L.D. Of course at that time he was in love with Billie and that finished the match so he and Billie got married. The war broke out and Don joined the air corp and was learning to be a flier but he had to have surgery on one of his eyes and had to quit flying. Then they sent him overseas to serve in the army. A little later Morris joined the Navy and the morning he had to leave he had to be in McKinney by seven o’clock. We got up early and there was a big fog and Kenneth was going to drive him to McKinney. I told Kenneth not to start back home until the fog cleared up but he wanted to get back home so he started home and got out of McKinney a little ways and the fog was so heavy he couldn’t see the road. He got on the wrong side of the road and a car hit him and when they found him he was just staggering around in the road. He was lucky not to of gotten killed and that was the last of the V8 Ford.

Note: Andrew Wesley ‘Pat” Housewright was born on Feburary 27, 1895. His granddaughter, Kay, ask him to write his history in a book that she gave him back in 1978.  This is taken from that book, Memories Along The Way by Pat Housewright.