Pioneer member Wilbur Roe has shed some light on his early years spent at the Wylie Hotel. Wylie had several hotels back in the earlier days. The drummers would take the train to the Wylie Depot and then check into one of the hotels before calling on the local merchants in an effort to drum up business.
Wilbur Roe says that his parents, Rochester C. and Jessie Lois Roe, brought him, along with his sisters Iris and Elna Roe, to town back in 1936. He was only three years of age. “We lived rent free for collecting the rent from other tenants. The building was fairly dilapidated by then. Most Tenants were long term, not overnight’.
Wilbur also remembers, “I know we moved before I started school. Memory is faint, but I think we had to move because of plans for razing the building. We lived several places in Wylie over the years. You may recall seeing a photo of my dad in one of your articles on Jick Housewright in his Ful-O-Pep brand feed store in downtown Wylie.”
Mr. Roe recalls, “In late forties, we at one time lived in a building downtown on east side about four buildings north of where the bank was located before it moved to old hotel site. Texas Telephone Company owned the building. An automated system was installed and mom collected telephone bills for our rent.”
Wilbur also mentioned, “The volunteer fire department’s siren was on top of our building and we operated the switch at their command. When World War II ended in 1945, Mayor Click ( I think it was) called and said the war was over. He instructed my mom to turn on the siren and leave it on. I got to throw the switch. Now, that was exciting for a twelve year old boy. I have many random tales of my childhood there.” Wilbur Roe says that he left Wylie in 1955 after he was married.
Photo: Wilbur Roe at Resistol Hat Factory in Garland. His dad worked there in the late 1940s.