There is a bit of uncertainty related to information contained on Fannie Wilson's death certificate attested to by Thomas L. Holley, Jr., Fannie's son. It lists her father as Henry Wilson whereas we've seen reference elsewhere that has Henry Wilson as Aurelia Wilson's sixth child. According to the 1900 census, Fannie had a total of ten (10) children and five (5) were living as of that year.
The following information is based on my 1983 taped conversation with Matthew Wesley Plummer (Uncle Wesley).
Not only was my conversation with Uncle Wesley factual and corroborative but it was also very insightful. He gave various explanations as to why some things were. He offered the why behind the family history.
The Families should never underestimate the significance and overall importance of this matriarch. Fanny was a unique individual in that she was sandwiched between her generation of siblings and her five (5) surviving children (10 total, 5 deceased who never reached adulthood). As the eldest daughter with overwhelming responsibility, much of her life had been spent keeping her own siblings together and raising and educating her own children. Unfortunately, leaving little or no time for her own education.
As quoted by Uncle Wesley, while Fanny was illiterate and could not read nor write, she had great innate intelligence, common sense and leadership qualities. Most timely in view of the fact, the Holley Family was in great turmoil at this time. It was Fanny's insistence and intelligence that kept wanting to track down and retrieve lost recognition for Tom Holley Sr.'s army pension fund. It was also with Robert's help and persistence through letter that Tom was due a pension in arrears of $2,000 a great sum at that time. At long last when this pension became a reality, in sage --like fashion, Fanny used these proceeds to buy the four family lots which offered the very basis for future homes and family stabilty , i.e., 1533, 1539, fishpond empty lot, and finally 1547 E. Crockett --the Holley Family homestead pictured here. As a child playing between the houses along with so many other relatives, how could I ever have imagined the significance of how this all came to be. Life and circumstance simply did not leave her time to be educated. However by her mid 50s to 60s and following her passion, she decided along with the help of two of her boys, Robert and Tom, to attend night school in order to finally achieve literacy. One day, It must have come as great surprise and joy to Robert (now at the Census Bureau), to receive a well handwritten letter from his mother now no longer illiterate. In great excitement, respect, and admiration, in turn he sent back to Fanny a $100 bill in the mail.
She was a remarkable post-pioneer woman of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Facing many obstacles, including the harsh segregated aspects of Texas; she raised and had educated five children whom all made outstanding contributions to society and in some cases the very schools that educated them (the lone exception was George). Please view related individual profile pages.
Leading up to and during the holiday season of December 1937, the Holley family endured utmost tragedy and catastrophy. As they witnessed in terrible sequence, first the death of her daughter Mayme on December 13, followed by her own devastating death a few days later on December 22.
While the above events seared not forgotten, the family still persevered, pursued and gained success. I can only suspect that it took many years before the family gained or reached any sense of normalcy.
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