The Brady Standard
July 19, 1968
Following a long illness, Mrs. Williamson died on 10 October, 1975.
The following was published some seven years ago:
"Every day brings something new. I don't expect it. it just happens." Mrs. Marion N. Williamson, retired school teacher and ranch woman, greets each day with expectation. She lives life to its fullest and enjoys every minute of it, even though she is a semi-invalid.
She was born in Groveton, Trinity County, November 17, 1889, with a zest for life and people that apparently has not diminished through the years.
After a childhood of ups and downs (her mother died when she was 13) she grew up through hard times but attended Sam Houston Teachers College on a scholarship. She was only 17 when she graduated from college.
"The big thing about those days was that we never thought about being rich or poor. We made do with what we had and managed fine. A lot of people were rich and didnít know it and some were poor and didnít know it," Mrs. Williamson recalled.
After graduating from college she taught one year in Groveton then moved to San Saba and taught a year.
While there she attended a State Teachers Association meeting in Austin and met the school superintendent from Ballinger. At his urging she sent an application to Ballinger and taught there for a year.
The same superintendent encouraged her to apply for a position in the Brownwood schools when he decided to move to Amarillo.
She was hired at Brownwood and taught in the Coggin School for three years.
"In 1912-13, I lived in the first girls dormitory to be guild at Howard Payne College. They didnít have enough girls to fill it and I was allowed to room and board there. My younger sister also stayed there and graduated from Howard Payne," she said.
About the time Mrs. Williamson felt that she was qualified to teach English in high school and since there ware no openings in Brownwood, and at the suggestion of George Kidd of Brady, she applied to the Brady school board.
After making application she was called to come for an interview by W.L. Hughes, Brady superintendent at that time.
"I came from Brownwood on the little train. They called it the "Doodlebug" back then. I met with the school board and while I was eating supper at the Queen Hotel, Lee Jones, president of the board, and a former Brady mayor, came in and told me I had been employed by the board to teach English in high school."
"I was hired at the marvelous salary of $85 a month and there has never been a place I loved so well as Brady," Mrs. Williamson related.
She laughed and said lady school teachers were not allowed to date during the week. "All this and $85 a month."
Not dating during the week didnít bother her though. She played tennis with friends, one of whom she recalled was Clarence Snider. "He used to say he never had to chase balls for me."
"There were five girls in a group that I ran around with. We always walked wherever we went. We would go to Brady Creek and cook breakfast, among other things. We also had a wonderful fellowship with two younger groups of girls," she said.
Mrs. Williamson recalled that in her younger days, it was a great treat to go to the depot to meet the incoming train.
"There was a lot of socializing and every one went to meet it. In fact that is where I met my husband, Marion."
"A girl from Rochelle came up and said she wanted me to meet her ranchman."
Mr. Willliamson was living on the Martin Ranch located where Brady Lake is now. She said he called the next weekend and asked if he might come over. Thinking he wanted to bring the Rochelle girl she told him she would ask another man. She did, Sam McCollum.
They had a wonderful time making fudge (which didnít harden and had to be eaten with a spoon) and he called again the next Friday.
When she said she would ask another couple he said he would rather come by himself.
Mr. and Mrs. Williamson were married in Gatesville in August 1914, at the home of her sister.
The new bride taught that year and lived in a little house in town would go to the ranch on week ends. In 1915, their first son, Newt, who now lives in Dallas, was born. He now lives in Brady. She has four grandchildren and two great-grandsons.
"My father-in-law was of the opinion we could use the money, as who couldn't, and suggested that I apply to teach at Rochelle. I did, for four years," she said.
After that she lived the typical life of a ranchwoman. She raised chickens, attended to eight or nine incubators at a time, sold eggs and raised goats. "We often had little ones in the house near the fire. It was an ideal ranch life, very happy," she recalled.
The Williamsons also raised fine turkeys and the Chamber of Commerce once sent one to the President of the United States.
Only once has Mrs. Williamson been back in front of a class. About 1960 she was called upon to teach a high school English class for two weeks.
She has always been a supporter of the schools, PTA, and young people. She was a member of the Library Board from 1929 until this year when she resigned due to her health. She is a faithful member of the Baptist Church and is also a charter member of McCulloch County Historical Society.
When living in Rochelle, Mrs. Williamson took up writing. She was Rochelle correspondent for The Brady Standard and her weekly reports were widely read. Even now she manages to write her column "Facts and Fancies" from time-to-time.
"I enjoyed my effort at writing immensely and I would like to keep it up but I just can't find the time to write it regularly."
She still goes back to her farm in Rochelle to reminisce, "There is a sadness about it. A perfect feeling of memories mixed with sadness," she said.
She moved back to Brady after the death of her husband in 1959.
Mrs. Williamson always starts her column with a quote from the Bible or from great literary passages. Some of her own philosophy could well be used in the future.
"If we could keep words from being cruel it would be happier in this world. Our relationship with people and theirs with us determines their attitudes. We need to re-assess what real wealth is in America or anywhere else for that matter. People are not so different. They are all God's children. Sometimes we don't have the key to them and I guess it is our fault," she said.
"Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and you will be surprised at what the Lord has done," she quoted.
"Life is a surprise every day and I look forward to each one," Mrs. Williamson concluded.