Henry and Myrtle Gordon, Mary Ann's grandparents,
Mack's parents. Henry and Myrtle had twelve children.
Henry had Evie, Hollis, Mae,
and Johnny by his first wife, Mollie Lee Gordon.
Myrtle had Wesley 'Wes' by a
Henry and Myrtle had seven more
children: Dovie, Mack, Dennis, Howard, Maureen, Ellen Irene, and Ollie.
Henty & Myrtle Gordon, wedding picture.
Henry and Myrtle Gordon were Mary Ann's grandparents, Mack's parents. Henry and Myrtle had twelve
children. Henry had Evie, Hollis, Mae, and Johnny by a previous wife. Myrtle had Wesley ‘Wes’ by a previous husband.
Henry and Myrtle had seven more children: Dovie, Mack, Dennis, Howard, Maureen, Ellen Irene, and Ollie.
Henry, Myrtle and family lived in Rockford, Texas. That’s in Lamar County about twenty miles
southeast of Paris, Texas. In 1937 Henry had a sister named Kate Eaton who lived in Knoble, Arkansas. She was a good friend of
Mary Jenkins and a lady preacher named Sister Virgie Hunter (later to be Sister Virgie Temple). Sister Virgie held a four
week revival in Knoble and Mary played the piano for her.
Sister Virgie was asked to come to Taylortown, Texas to hold a revival so she asked Mary, now nineteen
years old, to go also and play the piano for her. Her parents, Thomas and Mada Jenkins were reluctant to let her go but finally
said that she could go. Kate Eaton went with them to see her brother, Henry Gordon. The three ladies took the train from Knoble
to Paris, Texas.
Henry sent two of his sons to Paris to meet the train at the station. One of the young men was Mack
Gordon. When the three ladies stepped off the train Mack saw Mary and thought she was very pretty. He whispered to hs brother
and said jokingly, “I’m going to marry that girl!”
Sister Virge held a six weeks revival under a brush arbor at the Gordon Shed. (Later a church was
built there called, The Union Church.) Mack Gordon was not a Christian at this time and didn’t have much interest in
the revival. But he stood back and watched Mary as she played the piano.
He desperately wanted to get to know her so he stood quietly behind her as she played. The only lighting
the brush arbor had was kerosene lanterns. Bugs were flying around them and one lit on Mary’s shoulder. Mack brushed
it off and said to her, “Girl you sure are buggy!” (Getting introduced by a bug is somewhat of a miracle.) That
broke the ice and soon they started dating.
After a brief courtship of only one month, they were married. On September 19, 1937 they drove over
to Albert Walkers house, the local J.P., and honked the horn. He came out and married them as they sat in the car. (I think
drive-in weddings were kind of new at that time.) Mack’s father, Henry Gordon, was with them and told Albert he would
come by and pay him later. He came by later and paid him with a hog. He told him that it would be for Mack and Mary’s
wedding and for Howard, (another son) and Susie who were soon to be married.
After the revival closed Sister Virgie and Kate Eaton took the train back to Knoble and Mary stayed
there. Thomas and Mada Jenkins met the train expecting to see Mary. When they told them that she had gotten married they nearly
fainted. In a few months, Feb. 1938, they moved to Rockford, Texas, not far from Taylortown. They just had to be close to
their little girl.
This was during the depression and times were hard. Mack built them a house out of old lumber. It
had a sheet iron roof. There were cracks in the floor and walls and the cold air came in. He ran out of lumber and never did
finish the ceiling.
Their first child was born, June 22, 1938; a girl and they named her Mary Ann. Their second child,
another girl, was born in 1940 and they named her Joan.
Mack went to the Army in 1944 and was sent to Fort Chaffy, Kentucky for his basic training. Mary
took the two girls and went by train to Fort Chaffy and stayed until Mack had finished his training. This was during WWII
and he was sent to the Philippine Islands. While he was there the war ended but there Japanese gorillas in the jungle that
did not know the war had ended. Mack told this story, “One day some of us men went swimming in the ocean. We hung our
close on an old wrecked plane that had been shot down on the beach. We left our guns there also. While we were swimming some
Japanese gorillas came out of the jungle and started shooting at us. We had to run back to the plane and dodge the bullets.”
Henry Gordon, born March 6, 1871 in Lamar County Texas.
He died Feb. 3, 1948 and was buried in Rockford Cemetery.
Left: Grandma Horner. Right: Grandma Fleese. (Grandma Fleese was Henry Gordon's
4 Sisters: Katie Rook, Myrtle Gordon,
Ocela Taylor, Arzona Taylor.
Myrtle at Rockford Cemetery
Margaret & Eddie Fae Gordon, Wes and Cora's daughters.
Grandpa and Grandma Rooks. (Myrtle's sister married a Rooks).
The two women are Grandma Payne, and Grandma Horner. (Grandma Horner was grandma
Paynes mother). The man is unknown.
Myrtle & Henry Gordon.
Myrtle Gordon standing in front of her house at Rockford Texas.
Maureen (Gordon) Richardson and Myrtle.
Myrtle (Granny) Gordon
Click on: Gordons, Page 2
Grandpa John Payne & Grandma Payne, Myrtle's parents. (John is Myrtle's
stepfather). The children are Jodie and Monty Rooks.
Henrietta M. Horner Payne
Dec. 7, 1861
Mar. 13, 1949
Lamar County marriage records. Book 15 page: 505
13 March 1949 MRS. JOHN PAYNE DIES AT HOME HERE SUNDAY Mrs. John Payne
84, died at home, 1001-6th Street SE, Sunday at 9:15 a.m., after a long illness. The funeral was arranged for 2 o'clock Monday
afternoon at Rockford Church, conducted by the Rev. W. E. Howell of Calvery Methodist Church. Surviving are her husband; five
daughters, Mrs. Arizona Mitchell Taylor, Reno; Mrs. Oseola Mitchell Taylor (cq) Ft Worth; Mrs. Myrtle Mitchell Gordan, Rockford;
Mrs. Katie Mitchell Jones and Mrs. Juanita Johnson, Paris, besides these step-children; A. P. Payne, Madill, OK.; Johnnie
Payne, living in CA. and Mrs. Bell Murray, Irving.
Mrs. Payne was formerly Miss Henrietta M. Horner, daughter of the
late Isaac C. and Harriett Nelson Horner, and was born in Louisville, Ky., 7 Dec 1864. (really Greenup Co., KY)
at the age of 16, married first, Melvin V. Mitchell in Greenup County, Kentucky. Their daughters were, Arizona, Myrtle, Oseola,
After her husband died in 1886 Henrietta married Mr. John Payne.
Mrs Juanita Johnson was an
adopted daughter, a survivor of twins that grandma took to raise.
Her father: Isaac C. Horner
Birth: Dec. 25, 1840
Ohio, USA Death: Sep. 4, 1908
Isaac C. Horner and Harriet Nelson were married 6 Dec 1860 in Greenup County, Kentucky. Their children; Mahala, Henrietta
A., Harriet A., William Peter, Frances Elizabeth "Fanny", Brazella "Ella", Albert T., Noah/Noel, Moses S., Malinda, Dixie,
Her mother: Harriet Horner
Birth: Mar. 1, 1843
Ohio, USA Death: Dec. 9, 1938
Isaac C. Horner and Miss Harriet Nelson was married on 6 Dec 1860 in Greenup County, Kentucky. Their children are: Mahala,
Henretta A., Harriet Annie, William Peter, Frances Elizabeth "Fanny", Brazella "Ella", Albert T., Noah/Noel, Moses S., Malinda,
Dixie and Middie.
The Horner's came to Texas sometime in early 1880.
9 Dec 1938; AGED PARIS MOTHER DIES Mrs. I. C.
Horner's Funeral to Be Held At Rockford.
Funeral services for Mrs. I. C. Harriet Horner, 95, who was honered as the oldest
mother in Paris with a remote broadcast from her home over KPLT last Mother's Day, will be held at 2 p. m. at Rockford cemetary
under the direction of Emberson-Brown-Roden funeral home. Mrs. Horner died Saturday at 9:30 a. m. at the home of her daughter,
Mrs. H. A. Payne, 265 South Twenty-fifth St.
She was born in Ohio and lived in Texas for the past 50 years. She was a
member of the Christian Science Church.
Besides Mrs. Payne she is survived by the following children; Peter Horner of
Seagraves; Mrs. Fannie Cadle, Quanah; Noel Horner, Missouri; Mrs. Ella Brown, Antlers, OK; Mose Horner, Apache, OK; and Mrs.
Wiley Pierce, Stocton, CA.
Research gives us the name Nelson. If that is not correct, please let me know.
She is thought
to be the daughter of Isaac and Eliza Nelson.