A HISTORY OF THE GEORGE ALLISON CRESWELL AND FRANCIS DOUGLAS CRESWELL FAMILIES
By Mrs. Marian Creswell Hayslette
The George Allison Creswell family came to Nederland in 1921 from Opelousas, Louisiana. George Allison (b. June 2, 1875-d. May 22, 1928) was born in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. His wife, Lydia Mary St. Gaudain (b. February 22, 1870-d. July 3, 1952) was born in St. Landry Parish also. They were married on December 9, 1897.
My father, Francis Douglas Creswell (b. September 22, 1898-d. July 11, 1969) was in the navy during World War I when the family moved to Texas. He was the oldest of nine children.
Two of his brothers, George Herbert (b. October 4, 1900-d. 1972) and James Edward (b. January 28, 1902-d. February 19, 1974) were living in Port Arthur when the family moved to Texas. One of his sisters, Marie Lydia Creswell Savoy (b. December 10, 1904) resides with her daughter, Dorothy Ruth Howell, in Nederland. Another sister was Blanche Creswell (b. September 30, 1914-d. October 19, 1983).
The four younger brothers were Alfred Allison (b. July 31, 1906-d. September 21, 1964), Richard Mayes (b. August 19., 1908), who resides in Beaumont; Harry Elmore (b. November 26, 1911-d. January 13, 1989), and William Lucas (b. May 4, 1916-d. February 14, 1970). All of them graduated from Nederland High School and were active in sports, basketball, football, and track. Allison and Richard appear in a picture in the Windmill Museum of the basketball team of 1925-1926.
Harry Elmore and William Lucas served in the Army during World War II.
In 1923, George Allison Creswell was among those who helped to construct the Pure Oil Company refinery at Smith's Bluff. He later became a gauger for the Marine Department. On May 22, 1928, George Allison Creswell was asphyxiated by poison methane gas while gauging a crude oil tank.
Three generations of the Creswell family have worked for Pure Oil, now Unocal: George Allison, Francis Douglas, and John Allison Creswell. Lydia Mary and George Allison Creswell are buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Beaumont.
Francis Douglas Creswell joined the Navy on May 1, 1917 when he was nineteen years old. He took boot training in Norfolk, Virginia, and was assigned to the battleship U. S. S. Pennsylvania . His ship escorted convoys to Europe. He was a radio operator aboard the battleship.
One of the highlights of his service was escorting President Woodrow Wilson to Europe to the Geneva Peace Conference. As a radio operator on the Pennsylvania , he completed one of the first ship to shore calls for President Wilson. He was honored to shake hands with President Wilson and also Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was at that time Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He was discharged from the Navy April 14, 1919. he came to Port Arthur in 1920 and went to work for Gulf Oil Corporation.
Francis Douglas Creswell and my mother, Augusta Lacoste (b. September 24, 1898-d. August 31, 1986) were married in Port Arthur, Texas on September 23, 1921. Her parents were John Lacoste and Marie Gieseler Lacoste. There were six children in her family.
John Lacoste was a dairyman and contractor (b. December 25, 1869-d. March 23, 1930). He came to Lakeview, Port Arthur, in 1912, and to Nederland in 1913, where he owned and operated the Jersey Farm Dairy. Marie Lacoste was born on January 29, 1871 and died on July 16, 1957.
Francis Douglas and Augusta Creswell have two children, John Allison (b. September 1, 1922) and Marian Frances Creswell (b. December 3, 1924).
In 1923 my parents built their home in Jake Carabin No. 1 Addition in Nederland. I was born there in 1924. The home still stands on South Fifteenth Street, which was originally Sycamore Street.
Francis Douglas Creswell went to work at Pure Oil Company in 1931. He retired from the company on October 1, 1963, with 32 years of service in the Oil and Transfer Gauge Department.
My father and mother are buried in Oak Bluff Cemetery in Port Neches. They were members of the First United Methodist Church in Nederland. Francis Douglas Creswell was a member of the American Legion and World War I Veterans.
John Allison Creswell was born in Nederland on September 7, 1922. He graduated from Nederland High School in 1941 and went to work at Pure Oil Company in 1947. He married Shirley Mae Jewett (b. May 12, 1926-d. November 14, 1973). They have three daughters, Phyllis Augusta Creswell Matheson (b. September 8, 1951), Mary Ann Creswell (b. May 1, 1962), and Joan Marie Creswell Sonnier (b. July 23, 1969). There are two grandchildren, Angela Kathleen, and Jared Wayne Matheson.
John retired from Pure Oil, now Union Oil, in 1983 with 35 years of service as a Unit Operator. He is a member of Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, Shrine, Grotto, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the American Legion.
Marian Frances Creswell graduated from Nederland High School in 1942. She and Charles Eugene Hayslette, Jr. (b. September 7, 1921) were married on June 2, 1946. He was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He served three years in the U. S. Army during World War II, serving two years of that overseas. He was a Unit Operator at Gulf Refining Corporation, Port Arthur refinery (now Chevron) for forty-two years and he retired on July 6, 1982.
Bill and Marian Hayslette have one daughter, Cheryl Frances Hayslette James (b. October 5, 1948). She is a 1967 graduate of Nederland High School as well as Lamar University in 1970. She married Grady Wilson James, Jr., and they have three daughters, Diana James Prater, Jennifer Leigh James, and Jamie Amanda James. They reside in Conroe, Texas, where Grady is an attorney, specializing in family law.