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THE MEMOIRS OF CARRIE BELLE JONES (MRS. JIM) GOODWIN

An Undated Typescript, Perhaps 1973

{Editor's Note: I went back into the China, Texas, census enumerations of 1910 in an effort to find out something about the parentage of Mrs. Carrie Goodwin. I found that she was enumerated at Residence No. 112, Precinct 5, China, Texas, Jefferson County Census of 1910, page 7-A, Supervisor's District No. 2, Enumeration District No. 89. Carrie Belle Jones was recorded as a 21-year-old single female, a primary school teacher, born in Texas (and probably in Chambers County). Her father was J. Coleman Jones, a 50-year-old male, born in Texas and employed as a farmer. Her mother was "G. A." Jones, a 48-year-old female, already married for 31 years and also born in Texas. A 16-year-old brother, J. I. Jones, still resided in the household. It is probable that older siblings had already married and left home. W. T. Block}

We bought this lot (324 Fifteenth) to be close to the Interurban. I was married to Jim Goodwin on December 12, 1915; that is also when we moved to Nederland. I had been a school teacher, and I substituted some after I was married. We had the old Langham School then, that was built in 1911. Gardette Burnfin was one of my students.

There was a little old school across the railroad track - at Chicago and 10th Street, I think, with two teachers in it. I taught school for eight years and went to teachers' institutes in Beaumont and was associated with the Nederland teachers there. I was a country school teacher - taught in Fannett and China. The one in Fannett was "a little old prairie school - with sheep under it." It was hard, hard. You don't know what I went through. And I boarded so far away I had to ride horseback to school. Then I was called to teach school in Port Neches. I already had a school in Amelia, but they were not ready to start that school as yet because of the big boys being needed at home on the farms. They waited until after September and even the first of October. The county school superintendent called and told me that a teacher in Port Neches had resigned and asked if I would go there and take that job. They had two schools there then. One on "this side" with two teachers and another on the "other side" of the Texas Company asphalt plant. They built the new school on the other side of the asphalt plant because there were so many children a way down there with no way to get over to "this side" of town, and I taught that one teacher school there. The next year I got a school at home. I taught there four years, I believe, before my health began to fail.

Langham was the only school here then. (Talked about Horace, her son, starting to school. Edna Barron was his teacher.)

The earliest history I can remember of the city is having no telephones except for one in the Freeman building. The Freemans had some kind of store building; as I can recall, it was mostly hardware. They were located in the block on the other (east) side of Gardner's store (1155 Boston), same side of the street. I recall vividly that I had mumps in the month of January after I was married, caught from the (Glenn) Spencer boy jumping into my lap, and I got quite sick. While I was sick, a man rode up on horseback right to our front steps and said, "You are wanted on the telephone down at Freemans (which was five blocks away)." I wrapped my head up and almost ran all the way to Freemans to answer that phone. There was another school teacher in Nederland then whose name was almost the same as mine, and she was the one they wanted.

The first telephone building was on the corner of Twelfth and Chicago (403 12th, now a vacant lot). An old friend from Beaumont, Lula Nelson, was working in the telephone office there, and they sent her down here to work. Her phone number was 43-W. She asked for phone number 1, but was told that that number went only to businesses, and Roach Drug Store (Nederland Pharmacy) had phone No. 1 for many years.

Lots around me on Fifteenth Street sold for $100 in those days. That's what we paid for this one and the one we built on. The house next door is my old home. We built it while we were getting ready to get married. We bought all of our "household effects" on credit. Jim was making $2.50 a day in those days. We went to Phoenix (Furniture) in Beaumont and bought all of our furniture. My brother gave me a cook stove, a coal oil stove. Jim worked at Gulf refinery (in Port Arthur, now Chevron). He went to work there in June, 1913.

Mr. (John) Kaper offered us "that house" (pointing across street at 323 Fifteenth) and the lot Crissy (Mrs. B. O. Newton) lives on for $4,000. The old Paulus place (504 Fourteenth) wasn't quite finished on the interior - it was offered to us along with three lots for $1,350. The lots we bought belonged to people named Waters.

My maiden name was Jones. We lived in China; moved there in "ought two" (1902) from Chambers County. My father was a farmer on a rather small scale. He owned about forty acres of woodland and raised and butchered hogs, cured the meat. He owned as many as 100 heads of range cattle. There was open prairie range then, no fences or anything. We lived on cattle, hogs, turkeys, eggs, corn, cotton. He fed corn to his stock that he raised. And he raised peaunuts...."great loads of them"....wagon loads.

Did Mr. (James H.) Goodwin live here before you were married? No, he lived in the country. They farmed rice. They rice farmed near Beaumont and finally went over to ...(Amelia?)...where I had taught the year before. Margaret (Cooke) was teaching in China, and boarded right close to me and she was at our house a lot. Bob (Goodwin) would come down there to see her and they would all go to church in China. That's where I met Jim. He was going with one of the Turner girls. She was a great church worker. One day he (Jim) said, "Who goes with this Jones girl?" They had a play on February 14 and had a flag on the stage and I (Carrie) was trying to get it down after the affair and Jim saw me and came over to help me. When rice farming time was over, Jim went to work for the county---guarding county prisoners working on the roads. He would do any honest work, didn't make any difference, just so he could feed his horse. I kept his horse for him some --- he had a horse and buggy -- and when he didn't need it, I kept it.

We lived with Bob and Margaret (Goodwin) during the first two weeks after we were married, waiting for our house to be finished. Bob and Margaret married first, and Katherine (Poage) was born before Jim and I were married. John (Goodwin, son of Margaret) was born in June after we married. Margaret was pregnant and wouldn't play the organ for our wedding because of that. We were married in the little Methodist church in China that she went to -- on Sunday morning and the house was full. Then we went to Beaumont and had dinner at the Crosby House -- in the Dutch room. It had a plate rail around the walls with old-fashioned dark blue plates on it -- with windmills, etc. The whole wedding party went, and the dinner cost only $14.00. Jim went in before hand to make arrangements, and the Negro man who waited on them asked what he wanted served. Mr. G. said, "We'll have to talk about that." And the Negro man said, "Why don't you let me take care of that?" And we had plump, little baked ducks, each person had one, with all of the dressing. And then they had slices of cake with ice cream. And of all things, we had oyster cocktail, and I can't stand them. "I don't know how I got by with it but I did." That night we went to the First (Methodist) Church in Beaumont, and sat near the front. Preacher's name was Goddard, from Galveston. His wife sat by us, and he came down to see who his wife was sitting by, and he said, "Why J. C. Marshall (Nederland's Methodist minister, 1919-20) was over here last week talking to me about that wedding. It was his first wedding." And his text was, "What is there in life for me?" ----just as if he saw us coming. I will never forget that sermon.

I came to my house (after staying with Margaret G.) on the last day of December (1915), and Jim was working the 3-11 shift. And Margaret didn't want me to stay by myself, but I told her I had to start sometime.

Brother (P. I.) Milton was preacher here when I came. I didn't think that he also preached in Port Neches. No, I mean he was here when I taught in Port Neches. That was 1908-1909, that's when Milton was here. I remember because he visited me and asked me to come to church, but I had to go home to China to visit with my Mother and Dad on weekends. Sometimes Jim met the train when I go off here on Sunday night, .....and sometimes I rode the hack - two-seated with a fringe on top - 50 cents to Port Neches. (Ed.'s Note: This was the hack that Bill Haizlip discussed in his memoirs, driven by Lloyd Johnson, which delivered the Port Neches star route, but which also met all incoming Nederland trains in search of passengers for Port Neches.)

Dr. Haizlip was the physician here when I arrived in Nederland. Mrs. G. told about going to see Dr. H. when "he had a little old place by the post office." He died soon afterwards (1938). (Ed.'s Note: For a few months prior to his death, Dr. Haizlip's last office was next to the old wooden post office at 1144 Boston, which was replaced by a brick building in 1940. The old wooden building was removed to 216 Thirteenth St., where it remained the Nederland city hall for about ten years.)

Mrs. Carrie Goodwin then talked about......there being so few people in Nederland back then......pushing Horace in his stroller...going to post office....then across the track to the big two-story house where Will Goodwin lived then....when she got there her purse was not on the stroller....so she walked back and there was her purse, still in the middle of the street. (Main, now Boston) No one had come along Boston during that length of time that she was gone from her purse. The (John) Wares later lived in the Will Goodwin house....Will Goodwin then moved from there to Goodwin Avenue in Port Neches, where Audrey still lives, and others. Will was Jim and Bob's brother. Audrey (Goodwin) married (Wm.) Waggoner.

Everybody is good to me. I owe so much to the Nederland people. I used to teach Sunday school in a little room, built on the back of the church, that was also used for a choir room, preacher's study, etc. Told of fixing up that room. Bought four seats from a lumber yard. Got money somehow. They were little seats, but made just like the seats in the old church. And I had that room full of little folks.

I was recently reminiscing about how Jim and I used to sit on the front porch and watch and listen for the Interurban trolley to go by. There was a switching place just up about a block from our house (324 Fifteenth) toward Beaumont, where the train (electric 2-car trolley) from Port Arthur would get off the main track (on sidetrack) and wait while the Interurban from Beaumont passed by. (Ed.'s Note: By this description, this sidetrack would have been where Detroit intersects Sixteenth Street. In early-day Nederland, Detroit, then called Neches St., ran only two blocks west of 15th Street, with only two houses on it, the Lawrence Koelemay home at 1516 Detroit, now a day care center, and the S. R. Carter home - now torn down, on school property at 17th Street and Detroit.)

When Jim would hear that, he would know it was time to go out and get on the Interurban to ride to Port Arthur. He worked at Gulf Refinery from 1913 on, and for many years, until they bought their first Ford car, he rode the Interurban to work. When he got to downtown Port Arthur at the Interurban station, he would get off the Interurban and catch the street car out to the Gulf refinery.

We had no city facilities whatsoever for many years. We had a cistern for water. We had kerosene lamps for lights. I particularly remember one evening when we went out in our back yard - there weren't many trees around here then - and we counted how many kerosene lamps we could see from our back yard and we counted 18 in just the houses close around us.

Did I say that we were married on December 12, 1915? Jim went to work for Gulf in June, 1913, about 2 1/2 years before our marriage. During the 1915 storm, water reached the tank farm. (Ed.'s Note: the remnants of that tank farm, with all tanks now removed, still belongs to Texaco at the southwest corner of Twin City and Highway 365.) We drove down there then and watched the flat boats bringing refugees to Nederland from Port Arthur. We had terrible mosquitoes, especially in 1918. Cattle running loose would come up on people's porches trying to escape from them because mosquitoes stayed pretty much in the grass. Men had to wear mosquito bars whenever they went to work, and we had to screen our milk cow's stall so the poor beast could get some respite from the insects.

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