Mrs. Mary Richards

Cameron, Texas
January 1937
Submitted by: March, 2004
Obit image

Funeral services for Mrs. Mary Richards, 90, were held in the North Elm Baptist church on Friday, Jan. 8, 1937, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Mrs. Richards, died in the home of her daughter, Mrs. M.W. Price in Cameron. She had been in feeble health for months and had been in bed. She was found dead in bed by Mrs. Price who took her breakfast to the room about 9 a.m.

When news came of the death of Grandma Richards there gripped the hearts of many a bereavement born of genuine sorrow.

Native of Georgia

Mrs. Richards was a native of Georgia, the daughter of Southern pioneers. She came to Texas with her family of 13 children following the death of her husband, the late Robert Richards, also a pioneer Southern man. They were married in Bartow County, Georgia, in 1868 two years after the close of the civil war.

She sprang from a family of American pioneers who made history. Her life spanned almost a hundred years of the most stirring times in the history of the United States.

Mother of 13

Left with 13 children, two of whom had married, she came to Texas, and had lived to rear them to mature years, seeing them all married and established in life. When she died there were 57 grand children and 67 great grand children and four great, great grand children to survive her.

The body of the pioneer mother lay in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Price all day Thursday. At 2 p.m. Friday the funeral procession left the home for the old community cemetery at North Elm. It was a cold day. Bleak winds blew out of the North and rain fell, mixed with sleet. The little white church she had attended for many years, sits on a sloping hill side. To the South across the road lies an old cemetery. In it are buried pioneers who settled the North Elm community many years ago.

Many Pay Tribute
The church was packed to capacity as Rev. O.C. Acrey, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, opened the service with Bible reading and prayer. The rich gray casket banked with flowers was in full view of the old neighbors and friends who braved the cold to look upon the face of Grandma Richards for the last time before she was put away in the ground South of that road across which many bodies have been borne by neighbors. Every eye was moist. Strong men fought back tears as they heard her life praised by her pastor, Rev. Vernon G. Miles of the First Baptist church in Cameron. Grandma moved her membership here many years ago.

Touching Tribute

It was a touching tribute the pastor paid her. She had been a Christian believer for more than three quarter of a century. She had reared 13 children. Here was a real pioneer woman with snow white hair, dead after 90 years and her influence so strong in the lives of her neighbors that the eloquence of the pulpit seemed lost in the breathless presence of one who had lived and wrought so well. Rev. Miles' words found instant echo in the hearts of all. The choir sang another song and the procession to the cemetery began after neighbors had filed by the casket to say farewell to Grandma, whom the pastor assured all, had gone to Heaven. It was an impressive hour in the silence of a country church far off the beaten road.

Buried by Son
They took her casket and placed it in the hearse then drove over the road to the grave. Another memory flooded the hearts of the people who stood in the North wind to see Grandma buried. There by the side of her newly dug grave was another mound. A little over a year ago they buried her baby boy in the old enclosure. He was the late George Richards, slain in Cameron in line of duty as an officer. It was known that Grandma had grieved much for her son. She had lived with him. He had been tender to her in the closing years of her life. Later she found another home and care. It was Mrs. Price who found the time and means to care for her in the last days of her life.

The ministers said a prayer each and the body was lowered into the earth. It was the last thing to be done for Grandma Richards. Tears fell where moist earth had been spaded up to receive her. The wind swept down in cold fury, rustling the flowers into colorful beauty. They had buried her, the pioneer woman whose life will ever be a benediction in the hearts of many.

Pall bearers were grandsons. The nine surviving children are as follows: A.B. Richards of North Elm; Mrs. Annie Weems, Cameron; T.V. Richards, Minerva; Mrs. Willie Fagg, Cameron; Mrs. M.W. Price, Cameron; Mrs. Amanda Walden, Liberty; Mrs. Lucy Clifton, Ben Arnold; Mrs. Fannie Collins, Oxford, Alabama; and Mrs. J.M. Fuller of Yarrelton.

The four children who died were: Mrs. Patsie Carey, Mrs. Ruby Philips, J.P. Richards, and George Richards.


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December 29, 2006 1:56 PM