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P.O. Box 118826
Carrollton, TX  75011-8826



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James Absalom Fooshee   1861 -


Came to Montague County (Eagle Point?) about 1880

Bowie News August 1901

JUDGE BARRETT appointed W. I. GARNER of this place, C. A. WILSON of Bowie and J.A. FOOSHEE of Nocona as commissioners to select juries the January term.

He had a Grocery and Dry Goods Store. Among his many customers was W. A. McCall. See Receipt.

Memories of JA Fooshee by Don C. Peterson. ( Grandson )

I knew Mr. Peterson. He was very intelligent and well spoken. The language used here is an attempt to capture the color of the language of the pioneers.

He was always real frugal. He would pick up nails on the way to work. And he had a concrete floor in the back in the grocery part of his store and an old hammer and he'd straighten those nails out and chunk 'em in a keg and whenever we got reedy to build a new farm or a new fence or anything he'd say, "There's you a keg of nails right there." And he'd a have them all straightened out. He didn't like to buy new nails when he had, a whole keg of those old ones.  

He had an old horse named Sam--lived to be 20, 30 years old. When a kid would get on him he'd be just a gentle as he could be. I'd ride him anywhere. I'd put him on a buggy. But when my granddaddy or any man got on him he would be real frisky. He never would buck or jump with a kid on him, but he would with a man  on him, just a little bit. He got him from a fella named Sam Hadley and that's why he named him Sam. Old man Hadley just died a few years ago. My grand dad always named horses after the fella that he got 'em from. So he'd remember where he got him.  

When people would run credit up too high they tell me that he'd get deputized and get those leather breeches on and a 6 shooter and they said when they saw old man Jim Fooshee coming with those leather breeches on they knew they'd better get  the money, 'cause he's comin' after 'em.

He told me the story one time himself that he went into Okla which was Indian Territory at that time on a collecting foray and he got sick. He musta had the flu or typhoid fever or something. Anyway he musta been pretty sick cause he fell of his horse and when he came to which was several days later his horse and saddle were gone and he was lying there beside a tree. But he got up and he walked down the road and he came to a colored church and they were having services. It was a bunch of freed slaves that had a community there and they were having a revival meeting and he asked them if he could address the crowd. And of course they were glad for him to do so and he got up in front of the group and told them that he was a student of phrenology. That he could feel of the bumps of the head and foretell the past, the present, and the future and the personality and all this and he offered to give them a free demonstration.  And he got a little boy up off the front row and he said, "I could hear 'em whispering and telling enough about this kid to figure out you know what to say about him, but I felt of his head and foretold his future and everything" and he offered to give readings  under the oak tree out in the yard when services were over. And he said, "You know--I made enough money on that to get me a new horse and saddle and had 15.12 left over in cash when I came back to Texas but he said I might as well have been feeling of their big toe for all the good it did.  

Another time he was over there and a guy owed him some money but couldn’t pay him in money but he  paid him off in 15 mustangs  but he gave him 15 wild mustangs and he had these 15 wild horses and he was driving them by himself and he got back to Red River and it was in flood stage. And he didn't know how he was gonna get those fifteen horses back across the river so he tied the tail of one to the nose of the next one in long single file and ran 'em off in the river and drove them over the river and  got home with all his horses.  

My Granddad used to defend a lot of those cowboys. Held a made a good  lawyer they'd get drunk on the street and get arrested and thrown in jail and he'd go down and plead their case for em .

When they were interviewing him (Grandaddy Fooshee) for this job on the school board one of the members of the school board asked my granddad , "Do you teach that the world's flat or round?" And he didn't know whether they were trying to trap him or not because you know back then there was still some conjecture whether the world was flat or round and he said, "Well, I'm prepared to teach either way the school board  wants me to teach it." So he got the job because he was prepared to teach that the world was either flat or round.

He was 30 years old and my grandmother 15 when they married. And she had gone to school to him and he met her in school. They moved from Pilot Point down there up to Eagle Point. I guess that was before they moved down there in the bottom, It might've been about the same time. But anyway she told me that he gave her a little pony for a wedding present and she'd ride that pony back over there to where her Mother and Dad lived, and her brothers and sisters. And she said she'd go back over there not because she's homesick, but she went back to play with the kids. But she's told my wife and she's told me that she's looked back and felt sorry how she'd do because she wasn't a woman and didn't realize that a man needed 3 meals a day as hard has he's working and she'd go off and stay a week, two weeks at a time and she used to really get on Betty when it was about time for me to come home. She'd say, "You'd better get on home and get supper ready. Your man's coming in in a little while."  

They bought a 5 acre tract on the edge of town out of the corner of the Jordon (Jerdan) ranch. The payments were 116.67 a year and my grandmother told me that they had a hard time raising the money to make the annual mortgage payment on that place even though they had a store. There just wasn't any money, it was all barter system.  

He told me about the Civil War. He used to remember that when they lived in Tennessee. Little boys back then wore dresses kinda lookin little deals till they were big enough to wear short pants. I guess little boys and little girls both wore these kinda little shirttail deals. And that he remembered that he was a little boy and the Confederate Army came marching by the house and the big kids put him on a fence by the side of the road and he was too little to get down--that was how come him to stay up there--and when these soldiers would come by they would reach out with their guns and they were flipping up the front of his dress and it was embarrassing him and making him mad and he was too little to do anything about it and too little to get off the fence and he just had to stand there and take it.  

Memories of his father by J.A. Fooshee

When they ( J.A. Fooshee's parents from Tenn.) came that far, they put a crop  in in Ector but that land around Ector is that black bottom land--gumbo--and they never had seen land like that before and they thought it was terrible, they didn't know how to farm it and they kept on going west till they got back into sandy ground.   But that land down around Ector is a lot better land than around Montague County. They went to Sherman to buy the groceries. It may have been a year after they got married, because they didn't have any money--the railroad ended in Sherman so everybody had to go to Sherman--that was the end of the line. They went down there to buy furniture and whatever they needed to set up housekeeping that's where you had to go to get it. And they left the side railings of the bed down there. They brought back the headboards and the mattress and springs, I guess if there were any, but they forgot the side rails so they had to sleep on the floor for a year till they could get back to Sherman. Seventy miles--that's a pretty good wagon ride right out across the open prairie.

He often told me he only had two bad habits in his entire lifetime and old age cured one and Prohibition cured the other one.



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