Queen City Of The Sand Flats
On January 19, 1913 Ancil Streetman and Mary Willis began a marriage which was to last for sixty-six years
On January 19, 1913 Ancil Streetman and Mary Willis began a marriage which was to last for sixty-six years. Ancil Hewitt Streetman was born in Clarksville, Florida on February 14, 1888, the fifth child of Charlie Mack Streetman and Margaret M. E. Cook. Margaret, who was the sister of Richard Cook, died the following year and Ancil was raised by Charlie Mack's second wife, Clara Parasata Cook, the daughter of Richard Cook. In 1905 the Streetman family, including Ancil, moved to Texas and took up residence in the Rockhill community north of Grapeland. Ancil continued to live at home with his father's 'love and affection'. Ancil received 100 acres of land at the Rockhill crossroads. Mary Almira Willis was born April 28, 1891 in Altha, Florida, the third child of John P. Willis and Lucy Jane Lamb. The Willis family had arrived in the panhandle area of Florida in the late 1840s. William Willis, a native ofSouth Carolina, had taken up residence in Calhoun County in 1848 with four children: Demcy (1841), Joseph (1843), Miram (1845), and Anna (1847). After settling in the area, four more children followed: Samuel (1850), William (1856), James (1858) and Mary (1859). Joseph, the second child married Lucinda Richards around 1865 and produced two children, John Pickney or Pinkney (1866) and Nancy (1867) before dying, legend has, in a carriage accident. John and Nancy were then raised by Jefferson Richards, Lucinda's brother, until 1887 when, upon reaching the age of twenty-one, he received the benefits of his father's estate of $150.00. Lucinda Richards, John's mother, was the daughter of another pioneer family of the region. The Richards family had arrived in the area in 1821, when Thomas Cupples Richards filed a claim for 640 acres on the west bank of the Apalachicola River. Thomas produced seven children. The second child, John George Richards (1797) married twice, the second time to Francis Grantham who was the mother of Lucinda. Lucy Lamb's parents were John Lamb (1825) and Almira Peacock (1827). Almira's family apparently had arrived in Florida quite early also as Almira was listed with her father William Peacock (1795) as a Florida born native. After their marriage in 1913, Ancil and Mary settled on the land he had acquired from his father, and built a house about two hundred yards south of the crossroads leading to the school/church grounds and the road to Grapeland. Ancil became a farmer and rancher, which was to be his primary occupation for the rest of his life. On October 12, 1913 their first child, a son, R. C. was born followed in 1916 by their second son Cecil Gilbert, born May 13, 1916. In 1919, on June 16th their last son Coy Wilson was born and finally on November 5, 1923, the pride of the family, a daughter, Floy Elizabeth was born. Water had always been a problem for the people of the Rockhill area because of the low water table, so in 1938 the family moved to a location father south called the "Shifflet Place" where the family leased approximately a hundred acres and lived for the next twenty years. R. C. Streetman (oldest son of Ancil and Mary Streetman) left home at a relatively young age and married Dorothy Taylor and became the father of seven children. They were Mary Nell, Ella Jean called ‘Sissy’, Jeanette, Joyce Ann, and Harry Taylor called `Sonny', Joe Neil, and Raymond Cecil. R. C. left theHouston County area and settled in Houston, Texas, where he lived until his death on May 5, 1969 in Crockett, Texas. The descendents of R. C. and Dorothy Streetman are as follows: Mary Nell Streetman married Dan Barkley and had five children- Debbie, Lisa, Ty, Ronnie and Kim. Debbie Barkley married George Vacek and their children were Thasha and Arrick Vacek. Ty Barkley married Judy and had one daughter, Tyra. Ronnie Barkley married Cindy. Kim Barkley married Dale Holfert and their two children were Stephanie and Nicholas. Ella Jean (Sissy) Streetman had one child, Tiffany. Jeanette Streetman had two sons: Doyce Waldrop and Roman Robinson. Joyce Ann Streetman married Dan Hankammer and had three sons- Danny, Mitch and Mike. Harry Streetman married Wanda and had four children: Taylor, Mitchell, Timmy and Randy. Joe Streetman married Linda and had two children Terry and David Scott. Raymond Cecil Streetman married Chris and had a daughter Christy. Cecil Gilbert Streetman, the second son of Ancil and Mary Streetman, served in the U. S. Army for a short time (1936-37) before obtaining a medical discharge for a congenital heart condition. He returned to the Houston- Anderson area where in 1944 he married Melba Hendon of Elkhart. On July 11, 1945, a son, Cecil Gene was born followed three years later by a second son, John R., born February 29 (leap year day), 1948. In 1955, Gilbert moved to Houston to work with his brother, R. C. While in Houston two more children were born. They were Leila Gayle born October 23, 1957 and Robert Huitt born April 7, 1959. In the summer of 1968, because of the failing health of his parents, Gilbert and his family returned to Grapeland where Gilbert worked until his death on April 16, 1985. The descendents of the children of Cecil Gilbert and Melba Streetman are: Cecil Gene Streetman who has three children-Tommy, Glenn, and Kimberly; and John Streetman who has two children-Miranda Spring and Amanda Skylar. Coy Wilson Streetman (third son of Ancil and Mary Streetman), graduated from Elkhart High School and went on to Baylor University. At the beginning of World War II, he left the university to serve in the Army Air Corps. In 1941, he married Caretta Benner of Luling, Texas and had two children: Coy Wilson Jr. or "Sonny" born in 1943 and Mary Margaret, born in 1946. Coy left the armed services at the end of the war and began a career with the railroad that was to last for forty years until his retirement in 1982. He is now retired and lives in Schulenburg, Texas. Caretta Streetman died on February 3, 1986. The descendents of the children of Coy Wilson and Caretta Streetman are: Coy Streetman J. Who has five children- Robert, Mary Francis, Chris, Ashley, and Shane; Margaret Streetman who married Janak and has two children Greg and Lisa Janak? Floy Streetman, only daughter of Ancil and Mary Streetman, graduated from Grapeland High Schoolin 1941 and married Jim Hubbard Spruill on June 7, 1941. Jimmy was a building contractor, and served in World War II in the construction Battalion or C Bs. While Jimmy was engaged in the war effort, Roy did her part by working with the U. S. government on the A-bomb project in Los Alomos, New Mexico and was present at the first test blast of the bomb. After the war, the couple returned to Crockett, Texas where Jimmy started his own construction business specializing in building schools, churches, hospitals, and courthouses. The courthouse in Madisonville is a good example of his work. Jimmy and Floy became parents in 1946 with the birth of a son, Jimmy Wayne, who is now a medical doctor in Austin. The second child was a daughter, Judy Kay, who is a registered nurse in Crockett. Floy worked as a florist at her own flower shop until sidelined by vascular surgery in 1970 at which time she retired until her death on June 16, 1985. Ancil and Mary Streetman lived in Rockhill until the early 1950s at which time they moved to Grapeland. During the forty years they resided in the community of Rockhill, life was, at times, extremely difficult, as it was for most rural dwellers. Rural dwellers experienced failed crops, a lack of immediate medical aid, and for a great period, no electricity. Regardless of these trials, life in the country held much pleasure for many members of the family. Mary Streetman, for most of her adult life, served as Sunday school teacher for the local church and for many years wrote the Rockhill column in the Grapeland Messenger. Ancil Streetman obviously loved the country as evidenced by the fact that he returned there every day for as long as he could make the thirteen mile drive back. Ancil Streetman died at the age of eighty-two years and thirteen days on the 27th day of February, 1970 and was followed ten months later by his wife, Mary, who died December 19, 1970. They are remembered by their great-grandchildren.