John Wilkins Family History
William John Thomas Wilkins and his wife Augusta Exar (Carpenter) Wilkins and seven of his eight children moved to Texas fromAlabama in 1915. A daughter, Ruth (Mrs. Hiram) Loper remained in Alabama, moving to Texas at a later date. The children ranged in age from 17 to 4 years and included: Willie Mae (Mrs. Alton) Dickey, Ethel (Mrs. J.E. “Bunk”) Smith, Mack, John, D.J., Hannis, and Gaston. Another son, James, was born after they arrived in Texas. The family came to Texas by train which of course, had a coal-fired engine. There being no air conditioning on the train it was necessary to keep the window open. By the time they arrived inTexas, everyone was covered by soot. After everyone took a bath and they could again recognize the children, they settled on a farm in Northeast Houston County about 6 miles east of Grapeland. It seemed to the boys that when their father was away, the proper thing to do was to pen the calves and have a rodeo, or some such activity. Sometimes these activities would elicit some rather strong reaction from their Dad. Their second son, John, married Ina Rogers; eventually purchased the family homestead and some adjoining tracts and became a successful farmer. One of the reasons he was such a successful farmer was his care for his farm and livestock. Like the time he was riding the pasture checking the cattle and saw buzzards around a baby calf. Stopping his pickup, reaching quickly for his rifle, he fired two shots through the windshield. It was never determined whether the buzzards were struck by flying glass, but they were scared away. The family of Ina Rogers also came to Texas from Alabama. Her father and mother were Walter Sneed Rogers and Sara Elmira (Alford) Rogers. Besides Ina their nine other children included: John Hubert, Mary Eva (Mrs. Mack) Ellis, Walter Robert (Bob), Clifford, Jessie, Effie (Mrs. Harry) Williams, Exar (Mrs. Roy) Teel, Arthur Lowe and James. To the marriage of John and Ina Wilkins were born four children: Bernice (Mrs. Glen) Bowley, Veva Jean (Mrs. Troy) Lively, Jimmy Rogers and Mildred Yvonne (Mrs. Loyd) Dickey.
Mr. Johnny Wilkens a very good man, I wish there were more people like him today! Charley Darsey