Mary Elizabeth Smith, called “Lizzie” by her family, was the second daughter born to James T. and Sarah (Sanders) Smith. She was lively and fun, always getting into mischief and pulling pranks, and married when she was twenty to Everett Earnest Sandefur, also twenty, the son of Lucian A. Sandefur and Mary Emily Beck.
Everett and Lizzie went to Texas on their honeymoon, and I have a good studio picture of them sitting in a buggy in front of a store in Beaumont. !n 1912, they were living in Orange, Texas, not far from Beaumont, when their daughter was born. Later, they lived in Edgerly, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana for a period of several years, before moving to Palestine, Texas. Everett went to work in a store there, and in later years owned his own grocery store in Palestine.
This couple had one child, a daughter, Joye, who married Frank Moore, in 1931. They had no children.
My grandmother and her older sister were very close and their two families lived together in a number of different places. Joye was like another sister to my dad and his three sisters.
March 7, 1977 tape – Retha: “Tell about Auntie fighting at Bunker Hill when you started home from school. (Laughter)”
Grandmother: “Well I was quite small, and Auntie was four years older than me. But from the time we got out of school after we had started home, and there was boys and girls all the way, and they would have a fight. They chunked at each other, playing, you know. Not really fighting…just scuffling. And I think they called it Bunker Hill. Auntie would pull off her fascinator (that you put over your head and tied them under each end to keep you warm.) …Auntie would pull off her fascinator and that’s where they would have their last battle on their way home. They would get her fascinator and throw it up in the trees…so it would catch up in the trees. There were three roads, and they turned one way and we turned the other. And she would get their cap…and no telling what she did do with that…probably went higher than the trees, knowing Auntie.”
“Oh, at Easter we always got new hats and shoes, and clothes. And Ella and I both got us an Easter hat. And it was called leghorn. And it was white and had red roses on it…for Easter. And it was real broad-brimmed. And the next Easter, I believe it was, I got one that was real pretty…it was kindly turban shaped, straw…pretty straw, and it had a veil over the crown and then inside, it had a whole wreath of forget-me-nots. Blue ones and pink ones. It was real pretty and I really liked that hat. Yes, that’s what we wore. We always had new dresses and new slippers…new clothes for Easter. Ma made all of those dresses because she had a sewing machine. That’s why Della did a lot of the house work, because Ma did all the sewing. Della was real good.”
Della Catherine Smith Taylor & Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Smith Sandefur,
Sisters - the two oldest daughters of James Thomas & Sarah (Sanders) Smith
Mary Elizabeth Smith
May 10, 1885 – July 8, 1975
Auntie told me a number of stories about growing up that I wish I had recorded but did not. One of the things she told was about her grandmother, Kitty Ann Smith, and her children, sitting around in chairs picking cotton seeds out of cotton bolls and putting the seeds in cups. Each child had a cup. They were doing this when the Rebels came and invaded their farm and took their wagon and blue geese, and tried to find her money. However she had it wrapped up in her quilt scrap pieces in her lap and they didn’t find it. I do have this story below that Auntie told me:
"Auntie said their house was a big two-story house, painted white, with pretty wall paper. The bedrooms were all upstairs and they had one bedroom downstairs. They had alots of flowers and the prettiest garden with peonies that looked like wax - red and white. At the end of the garden walk, the landscape stair-stepped, and they had a grape arbor with slatted roof-top.
Auntie said that Grandma Sanders' house had a summer kitchen where they cooked and canned.
She also said they had a dog, named Old Sport that bit Grandmother once by the chimney.
They had a smoke house out behind the house. She could remember that her father killed 16 hogs one cold winter day, and there are lots of people there. They let her walk to Grandma Sanders' house to get a knife to use in the hog-killing.
Lilacs arrived in the early spring and those hardy shrubs filled spring with its delicate scent and profusion of blooms - white and purple.
When Auntie and Uncle got married in 1905, they came to Texas on their honeymoon - and Joye gave me a picture of them taken in Beaumont, sitting in a fine looking buggy - and they were a good-looking young couple.
They moved to Palestine, Texas in 1929 - probably from Mexia in Limestone County. At one time, Uncle had a filling station, and Frank worked in it after school. I've forgotten who told me that. He next had a grocery store. Uncle's Grocery Store,"Sandefur's Grocery" store was located at 601 West Reagan Street, Palestine, according to the 1937-1938 Palestine City directory. Their residence was in the Southview Addition. Ten years later in the 1947-1948 city directory, both addresses remained unchanged.
E. E. Sandefur Rites Wednesday
Obituary from the Palestine Daily Herald,
Tuesday, June 22, 1954
E. E. SANDEFUR RITES WEDNESDAY
Funeral services for E. E. Sandefur, 68, will be held in the Bailey Funeral Chapel at 6 p.m. Wednesday with the Rev. Morris House, pastor of First Methodist Church, officiating.
Burial will follow in New Addition Cemetery.
Mr. Sandefur died at 7:15 p.m. Monday in Memorial Hospital, following an illness.
Born in Beaver Dam, Kentucky, he came to Palestine to make his home in 1929. He had operated Sandefur Grocery Store here for the past 19 years.
Pallbearers will be Fred Rogers, J. D. Glenn, Lacy Kendrick, Robert Bristow, Bill Presley, O. R. Williams, Weldon Bynum and Ed Lockey.
Survivors include his wife; one daughter, Mrs. Frank Moore of Palestine; three brothers, C. W. Sandefur of Mexia, Adrian Sandefur of Pasadena, Calif., and John Sandefur of Alamosa, Colo; and one sister, Mrs. Virginia Taylor of Beaver Dam.
Obituary from The Palestine Daily Herald,
Wednesday, July 9, 1975
Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Sandefur of Palestine, died Tuesday morning in a local hospital following a long illness.
Funeral services will be held in Bailey Memorial Chapel at 2 p.m. Thursday with the Rev. Jim Crawford officiating. Burial will be in New Addition Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be J. D. Glenn, W. A. Fuller, Jr., Robert Bristow, Weldon Bynum, Herbert Schuler and David Dial.
Mrs. Sandefur was born May 10, 1885 in Ohio County, Kentucky, to James T. and Sarah Sanders Smith. She had resided in Palestine for the past 46 years and was preceded in death by her husband, Everett E. Sandefur, on June 21, 1954. Mrs. Sandefur was a long standing member of the First United Methodist Church and Women's Society of Christian Service.
Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. Frank Moore of Palestine; three sisters, Mrs. J. N. Cox of New Summerfield, Mrs. Della Taylor of Beaver Dam, Ky., and Mrs. Roy T. Stewart of Cromwell, Ky.; two brothers, Ellis Smith and H. X. Smith, both of Cromwell, Ky. and several nieces and nephews.