FHB Bertha May Watson

From Family History Book

Family History Book: Bertha May Watson (1881-1918)

The third daughter and fifth child of Charles M Watson and Mattie Smith was named Bertha May Watson, born 9 September 1881 in Alabama. She was about 10 years old when her widowed mother and brothers left Alabama for Texas. Along the way, her oldest brother, Harvey Emmett, drowned while crossing a river.
According to her mother's Bible, Bertha May married Elias Willis Calvert on 26 November 1902. They had two daughters, Leola (born 25 July 1904 in Dallas, died 14 January 1995 in San Angelo, Texas) and Billie Ethel (born 17 December 1906 in Dallas, died 20 March 1996 in Fort Worth). Bertha May died 9 October 1918, when her daughters were still schoolgirls. Their father, who was a traveling salesman, sent them to a boarding prep school in Belton, Bell County, Texas connected to Baylor Women's College. Leola was in the "First Year Academy" (equivalent to a high school freshman) while Billie (or Willie) was part of the small "School of Expression" for younger girls. The year they started school at Baylor was when the Spanish 'Flu pandemic hit. According to the 1919 "BlueBonnet" yearbook, no students died of the virus, although many were infected, beginning with two students who arrived on campus in September with the disease. The timing made me wonder if Bertha had died of the 'flu, but her death certificate indicates she had a lung disease for three years before finally succumbing to it, so that rules out the 'flu. The actual diagnosis was "pulmonory phthisis" which means ulceration of the lung tissue, which may be associated with tuberculosis.
In 1924, Leola married William Dee Hunt, who worked as a mechanic for the US Border Patrol in Marfa and El Paso, Texas. She taught school. William died in 1964, then in September 1970 Leola married John Wesley Washburn, a widower with one married daughter. He also was in the civil service, as a heavy equipment operator. He died in 1981, then Leola moved to Tacoma, Washington. She later returned to Texas and died in San Angelo in 1995. Leola had no children.
Billie (or Willie) married Wiley Guy Womack in 1927. They had two children, Shirley Gladeen Womack, born in 1929, and Robert "Bobby" Guy Womack, born in 1933. Shirley married Holman Ray Lee in 1953, and has two children, a daughter and a son, and one granddaughter.

Descendants of Bertha May Watson:

  • daughter, Leola Calvert (1904-1995)
  • daughter, Billie Ethel Calvert (1906-1996)
    • granddaughter, Shirley Gladeen Womack (1929 - )
      • great-granddaughter (living)
        • great-great-granddaughter (living)
      • great-grandson (living)
    • grandson, Robert "Bobby" Guy Womack (1933 - )
      • 4 great-granddaughters (living)
      • 1 great-grandson (living)

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