Who Did You Think You Were ?


John Roy Harris


IV.  John Roy Harris

Born: September 24, 1894

in Mineral Wells, Texas

Died: February 2, 1972 in Mineral Wells, Texas

Bertha Fay Lamkin

Born: October 31, 1896 in Parker, Texas

Died: June 2, 1942 in Palo Pinto, Texas

Married: 1924 in Mineral Wells, Texas


Dessie Belle Morris

Born: August 8, 1895 in Cresson, Texas

Died: August 27, 1985 in Mineral Wells, Texas

Married: December 21, 1942 in Mineral Wells, Texas

During his growing up years, Roy was the nemesis of his sisters and they tell many stories of the hard times he gave them, such as the time he pointed a gun at them and got them to believe he would shoot them if they didn't stand on one leg for several hours. Of course, the gun wasn't loaded but they didn't know it.


Roy enlisted in the Army during WWI and served time in Germany as an ambulance driver.


Roy and Bertha were married in 1924 and shortly thereafter they moved to DeRidder, Louisiana where Bertha had a teaching contract and Roy worked in a sawmill. At this point they owned a Model T and after much persuasion, Bertha got him to agree to drive her to the Gulf so she could see the beach for the first time in her life. In due course they arrived at the beach where he proceeded to turn the car around, without stopping, and returned to DeRidder.


After a year, they returned to the Mineral Wells area where Roy secured work at the Reliance Clay Products Brick Yard. He was to remain there for thirty five years and was foreman of the machine room for many years. He retired from the yard in 1959.


Bertha, a 1919 graduate of Hardin-Simmons College, had suffered from Tuberculosis during her college years and her health began to deteriorate in the mid thirties. Her sister, the late Effie Walker, lived with us for a time to help care for Bertha, Bruce and Roy Ray. She did the cooking, housework, etc. Bertha died in 1942. After Bertha's death, Roy married the former Dessie Morris and they lived in Salesville where Dessie taught school for many years. Initially, they lived in the old Morris farmhouse before buying a house on property across the road. This house was their home for the remainder of their lives.


After his retirement, Roy enjoyed raising and trading cattle and working around the home place. He and Dessie enjoyed playing "forty-two" with their friends and Roy always enjoyed the times his grandchildren came to visit. Dessie was a superb cook and Roy spent a great deal of time with the children and they loved to go to the "farm". This place is still a source of pleasure for Bruce and Roy Ray. Bruce and Carolyn, living in the Dallas area find it a pleasant retreat and Roy Ray tries to spend some time there every year now that he is retired.


Roy worked very hard during his working years and was able to enjoy his years of retirement and was physically active until shortly before his death in 1972 at age 77. Dessie lived to the ripe old age of 90 and died in 1985.




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