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Books about African American Quilts

UNCONVENTIONAL AND UNEXPECTED QUILTS

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Willie Titus ( son of Edward "Ned" Titus 1867-1942) and Amanda Marie Hunter-Titus (his daughter-in-law)









Willie Titus
1867-1942

One of 11 children of Ned and Clora Titus. Born 2 years after the end of slavery in Texas. Married Mary Rauls with whom he raised 8 children.









Willie grew up in the Titus Farm community. He died at the age of 78 and was buried in the Hopewell cemetery.

He married his sweetheart, Mary Rauls who was also a descendant of ex-slaves. They had eight children. 1. Governor,2.Minnie Beria, 3.Lovie Annie, 4. Willie L.V., 5. Pinkie, 6. Hattie Mae,7. Gladys Mary and 8. Fannie Liz.

Not much is known of his educational background, but he could read, write and compute. That, in itself, was an achievement. There were many peers who were not that fortunate. He stressed the need for education to his children and grandchildren. He wanted for them something better than what he had. His children completed all the grade levels that was required. There was no illiteracy in his family.

Farming was his trade. There was much to be done. Plowing in the fields, cutting wood, mending fences, feeding and watering animals and fowl, milking cows, planting, harvesting and conserving fruit and vegetables were routine and required physical labor. One thing could be said of Willie Titus is, he provided for his family. There was always plenty to eat.

When his wife was stricken with illness and later died in 1916, Willie had to fill a dual role. With skillfulness and thriftiness, he managed his household. His older children tended the younger ones and did the household chores.

From his religious training, he learned to be reverent to God and share with others. He was a Methodist and attended Sunday School and church service at Hopewell Methodist church. On a regular basis, he lead prayer service. He had a special seat, one hewn out of a large stomp, at church. In sharing with others, Willie would plant an extra row of vegetable and fruit to give to his friends and other less fortunate ones.

Willie was a member of the Masonic Lodge and served as Worshipful Master of his chapter for a number of years.

In his spare time, Willie would fish and hunt for relaxation. With these hobbies, he would supply his family wild game and fresh fish.

The home of Willie Titus was the common meeting ground for his adult children and his grandchildren. He and his sons would park their mules and plows daily. Then, they would chit-chat for hours. When family members missed them, there was no doubt where they were. The grandchildren met there often, ate there, and slept there. At his home, one experienced a sharing and caring attitude, survival techniques, and words of wisdom.

This chapter closes on a man who was soft spoken, kind and gentle, and who was an exemplary family man in the Titus Farm Community.

Biography written by :Tommie Nell Titus-Canady for Titus_Hunter Hall of Fame
Printed by permission of Wilbur T. Titus

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Amanda Marie (A.M.) ,aka: "Sweet" Hunter-Titus married Governor Titus ,oldest child and son of Willie Titus and the grandson of Edward "Ned" Titus.


Amanda's Hunter Lineage

Amanda Marie Hunter Titus: Community Leader, Entrepreneur, Christian Wife and Mother
                                                                         
Miss Sweets' version of Sunbonnet Sue.
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All photos and history are courtesey of
Wilbur T.(Bill) Bonner-Titus.....Official Titus
Family Researcher and Historian.

    That's all for Miss Sweet. She's very good isn't she? Well there's  more good stuff in these here Freestone county Rolling Hills and Big Thicket. You won't want to miss out. So be sure to check back on a regular basis.You never know when the next treat will appear.
See Ya!!!
Sherry Ann

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Titus Farms_Hope Well Church,School and Cemetery

Map of Freestone County Texas highlighting Fai...Image via Wikipedia


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Titus Farm School was an African American school.,located on the campus of Hope Well Methodist Church, Fairfield,Texas. The Church building housed the school for many years. The school was a part of the Blount District. It was the results of efforts of freed slaves to improve the lot of their children. Edward "Ned" Titus was a member of this group.

It began as a one teacher, 6 months term school. At the time of its merger with the Fairfield Independent School District, Fairfield, Texas, it had two teachers and was considered a junior high school because it included those grades on its curriculum.

Records of the school before the merger are said to be lodged in the office of the Freestone County Judge, Fairfield, Texas.

Teachers: Reading from left to right, by rows, are the teachers listed in the chronological order of their service. This list might not be complete:

1.Mary Doggett   2. Guy Titus,Sr.  3. Hobart Durham  4. Bernice Bryant   5.Sarah Perry  6. Minnie Mae Webb   7.Joanna Webb  8. Annie Manning    9.Ena M. Titus   10.Amy G. Titus   11.Eunice Richard   12.Wilbur T. Titus  13. Julia Mae Livingston  14. Catherine Titus   15.Virvus Garrett   16.Clottiel Huckaby

MEMOIRS
*BY  Gene Lewis/ Freestone County Times/August 26,2003


......." All my childhood we lived in Blount, Texas. My Daddy cut wood and fired for the Blount Gin which set just north of the Blount School. The ole gin tank is still there....

I believe that Blount consolidated with the Fairfield District before the school year of (19) 39-40, Pilot Nob and Trinity Chapel a year or to before...

I really don't know what happened to the Spring Branch, or Titus Farm School. The Spring Branch set on the hill east of the upper end of Fairfield Lake. The Titus Farm School set near where the power plant is now. Both of these were colored schools....."


Brown's Creek (according to Wilbur T. Titus) ,also known as Titus Farm Community is located 5 miles south of Young's Mill...3 miles north of what was Blount, Texas and 10 miles northeast of Fairfield in Freestone County, Texas. It was and is predominately black, surrounded by whites.

It is situated on both sides of Brown's Creek, which with its tributaries, was the main source of water for the community.

To the east of Titus Farm are the flat woods, the Tehaucana Creek and Trinity River bottoms. To the west many white farms and ranches.

In the community, there are fertile valleys and rolling hills. There are verdant meadows and thick woods. Some of the trees found there include oaks, elm, ash, cottonwood, hickory, walnut, huckleberry, hall, persimmon and china berry.

Wild fruit found in the area include dew berries, blue or May berries, plums and grapes.

The animals found there include cottontail, swamp and jackrabbits, coons, foxes, and gray squirrels, opossums, skunks, wild hogs, deer,and bear.

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Following are two Letters written to the editors of  local Freestone county newspapers about his beloved Titus Farms and Brown's Creek.

Dear Editor:

I thought that you might find the following interesting.

History was made and an era came to its end when the Amanda M. Titus Estate was sold to TU Electric Company on April 15, l996.

The sale ended the Brown's Creek Titus Farm Community, because all other families had sold their property and moved away. This community had been settled by freed slaves and their children, who came to the northeastern part of Freestone county from Stewards Mill.

These  people bought land and built homes typical of the times. It is reported that Ned Titus and Ben Lee each began with 300 acres and added more.Others bought less, such as Sam Abney who bought 10 acres.

These people farmed their land, and worked for the rich when they could. They hunted, trapped, fished, dreamed, prayed and schemed to make a living and escape the clutches of the land barons who wanted to take their land.

They organized Hope Well Methodist and Mt. Zion Baptist churches, and began Hope Well Cemetery.

They secured Titus Farm School in which to educate their children. Some of their children, grand children and great-greats have graduated from some of the best and most prestigious colleges and universities of the nation, and have good jobs.

The economy changed. People left the farm to find employment in the cities.

Then coal mining and the power plant came, completing the demise of the community, my home. Now we move on.

Yours truly,
Wilbur T. (Bill) Titus
Fairfield

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April 27,2004---Freestone County Times     Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor:

This is in response to a letter, sent to you by one of your readers, Ken B. Sessions, who expressed an interest in the Titus Farm community and its impact upon students who continue to make contributions to society.

The community has been displaced by TXU Mining, which is located in the middle of what was the Titus Farm community. Hope Well United Methodist Church is merged with Jones Chapel United Methodist Church, and Mt Zion Baptist Church has moved to the side of the road of  I45 in Fairfield.

The school,Titus Farm Junior High School, which began as a one teacher, one room, six months school,which was a part of the Blount district, ended as a two teacher junior high school, which was merged with Dogan High School, Fairfield, Texas. The children were bused to Dogan High School (for African Americans) of the Fairfield Independent School District.

When Dogan was phased out, the students were integrated into the several Fairfield schools. Descendants of the original students attend classes in the several schools that comprise the Fairfield Independent School District.

As was the custom of the day, the church and school were housed in the same building and were the heart, the center of community life. 

This year, the Hunters and Tituses, led by the steering committee of the Hunter and Titus Family Reunion, will convene in Fairfield on July 23, 24,and 25, in the Fairfield Senior Center to celebrate; to focus on and share their rich (heritage???)......The celebration is dedicated to the memory of Titus Farm Junior High School and will feature a historical tour to sites that are important to the group......The Titus Farm Alumni wants Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas to be remembered for more than just being "the Moonshine capitol" of the nation!!! We want to highlight and show case Fairfield as a place that has made progress in all areas of life, economically, industrially, in human relations, and as a place that is becoming sensitive to the needs of ALL its people.......

Sincerely,
Wilbur T.(Bill) Bonner-Titus
Fairfield, Texas


















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