Steven Butler's Family History Website



The Jenkins Family
William Jenkins [1] | William Jenkins [2] | Francis Jenkins [1] | Francis Jenkins [2] | Francis Jenkins [3]
Lorenzo C. Jenkins | Thos. William Jenkins | William N. Jenkins | William Ollie Jenkins

William Newton Jenkins

W N Jenkins signature>

William Newton Jenkins, the fourth child and third son of Thomas William Jenkins and his wife Louisa, was born December 20, 1881 on a farm near the community of Powderly in Lamar County, Texas.

During the years when William Newton Jenkins was growing up on his parents’ farm near Powderly, one of the Jenkins family’s nearest neighbors was the family of Isaac F. and Ada Ann Morrison (see Morrison family), who came to Texas about 1885 from Kentucky. Both families were large and it seems that many friendships developed between their children. One of these friendships blossomed into love and in 1892 the two families were united by the marriage of William’s older sister Emma Jenkins to Andrew Morrison.

William Newton Jenkins and friends at Hinckley, Texas
William Newton Jenkins (second from left) and friends at Hinckley, Texas, about 1900. Courtesy Michael Hayes.

On July 14, 1900, those family ties were strengthened further when nineteen-year-old William Newton Jenkins married Emmerine Morrison, who was not only seven years older than her husband (born July 25, 1874) but also had a child born out of wedlock, a two or three-year-old daughter named Lena May, who was deaf and dumb (or as some would say in this more enlightened time, "hearing and speech impaired").

Jenkins and Morrison families
In this detail from a Jenkins-Morrison family portrait, a young William Newton Jenkins can be seen on the far left, with his future wife, Emmerine Morrison on the far right. Courtesy Michael Hayes.

Together, William Newton Jenkins and his wife Emmerine had three children: Lillie Pearl, born June 21, 1901; William Ollie, born June 7, 1902; and Isaac Newton, born November 15, 1903.

On February 4, 1903, William Newton Jenkins purchased 49 acres of land from his father, T.W. Jenkins, and mother, Louisa I. Jenkins, in return for a $200 promissory note. (Lamar County Deed Book 105, pp. 244-5). This land lay adjacent to his father's property and also the property of William's brother-in-law, Andrew Morrison. It was described as lying "about 7 miles north of Paris, Texas (the county seat) and "out of the Texas & New Orleans R. R." survey. The distance is in fact about 12 miles.

Sadly, the marriage of William and Emmerine was a short one. On March 4, 1904, not long after the birth of her last child, Emmerine Jenkins died at her home at Powderly, Texas of septicemia (blood poisoning). Whether this was the result of some injury or was related to childbirth we do not know. However, the latter cause seems the more likely. Emmerine was only twenty-nine years old at the time of her death. She was buried at Faubion Cemetery (a.k.a., Lamar County Cemetery) in a grave that remains unmarked to this day. Its location has been lost to history.

On April 10, 1905, the same day that his father acknowledged that William had paid off the note for the 49 acres of land that he bought from him in 1903, William sold 40-acres of that same property to one R. E. Taylor, paid $400 for the property (Lamar County Deed Book 110, p. 524).

On June 30, 1909, a little more than five years after the death of his first wife, William Newton Jenkins remarried. His second wife was twenty-year old Mary Celesta Usleton (born February 8, 1889), with whom he had a fourth child, Roy Dulaney Jenkins. Sadly, the child, who was born April 14, 1910, lived only a few days, dying on April 25. No other children were born to this couple but "Lestie," as her husband called her, devoted herself to being a mother to her three stepchildren. In doing so, she became one of those rarest of human beings — a stepmother who both loves and is loved by the children who she has taken to her heart.

William Newton Jenkins and family about 1910
From left to right: On the farm in Lamar County, Texas: William Newton Jenkins, an unidentified neighbor, William's sister, Beadie, William's mother, Louisa Jenkins, and his three children, Issac Newton, William Ollie, and Lillie Pearl. Courtesy Michael Hayes.

It appears that after the death of his first wife, William Newton sent his own step-daughter, Lena, to live with members of her mother’s family. In 1910, when she was about fourteen years old, Lena was living with her grandparents, Isaac and Ada Morrison. In 1920, she had a home with her brother Millard Fillmore Morrison and his family.

In 1910 or earlier, William Newton Jenkins and his family went to live in Paris, where the federal census taker found them residing at 810 Henley Street (now Thirteenth). At that time, he was working in a box factory. Sometime prior to 1910, his parents were divorced and in 1911, his father died. His mother died of cancer three years later, in 1914, at which time she was living with William Newton and his family (or possibly it was the other way around) at 1029 N. 29th Street in Paris.

In 1913, William, together with his brother, Thomas B. Jenkins, and sisters, Emma Morrison, Maggie Cunningham, and Zobedia Hale, along with their mother, Louisa Jenkins, joined in the sale of 31.58 acres of land they jointly inherited from T. W. Jenkins, following his death in 1911. (See Lamar County Deed Book 141, pp. 643-4). In 1915, William and his brother and sisters sold two tracts, one of 30 acres and another of 35 ½ acres, that they apparently inherited from their mother, following her death in 1914. (See Lamar County Deed Book 145, p. 292 and Book 154, p. 28.)

On May 24, 1915, for $10 cash and the assumption of a promissory note for $432, William purchased 40 acres of land, "a part of the H. Page survey about 2 miles South of Powderly," from J. E. Moncrief and his wife, Bell (Lamar County Deed Book 155. p. 455). It doesn't appear that he lived there very long though because the 1917 Paris City directory found William Newton Jenkins and his family living in Paris again, this time in a house on the west side of Love Street, one block north of Cherry. At that time, his occupation was shown as "laborer."

On May 28, 1918, William and wife, Lestie, sold 10 acres of land north of Paris, "a part of the Samuel Worthington survey," to H. H. Davis for $125 and the assumption of a promissory note. Since there seems to be no record of William purchasing this land, it must have been property he inherited from either his mother or his father. (See Lamar County Deed Book 173, p. 152.)

By 1919, William Newton Jenkins and his family were living again near Powderly, where the federal census taker for 1920 found them. By this time, only Ollie and Newton were still at home, Pearl having married Ernest Hayes in 1919.

On July 23, 1921, William's son, Ollie, was married to Ida Lee Seay, the daughter of a neighbor. (See Seay family.)

William N. Jenkins with wife, Lestie, and daughter, Pearl, about 1912
William Newton Jenkins with wife, Lestie, and daughter, Pearl, about 1912.

In 1923 or 1924, for reasons that are uncertain, William Newton Jenkins and his wife Celesta moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma. It appears, however, that Celesta’s family, some of whom were living in Muskogee at the time, were a factor in the decision. How and and when they disposed of their property in Lamar County, Texas is unknown.

William Ollie Jenkins and his family also moved to Muskogee. His father was a driver for the Pioneer Commission Company, a wholesale supplier of produce, 401-3 Main Street, while Ollie earned a lviing as a steelworker at the Muskogee Iron Works.

The Muskogee City directory for 1925 found the entire Jenkins family — William Newton, Celesta, as well as William Ollie and his family living at 920 Texas Street.

W N Jenkins and grown children, Muskogee, OK
From left to right: Lllie Pearl Jenkins Hayes, Isaac Newton Jenkins, and Ollie Jenkins, with father William N. Jenkins; Muskogee, Oklahoma, sometime in the 1920s.

Sommetime in late 1927 or early 1928, William Newton and Lestie Jenkins returned to Texas, leaving Ollie and his family in Muskogee. In 1929, the compliers of the Dallas city directory found them (William Newton and Lestie) living at 2341 Harrison Avenue in South Dallas, in what is today an entirely industrial area. The house is no longer standing. At that time, William Newton Jenkins was working as a cabinet maker for the Dallas Furniture Company, T. R. Smith, Manager, 2535 Elm Street. They remained on Harrion Avenue until 1932, when they moved to a small frame cottage at 2246 Macon Street in far Southeast Dallas (still standing as of 2020). The following year, probably because it was so far for William Newton to travel to work, they moved to 3921 Elm Street, which was only a mile west of the Dallas Furniture Company. They were still living there when Ollie and his family moved from Muskogee to Dallas.

After Ollie's wife Ida died of tuberculosis in 1934, he and his children also came to Dallas, where he was admitted to a T. B. Sanitarium, to be cured of the same disease that killed his wife. He spent several months in the sanitarium, a collection of wooden barracks-style buildings located near the old Parkland Hospital on Maple Avenue. During that time, his children, two sons and two daughters, lived with their grandparents on Elm Street.

After Ollie Jenkins was released from the sanitarium, probably in 1935, he and his children continued to live with William Newton and Celesta. This is confirmed by the 1936 city directory, which lists William O. Jenkins, ironworker, at 3921 Elm Street, and in 1937 at 1724 Fourth Avenue, the address near the state fairgrounds, to which his father and stepmother moved. After Ollie remarried in 1940, he and his new wife (Ola Mae McBride) and children moved 3311 Pennsylvania Avenue, which was just around the corner from his father and stepmother's home on Fourth Avenue. By this time, William Newton’s daughter, Pearl, and her husband, Ernest G. Hayes, were also living in Dallas, at 2201 Macon Street. They later moved to 3612 Wendelkin Street.

On October 10, 1938, for $1,600, William Newton and Celesta bought Lot 19, Block 10, in the El Molino Addition of Dallas. This was the property at 1724 Fourth Avenue, which apparently they previously rented. No longer standing, the house was situated on the block between Pennsylvania Avenue and Birmingham Avenue, just south of Fair Park. They kept it until October 7, 1943, when they sold it for $2,000.

During the five or six years that William Newton Jenkins and his wife Celesta lived at 1724 4th Avenue in South Dallas, he was employed as a cabinet maker by the Sulsky Manufacturing Company, owned and operated by Harry and Isadore Sulsky, at 1501 Munger Avenue.

Here is a photo of William Newton Jenkins and wife, Celesta or "Lestie," with other family members. It was taken at his daughter Pearl's home, 3612 Wendelkin Street,Dallas, Texas, about 1945.

Jenkins family in 1940s Dallas
From left to right: Lindell Jenkins, Billy Fay Bopp Hayes, Joe Billy Hayes, Pearl Jenkins Hayes, two unidentified little girls, Reggie Hayes, Rosie Lee Townsend Hayes, Ola Mae McBride Jenkins, William Ollie Jenkins, Ernest Hayes, Lena Morrison, Lestie Uselton Jenkins, William Newton Jenkins. Location: Ernest and Pearl Hayes' house, 3612 Wendelkin Street, Dallas, Texas, about 1945.

On October 7, 1942, for $850, William Newton and Celesta bought a small piece of rural property, a small portion of the William Elam Survey, which is today bounded by Lake June Road, Praire Creek Road, Elam Road, and South Buckner Boulevard. This was in what is known today as the Pleasant Grove section of Dallas. Here, they returned to farm life, keeping chickens and a cow, and perhaps some other livestock. They lived here until February 10, 1945, when for $1,600 they purchased another small piece of rural property, namely the west 152.8 feet of Lot 7, Block A, of the Echo Acres addition. This was located about four or five miles east of the Elam Survey property. They lived here until March 12, 1946, when they sold the land at a loss, for $1,225, and moved back to Dallas, where they rented a house at 1205 North Washington Street, close to Exall Park and Baylor Hospital. Today, the site of this house is a parking lot adjacent to the Central Dallas Ministries. While living at this address, William Newton Jrnkins worked for the Kroehler Manufacturing Company, 6701 Denton Drive, as a cabinet-maker.

William Newton Jenkins with cow William Newton Jenkins with Celesta and grandchild

On Tuesday, September 17, 1946, apparently while shopping at the All-American Army and Navy store at 2019 Main Street in downtown Dallas, William Newton Jenkins suffered a sudden heart attack. Within just a few minutes, he was dead at the age of sixty-four. He was survived by his wife (who lived for nearly three more decades), sons William Ollie and Isaac Newton, both of Dallas, his daughter Pearl, also living in Dallas, his step-daughter Lena Morrison (who was then living in Leonard, Mississippi), and three sisters, all of whom resided in Paris, Texas. At the time of his death he also had seven grandsons, two granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren.

William Newton Jenkins was buried on Thursday, September 19, 1946 at Grove Hill Cemetery in Dallas. After his widow, Celesta, died on June 24, 1974, she was buried beside him.

Jenkins family gathered at William Newton Jenkins gravesite
William Newton Jenkins' family, gathered at his gravestie, 1945. Courtesy Michael Hayes.

Grave of William Newton Jenkins and second wife Celesta

The Jenkins Family
William Jenkins [1] | William Jenkins [2] | Francis Jenkins [1] | Francis Jenkins [2] | Francis Jenkins [3]
Lorenzo C. Jenkins | Thos. William Jenkins | William N. Jenkins | William Ollie Jenkins

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