Nolan Daniel & Florence Idell (Springer) Forshaw Family
of Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index || Homes Index


Nolan & Idell Forshaw

Nolan Daniel Forshaw

I was born on Sept 6, 1912 at Silver City Community, Navarro County, Texas to Walter E. Forshaw and Flora Alice (Phillips) Forshaw.  I was born on the farm where we lived until about 1917 when we moved to Purdon Texas.  Dad bought a house there and went to work for the Cotton Belt Rail Road.  While we lived there my mother's brother, Doc Phillips (Oscar Herbert "Doc" Phillips), had come home from World War I.  Dad got a pass from the Cotton Belt Rail Co. and we rode the train to Edna Texas where Mother's family lived at that time.  My grandparents were still living at that time and that was the last time I saw my grandfather.  We visited all of my mother's brothers that lived there.  We stayed with them about one week.  Before we left, Mother cooked fried chicken and cake to eat on the train.  I remember how good it tasted.  Later that year, Mother, my sister and I visited Mother's sister, Nora Evans.  While we were there Sis (Thelma Forshaw) and I made us a see-saw to play on.  Naturally I fell off and broke my left arm just above the elbow.  They called Dr. Russell.  He lived in Purdon, TX.  He came out in a buggy since he did not have a car in those days.  He put me to sleep with Chloroform.  They put cotton in a glass gobbler, the kind you drink tea out of, and he put my arm in a cast.  At that time Aunt Nora lived one mile west of Younger Cemetery.

My Years in School

I started to school in 1918.  My Sis (Loretta Alice Forshaw) was one grade ahead of me.  We had to walk about half a mile.  We had to take our lunch that as that was before they had lunch rooms.  At that time there was no electricity so we had to study our lessons by kerosene lamp.  We did not have radio or T.V. or water in the house.  We had to take our bath in a wash tub  Mother had to grind our coffee with a coffee grinder that was mounted on the wall.  It would wake us up when she started the grinder.  We always had gravy for breakfast.  When we moved to Purdon, Dad brought a cow so we could have milk.  You could not buy milk or light bread in the store in those days.  We cooked on a wood stove.  After the World War was over, Dad got laid off from the Rail Road and went to work for Mr. Bronney Woodard in a grocery store for a short time.  He decided to move back to the farm.  My Sis and I started to school at Warren Chapel in the community of Silver City.  Dad decided to build a room on the east end of our house at that time.  Later Mother was expecting, and on August 11th, she gave birth to Thelma.  Mm took blood poison from child birth.  She was never to get out of bed.  She was sick until Sept 27, 1921 when she passed away.  She was buried at the Younger Cemetery.  My Grandmother took Thelma and raised her till Dad remarried.

Dad married about 1967 to Autavie Hagle Ellis.  She had one daughter by her first husband.  Her name is  Lucile Hagle.  In 1968 They had a boy born, his name was W.E., later that year Dad and Tavie separated for about one year.  The baby, W. E. Forshaw, took pneumonia and did not live very long.  He passed away and was also buried at the Younger Cemetery.  In a few months, Dad and Tavie got back together.  That was when Dad brought Thelma back home.

In 1925 I was playing with my Sis.  We were cutting up like kids will do when I ran behind the store counter and jumped up on it.  When I jumped off, I got over balanced and fell on my left knee.  It hurt real bad for a while but later stopped hurting so I thought nothing more about it.  Later that year I was picking cotton and one night I came home, had our evening meal and went to bed as usual.  The next morning I could not get out of bed.  My left knee was swollen and in terrible pain.  I never got out of bed until Dad decided to take me to the hospital.  He liked to have waited too long as my knee turned black as could be and was swollen.  They had to split my pants leg to get my pants on.  Dad got Will Griffin to take me to Waco, TX to the hospital in a model T Ford.  It took a long time to get there.  Dad got the best doctor at that time in Waco, TX.  The doctor examined me and said he would do all he could.  The next day he operated on my knee.  He put a small rubber hose with holes cut in it in several places.  After the operation he started putting a solution through the hose with a syringe every hour until all of the was gone.  The hospital called my Dad to come and get me.  He rode the train to Waco and arrived early that morning.  The doctor came in to release me and he pulled the cover back and just above my knee was a black spot.  He said he would have to operate on it and he put the tube back in so it could drain.  I was disappointed as I wanted to be home for Christmas.  The next morning he operated.  I was in the hospital that Christmas (1925).  When they dismissed me, Dad came and got me and we rode the train to Purdon.  Jim Peden met us at the depot in a Model T. Ford.  It had snowed and was a beautiful sight.  Later in 1928 W. M. Forshaw was born.  Thelma Forshaw took sick and was ill for quite a while.  There were no miracle drugs at that time, and she passed away on Dec 11, 1932.  Dad took it very hard

My teen years at Home

Warren Chapel and Purdon schools consolidated.  I was going there until I quit school.  Dad tried to get me to finish school.  He said if I would finish, he would manage to send me to college but the teacher catered to the trustee's kids.  She did not have time to help when I needed it so finally, after I took all I could, I quit and never finished the seventh grade.  I helped Dad on the farm.  We would build a fence around the pasture.  We had to cut wood for heating and cooking.  My job was on wash days was to harness one mule and hook him up to a wooden platform, serving as a slide, to haul water up from the stock tank.  I would drive the mule to the tank, fill up the barrel with water, bring it t the house and fill up the wash pot.  I would then build a fire around the pot and then go for one more barrel of water for cooking and bathing.  We had to take a bath in the wash tub.  We collected our drinking water in an underground brick cistern.  Dad had made some gutter to catch rain water in the cistern off of the house.  One of my jobs was milking the cow and in the evening feeding all of the stock and hogs.  I also helped to plow, chop weeds out of the cotton, and when the cotton was ready to pick, I helped as well.  There was always work to do and Dad kept me busy.  In my leisure time I went to parties.  The neighbors would give the young kids a party in their homes.  All of the teens would be at all of them.  We had ball games.  For a past time, when I had the money, I would go to the picture show.  They were silent movies at that time.

The Important Years in my Life

I made Dad a good helper.  He me ten acres to plant in cotton.  Before I planted it, I cleaned out all of the mule cow lots and hauled it to the field and spred it over that area.  It sure did make good cotton.  Our neighbor, Allen Bennett, had an uncle that had died.  He lived in Corsicana, Texas.  He had a Model T. Ford when he died.  The family had it up for sale.  They was asking twenty dollars for it.  I had a 38 revolver that I sold to raise enough money to buy the car.  I was so proud of it.  The top was rotted so Tavie helped me make a top out of ducking. I got some asphalt dressing in a can and painted it with a brush to deep it from leaking.  It was a good car and I drove it to Anson, TX and Electra, TX several times.

The Depression Years

Dad had a good business in sales and things were looking good.  When the banks would not loan the farmers money to buy seed and groceries, they came to Dad for credit for one years.  Dad agreed to furnish their needs.  That fall the banks closed and all the money he had in them was lost.  Finally dad had to close the sore.  Times were real tight as far as money was concerned.  Tavie had Sis living just out of Anson, Texas where they were farming.  They had a good crop and Dad decided for all of us to go help gather the corp.  We stayed till it was all gathered then we came home.  Dad's sister that lived out of Anson on the Farm decided to come with us to see her mother.  She had not seen her in years.  When she got her stay out, I took her home.  I stayed with them and picked cotton to get enough money to buy gas to get home.

The Year I got Married, How we met.

My Uncle Preston Peden and wife took the young people on a hay ride in their wagon to a colored church in Babylon Community.  They came by and asked me to go with them.  All was sitting with their feet hanging off.  I got on and sit by, I thought, the prettiest girl I had ever seen.  We all had a great time, laughing and cutting up like teenagers do.  When we got to the church they all went in.  We sat and talked not thinking about dating.  Later Preston & Lorene had got Idell to spend the night with them.  In the mean time they invited me over for lunch.  I was surprised when I got there.  We sat and talked until late.  From then we started dating, going to parties and the picture show if I had the money.  That was seldom as money was hard to get.  Preston moved close to where we lived, about a five minute walk for me, and Idell would spend the night with them.  I would walk up to their house and we would play dominoes.  We finally got serious about one another and we set a date to get married.  Idell wanted to keep it a secret so she spent the night with Preston & Lorene and I picked them up and we went to Alliance Hall Methodist Church and got married in the Pastor's home on March second 1933.  That was the happiest time of our lives.  We didn't have any money but we loved one another very much and that was what counts in life.  We spent the night with Preston & Lorene.  The next morning my dad came up and greeted us and welcomed us to come home which we did.  Later on I had a cotton crop.  As soon as I got able, we moved out to our selves.  We sure was glad to start on our own.  We did not have much furniture but we made it OK.  WE lived in Silver City community for a while then we moved in my Dad's house in Purdon.  There were no jobs available when they stared the W.P.A. (Work Progress Administration).  I got on helping loading gravel on Model T Ford trucks and putting it on the road going out of Purdon.  We didn't get any money.  They have us a slip for groceries.  That was a big help in the depression days.

Places We lived

We moved from Purdon to the Ward Bridge Community, in Navarro County, TX, where Idell, Mom and Dad lived.  We had a large garden there and canned over a hundred cans and jars of vegetables.  While we lived there, a lady that worked for the W.P.A. came out to our house to make us a mattress out of cotton.  It was a good one and we still had it when we lived in Farmers Branch (Dallas Co) Texas.  While living at Ward Bridge, our little baby boy, Billie Dwain Forshaw, was born.  It was a sad day in our lives.  He was born dead and Idell took it very hard.  She could not go to the funeral.  We buried him at Younger Cemetery.  Just a few days prior, to when our baby was born, Idell's sister, Floy, gave birth to to Charles David Williams.  A couple days later, Floy died and she was buried at the Dresden Cemetery.  After Idell got got well and later that year, Mr. Patterson came to our house and wanted us to move in his house out of Lancaster, Texas on Pleasant Run Road.  I worked for him for about one year then me moved across the road and worked for the owner of the place.  We got home sick to move back where our families lived.  We moved when it was cold and muddy.  We got stuck twice.  A fried of ours was at the mud hole with his team pulling cars out.  He pulled us out  and we finally got to Purdon where it was really muddy.  The school busses had made real deep ruts.  I got just a little ways out of Purdon.  The front Wheels Got in one set of Ruts and the back in another set.  That is where we got stuck again.  I was pulling four wheel trailer with our furniture and I told Idell to go get Dad to bring the mules to pull me out.  Idell had walked about half a mile, I got my Ax and shovel and started digging a trench to the back wheels could get straight. with the front wheels.  Finally I thought it might help, I got in and started off in low gear real easy and it got straight.  I made it up to where she was and we got in about 3 hundred yards of home and stuck again.  I went and got mules to pull us out but finally made it to where we were moving in Dads vacant store.  We lived there till Spring.  I went to work for Henry Jarow for one dollar per day from sun up to sun down.  He did not have enough money to by feed for his mules.  All the feed they got was when I would turn them out in pasture at night.  Next morning I would have to walk to back of the pasture and drive them up, harness then, hook them to a wagon, go to field, and plow all day.  It was hard work.  I worked till he ran out of money.  When cotton was out, we went to Electra TX where Frank and Thelma Springer lived.  (Frank was Idell's brother).  We stayed with them until we could move in a house on the farm where the owner wanted us to help him gather his cotton.  Idell would get up early and cook breakfast and dinner.  We would be in the field at day break.  It was real hard on us but we saved enough to last us till spring.  It was good to get home and rest through the winter months.

NOTE:  Nolan's Biography continues on into the year after they moved to Dallas.  I may add those pages at a later time.

Nolan and Idell moved to Dallas where they lived the rest of their lives.  They loved to travel and go fishing.  Since my grandparents, Charles Edward & Floy (Springer) Williams, both died shortly after my father was born, Idell and Nolan were my surrogate grandparents.  We took may trips with them and spent countless weekends fishing at Dawson, Cedar Creek, and Tawokani Lakes.

They had two surviving children, Kenneth and Lavern.  Idell and Nolan served as foster parents for many children over the years and even adopted one girl as their own, Debbie.  Nolan retired from Otis Engineering, then a subsidiary of the Halliburton Company, in Carrollton, TX.  Idell passed away on 23 July 1995 at her home in Dallas, Dallas Co., TX.  Nolan later passed away at their residence on 10 December 1999.  They are buried at the Restland Cemetery, Richardson, Dallas Co., Texas.

Florence Idell (Springer) Forshaw was the daughter of Daniel Z. Springer & Mary Susan (Burks) Richardson-Springer.

This is the house owned by Nolan & Idell Forshaw.  They moved to Dallas close to Marsh Lane and Northwest Walnut Hill.  Photo Submitted by Kenneth Forshaw

Restland Memorial Park
Richardson, Dallas Co., TX


FLORENCE, 82 of Dallas, passed away July 23, 1995. Survived by husband, Nolan Forshaw of Dallas; daughter LaVerne Ellzey of Red Oak, TX; son Charles K. Forshaw, Sr. of Irving; daughter, Deborah Nixon of Sulphur Springs, TX. Also survived by seven grandchildren; and ten great grandchildren. Services 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, 1995, CHRISTIAN CENTER ASSEMBLY OF GOD, 13505 Josey Ln., Farmers Branch. Interment at Restland Memorial Park, Dallas.
Carrollton 214-242-3646

Nolan Daniel, 87, of Dallas, Tx. Born Sept 6, 1912, went home to his heavenly mansion on Dec 10, 1999. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years Florence Idell. His memory will be cherished by son, Charles Kenneth and wife Vallee, daughters LaVerne Ellzey and husband Virgil. Debrah Nixon and husband Gary 7 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, sisters Loretta Fraley of Corsicana and Lucille Arnette of Arlington, Tx, brother W. M. Forshaw of Graham, Tx, also a host of relatives and friends. Family visitation will be at Metrocrest Funeral Home on Sunday Dec 12, at 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. Funeral Service will be held at the Christian Center Church, 13505 Josey Ln, Farmers Branch, Tx. Dec 13 at 11:00 A.M. Rev Bill Ferrell, Officiant. Internment will follow at Restland Memorial Park.
METROCREST FUNERAL HOME, Carrollton (972) 242 3646.



Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright February, 2020
Edward L. Williams