Drew Gillen
of Blooming Grove, Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index


Tales from the Grove - The fellow on the left is President Harry S. Truman. The fellow on the right, Blooming Grove's native son Papa Drew Gillen. Another U.S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson was a friend of Papa Drew and once spent the night in Papa Drew's house with a few of his aides. Sometime during that day, a neighbor on Kerr Street had separated a calf from its mother, and the mama cow bawled all night, to the extent that someone was sent to try to locate the owner of the poor beast. As I understand one of the Kaglers was the culprit. My own fond memories of Papa Drew include hearing him belt out hymns at Central Baptist Church. I'm not sure whether he or cousin Olen Fuller sang louder, but there was never a doubt that they surely loved to sing. Then there were the multiple times that I would be up and down the sidewalks of the Grove as a kid, typically cashing in pop bottles at either McGraw's Quality Food Store or Carolee Saunders food store to get enough money to buy a coca cola with real cherry syrup at the Corner Cafe. Invariably afterward there would be a shortage of funds among me and my friends needed to buy candy from Shell's Variety Store and if we were lucky enough to have Papa Drew somewhere along the sidewalk listening to our conversation, he would present each of us with a quarter, which was enough to buy candy and still have a dime left over for a pinball game at the cafe.
Tim Campbell's photo.

Submitted by Tim Campbell


Drew passed away on Dec 5, 1976 and is buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery, Blooming Grove, Navarro Co., TX - Obituary

Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright February, 2020
Edward L. Williams