L. G. (Loami) and Lydia Ann Bridges McLendon moved to Marshall, Texas from Alabama in 1886, eventually settling in Center, Texas with their five children; John E., Martin Bartow, Robert Hardy, William Clifton and Mattie Lou. L. G. served with the 59th Alabama Infantry during the Civil War, and was a farmer and a Mason. John E. McLendon was a newspaper man, publishing and editing many papers in the East Texas area. Martin Bartow was a building contractor and built many homes and schools in Marshall, Center and the surrounding areas. Willie Clifton was the refining agent in Shelby County for the Gulf Company for more than fifty years. Robert, who was crippled at an early age, transported goods between Center and Logansport, Louisiana, and Mattie Lou served as pianist at the First Baptist Church in Center. (Gregory, Lucy McLendon. "McLendon, L. G. Family." History of Shelby County, Texas. Dallas: Curtis Media Corporation, 1988. p. 664).
Scope and Content Note
The Mattie Lou McLendon-Ballard Papers contain over one hundred and thirty letters and fragments of McLendon family letters, most sent to Nancy Bridges, her daughter Lydia McLendon, Lydia's husband Loami and their daughter Mattie Lou McLendon. The dates of the letters range from 1849-1902 and are sent from various family members such as John E. McLendon, his brother Bartow and various friends. They paint a detailed picture of weather, crops and economics of the time period, both in East Texas and Alabama, where some family and friends remained. The collection also contains photographs, tintype and picture postcards of family members.
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