Watkins, T J and Julia 1970s

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T. J. Watkins, a World War I veteran and longtime resident of Llano, discusses his family history, time spent in France during the war, and his life in general. Mrs. Watkins speaks at the beginning of the tape about her father.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: T.J. and Julia Watkins

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: 1970s

Location: Llano, Texas (?)

Interviewer: None Given (probably the interviewees’ grandson)

Length: 55 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Julia Watkins, wife (speaker), Graduated high school (1920), Bastrop, Texas, Took business course, Father set up business in Llano County, Texas, Cleared cedar timber, Julia worked for him, Taught Julia business ethics and principles, Cleared timber on Cedar Mountain, Returned to architectural work, Died (1944), Mother died (1960), Married T. J. Watkins in Llano, Texas, T. J. Watkins (speaker), Grandfather of Randy Sullivan, Watkins family to Llano County (1876), Grandfather and grandmother of T. J., Built family homes by Llano River, Grandfather died (c. 1882), Children listed, Sam H. Watkins, father of T. J., Built home, Married in 1892, Children listed, Llano County Fair, Early 1900s, Transportation, T. J. Watkins, Trip to Devil’s River, Texas, Finished school (1914), To Thorndale, Texas to work, Returned to Llano, Attended Nixon Clay College, Work, Went into Army (1917), Army career, Served in France (1918), Various locations, Verdun, France, Shipped home and discharged, Took over grocery store business until 1950, Married Julia Fifer (1924), Jo Helen Sullivan, daughter, House built by T. J., Has lived there for 48 years, Other business ventures, Retirement—77 years old, Story about getting spanked as a child, Trip to Nice, France (1919), Continued to Italy, Trip to Havana, Cuba (1940), Trip to San Francisco (1947), Description of trip, Harrell’s Casino in Reno, Nevada, Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah, Fishing with Joe Fifer, father-in-law, Falls Creek, Texas, Gorman Falls, Texas, Lake Buchanan, Hunting, gathering grapes, Bought a ranch (early 1940s), Sold it for 3 times the original cost, Bought homes, lots in Austin, Texas, Various ventures, Grocery store business after World War I, Story about buying sugar, 1920s were a bad time.

Tape 1, Side 2: Bank closed (1922), Problems collecting money owed to him, Times improved after 1933, Stories about Mesquite killing (1951), Mason County, Texas, Collecting money owed, Conflict with partner, Horse owned by Julia Watkins, Problems with jumping ditches, Memories of World War II, Grocery store business, Prosperity after the war, Sold grocery store business, Building, Met woman from Verdun, Discussed the city with her, World War I stories, Trucks repaired in Verdun, Thanksgiving meal eaten, Drove through mustard gas, Argonne Woods, France, Close escape from being bombed, Hearing about the Armistice, Story about keeping a friend sober, Mother’s last name was Arnold, From Montgomery County, Texas, Grandfather, O. W. Arnold, Mother was operated on for goiter, Died of a stroke at 63 (1933), Father died at 58 (1919).

Range Dates: 1875-1950

Bulk Dates: 1917-1950

Access Information

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