|Joseph and Florence Willingham|
|J. F. Willingham and his family, who arrived in 1906 or
1908, are considered the founders of the town. A one-room school called Plainview was
built just south of the Willingham home, and Mittie Walker served as teacher. Church
services were also held in the school.
County Historical Commission, Martin County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1979). Kathleen E. and
Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic
|The Martin County History Book - 1970|
THE J.F. WILLINGHAM FAMILY
THE J.F. WILLINGHAM FAMILY MOVED TO THEIR HOME IN WHAT IS NOW LENORAH IN 1906. THE PLACE WAS NOT A COMMUNITY THEN, BUT LATER THE SCHOOL THERE WS NAMED PLAINVIEW, A NAME IT WORE UNTIL THE POST OFFICE WAS ESTABLISHED AND NAMED LENORAH.
THE FAMILY CONSISTED OF FRANK WILLINGHAM, HIS WIFE, STELLA AND THEIR FOUR CHILDREN, CLARENCE, DOW, CORA, AND JIM.
MR. AND MRS. WILLINGHAM, BOTH DECEASED, LIVED TO BE QUITE OLD AND LIVED IN THEIR FIRST HOME IN LENORAH. MR. WILLINGHAM BUILT A SMALL, ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE, HIRED A TEACHER, AND OPENED THE FIRST SCHOOL IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD.
MY BROTHERS AND I, AND OTHER NEIGHBORHOOD YOUNG PEOPLE USED TO GO THERE FROM CHURCH ON SUNDAY. I ALWAYS LIKED TO EAT THERE BECAUSE MRS. WILLINGHAM WAS A GOOD COOK AND BESIDES THEY HAD A TABLE WITH A LAZY SUSAN IN THE CENTER, UNLIKE ANOTHER TABLE. THEY SET THE FOOD ON THE LITTLE TABLE, TURNED IT AND WE HELPED OURSELVES, AS EACH DISH REACHED US. IT WAS LIKE PLAYING AT THE TABLE, WHICH WE WOULD NEVER THINK OF DOING WITHOUT THAT TABLE!
MR. AND MRS. WILLINGHAM WAS BOTH VERY ACTIVE IN THE METHODIST CHURCH. MRS. WILLINGHAM WAS EMOTIONAL, AND SHE WAS THE FIRST PERSON I EVER SAW SHOUT, IN THE WAY PEOPLE USED TO DO AT REVIVAL MEETINGS. SHE WAS VERY WITTY AND GOOD COMPANY. THE ONLY TIME I EVER SAW HER WITHOUT A SMILE AND A JOKE WAS THE NEXT MORNING AFTER A TORNADO TOOK THE ROOF OFF THEIR HOUSE! BUT THAT WAS ENOUGH TO ERASE SMILES AND HUMOR.
MR. WILLINGHAM WAS AN EXTRA TALL MAN, AND HE WORE A WIDE BRIMMED HAD WHICH HE CREASED IN A PEAK, AS WAS THE STYLE FOR MEN AT THE TIME. THAT HAT ADDED TO HIS ALREADY GREAT HEIGHT. HE WAS A MAN WHO INSPIRED RESPECT, AND IN ME GREAT ADMIRATION. I WAS FOND OF BOTH MR. AND MRS. WILLINGHAM. I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH CORA, AND DOW ALWAYS WENT WITH OUR GROUP OF YOUNG PEOPLE. TI WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO THINK OF LENORAH WITHOUT THINKING OF THE WILLINGHAMS. .
CLARENCE (DECEASED) MARRIED STELLA JONES, DAUGHTER OF L.P.L. JONES THEY HAD TWO SONS DALE AND HOWARD.
DOW, (DECEASED) MARRIED REBA JOHNSON, A SISTER OF THE FIRST MR. J.B. MCREYNOLDS. THEIR CHILDREN ARE C.D. AND ALTA RUTH. C.D. MARRIED EDNA HINES. THEIR CHILDREN ARE MICKEY, JOHNNY, AND CAROLYN.
ALTA RUTH MARRIED ROBERT BARR AND THEY HAVE TWO SONS ROBERT DOW, 22 AND PHILLIP, 18.
CORA MARRIED ROY DAVIS, BROTHER OF MR. RENA GRAVES. THEY LIVE IN LAMESA. THEY HAVE THREE DAUGHTER, HELEN, PAULINE, AND RUTH, AND TWO SONS, L.T. AND DARVIS.
HELENS MARRIED NAME IS HODGES. SHE LIVES IN BIG SPRING.
PAULINES NAME IS WHITE SHE LIVES IN LAMESA.
RUTH MARRIED DON BAILEY. THEY HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS AND A SON. THEY PLAN TO GO TO EUROPE AS MISSIONARIES FOR THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
JIM MARRIED ETHEL SPOOLER. THEY LIVE IN HOBBS, NEW MEXICO. THEY HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS, KAY, WHO LIVES IN LOVINGTON AND SUE, WHO LIVES IN EL PASO, AND A SON, DON WHO LIVES IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO.
THEY WILLINGHAMS HAD ANOTHER SON OLIVER AND A DAUGHTER MRS. J.H.T. JOHNSON.