Byars Family History by Doris Byars

In 1983, Doris Byars was asked to write a short family history story to be included in a book titled “Footprints Across Scurry County.”  Here is what was published:

J.L. Byars was born at Springtown, Parker County, Texas September 2, 1916 to William Franklin and Delia (Welch) Byars.  He came to Dunn in Scurry County in the early 1930’s to work for his brother-in-law.  He had four sisters: Gertrude (Jack), Ivo, Hazel and Margaret.  He had two half-brothers:  Jess and Lee and a half-sister Susie.

I was born August 5, 1922 at Ira in Scurry County to Edgar Elza and Exa Pearl (Sorrells) Grant.  My brothers are Elza, Dale and Donald.

In the Fall of 1929, I started to school at Ira and Mr. Clyde Key was my bus driver.  Mrs. Porter King was my first teacher.  In 1930, we moved (my parents were renters of farms) to Bethel – west of Snyder.  There I walked two miles to school for the next eight years.  I remember the cold north wind; the coal stoves with the big black jackets; bringing up coal from the DEEP DARK basement; carrying sand for the sand tables; playing hospital in the cloakroom; and learning about South America as we made a salt map of it.  Recess meant “Farmer in The Dell” and “Red Rover,” which I hated because of my awkwardness and inability to run fast!  Later, it was basketball on the outdoor court (with 3 sections) – two guards on each end and two centers in the middle – and THAT was my star position because of my being a foot taller than the rest!  And what a grand day when the team would crowd “in, on and around” Coach Leftwitch’s little sports roadster and go play ball against Turner, Crowder, or Dermott!  My freshman year Bethel sent its high school to Snyder and there I made friends that I still cherish today.  Also, I’ll never forget my Home Economics teacher Vera (Periman) Holsinger.

The next year I attended Canyon School.  At mid-term they transferred high school to Snyder, and I spent the next term there.  In 1938, we moved near Dunn and my brothers attended Buford school and I attended Colorado City High and finished there in May of 1940.

It was in Dunn that J.L. and I met.  His draft number was one of the first to be drawn for the “ONE YEAR” term, and just before he was to get out of the Army, October 24, 1941 we were married at Snyder.  Pearl Harbor changed all of that and a year became almost five.  Our oldest daughter, Kay, was born while J.L. was in England before D-Day, and she was 22 months old before he saw her.

J.L. was in the 3rd Armored Division of the Third Army and saw duty in England, Normandy (D-Day plus 2), France, Belgium, and Germany.  His unit was first to shoot down a German plane and the first to cross the Siegfried Line, sometime travelling over a hundred miles a day and having to wait for their supplies to catch up.  He also took part in the “Battle of the Bulge.”

After the war, we moved to Springtown and then came to Ira and build a garage.  Later, J.L. pumped in the oil field and worked on rigs.  In 1958, we built the four-bedroom house west of Ira School that we still occupy today.

Linda, Jean, Connie, and Jimmy were born after we came to Ira and all our children graduated from Ira High.  We spent many happy times attending the school activities.  The children and I are members of the Ira Church of Christ and I taught Sunday School there.

J.L. worked at the school in the Maintenance Department and retired in 1978.  I worked in the Ira cafeteria for eleven years – was Food Supervisor for the Snyder Senior Center for three years and am now at the Scurry County Museum as Secretary.

We have left many footprints across Scurry County and in turn, it has given us MANY good memories!!!  Doris Byars