“Speaking of the Dead” still on, moves to library


LPR Staff Report


The Caldwell County Historical Commission and the City of Lockhart will once again present the 15th Annual Speaking of the Dead Night Ramblings from Texas Graveyards.

The event, which is an October staple in Lockhart, will be held Friday and Saturday night at the Dr. Eugene Clark Public Library . Tours are from 6:30 p.m.-9:10 p.m. both nights.

The event is usually held in the Lockhart City Cemetery, but a rainy forecast prompted organizers to change the venue on Thursday.

‘This is our only fundraiser for the year and it benefits the operation of the Jail Museum and the ongoing restoration of the Jail,” spokesperson Michelle Royal said. “Each year interesting and prominent individuals from the past are portrayed by our volunteer actors. Not only is it entertaining it is also educational. You will learn about the history of those that helped form Lockhart and Caldwell County.”

Tickets are available by entering Eventbrite Speaking of the Dead Lockhart on Google or by calling (512) 981-1035.

This year’s spirits (and the actors portraying them) are:

Rufus P. Ellison, Nov. 18, 1930-July 28, 1910 (portrayed by Ray Chandler): R.P. Ellison was born in Alabama and married Mary Martindale in Mississippi. They came to Texas shortly after getting married. Rufus served in the Civil War in the 36th Texas Cavalry. He was a farmer. His wife, Mary, was the daughter of George and Nancy Martindale who came to Texas and settled on the San Marcos River. Nancy donated a large tract of land where the town of Martindale was founded.

W.E. Field, July 11, 1849-March 25, 1917 (portrayed by Scott Lloyd): William E. Field was born in Alabama and came to Texas in 1854 with his family. After an arduous trek to Caldwell County, W.E. Field grew up and became very involved in Caldwell County government and served in various offices. He also served as mayor of Lockhart and was a prominent businessman in the community.

John Jacob Meyers, Oct. 25, 1821-Dec. 10, 1874 (portrayed by Phil McBride): John J. Myers was a native of Missouri. He participated in at least one of the John C. Fremont expeditions out to the west coast and served in the Mexican War in California. He later moved to Lockhart in the early 1850s and was a stockraiser. He served as colonel of DeBray’s 26th Texas Cavalry during the Civil War. After the war he was instrumental in getting the trail drives started from Texas to Kansas

Mamie Steele Jarratt, Sept. 4, 1875-July 26, 1950 (portrayed by Julie Ohlendorf): Mamie S. Jarratt was born in Lockhart in 1875 and was the daughter of William M. Steele. The Steele family was quite prominent in Lockhart. Mamie was socially active and involved in the organization of the Irving Club, a ladies’ reading club housed at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library.

C.E. Royal, April 30, 1907-April 10 2006 (Wayne Walther): Charles Erwin Royal was born in Lockhart and served in World War II. He operated Royal Cleaners, located on the courthouse square for over 40 years. He served on the Lockhart City Council and was Mayor pro-tem. During his tenure on the city council, many lasting city improvements were accomplished.

Clara Green Mohle, May 16, 1918-Dec. 6, 1986 (Emma Utzinger): Clara May Green Mohle was born in Texas and was the wife of Charlie E. Mohle, Sr. She was a businesswoman in Lockhart and owned and operated a jewelry store in town. Later, after her husband’s death, she moved to Austin where she worked in several positions. She was buried in the Lockhart Cemetery along with her parents, a grandfather and other members of her family.

Daisy Franks, Nov. 9, 1879-May 19, 1937 (Mary Lowrance): Daisy Franks was born in Lockhart to J.W. and Levi M.E. Abbott. She married J.H. Franks in 1901. He was serving as county sheriff in 1915 when he shot the city marshal John L. Smith in an altercation in the Caldwell County Courthouse. Several months later Sheriff Franks was assassinated as he was walking home one rainy evening. Daisy worked as a school teacher and also operated a kindergarten after the death of her husband.

Onita Gambrell King, Jan. 30, 1896-Dec. 6, 1994 (Carol Ohlendorf): Onita King was born in Texas and grew up in Caldwell County. Her father, John Newton Gambrell, was the county judge. She was very interested in education and went to school at Texas State Teachers College. She taught school in Lockhart. She also became quite active with the Texas State Teachers Association. She married a prominent rancher, Patton S. King. They were active with the First Lockhart Methodist Church.




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