Tag Archives: Smith

Treasure Chest Thursday – Notes from the Past

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Since I started this journey in 2007, I have wished and wished that I would have asked my grandmother Mary Ball Parks about her family.

Many times, I have said to myself or whoever is listening to the fool things I say, “Just send me a clue, a sign, anything!”

But, haven’t we all??  It is the biggest regret of almost every family historian and genealogist I know.  Everyone wishes they could ask just one more question. We all know that its impossible to ask anymore questions so I ask for signs or clues.

Well, I got a sign! Well, not a sign, but a note and that’s even better!


Ok, not yet, but you will be.

I went to visit my cousin Karen Ball Cowan and she was kind enough to drag out all of the family memorabilia that her mother and father had saved and let me bring it home to scan. Well among all the stuff, was todays Treasure Chest Thursday topic.

Karen had a note that my 2nd great-grandmother, Venetia Smith Ball had written.  Full of her family history! She mentions the Balls, the Hooks, the Roberts and talks about her husband. So many people she mentions!

Woot! Woot!

So, check this out and be jealous!

Venetia Smith Ball's Notes Side 1

Venetia Smith Ball’s Notes Side 1. Digital Image 2013, by Susie Reynolds. Original held by Karen Ball Cowan of Texarkana, Texas.

Venetia Smith Ball's Notes Side 2

Venetia Smith Ball’s notes Side 2. Digital Image, 2013 by Susie Reynolds. Original Image held by Karen Ball Cowan of Texarkana, Texas.

I kid, I kid (as Knucklehead would say), don’t be jealous.  Just search out your cousins and see what they have.  If they aren’t interested in genealogy, they may not even know what they have and you might just find a treasure like I did!

Who wouldn’t like to get a note from the past?  Now I got clues for more digging!

Happy treasure hunting!


The Old Barn is Gone

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This is my mother when she was a little girl riding her horse Czar.  Notice the barn behind her?

Well, that barn is gone now.  It burned down Sunday, May 27, 2012 according to this news clipping that my Mom’s long time friend Jo Gwen Phillips sent her.  My mother received it in the mail today and came over to my house crying.

This is John T. Parks.

He built the barn, and lived there on the property. My grandparents Bill (William J.) and Mary Parks, and my mother also lived there with him. Granddad Parks sold the place to Arch W. Smith when my mother started first grade so they could move into town and she wouldn’t have to ride the school bus.  They moved downtown to 406 Walnut St. That house is still standing and in fact my mother and I were able to take a tour of it thanks to the nice lawyers that currently own it.

Reading this article highly upset my mother. You see, my mother has Alzheimer’s and there aren’t a lot of things she remembers.  However, anything involving her grandfather  J.T. Parks, she remembers vividly.

As a double whammy to her, when we were in Texarkana back in February for my Aunt Jane’s funeral we tried to find the old farm where the barn was, and sadly she couldn’t remember where it was.  Now it’s gone and so is the opportunity for her to visit it one last time.

This is Granddad Parks riding at the farm.  Notice the people at the fence?  I guess it was a gathering place!

Here’s another photo that shows quite a few people hanging around the fence.

This photo shows the inside of the barn.

I’m not sure who the man in this photo is, but you can see some of the barn.

I don’t have a good picture of the barn, but I think I’ll look up Lynn Smith and see what he has. I’m thankful he wrote this article and that we came across it. I’m just sorry my Mom is taking it so hard, and I’m sorry I didn’t get to see the barn standing.  I bet it was really something to see!


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