Friday, January 30, 2009

Leveritt and Sally - 02June1946

Church Rites Unite Zelda Walters and R.L.Massey

The marriage of Miss Zelda (Sally) Walters, daughter of Mrs Ida Mae Walters, of Livingston to Raymond Leveritt Massey, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Massey of Beaumont, was solemnized at 9:00 o’clock Sunday evening June 2, 1946 at the Magnolia Park Assembly of God in Houston with Rev. E. M. Yeats officiating.

The alter space was adorned with gladiolas and asters illuminated by burning white tapers in floor standards. Lawrence Warren rendered the solo, “I Love You Truly,” accompanied by Mrs. Warren at the piano who also played the wedding march.

The bride, given in marriage by her brother, Reuel, wore a bridal gown of slipper satin, styled with a fitted bodice, long tapering sleeves inserted with lace and a lace inserted train. An orange blossom, sweetheart style head gear capped her long veil of illusion and she carried a bouquet of white gladiolas.

Miss Inez Walters, who was the maid of honor, wore a blue colenese crepe. Bridesmaids were: Mrs Edith Floe Cobb and Miss Fannie Enloe of Houston and they were gowned alike in pink celense crepe with a matching veil headdress and each carried a bouquet of gladioliias.

Best man was Earl Massey, brother of the groom, and groomsmen were: John Thomas of Livingston, Uncle of the groom, and Jack Alford of Beaumont. Ushers were Hollis Walters, brother of the bride, and Billy Walters, cousin of the bride.

Mrs. Ida Mae Walters, mother of the bride, chose a black crape frock with matching accessories and Mrs. E. L. Massey, mother of the groom, wore a black pin-stripe suit with black and white accessories. both wore corsages of gerbera daisies.

The home of Mrs. Pat Morgan, where the sister of the bride reside, was the scene for he reception which followed the ceremony. The serving table was laid out with a lace table cloth over pink satin and held the brides bouquet and a four tier wedding cake, embossed with pink roses and topped with a miniature bride and groom. Assorted flowers were also placed at vantage points throughout the reception rooms. The house party included: Mrs. Pat Morgan and Mrs. Robert Welz of Houston and Mrs. John Thomas of Livingston.

The former Miss Walters graduated from the Livingston High School in 1944, attended the Durham’s Business College in Houston and is now employed in the office of the County superintendent.

The groom is a graduate of South Park High School of Beaumont, attended the Lamar College of Beaumont and was discharged from the U. S. Marine Corps in October 1945.

Following the return from the wedding trip the couple will make their home in Livingston.


This was transcribed from a newspaper clipping kept in Sally and Leveritt’s wedding memories book.

They were interviewed at 10:15 AM on June 8 1946 on the KPRC radio station’s “Bride of the Week” program. (This was before KPRC became an FM station.)

Their memory book also notes that Sally was sunburned while crabbing at Sabine, Texas. Not sure how many were caught or if they were eaten.

Massey Migration to Texas

Family legend states that Warren (Wahren) Massey came from South Carolina through Georgia and Alabama on his way to Texas.

Census records show that Warren, his wife Elizabeth, and both sets of their parents were all born in South Carolina.

It is not known when Elizabeth died or where Sallie E Osborn married Warren.


1840 Census - location unknown
Warren would have been about age 3, but we can’t find him on a census record.


1850 Census
Warren would have been about age 13, but we can’t find him on a census record. There are several Massy family members listed in the Greenville County census of South Carolina, but no one with the name Massey.


1860 Census of Pickens County, South Carolina
It does show a Warren and Elizabeth Massey, but the ages are wrong to have been our branch of the family tree.

Page/line LAST First Age Birth Place
19b/25 MASSEY James 21 So Ca
30a/11 MASSEY Major 32 SC
30a/12 MASSEY Louisa 27 SC
30a/13 MASSEY Ruth J. 5 SC
30a/14 MASSEY Warren T. 2 SC
30a/15 MASSEY William J. 8/12 SC
40b/25 MASSEY James 53 SC
40b/26 MASSEY Sarah 56 SC
40b/27 MASSEY James 19 SC
40b/28 MASSEY David 23 SC
40b/29 MASSEY Vardry 16 SC
47a/29 MASSEY Ezekiel 22 NC
47a/30 MASSEY Margaret 20 NC
47a/31 MASSEY James 3 NC
50b/17 MASSEY John 28 SC
180b/27 MASSEY Warren 22 Greenville SC
180b/28 MASSEY Elizabeth 17 Pickens SC
180b/29 MASSEY Sarah A. 1 Pickens SC
182b/3 MASSEY Stephen 30 Greenville SC
182b/4 MASSEY Sarah 24 Pickens SC


1870 - location unknown


1880 Census of Hall County, Georgia:
Warren Massey - age 44 - Wood Hauler - born SC
Elizabeth Massey - age 35 - Keeping House - born SC
James F Massey - age 19 - Farm Hand - born SC
Martha E J Massey - age 12 - At Home - born SC
Mary H S Massey - age 12 - At Home - born SC
John S M C Massey - age 10 - Laborer - born SC
George W S Massey - age 8 - - born GA
William Ham Massey - age 3 - - born GA


1890 Census of Collin County, Texas:
The records were destroyed by fire, but his children Edward (1890-1958) and Susie (1893-1976) were born in Collin County near the town of McKinney.


1900 Census of Montgomery County, Texas
Warren Massey is listed in “Conroe Town” as a widower with his children:
•Elizabeth Massey
•Mcfarland Massey
•Edward L Massey
•Susie Massey


Warren’s headstone shows that he died on August 08, 1900. His grandson Leveritt said that Warren lived near Caney Creek in Grangerland, Montgomery County, Texas.

Raymond Leveritt Massey 1922-2001

Leveritt was born in his parents home (1844 College Street, Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas) at 5:15AM Christmas morning in 1922 and was delivered by J. H. Reagan M.D. His parents, Edward Larls Massey and Lila Mae (Thomas) Massey, named Leveritt after a preacher who was named a small town in France.

According to the '1940 Spindletop,' his high school year book, Leveritt's senior year resolution was to "remember to get his History homework" and the phrase "Why worry? Life is too short." is typed next to his graduation picture.

Graduating from South Park High-school in Beaumont, Texas in 1940 , Leveritt decided to continue his education at the Lamar College. This only lasted for a semester or two due to a lack of funds.

Leveritt joined the United States Marine Corp Reserve (USMCR) on July 29, 1941 and specialized in the care of aircraft such as the Vought-Corsair F4U fighter; known as "Whistling Death" by the Japanese. His basic training (boot camp) was with the USMCR 99th Platoon in San Diego, California, but the remainder of his training was at the Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois where he became an Aviation Mechanist Mate. There are only two known letters from his time on Bougainville, Island but there are several letters from his time in the States. He would often write home about his daily activities but never included details about the dangers that he and other soldiers faced.

When Leveritt returned from Bougainville Island, he was given a pass to visit his family and orders to report to Cherry Point, North Carolina. He met his future wife, Zelda "Sally" Walters, while visiting with his Uncle and Aunt.

After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the USMCR on October 03, 1945, T. SGT. Leveritt was to travel with a friend to New York where they could both get a job. Leveritt received his discharge first and traveled to the home his friends' parents. While waiting for his friend to arrive, Leveritt purchased a 1941 Plymouth car. When his friend did not arrive, Leveritt decided to go back to Texas. He needed two new tires so his Uncle John Thomas used a connection at the Ration Board to obtain the tires. It was later learned that the friend did not go directly home to New York because he met a girl on the way home and stopped to get married.

Leveritt and Sally were married on 02Jun1946 in Texas. Jack Alford was his best friend and Best Man while Sally's sister Inez was her Maid of Honor.

Leveritt and Sally's first home was an apartment for about six months but they soon rented a furnished house. A year later they purchased a home from a couple that was leaving town. Included in the sale was most of the couples furniture. A garage was later added and paid for by Sally's mother in exchange for property in Livingston owned by Leveritt and Sally. Leveritt also helped move a barbershop to the property and convert it into a house for Sally's mother.

Leveritt and Sally had three sons (all still living).

He and his wife owned the Grangerland Grocery store for a short period when they sold the store to Mrs. McDowell in exchange for cash and a house at 609 Garrett Street in Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas. (Mrs. McDowell's son Monte married Elaine Dodd, the first cousin of Conan's first wife Susan. Conan and Monte were friends for many years)

He and his wife were member of the Conroe Assembly of God Church.

An active member of the Royal Rangers for many years, Leveritt achieved the position of District Commander for the South Texas area. He was active with the Royal Rangers for years and attended many functions with his youngest son, Dade. They even traveled to Australia for a Royal Ranger meeting.

Leveritt was asked by a member of the church to work for the City of Houston in their water department. He accepted and worked several years for the City of Houston.

He designed the original section of the Wigginsville Assembly of God church in Montgomery County, Texas. This church was built using steel and other materials remaining from decline of the"oil boom." Although the floor was level, Leveritt's original design called for a sloped floor and a raised pulpit to maximize the viewing area.

In 1980, Leveritt kept an appointment book where he listed details about himself; height 5'-7", weight 185 lbs.., color of eyes blue, color of hair gray. He also kept a fairly regular schedule... "When ever I worked with Grandfather, we always stopped at 3PM for a cola drink and cookies. He also would often have ice cream (sherbert) at 9PM", Leveritt's grandson, Larls Massey.

In his retirement years, Leveritt could often be found in his barn working on his latest project or driving his tractor. His grandson Larls would often enter the barn and shout "Hey Papaw" and hear Leveritt answer "Yo" to know where he was working at that point.

Having had open heart surgery in 1988, Leveritt knew what to expect when the dye injection test on 10 Oct 2000 showed three of four blocked arteries. The hope of using angioplasty (balloons to open the arteries) was soon lost and his second open heart surgery was on 8AM on 12/13 Oct 2000. Leveritt was also developing prostate cancer and suffered from little liver function. In February 2001, he signed up for a Hospice program and signed a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate order).

He died at home with his wife on Monday, 21 May 2001 at 4 A.M. Friends and family were received on May 23, 2001 at Cashner Funeral Home from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m and then the funeral was held on Thursday, May 24, 2001 at First Assembly of God Church.

Leveritt's body was laid to rest at the Menard Cemetery north of Livingston, Texas in Polk County. This cemetery is used by members of his wife's family and a few miles south of the Blue Water Cemetery that is used by members of his parent's family. For the first two years, Leveritt had a metal headstone that listed his birth date as 1923 but this headstone was replaced with a corrected headstone on Saturday, 10May2003 by his wife, and children.

• Leveritt Massey's Bible, returned to his second born son.
• Interviews with Leveritt and Sally Massey by his grandson, Conan Larls Massey Jr.
• Wedding License #43174, Volume 56, Page 396, Jefferson County, Texas.
• Professional and Conduct Records of Raymond Leveritt Massey from the National Archives and Records Administration, National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Avenue St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

Dry Creek Cemetery

The Dry Creek Cemetery is a typical rural town cemetery with no perpetual care. It is located in Montgomery County, Texas on the East side of FM3083; 2.3 miles north of Grangerland (the intersection of FM 3083 and FM2090).

The family members listed below are all the descendants of Wahren Massey. His headstone list his name as Warren Massey. Nora Outlaw was the daughter of John Stevenson Massey and Minnie Elizabeth Culbertson Massey. The Outlaw family members listed below are the children of Nora and Otis Outlaw. Nora and Otis Outlaw’s daughter Joann Outlaw married Ellis Wiggins, so additional family members may be buried in this cemetery.

Family at Dry Creek:
• Wahren/Warren Massey - 26Dec1837 to 08Aug1900
• Susie Beatrice Massey - 23Feb1893 to 27Oct1976
• Robert S. Massey - Texas Pvt. US Army - 07Sep1931-08Aug1969
• Robert Emmett Massey 17Aug1907-05Jul1981
• Lue N. (Creasy) Massey - 22Mar1911-24May2001
• J. H. Massey - Died 19Nov1922
• Ana Bell Massey - 18Nov1917-18Mar1918
• John Massey - 15Mar1870-19Nov1952
• Minnie Elizabeth Massey - 25Feb1880-20Apr1970
• John and Minnie’s infant - 09Oct1900
• Connie Jean Cates/Massey - 22Jul1955-09Apr1997
• Nora Massey Outlaw Hyatt - 23Jan1905
• Charles Otis Outlaw - 09Jan1902-03Nov1956
• Joe Thomas Outlaw - 1942-1942 “Little Bud of Love”
• John Lewis Outlaw - 15Nov1930 to 24Jul1941
• Vernon Victor Outlaw - 14Feb1929 to 20Mar1929

• Genealogy research and cemetery visit by Conan Massey Jr.

Other Resources:
• Nora married John David Hyatt in 1960, per Ed Hyatt of Fresno, CA.
• Metcalf Funeral Home
• Betty Lang Walker -
• Jane Keppler -

Susie Beatrice Massey 1893-1976

Oranges in November - Miss S. B. Massey is show above picking ripe satsuma oranges from a tree in the backyard of her brother, Edward L. Massey, at 4075 Congress. The oranges in her left hand measure 11 1/2 inches in circumference. Miss Massey estimated that the two trees in her brother's yard will total a yield of three or four bushels. The trees are about 10 years old, she reported.


Susie Beatrice Massey

Known as "Aunt Susie," she never married and had no children of her own. She was born on 23Feb1893 in Sherman, Texas and was the daughter of Wahren Massey and his wife Sallie Oakley Culhbertson Massey. She died on 27Oct1976 and her body was buried at the Dry Creek Cemetery in Montgomery County, Texas. SSN 455-14-0807

She lived with Minnie Massey for several years.

• Susie's nephew, Leveritt Massey
• Susie's headstone at the Dry Creek Cemetery

Edward Larls Massey 1890-1958

"Ed" Massey was born near the town of Rhea Mills' in Collin County, Texas on 15 Aug 1890 and was the son of Wahren Massey (1837-1900) and Sallie Osburn. Ed was a small child when his mother died and about ten years old when his father died. Ed was raised in Montgomery County by his half-brother, John and only achieved a third-grade education.

Ed received 26 acres as payment for working at a local saw mill (currently owned by his son Earl). Before his retirement, he purchased the last two tracks of land that made up the Massey Farm. A house was on the new section of land, but the house was just a shell that was later finished out to become his retirement home.

Serving in the United States Army during World War One, he was originally assigned to a machine-gun squadron but asked to for a transfer because he recently gave his life to Christ and could not bring himself to kill another person. Little is known of his time in the Army and his great-grandson tried to get a copy of his records from the government, but the official records can not be found at this time. Ed's son's believed that he was assigned to the base hospital at Camp Mac Arthur in Waco, Texas and we do have several letters that he wrote home during this time that indicate he was in stationed in Waco. Ed's son Earl has a metal and several other pieces that were Ed's from his time in the U.S. Army.

After the war, a friend introduced Edward to Lila Mae Thomas (09Apr1900-02Oct1975). They were married on 03Apr1920 in San Jacinto County, Texas. Lila was born in Nacogdoches County, Texas and was the daughter of William Marion Thomas Jr. (01Jan1875-Aug1956) and Lena Cravey (06Sep1875-01Dec1947). William and Lena were married on 14Oct1896.

Edward did not have a birth certificate but needed one due to government requirements related to World War Two. He traveled to Collin County, Texas where his half-brother's wife, Minnie E. Massey swore to his birth date and place so that on Edward could receive his birth certificate on October 5, 1943.

Edward and Lila once lived at 4075 Congress Street in Beaumont, Texas.

Ed was one of the founding member of the Wigginsville Assembly of God Church in Wigginsville, Montgomery County, Texas (30°15'29"N at 95°20'13"W; next to Grangerland, Texas) and a Sunday School teacher for the adult class in the church for a period. There was even a portrait of him and a few other founders hanging in the entry of the church at one point, but no one can find the paintings anymore. A few remaining members of the church insist that the painting was of another founding member, but Ed's children, grandchildren, and great-grandson remember the painting.

He worked thirty-four years (ca1921-1955) at a Magnolia Petroleum Company oil refinery (now the Mobil Oil Company) and at one point was a pipe fitter. He also worked for the Criskoak Mfg. for a short time in Beaumont, Texas. He was a member of the United Workers Oil Company union.

According to his son Leveritt, Edward was "always about 200 pounds" and was a very strong man. His life was full of physical labor and he had large strong arms.

At the end of his life, he did not want Lila to have to sleep in the room where he may die. Ed had his bed moved to the parlor in their home and that is where he died on 03 Nov 1958.

Aunt Minnie wanted Edward to be buried at the Dry Creek Cemetery with their father, but Edward's wife and children buried his body at the Mims Cemetery in Conroe, Texas.

• 1920 Marriage Records in San Jacinto County, Book E, Page 199.
• Birth Records Volume 33, Page 214 in the Collin County, Texas.
• Massey Family Bible
• Interviews with Ed’s sons

Wahren Massey 1837-1900

Little is known of Wahren or where he came from. There is also some debate as to how many children he had, how many wives he had, and even on the spelling of his name. Although there are conflicting theories from a few of the family branch, Leveritt was told that his Grandfather Wahren lived near the Caney Creek, east of the current Massey Farm and that Wahren died from eating "green peaches."

It is believed that Wahren's first/second wife was Elizabeth O'Share, that she was part Cherokee, and that she died in Carolina from pneumonia. (Not sure why a Cherokee would have been in the Carolina area).

Wahren's last wife was Salie Osburn and she had three daughters from her marriage to Mr. Culhbertson; he died of pneumonia. Salie died near a river in the area of Waco, Texas and was buried next to a tree by or near the river.

Was said to have never shaved his beard by Coon Massey's wife Annie Mae. Per Maggie Massey Yocham (15Apr2000 interview), it is believed that Wahren had seven brothers and that they left Europe due to the Potato famine.

Since his son Edward Larls Massey was born in Collin County as the family entered Texas, we assume that they traveled south on the Shawnee and Preston Trails. These trails come through east Oklahoma from Illinois and Missouri, down through the present day Texas cities of Dallas, and Waco. With Wahren settling in Grangerland, he may have traveled toward Houston from Waco, crossing back over the Brazos river. Leveritt Massey's bible (25Dec1974) states "Edward was born near Ray's Mills, 12 miles west of McKinney, county seat of Collin County. Susie was born in Sherman." We believe that he was referring to Rhea Mills, Texas.
Family legend has it that Wahren's wife Salie Oakley died while they were near a river in the Waco area. The actual site has been lost over time but she was buried by a tree at the river and it is most likely to have been the Brazos river. If it was the Brazos, we still don't even know the general area since they would have crossed north of Waco and then again east of Waco on the way to Montgomery County.
Wahren's body is buried at the Dry Creek Cemetery north of Grangerland, Texas in Montgomery County.

“Warren Massey was born on 26 Dec 1835 in Greenville County, SC and he married Elizabeth Molly O'Shields - b 22 Sep 1844 in Pickens County, SC. "I show that she died in 1926. I do not have any other information on them. I do have their children if you need them. Warren and Elizabeth are my gggrandparents." "I am not even sure if Elizabeth's name is correct - I have not been able to find any information on her at all,” wrote Bonnie Baker.

“Warren Massey is on the 1870 Census, Pickens Co., SC. and is listed as being 35 years old. His wife, Elizabeth (M.V. O'Shields), is listed at 26 and his children, James S. (8), Mary (3), Martha (3), and John (4/12) were also listed. Warren is on the 1880 Census Hall Co., Georgia and "Elizabeth Georginia Massey" was John Terrell's Grandmother and Warren was his G Grandfather. John Terrell also noted that Warrens 1st wife was "Elizabeth Mary Victoria O'Shields" while his 2nd wife was a Miss Culbertson.. Warren "moved from SC to GA, then Louisiana (Leesville Area) then to Texas,” John Terrell.

There is much debate over the list of children, so we will cover that in future blog postings.

• Family tree information collected by Raymond Leveritt Massey.
• 15Apr2000 interview with Maggie Massey Yocham
• 21Apr2000 interview with Annie Mae Collier Massey, wife of "Coon" Massey
• Joanna Wiggins has the Massey Family Bible

Thank you Lindi

A super special thank you to Massey cousin Lindi of Virginia. Without her assistance, access to this blog would not have been possible.
It is my hope that this blog will help many distant branches of the Massey family regain their shared history. :)

Conan Massey