the McMillan Family
By Jerry McMillan

 My family moved to Levelland in November, 1924 from south of Lamesa.  Dad and Will, his brother, bought some land north of town and started clearing it to have it ready by planting time. Dad said that it was not hard to clear, because there were no large plants or weeds.

The first man that dad met from Levelland was Ed Hofacket who later was Hockley County Sheriff for nine years. 

My oldest brother, Hector, and oldest sister, Jean, were born in Miles, Texas, before they moved to Lamesa.  Then, along came Bob, Mary and Jerry (THE END)!  It wasn't necessarily the end as mom had more than six to cook for & feed; some times there would a lot more.  Dad always raised and butchered two hogs, so we always had food on the table, and we always had a large garden.  I think mom had enough jars for the whole town. 

Dad gave up farming after four years of bad crops.  The new land west of town had been cleared but lacked rain; it grew only thumb weeds, because the frost had dried them out.  They just waited for a west Texas wind which came on Thanksgiving Day. 

Back then, the only cotton they had was open boll.  Dad said that he saw the first Cotton stripper he had ever seen, but there was very little cotton to pick.  The next year was looking like a good farming year, and dad had hired a truck load of hands to start on a Monday; but, on Saturday night, they had three hail storms.  Dad told mom, "We better move into town before it gets us!"

Dad opened a filling station and garage about where Hockley County Abstract is now.  He bought a house  on Ninth Street, and we moved to town.  We had some great neighbors, and Mary and Jerry joined the family; Bob was born out on the farm. 

That reminds me, I was feeding the chickens and there was a baby calf in the lot with the milk cow.  I called dad, and he came to check the calf.  I asked dad where it came from.  Dad said that the mother cow dug it up in the lot?  I asked Dad if I could look for another one.  He said no; it takes a while.

As I got older, I realized how the people in town helped others.  My best "grown friends" were the sheriff and his wife, and the George Arrington family who owned a blacksmith shop; other friends were the Brashiers, who had a lumberyard on Austin Street and the Greens who owned a Grocery store. 

I had a 1934 Chevy coup with a mother-law seat in back; my brother in law was a used car dealer and gave it to me. Do any of you remember Shotgun Bailey?  He was a great man!  Dad, Hector and I overhauled the '34's engine and painted it black with red spoke wheels (not like those you see to day).

Now, if you were in high school in the fifties, you knew Big John Roberts our City Policeman; he was your friend until you crossed the line!  When Big John was a policeman and stopped you, the first time it was a good talking to; the next time, you and B.J. would have a visit with your dad!  Now, fun was always on weekends; I kept a 15 gallon can of water and a fire extinguisher.  I would pick up four or five friends and sometimes I would run into B.J. before I had a load.  He would turn around and pull up beside me asking, "Henry are you loaded up?"  I would say yes sir!  He would say, "See you in about two hours, if not sooner!"

Levelland was a great town to grow up in.  No one locked their doors; boys would sleep out, and girls would drive by honking & screaming till is was time for them to be home. Those were set-rules for boys and girls back then. 

Written by Jerry McMillan - LHS, 1954


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