The Healdton Herald
Healdton, Carter County, Oklahoma
Old Timer of the Week articles written by HELEN HEDGEPATH for the Healdton Herald.
December 21, 1978
JIM and FALBIE ROZZELL—Old Timers
This week we went to Graham for our Old Timer write up and found two of the finest, JIM and FALBIE SMITH ROZZELL. This week we honor them as Old Timers of the Week.
JAMES WILLIAM ROZZELL was born July 1, 1896 at St. Jo, Texas. He was the second child of FRANK and PEARL ROBINSON ROZZELL.
Falbie Rozzell was born September 20, 1902 in Woodville, southeast Texas. Her parents were W. A. and MARY ANN GEORGE SMITH.
Jim Rozzell said there were nine children in his family: BERTHA (Mrs. ARTHUR DAVIS) of Fort Cobb, now deceased; himself; STEVE ROZZELL at Clemscott; ELGIN ROZZELL of Ardmore, now deceased; LUCY ROZZELL JOHNSTON of Ardmore; GILLIE ROZZELL MATHEWS of Roswell, New Mexico; RUBEN ROZZELL of Davis and a child who died in infancy.
The family moved to old Healdton about 1902. He started school in the one room school with ROXIE / ROSSIE MCKNIGHT as the teacher. His father had a blacksmith shop in Healdton. They lived south of the old well near the DOC SMITH and DAVID WEST families. He named other old time families, the WATSONS, WOMBLES, BRAYS, FINLEYS, MCKNIGHTS and the HEALDS. He ran around with JOE WOMBLE. His sister LUCY ROZZELL was named after LUCY HEALD. They later moved to the Oil City area and lived there for awhile. He attended the one room school at Oil City, which was later remodeled and now is the building for the Union Church now. Mrs. MILLS was his teacher. Early day families around Oil City were the FRANKLIN, HEIRSTON and JONES families. He walked 1 ½ miles to school. His family moved to Graham about 1910 and he attended the two room Graham school with Mr. JEFFRIES and Mr. HUDSON as teachers.
In WWI, he volunteered and served nearly two years in the Navy. He told that he and four others from Graham went to enlist at Ardmore. They were CLAUD BARNWELL, HOLLIS NAWLS, WILL WATKINS, BYRON GRISHAM and himself. All but Will Watkins was accepted (Will served in the army). He told of riding a train from Oklahoma City to California where he took boot training at Mare Island Navy Base, then assigned to the Captain’s boat for the duration. He remained in the service until 1919, nearly a year after the war ended.
Following his discharge, he worked several jobs in the oil fields, working on the BENNETT lease, worked some for the BEASLEY Brothers, and for WIRT FRANKLIN for 14 years. During WWII, they lived a year or so in California where he worked in the ship yards. In 1945 he began working for Rocket Oil Co. as a pumper and was with them until his retirement in 1962. When he talked about where he had pumped, he laughed as he told that he worked up about “Ignorant Hill” near CANNON’S corner.
After he came out of the service, he met his wife FALBIE who had come to Oklahoma with her parents in 1907. They first lived east of Ardmore then moved to Milo. Her father farmed. She attended first grade at Milo with Mrs. BEN HEALD as her teacher. Later they moved to Round-Up community two miles north of KNIGHT’S Grocery Store and after attending school there, she attended high school at Graham. She attended college at Durant for three terms then began teaching at the Round-Up school. She told that JIM ROZZELL had a Model T Roadster and he would come over to the school and take her home in the afternoons. I asked where they met. They both laughed and said they met at a country party. They went together several years before they decided to marry. Since they worked everyday, they went to Ardmore on Saturday, March 3, 1923 and were married in the courthouse.
After their marriage, they built at “box car” type of house northwest of the present grocery store in Graham, where they later bought land where their present house stands. They moved their old house to this land and lived in for a time. In 1961 they built the house where they now live. As we sat before the fireplace, I remarked the fireplace put out more heat than any I had seen. Mr. Rozzell said he had “rigged up” the fireplace with pipes going through the fire, then he has a fan that blows air through the heated pipes. He says they heat their entire house with the fireplace.
They are the parents of two sons, HOWARD and HAROLD. Harold and his wife, the former BERNIECE TAYLOR, live at Sulphur Springs, Texas. Howard is with the Gulf Oil Co. They have three children, JIMMY in Saudi Arabia, CAROLYN ANN GRAHAM with her husband, both in the Navy stationed at Okinawa, and the youngest RICKY at home.
Harold and his wife, the former HAZEL JOHNSON, live in a ranch house in the Oil City community. He has the Rozzell Construction Co. They have three children, TERRY in Healdton and in the cattle business with his father; MARSHA (Mrs. RAY) PEARSON, and LOU ANN (Mrs. LARRY) MILSON.
The Rozzells are Baptists. He was saved and joined the Graham Baptist Church in 1911. They were having a brush arbor revival on the school grounds and BRAD HAYS was the preacher. His folks, who had been Methodists, also joined the Baptist Church and they were baptized in Uncle GEORGE JACKSON’S tank where OTIS HARRIS lives now. JIM ROZZELL was ordained a deacon at Graham in 1950 when JOE DEE RAY was the pastor. … For hobbies, they guessed church was their hobby, both very active in the Graham church.
They remarked they had seen many changes in the area over the years. He can remember when the houses and businesses were thick between Clemscot and Graham. At one time there was East Scott and West Scott, and at one time, they moved the postoffice from Graham to East Scott. They saw the Graham school grow from two rooms to a school that had such a large enrollment that they had to have half-day classes, both morning and afternoon classes to enable them to take care of all the students.
The Rozzells have many happy memories of Graham. They love their home and many friends.