William Jesse Boyett

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13 March 1900

The year 1900 in Texas brought the great Galveston Storm,

introduced the oil industry with the birth of the Spindle top well

in Beaumont, and that was also the year that William (Willie) Jesse Boyett, youngest son of William Jasper Boyett, was born. Antique photographs reveal that it was also a time when men were still wearing remnants of the Civil War and could point out who was a Yankee and who was a Confederate.

William Jesse Boyett was better known as Willie around the

Ibex, Moran, Breckenridge area. Willie’s father was born in Columbia,Arkansas on 25 September 1870 and died 25 September 1899 before Willie was born. William Jasper moved to Stephens County, Texas, where he married Rebecca Lincen Zant. Their children were: Jasper Zant Boyett, born June, 1896; Silas Poe Boyett, born 18 December 1897, and William Jesse Boyett, born 13 March 1900. All of the children were born on the family farm, which was located half way between Ibex and Eolian, Texas. The parents are buried in the Plumb Branch Cemetery, where their graves are marked with concrete markers bearing names which time, wind, storms, and rain have eaten away.

Since the grandfather William Jasper Boyett died (from appendicitis) before Brian Boyett’s father, Willie Boyett was born, little was known about the Boyett genealogy. All this was found out while the computer was gunning its engine but was going no where. The name Boyett appeared spelled Boyett, Boyet and Boyd. Some nice soul, however, using Ancestry. Com, ran the family back to the 1700’s.

Willies mother sent him to school in Ibex through the eighth grade. Then Mrs. Boyett sent Willie to Abilene to attend high school, but he got homesick and went back home.

William Jasper Boyett’s wife, who was a grandmother of Brian Boyett, was a strong woman; so she and her sons did well with the farm. None of the boys wanted to leave home, so they divided what was a good sized and profitable farm into undersized thirds. The main crops Willie Boyett raised were wheat, oats and hay for his cattle

Willie married one of the Ibex school teachers, Martha Christia Askew, and they moved into the Ibex teacheridge. Mrs. Boyett was severely crippled, but with God’s help she was able to raise three children, raise a garden, and do other farm chores as well as running an active household.

In order to wash clothes she heated water in a large cast-iron pot which was placed over a mesquite wood fire. When the water got hot, she carried the water in a bucket to an old Maytag. wringer washer which was run by a gasoline motor. Then she hung the clothes on a clothesline outside the house.

Gospel music was one of the family’s pleasures. Mrs. Boyett

was an excellent pianist. Several small communities held “singings” on Sunday afternoons in school houses or churches. Willie Boyett and children had a family quartet and Mrs. Boyett played the piano. Dale sang bass, Willie sang tenor, Annetta sang alto, and Brian sang lead.

Later Willie moved them into a small farm house about two miles east of Ibex. They had a fire place in one end of the house and a wood cook stove in the other for heat. There was no insulation, thus it was freezing cold in the winter and hot in the summer.* They had three children: Brian,, Dale, and Annetta. Willie studied books on carpentry and became and accomplished carpenter. In addition to farming, he did repair and remodeling projects. During World War II, he worked for several weeks building an Army base at Childress, Texas.

The family prayed for rain that seldom came, but things turned around in 1945. The government instituted a program to eradicate mesquite trees by applying kerosene to the trunks of the trees and letting some kerosene run down into the roots. The government paid a fixed amount an acre, depending on the density. Willie Boyett started contracting with local farmers and ranchers to carry out the government’s program. This transformed the family lifestyle, as he was able to send three kids through college and have a lifestyle for his family that was far superior to what they had before.

Willie, Brian and Dale would carry five gallon cans of kerosene, hanging by a strap from their shoulders, and walk from one tree to another. If they came to a hill, they had to climb it and treat the tree. It was very hard work, but they had almost no competition. Over the years, they probably did several thousand acres. The three Boyetts would pour about 800 gallons of kerosene per day. In one period of time, Wayne Angel ran a service station in Albany and Wayne would deliver truck loads of kerosene out to whatever pasture they were working.

Around 1946, liquified propane gas came along for heating and cooking. After Brian left home REA brought electricity and then later a government program brought good water from Breckenridge.

The main crops Willie Boyett raised were wheat, oats and hay for his cattle. In 1978, Mrs. Boyett died and Brian came back for his mother’s funeral. He had barely gotten back to Arizona when his cousin, Marza White, called and told him that Willie had died in a car wreck. He drove a new car, was a conservative driver, and only drove on rural roads. Brian said that he would have figured his father to be one of the least likely people in the country to die in a car wreck. Willie had diabetes and without his wife’s direction, he possibly was not taking his medicine properly. The family really does not know what happened.

About 200 yards from the accident, the car drifted about a foot off the side of the road. Willie’s foot must have gone down on the gas pedal because the tires were spinning and picking up speed. There was a concrete culvert under the road that stuck up about a foot and a half on the side of the road. He hit that and it propelled the car end over end and nosed into the opposite bank. The car was demolished but Willie was not disfigured.

Brian praises the Lord for granting him and his brother and sister a loving, Christian, family oriented father who, by his example, taught them a strong moral work ethic.

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