|Birth: ||Mar. 6, 1885|
|Death: ||May 13, 1970|
Married Mamie Ella Hilburn Aug 15, 1909.
Father was Thomas Benson Hilburn
Mother was Mary Florence Ussery/Usery
He ran a newspaper in Shamrock but gave it up and left TX and his family to go to acting school in Chicago, then joined the travelling Lyceum and Chautauqua circuit.
Son, Henley Mather Hilburn, born 1911. Daughters Jean and Mildred.
In 1931 he gave up the circuit and tried to farm. His father, Thomas Mather retired as a Methodist circuit rider and he and his wife moved to TX with them. Thomas was a fire-and-brimstone preacher. He was furious with Ape for wanting to be an actor. He thought acting was sinful.
Henley married Otta Hope in 1934. The next year a grandson was born, Wayne Mather.
Mamie Ella recalled:
"Ape was teaching speech and elocution at the local schools. Otta Hope and the baby stayed with us while Henley looked for work in Lubbock and Sweetwater.
Baby Wayne was a delight! As curious as a child could be. There weren't many children to play with so he made up his own games and imaginary playmates. He seemed fascinated with everything.
I used to take him with me in the Model A Ford we had to the Shamrock Literary Club meetings. The ladies would pick an author to read and meet to discuss the books. Wayne loved crayons and drawing at such an early age. I think I've kept every one of them, somewhere. I even have a child's drawing table and chair of his. I remember he was a quiet child who loved to listen to his grandpa tell stories. Ape could do so many stories with his different voices and faces. Most were tall tales, but Ape had an attentive audience in his grandson.
When the second war came, Henley volunteered for the Navy and didn't come back until 1944. Florence died that year, followed by Thomas Mather in 1945.
Otta and Wayne stayed with us during the war. After the war, Henley and Otta moved away. Henley was able to get a good job selling again. Otta said he had to travel a lot. Ha! I know story.
My grandson has become a very good artist. I always told him he as good at making pictures. He writes me loving letters from so many places, and always includes a picture in it. A drawing or sometimes a photograph. He's tall and thin, just like his grandpa. Has my button nose, though. Henley got Ape's nose, that's surely true.
Ape died six weeks ago.
I miss that silly old man.
I often think about the Hilburns in my life, Thomas, Ape, Henley, and Wayne. They all had a real emotional streak in them. It just came out different ways. Thomas could preach with the wrath of God.
Ape could mesmerize an audience. Henley could get you to want to buy something real bad. And my grandson, Wayne could show so much expression in his drawings. In their way, all were creative. I think of Florence, myself, Otta and my granddaughter-in-law, Patricia.
We had to be the anchors to emotional men.
They could make us laugh, though, as well as cry.
Mamie Ella Hilburn died softly, June 23, 1970."
Thomas Benson Hilburn (1856 - 1945)
Mary Florence Ussery Hilburn (1864 - 1947)
Mamie Ella Hilburn (1890 - 1970)
Henly Mather Hilburn (1911 - 1978)*
Jean H. Hilburn Sullivan (1919 - 1997)*
Ancrum Mather Hilburn (1885 - 1970)
Samuel Melton Hilburn (1898 - 1976)*
Shamrock (Wheeler County)
Created by: AlbqFirefly
Record added: Oct 14, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16177349