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Nancy Liza Jones Robinson
Birth: 1920
Allen
Collin County
Texas, USA
Death: Sep. 19, 2009
Allen
Collin County
Texas, USA

Published in the Allen American Star, Wednesday, September 23, 2009:

"Special to the American"

"Memorial and funeral services for Nancy Liza Robinson, Allen's oldest African-American resident, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Historic Village. She died Saturday night, Sept. 19. She will be buried on the family plot in historic Ross Cemetery in McKinney.

Born in 1920, Nancy Liza Robinson descended from an Allen pioneer family and held the honorable title of being Allen's oldest native African-American. Nancy laughed proudly and said, "We go back to the Indians."

Until recently, Nancy was a lifelong inhabitant of the St. Mary neighborhood. Born in the same house where her mother, Addie Behn Jones Miller, was born, she was the fifth of six children: Johnnie, Nina, Odessa, Romeo and Lyda.

Nancy's grandparents, Gunn and Eliza Jones, are identified on the 1920 census as living in Allen. They had six children. Nancy's father, John, attended the St. Mary Baptist Church when it also served as a school. John Jones served his country in World War I and later farmed in Allen. One of his teachers included Clara Coleman, who later taught Nancy.

Nancy faced tragedy and sorrow at an early age. In 1922, when she was 2 years old, her father was killed senselessly by several white men. Nancy sadly explained, "Daddy was barbecuing pork along the railroad [Houston & Texas Central], and a group of men walked up and asked where he got the hog. Did he steal it?' 'No,' he said. The men did not believe him and tried to take the meat from him and he held his ground. Daddy fought back to keep what was his. They shot him."

Instead of taking their accusations to the sheriff, these vigilantes took justice into their own hands, killing a war veteran and scarring people's lives, one of whom still bore the pain 85 years later.

A search of public records found no evidence that the men who murdered her father were brought to justice.

For many years, Nancy's mother maintained church records while serving as secretary for the St. Mary Baptist Church. Addie wrote a brief church history from its inception, circa 1865, through the 1970s. In 1932, Nancy became a St. Mary Baptist Church member and was baptized in Cottonwood Creek. "I sure loved the guitar and banjo picking and singing that took place at St. Mary," she reminisced.

Addie, who later remarried, shared her house with Mrs. Van Neally, a teacher at the "Allen Colored School." On Monday mornings, Mrs. Van Neally rode the Interurban from Sherman to Allen to teach at the Allen Colored School, returning to Sherman on Friday afternoons. During the week, Mrs. Van Neally lived with Mrs. Miller and her family. If it were not for Mrs. Miller's generosity, the school might not have had a teacher.

During childhood, Nancy suffered from a malady that affected her ability to walk. Since there was no money to see a doctor, no diagnosis was made, but both polio and rickets have been named as possibilities. The result was that her ability to walk was permanently impaired.

Nancy was forced to quit school at an early age to help her mother in the fields, picking and chopping cotton and harvesting corn. Mrs. Marjorie Young recalled Nancy working for her father, Gus Ingram, when Nancy was only 11 years old.

As an adult, Nancy worked for various Allen families. Mrs. Garrison's washeteria, located along Ash Drive, was among her favorite places of employment. "Mrs. Garrison was kind to me, never letting me walk to work or home when it was freezing or raining."

The Erecksons were another favorite, treating Nancy as a friend rather than an employee. Nancy assisted Mrs. Gene Ereckson, who was blind. Debra Ereckson Arledge stressed how industrious she was. "We considered Nancy God's gift."

On one occasion, Gene Ereckson, serving as water superintendent, was asked to disconnect Nancy's water for lack of payment. Smiling, Nancy said, "When I explained my circumstances, he claimed he forgot why he came to my house." Gene later told family members that he paid her bill.

The Curtises and Hedgcoxes were identified as other helpful families.

"If they went rabbit or deer hunting or killed a hog, they brought my family some of the meat. That is the only meat we had," Nancy said. On one occasion, when her washing machine became inoperable, the Rodenbaugh family provided generous assistance.

Nancy's face would light up when Ken Byler dropped by her apartment for a visit, and she recalled working for his father. In the 1950s, Allen native Ray Byler worked as an independent contractor for Owens Country Sausage, slaughtering hogs and chickens. He hired a number of Allen's African-American men, as well as one woman - Nancy Robinson - to dress and clean hogs and chickens. This employment afforded unprecedented opportunities for a number of Allen citizens and Nancy worked there for five years. There is a noticeable appreciation for what he provided her and her friends, many of whom faced disadvantages and challenges in life.

Nancy assisted the Allen Colored School by obtaining used books from the school for white students. She recalled that on one occasion, she confronted the principal of the white school, complaining that the books that they had been given were too used and torn. She insisted on being given books in better condition, held her ground, and achieved her demands.

Because of her disability, the stress on her leg eventually culminated in amputations, thus causing her to be bedridden. When asked what she was thankful for, she said, "Thank God I am still alive."

Over the years, Nancy had five children: Curtis, Addie, Billy, Brenda and Kenneth.

Nancy credited Allen Community Baptist Church, Allen Community Outreach and Visiting Nurses Association for their valuable aid."

********
Published in the Allen Image, February 2007:

Born in 1920, Nancy Liza Robinson descends from an Allen pioneer family and holds the honorable title of being Allen's oldest native African-American. Nancy laughs proudly, "We go back to the Indians."

Until recently, Nancy was a life-long inhabitant of the St. Mary neighborhood. Born in the same house where her mother Addie Behn Jones Miller was born, she was the fifth of six children—Johnnie, Nina, Odessa, Romeo and Lyda.

Nancy's grandparents, Gunn and Eliza Jones, are identified on the 1920 census as living in Allen. Nancy's father John attended the St. Mary Baptist Church when it also served as a school. One of his teachers included Clara Coleman, who later taught Nancy.

John Jones served his country in World War I and later farmed in Allen. John Jones is featured in the picture on next page and this is the only known photo of a World War I African-American soldier from Allen.

Nancy faced tragedy and sorrow at an early age. In 1922, when she was two years old, her father, John, was killed senselessly by several white men. Nancy sadly explains, "Daddy was barbecuing pork along the railroad [Houston & Texas Central], and a group of men walked up and asked where he got the hog. Did he steal it?' ‘No,' he said. The men did not believe him and tried to take the meat from him and he held his ground. Daddy fought back to keep what was his. They shot him."

Instead of taking their accusations to the sheriff, these vigilantes took justice into their own hands, killing a war veteran and scarring people's lives, one of whom still bears the pain 85 years later.

[A search of public records found no evidence that the men who murdered her father were brought to justice.]

For many years, Nancy's mother maintained church records while serving as secretary for St. Mary Baptist Church. Addie wrote a brief church history from 1865 through the 1970s. In 1932, Nancy became a St. Mary Baptist Church member and was baptized in Cottonwood Creek. "I sure loved the guitar and banjo picking and singing that took place at St. Mary," She reminisces.

Addie, who later remarried, shared her house with Mrs. Van Neally, a teacher at the "Allen Colored School." On Monday mornings, Mrs. Van Neally rode the Interurban from Sherman to Allen to teach at the Allen Colored School, returning to Sherman on Friday afternoons. During the week, Mrs. Van Neally lived with Mrs. Miller and her family. If it were not for Mrs. Miller's generosity, the school might not have had a teacher.

During childhood, Nancy suffered from a malady that affected her ability to walk. Since there was no money to see a doctor, no diagnosis was made, but both polio and rickets have been named as possibilities. The result was that her ability to walk was permanently impaired.

Nancy was forced to quit school at an early age to help her mother in the fields, picking and chopping cotton and harvesting corn. Mrs. Marjorie Young recalls Nancy working for her father Gus Ingram when Nancy was only eleven years old.

As an adult, Nancy worked for various Allen families. Mrs. Garrison's washeteria, located along Ash Dr., was among her favorite places of employment. "Mrs. Garrison was kind to me, never letting me walk to work or home when it was freezing or raining."

The Erecksons were another favorite, treating Nancy as a friend rather than an employee. Nancy assisted Mrs. Gene Ereckson who was blind. Debra Ereckson Arledge stresses how industrious she was. "We considered Nancy God's gift." On one occasion, Gene Ereckson, serving as water superintendent, was asked to disconnect Nancy's water for lack of payment. Smiling, Nancy said, "When I explained my circumstances, he claimed he forgot why he came to my house." Gene later told family members that he paid her bill.

The Curtises and Hedgcoxes were identified as other helpful families. "If they went rabbit or deer hunting or killed a hog, they brought my family some of the meat. That is the only meat we had," Nancy exclaimed. On one occasion, when her washing machine became inoperable, the Rodenbaugh family provided generous assistance.

Nancy's face lights up when Ken Byler drops by her apartment for a visit, and she begins to recall working for his father. In the 1950s, Allen native Ray Byler worked as an independent contractor for Owens Country Sausage, slaughtering hogs and chickens. He hired a number of Allen's African-American men, as well as one woman—Nancy Robinson, to dress and clean hogs and chickens. This employment afforded unprecedented opportunities for a number of Allen citizens and Nancy worked there for five years. There is a noticeable appreciation for what he provided her and her friends, many of whom faced disadvantages and challenges in life.

Nancy assisted the Allen Colored School by obtaining used books from the school for white students. She recalls that on one occasion, she confronted the principal of the white school, complaining that the books that they had been given were too used and torn. She insisted on being given books in better condition, held her ground, and achieved her demands.

Because of her disability, the stress on her leg eventually culminated in amputations, thus causing her to be bedridden. When asked what she is thankful for, she replies, "Thank God I am still alive."

Over the years, Nancy had five children-Curtis, Addie, Billy, Brenda and Kenneth.

Currently, Nancy credits Allen Community Baptist Church, the Allen Community Outreach and the Visiting Nurses Association for their valuable aid.

If she is physically able to attend, the Friends of the Allen Public Library will honor Nancy Robinson at 3 p.m. Sunday, February 10, to open the African-American Heritage activities. The program is free and the public is invited. For more information on the program or how to provide assistance to Nancy, call 214-509-4911.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John L. Jones (1885 - 1922)
  Addie L. Behn Miller (1889 - 1980)
 
 Siblings:
  Jonnie B. Jones Walton (1910 - 1990)*
  Nina Jones (1912 - 2002)*
  Odessa Jones Warren (1915 - 1967)*
  General Romero Jones (1917 - 1985)*
  Nancy Liza Jones Robinson (1920 - 2009)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Ross Cemetery
McKinney
Collin County
Texas, USA
 
Created by: Peggy
Record added: Oct 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77879663
Nancy Liza <i>Jones</i> Robinson
Added by: Rainbo
 
Nancy Liza <i>Jones</i> Robinson
Added by: Rainbo
 
Nancy Liza <i>Jones</i> Robinson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Gary Hancharik
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Peggy
 Added: Jan. 4, 2015

- Peggy
 Added: Dec. 29, 2014

- Peggy
 Added: Jun. 30, 2014
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