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 Lillie Magdalene <I>Keel</I> Adams

Photo added by Janie Healer Davis

Lillie Magdalene Keel Adams

  • Birth 21 Jun 1884 Middlebrook, Randolph County, Arkansas, USA
  • Death 18 Sep 1961 Abilene, Taylor County, Texas, USA
  • Burial Maryneal, Nolan County, Texas, USA
  • Plot
  • Memorial ID 15658371

From FIRST 100 YEARS NOLAN COUNTY TEXAS (published 1985 by Nolan County Genealogical Society), page 82, transcribed by permission:


Lillie and sister Eula were picking cotton, as Eula jested about a letter that Lillie had received. Eula begged to know who it was from. Lillie refused to say, but finally said, "I'm not telling you who my letter is from. Why, the first thing you would do is go tell Papa I got a letter from Mr. Adams." Lillie grabbed her mouth and Eula roared with laughter.

Lillie, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Keel, was born in Middlebrook, Arkansas on 6-21-1884. Henry, a son of Joe and Frances Adams, was born in Robertson County, Texas on 4-07-1852. Henry had an established ranch home in Stephens County when his first wife died, leaving two sons, Trav and Lawrence.

Henry saw young Lillie probably for the first time as she worked in the field, when he was passing. He wrote her a short admiring letter, desiring permission to call on her. Humbly reserved, she replied that she would be honored. A whirlwind courtship resulted between July 14 and August 7, 1902, when they were marred in Breckenridge, Texas.

The Adams Ranch was located north of Cisco, Texas. These children were born: John, Lewis, Buster, Thelma, Charlie, Willie Mae and Joe. Drouth conditions in 1916 meant water shortage. West winds after a time blew off top soil from fields, leaving piles of top soil heaped around the house. In the beginning, the barn seemed to have ample corn, oats, wheat and cottonseed; however, that played out along with the grassland. No hay to be had.

John, about 11, and Buster, 7, went with "Papa" and "Mama" cutting and piling wood to make a fire to burn prickley pear cactus (a feed for the cows). Their clothes and bodies were getting tiny stickers all over.

After it started raining, about 1918, the first cow cake came out. It was the width and thickness of boxing planks. They had to beat and break it with a hammer. The cows wouldn't eat it for a time.

Clothes were washed down by the only water hole on Big Sandy Creek. Mr. Adams invested oil lease money in four sections of ranch and farm land east of Maryneal in 1920. Lillie's parents already lived there, also sister Eula and Ray Stinebaugh. Household goods were shipped by rail, as were 20 horses and mules plus 150 head of sheep. Lillie's health improved after moving and in 1922, a son, Tom, was born.

Tent shows were a novelty the family enjoyed. Annually, church or school had a community Christmas tree, a big event. Fond memories held by Willie Mae also recall how "Mama" read to the whole family on cold winter nights. Sometimes from the Bible, other times wild west stories.

Willie Mae graduated R. N. from Hendrick Memorial Nurses training in 1942. Thelma attended Tarlton State and Sul Ross and taught school in Maryneal for a time. Lewis married Billie Fox; John, Elsie Russell; Buster, Jewell Jennings; Thelma, Wylie Hudman; Charlie, first Lou Headrick, then Ursula from Germany; Willie Mae, Jack Eppler; Joe, Margaret Hiscock from England; Tom, Jean Fry; Henry died in 1930; Lewis in 1948; Charlie in 1957 and Tom in 1965.

Lillie continued to operate the ranch after Henry's death with help of sons. She was a three-star mother during WWII when Charlie, Joe and Tom served in the armed forces, action in Europe and Asia. Lillie died in 1961 while living in Abilene. Henry, Lillie, and deceased sons and grandson, Billy Charles Adams, were laid to rest in Maryneal Cemetery. No mother ever had greater love than Lillie shared with her family and friends. Our fond memories of her live on. Granddaughter Virginia (Adams) Muncy.
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Name: Lillie M. Adams
Death date: 18 Sep 1961
Death place: Residence, Abilene, Taylor, Texas
Cause of death: Cerebral vascular thrombosis; diabetes mellitus
Gender: Female
Race or color (on document): W
Age at death: 77 years
Birth date: 21 Jun 1884
Birthplace: Arkansas
Marital status: Widowed
Spouse's name:
Father's name: Jack Keel
Father's birthplace:
Mother's name: Martha Johnston
Mother's birthplace:
Occupation: Housewife
Residence: 2502 Grape Street, Abilene, Taylor, Texas
Cemetery name: Maryneal Cemetery
Burial place: Maryneal, Texas
Burial date: 19 Sep 1961
Informant: Mrs. Willie Mae Eppler
Film number: 2116793
Digital GS number: 4166599
Image number: 468
Reference number: 54747
Collection: Texas Deaths, 1890-1976
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Family Members








  • Created by: Janie Healer Davis
  • Added: 7 Sep 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15658371
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lillie Magdalene Keel Adams (21 Jun 1884–18 Sep 1961), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15658371, citing Maryneal Cemetery, Maryneal, Nolan County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Janie Healer Davis (contributor 46586213) .