Marriage Nancy Elizabeth Clifton b: 1 APR 1878 in Mississippi
Married: 28 SEP 1902 in Red River County, Texas
William Harris Sanders b: 29 JUN 1903 in Red River County, Texas
Dial Lee Sanders b: 15 FEB 1905 in Red River County, Texas
Frances Irene Sanders b: 9 JUL 1908 in Red River County, Texas
Absalom Ezekiel Sanders b: 12 APR 1910 in Knox County, Texas
Thomas Clifton Sanders b: 29 JAN 1912 in Knox County, Texas
John Duff Sanders b: 10 MAR 1914 in Knox County, Texas
Charles Luke Sanders b: 4 OCT 1915 in Knox County, Texas
Narrative by Thomas J. Sanders (grandson)
The 1880 Census of Tippah Co. Mississippi for the family of Harris SANDERS lists a son named "Bose" SANDERS, age 8, place of birth MS. J.D. Sanders, Jr. confirmed that "Bose" was his father's childhood nickname. Both J.D. Jr. and Joe W. Sanders also stated that his father's name was originally John McDuffy Sanders, but that he had shortened it first to John McDuff Sanders and finally to John Duff Sanders.
J.D. was working in a mercantile store when he and Nannie met. In 1908, the two of them and 3 children moved from Red River Co. in east Texas to Benjamin, Knox Co. Texas.
The 1910 Census of Knox Co. Texas lists the following residents at Howe and Farmington Road:
John D. SANDERS, head of house, age 37, married 7 years, place of birth MS, native language English, trade or profession, Bookkeeper; nature of business, Lumber Office; able to read and write; home a rented house.
Nannie E. SANDERS, wife, age 31, 4 children, 4 living, place of birth MS, native language English, able to read and write.
Harris W. SANDERS, son, age 6, place of birth TX, able to read and write.
Dial L. SANDERS, son, age 4, place of birth TX.
Irene SANDERS, daughter, age 2, place of birth TX.
Ezekiel SANDERS, son, age 2/12, place of birth TX.
According to J.D. Jr., his father ran a lumberyard in Benjamin. They also had a farm west of town that was farmed by the two oldest sons, Harris and Dial. At first they lived in town, but eventually moved to the farm.
The 1920 Census of Benjamin, Knox Co. Texas lists the following individuals.
John D. SANDERS, head, home rented, age 47, able to read and write, place of birth MS, salaried Mgr. of Lumber Co.
Nannie E. SANDERS, wife, age 42, able to read and write, place of birth MS.
W.H. SANDERS, son, age 16, able to read and write, place of birth TX.
Dial L. SANDERS, son, age 14, able to read and write, place of birth TX.
Irene F. SANDERS, daughter, age 11, able to read and write, place of birth TX.
Ezekiel A. SANDERS, son, age 9, able to read and write, place of birth TX.
J.D. SANDERS, son, age 6, place of birth TX.
Charles L. SANDERS, son, age 4 5/12, place of birth TX.
Joe W. SANDERS, son, age 2 10/12, place of birth TX.
In the spring of 1925 the family moved to a farm near Ropes (Ropesville), Texas, between Lubbock and Brownfield, TX. In 1930 they moved to Morton, first to a farm east of town, then to one west of town. Nannie died of pneumonia, according to J.D. Jr. In his later years, J.D. Sr. lived with Charlie Sanders and his family on a farm south of Morton. His sons Zeke, Charlie and Joe owned the farm. He developed "hardening of the arteries" which affected his memory and ability to care for himself. He spent the last year or so of his life in a nursing home in Lubbock, TX.
Narrative by Zeke Sanders from Cochran County's "Texas Last Frontier" covering the years from 1836 to 1986.
"John Duff Sanders moved his family from Ropesville to Cochran County on January 1, 1930. The family consisted of the father, John Duff, mother Nannie, and five sons that were almost grown. The daughter, Irene, had married A.C. Ward and moved to Pampa where A.C. worked for the Magnolia Oil Company. Dial and A.E. (Zeke) had finished high school and J.D. was a freshman in high school. Charlie and Joe were in the elementary school. Two other sons had died before they moved. Thomas had died at two years of age when the family was living in Benjamin. Harris had been killed in a sawmill accident in Red River County where he had gone to live with his aunt and grandmother Clifton soon after he finished high school."
"Mr. Sanders had moved to the plains in 1925 so that his boys could go to Tech. Up until this time he had managed a lumber yard in Benjamin. Now he became a farmer and rented land in Hockley and Cochran Counties. Zeke, Joe, and Charlie bought a place in the Lehman Community in 1944. Charlie, his wife Ethel, and Mr. Sanders moved on it."
"The boys did not go to Tech as their father had planned. The depression came and they all went to work on the farm. The first land that they rented in Cochran County was the J.H. Hankins place northwest of Morton. The boys came to school in Morton and the family united with the First Baptist Church. However, Neely Ward was their community center. This is where they went for singings, parties, ball games, and other entertainment."
"In 1935 the family moved west of Morton. This place had a small house and a half-dugout. The boys slept in the dugout. While they were living there Mrs. Sanders became ill with pneumonia and died in the spring of 1936. There was no funeral home in Morton and Mr. Sanders asked a friend, Leonard Miller, to build a casket for his wife. The casket was built and the services were held in the First Baptist Church. She was buried in the Morton Cemetery."
"The boys and Mr. Sanders were now on their own. Zeke cooked breakfast, Charlie cooked dinner and they ate leftovers for supper. Everybody pitched in to do the laundry and to clean the house. All worked in the field. During the slack season Zeke and J.D., Jr. worked on the first theater in Morton. Their cousin, Joe Welch, and Leonard Miller were the contractors."
"Soon the boys began to leave home. J.D., Jr. went to the C.C.C. When he left the C.C.C. he began to work with the Soil Conservation Service. While living in Littlefield he married Phyllis Cook, and they reared three sons. Their son Ted is now State Superintendent of Illinois, Thomas J. teaches in the U.S. Naval Academy, David Gene is an electronics engineer living and working in the Dallas area. Phyllis and J.D. are retired and living in Seymour, Texas, when they are not traveling over the country."
"Charlie and Ethel have four daughters; Barbara Wall, living in Hobbs, New Mexico, Nancy Luper, living in Morton, Christie Love, living near Lamesa, and Gail Sifford living in Hereford. Charlie is retired. Ethel works for the Whiteface Independent Schools. They live in Whiteface. They have one son, Bob, who lives in New Braunfels and works for an electronic manufacturing firm."
"Joe went into the Army Air Force and served during World War II. When he returned he married Mildred McFarrin. They have lived in Plainview for many years. He worked for the State Highway Department and is now retired."
"Dial died in 1943 and is buried in the Morton Cemetery beside his mother."
"Zeke has never left Morton. He worked in the Morton Post Office for 27 years. In 1952 he married Mabel Ann Manley who at that time was the County Home Demonstration Agent."
"John Duff Sanders lived with Charlie and devoted himself to being a real grandfather to their five children. He died in 1962 and was laid to rest beside his beloved Nannie."
Nancy Elizabeth Clifton Sanders
Elizabeth Jane Sanders Owen
William Peter Sanders
Martha Jane Crump Gunter
Louvenia A Sanders Welch
Mary Alice Sanders
Thomas Jefferson Sanders
Viola Sanders Jernigan
Arthur Harris Sanders
Olive Belle Sanders Patterson
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