CHARLEY & UPSHUR BRICE DAVIS WORLEY
Charley Killed by MKT Train at Bear Creek Crossing
Charley Worley came to Texas as a young boy from Sparta, White County, Tennessee, with his mother, Nancy Gray Worley, his grandparents, the Milton Runnels Worleys and his two siblings, Friar and Ana Bell Worley. It is believed they settled in the Cold Springs area between Lancaster and DeSoto, Dallas County. Charley grew to manhood in this area where he met and married Upshur Brice Davis, the daughter of Thomas Robert and Emma Josephine (Smith) Davis. Upshur came to Texas from the timberlands of Arkansas and her birthplace of Orlando in Cleveland County.
Due to the necessities of the times, not a second could be wasted; so when Charley came to the Davis parlor a-courtin' Miss Upshur, she busied herself piecing a red, green and white Irish chain quilt. Charley reckoned that piecing a quilt didn't seem so difficult, so materials were purchased and he, too, pieced a red, green and white Irish chain quilt. These two well-worn quilts remain in the family today.
Charley and Upshur were married in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas, on 21 August 1897 by Justice of the Peace H. H. England The young couple resided in several locations in the area until 1904 when they purchased their 80 acre farm for $5,000.00. It was bounded on the south by the Ellis-Dallas county line; on the west by Houston School Road and the north by Reindeer Road and is out of a 320 acre grant from Governor E. M. Pease to Lavina Baker, assignee of Major W. Spencer.
Baker then sold to Marcus A. Durrett in 1866; who sold to J. W., F. A. and S E Williams from whence Charley Worley acquired the land. Financed by R. P. Henry in seven notes, the release was dated 18 October 1912.
Here in a Victorian style house, Charley and Upshur spent the rest of their years together rearing children, sharing hardships and wonderful times until that ominous day. It was a very damp, overcast day, supper was on the back of the stove, Upshur was tending her evening chores about the barnyard and, as she turned the latch to the henhouse door, she heard the long whistle of a train. Chills went through her body at the sound—and with good reason for it was only a short while before she received the news that her husband's car had been hit by the cowcatcher of the MKT train and Charley was killed instantly. His pocket watch lay on the car seat beside his lifeless body; he always stopped at the top of the hill at the Bear Creek crossing to check the time for the scheduled train before proceeding down the steep embankment. The train was late on that fatal day. white wedding garments With lace
Charley was a great figure of a man, very jolly and he liked to have groups of friends and family over on Sundays or in the evenings where, in winter, they would sit in a lamp-lit room, the men playing dominoes, the ladies crocheting and the children putting on plays by casting finger images on the wall. Summertime brought on much outside activity such as pitching washers and playing marbles with theft favorite agate; then there were the huge water fights where water was drawn as fast as possible from the well, buckets and tubs of water were thrown until men, women and children were all soaked to the skin. Other times, the family would all get into the buggy (and later a car) to spend memorable Sunday afternoons at a relative's house.
Charley and Upshur, he called her "Pet", farmed their land and raised livestock. Upshur had a large chest type cooler where she stored crocks of milk and cream and many pounds of just-churned butter. On Wednesday each week they took these comforts along with eggs, dressed chickens, beef and pork (in season) to Dallas where they first stopped by a creamery to empty their milk cans of rich cream into a huge wooden vat, then by several homes along Park Row and various other streets. The next regular stop was the Sears Building on Lamar Street where employees there had standing orders for their commodities.
Charley purchased a house on Fourth Street in Lancaster in order for his younger children to attend school during the bad weather months. He rode the Texas Electric Interurban out to Reindeer Road, walked to his oldest son's place, went horseback to the homestead to tend the livestock and returned in the evening. The house in town was later sold.
Upshur remained on the homestead, eventually, the two-story house was replaced by a single-story 1930s structure. This new house hosted many happy occasions, the wedding of their only daughter, the birth of the first grandchild. As the family grew, there were huge Easter egg hunts, Christmas gatherings and long days, where the women would come together to sew or can the garden's harvest, while the grandchildren ran the creekbanks playing cowboys and Indians.
In her later years, Upshur moved to Wilson Street in Lancaster but the farm remained in the family until the 1970s. Widowed for 35 years, in conversation she referred to Charley as "my man." She was buried beside him in the Rawlins Cemetery on Beltline Road at the edge of Lancaster.
Charley Worley was born 27 February 1877 in Sparta, White County, Tennessee, died 19 November 1930 in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas. Upshur Brice Davis was born 13 September 1877 in Orlando, Cleveland County, Arkansas, died 5 April 1965 in Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas. Born to this union were:
• James Wesley, (1899-1986), married 1918 Lula
Mae Brown (1901-1971), daughter of J. M. and Sarah Brown, no issue.
• Charles Noel, (1901-19M), married 1935
Jewell Day, died 1956, no issue.
• Nath Parks, (1904-1908), named for Dr. S. N.
• 0llie Leon, (1911-1967), married Mable Clara
Mabra (born 1911), daughter of Frank and Lillie Cheshier Mabra; their children 011ie Eugene (1938-1985); Barbara Marie (born 1940); Laura Louise (born 1943).
• Irene Marie (born 1914), married 1935 Paul
Kent Stanford (1912-1981), son of Otis Jesse and Mae Eagle Stanford; their children . Sylvia Ann (born 1936); Von Gene (born 1937); Janice Sue (born 1941); Linda Dell (born 1942)
By Sylvia Stnford Smith for Dallas County Pioneer Association's Proud Herritage, Vol. II.
Photo: The Charley Worley family. (Left to right) Noel, Charley, Upshur and Wesley. (Front) 0llie and Irene, ca. 1920.