The actress Irene Ryan was born Jesse Irene Noblitt on October 17, 1902 to James Merritt and Catherine J. McSharry Noblitt while her family was living in El Paso, Texas. James was stationed at Fort Bliss and the family did not remain in Texas long, but El Paso has always claimed Irene. The Noblitts lived off the base on Franklin Street near downtown. Irene recounted that she was born at home. James was a sergeant in the United States Army and soon after she was born, they moved to California. Irene began entertaining when she was a teenager and recalled winning a talent contest when she was eleven years old. When she was nineteen, she married actor Tim Ryan. The couple appeared as Ryan and Noblette in vaudeville until that venue declined. After this, the couple appeared on radio as Tim and Irene. Ryan was a character actor who appeared in many films over the years, including From Here to Eternity (1953). The couple was married for about 16 years, and had no children. Ryan died in 1956 of a heart attack.
Category Archives: biography
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Jimmy Ray Dean was born August 10, 1928 to George Otto and Ruth Taylor Dean in Seth Ward, Hale, Texas which lies just outside of Plainview. At that time, the family was to be operating a farm. Ruth was Otto’s second wife, but by the time Jimmy was 11 or 12, Ruth was listed as a single parent, working as a seamstress out of her home in Seth Ward. From that point on, the family consisted of Ruth, her sons Jimmy and Don. Ruth later is said to have become a barber to support her family. At an early age, Jimmy learned to play the piano, accordion, harmonica and guitar as he worked around the family farm. He was active in the local Baptist church there in Seth Ward and attributed his interest in music to his mother and the music in church.
The former Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth was named for Horace Seaver Carswell, a Medal of Honor winner from North Texas.
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Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908 to Samuel Ealy (Jr.) and Rebekah Baines Johnson in Stonewall County, Texas. Not intended to be a complete listing all of his ancestors, the following represents a number of them and is based on information mainly from newspaper accounts and traditional genealogical sources.
Lady Bird Johnson was born Claudia Alta Taylor in Karnack, Harrison County, Texas in 1912. Her father was Thomas Jefferson Taylor II, who owned a general store and used the profits to acquire farmland that he used to plant cotton. At one time he owned 12,000 acres of land dedicated to raising cotton. Claudia’s mother was the former Minnie Pattillo. Thomas and Minnie were married in 1900 and both had originally come to Texas from Alabama. Claudia was the youngest of three children and the only daughter born to Minnie and Thomas. The family legend is that a caretaker had given the nickname Lady Bird to her, saying that she was as pretty as a lady bird.
Bass Reeves was a groundbreaking lawman in the West. Most people who know his name would be aware that he was born a slave and became a respected law officer mostly in the area that became Oklahoma, long before it became a state.
Reeves was born into slavery in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas on the property of former Arkansas state legislator, William Steele Reeves. His last name was that of the owner William Reeves and his first name is believed to have been in honor of a grandfather by the name of Bass Washington.
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Frank Howard Buck was born March 17, 1884 in Gainesville, Texas to Howard Dewitt and Ada J. Sites Buck. By the time Frank was a teenager, his parents had moved to Dallas, Texas. He attended school through the seventh grade and was not considered to be a particularly good student, perhaps because he had many other varied interests. As a young adult he held a number of different jobs, including working as a cowboy. He also is said to have traveled as a hobo for a while. Buck moved to Chicago and began working at a hotel around 1900. There he met and married his first wife, Lillie West, some 29 years his senior.