Waller and Montgomery County Stories Generally
Media and Reference Materials
Contact: Nick Wallingford - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tee Goral Wallingford was one of Thomas Ginn Wallingford's grandchildren. He was a son of Robert Thomas Wallingford and Virginia Butts Dewees Wallingford. He was born 12 November 1896 in Joseph, part of the Fields Store area of Waller County.
His birth was in the period before the formal registrations of birth, so there is no indication of his proper 'birth name'. Even if the birth had been registered, it was not uncommon to register a child without a name. It seems very likely he was named "Thomas Garrel Wallingford" - Thomas for his father's father, Garrel for his mother's father (in fact, Virginia's father was Alfred Garrel Dewees.) As it was, however, the boy was known as "Tee" by the family, throughout his life. Occasionally, he would use the name Tom or Thomas, but even on his death certificate he was identified as "Tee Goral Wallingford".
Tee was the fourth surviving child, with two older brothers and one older sister. Ultimately, Tom and Virginia would have 12 childen, with 9 of them surviving past childhood.
Around 1898, old Thomas Ginn Wallingford had a photo taken with all his grandchildren, including Tee. Tee is the baby sitting in the lap of his father, on the far right side of the picture.
In the early 1900s, the family moved to Howth, not far to the west of Fields Store - about 5 miles north of Hempstead. Tee's father Robert Thomas was a Sheriff, and one of his children remembers him always strapping on his guns before leaving the house.
At the age of 13, he appeared in the 1910 census with the rest of his family in precinct 2, with his name as "Thomas".
As Tee approached 20 years of age, the First World Was was breaking out in Europe. His older brother Robert and Marvin would both have registered, though neither went into the army. Tee, a few months before his 21st birthday, enlisted on 25 July 1917, and served as a Private First Class in the 9th Infantry, 2nd Division. Very little has been found about his time in the service. The only significant event known is that on the day his father died, 27 November 1917 (also the 25th birthday of his brother Marvin), the family received a telegram to inform them that Tee was "missing in action" in France. He did survive, and returned to Texas after his discharge from the army on 16 April 1919.
When the census was taken (8 and 9 January 1920) Tee was living with his widowed mother, four brothers and two sisters. Only his sister Cassie May (who had married in 1914) and brother Robert (who had moved to Dallas by this time) were missing. Tee was shown as a farmer, probably working the family property with his brothers Marvin and Homer.
On 23 April 1923, he appears to have had a child, unnamed on the original birth certificate, but later provided as Vergile Janice Wallingford. The mother was Esta Lee Sullivan, born in Hempstead. There is no evidence of an ongoing relationship with either the mother or the child.
By 1930, Tee was living in Ft. Worth, where he would spend most of his life. He was a lodger in a boarding house/private hotel at 1418 1/2 Throckmorton Street, and was a laborer for a supply house.
(Thomas G. Wallingford appears on the second page)
In September 1939, there is a Lubbock newspaper account of "T.G. Wallingford", 42 years old and from Ft. Worth, having killed Joe McClaren at a camp near Graford. In the Sunday 19 November 1939 issue, it is reported that a jury took only 25 minutes to find him not guilty. I have found no other references to this event to date.
For the 1940 census, he was still living in a boarding house/private hotel, the Waunota Hotel, at 1504 1/2 Jones Street.
(Wallingford Tom G. appears at the bottom of the first page)
When he registered for World War II, in 1941, he gave his contact as has mother who was now living in Hempstead. He was working for National Cylinder & Gas Company, 321 East 23rd Street, Fort Worth. He was living at 1504 1/2 Jones Street, in the same private hotel he had been in a year earlier.
At some point in the mid 1940s, aged about 50, Tee married Pearl Gregory. Pearl was born in Texas, a few years before Tee, to J.H and Mary (Eaton) Gregory. I have not been able to find anything about her or how they may have met, though it seems likely to have been in Fort Worth.
In 1947 Mrs. Pearl Wallingford, employed by the Ft Worth Poultry company, was living at 208 Jones. Oddly, Tee is not listed in this city directory.
The 1949 city directory shows them both, however, living at 310a East 1st Street in Fort Worth. Pearl was a picker for Ft Worth Poultry. Tom (as he gave his name here) was a shipping clerk.
Pearl died aged 62, on 14 January 1955. Her cause of death is shown as malnutrition and electrolyte disturbance, preceded by cirrhosis of the liver for the previous six months. She and Tom/Tee were living at 312 A East First Street at the time. She was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Fort Worth.
On 4 February 1966, Tee remarried. The records show the marriage was to "Alice A. Wallingford". A later document gives her middle name as "Addie". It is possible the last name was a transcription error, with Tee's last name being given as the bride's maiden name. Or it could be that she is an Alice Wallingford that I have not located... At the time of the marriage (in Tarrant County, where Fort Worth is located) Tee was 69 years old and Alice was 61 years old.
Alice and Tee were not together for all that long - Tee died suddenly on 15 March 1969, at the age of 72. His death certificate said he had been in Fort Worth for the previous 50 years. He and Alice were living at 1310 Fifth Avenue, and he was a laborer for Morrison Supply company. Alice, the informant for the certificate, knew that he had been in WWI, but didn't know the name of his parents.
Tee died following a fall on the street, near 103 Commerce Street. The death was ruled accidental pending further investigation, but it was noted that he had a "History of falling on the sidewalk and striking his head in the presence of witnesses."
Alice had him buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, but in a different part of the cemetery from his first wife Pearl, with a military headstone to mark his grave.