The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996 Page: 2
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the Civil War, trailing the opportunity expressed in a letter his sister received from her
brother-in-law, S. M. Clanton:
Tell Elhannon Redding if he wants to do well, he had better
come to Texas and not stay in that piney woods any longer.
If he comes out I will do all I can for him. I can put him in
business at this time if he was here he could get better
wages than he ever would in Georgia.
Elhannon, Henry's brother, did not take Mr. Clanton up on his offer but Henry did.
Eventually, he moved into Falls County where my grandmother and mother were born.
Great-grandfather Redding lived near people with similar backgrounds and interests. His
wife was also from Georgia, the daughter of a farmer displaced by the Civil War.
My father's family had also been in Falls County since before the Civil War. My
father left in 1933, pushed off the farm by the Great Depression. He traveled to his sister's
house in Dallas and stayed there until he found work. My mother came to Dallas in 1936,
marrying my father in June of that year. My parents were pioneers just as great-
grandfather Redding had been. They left one area where depressed conditions made
continuing to live there difficult, choosing to go to another, more promising place.
My father never wanted to leave the country. Dallas never suited him, but it was
where he found work. Later, in 1959, he found Duncanville. This time he didn't follow his
family, but he found that the people who lived in the small community had interests similar
to his own. I believe that Duncanville was the closest that my father could get to the
country and still be close enough to commute to his work. That Duncanville reminded him
of home should have been no surprise because until the 1940's Duncanville had been a
farming community very like his hometown of Reagan. It was only Duncanville's proximity
to Dallas that caused it to grow with people such as my father, displaced by the
Depression, who were looking for people and landscapes familiar to them.
My father could never let go of the country; his wish was always to return there.
What happened to me was different, and yet very much the same. Whereas my father lived
in the country as a youngster, I lived in the suburbs during my coming-of-age years. There
were no watermelons growing in the fields along the way to my school; there were
concrete roads and cars and row after row of houses filled with people very much like me.
I never knew the country; I only knew the city and not even a very big one at that. In
retrospect, it seems very natural that I should want to return to Duncanville when my son
was coming-of-age. I wanted him to know something of a smaller community, one which
centers itself around family. I wanted him to know my "hometown." And so, the pattern
was repeating, with slight variations, but basically the same.
Fact and fiction commingle in this presentation. Historical facts provide the
patterns which are interwoven with pieces of family stories and traditions to produce the
fabric. Personal experiences stitch the fabric into form and place, reflecting the finished
product that is my life quilt.
DGS Journal 1996
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996, periodical, December 1996; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186855/m1/8/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.