Huntington - A Place I Will Always Consider To Be Home
by Doris Boone Wiebold
I have so many good memories of my time in Huntington, Zavalla and the Ora community. Over these 90+ years I have not found the love and caring these places gave me. Of course I enjoyed running in the woods, fishing with cane and line, the trees, the sweet smell of yellow jasmine, the pine oak, sweet gum, dogwood and magnolia. I’ve been a tree lover all my life.
I mostly remember the goodness of the people around me, family and friends. We were poor but I didn’t know it. My dad always said, “you may not have a silk dress but you can have a clean, starched and ironed cotton.”
I remember my two loving grandmothers, never knew a grandfather but had many stories about them and what a blessing they were. I came to appreciate my Grandfather Boone from the letters he wrote his mother after he moved to the Ora community from Trinity County. He was a thoughtful and caring man, loved his family. After his early death, his mother moved in to help Grandma with the children. Dad always said his grandmother was in charge of their schooling and religious training.
My first four years of school were spent in Lufkin staying with dad’s oldest sister. I went to Kurth. After Don was old enough for school we went to Ora for a short time. Dad’s work took him to Zavalla. I finished grade school and started high school, then back to Huntington for a year and a junior year back to Zavalla, then back to Huntington to graduate. I went to Pinewood Business College in Lufkin rooming at Pastor Courtney’s. I took day and some night classes, almost a double load. The war was going then, and I was recruited to work at the Camp Polk, Louisiana Army Hospital. I finished my classes by correspondence.
The teachers at Huntington who had a great influence on me were Mr. and Mrs. Kanneberg, Miss Johnnie Burns, and of course Josie Cloud. I still use some of the things I learned in Home Economics. I remember the good stores and the friendly merchants, especially Otto Jones, He was so good and generous to us when my dad passed away.
One of the highlights of my life was winning first place in an essay contest and $100.00. My subject was the farmer’s market. I know Lufkin had one and I have experienced them here in the Northwest.
When my husband George was discharged, we moved to his hometown of Vancouver, Washington. We bought a 20 acre parcel in 1946 and built a shop and house. We had cows, raised a garden, had a repair shop, tractor rental, and Oliver tractor dealership. Then when the Columbus Day storm hit, we went into logging, clean up, and trucking.
George retired at about 75, and I did slightly but there’s been some bookkeeping to do in the last few years. I have been able to stay in my home with the help of my sons Harry and George. My husband has been in an adult care facility for four years now but I still drive short distances to familiar places.
For my past-time I am involved in church. I quilt on Wednesdays with our group. For two years I have been making lap quilts for veterans, those attending our church and a special “remembrance” quilt for families of those who have passed away. Guess where I got the idea? From this Huntington Herald newspaper with their articles on the fishing trips for the veterans on Sam Rayburn Lake.
I have been truly blessed all my life. God has blessed me and my family in so many ways. There is no place like East Texas!
Editors Note: Mrs. Wiebold has been living in Vancouver, Washington for some time now and is an avid reader of the Huntington Herald newspaper. We send her newspapers through the mail so that she can keep up with her hometown. She was nice enough to send this little story about the memories of her hometown along with the cherished picture of her Sophomore class. I would like to let her know just how much I appreciate her sharing these memories with us. They are priceless! Thank you so much Mrs. Wiebold and God Bless You!
If there is anyone else who would like to share their memories and photos about Huntington/Zavalla and it’s surrounding area, please feel free to mail them to
P.O. Box 1154
Huntington, TX 75949
I will use the photo and return it once I am finished. Please remember to write down the year the photo was taken and the names of those in the photo.