Allison / Friendship Community,
Texas - History
by Geraldine (Tallas) Heisch
Mrs. Geraldine Heisch was born, raised and went to school at Friendship, through all 8 grades (Friendship no longer had a high school at that time). Three of her dad's sisters and one brother graduated from Friendship High School in prior years. They lived in the James Allison home. Her paternal grandmother and family moved to that farm in 1925 and as a child (Geraldine was born in 1934) she remembers the family talking about the Old Friendship/Allison school which had been about a 1/2 miles west on Elihu P. Allison's place. Geraldine's father farmed the James Allison farm which by then had been sold to a Mrs. Pope and later her niece, Nina Covington, inherited it from her. Geraldine's dad, Tom W. Tallas, served on the Friendship School and Friendship Coop Gin Boards for many years. Mrs. Heisch has very close ties to the old community and to the new Friendship area and is currently in the process of applying for an historical marker for the site.
The community of Allison (later called Friendship) was located on the northern banks of Willis Creek about 4 miles east from the present town of Granger, Texas. In 1847 Elihu Creswell Allison and his brother, James A. Allison, moved to Milam County and bought land from Aza Hoxey which was part of a six league Mexican Land Grant to Pedro Zarza prior to 1836. A contract dated 29 May 1855 shows that Elihu and James were each to receive 320 acres apiece out of the six leagues. The part of the county where they bought land became Williamson County in 1848. This land was located in the northeastern Williamson County and about 4 miles of the present town of Granger, Texas. James Francis Allison, the oldest son of Elihu C. and Margaret M. Allison, and two of his brothers, Elihu Polk and Russell J. Crawford Allison, each built large two-story houses in this Allison Community. (Images of two of these homes are included-pictures A & B.) The Allisons, along with other families had large cattle interests there. They registered their cattle brands in Williamson County in the Register of Cattle Brands. A post office named Conel was established here with James F. Allison, postmaster (1878-1880).
The post office was discontinued until 1892 when Calvin G. Allison, and then Charles S. Williamson (1893) were postmasters at this same place, now called Allison. However, in 1894 mail was transferred to Granger.
In this community
was also built a cotton gin, a store, a church, a tabernacle, and a
school. The gin was built by Bill Linder and was operated at one time by
Joe Cuba, Sr. and his sons. The old tabernacle was built close to the
cotton gin and the store while the church and the school were built
across a small branch and a bit further to the west on the banks of
school was built about 1873 near the creek.
of the school and of students are included-C & D.)
It was later called
“Old Friendship” school and this was southwest of the latter town of
- (vew below)
The teachers at this
- (vew below)
school were: Miss Frances Poole, Miss Zora Cook and Beulah Stanley. The Allison Colored District 22 had as teachers Bessie West and Bessie E. Fowler. In 1914 the trustees of Allison, District 22, of
This Allison/Old Friendship School was also used for worship services
in the Czech language by the Rev. Jindrick Juren of
Elihu Allison’s youngest child died at age 10 and Elihu buried her on
the western edge of his property just south of -
located at the east end of the
Sam Allison operated a store north of the Allison home. The store carried essentials such as flour, sugar, coffee, tobacco, snuff, a bit of calico, thread, needles, and school supplies of paper, pencils, pen staff and points and candy.
Here in the Allison/ Friendship community, the tabernacle was a popular place for revival meetings, which often lasted a week. People slept beneath their wagons and their children within the wagon. People came from miles around, bringing enough feed for their horses to last a week. Good spring water was handy. Fires were always going with beans bubbling in pots and cornbread baking in the dutch ovens which hot embers surrounded. The men would cut a lot of trees and place them in rows and the lumberyard would lend them 1x12 planks to lay on them for seats. Some of the people living in the Allison/Friendship area at this time were: The Jim Allisons, The Crawford Allisons, The Polk Allisons, The Tom Winninghams, The Bun Martins, The Gus Wolsches, The Shine Rushings, The Sowells, The Simciks, The Ed Eliotts and others.
Allison/Friendship community was a thriving community until the
monstrous flood of September 1921 created havoc with the area. The gin,
the store, and the tabernacle were destroyed. Also, about 2 ½ miles
eastward on the banks of Sore Finger was a tiny community called
here was a store run by Clarence Williams, a blacksmith shop operated by Pink Jackson, the Ed White gin, and a school for black children. The flood washed away the gin, blacksmith shop, and the contents of the store. The black school was built by Clarence Young on the north bank of Sore Finger Creek and was used as a school and as a church until 1952. After the flood Mr. Williams moved his store and house north about ½ mile from
After consolidating with two nearby
community schools (
Some of the social events in the
community were wiener roasts, parties, picnics and fishing trips. The
big event was the Friendship Fair, which lasted three days. People came
from far and near to attend the fair and to enter many exhibits. It was amazing to see the cooperation of everyone and the hard work they did to make the fair a success. (Images M & N included).
The Friendship Grange, No. 1414 was established and included is a picture showing the group of April 25, 1935. (Image O)
In the school census records in 1925, there are 256 children enrolled in the Friendship Schools (includes the black school, also); in 1936 there are 250 pupils (209 white and 41 colored); and in 1941 there are 198 students in the Friendship Consolidated Schools (174 white and 24 colored). (Pictures of school and student groups are included-Images P, Q, & R.) A new gymnasium was erected in 1936 by Charlie Horak and Louis Kopecky. It was considered the finest gym for miles around. (Images S & T)
The blacksmith shop in this new community was run for many years by Joe Zezulka. The service station had several owners during the years with the Clarence Lucky Family being the last owners. They sold it to the Zik Safariks who moved the building to a lot they bought from Chester Cocke located south of Jerry Lesikar’s store. They remodeled the building and turned it into a tavern, which they owned for 2 years and later sold to the Emil Mohels.
The Mozach Gin
at Friendship later became the Friendship Co-op Gin with Henry Rozacky
as the manager. Throughout the years, some of the people who served on
the gin - -
board were: John Adamek, Rudoph Cadan, Jake Wade, Willie Davidson, Anton Cadan, Tom Tallas, R.H. Brookshire, Louis Shirocky, Ted Krueger, Joe Stefek and Ed Wentrcek.
The gin was a busy place. From “Frienship Facts” in the Granger News we note that in August 1951, 244 bales had already been baled. The crew that year included: Henry Rozacky Sr., manager; Buck Spinn; Lawrence Rozacky; Ralph Brookshire; Johnnie Janak; Mrs. R.H. Brookshire, bookkeeper and Doc Sharp (hauled bales to Granger). (Images X, Y, & Z)
A most notable lady from the
Friendship Community was Stacy Mikulencak Labaj, 1903-1977. Stacy spent
many years on the Williamson County Historical Commission. Her oral
histories include many early residents of this community. Some of
these tapes are at the Center for American Histories at the
The Friendship Community, beginning
on the banks of
Allison Friendship Community, Texas
Allison Friendship Community, Texas by Texas Escapes