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These narratives and pictures are taken from copies of the Sacul Folk Festival Souvenir Book.  Enjoy them.  

[Sacul]  [The R. O Treadaway Family]  [That's Lucas Spelled Backwards]  [Sacul Water Corporation History]  [The Village Smithy Stands]  [Dr. Treadaway Remembers]  [Sacul Memories]  [My Memories of Sacul] [David Dill's Memories]

If you have memories you would like to have posted on this page email them to for consideration










By Ken Champion




My father, C. R. Champion, was a small man who weighed maybe 135 pounds and stood about five feet and seven inches tall.  He grew up in Sacul and always loved the town.

He always wanted to be a writer and did write some stories which I have kept.  But he was at his best in being a salesman who could talk to anyone and convince anyone of the need to buy.

In the years of the depression he did whatever he could do to support wife and four kids.  He worked for the W. P. A., building roads and bridges for a dollar a day.  He went from house to house selling whatever there was to sell.

Later, having no car, he would leave Sacul at 2 a.m., on the train that came through, work all week, then come home in the middle of the night again on Saturday morning.  I remember him always stopping by the beds, kissing all of us goodbye.  For some reason it always seemed to be winter and I worried about him having to walk to the depot, about 2 miles away.

He always loved being funny and acting funny.  In those times the local would be actors and actresses would get together and present a play or two during the year.  He was always a star-the comic who got the most laughs.  There was little in the way of entertainment, so the whole town turned out.

My father always told me that he started smoking at the age of ten or eleven, so in his middle fifties, he got emphysema and could walk only a short distance before having to stop for rest.

This continued to worsen, and his joy of life, his sense of humor, his gentleness, faded gradually, as his breathing got more labored.

One night we received a phone call that he had had a stroke and was in the hospital.  

When we arrived, he was in a semi-conscious state.  I remember his rousing a bit and saying, "I've got to go home."

He never got to go home again.

He lies buried in the little cemetery in his beloved Sacul.

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That's Lucas ----Spelled Backwards

By Ken Champion


Ark Cranford lived in Sacul most of his life and had the only drugstore ever to be there.  It was typical of its time.  There was a soda fountain where one could always get a cool drink of water in one of those old-time, clear Coca Cola glasses.  There were two small, round tables with metal chairs, where one could, if the money were available, sit with his girlfriend and have a soda

The smell inside was delicious.  There were the odors of perfume, powder, soups, and the store was always cool and shaded. 

Mr. Ark always had a cigar in his mouth, and, as far as I know, never lit it. He chewed the end, and because the cigar was always there, he spoke in a muffled, somewhat hard to understand voice.

Although he was only a pharmacist in our little town, he as also a doctor in many ways.  There wasn't a real doctor for miles, so Mr. Ark had to do.  So, for any ailment, one went to the drugstore and told Mr. Cranford about the problem.  He would mumble something, go back to where the pills, medicines, balms, and salves were kept, mumble a bit more, and come out with something to do or take or rub on.  He also had available the Black Draught and little pink pills we all used to clear out our bodies for the summer.

The drugstore was the place one went to buy Christmas toys.  Most of us didn't get any of these, but we did  find out that all the toys were kept in a back storeroom the rest of the year. There was one window in the room, and it had been painted over.  However, a bit of paint was missing in one corner of the window, and we could, by peering in that spot, see all the goodies the year round.  And what a sight it was!!  There were metal trucks, there were colorful balls, tops, dolls, toy guns, everything and anything one could ever want for Christmas. 

The last time I saw Mr. Cranford was after I had been discharged from the Navy, had married, and was attending college on the GI Bill.  My wife and I had borrowed her parents' car to visit my grandmother in Sacul.  About two miles out of town the car stopped--just died.  A man driving by inspected the car and told me I would need a new coil that would cost around twelve dollars.  I didn't have any money, so I walked to the drugstore and told my troubles to Mr. Ark.  All he said was, "How much do you need?"  I made sure he was repaid as soon as possible.

Only one of the Cranford daughters still lives in Sacul and this store has been closed for many years.  Being there, and seeing the old building re-news the memory I have of Mr. Cranford.  He was probably the only person who ever lent me money without asking for interest or asking when I intended to pay it back.

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Sacul Water Corporation History

By Pearl Button

When the people of Sacul see a need to improve their community, they go to work.  In 1963 there was quite a few residents' wells began to go dry.  We had a meeting and elected a committee to see about getting a loan from F. H. A.

The committee elected officers as follows:  Billy Lucas, President; Pearl Button, Secretary/Treasurer; Ray Treadaway, Chester Whitaker and Calvin Corley.

The committee went to Nacogdoches to Farm Home Administration to secure a loan.  The requirements were strict.  There had to be at least 56 customers willing to tie on to the water.  The work began by getting 56 families to sign up to take the water.  We finally got 54 and went back to F. H. A. and asked if we could get the loan on 54 customers and they said yes!

The work did not stop there.  We then had to secure easement from each land owner where the water lines would be laid.  We only had one to refuse us.

We secured a loan for $62,468.67 and hired an engineer to draw up the plans.  Mr. Henderson gave us the land to dig the well and put the well plant on.  There was 12 miles of line which included the McKnight community.

The Sacul Water Corporation has grown and done well. We are now providing water to 144 customers.  We are in desperate need of another well and have applied for a grant to get it drilled.  It will take approximately $40,000 to dig another well.  Property has already been donated by Tommy King for the well. We seem to be going down the list rather than up it to get the grant.  With the diligent work of the members of the Water Board we hope to soon have a second well serving our community.

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The Village Smithy Stands

     Anvil Of Sacul Blacksmith Has Clanged Four Decades

By Phil Dilbert

Courier-Times-Telegraph East Texas Editor

Sacul.--When you step into the blacksmith shop of W. M. Gregory in this County community, it is as though you have turned back time and entered an era of East Texas history that was both more enchanting and more rugged than today's anesthetized existence of glittering creature comforts.

The sagging, but durable shack on the edge of town, is truly an anachronism but every stick, tool and chink in it has played a part in the life of Gregory, whose anvil has clanged almost continuously for four decades.

Gregory, lean, erect and 72, has hammered out tons of horse shoes, farm implements and wagon parts since 1913.  He comes by his trade honestly.

"I was raised up in blacksmithing," he'll tell you, his blue eyes sparkling through his spectacles. "My granddaddy was a machinist and blacksmith back at Nolansville, Wilson County in Tennessee.  He was named J. P. Gregory.  the J. P. stands for James K. Polk.  And he made boots and shoes for Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson during the Civil War.  Look at this."

He'll hold up a curved piece of metal with a hole in one end.  "This here's a shoe float,"  he'll explain.  "It was used to take wooden pegs out of shoes durin' the Civil War."  Then he'll probably rummage around in an ancient chest and bring out several other fascinating implements that felt the skillful fingers of men dead for several generations.

One of these is a 14-inch hacksaw, a wooden mortising mallet, a draw knife and a set of divided compasses, all manufactured before the American Revolution and handed down to Gregory by his grandfather.  They are all in excellent condition and would doubtless bring a fancy price from a first class museum.

But these articles are mostly of sentimental significance to Gregory.

"That was in the old loggin days of nineteen an'seven to nineteen an'fifteen."  he explains.  "i charge from six bits to a dollar for a set of shoes for a hoss or mule an' as high as five dollars for a stud hoss.  Then in nineteen an'twenty-two, =the trucks come and my horseshoein' done fell off."

In 1918 a fractious horse he was trying to shoe almost put an end to Gregory's career.  The animal, an Army surplus horse, reared back and kicked Gregory so hard a section of intestine was ripped out.  "Taken a piece that big outa me," he says, pointing to his back.  "For a year I went around all doubled up.  Finally made it all right, though.  Hit don't  bother me none now."

Gregory took a couple of Tyler visitors through his shop last Monday morning.  When they greeted him at the threshold he was splitting kindling wood with an axe.

When they heard of his 1919 mishap they expressed surprise that the injury hadn't left him permanently stooped.

"Hit's a wonder hit didn't,"  he said.  "When that horse kicked me he knocked me right onto a square block over thar."  He pointed to a spot just outside the door.  Spent four days in a hospital in Dallas.  Cost me $400.  Taken me six to.....

"Not too much to this blacksmithin nowadays,"  he said.  "Mostly turn out axe handles and canthook handles.  Makes very few plow beams.  Hit's mostly all steel stuff these days."

Gregory came to East Texas in 1884 with his family when he was only a year old.  The new settlers hailed from Nolansville, Tenn., which Gregory says used to be nicknamed "Doolittle" for for some unknown reason.  The old blacksmith says he was named for Gen. William Miles of Civil War fame.

He lives with his invalid wife about a quarter-mile from his shop.  Mrs.. Gregory, the former Miss Mattie Adams of Rusk, is 69 and has been confined to her bed for the past four years.

Gregory says he is not a member of any particular church.  His belief is that everyone is seeking the same God in a different way. Hit's like the spokes in a wheel,"   he says.  "They all lead to the same central point."

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The R. O. Treadaway Family

Mr. and Mrs. Treadaway (Richard Oscar and Maude Lee) moved to Sacul in the year 1917 from the state of Louisiana where Mr. Treadaway was a section foreman for the T. and N. O. railroad.  Mr. Treadaway was forced to leave the railroad industry because of a severe injury to his legs.  This family chose Sacul as their home because at the time it was a thriving community with a good school and several churches.  Mr. Treadaway started a crosstie manufacturing company soon after his arrival in Sacul. After a short stint with this endeavor, he began his lumber company.  As this business began to grow, he branched out to three other small towns located in Rusk county in the Joiner Oil field, namely Carlisle, Selmon City, and Joinerville.  After being in the lumber business for many years, Mr. Treadaway had to retire because of ill healtMr. Treadaway was very active in the development and growth of the Sacul school.  His interest in education was due to his experience as a school teacher.  He served as president of the school board of trustees for many years only to give up that position when the Sacul school was forced to consolidate with Cushing.  Through his sincere love and devotion to the school in Sacul, he generously gave of his time and finances.  He gave the materials for the construction of the high school gymnasium.  Mrs. Treadaway was a beautiful person who spent much time and energy serving church and community.  And she had a full time job raising a large family.

Mr. and Mrs. Treadaway raised nine children in Sacul.  There were five daughters, all of them school teachers.  These girls were Bertha Mae, Louise, Velmer. Maude and Willie.  The four sons were: Elmer, who was in construction; Sam and Gordon, who worked in the chemical industry; and Ray, an accountant who at one time was vice-president of the Sacul State Bank.

This community lost one of its most generous and dedicated citizens with the death of Mr. Treadaway in 1948.  Mrs.. Treadaway passed away in July, 1957.

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Dr. Treadaway Remembers

 Early SFA

By Teresa Kyle

Taken from: The Sunday Sentinel, Nacogdoches, Texas, Sunday June 13, 1976

Dr. Bertha Treadaway remembers when excitement at Stephen F. Austin State University meant walking down to the railroad and meeting the train every Sunday, and room and board cost $15 a month.

Dr. Treadaway was a member of the 1926 graduating class of SFASU and was one of the six of the graduates who participated in (the) 50th anniversary reunion activities at SFASU in May.

She lives in Sacul in the northern part of Nacogdoches County in a comfortable brick home which she shares with her constant companion, a Chihuahua named Chiquita.  The veteran education reminisced about her teaching career with Chiquita nestled in her lap.  Her rod and  reel was within easy reach in one corner of the room near a window filled with thriving African Violets.  Dr. Treadaway is a woman who loves the out-of-doors and likes to take advantage of it as much as possible.

She retired from Southeastern State University at Durant, Oklahoma in 1970 after spending 25 years in the Health and Physical Education Department at that university.  She moved back to her childhood home in Sacul and built her home on the family property there.

Beginning her education in Nacogdoches County, she later attended Stephen F. Austin State University.   Dr. Treadaway lived in the Langford house with 15 other girls while at SFASU and walked to college everyday.  The Langford house was located north of what is now SFASU, and the girls walked to the present high school for classes everyday.

"I remember some of my favorite teacher----Mrs. Jogot Harling, Miss Broadfoot, Mr. Garner and Mrs. Blount," said Dr. Treadaway, who started out in college as a history major.

While attending SFA, she participated in the women's recreation association, and got her first taste of what would be a lifetime career.

After graduation from SFA, Dr. Treadaway began looking for a teaching job, but in those days applicants had to do a little more than walk in the office and fill out an application.

"We had to go out the day the school board was scheduled to met to see each of the trustees, who was usually a farmer.  We had walk out to the fields right through newly plowed rows and he was usually in the back 40 acres," she laughed.

Then we would meet with the board that night, one at a time.  There was a lot of competition for the jobs.  Some started teaching with temporary certificates after high school," Dr. Treadaway remembered.

She was hired at Hallsville and taught for three y ears there.  She also served as girls basketball coach and was later hired by the Longview School district as a basketball coach.

"At Longview I had a PE class with 250 girls, juniors and seniors.  There's wasn't very much we could do but march and exercise," said Dr. Treadaway.

"Longview also hired Ed Sharp as a coach at the same time and he couldn't teach math, so I had to take math and he took history."

During her teaching years Dr. Treadaway continued her own education during summer school session.  She received her Bachelor of Science and Masters Degree from Texas Woman's University in 1940-.

In the summer of 1945 she moved to Dallas and worked for the Dallas Recreation Department for a few months.  But she missed her teaching and that fall began teaching at Southeastern State University in Durant, Oklahoma.  She had found her home, and the women's athletic department at that university had found a fighter.

Dr. Treadaway was the only woman in the department until 1962, 17 years after she started working.  She created the intramural program at SESU, later adding an extramural department.

Her tenure began right after World War II ended, and male students were returning to the universities.  Dr. Treadaway said the students needed some social activities so she initiated a recreation program and founded a week-night student dance that is still popular at SESU.

Dr. Treadaway always worked to build up women's athletics both in her high school and her years at SESU.

"It was thumbs down on basketball for girls.  Women have really had to fight to get recognition in something like that," she said.

While at SESU, Dr. Treadaway attended summer sessions at TWU and received her Ph. D. in physical education in 1960.

She has traveled extensively and two of her favorite spots are Hawaii and Colorado.

She said students have changed since she was in school.  "So may didn't have very much money then.  And they had to make good--they had to study," she added.

The lady is retired from teaching now but she stays active.  She and Chiquita often take Felipe (her name for every car she has ever owned) out for a drive.  She takes care of her herd of Black Angus cattle." They're beautiful.  I wish you could see them," she remarked.

She goes fishing every chance she gets and still plans to write a book on physical education.

"I just haven't got around to it yet," she said.  She showed several of her afghans which crochets in her spare time.

Dr. Treadaway was named to Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who of American Women, the Dictionary of International Biography and the 1970 Creative and Successful Personalities of the World.  When she retired from SESU in 1970 the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges passed a resolution in special recognition of Dr. Treadaway's 25 years of faithful and dedicated service to education.

"I never regretted my teaching career," she said.  "I had originally planned to teach for three years and then go back to school and be a medical doctor, but I just got so involved with teaching."

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Sacul Memories

Arthur William Clemons

As I attempt to recall some memory of my early years in Sacul, one of the fondest memories comes from my High School Days.  In the school year of 1938-39, I was a junior and the most outstanding thing that happened during this year was the success of our Basketball Team.  Our team was composed of the following boys:  Dolphus Chancelor, Leland Channel, Cleatis Corley, Gordon Treadway, Kurth Booker, Garland Gresham, Jack Gresham and Arthur William Clemons.  Our coach was Melton Jacks.

During this year our team won the County Championship.  You have to keep in mind that at this time there was no school classifications to win - you must defeat every team in the county. In the regular season play we tied with Central Heights and were forced into a two out of three game play-off.  this was to be a home and home and if necessary, a third game on a neutral court.  The first game was played at Central Heights with Central Heights winning by two points.  Then the Sacul home game we won by one point.  This set the stage for a third game play off at the old Nacogdoches High School gym.  This game we won by one point.  Isn't it odd that the total points scored by each team in the three games were the same?

This event created much excitement in Sacul, in fact so much that Mr. Alvin Corley (local merchant and Post Master) told us before the third game that if we won he would take the entire team to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico.  So when school was out for the Summer, Mr. Corley and Coach Jacks loaded us up for the trip.  This was really a great experience for a group of boys that had hardly been out of Nacogdoches County for their entire life.  This event along with the trip for a climax, was just one of the Sacul events I will never forget.

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My Memories of Sacul

This "memory" was emailed to me by Lowell Blackburn and is reprinted with his permission.

By Lowell Blackburn

I remember the depot t Sacul.  I can remember bales of cotton being stored there on the west side of the depot.  The cotton gin was back around on the other side of the road towards Cushing.  I think the McKnights ran the gin.  I can remember going there with several loads of cotton and watching the seeds get separated from the bolls and the seeds fall into a hopper while the bolls were baled up in great big 500 pound bales.  I wish I had some pictures of that but I don't.  I know there are lots of photos that were taken, but I don't know who has them.

We lived on the west side of town on the store front side on a back street.  My dad played on the Sacul basketball and baseball teams back in the late 1930s.  I can drive right to the house but I can't remember the street.

Doc Cranshaw  ran the pharmacy.  He stitched my head up when I split it open by falling on a butter churn after tripping over a red wagon while I was running at top speed.  I was about four or so.  My grandfather's brother, Jess Blackburn, lived there in Sacul until thee day he died.  He was arrested on the steps of the Nacogdoches court house when he was in his eighties for selling boot leg whiskey.  For cryin our loud, he sold it to a deputy on the courthouse steps.  You will have to talk to Edith about that one.  His famous last words were, "Hell boy, I thought you was my friend."


Letter From David Dill

I received this email from former resident, David Dill.  The letter is posted here with his permission.  Thank you David for adding your memories of Sacul to this page.

My name is David Dill.  I was raised in Sacul by my Grandparents, George and Edna (Nanny) Dill.

I have so many wonderful memories of Sacul that it would be impossible for me to attempt to relate them here.  But I would like to mention some people that had a great influence on my life.  One of these people was Mr. Authur Clemons.  A finer man I have never known.  He was a solid rock of the Sacul school system, but most of all, he gave me a pattern of how a man should be.  Both strong and gentle.  I have fell very short of that pattern many times in my life but the pattern is still there.  Some others that I have such fond memories of have already been mentioned on this site....Mr. Ark Cranford, Mr. Will Gregory.  And others like Mr. Dodd, Mr. Long, the Button family, the Weaver family, the Applegate family, and so many others.

There are only a few people still in Sacul that remember my Grandfather Mr. George Dill.  I loved my Grandfather very, very much.  He was a very sweet man, but also a man with a very short temper.  I was a witness to that temper on a few occasions.  But I would like everyone who knew him to know that after the war, he was a very tormented man.  Both in body and spirit. He had many demons of war to deal with.  And those who knew him well understood.

My Grandmother Mrs. Edna dill was a wonderful woman that I loved so very much.  Everyone that still remembers her will certainly agree with me.

I want to end by saying that Sacul and its people hold a place in my heart like no other place on earth.  I hope someday I can return.

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