Leonard Harris married Jewel Rogers in 1916-1917. They lived with the Harris family until the time when Leonard went into the Army. Leonard was trained in San Antonio. On one occasion Jewel, accompanied by her brother-in-law, Herbert, visited Leonard in San Antonio. Leonard was sent to France where he was in the thick of the trench warfare. His service record is presented below. On one occasion the soldiers were near starvation when some German civilians gave them cabbage which they boiled in the bloody water from the local stream. Leonard had an abiding hatred for the Red Cross because they failed to help the American soldiers during the war. He had respect for the Germans but disliked the French and English as a result of his wartime experiences.

Ruby was born in 1918 while Leonard was preparing to ship out to France. Ruby was named after the girlfriend of Leonard's best friend in France. The friend was killed in the trenches alongside Leonard. The were both blown out of a trench by German artillery. Leonard survived (unwounded), the friend didn't.

At the end of the war Leonard returned by ship to New York city, tired and dirty. He accidentally met his brother, Kervin, on the streets of New York. Kervin was in the Navy and had been paid, so paid for Leonard to get a bath, shave, etc. There is a picture of the two together in New York.

After the war Leonard and Jewel farmed rented land just west of the Cade cemetery west of Streetman. John L. and Minnie Ruth were born there. In 1926/27/28/?? the cotton crop was very good. Leonard held his cotton from sale anticipating better prices the next year. Instead, the prices fell and his farming days were over. In fact, farming wasn't his forte. He would plow until noon and then find an excuse to go into Streetman, leaving the mules in the field for Jewel to unhitch. In town Leonard was fond of dominoes and cards.

When the farming ended Leonard went into business with his brother, Hugh, running a Cafe/Butcher Shop/Confectionary/?. The business deal didn't work well. Too much credit, too much work for those that worked, too many that didn't work, etc. As the business folded, Leonard and Jewel owed $75 on their house in Streetman. The lien holder foreclosed because Leonard couldn't produce $25. Leonard's mother asked Thomas Sherrard, Leonard's brother-in-law to lend Leonard the $25. Thomas refused claiming that Leonard wasn't a responsible person. They lost the house and Leonard went to work for the Texas Highway Department. He worked away from home in Grapeland and Tyler. Times were hard. At one point he had to borrow 2 cents to mail a letter home.

Meanwhile Herbert, Leonard's brother had gone to work for Sun Oil in Richland and had been transferred to Brenham. Herbert found a job for Leonard in the Drilling Department of Sun at Brenham. The family moved to Brenham. When the drilling ended, Leonard managed to get on with Sun in the East Texas oil field, first as a water station hand and then as a pumper (lease maintenance) on the Knight lease in the south end of the field. Later he moved to a lease in Carlisle where he was working when he died. 

While with Sun in the East Texas field Leonard served as the area representative for the employees working out of the Henderson office. He was an avid supporter of workers rights. "We always wanted Leonard on our side but it rarely happened."-- Jack Maines (management) 

While working for Sun some of Leonard's old habits resurfaced. He was inclined to spend his afternoons at the domino hall in Wright City instead going home after work. While he was area representative he held employee meetings (monthly) where a little card playing took place and spirits were suspected. Employee wives complained to the local Baptist preacher who complained to Sun management. Leonard faced the preacher down and the matter was dropped.

(Before he married Jewel, Leonard borrowed money from the local Streetman farmer, Mr. Coleman, and attended a business course in Waco. The money was repaid.)

Leonard Hale 1995/1999


From the Enlistment Record of Alvis Leonard Harris

Name: Alvis Leonard Harris Grade: Cook

Inducted, Sept 19, 1917, at Blooming Grove, Texas

Marksmanship, gunner qualification or rating: Never qualified

Horsemanship: Not mounted

Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions: AEF France Major Operations - St Mihiel Sept 11 - 18, 1918: Argonne Meuse offensive Sept 25 to Oct 1, 1918. Defense of Sectors, North Sector of Wesserling sector Nosges June 21 to July 20, 1918; Gerardiner sub-sector Aug 14 to Sept 2, 1918; Sommedier sector Oct 18 to Nov 7, 1918. Minor operations - 3rd Bn. 138th Inf Deffensive Wesserling Sector (Wilsenfirst) July 11, 1918. Co C, 138th Inf raid on enemy Gerardmer sub-sector Aug 29, 1918.

Bronze Victory Button Issued 

Approved for victory medal with "St Mihiel" " Meuse-Argonne" " Defensive Sector"

Character: Excellent

Remarks: Soldier honorably discharged. No AWOL or absence under GO 31/12 or 45/14. Co B 315 Engrs; Hq Co 138th Inf. 35 Div Left US 5/2/18 Arr overseas 5/16/18 Left overseas 4/17/19 Arr US 4/28/19

Discharged May 15, 1919 at Camp Bowie, Texas

Paid in full: $76.05 



Site last updated 16 April,  2011
Copyright 2011 Leonard A Hale