Taylor County
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1. WEATHERMAN - A special thanks to Jean Wallace for sharing this interesting bit of old Abilene history. Jean and husband Bill now live in East Texas but her love of Abilene and the fond memories it holds is evident when she talks about the town and events she so clearly remembers.





THE ABILENE WEATHERMAN
by Jean (Bateman) Wallace

This could easily be the story of the Abilene Weather Bureau building constructed in 1908 at the corner of North First and Beech Streets. As you can see by the "Then" and "Now" pictures it was and is an interesting old building and is bound to have a lot of history. But it is not about the building but rather the W. H. Green family that called it home for 36 years.

The weather building was two stories with a full basement. The large basement held a laundry room, coal storage room, furnace, a wide hallway, what they called a board room (a catch-all room) and a room containing the printing press. The first floor had two offices on one side with a wide hallway and on the other side was the kitchen and dining room with pantry and storage. The top floor had the parlor, master bedroom and at the end of the hall, a bathroom and two more bedrooms; one for the boys, one for the girls.

William Hosea Green was my maternal grandfather. Hosea married Emma Olive Bryant June 15, 1905 on the upstairs veranda of her parents home in Flat Creek, Bedford County Tennessee. He was born March 2, 1879 in Madge, Texas, in Coleman County and Emma was born on March 7, 1880. He and Emma were school teachers when they met and just before they married, Hosea went to work for the US Weather Bureau. Hosea was sent to Havana, Cuba as a weatherman. Then to Montgomery, Alabama and later Knoxville, Tennessee. His final assignment before coming to Abilene was in Fort Worth, Texas.


The Weather Bureau in Abilene had the nice, new building on North First Street and all seemed to be going well but tragedy struck without warning. The weatherman for the Abilene Bureau died of a broken neck from a fall down the stairs leading to the basement of the weather building. Hosea was called from Fort Worth, Texas to Abilene on December 19, 1909, to be the new weatherman. Emma, pregnant with her third child, stayed in Fort Worth until the child was born on Christmas Day, 1909.

Hosea and Emma raised seven children while living in the building, five of which were born there. One child died in Tennessee before the family came to Abilene. The children were fond of teasing their parents about owning the country's oldest washing machine. In 1933 the Thor Washing Machine Company contacted the Green family and offered a new, automatic washer if they would let them have what the company believed to be the oldest Thor machine still in use. They agreed and their old machine was put on display at the the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois.


In 1944 Hosea retired and he and Emma moved to a private home at 909 Hickory Street in Abilene. They lived there until their deaths; Hosea March 16, 1964 and Emma March 6, 1966. Both are buried in the Cedar Hill Section of the Abilene Municipal Cemetery. All of the children lived in the Weather Bureau building until they married and two are still alive, Berton Bryant Green and my mother, Ruth Green Bateman. For those of you interested in the family genealogy, click on this link for what my Uncle Berton fondly refers to as the Big Mess of Greens! or if you wish, CLICK HERE to send me an email. 

 

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