REVISED May 2008
WEB PAGE FOR DESCENDANTS OF THOMAS MARION TULL
HELD ANNUALLY IN JUNE
(ACTUAL DATE IS DETERMINED BY A VOTE OF THOSE ATTENDING)
The next TULL-HICKS reunion is scheduled to be held at on
History of the TULL & HICKS Reunions:
From Clayton Hicks:
I put this together after talking to Helen, Mutt, Olan, Hubert and Bob Hicks.
to H.P. Hicks the Tull reunion began as a fish fry at
George Primrose (son of Thomas Marion Tull) and
Chester Jane Green Tull's place near the Brazos
River. As best as can be
determined this was likely between 1930 & 1935. George & Chester
lived adjacent to the Brazos River not too far from Satin,
Each said they remember the Hicks & Tull families getting together at Willow Bend down on the Brazos River as far back as the early 1930’s. It was not called a reunion at that time. It was usually referred to as a fish fry on the river. Most were farmers and had their crops “laid by” in early July. So, the week of July 4, they would load up their wagons pulled by a team of mules and head for the river. They brought live chickens, slabs of bacon, ham, potatoes, fresh vegetables, coffee, tea and other necessities such as quilts, extra clothes etc., for staying on the river at least a week. Some had automobiles but could not get the automobile down to the river bank and back up without being pulled out with a team of mules. So, they came in wagons and staked the mules out along the river bank. Later, some would come in their automobiles and park them on the top of the river bank and walk down the river bank bringing the food, vitals, etc. with them.
The Hicks family was mostly descendents of John Willis & Sara Jane Tull Hicks. She had twelve children and all twelve were alive at that time. Four was living away from Falls Co. Sometimes those living away would come to the reunion. Some of the Tull families were George and Marvin Tull, Gibson & Julie Tull Vasser, Evert & Bertha Tull Steed. Of course, the children and grandchildren of all of these came along. The men would take care of the animals, set up camp, set out trot lines to catch fish, gather wood for the fire to cook on, etc. The women would make provisions for eating and watch out for the children, etc. The men would clean the fish they caught and the women would fry them. Blankets and quilts were usually laid out on the sand bar near the river and we all slept on either a blanket or a quilt.
Cow bells were tied to the trot lines. When a fish got on one of the trot lines, the cow bell would ring alerting everyone that a fish was on the line and needed to be taken off before it got loose. Different cowbells had different rings to them. This way, you could tell which line to tend to and not disturb the others. Sometimes musical instruments were brought along and we would have music around the campfire.
Seems as though when WWII came along, (1941) the trend was dropped. It was picked up again in 1954. Several of the Hicks & Tull families were living in and around Webster, Texas at the time. Earl Hershal Hicks, (son of John Willis Hicks & Sarah Jane Tull) son, Hershal Lee Hicks was killed in an accident July 4, 1953. So, on the first anniversary of his death, several of the Hicks and Tull families decided to get together in Webster so Earl Hershal and Myrtle Hughes Hicks would not feel so depressed because of the loss of their son Hershal Lee. It went over so well, they decided to have it again the following year.
After the second get-together, Lydia Jane Hicks Bailey Allen (daughter of John Willis Hicks & Sarah Jane Tull) invited the group to Angleton, TX, where she was living, for the next year’s meeting. At that meeting, someone suggested that they move the meeting to Chilton. Therefore, in 1957, the Tulls and Hicks families started meeting once again in Falls County. At various times they met at the Old Settlers Reunion grounds, H. P. Hicks’ farm, (not far from the Old Settlers Reunion grounds), Allen House in Marlin, Saddle Club in Marlin and lately at the Chilton Fire Station.
Not for sure at this point in time exactly when officers were elected and not for sure why or when it was changed to the Tull/Hicks Family Reunion. We are all descendents of Thomas Marion Tull.
REUNION ASSOCIATION OFFICERS FOR 2006-2007:
President Maryanne Cohn Hayes
Secretary Nancy Davis
Treasurer Maryanne Cohn Hayes
POWELL-TULL CEMETERY ASSOCIATION OFFICERS:
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer Terry Tull
Donations, Contributions and Support:
Two Associations (Reunion
and Cemetery) are supported solely by the generosity of the family member. The Fire Station at Chilton is not free and
is an excellent, comfortable location for the reunions. The cost of the Fire Station rental, paperware, plasticware and drinks
are provided by the Reunion Association from the donations. The
3962 Highway 14 North
Mexia, TX 76667
Ned Walton opened with a prayer.
Mike Hicks called the reunion meeting to order and read the minutes of the 2004 meeting. Motion was made to accept the minutes, seconded. Motion carried.
Maryann Cohn gave the treasurer’s report of $454.18. In addition, Maryann read a card she received
from Dorothy Jane Hicks of Sequin,
Doug McKee opened the floor to discuss hiring someone to maintain the Powell/Tull cemetery. Cody Stein will summit a bid for the job. Hubert McKee was elected to take over the cemetery committee. A motion was made, seconded, motion carried. Maryann reported that the cemetery fund has $1,434.14. Hubert will now manage that account. Any and all donations are to be mailed to:
148 CR 4012
Chilton, TX 76632
Ned Walton asked to read a story of our own Dennis Birkes. It was his account of being captured during WW II. It was an inspiring story that moved each and everyone to a standing ovation. His story follows:
WITH THREE SECONDS TO SPARE ---
The date: September 20, 1944
The target: Railroad marshalling yards at Budapest, Hungary
Our mission: To do as much damage as we could to the railroads at Budapest in order to slow the movement of troops and material of the German war machine, using 500 pound bombs dropped from the B-17s of the 97th Bombardment group stationed near Foggia in southern Italy.
(This account written from the perspective of the plane’s co-pilot 2nd Lt. Dennis L. Birkes of Chilton, Texas)
this was mission #10. Previous missions
had been a mixture of easy milk runs to the dreaded kind with heavy flak and at
high altitude. My first mission was sure
enough a milk run, bombing for troop support.
(Marshall Tito) The worst one was
a mission to
that morning, 34 were killed, 17 were captured, and 20 made it back that evening. Some of us survivors later thought there must have been a protecting hand over us, maybe even manipulating the circumstances just a bit.
On this mission, the flak was moderate but very accurate. Our plane was hit pretty heavily, knocking out both engines on the left side, and we could not maintain altitude or level flight. So, we were going down at a very steady descent. Actually, we did manage to get about halfway back to base. Along the way, the crew members in the back were throwing out anything with any appreciable weight. This included the ball-turret, which when unbolted, not only had quite substantial weight, but also left a neat round hole through which to exit the plane. Then the pilot gave the order to “bail out”. Crew members in the back were the first to go, and right on up to the front. Finally, only the pilot, navigator and myself (the co-pilot) were left. The navigator wanted to go after me, so I made my way back to the hole to exit, and I decided to check my chute. Well, I FOUND MY CHEST PACK CHUTE upside down. So, I turned it over and jumped out. But I was holding onto the carrying handle. After a couple of yanks on that handle, with nothing happening, I reached for the ripcord handle, and one pull did what it was suppose to do. The chute opened and I hit the ground. I did not have a whole lot of altitude to waste when leaving the plane, and I used a lot of it getting to the ripcord. Thus, I hit the ground hard enough to break my left ankle. So, this is where the title of my story comes in. No way could it have been more than three seconds from pulling the ripcord to hitting the ground. It was probably less than that. So, I’ll ask the question, “Were circumstances changed or manipulated?”
Soon after, I was scrambling to my feet to look for possible observers to what was happening to me. My ankle was hurting pretty sharply, as I began to gather my chute. Uniformed soldiers were coming toward me from all directions, and seeing right quickly that I was certainly outnumbered, I lifted my hands to surrender. The soldiers just as quickly let me know that they were my friend, not my captors. They were quick to point out the red stars on their caps identifying them as members of Marshall Tito’s forces. When they saw I was having trouble moving about, they brought up a white horse for me to ride. Then they led me down a ravine with a high bank on the right side. Soldiers were lining the bank as though they were ready to ward off the enemy with their riffles. As we passed by, each soldier rose and saluted me. This made me feel like a celebrity.
me to a first aid station where there was a doctor who had received his medical
education in part of the
While waiting for them we watched some night skirmishing between the Partisans and the Germans. We were on a ridge overlooking a valley with opposing forces on opposite sides, and they were firing machines and a few mortars at each other. Their tracer bullets were making a pretty picture, going back and forth. We could also hear the “whomp” of some mortars intermingled with the other sounds. This was all very interesting to a country boy.
My night ride was also very interesting. The mode of transportation for the 12 miles to the British was a two-wheeled ox cart, pulled by a pair of oxen. The cart was about half filled with freshly killed hog carcasses, still warm. This was covered with a tarp, and there was still some body warmth present to make it more comfortable for me on this chilly autumn night. Also, on our little journey a young woman was in charge, and she flirted quite a bit with me. (After all, I was a young, six-foot, three-inch, good looking American airman who needed some help.)
When we arrived at our destination, the British had a small room with a feather mattress. It was thought that I would be picked up soon, but it did not work out that way. The weather did not cooperate, turning wet, rainy and disagreeable. We waited for 18 days until that plane was able to come in to pick us up on a short, dirt runway that was lit with smudge pots. During my stay with the British, we had hot tea in the morning, and then we had to go about 300 yards to another house for two meals a day. The meals were usually a stew served with black bread. During my stay there I had no change of clothes nor a razor, so I was really ready for a clean-up when I got into the hospital.
My hospital stay took up the next five weeks, and I was finally returned back to the squadron. I was not immediately scheduled to fly on a mission until December 27th. On many of the subsequent missions I saw a lot of flak, but we did not have any really close calls, for which I was grateful. I flew 10 more missions as a co-pilot, and then I was moved over into the pilot’s seat for my last 10 missions. Then the war was over, the peace treaty was signed, and we came home as fast as we could.
A motion was made, to have the 2006 reunion at the Chilton Fire Station. The date of Sunday, June 25th, 2006.
Motion was seconded, motion passed.
There were 64 of us in attendance.
Recognition of our recently deceased family member was mentioned and those unable to attend.
The eldest family member present - Clara Mae Miller
The youngest family member present - Desera Myron (Guy and Sandy Pettisâ€™ granddaughter)
The family member(s) who
traveled the farthest
- for the 4th year in a row was, Guy &
Sandra Pettis and family from
Most family members present: - Jim Hicks family with 15 family members in attendance.
The floor was opened for nominations of officers for the coming year.
A motion was made to have the present board members remain active. Seconded. Motion carried.
A drawing was held for door prizes. There were so many choices, most everyone left with something.
INFORMATION FOR 2006 REUNION:
Help is always needed to set up the tables & chairs prior to noon. Help is also needed to take down the tables and chairs, mop the floor and remove the trash. So come early and stay late to help the Vice President fulfill their duties.
TULL & HICKS GENEALOGY:
If you are interested in your Tull or Hicks family roots please visit the web sites below. If you want additional information on families that are related please contact Roy Juch via email.
LINK TO TULL WEB PAGE AT http://www.juch.net/tull.htm
LINK TO CHILTON TULL WEB PAGE AT http://www.juch.net/mytull.htm
LINK TO THE POWELL-TULL CEMETERY WEB PAGE AT http://www.juch.net/ptull.htm