Monday, December 1, 2014

Memories of my Dad, Kermit King Hollingsworth: Part Two: From College to Marriage


In 1929, Kermit Hollingsworth resided at 3410 Haynie Avenue, Dallas, Texas. In Google Maps, the address is on the north side of the street and is now a parking lot shaded by trees on the south side of the perimeter. His address was published in the Dallas, Texas, City Directory, 1929, page 554, John F. Worley Directory, Publishers, 905 Main Street, Dallas, Texas, at www.ancestry.com.


Kermit's residence was one block west of SMU's northwest corner of the campus. As a freshman, he would have possibly attended classes nearby in the main north quadrangle of the campus. Fondren Library was approximately three blocks to the east and three blocks south of where he lived. 


In 1929, at age 18, Kermit Hollingsworth appears as a freshman at Southern Methodist University, SMU, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas on page 90 of the Rotunda Yearbook. I wish I knew how he was able to afford to go to college, especially at SMU, a private Methodist connected university. He talked about being an evangelistic singer for a tent revivalist in Texas at the time and I have located newspaper articles in Lubbock, Texas and east Texas newspapers about his leading the singing, leading youth groups in singing, and leading children in singing in tent revivals. His attendance in college was not steady during every semester, but sporadic, I imagine, as he could afford it, for many years.


In 1930, at age 19, Kermit did not live with the rest of his family as listed in the US Federal Census. A later newspaper article that appeared in one of his later pastorates in Athens, Texas states that he was a student at Paris Junior College during the year in 1930. As of yet, I have not discovered the yearbook for that year at Paris Junior College, Paris, Texas, but believe the newspaper article to be true about him. 


In the 1930 US Federal Census, Kermit's older brother Dan also did not live at home. The family resided in the home at Denison, Grayson County, Texas including the father, James William Hollingsworth, the mother, Lula Elizabeth Mason Hollingsworth, Kermit's and Dan's brother Frank, and sisters Gae and Litha Sue.


By 1932, at age 21, Kermit was accepted as a student at North Texas Teacher's College in Denton, Texas and graduated from there in 1936. Again, he appears to have perhaps skipped a few semesters according to the yearbooks where he was not listed including 1933.


In 1934, Kermit appears several times in the Yucca Yearbook. He was shown as Secretary Treasurer of the Debate Club with his picture. Also in the 1934 Yucca Yearbook he was shown as a sophomore member of the Music Club. During this year he served as the Kappa Delta Pi Secretary Treasurer for the local chapter of the International Honor Society in Education. The Alpha Iota Chapter was installed on January 23, 1926, at the North Texas State Teachers College, now the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.


In 1935, Kermit is listed as a senior in the NTSTC Yucca Yearbook with his picture. His hometown was listed as Whiteright, Grayson County, Texas. During this year, he was President of the Debate Club with his picture. He was listed as a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the Spanish Club, and as an Evangelistic Singer. The 1940 US Federal Census lists the address of the respondent for the residence in 1935 and lists Kermit Hollingsworth as living in Denton, Texas during this year.


Kermit graduated in 1936 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree that included Debate and Spanish. 


On May 7, 1936, Kermit Hollingsworth was admitted into the North Texas Methodist Church Conference after fulfilling requirements to become an ordained Methodist minister.


In 1936-1938, Kermit was a student at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.  Here again, it may be that some semesters were skipped as Kermit was an evangelistic singer to help pay for his college expenses. I recall also that he was employed in one of SMU's dorm's dining rooms, but do not know more details.


Kermit was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Theology School Association as listed on page 51 at the Perkins School of Theology, SMU, in Dallas, Texas as listed in the 1937 Rotunda Yearbook.


In the 1938 SMU Rotunda Yearbook, Kermit Hollingsworth, was listed as a member of the Student. Council of Religion at SMU along with his Secretary Treasurer position in the Theology School Association. Kermit's address for that year was listed as 3533 Asbury Place, Dallas, Texas in the Dallas, Texas City Directory, 1938. 


As an aside, twenty-six years later, I also lived on Asbury Place in 1964 when I attended Perkins School of Theology, SMU, as a church music graduate student. By 2007, as shown in Google Maps, the residence where Kermit lived and I lived have changed dramatically, as the homes now are larger, and no apartment houses are there. The street has been renamed Asbury Avenue. 


In 1938, Kermit Hollingsworth received the Master of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity degrees from SMU Perkins School of Theology.


By November 1938-1939, Kermit Hollingsworth lived in east Texas at Lovelady, Houston County, Texas, and served as pastor of a five-point Methodist Church circuit for Lovelady, Riverside, Pleasant Hill, White Rock, Center Hill in the Huntsville District. Sometimes churches were assigned to other circuits.


On November 15, 1939, Kermit was transferred Texas Annual Methodist Conference to the Tomball, Harris County, Texas Methodist Church and remained its pastor for two years during which time he married my mother, Opal Murriel Gray Hollingsworth. 

The 1940 US Federal Census shows that Kermit Hollingsworth resided in the Texas, Harris County, Houston Enumeration District 101-47, completed pages 1-9 of the 1940 US Census 101-193, Village of Tom Ball. 


I remember my mom telling that when she married my dad on Monday, June 23, 1941 at 5:00 p.m. that they, Opal Murriel Gray & Kermit King Hollingsworth were married by Dr. W. F. Bryan at The First Methodist Church in Cleveland, Liberty County, Texas. Cleveland was the town of my maternal grandparents. Kermit and Murriel spent their honeymoon at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Harris County, Texas.


Mom would tell us about the Tomball Methodist Church. The church was connected to the parsonage where the pastor and his wife lived. Any time there was a function at the church where a kitchen was needed, the women came into the parsonage and used the minister's wife's kitchen to prepare and serve the food. I image it was a "close encounter" of some kind to have church members in your home's kitchen. 

This will conclude Part 2 of my dad's life between high school and when he got married to my mom. There are many pictures, maps, sources, and other documents I will add to this post in the near future. 


I wish that I had grown up in a family that had talked even more than they did about growing up in their families. I was not wise enough to ask questions about stories or detailed information about their prior lives. We lived our lives in the present, as most families do. 

I am very fortunate to be able to piece most of this together due to the preponderance of information on the  Internet and the occupation my father chose to be in, a minister who was written about often in newspaper articles, yearbooks, and other publications. He was very visible in the communities he was asked to served, and I am grateful for all the information I have found that gives me the basis for writing about my father's life, Kermit King Hollingsworth.