Singleton Informer

News from the Duke Singleton Family Tree

Singleton Informer - February 2016

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Hello Family,

Here is the latest edition of the Singleton Informer. Enjoy all the latest news from family far and near, plus Jane Ann's latest installment of Heirlooms From The Past.

Please start sending in your family news and photos for next time. Let us know what the kids and grandkids are up to as well as holiday celebrations, awards and promotions. We want to hear your favorite memories from the past, and if you have a funny joke we would love to hear that, too.


Aunt Jane

P.S. If anyone in your family does not have email, please print this Informer and share with them.

P.S.S. Feel free to forward this to anyone who you feel may be interested. If they want to keep up with us each month, they can "follow" and subscribe to our family news.

Heirlooms from the Past - by Jane Ann Blasingame

Retta Rachel Burton

Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories

. . . Unknown

Welcome back to Heirlooms from the Past. As promised, we will start exploring the family of our grandmother, Minnie Beulah Burton Singleton. This issue will be devoted to her older sister and the first child of Silas Silvanus Burton and Mary Ellen Boultinghouse Burton, Retta Rachel Burton.

Retta was born on October 10, 1894. She passed away March 23, 1915, at the young age of 20 from pneumonia and is buried in the Smithwick Cemetery.

Evidently she had a beau, as you will see here in the pictures of her with a young man by the name of Aaron Beebe. I can’t remember Mother talking about her very much, and looking at the date of her death, I know why. She died before my mother was born in December of 1915.

I was aware that she had a niece who was named for her, Retta Mae Burton Ferguson, who is the daughter of her brother Oscar Burton and born October 18, 1935. I have been in contact with Retta Mae over the last couple of years talking about our Burton heritage, and she sent me two obituaries of her aunt Retta, which is where I learned that she died of pneumonia. These are the two obituaries I have for Retta Rachel Burton:


Miss Retta, daughter of Mr. And Mrs. S.S. Burton of the Spicewood community, a young lady just in the bloom of youth, died last Tuesday of pneumonia. The body was interred yesterday afternoon in the Smithwick graveyard. Prof. W.E. Fry of Spicewood conducted the funeral service. Many sorrowing relatives and friends were in attendance to pay respects to one they loved. The Messenger (the newspaper) extends condolences to Mr. Burton and his grief stricken family.


Last Tuesday, March 16th, at 1:30 o’clock, Retta Burton was called from this world to her home on high. And it is hard for us to understand why she was taken just at this time. The future seemed so promising to her. She was just entering young womanhood, and with her cheerful disposition and kind words it seemed she had been born to accomplish great good in this world. She won the friendship and esteem of all who knew her, and we felt that surely she had before her many days in which to make the world better. But we can see only the present. God only knows what the future shall bring, and He acted wisely in calling her just when He did, or it would not have been so. He does all things for the best. But how it makes our hearts sad to know she has gone, never again to visit us in this life, and with each visit that sweet spirit that was the make-up of her splendid character. But when we look at that home that her life had made so bright, the home she loved so much, and see the father and mother and the rest of the children with their heads bowed in sorrow, as they sit about the old fireside with their hearts all torn because of the breaking of strong ties that bound them so lovingly together. We must say that our sadness is nothing compared to theirs, and all that we can do is to meet them with our tenderest sympathies in this their darkest hour, yet how cold and harsh mere words fall on the broken heart of those who have sustained the loss of such a dear one. She is enjoying the beauties of a new home now, and in view of this fact we are the better able to say, “Thy will be done O Lord.” We can not have her come back to us, but in just a few more short days we shall go to be with her in that splendid home, where Jesus has already made preparation for us, where there will be no more good-byes forever. Until then we shall, with pleasure remember and try to emulate her sweet life and character in the short while God let her stay with us. A Friend

After searching the Death Index and seeing Retta’s tombstone in the Smithwick Cemetery, I have to conclude that her date of death was March 23, 1915, not on the 16th as the second obituary lists.

Next month we will look at the second child of Silas and Mary Ellen Burton, our grandmother Minnie Beulah Burton Singleton. If you have any interesting stories, facts, or pictures, please feel free to send them to me to be included in our next column. You can email me at I hope this column will provide some new history you may not have known.

News From The Family Tree

News from Vida Lorena's Branch

Ray is scheduled for a complete shoulder replacement on March 9th in Cleburne. We hear that his painful shoulder was interfering with his golf game, so he knew it was time to have it fixed. We wish Ray the best during his surgery and pray for a full recovery.

We are celebrating birthdays this month: Ella Ann on February 5th, Austin Edward on February 13th, Garrett Frank on February 16th, McKenzie Rae on February 17th, and Annie Maelynn on March 1st.

Thanks to Jane Ann for sending the following photo update on the latest activities of the decedents of Vida Lorena Singleton Crass.

(You may click on any of the photos below to enlarge them)

News from Hugh Thomas Lafon's Branch

Debby Pennock reports a busy but great end to 2015:

We went to Nashville for a seminar in October, and attended the 50th birthday party for the Grand Ole Opry. In November we traveled to California to visit Hunter and Brandy.

Went to visit our missionaries in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines in December. In November and December we got to see ALL our kids. We attended SIBI lectures in January and had my tenth year reunion with SIBI.

I was laid off my job in October, so it was not a problem getting to travel.

Here's what our kids have been up to . . .

Danielle and Jeffrey are busy with work and the boys. We gained two stepsons when they married in June. Danielle is still working at Westover Hills church and is loving being a mom now.

Nick is now working for Blizzard Entertainment, and Corinne is Girl Scout mom. Kayden is in second grade. Connor is in kindergarten, and Kenna is preschool.

Jenn is in her second year of doctorate studies at Texas Women's University in Denton, and has one more year to get her DPT. Steph is completing her degree in psychology and will graduate in May of this year. She has been accepted into a Master's program in education. Kyle has begun his new job with the air force as an instructor, so he is guaranteed a stay Tinker AFB in Oklahoma for the next four years. Hailey and Wyatt are enjoying playing basketball. Hailey is in fourth grade and Wyatt is in kindergarten.

Hunter transitioned out of the air force in October, and is now a manager at Barnes and Noble in Roseville, California. He is attending college classes in Sacramento. Brandy has started a craft business online, and Andrew is an active nineteen month old.

News from Stanley Ray's Branch

Check back for updates in the March Singleton Informer.

News from Mary Louise Gwendolyn's Branch

Thanks to Aunt Lou's family for providing this photo report of activities from the past month.

(You may click on any of the photos below to enlarge them)

Jeff and his fine feathered friends

Big bucks, turkeys and coyotes from Jim's trail cameras

News from Ruby Shirlene's Branch

Happy New Year from the Price family!

Scott, Kassie and the girls celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary and the new year in Florida. Congratulations, Scott and Kassie!

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News from Minnie Jane's Branch

Aunt Jane had surgery on February 1st to fix a malfunction of one of the knee replacements she had done about six years ago. Called a total knee replacement revision, she is recovering in Bastrop with Steven and Sheila and eating lots of cupcakes.

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News from the Cousins

From Raymond and Charlene . . .

Raymond had gall bladder surgery on Feb. 3rd. The Dr. said everything went well and he came home on the 4th. He lost a little ground but is trying hard to get his energy back as soon as pain will allow on an 82 year old youngster. We have a lot of support from family, church and other friends

Chuckles and Grins - Compliments of Jim Garrett

About Us

The Singleton Informer is a newsletter of the descendants of Duke and Minnie Beulah (Burton) Singleton, but we also want to keep up with our cousins from other family trees as well. All family members are welcome to send in your news items and to subscribe to our monthly family news.