Celebrate Homecoming and Ms. Oleta at FM Presbyterian Church
August 28 is an important day for Flower Mound Presbyterian Church and Ms. Oleta Simmons Greer. Come join us to celebrate Homecoming, the church’s 162 years, and Ms. Oleta’s 102 birthday.
Homecoming celebrates the history of the church and surrounding area including Flower Mound Cemetery, the Flower Mound and the old Donald School. We invite all those interested in history, past members, attendees of the Donald School and all Ms. Oleta’s friends and relatives to join us. Sunday school starts at 9:30, church services at 10:30 and a Pot Luck luncheon will start at 11:45. We are located at 1501 Flower Mound Road. For more information, call 972-539-7184 or visit www.fmpcweb.org
The church is on the Historic Register. It is the oldest Presbyterian Church north of San Antonio and the oldest wooden structure in Denton Co. It was founded in 1854 by reverend Matthew B. Donald. It was the first entity to use the name “Flower Mound”. The first couple years, services were held in people’s homes, and then in 1857, a log building was constructed on the present site of the church. In 1901 it was replaced by the present wood frame building.
In 1961, Flower Mound was incorporated at the church by a vote of 105 to 1.
The cemetery next to the church was also established in 1854 and is still in use today.
Ms. Oleta Simmons Greer turns 102 on September 1, 2016.
We call her our “angel” as her name means “little winged girl”. Her name has certain characteristics: patient, persevering and strong willed with the ability to chose her own destiny and achieve anything she wants in life.
She shares a birthday with Rocky Marciano, Conway Twitty, former governor Ann Richards, and Lily Tomlin.
A Little Family History
Her family was among the early settlers of Flower Mound. In fact, Simmons Road is named for her family. Oleta still lives in a house on the original family homestead.
Her grandfather, James, was born in Meriwether County, Georgia in 1841. He moved to Louisiana with his family, served in the Civil War 1861-1865 and fought in the battle of Vicksburg on the Mississippi. In 1866 in Louisiana, he married Harriet Matilda (Hattie) Stallings, who was born 1842. They had a family of nine children. In 1870 they moved further west to the Cross roads in Flower Mound, Texas. Here they lived four or five years and then moved to a farm six miles east of Cleburne. While in Johnson County, Jimmie and Hattie lived in a log cabin near the Chisholm Trail. They could see the cattle being driven to the railroad to market at Kansas City along this trail. They hauled water; put in a garden, and raised corn, cotton, chickens, hogs and milk cows.
Jimmie and Hattie moved back to Denton County about 1876 and located in Flower Mound, north of Grapevine, where they continued to live until after all their children were married. Their first home was a log cabin with a dirt floor, one door and no windows. Then a lean-to was added for a kitchen. Later, a three-room house was built one-half mile east of the log cabin. Still later, a long kitchen and a large parlor were added. Grandmother Hattie died November 25, 1924 at the age of 82 and Grandfather Jimmie died May 11, 1925 at the age of 84. They were laid to rest in the Flower mound Cemetery, about five miles southwest of Lewisville, and adjacent to the Flower Mound Church.
James and Hattie’s son, Clyde Earl 'Buck' Simmons, was born December of 1884 in Flower Mound, TX. He died January of 1953 in Flower Mound, and is buried in Flower Mound. He married Hattie Lee Brooks in December 1911. She was born May 1890, and died January 1975. She is also buried in Flower Mound.
James and Hattie were the parents of Oleta and her three brothers and two sisters. All the children were born at home in a house that still stands on the family property.
- Hubert W. Brooks, born 1909, died 1989. Married, with 2 children. Buried in Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park in Colleyville.
- Velma Lee Simmons, born October 1912, died November 1996, buried in Flower Mound Cemetery. She married Raymond V Franklin, born June 1909, died March 1969.
- Clyde Earl Simmons Jr., born March 1917. He married Arlie Carter. They had a son, Jerry Carter Simmons. Clyde died in 2002 and is buried in FM Cemetery.
- Oleta Simmons. Born September 1914.She married Charlie Ralph Barr. He died at age 62. Oleta later married Olen Greer.
- James Martin Simmons, born May 1920 in Denton Co., TX. James was a military Army Vet WW II. He married Hermalee Himes. James died Sept. 2011 and is buried in Flower Mound Cemetery, Denton Co., TX.
- Marjorie Simmons, born 1922, died 2008. Buried at Old Hall Cemetery in Lewisville, TX. She married to Clyde Lester and had three sons: Larry, still living, and twin boys, Ricky and Randy, who died in infancy and are buried in Flower Mound Cemetery.
Oleta attended the Donald School in Flower Mound on what is now FM 2499. She walked to school.
Oleta and James and their spouses owned and operated Barr-Simmons Grocery Store in Bedford from the 1940s to 1979. There are several papers in the Tarrant County College archives which talk about the store. After selling the business, they returned to Flower Mound to farm.
In 1963, forty four descendants of James and Hattie attended a family reunion, including Oleta and James.
Oleta still lives on the original family property. Her nephew, Larry Lester, lives next door in Oleta’s brother’s house (James’), and brings her to church every Sunday. She is truly amazing.
Top Row: Left to right: Clyde Earl Simmons, Jr., Hubert Brooks, James Simmons.
Bottom Row: Left to right: Velma Lee Simmons Franklin, Oleta Simmons Greer, and far right Marjorie Simmons Lester.
IMPORTANT EVENTS IN 1914
The President was Woodrow Wilson
Ford raises wages to $5.00 a day, Model T is introduced
Charlie Chaplin debuts in “The Tramp”
First airplane flight from LA to SF
Babe Ruth’s first professional game as a pitcher he wins 6-0
U.S. Congress establishes Mother’s Day
Archduke Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated, starting WWI
Robert Goddard patents the first rocket design
First transcontinental phone call from NYC to SF
First ship passes through the Panama Canal
The last passenger pigeon dies in a Cincinnati zoo
Post office first uses an automobile to deliver mail
Vogue holds the first runway model show
Check out an article about FMPC in the Senior News!
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