Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grandpa Trigg

Grandpa Trigg was my great grandfather. He was my dad's, mother's father. Now, Grandpa Trigg was a very adventuresome individual from what I was told. Although he was born and raised in Tennessee, he always longed to move to Texas. So, when he was a middle aged man he made the move to Texas. He liked Texas so well that he encouraged my grandfather and grandmother, Pap & Mam Pierce, to move to Texas also. It is my understanding that they all landed in Big Springs in 1912. My father was 4 years old at the time. For awhile they all worked for the railroad, loading and unloading boxcars. But, Grandpa Trigg became restless and someone talked him into moving to east Texas to a small community East of Georgetown, called Jonah.

Now Grandpa Trigg was a very talented man. He was a master carpenter, a blacksmith, and a Church of Christ preacher. For that day and time, he was a pretty well educated man. He had completed high school and had attended a college in Tennessee. I don't know how far he went in college, no one seemed to know for sure. But, he was better educated than most men were at that time. When they got to Jonah Pap & Mam and the Pierce family worked on numerous farms in the area as sharecroppers. The house they lived in was still standing and in good shape when I took my dad to a class reunion 30 years ago. Grandpa Trigg didn't waste any time after he arrived in Jonah. He proceeded to build a blacksmith shop. After he completed the blacksmiths shop, he proceeded to build a small church building which was also still standing and in good shape 30 years ago when my father & I attended his class reunion.

Now, I was told that Grandpa Trigg, after years of working as a blacksmith, was a man of incredible physical strength. My dad said Grandpa Trigg loved to display feats of strength such as straightening house shoes and bending 60 penny nails with his bare hands. Grandpa Trigg also loved to invent things. He was always working on some mew invention and his most succussful invention was the self tying haybaler. But, he never got a patent on it and someone stole his invention and made a fortune off of it. He was a master carpenter and he taught my dad all about the basics of carpentry, such as how to use a framing square and mark off a rafter. I think how Grandpa Triggs knowledge and skill has been passed from generation to generation.

Grandpa Trigg was also a very dedicated and talented Church of Christ preacher. He didn't have a church when he got to Jonah so he built one with his own two hands. How many preachers today would have the ability and the dedication to build their own church? My Dad said that Grandpa Trigg, like most men of that time, used tobacco.

Not only did he smoke a pipe, he also dipped and chewed, often all three at the same time. My Dad said he remembered Grandpa Trigg, dipping and chewing tobacco while he preached the sermon on Sunday morning, every now and then he would stop his sermon momentarily and walk to the side door of the church building and spit! I imagine this might have been common practice at that time, but try this now and see what happens!

In the mean time Dad's oldest brother, Nick, who was making a lot of money in the printing business, bought a little farm close to Menard. Grandpa Trigg got restless again and decided to move to Midland and open a grocery store. Grandpa Pierce and family moved to Menard. I don't know how long Grandpa Trigg had lived in Midland but it was my understanding that he had not been there very long when he died suddenly. Grandpa Trigg was in the living room while Grandma Trigg was in the kitchen fixing supper when she heard something hit the floor in the living room. When she went to see what fell, she found Grandpa Trigg slumped in his chair and his pipe had fallen out of his mouth and hit the floor. I do not know exactly how old he was when he died, but I believe he was in his mid to late sixties. His body was transported back to Jonah, Texas for burial. Grandma Trigg came to Menard to live with Pap & Mam . Daddy said she was never the same after Grandpa Trigg died. Grandma Trigg did not live long and was soon buried beside her husband in Jonah.

I do not know why, but I always had a bit of fascination about Grandpa Trigg. I never got to meet him, but I know from the only picture I have of him that I inherited his nose. I know he was an extremely talented person and an exceptionally well educated person for that period of time. Even though he did not live a real long life he seemed to live life to the fullest.

I have always thought if I had a time machine and could go back in time, I would like to go back and visit Grandpa Trigg and see what he was really like.


  1. I'm glad you had time to do another blog. I enjoyed this story! Keep up the good work. Barbara

  2. and I also inherited his nose. *sigh*