Landmark Roddy house removed
for new residence
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
RODDY–A home long used as a Roddy community landmark is no more – but a new home soon will occupy the same site.
Last weekend, John Walter Hyde and his father, Bernice Hyde, demolished the frame house, built around 1940 by John Walter’s grandfather, George Walter Hyde, who lived there with his wife, Bama.
Bernice (now 76) and brother Connie Hyde (who died in May, 1999) were raised in the house, located at the intersection of State Highway 198 and Van Zandt County Road 2721, also known as the Elm Grove Road.
The Hyde home was built on part of a block of land originally granted to the Hyde family prior to the Civil War, which included the Elm Grove Church property, John Walter explained.
“Back during the Depression, Grandad had the only set of cattle pens around here,” John Walter said. “They (the federal government) was trying to give people a little money by buying up their cows and slaughtering them.”
The slaughtered cows were buried on another portion of the 478-acre farm, he added.
On the farm, the Hyde family raised cotton, corn and cattle, which were the staples of Texas farming families for generations.
The Hyde family’s white house, with its columned front porch, was a landmark back when Roddy was a thriving farm community, complete with a blacksmith shop, two general stores, two doctors and an apothecary shop (an early drug store), John Water recalled.
Bama Hyde lived in the six-room house until her death in 1986 at age 94. The house, plagued by foundation and plumbing problems, began sagging badly years ago, and had been vacant since the early 1990s.
John Walter Hyde said he and wife Kathy will be building a new, smaller, home on the same spot.
He wasn’t sure what would be kept from the old home – an old storm cellar will be filled in, but the old underground cistern may be kept.
“I really don’t know,” he admitted. “We’ll have to see what’s here (after the home is torn down).”
John Water, currently the Officer In Charge at the Mabank Post Office, will be eligible to retire May 1, but said he’s not ready to make a decision about retiring after 31 years with the U.S. Postal Service.
Kathy Hyde is a teacher, and has already retired and returned to work for the Mabank Independent School District.
They still have one daughter at home – Blaire is now a junior at Mabank High School. Older daughter Megan is at Texas Women’s University, while oldest daughter Courtney lives in Lindale with husband Eric Tijernia and their son, Hagan Walter.
Hagan Walter Tijernia will be continuing the family naming legacy. There has been a Walter in every generation going back to Bernice’s great-grandfather, Tony Walter Hyde.
The Hydes continue to raise mixed-breed cattle on the farm, averaging around 1,000 steers and 400 feeder cows each year.
Bernice Hyde went back to work to handle the cattle operation for his son more than a decade ago, along with partner Gary Williams.
“He can still do more now than most men in their 50s,” John Walter said.
John Walter said he and Kathy will be the third generation to live on the family farm when they finish a planned 1,500-square-foot home under the spreading trees.
“We’ll have city water. We’ll even have electricity,” he added with a grin.