Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameJesse Lee Lay 23, Grandfather
Birth18 Oct 1887, La Vernia, Wilson Co TX
Death19 Dec 1935, San Antonio, Bexar Co TX13 Age: 48
BurialSunset Memorial Cemetery; San Antonio, Bexar Co TX
FatherFrancis Marion Lay (1855-1918)
Spouses
1Mabel Coral Harris , Grandmother
Birth17 Dec 1891, Georgetown, Williamson Co TX
Death8 Oct 1968, San Antonio, Bexar Co TX13 Age: 76
BurialSunset Memorial Cemetery; San Antonio, Bexar Co TX
FatherCharles Morton Harris (1861-1945)
Marriage8 Sep 1909, Georgetown, Williamson Co TX
ChildrenCharles Marion (1910-1973)
 Frances Elizabeth (1915-1994)
 Alyce Virginia (1920-2008)
Notes for Jesse Lee Lay
“LA VERNIA, TEXAS.24

La Vernia is on the south bank of Cibolo Creek at the junction of U.S. Highway 87 and Farm Road 775, fifteen miles north of Floresville in northern Wilson County. The town was first settled around 1850. W. R. Wiseman of Mississippi, who organized a Presbyterian church at the site around 1851, is said to have named the place Live Oak Grove for a grove nearby. In 1853 a post office was established under the name Post Oak, which was changed to La Vernia in 1859. The origin of the name is uncertain. The Brahan Masonic lodge was established at La Vernia in 1859. German and Polish immigration brought the population to 110 by 1885, when the community had three churches, a steam gristmill, and a cotton gin. H. Suhre, owner of the general store, was the first postmaster. In 1890 La Vernia had a population of 200. Construction of the San Antonio and Gulf Railroad across the area in 1893 brought the population to 343 by 1900. A two-teacher school was in operation by 1896, when the enrollment was sixty-six. In 1915 the town had two gins, a bank, four churches, a pottery plant, a brick works, and a population of 500. In 1947 it had seventeen businesses. In 1965 it had 700 residents and twenty-five businesses. The community incorporated around 1980 and in 1990 had a population of 639 and thirty-six businesses. In 2000 La Vernia had 136 businesses and a population of 931.

Claudia Hazlewood”

When Jesse Lee Lay filed out his WWI Draft Registration card, he lived at 919 Travis Street, San Marcos, TX. He described his trade as “laundry proprietor.” He reported his dependents as a wife and two children.25

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The following notes were written in a memorabilia book by Frances Lay Heathcock in July 1986:

“My dad was a travelling salesman. He had a large territory & was away from home a lot. During the depression in 1929 he was fired & went to work as a salesman. He also sold janitor supplies & equipmenet for restuarants—stainless steel pots, pans, utensils, etc.

“I really don’t remember very much about my dad since he was not at home a lot. He did like to go riding after supper and take the family. Sometimes we would stop by and visit some friends. When we lived in La Vernia, Texas (when I was a junior in high school we moved to La Vernia) we would sit on the front porch at night and sing songs. We moved to La Vernia in 1932 because of the depression. Since my dad has lost his job during the depression he could not pay the rent for seven months so we moved to La Vernia. The rent was eight dollars a month and we had 2 acres of land. We raised chickens and had cows and pigs. We also had a garden and grew much of our food. The house had no plumbing so we had an outside “John” and an iron cook stove and irons that we heated on the cookstove to iron the clothes. We had an oil lamp to see by.

“There was not a job in La Vernia but “Pops” (as I called him) had a job in San Antonio and so did Charles. Pop sold equipment for restaurants. He worked on a commission basis for Southern Equipment Co. Charles worked at an architects office as an office boy. I was a junior in Brackenridge High School. We had a car and came in to San Antonio every day to work and school We took three passengers from La Vernia, who also worked in San Antonio, and they paid the car expenses, gasoline and oil.

“We lived in La Vernia until after I graduated from high school in May 1933. Shortly after our return from La Vernia my dad said I would have to get a job. He said he could not support me any longer. He took me to the San Antonio State Hospital (mental institution) and I was interviewed for a job in the Main Dining Room. I got the job. The pay was $30 dollars a month plus room, board, laundry and medical expenses (pretty good pay for a beginner).

My dad had a heart attack in December 1935 and died on December 19, 1935.

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After Frances Heathcock's death in 1994, Clayton wrote to her sister, Virginia Lay Scott ('Ginger') and asked if she knew if Frances's elopement with Clayton Heathcock might have had anything to do with Jesse Lay's heart attack one week later. In reply, Ginger wrote:

"As to your question about Pops' heart attack happening on the date your parents married, I feel absolutely confident there was no connection. Pops had a history of heart problems. I remember on night the doctor came to our house to see him because he had chest pains and it was diagnosed as acute indigestion.
"Then, too, Mama only learned that Frances was married on December 17th (her birthday) at the hospital, the same day the doctor had told Mama that Pops was not going to make it. I doubt Mama would have told Pops the news.
"Pops sister, Aunt Sue, died at age 50 in our house. She was sharing Fran's bed, and I sill remember the turmoil. Charles died at a young age, too, and had heart problems."
Notes for Jesse Lee Lay
1910 Census of Georgetown, Williamson Co TX

Name Age
Charles M Harris 48 Head
Cordelia Harris 48 Wife
Grace Foster 21 Dau
Lowrey Foster 24 Son in law
Myrtle Foster 2/12 Granddaughter
Mabel Lay 18 Dau
Jesse Lay 22 (unclear)

1920 Census of Lockhart, Caldwell Co TX

Name Age

Jesse L Lay 32
Mabel Lay 28
Charles Lay 9
Francis Lay 4 8/12

The 1929 San Antonio City Directory listed Jesse L. and Mabel Lay, 109 Edinburgh. Their son Charles (clerk with H. P. Smith) was also listed at this address.

The 1931 directory listed them at 230 E. Whittier. Charles was still living with them and was listed as a draftsman with H. P. Smity.

Obituary, 19 December 1935, San Antonio Light, page 12B:

Jess Lee Lay, 48, 211 Buckingham Avenue. Services 2 p.m. Friday from the Porter Loring chapel. Survivors, widow Mrs. Mabel C. Lay; daughters, Misses Frances and Virginia Lay; son, Charles Lay, all of San Antonio; brother, C. G. Lay, Dallas, and sisters, Mrs. Richard Wells, Lavernia, Mrs. R. J. Treon, San Benito, and Mrs. O. J. Tuschka, Phillipine Islands.

Jesse’s death certificate listed syphilis as a contributing factor in his death (see certificate on multimedia page).
Notes for Mabel Coral (Spouse 1)
Jess and Mabel Lay initially lived in Fort Worth, where Jess Lay worked with the Armour Packing Company.26

After the death of her husband in 1935, she lived for some time with her daughter Frances Lay Heathcock. Mabel was a life-long member of the Church of Christ.

Of course, I remember her well.27 After my father’s death in 1949, Grandma Lay came to live with us and she remained with Frances for the rest of her life. During this time, I remember that she worked as a sales clerk at Joske’s department store in downtown San Antonio, in the city block adjacent to the Alamo. Grandma worked in the women’s apparel section and we often visited her at work.

Grandma Lay was very opinionated and quite controlling. My brother and I stlll recall how, when she would see one of us walking down the hall toward the bathroom, with a towel over one arm and a bar of soap in the other, Grandma would say “Little Tex (or Jim, as the case may be), take your shower now.” She was also a bit obsessive-compulsive and would worry on the way to church that she hadn’t locked the door, or hadn’t turned off the gas stove, or some other detail. In fact, in our teenage years, my brother and I would play (what now seem to be cruel) tricks on Grandma. After the lights were out and everyone had settled down for a night’s sleep, my brother or I would call out “Grandma, did you lock the back door.” We would chuckle 15 mintues later when we would hear her rise and make her way to the back door to check.

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Following notes were written in a memorabilia book by Frances Lay Heathcock in July 1986: “My mother did not work until my dad died in 1935. She had several odd jobs before she went to work at Joske Bros., a department store. At first she sold materil & then children’s clothes.

“I can’t remember my mom having much free time until she retired from Joskes. Then she had a soap opera--As the World Turns--that she really loved to watch. She also had a lot of friends and talked on the telephone a lot. If she was going to be away during the time her soap opera came on she would call to one of her friends to watch it and tell her about it.”

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Obituary in the Williamson County Sun:

Services Held For Mrs. Mabel C. Lay, Former Resident

Mrs. Mabel Coral Lay., 76, a resident of San Antonio for forty-four years and former resident of Georgetown, died in a San Antonio hospital Tuesday evening, October 8, at 10:00 o'clock after an extended illness.

She is survived by one son, Charles M. 'Lay of Dallas; two daughters, Mrs. Frances Heathcock and Mrs. Phil Scott of San Antonio, nine grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. Louis Campbell of Taylor and Mrs. Lowery Foster, and sister-in-law, Mrs. C. E. Harris, Sr. of Georgetown; a number of nephewS and nieces and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held Tnursday afternoon at 3:00 o'clock in the Roy Akers Funeral Chapel with Minister Stanley Lovett of the Highland Church of Christ and Minister Bert Mercer of the MacArthur Church of Christ conducting the services.

Pallbearers were Lieut. Col. Carl McDaniel, Joe Howard, Odous Gilpin, Lenard Haller, George Schliesing and Paul Schliesing.

Burial was in Sunset Memorial Park.

Mrs. Lay, daugnter of the late Charles and Cordelia Adair Harris, was born in Georgetown, Texas on December 17, 1891. She became a Christian as a child and was a devout member of the Church of Christ throughout her life.

She was married to Jesse L. Lay in Georgetown on September 8, 1909, and to this union three children were born, who survive. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Lay went to Fort Worth to reside, later returning to Georgetown, then going to San Marcos before finally making their home in San Antonio.

Mr. Lay, who passed away on December 19, 1935, had engaged in the laundry business.

Mrs. Lay was a popular member of the sales personnel of Joske's of San Antonio for fifteen years prior to her retirement a few years ago. She was a faithful member of the Higbland Church of Christ in San Antonio. The large concourse of friends attending the funeral services and the profuse and beautiful floral offerings attested to the love and esteem in which Mrs. Lay was held.

Mr. and Mrs. Foster were with their sister at the time of her death and among others from out of town attending the funeral services were Mrs. Louis Campbell and Miss Maude Campbell of Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. L.R. McLaughlin, Minister and Mrs. Cecil Alexeander and Mts. Rena Williams of Georgetbwn.
Last Modified 17 Feb 2021Created 21 May 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh
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