Iva Grizzle Chambers (Veazey) (1897 - 1966) MP

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Birthplace: Mount Vernon, Franklin, Texas, United States
Death: Died in Longview, Gregg, Texas, United States
Cause of death: Stroke
Managed by: Marsha Gail (Kamish) Veazey
Last Updated:

About Iva Grizzle Chambers (Veazey)

Birth: Jun. 27, 1897 Mount Vernon Franklin County Texas, USA Death: Jan. 14, 1966 Longview Gregg County Texas, USA

Iva's win sister, Eva Veasey Hightower Moss, is also buried at Providence. These two sisters had a pact to name their first child after each other, which accounts for unusual names when their first born children were both male.

Mother is Idella "Della" Malone Veasey, also buried at Providence.

Note: spelling of family name varied by personal preference, Veasey and Veazey. These two spellings are essentially interchangeable - I do not know usage by each individual. In cases where the name is present on a cemetery marker, I try to use that spelling.

I knew my grandmother only as a small child in the early 1960's.

Like all of her siblings, I am told she had a very sweet and kind disposition, and was not inclined to talk ill of anyone.

My mother, Carol Lynn Denton, married Iva's youngest son Billy Earl Grizzle. My mother recently (2010 or so) remarked about Iva and her mother Della, "They were so nice to me and the whole family treated me so well. I think this was because Bill was the baby, and everybody loved him, and that extended to me also."

Iva lost her husband in the depths of the Great Depression to "blood poisoning" after an injury on the job working in a rock quarry in Delta County, Texas. His lower leg was lacerated while working in a gravel pit, extracting while chalk rock that was being used to pave roads in NE Texas. At that time, most roads were dirt, even Federal highways. No doubt the open wound become infected, a condition that would be easily remedied by modern antibiotics, but these were unknown at the time.

After the death of her husband Leslie, Iva shortly sent her eldest son Lewis off to World War II, and her middle boy Wayne went into the Civilian Conservation Corps to help support his mother. Wayne was dispatched by rail from Paris, Texas, to Arizona where he worked on the Tonto Rim Road, among other things. He was too young to be away from home, and suffered great homesickness.

The Great Depression was more severe in NE Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana than in any other area of the country. The only bright spot in the region came with the discovery of the East Texas Oilfield, which centered on Kilgore, Texas. With no means of support other than what her older two sons could provide from their meager military and CCC pay, Iva was forced to relocate from her home in Delta County and seek out a better future for herself and son Billy Earl, who was 6 years old at the time, in Longview, Texas - county seat of Gregg County.

I only ever knew of my grandmother living on North Second Street, which is to this day one of the most humble addresses in the city. But back in those days, it was perhaps even less so. Today, Second Street is poor, but most of the old homes have been demolished. This area of town was built before indoor plumbing was common, and I can vaguely remember outhouses still being present in my earliest memories.

I don't know where my grandmother originally lived in Longview, but I do know that she soon met misfortune. The house she was living in burned, and with it she lost what little personal possessions she had. My dad, Billy Earl Grizzle, told me of his early memory at age 6 or 7, being paraded through various church congregations in Longview and made a beggar, which I am sure he found humiliating. But he also said that, "The preachers kept the money, and my mother never got a penny." I don't know if this is true, or just the perception of a small child, but the entire episode made him bitter to some degree, and he never attended church as an adult, though he encouraged my mother to take me and my brothers to church and told me that it was a good thing, and he was pleased that we were active in church.

It didn't hurt that he knew several of the men at our church and thought highly of them.

My grandmother worked as a housekeeper. I don't know many details, except one - that for a long time, she kept house for Mr. Hubert Gregg, a man widely known to generations of Longview natives. Not because of wealth or social prominence, but because he was blind. Mr. Gregg made his living by roasting peanuts and selling them from a child's hand drawn red wagon which he pulled past all the bleachers at the Little League baseball fields and, I think, Longview Lobo football games. He was profoundly blind, and appeared to have no eyes at all. He did not wear dark glasses as some blind people do, so the shriveled eyelids in the collapsed eye sockets of his head were easy for all the children to inspect. If I remember correctly, he made his way with a white cane and maybe a seeing eye dog, perhaps on different occasions or different periods of his life. I am writing this many decades after I saw him last, but I still remember clearly watching how he could count money and make change using only touch. Seems like he wore a carpenter's apron which held his money.

My Uncle Wayne said his mother never owned a television, and never went to a movie as far as he could remember. I never knew her to have an automobile. I doubt she could drive, and suspect she walked everywhere she went or was dependent on others for transportation. I don't know where Mr. Gregg lived while she worked for him, but I do know that Mr. Gregg lived out his life in a frame home near Eastman Rd., close to where a fire station is located now about a mile or less from where Eastman Road crosses U.S. Highway 80. At the time my grandmother worked for him, Eastman Rd. was not yet constructed, but even so this location is 4 or 5 miles from Second Street, if that is where she was living at the time.

At some point, Iva's mother Della also lived in Longview on 4th Street. The location of the house where she lived is now redeveloped into medical offices less than a block from Good Shepherd Hospital.

My dad, Billy Earl Grizzle, only competed 6th grade. I think he was not a juvenile delinquent, but no doubt he was a handful for his mother. He took up hanging out in arcades and pool halls, spending all his time playing pinball and a variant of pool called Snooker. These were not too reputable pursuits for a young kid, and my Uncle Wayne was dispatched on occasion to locate my dad when he was absent from school.

That was a simpler time in many ways, and my dad did not turn out to be a terrible person. Public standards of conduct were higher then.

By the time of my first memories of my grandmother, Iva had remarried late in life to a neighbor, Mr. Walter Chambers. Mr. Chambers was retired from the railroad. He was old and I really don't have much recollection of him except he dipped snuff, and the tobacco juice collected at the corners of his mouth and colored the wrinkles in his skin on his chin below. Before the era of Social Security, retirement and pensions were very different than they are today. I don't have any knowledge of my grandmother's finances, or Mr. Chambers either, other than to observe that they lived on Second Street, which by definition was very humble circumstances. But I do remember on several occasions that Mr. Chambers was hospitalized, and even though Good Shepherd Hospital was only a mile or so away, Mr. Chambers medical needs always required that he be admitted to the Railroad Hospital in Marshall. At that time, the early 1960's, the railroads still operated hospitals for their own employees as part of their retirement or pension program. I can remember visiting Mr. Chambers in the Railroad Hospital because the elevators in that building made a big impression, or else my dad's stern warnings. These old style elevators where not enclosed, but rather were cages which had sides open to the elevator shaft. So as we ascended or descended, you could see yourself moving past the walls. I was strictly told to keep my hands inside the car because it would be easy to become mangled had I reached out into the shaft while passing any structural protrusion in the building.

The house where my grandmother and Mr. Chambers lived had a dirt driveway and a freestanding outbuilding that was either a garage or an smokehouse. In either case, I was forbidden from entering. Not the only time. My grandmother's sister Blanche also had a smokehouse, used for the preservation of meat before refrigeration, and I was never allow to go inside it either, even as an older teenager. Who knows what secrets there were?

This house had no backyard to speak of because my grandmother had a chicken yard. I can remember being in the chicken yard several times, and it was a source of trouble for a little kid also. Nasty if you had shoes on; nastier if barefoot. The chicken coops were elevated and a board propped up with small cross pieces nailed to it allowed the chickens to come and go. I watched chickens scratch the dirt when feed was scattered, and saw that they also picked up small rocks.

I can't remember my grandmother before she married Mr. Chambers. I can't even remember seeing her anywhere else besides at Mr. Chambers house, other than when she was in the hospital. My grandmother's house with Mr. Chambers was a very odd floor plan, which I suppose is to be expected for an old house that was probably built without indoor plumbing. For certain, the house where my Uncle Lewis lived, only two doors away, did not have indoor plumbing. In fact, I think this was my grandmother's house before she married Mr. Chambers.

The main furnishing I can still recall that belonged to my grandmother was a ceramic black panther electrical lamp, with the cat stretched out low and long on the stalk, overall height about 5 inches and length about 24. The panther's body was glazed to a permanent high gloss and deep black color. On the backside of the cat's chest, there was an access hole large enough to insert a regular Edison light bulb, now itself slowly becoming an antique. The cat's two eyes were small circles open to the inside of the cat's hollow body. There, a feet of some sort of deep red ruby plastic was crushed and inserted inside the cat's head. The final effect was a backlight against the wall behind the cat, which was placed on an end table, and glowing red eyes. Thinking of this thing even decades later makes me think it is still cool. In fact, I have this lamp today, though I need to rehabilitate the red eye stuffing and maybe replace the cord.

Another thing I can remember at my grandmothers was her cookie jar, a porcelain pig that looked very like the old Piggly Wiggly grocery chain logo. My brother Gary has this item today. I really need to make a photo.

The front left room of my grandmother's house contained her best furniture, a bedroom suite that no doubt she had bought used. It has a headboard with sliding cabinet doors angled back to close compartments to either side. In the center of the headboard, there was a shelf area, probably displaying some nicknack on a crocheted doily. When the two sliding doors were moved to the center, they covered the entire center section. I can't remember much because I was not allowed to play in that room. I don't think the room was even in use.

My grandmother was diabetic. By the time I was in the picture, her diabetes was advanced, and she required insulin injections. I seem to be the only one who can remember one detail of this, although only my Uncle Wayne and Aunt Nell, along with my mom, are still around. But I can remember my grandmother was being shown how to use some kind of medical device that would hold the syringe in a metal spring loaded frame. Pull the trigger, and the hypodermic needle was automatically inserted and the plunger was activated to inject the insulin. This whole thing was horrible to me, because all kids (and adults) hate shots. Seems like my dad and my Uncle Lewis were trying to get her to use it, hoping it would help. But the thing was simply macabre. And looking back, I'm sure the needle was nothing like a modern sharp, and it might have even been reusable. I can't remember anything about modern single use sterilized supplies.

Ultimately, my grandmother had a stroke. I was a little kid, almost too little to remember her today. In fact, which I can remember is more the memories of a little kid being watched and scolded for being into anything and everything - she was long past the age to baby proof a house. But I do remember her being in the hospital. And more than that, I remember my dad. His temperament was very good natured, very well liked by all who knew him, remarkably so. He had a teasing relationship with his own mother. She sometimes called him, "Billy Do-Nothing," and he would call her "Iva Do-Less." (He affectionately called his older sister-in-law Fain Grizzle, "Double Ugly" even though they loved each other and she really adored him.)

But I can remember my grandmother being in the hospital was no joking matter. She had suffered a stroke. I don't remember anything specific as my family drove up to the hospital, but to this day, each time I drive eastbound on Highway 80 across 4th Street, I look up to the second story of Good Shepherd at the third window from the end of the building over which the old Emergency Room once was directly on the highway, and I remember that is the room that my grandmother died in.

She had been in the hospital for several days, and reports were promising. The family was told she would be discharged the following day, but she died overnight. My dad was totally devastated, something that is easy for me to imagine today knowing how any of my children would react to losing their mother. I don't believe in holding grudges against medical care, but I do know that my dad was never able to forgive Good Shepherd Medical Center. A year or two later, when his leg was seriously injured while working at R.G. LeTourneau Company by a fallen railcar wheel, he insisted that the ambulance take him to the old Markham Hospital on the south side of Longview. By then, it was not a real hospital, but mainly the clinic for Dr. Clanton, far as I know the only pediatrician in town. I certainly never another doctor for me or any of my friends growing up.

The only time I ever saw my dad cry was at my grandmother's funeral. I can't remember many details, only sitting on a long hard wooden pew at the Providence Primitive Baptist Church in Franklin County. My grandmother is buried there, near her mother. Her two husbands, Leslie Grizzle and Walter Chambers are buried elsewhere (Greenwood Cemetery in Cooper, Delta County, and Nesbit Cemetery in Harrison County, respectively.)

Danny Paul Grizzle Eldest son of Billy Earl Grizzle Written April 2, 2012

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Family links:

Parents:
 William Judson Veazey (1858 - 1901)
 Lillian Idella Malone Veazey (1867 - 1951)

Spouses:
 Walter D. Chambers (1879 - 1979)
 Leslie Leon Grizzle (1899 - 1939)*

Children:
 Lewis Evalyn Grizzle (1918 - 1973)*
 Granville Wayne Grizzle (1924 - 2012)*
 Billy Earl Grizzle (1931 - 1970)*
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Burial: Providence Cemetery Mount Vernon Franklin County Texas, USA Plot: Row 4 Plot 35


Created by: Danny Grizzle Record added: Jun 04, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 37936895 http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37936895

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Iva (twin) (Veazey) Chambers's Timeline

1897
June 27, 1897
Franklin, Texas, United States
1917
May 9, 1917
Age 19
Franklin, Texas, United States
1929
1929
Age 31
1931
November 6, 1931
Age 34
Sulpher Springs, Hopkins, Texas, United States
1966
January 14, 1966
Age 68
Longview, Gregg, Texas, United States
????
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Providence Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Franklin Co, TX, USA