Fawcett:Frances Elder (Haag)

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Frances Elder (Haag)
Interviewer William Bloys Fawcett, Jr.
Interviewer's page
Person interviewed Frances Elder Haag
Interviewee's page
Approximate year written unknown
Family(s) Elder
Description Frances Elder Haag has lived for many years at her home (1428 Vanderbilt, San Antonio TX). Her father is Rev. Mansel P. Elder.
Needs annotation: Yes


Frances Elder Haag has lived for many years at her home (1428 Vanderbilt, San Antonio TX). Her father is Rev. Mansel P. Elder.

Phillip T. Elder.

During her childhood she heard many stories from her grandfather, P.T. Elder, mostly about the Civil War. In his old age none of the Elder relatives really wanted him to live with them, so he ended up in the Confederate home in Austin. She never knew that he had a permanent place at Cheapside. ‘I was very hurt that papa had to put grandpa in the Confederate home but my mother was sick, at that time, and couldn’t care for him. Maurine [her sister] & I went to see him at the home in Austin, later, and he seemed happy. He was sitting on that big round porch, exchanging war stories with his buddies.’

His son Irwin was growing peanuts at Cheapside. Bad weather killed his crop. At breakfast the next day when asked to say grace he announced that he had nothing to be thankful for. Life was often hard at Cheapside, but there were also good times. The farming folks at Cheapside were friendly, kind and generous.

Mansel Phillip Elder And Cheapside.

Her papa, Mansel P. Elder, attended seminary [in Tennessee] after graduating from Trinity University at Tehucana, Texas in the mid-1890s. He then returned to Cuero, and married Kitty Todd in about 1904/05. During the first two decades of the 20th century he served the church at Cheapside, Texas (ca. 1903-1917/18):

"My father, Mansel Elder, was the Presbyterian minister at Cheapside and surrounding towns during my early childhood. His sister Aunt Emma married Frank Fawcett."

Uncle Nathan Elder of Nixon, Texas provided medical care to Mansel's family. He was the doctor who attended her brother Lawrence's birth in 1916, and later cared for her father.

After her grandmother, S. Susan Wilson (Elder) died in September 1916, Mansel Elder probably was more willing to move away from Cheapside.

Pearsall and Temple (1919-24).

While preaching in Pearsall, Rev. Elder suffered a collapsed lung and was semi-retired after that:

"In 1919, when I was four years old, Papa became gravely ill with a lung disease in Pearsall, where we had moved. My parents sent me to live with Aunt Ida [Elder Eckels] in Temple for a year [1919-21]. When I returned home, I had to ride the train alone, making connections in San Antonio. Ralph Fawcett, son of Aunt Emma and Uncle Frank, met the train and took me to his home [on Kayton] to spend the night and to help me board the train onto Pearsall the next day. I remember fondly how nice he and his family were to me. He and Leslie owned Fawcett Furniture, and had lots of money compared to us. They helped us financially and in every other way."

San Antonio (1924 - 1939).

"In 1924, when I was nine years old, we moved to San Antonio to be near Papa's nephews, Ralph and Leslie Fawcett, because he never fully regained his health. We settled in the Denver Heights area [on 800 blk. of Delmar] next to Highland Park where they lived [Leslie at 428 Hammond and Ralph on Kayton]."

Her grandfather, Phillip T. Elder, moved around living with various Elders, Woffords and Fawcetts, but eventually entered the Confederate Home in Austin because none of them wanted or could afford to care for him.

"We all went to church together at Denver Blvd. Presbyterian Church (which later became Bethany Presbyterian when it moved to its present location on Chicago Blvd). Our entire social life centered around the church. As a teenager, I always sat next to Cousin Estelle, Leslie Fawcett's wife, because she let me hold her baby, Billy [William Bloys Fawcett, Sr.]. My arm would go to sleep, but I didn't want to wake that precious sleeping baby. I had to call Estelle "Cousin" out of respect since she was older than I."

After her mother, Kitty Todd, died in 1939, Rev. Elder preached part-time in San Antonio, Strawn in Palo Pinto County, and Tye in Taylor County. He always had to help preaching because he could not speak very loudly with only one functioning lung.

"The Fawcetts helped our family in so many ways. In the summertime, Ralph gave Papa the use of his camp house near Kerrville. We loved it!

Later Life in San Antonio.

Frances M. Elder married Herman J. Haag. They lived in San Antonio (1306 Highland Blvd 1951-57; 1428 Vanderbilt 1958-94+), where they raised three children. Her husband worked as a watchmaker at Mission Jewelry in the Maverick Building (1951-65+). He died in 1993.

"I can't remember when Cousin Estelle didn't teach Sunday School and work in the Women's Association. She was truly a leader among Christian women, and her influence is still felt. Whenever anyone asked my three children where they attended church, they would always say, "at Mrs. Fawcett's church." Cousin Leslie was a wonderful Christian, also, and a leader among men at the Church. Anything good that could be said about a person would be true of him."

"Throughout the years, I have continued to worship at Bethany Presbyterian with Cousin Estelle and her son Leslie, Jr. She is now 101 years old and still faithfully attends every Sunday. Her daughter Catherine is a beautiful person. What a wonderful legacy of service, generosity, faithfulness, and Christian living the Fawcett family had made for those who know and love them!

Visits to Cheapside.

During the 1950s and early 1960s Frances Haag accompanied Leslie C. Fawcett on cemetery decoration day each April, when they drove down to Cheapside from San Antonio. She still attends.


From A History of the Fawcetts and Related Families in America by William Bloys Fawcett. Used by permission of Dr. Fawcett.

This book was first published in 1996 and some of the information is quite dated. If you find errors or want to add updates, contact me, and I will add notes to the page.

Copyright © 1996, 2007 by William Bloys Fawcett, Jr. All rights reserved. No copies may be made of this document through any electronic, photocopying or other means without permission of the author.

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