Dillard Lee Coffman Family
by Dee (Bunch Coffman) Frye
Dillard Lee Coffman
Photo Taken about 1912
Dillard Lee and Percella Ann (Williford) Coffman moved North of Mannsville on the
Washita River at Norton Bridge in 1933. Moma said Fred Chapman made three
trips to the Lebanon/McMillian area where they lived to get Daddy to move up
here. He had heard that Daddy was a "natural born" cotton farmer and wanted
him to work for him on share crop.
During the end of the Depression...the Butler's of Mannsville had no place to live,
so Daddy let them live in our Smoke house. They lived there for about a year.
We also had folks, mostly men, who were out of work, would stop by
the house and want to know if they could cut fire wood for Moma for something
to eat. They were never turned down ... regardless of whether she needed fire
wood or not...
Daddy, at Cotton picking time, would go to the Troy and Reagan area and get
Indians to help. They would set up their tents In the woods next to the field.
The Lewis family was one of them. "Big Moma" as we called her, would help
Moma cook dinner for all the hands. Kenneth Lewis still lives at Ravia.
I was borne at home March 13, 1934...my brothers, Lewis and Hubert said
I was so small...I fit into a shoe box...(apparently my first bed) ... and looked like
a bunch of nothing....so BUNCH stuck as my nickname to this day. I started
school at Mannsville in 1940. Willie and Lewis used to swap a sweater when
they went outside to play, because they didn't have a coat. Lewis graduated
from Mannsville in 1939. Hubert had gone to school at Lebanon to the 11th
grade. He entered the Army In 1937 and retired In 1968.
We lived on the Washita until my brother Lewis was killed on Thanksgiving
Day 11-24-1943 from a plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa during WW II. I remember
Moma and Daddy and the Nortons were down picking pecans when Harlis Hodges
came to the house with a telegram that he had been given in Mannsville to tell
us of the death.
After Lewis was killed, we moved to Mannsville for a short time and Daddy lived
in the 2 story house in Norton Bend and would come to town on the weekends.
We didn't live In Mannsville long and moved to Norton Bend ...going to school
Our neighbors were the Scruggs'; Debs Armstrong; Warren Armstrong; Mr. Dean
with grandchildren; Shirley, Johnny, and Delilah; Jess Norton; Emmett Davis;
Dave Eggenberg; Brashiers; Noel Easley; Elledge's; Fitzgeralds; and George Dawson.
There were about 18 kids in our little area and Hubert had sent Willie and I
a Ball Glove and Basketball for Christmas from India one year. We all would meet
at our house in the cow pasture and play ball with a bed slat for a bat.
During our years at Russett ... Daddy worked at Headquarters most of the time
and we would go to school in the summer and let out during the fall for crop
gathering...Daddy would let Norman Dawson drive his 1936 Ford coup to take
us to ball practice ... or we even had ball games before we were back in school
session. We girls didn't have uniforms...so the ladies...Mrs. Easterwood, Mrs. Jones,
Mrs. Biles and Mrs. Wilcox made our uniforms.
I graduated in 1952, going to work for the FBI In Washington, D.C. then to
Germany and back to Dallas, Texas in 1956.
Willie married a soldier from Ravia, Earnie Coffman, (no relation) and has lived
in the Ravia/Tishomingo area all this time. She returned to school and graduated
in 1953 from Russett.
Daddy had a heart attack in December 1957 while hauling hay at Headquarters and
lived one week ... long enough for Hubert to come in from France. Moma died
In July 1982 at the age of 91.
Some of the best people in the world lived and worked in the Russett area.
All of the kids who "Drank from the Well"... have all gone on to be solid citizens
and done very well in their chosen fields.
(l-r) Aunt Rosie (Williford) Harris, Percilla Ann (Williford) Coffman (born 2-15-1891)
Charles Ray Allen, Jr, Percella Ann (Williford) Coffman
Charles Ray Allen, Jr - Born 12-23-1953 Ft. Meade, Maryland
Percella (Williford) Coffman - Born 2-15-1891 Lebonon, Indian Territory
Photo taken 1957 at home place in Ravia, Oklahoma
Denise and Charlie Allen
Photo Taken Christmas 2006