Mary Ruth Arnold Collection
By Robert Griffith, Updated July 2013

In 2008, Mary Ruth Arnold allowed me to scan many of her family's treasured photographs and documents. Mrs. Arnold, born Mary Ruth Haynes, is the daughter of Rufus and Jewel Haynes. Her maternal great-grandfather, Richard Burns, ran a blacksmith shop which is today Ron's Apothecary at 117 West Renfro Street. Her grandfather, Elisha Burt Burns, once owned the Burleson Waterworks. Mrs. Arnold's family even has roots in the founding of Johnson County; great-great-great-uncle, Thomas Jefferson Mills was among a hundred citizens to sign a petition forming Johnson County in 1854.

Mary Ruth is a 1943 graduate of Burleson High School. She wed Horace Carlton Gordon, Jr. in 1946, and to them were born four children, Elaine, Horace Carlton, III, Gary, and Richard. After Mr. Gordon's death in 1992, Mary Ruth married J.W. Arnold, a decorated World War II veteran. J.W. Arnold's dedication to honoring his fellow veterans continued until his passing in September 2011. The Arnolds are among the kindest, most decent people I have had the privilege of knowing.

Selected Photographs

Burns Blacksmith Shop, August 29, 1894
L to R: Richard Henry Burns, and his sons Elisha Burt and Lucian Burns


Burns Blacksmith Shop, August 29, 1894
The cisterns in the background formed the original Burleson Water Works.


Confederate Veterans Reunion, 1903
From Mack Williams' In Old Fort Worth, Copyright 1977, Pg. 113--

"In 1903, a group of Confederate veterans met for a reunion and picnic on the grounds of the Burleson Schoolhouse. After the festivities, they gathered on the porch and steps of the home of one of them, William Bransom, which was across the street. And there they posed for a photo made by Lon Murphy, a Burleson photographer.

"In the top row, standing on the porch, are John Shannon, Wick Tye, William Fairless, William Bransom, D.L. Murphy, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Dickenson and W.M. Ferris.
Second row, from left, are R.L. Roberts, unknown, unknown, Mr. East, Mr. Summerlin, Joe Thompson and, at far right, seated on the top step, another unknown.
Third row, from left, are Jimmy McGee, Mr. Roddy, Mr. London, Mr. McNairn, unknown, Mr. Jackson, A.J. Beavers, Y.P. Bowers and unknown.
Front row, W.E. Pope, unknown, [former Mayor of Fort Worth] Capt. B.B. Paddock, unknown, Mr. Leveritt, Mr. Rust, Mr. Jackson, and Walter Neeley."


Haynes Home near the Mound, one mile north of the original Burleson townsite, around 1910
Left to Right are Jim Hawkins, Grandfather William Hooper Haynes, Guy Haynes, Rufus Haynes, Hattie Haynes, Will Haynes, and Wood Haynes. The home burned in the 1930s. A portrait of the homeplace was painted by local artist Doris Jo Haas and hangs in Mary Ruth Arnold's home.


Young People's Music Club, Date Unknown
The location, date, and purpose of this club is not known, and the people identified in the picture could be incorrect. If you know about the Young People's Music Club, e-mail me.
First row: Ruth Haskew, Jim Walker
Second row: Glady Booth, -, -, -, Miss Knight (a teacher), Flora (Brister) Haskew, Emma Bell Dobson
Third row: Mary Moritz, Stella Thompson, -, Emma Gant, Lizzie Anderson, Pearl Clark, -


Irene (Shannon) Hurst and Johnnie Lawson posing for a picture on Ellison Street, ca. 1920
In the background is the Lace - Scott Grocery, a partnership between Jim Scott and W.P. "Bill" Lace which ended when the latter was selected to once again serve as Burleson Postmaster in 1923. Jim Scott, with sons Malcolm and Pete, owned and operated Scott & Son Grocery at 108 South Main Street until 1971. Today, the buildings in this picture house Ellison Street Interiors and Odom's Old Town Smokehouse. In the background is the Burleson Hotel, torn down in the 1970s.


Friends pose near Warren Street between Renfro and Ellison Streets, 1940-1941
Left to right are Mary Ruth Arnold, Willie Bess Burns, Merwin Beckwith, David Wheeler, Frances Wilshire, and in front, Tommy Bransom is holding Divinity, a candy they made. In the background is the water tower on the present-day site of City Hall, and at right is Booth's Cafe, now Wood Shopping Center.

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