Popo holding his scrapbook .
George William Ratliff II
Popo, as he was affectionately known, was born November 30, 1867 in Washington County, Texas. Through the years, he was also known as Will, Willie, GW Ratliff Jr., and (after his father died) simply G.W. Ratliff.
Will grew up outside Ft. Worth on his father's ranch. In 1883, at age 16, he enrolled in the first freshman class of the University of Texas. At the time of his application, he was actually younger than the admission age of 16, and he had only had 6 years of schooling. But he passed an entrance exam and got it. He had to drop out after completing his first year due to problems with his eyesight. He finished school at a business college. In 1957, however, he was recognized by the Texas Exes Association as the last survivor of the first class at UT, and one of his proudest moments in life was to ride at the head of a parade in Austin.
In 1889 he went to work as a railway postal clerk in Denison, Texas. Over the years he worked his way up the ladder until he became the Chief Clerk for the railroad postal service. He was greatly admired by his men and friends, according to numerous newspaper clippings.
Popo kept all kinds of scrapbooks, and it is from this trove that we have much of our family information.
Popo died July 10, 1959 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery, Denison, Texas.
Popo and Mamaw outside their home at 1015 W. Morton, Denison, Texas.
Nettie Mae Wilson
Nettie Mae, also known as Mamaw, was born in Effingham County, Georgia.
She died April 29, 1935 in Denison, Texas. Her obituary in the Denison paper read as follows:
Mrs. G.W. Ratliff, 61 years old, prominent Denison woman and a resident of this city thirty years, died Monday evening at 6:55 o'clock at her home, 1015 West Morton street, after two and one-half years of illness. She was the wife of G. W. Ratliff, retired chief clerk of the Railway Mail Service.
Mrs. Ratliff was born at Savannah, Ga., Nov. 15, 1873, and attended a girls' school [Andrew Female College] at Cuthbert, Ga., where she studied under the son of the nationally prominent Bishop Key. She was Miss Nettie Mae Wilson before her marriage to Mr. Ratliff at Coleman, Texas, Feb. 23, 1893.
The Ratliff family came to Denison from Fort Worth and is well known here. The deceased was a member of the Ladies' Auxillary of the Railway Mail Association, the Ladies' Aid Society of Waples Memorial Church, and was an active member of Waples Church.
Surviving are her husband, a son G.W. Ratliff, Jr., Fort Worth; one daughter, Mrs. Clifford Esler, Denison; a brother, Lee R. Wilson, Balmorhea, Texas, and three grandchildren.
Funeral services will conducted Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock at Waples Memorial Church with Rev. F.A. Crutchfield, former Waples pastor, as the officiant, assisted by Rev. S. M. Black, present pastor at Waples. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery with Short-Murray, funeral directors, in charge.
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