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Annie Reid

(1916 - 2016)

Annie Reid passed away May 1, 2016 at the age of 99. She was born December 18th, 1916 in String Prairie, Texas to Karl Frank (Charlie J.) Ott (d. 1967) and Annie Nettie Waneck Ott (d. 1936).

Texas was still young in 1916 when she was born. String Prairie was a new and growing rural community. It was initially founded in 1886 by a few families coming to Texas from an area of Germany that is now part of Poland. Saint Mary's was already established in 1876. The Ott family came into the Port of Galveston traveled up to central Texas to help tame the new frontier. The beautiful "painted" Catholic Church of Saint Mary's was (and still is) the hub of the community.

With a new baby coming, Charlie decided that they needed a better home than the small and drafty single room cabin they had at the time. It was getting old and just not up to the standards of the day. With the help of the community, they built a new "modern" dog trot house on the Ott land off what is now called Ott Road in String Prairie. The family moved into the new house just after little Annie was born. Within a couple years, brother Leonard was added to the family.
A hundred years back, work was hard and medical care limited. Annie's mother was lost to breast cancer at a relatively young age. Annie and Leonard then had to grow up fast and help shoulder the load. They helped with the farm work and as well as the household affairs that Annie's mother would have done. The Otts got by with the help of friends, neighbors and relatives in the small, close-knit String Prairie Catholic community.

Cotton was king. They raised cotton for "ginning" to make money to buy the things they needed and staples like flour for making homemade bread. The flour came in colorful sacks which were used to make clothing, curtains and quilts. They made their own soap. They grew their own vegetables.
Corn was raised to feed the animals. Mules pulled the plows (at least when they were in the mood) for farming. They had their own blacksmith shop to make or repair equipment. They raised pigs, chickens and cows for meat, eggs and milk. The Charles Reid family still have that old butter churn they used and some of the hand sewn quilts from both Annie and her mother.

The Ott children walked to school about 4 miles away. The stories Annie told little son Charles were horrifying about the bitter cold walks to school in winter with freezing rain, sleet and snow. He recalls she said their lunch pails almost froze to their hands. The winter weather at the time must have been a lot worse than today with winter lasting much longer. Of course young Charles rode a school bus which was certainly a lot easier than walking out in the weather.
Annie met and married an ex-Army man after World War II. He was Alonzo Reid from the nearby Delhi community. They had a son, Charles Reid who married Linda Sneider from the Houston area. Charles and Linda currently live in Texas City but maintain a second home in String Prairie, TX. Annie's grandson, Chris Reid and granddaughter, Catie Reid live and work in the Houston, TX area.

When the time came, brother Leonard left the drudgery of farming and made his way to the big City of San Antonio. He remained close to Annie's family and the community. He returned often and kept up the old house. There were many happy visits at the Reid home with Leonard, wife Lucille and their children Karl and Sylvia.

And there were many visits to the old farm house where Annie and Leonard grew up. We all liked sitting on the front porch enjoying the view down the hill, telling stories and enjoying each other's company. Leonard seemed to tell the most colorful stories, but Alonzo held his own. Lucille, Annie and the children contributed from time to time.

In later years, Domino games were very competitive. Usually Annie paired with Leonard and Alonzo paired with Lou. Any youngsters that tried to take on either team usually got beaten badly.

That old house her father built back a hundred years ago is still standing today. But it has new owners. It is very worn and tired. Although it was updated some along the way, it is not up to current standards. Now the front and side porches have been torn away due to rot from weather and age. The new owners are building a new "modern" house on the hill behind it, and its days appear to be numbered. We expect soon it will be gone to make way for the next generation. But we will remember it fondly. And we wonder if that new house will still be standing in another hundred years.

We think there is some bond between Annie and that old house. Annie will be laid to rest on May 6, 2016 at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in String Prairie, TX next to her husband, Alonzo and near her parents.

Written by Charles and Linda Reid, May 1, 2016 in loving tribute to Mother Annie Reid.