Marie Louise Shryock ( Wagner )

Marie Louise Shryock ( Wagner )                                 born: September 1, 1913
Clarendon, Arkansas

Married: Paul William Wagner
              September 14, 1933
                                born: February 8, 1913
Brinkly, Arkansas

      When Marie was born, she had two brothers, Joe and Woodie, and one sister, Agnes.  Later there were four additional brothers and one more sister.  Clarendon was and still is a small town on the White River.  Her father had his jewelry store and optical office on the main downtown street.  It was called Gravel Street because it was the only street in town that was fortunate enough to have a gravel surface.  The rest were only dirt.  A few doors down the street from the jewelry store was a grocery store where all the kids and about everyone else loved to buy big pickles and crackers out of barrels, and large chunks of cheese sliced off of a large cheese wheel.  The big courthouse was across the street in the square.  In the tower was a large four-faced clock that her father had sold and installed.  When the weather was hot and summer was at its peak, the streets were oiled to keep the dust down and the ice man delivered ice in a horse drawn wagon.

      In the Spring of 1927 the White River spilled over its banks and flooded Clarendon.  It was a devastating flood, causing families to move to higher ground or to leave town altogether.  Marie's family moved upstairs in the old Opera House with several other families.  A few days later the persistent flooding and ever increasing danger of harm forced the family to leave Clarendon by boat.  They went to Keevil, Arkansas where they all piled onto a hand car on the Cotton Belt railroad.  They 'pumped" their way to Brinkley where they were picked up by their longtime friend Bill Owens.  He drove them in his Model T Ford to his home in Marianna, Arkansas where the family stayed until the flood waters receded and it was safe to return to Clarendon.  Marie's father and two older brothers had stayed in Clarendon to protect their home and store.  All of the merchandise and watches in for repair had been moved upstairs in the store.  The furniture and belongings in the house had all been put up on scaffolds.

      In 1928 Marie's father bought the jewelry store in Brinkley.  The family moved there in 1929.  Marie was sweet sixteen and entering the eleventh grade when they moved to Brinkley.  Until the family could get moved, she lived with her good friend Frances Dailey in her mother's boarding house.  All of this was during the Great Depression and the Shryock family ( as well as everyone else ) was having a very difficult time making ends meet.  After graduation from high school in 1931, Marie worked in the jewelry store for her father since there was no money for additional education.

      It was in 1929 that Marie met Paul Wagner and they became sweethearts.  They were married on September 14, 1933 in Brinkley.  Paul was Catholic, so they were married in the priest's home since, at that time a non-Catholic could not be married in the church.  They rented a small duplex and lived in Brinkley.  Paul continued working in the drug store for Mr. Converse.  Paul was making $17.50 a week, which was a good salary at the time.  They paid $15.00 a month rent.  Two years later Marie was unable to carry their first child to full term and, five months into the pregnancy lost the baby.  That was to happen twice more, leaving Marie and Paul without the blessing of children of their own.

      On December 7,1941 Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese and the United States went to war.  Paul enlisted in the Signal Corps.  At that time they were living in Greenwood, Mississippi.  When Paul enlisted, Marie sold their furniture and moved back to Brinkley with her parents.  After Paul had spent over two years, mostly in EPO he returned to Brinkley where he and Marie made their home.  Just a few years later they built their own home.  Marie worked as bookkeeper for Weis Butane Company and Paul went into insurance.  With Paul's many promotions, they lived in Blytheville, Arkansas, El Paso, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee, Arlington, Texas, and finally in Sherman, Texas where Paul accepted the position of District Manager with National Life.  They moved to Sherman and bought their home in 1960 where they were still living at the time of this writing.

      Paul retired at age 62, but Marie is just semi-retired since she still cooks and keeps house.  She still gets in a lot of bridge with her many friends and loves to read.  In 1957 in El Paso, Marie was baptized into the Catholic Church, joining her husband's faith.  Their only regret is that they had no children of their own, but were lessed with many beautiful nieces and nephews.

Marie Louise ( Shryock ) and Paul Wagner
November 1951

Marie Louise ( Shryock) and Paul Wagner
attending family reunion in Clarendon, Arkansas – 1989

Marie Louise Shryock
Seventh grade school picture - 1926

Marie Louise ( Shryock) and Paul Wagner
dates unknown

This page was last updated: June 17, 2020
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