Texas Bob Travels

J. M. Witcher Prominent Civic Leader, Buried Here Thursday

Published in the Gatesville Messenger, January 10, 1958.

Gatesville lost one, of its most esteemed men this week in the death of J.M. Witcher, 80, retired school teacher.

Mr. Witcher died at his home Wednesday at 5 a.m. after being ill only a few days. He had lived at' this same home forty three years.

Funeral services were held Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, Rev. J. T. Ayers officiating. Burial was in the Masonic cemetery with Scott's in charge. Pallbearers were Charles Powell, Price Neeley, Andrew Kendrick, Dawson Cooper, Elworth Lowrey, Crawford Scott, Floyd Zeigler, and Wendell Lowrey. Honorary pallbearers were the deacons of the First Baptist Church.

Born John Melville Witcher to Armistid and Americus Holland Witcher, April 24, 1877 in Liberty Hill, he was reared there.

Mr. Witcher attended Baylor University, and received his degree from Denton Texas State Normal. He taught school at Killeen, Copperas Cove, Walnut Springs and Gatesville.

Moving to Gatesville in 1915 from Walnut Springs, Mr. Witcher was principal, of the Gatesville Grammar School for a number of years and . principal of Gatesville High School for a few years. He later, taught at Ireland, Mound and the State School For Boys.

For four years he was superintendent of schools in Coryell County. He was active in the field of education for more than forty years, retiring in 1947.

Mr. Witcher was ordained a deacon in the Baptist Church in Killeen approximately fifty years ago, and has been active in all phases of church work since that time. He was a' charter member of the Gatesville Lions Club, and a member of the Masonic Lodge for many years. Despite failing health, he remained active' and attended all church activities, Lions club and other civic meetings.

When Boy Scouts was mentioned, Mr. Witcher's name immediately came to mind. He was in Scout work for thirty-seven years and during this time taught the boys much scouting and carried them through many hair raising experiences and interesting places. He received the Silver Beaver Award in 1950, the highest honor paid to Scout leaders.

Mr. Witcher was married October 5, 1905 to Miss Rachael Albertson and she survives him. Also surviving are a son Dr. S. L. Witcher of Clifton two. daughters, Mrs., E. N. Stiver of Waco and Mrs. Dennis Dail of Eden eight grandchildren a brother Jim Witcher of Lampasas four sisters, Mrs. Zora Cox of Liberty Hill, Mrs. Edna Tomlinson of Manor, Mrs. Lizzie McSpadden of Lamesa, and Mrs. Dave Herbert of Lake Charles. La.

Mr. Witcher Surely Had Rich Satisfaction

When J. M, Witcher died last week, he was one of the richest men of the realm.

His wealth didn't consist of material things for his life wasn't invested in the marts of money and commerce. Rather it was invested in the church and in youth, and many were the visible returns of his contributions in those two fields.

Mr. Witcher, during his years and years as a Boy Scout leader, steered more boys down the narrow path to full and wholesome lives than perhaps any other man in this community clergymen included. His efforts to enlist people for Christ and His church were tireless and unflagging.

Mr. Witcher couldn't always hide a genteel disdain for all the red tape and regimen that goes with organized Boy Scout training. Just give him a group of boys and God's wonderland of nature, and those boys would learn invaluable lessons that proved dependable guideposts right on into adulthood.

In these days when youth is handled with the soft‑glove touch, it's good to remember that Mr. Witcher was a man who knew no compromise. To him, it was simply a case of right being right and wrong being wrong. Mr. Witcher always championed right, and always shunned wrong.

It was only a few years back that the body which "his boys" had come to believe was as sturdy as a great oak began to fail. Still Mr. Witcher was an active figure in Coryell Baptist circles.

When death claimed him in the predawn hours of Jan. 8th Mr. Witcher surely had the rich satisfaction of a life well and profitably spent. And surely the gracious and all‑wise Heavenly Father to whom he prayed with such fervor and faith has a reward for His nobleman commensurate with his labors.

Don't mess with living Texans

It is not the intention of this site to release personal information regarding those still living. If you see someone on this site that is still living, please contact me and I will remove the information. Texas Bob
© 1998 - - R. McSpadden - All rights reserved
. . . more from texasbob.com
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Texas Bob Media Services and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Texas Bob Media Services. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, Texas Bob Media Services takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.