Lilac: On the road between Sharp and Davilla
Joy Graham

For the next several weeks excerpts from two books written by Dorothy McQuary Callaway, a native of the Lilac community, will be shared with history buffs in Milam County.

Her grandfather, William Stout McQuary, came from Virginia to Lilac, Texas, and purchased land that became McQuary Farms in 1875.

Dorothy was born on McQuary Farms and lived there until graduation from Sharp High School.

Dorothy ‘s writing takes on a romantic view about the community and school and include her actual experiences growing up in the area. The two books: Lilac Festival- A Memoir: The People, History & Culture of Lilac Community, Milam County and Lilac Before Lilac Festival covers the history of the McQuary Documents about Lilac people, geography, McQuary family history.

They also include 13WPA Writer’s Projects documented in 1935 on various histories of the area. Dorothy explained: “In writing my memoirs I chose memories to explore that may interest adults and children.

“As children, we lived ordinary lives or so we thought. I can look back on a few things I learned at Lilac School, how to set up a ‘store,’ and how to count change.

“I shared playing in the cottonseed pen and wrote an essay when in Texas Women’s University on ‘How to Make Molasses’.”

One might ask today, where is Lilac?

Answers might include “it’s over there”, or “up the road” or “after you pass Sharp and before you get to Davilla.”

Dorothy McQuary Callaway was a career teacher with service in high schools, colleges in Texas and Arkansas and ended her formal teaching career in Taiwan and the Republic of China (ROC).

The Texas Agriculture Commission recognized McQuary Farms in 1985 with a Family Land Heritage Marker. This is a prestigious History Marker in Texas.

Research: “Lilac Before Lilac Festival” and “Lilac Festival—A Memoir: Dorothy McQuary Callaway, Scriptorium Page: SD, Beaumont, TX 2012.

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2013-07-11 digital edition

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