"Miss" Tennie Havard

Miss Tennie Havard was the beloved first and second grade teacher at Burke School from the early 1930s to about 1960. She taught several generations of some families, including the author and his mother Gertrude Johnson. In 1928 Miss Tennie taught at Biloxi School east of Lufkin, where one of her students was Avis Kirk, daughter of Will Kirk, who later moved to Burke. After moving to Burke to teaach, she met and married Fayette Havard and settled in Burke for the rest of her life.

Tennie was born Tennie J. Thompson about 1905, the daughter of George R. and Emma Thompson. George was born about 1866 and Emma about 1878, both in Texas. The Thompsons lived at Huntington, and George was a rural mail carrier.

In addition to Tennie the Thompsons also had a son Ruby Clyde, known later by his middle name, who later became mayor of Diboll; a daughter Maggie E.; a daughter Julia J., born about 1912; a daughter Antoinette, born about 1915, and a daughter Ruth born about 1917. Tennie also had a sister who taught physical education at Lufkin High School in the 1960s.

George was the son of Ruben and Julia Thompson.


  1. 1880 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Subddivision 8, Page 45, Dwelling 393 (Ruben Thompson)
  2. 1910 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Precinct 6, Page 6, Dwelling 51 (George R. Thompson)
  3. 1920 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Precinct 6, Page 3, Dwelling 30 (George R. Thompson)
  4. 1930 Census, Angelina County, Texas, Precinct 6, Page 27, Dwelling 12 (George R. Thompson)