The Biography of Leola Snider Perkins
"Poet Laureate of White Settlement"
Leola Snider was born in 1910 in the little town of Dresden, Texas, in the vicinity of Corsicana, the daughter of Willie and Mattie Snider. Her father owned a cotton gin. She remembers when she was 4 years old and the family moved in a covered wagon to west Texas. The journey took 3 weeks. The first school she attended was called ôNeedmoreö the family settled on a farm that her father purchased about ten miles from Paducah, in Cottle County, near Delwin. She later attended the Delwin School.
In 1928 she married her school days sweetheart, Raymond Perkins. They lived on a farm at Delwin until 1938. They spent 2 years in Olyon, near Plainview and about 3 years in Houston. They moved to Fort Worth in 1941. Raymond worked at the new Consolidated Aircraft plant in White Settlement where he also owned and operated a plumbing business. He was employed at the plant for 31 years. Raymond was active in the formation of the newly incorporated city of White Settlement, serving on the City Council and as Mayor Pro-tem for several years. Leola and Raymond were faithful church members. She taught a Sunday School class for over 25 years.
She wrote her first poem in 1965, and continued to write poems about friends and personalities in the community, as well as poems dealing with the way of life in the years of her childhood, faith in God, etc. She was busily involved in the restoration of the Thompson Cemetery, a burial place for White Settlement pioneers that had been grossly neglected for many years. She was a charter member of he White Settlement Historical Society and was very active in that organization. She was in charge of refreshments at all meetings. When the Golden Bear Club was formed in the early 1970ĺs, she was very active in that club. It was a senior club formed before the Senior Services was introduced in the community. She served many terms as its president.
Leola and Raymond had 5 children. Leola was busy in all school functions through the years. She continued to write poems about events and to honor friends on special occasions and achievements. In 1993 she published a collection of 100 poems entitled ôRandom Thoughtsö. The book was reprinted 3 times. Her poems were read at community and church functions. Recently they are being displayed on the Internet at the White Settlement Historical Museum site and the Ft. Worth Star Telegramĺs Virtual Texan site. At a ceremony at the museum she was officially proclaimed Poet Laureate of White Settlement by the mayor.
After her husbandĺs death in 1990, she continued to work in the community and write poetry until her eyesight began to fail. She moved the Retirement Inn and continued to enjoy life for several years. Her eyesight continued to fail and her health deteriorated. After falling and spending time in nursing homes, she passed away November 2, 2001 at the age of 91.
Memorial services were held November 5 at her church, Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement. The services were conducted by Mr. Clem Thurman along with a eulogy by White Settlement Mayor, James Herring.
Leola will be remembered in White Settlement as a lady who never knew an enemy and befriended all who came in contact with her.