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Myrtle May Traughber and Arthur Lee Duncan


Myrtle "May" Traughber

was a beautiful Auburn haired teacher, who cooked from scratch made clothes without a pattern, drove mule teams to plant the crops and was swindled out of her land by her own brothers and sisters. Pictured here when she was about 18, May was the kind of woman who loved music and teaching. It was at the school house where she taught that Arthur Lee Duncan would come and peek in the windows to make her laugh. Then as school let out, to walk her home. In August of 1920 they were married. Little did she know what knd of man really lurked behind those dark brooding eyes. By the time he was done her heart would be broken and she would never love another man.

Arthur Lee Duncan
was born on the 29th of May 1892 in McKinney, Collin County Texas. It seems at a very young age Arthur was drawn to the San Francisco Bay area of California. This photo was taken by Halverson Studio of Vallejo, California just north of San Francisco when he was a teenager. Embroidered into the brim of his hat is the word Maryland. I'm not sure what Arthur was doing in California. I have no record of military service for him in California or the Navy. At the time this picture was taken; circa 1910, there was a great deal of shipping activity between Vallejo and San Francisco. Perhaps he was working at the docks. Perhaps the photograph was simply taken in a Photo Studio - reflecting the hopes and dreams of a youngster.

This photograph was taken after Arthur returned from his World War I service in the Army. It's obvious war has changed Arthur. No longer do we see the bright shining eyes of a young boy seeking adventure. Nor, would the world ever get to see what an extraordinary artist he was. Arthur drew beautiful pictures and could have sold them had he chosen to make a career of it.
Arthur returned to the Red River region of Texas following the "Great War". There he found a beautiful Aurburn haired teacher in a nearby school house. From the moment he saw her, he set out to make her his wife.

The early years of their marriage set the stage for a life of troubled times, traveling from place to place, and trying to survive through years of Depression and War. When Arthur and May married, they moved in with his family. Sadly, the only story I have of this time in their lives is of Arthur's sisters treating her like a housekeeper and tearing her best dress into shreads. May gave birth to their first two children on the Traughber Ranch. Their next child; a daughter she named Ella Mae, was born in Coachella, California in 1923. By 1927, they were living in Commerce, Hunt County, Texas. In 1929 they were living in Honey Grove, Fannin County, Texas.

w When the Great Depression struck Arthur, May and 5 small children were back on the Traughber Ranch in Sulphur Bluff. It was there that the next four children would be born.

Link to May's obituary and a memorial

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