Parker County Today March 2018 - Page 65

progressed, became the father of six children. During this time, Gilliland became well-known for his talents in fiddling for house and barn dances. Not much is known of Gilliland’s activities in the 1870s through the 1890s. There are some sources that credit him with helping to form the second Methodist church during this time. Some sources have him hauling timber to and from the Fort Richardson area. Notably, it is on record that he was elected District Clerk of Parker County in 1888. He also began participating in (and winning) fiddling contests around North Texas.  “In Oklahoma, I played in thirteen prize contests and won twelve out of thirteen. I cannot begin to tell the number of first prizes won in Texas, but there were many,” Gilliland wrote.  In 1901, he helped to create the Old Fiddler’s Association of Texas, and served as its secretary. In 1910, Gilliland traveled to Little Rock for competition, tying with Jesse Roberts and Moses J. Bonner in holding the title of World’s Championship Fiddler.  Later, Gilliland and his wife moved to Oklahoma, although he visited friends and family often in Texas, as well as competing in fiddling competitions there. In 1913, Susie passed away, leaving Gilliland in a deep depression. “I was now broken up; my good wife called away, and I was left alone to finish fighting the battles without a helper,” he wrote.  On Aug. 20, 1914, he married a widow, Mary Self, noting that although she was 26 years his junior, that she was “all that keeps me alive.” In 1922, Gilliland teamed up with Eck Robertson, traveling to Victor Records studio in New York to create one of the first records of what would come to be known as country music. The pair recorded two sides: “Arkansas Traveler” on one and “Turkey in the Straw” on the other.  Afterwards, Gilliland returned to Altus, Okla., where he lived peacefully until April of 1924, when he passed away at 79, leaving behind a legacy of early Texas pioneering and the beginnings of the country sound for which our beloved state is so famed. Sources:  -Country Music Annual 2001. Edited by Charles K. Wolfe and James E. Akenson, The University Press of Kentucky, 2001. -Fontenot, Kevin S. “Henry C. Gilliland.” Texas State His ѽɥͽѥ ͡ɜ ͕ȁ((! 1 ѱ́! )ȁMٕe]́ѡ Ʌ䰁]́ݥѠ)ѡ%̰]́ݥѠѡѡ ܸԸ(ɕMѕٔ !  QɅɥٕȹ)͕ȁ)]їéչɅ!)=ȁ͕٥ȁͥ)ձM٥չɅ! ɕѥM٥̃Aɔ9A)鱔Mɥѽݸ5Ʌ]̃]ѡəɐܴشăܹݡѕ͙չɅ)-ɤɅ ɽݹф]є- 饹 ]єIɐ]))ѽ ՍչIЁM(