Grapeland Texas

Selman, Henery Roy

Henry Roy Selman

Roy was born April 5, 1898 in Rural Shade, Navarro County, Texas. He was the oldest son of George Jackson and Della Lee Crist Selman. He attended school in Rural Shade and Kerens. Then in 1913 his family moved to Midland. He finished his high school education in Midland, Texas. He was a veteran of World War I. He joined the United States Army on his birthday, April 5, 1917. He was among the first American Soldiers to land in France. He served with the American First Army in France. He was wounded in combat and was hospitalized for many months. A silver plate was inserted in his head by Army Doctors due to the injury and was still there at his death. After his discharge from service, he lived in California for several years. There he attended college and worked for a law firm. He was more or less a protege of the senior attorney. The old man had lost his only son in the war. It had been his dream to have his son as a partner in the firm. Helping Roy was as close as he came before he died. Roy never realized his dream of becoming an attorney. In 1918, his parents had moved to Latexo, Houston County, Texas. After his mother’s death hereturned home to Latexo, Texas in order to help his dad with the farm and the younger children. Then in 1935 he met a young teacher from Porter Springs, Texas, Stella Rhoda taught school at Latexo High School for over twenty years. He served as CountyJudge of Houston County, Texas from 1 9 4 5- 1 9 5 2. During his administraton, he worked to improve all of Houston County. He had the help and support of the majority of the people in the county – of which he was very grateful. He was instrumental in establishing the Tri County East Texas Health Unit for Trinity, Polk and Houston Counties which only lasted for a couple of years. He was instrumental in the opening of a staffed office in Crockett to help the veterans of the county. This was like a driven force to him – due to his own experience as a World War I Veteran. The veterans needed help to unravel red tape, etc. in order to qualify for benefits. This was something that was new for the whole country back then. He strived to improve the roads in the county. It was hard enough for the school districts in the county to buy buses – to tear them up on a muddy road was something else, and this happened many times. On this issue he received a lot of criticism as well as praise. He worked long hours and drove many miles along with others in their effort to locate the Crockett State School in Crockett, Texas. This meant more jobs for the people in the county – and that meant there would be more money to be spent in the county. He was a complex man but a good honest man that had high moral standards and principals and stood by them. I remember well one saying that he had – “You can’t learn anything from talking – but from listening and reading – you can be one of the smartest people in the world.” He was active in the Masonic Lodge in Crockett and the Latexo Baptist Church of which he was a member. He died on his birthday, April 5, 1966.