Tomball Diamond Jubilee Recipes and Recollections

* These recollections and recipes are directly quoted from a book compiled by the members of the "Tomball Study Club" to commemorate the heritage we look back on with fondness and respect. February 1982

“We grew our own sugar cane. Grandmother would have two barrels of sugar syrup. By Christmas, one barrel would be empty except for what had crystallized on the bottom. We would break that into pieces and that would be our Christmas candy.”

From Louie and Elizabeth Bailey

“l was out of school with a sore throat, and my mother let me sit on our porch … it was exciting to see a rig so close and watch how every man did his job. Of course, the most exciting thing was being here when the well was finished, and the men brought the oil to the surface and the well blew in … “

Pauline Carrell

Tomball Study Club

In 1934 an organization was formed, called the Lakeside Garden Club, to serve the needs of the men and women living in the Humble oil camp. By 1940-1941 the beautification of the camp had been completed. Rather than disband, the club changed its name to the Humble Study Club, and served its members as a social organization. As the people moved from the camp into the town of Tomball, the role of this group enlarged. In 1975 the name was again changed … this time to Tomball Study Club.

ln 1984 Tomball Study Club will celebrate fifty years of continuous service to the people of this area.

Louis and Elizabeth Bailey

“l lived with my grandparents on their farm near Hunter’s Retreat.* I remember my grandfather telling about the time he helped sweep the first wagon trail to Houston. It was mostly grasslands then, sometimes as tall as a man’s head. First was the leader on horseback to show the way, then came a team of oxen pulling a pine tree that laid down the grass, then came the horses and wagons. It was a two-day trip and we would stop overnight at “Epps Islands.**   There were oak trees there and water.

“Since we were so isolated, each form or small community had to be self- sufficient. We could not grow wheat, so our bread was cornbread. And we grew our own sugar cane. Grandmother would have two barrels of sugar syrup. By Christmas, one barrel would be empty except for what had crystallized on the bottom. We would break that into pieces and that would be our Christmas candy!”

*Hunter’s Retreat. Just north of Pinehurst tum left on Goodson Loop. Past the cemetery on the left there is a straight section of road. Halfway to the next curve stop and look to the right. About 300 yards into that field was the community of Hunter’s Retreat. There was a large house, a store, and the post office. The postmaster rode on horseback to Cypress City (on Hempstead Highway) to pick up the mail.

**Epps Island. A dry island of oak trees near the fork of what is now FM 149 and West Montgomery Road.

These delightful memories were recalled by Louie Bailey, while his wife Elizabeth contributed the following recipes for cornbread and coconut layer cake, which are both favorites of his.

Louie Bailey’s Favorite Cornbread

 1/2 c. stone-ground yellow cornmeal

1/2 c. flour 

3/4 t. salt

1 1/2 t. Clabber-Girl baking powder

1 egg 


Mix dry ingredients. Add egg. Then add buttermilk enough to make a nice batter (about 2/3 cup). Oil pan and put in oven to heat. Pour in batter and

bake at 350° until brown (about 15-20 minutes).                                                               ‘.

Rosa Haude Klein (Mrs. A.B.)

 My parents, Amalia Weid and Henry Haude, lived in the Haude community, just east of the Klein community. I am the youngest of 13 children. Since my mother died at my birth, I was raised by my oldest sister, Matilda Haude Arp, in Spring. It was in her home that I married Alex Klein who owned a grocery and feed store in Spring. In 1933 Alex started a grocery story in Tomball. Since Tomball was growing so much because of the oil boom, we decided to move to Tomball in 1935.

Since Alex and I were both raised on German farms, we continued to run our household the same way. We had a garden next to the house for fresh vegetables, and we had fields of vegetables in the country for canning. We raised our own beef as well as rabbits and chickens for frying, and hens for eggs. We cooked three family-style meals every day with the high school age children and Alex coming home for lunch. Alex always helped put the little ones down for an afternoon nap.

Besides preparing three meals each day, we washed clothes all day on Mondays, ironed most of Tuesday and Wednesday, baked bread on Thursdays, cleaned house on Fridays, and on Saturday we got ready for Sunday: baking sweets; killing, cleaning, and picking chickens for the Sunday meal; as well as shampooing and curling all the girls’ hair and polishing all of the children’s shoes. Sunday mornings were spent at church and Sunday School and then we had family and/or friends to Sunday dinner after church. We centered our lives around the Lutheran Church activities and raising our nine children: Teddy, Howard, Margie, Rosalie, Robert, Shirley, A.B.,Jr., Ida and Milow.

On a farm in a German community, bread is baked every week as well as cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, and dumplings (homemade noodles). I hope you enjoy the recipes for all of these.            

Cinnamon Rolls

3/ 4 c. butter (not oleo)                              2 t. vanilla extract

l c. sugar                                                          3 c. scalded milk

3 t. salt                                                              2 pkg. yeast in 1/2 c. warm water

3 beaten eggs                                                   10 c. Gold Medal flour

Scald milk, pour over butter, sugar, and salt; let cool. Add beaten eggs and yeast softened in 1/2 cup warm water. Add vanilla, then add 4 cups of flour and mix well, then add 6 cups of flour and mix well. Grease large bowl and top of dough. Let rise to double in bulk. Pinch down. Divide dough into half. Roll out on floured board until 1/3 inch thick or 12 x 20 inches in size. Spread with 6 T. melted butter, 1/2 c. raisins, 3/ 4 cup sugar mixed with 2 t. cinnamon. Roll as jelly roll. Cut into 3/4 inch slices, place on well-greased pans. Let double in size. Bake 15 minutes at 325°. lee while warm with 1/2 box powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 stick of melted butter and 3 tablespoons of milk and 1/ 4 t. of vanilla. 6 dozen

Harold and Brenda Hamblin


My husband, Harold, our daughter, Stephanie, and l moved to Tomball five years ago from Miami. Florida. We were transferred to Houston by Eastern Airlines, as my husband is a captain on the Boeing 727 out of Houston. \Ve chose Tomball, after looking over all the Houston area, plus surrounding areas, as we liked the size of Tomball and the beautiful terrain in this area of northwest Harris County, and its excellent location in proximity to downtown Houston and to Houston Intercontinental Airport.

Southern Cornbread

1 teaspoon sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together and stir good. Bake in a heavy skillet, greased good. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

(This recipe won 2nd place in the Harris County Fair, 1980.)

Jimmy and Velma Tanner

Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Tanner, 623 Baker St., have been residents of Tomball for 48 years. They have three children-Robert C., J.A., and R. Gene.
Mrs. Tanner’s maiden name was Velma Lancaster from Vilas, Texas. They have a citation from President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter congratulating them on
their 61 married years. 

Mr. Tanner, 85, was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and moved to Tomball as a production man for Humble Oil Co. in 1933. He recalled living in “PoBoy
Camps” in those days and later lease houses (close to dog-size), he laughs. 

In the early days, Jimmy put on minstrel shows for the “Study Club,” which he wrote and produced, getting ideas from Variety magazine and inserting his own “poemtry” talent. He says, “If it don’t rhyme, I can’t use it.”

He is a member of Tomball Rotary Club, and a Paul Harris Fellow’ and was involved with public relations for the Chamber of Commerce for 12 years.
One of his original examples of his “poemtry” follow’s:

You may travel this whole world over From Maine to Tennessee 

And have friends in all these places

From towns and sea to sea

But when I come to Tomball 

My heart is filled with glee

For my friends in Tomball Rotary Club

Are the dearest friends to me.

A favorite of the Tanners:

Orange Date Bread
2 c. sifted all purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1/2 c. chopped dates
1 egg, beaten
3 T. vegetable oil
1 c. orange juice
1 1/2 T. orange peel
1 c. Wheat Chex cereal crushed
to 1/2 c.
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 8/2 x 4’/2 x 2‘/z in. loaf pan. Sift together flour,
sugar, baking pow’der, and salt. Add nuts and dates. Combine egg, vegetable
oil, orange juice and peel. Stir in Chex. Add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir
just until moistened. Turn into pan., Bake 55-60 minutes or until tester
inserted comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing. Best if left
overnight before serving.

More Receipts and memories to follow...