Leona 'Granny' Ginn
Leona Ginn was no stranger to tragedy. She lost her first husband, A.J. Wells, and youngest child in a flu epidemic circa 1912. In 1914, she married Jesse Ginn and moved to Houston from Groveton in Trinity County. Along with her oldest son from her first marriage, Leona and Jesse would add six more children – five sons and a daughter – to their family over the next 15 years.
Jesse came from Tennessee, following his family to East Texas where the timber industry was booming. He worked as a lumberman, carpenter and mule driver. The work was dangerous and dirty and, like many laborers of that time, Jesse made do with only four fingers on his right hand, having lost his index finger in an accident. In pictures from the era, Jesse subtly but proudly displays the hand like a badge of honor.
Jesse and Leona Ginn 1917
Photo courtesy Ginn Family