Heck, if you live in Muleshoe, you might be a Redwine! Whether by blood or marriage, they’re everywhere! I know a couple of Redwines and found out I knew even more people that I didn’t realize were Redwines when I started this story about the family.

The Redwines in Bailey and Parmer County can be traced back to Johan Ludwig “Lewis” Reitweil, who was known as Russ Redwine. He was a soldier in the army of Frederick the Great of Prussia. He made a name for himself in that army, and for his gallantry, he was knighted and given a castle on the Rhine River in Germany. Impressive, huh?  Now, castle or not, apparently, this man moved his family, immigrating to Pennsylvania somewhere between 1710 and 1750. He remarried after that, and the name on the marriage certificate is Redwine rather than Reitweil, which means swampy land in German.

Frederick had at least four children, one of which was a son named Jacob. Jacob fought in the Revolutionary War, moved to North Carolina, and later settled in Georgia where many Redwines still live and two communities bear the family name. Jacob had a son named Michael, who then had a son named Henry Lewis Redwine who moved from Redwine Cove in Georgia to Comanche County, Texas, around 1867. And he had a son named John Jackson who became John Jackson Redwine, Sr. after he moved his family to Lakeview, Texas, in Hall County.

And now we’re getting somewhere! John Jackson Redwine, Sr. married Annie Bell Smith in 1892 in Comanche County. They had seven children and John Jackson, Jr, was one of those children, born in 1892. Then Annie died and J.J. Sr. married Vina Moore Blevins. They had five more kids, including one set of twins. Remember the twins, because twins come up later.

And then, John Jackson, Jr. married Minnie Love Armstrong, who was born in Eddyville, Kentucky. She came from a family of eight children. When her mother died, Minnie was thirteen and the family moved to Memphis, Texas. Minne became the mother figure to the younger kids. She and  John Jackson, who went by J.J., met and married in 1912. They went on to have fifteen children, thirteen who lived to adulthood. The mothering skills she acquired taking care of her siblings now served her well with her own large family.

John Jackson and Minnie Redwine in 1913. They married in 1912.

Photo courtesy of Donna Glover

J.J. and Minnie’s children were, in order of birth: James Leonard, John Charley (J.C,), Bonnie Beatrice, Glen Earl (Duge), Alma Eugene (Freck), Edna Elizabeth, Dalton Latrell, Deretha Mae, twins Charles Burrel and Jerrel O’Neil, a baby girl who lived one day, Wanda Fern, who lived six months, Kathryn Wanell, Billie Rae, and Homer Lee.

By the time Minnie went to meet the Lord in 1986, she had eleven living children, forty-three grandchildren, ninety-two great-grandchildren, and twenty-three great-great-grandchildren. That’s a small town! Imagine how large those numbers are today.

Then those children married and had kids. Leonard and his wife Selma had five children, Duge and his wife Bula had six kids, Jerrel and his wife had Ruth had five,and the other siblings had two or three children each. Now, when each child from a large family has a large family, or even just two or three, well, you can see how the Redwines can populate an area! And many of them stayed in Bailey and Parmer Counties. With the passing of time, of course, all but two of the original family are now deceased. Billie Rae and Homer are still with us. But many children and grandchildren of these thirteen are still around here.

This is a 50th wedding anniversary picture, 1962. Left to right; Homer, Wanell, Jerrel, Edna, Charles Burrel, Bonnie, Deretha Mae, Dalton, Eugene, Leonard, Glen Earl, Billie Rae, J.C.: seated: John Jackson, Jr. and Minnie.

Photo courtesy of Donna Glover

Some of these names will be familiar to you.

Leonard and Selma had Billie (Downing), J.L., Marcia (Henry), Nelda (Hunt), and Jackie.

J.C. and Nina had Clyde, twins Harrol and Carrol.

Eugene and Mildred had Donna (Glover) and Bobby.

Dalton and Helen had Jerry, Connie, and Lisa (Redwine) Kogut, Connie (Redwine) Doyle.

And then they all had kids, who had kids, and there you go! Starting with twins born to J.J. and Minnie and down to the present day, a total of seven sets of twin Redwines have been born! Marcia Henry had twin boy grandsons from Bo Henry and even has a set of triplet granddaughters who came about through medical technology, but still! I find that an interesting family trait. Jerry and Donna Redwine have twin granddaughters.  And more could always be on the way!

As I learned about the extended families, it became clear that nearly all of the men were involved in agriculture in some way, mostly as farmers, but also in other ag-related businesses in one way or another. The daughters tended to marry farmers or someone in the field of agriculture.Jarah Redwine, daughter of Bobby Redwine, said that at one time all eight sons of J.J. and Minnie were farming in northern Bailey County and Southern Parmer County, which wreaked havoc on  people they did business with  trying to keep wives and employees of each farmer straight. I can understand that, since I am having trouble keeping people straight in this story!

Here we have, left to right: J.J. by the pickup, Eugene, Jerrel, J.C. on the tractor and a hand standing by, Leonard, and Dalton.

Photo courtesy of Jarah Redwine

Of course, in the beginning, J.J. farmed, but he was also elected constable of Bailey County in 1955 and served consecutively until his death in 1964.

Several of the families moved more than once to farms or ranches before finally settling around here. Fort Sumner, New Mexico; then in Texas: Hale County, Plains, Castro County, Whiteface, Littlefield, the Hub community, Old Hurley, Ochiltree County, Progress, Lazbuddie; all were in one way or another a part of the family history.  Some stayed in Muleshoe or Lazbuddie or this area, some didn’t. But a whole lot of them did stay, creating the ripple effect of more Redwines here. This picture shows a family move from Hall County, Texas, to Sunnyside and Flagg in Castro County. The Armstrong family, Minnie’s family, were in this move also. First in line is Jack Redwine, then Gentry Armstrong, Johnnie Armstrong, Roy Durant and Gable Armstrong. Jarah Redwine, Bobby’s daughter, shared this picture, and she is not sure where this shot was taken somewhere along the way.

Photo courtesy of Jarah Redwine.

J.J. and Minnie moved to Old Hurley in 1941 and lived in a two-story house that originally was to be the courthouse for Bailey County. I don’t know the story behind that, but I am sure they enjoyed living there with its orchard and tree-lined boundaries.

J.J. and Minnie also built a house in Progress in the late 1940s. Granddaughter Donna and her family were living about 5-6 miles northeast of Progress at the time and she started school there, but went to Muleshoe after Progress consolidated with Muleshoe. She remembers coming home from school on the Muleshoe bus and seeing that house burning to the ground. All was lost, and it was replaced with a ready-built. Donna, who is Eugene’s daughter, married Jerry Don Glover, a farmer, too, and they raised their family of three, Brian, Sharon, and Susan in Lazbuddie. Eugene’s other child, Bobby, who had Jarah, who lives in Lazbuddie, Brice lives in Olton,  Shannon is deceased, and Tobin lives near College Station.

And speaking of Lazbuddie, Eugene, Bobby, Jerry Don Glover, Brian Glover, and now Jarah, all have served on the Lazbuddie School Board. Six families of Redwines have lived or are still living in Lazbuddie.

Photo courtesy of Donna Glover

In Tales and Trails of Bailey County, the first seventy years, I read that J.L. and Selma moved to LIttlefield in 1947 and lived in a new ready-built house with indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water and electricity. We take these things for granted, but that has not always been the case, and the family really enjoyed those amenities. They later moved to Muleshoe to a house that had no running water, but a path to the outhouse. Selma now had to adjust to no indoor plumbing and had to heat water again for baths and laundry.

Billie Rae married Dallas McCurry, and they live in Littlefield. They had three kids, Denese, Eddie, and Danny who now live in Richmond, LIttlefield, and Stratford.

Homer lives in Florida. His wife Maxine died in 2003. They had two daughters, Vicki and Gayla.

Nelda married Robert Hunt, also in farming-see how it keeps going!-and they had their family of three here in Muleshoe; Sheila, Curtis, and Tori. The first picture is Nelda and Robert in 1998. Then you see Leonard, Minnie, Nelda with Sheila, and Grandpa J.J.

Photos courtesy of Nelda Hunt

Billie Ruth married Elmer  Downing. Elmer is deceased, but they have a daughter, Twila, who lives in Lubbock,

J.C.’s son Clyde married Marie, and they had two sons, Randy and Denver, who both live in Amarillo. Marie died and Clyde married Geraldine, and they now live in Canyon. But before they left Muleshoe, Geraldine was the manager at the Oneita Wagnon Senior Center here.

Marcia Redwine married Doyle Henry and they had four children, Bobby, who died as an Air Force pilot in 1986,  Mike, Kristi, and Kacy. Mike married Monica Dale and they live in Lubbock, and Kristi married a man from Boston, later moving to Kansas.  Marcia now lives in Wichita, Kansas, close to those triplets from her daughter Kacy and husband Jason Scoggin. Doyle died and Marcia married Curly Mardis, Chris Mardis’ uncle. He has since died also.

Glen Earl, who went by Duge, married Bula Stanley. They farmed the old St. Clair land in Oklahoma Lane. They had Rosalean, Kenneth, Minnie Gale, Charles, Wanda, and Jimmy. Charles served in the military and only two of his siblings are still alive.

Dalton married  Helen Tuttle. They had Lisa, Jerry, and Connie, shown in the next picture. Connie is deceased; Lisa Kogut lives near Lake LBJ. Dalton served in the military, as did his brother Jerrel and Burrel.

Jerry Redwine married Donna Reed and he chose not the farming life but optometry and raised his two sons, Jason and Jerrod here. And there is a set of twin granddaughters in that family!

Skiing with sons Jason and Jarrod.

Photos courtesy of Donna Redwine

Harrol Redwine married Charlotte Seaton and had two children, Susan (Cage) and Russell. Harrol served in the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and returned to farming in the Lazbuddie community. Harrol did not consider himself a hero from his time rescuing soldiers from the battlefields in Vietnam, but the soldiers he fought with did. He was also highly regarded in the Lazbuddie community who chose to honor him with a memorial flagpole in the Lazbuddie cemetery after his death in 2020. One of his army buddies, Kit Carson, said, “Muleshoe, Texas, lost a legend they probably didn’t realize that they had. Harrol will always be in my heart.

Susan and her dad Harrol.

Photos courtesy of Susan Cage

Carrol chose to go into the ministry and married Jeanette and had three daughters, Janet, Carolyn, and Anna. Carrol died in 2021.

Faith has always been important to the Redwine families. Harrol conducted services in the Lazbuddie Church of Christ, and Carrol was a minister, as well as J.L. For a time, J.L.’s son and son-in-law are also ministers up in the Panhandle. Many were deacons and the women taught Sunday School and were supportive of the men. J.J. and Minnie hosted Baptist Sunday School from time to time and a revival on their front porch in Progress.  Josh Blocher would come over  and listen from outside, many times enjoying a meal there. When things weren’t going well, conventional wisdom from Minnie was to use the lessons they had learned,and go “Onward! Christian Soldiers.” She and J.J. raised the family in a spiritual home. They also used their musical talent in church. Back in 1950-51 when the First Baptist Church in Muleshoe was being built, the bricks for the building came in on the train. Eugene, Donna’s dad, took trucks to the train station in Muleshoe and hauled the bricks to the building site. Preacher A.W. Blaine helped them unload the bricks. Dalton was a deacon in the Progress Baptist Church.   So the family was raised in a faithful home.

I will end with a little quip that Nelda told me and made me laugh. Since so many of the Redwines are farmers, and the Blacks (also a large family here) are farmers, and all farmers battle Johnson grass, Nelda said, “Well, the joke got to be that it looked like the Redwines, the Blacks and the Johnson grass were going to take over Bailey County.”

Yep. They’re everywhere!

Many thanks to Nelda Hunt, Donna Glover, Jarah Redwine, Jerry and Donna Redwine, and Susan Cage for their help with this story.

Bailey Country History Book Committee; Tales and Trails of Bailey County, the first 70 years; Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas, 1988. pp.240-242.

“A Loving Tribute to an American Hero, Harrol Redwine,” State Line Tribune 12 Feb.2021: p. 2-3.