Michael & Carrie (Huffines) Spellman
Michael and Carrie (Huffines) Spellman were pioneers of the Forney community. He was a railroad construction teamster in 1872 and 1873 and later became a prominent hay and cotton producer and a banker. Spellman was a member of the influential Commercial Club in Forney in the early 1900s, a club which took on some of the roles of the municipal government before Forney’s incorporation, and he served as a city Alderman in 1913 and 1914. The family home on S. Center Street was built in 1896 and remains as a beautiful historic home today, having been cared for by Mick Spellman throughout his life.
Mick Charlie Spellman, Jr.
Mick Spellman (1913 – 2006) was born in Forney, the fifth of six children of Michael and Carrie (Huffines) Spellman. He graduated from Forney High School in 1931 then North Texas Agricultural College in Arlington in 1933 and the University of Texas at Austin in 1935. He worked for the Southern Union Gas Co. for 42 years between 1935 and his retirement in 1977. During WWII, the company granted him a leave of absence so that he could serve in the US Army Air Corps, Eight Air Depot Group, stationed in British West Africa.
As a retired man, Mick enjoyed traveling and maintaining the ancestral home on S. Center Street in which he was born and lived all of his life. He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in Forney, serving as treasurer for over 45 years.
He was an enthusiastic promoter of his community and supported various organizations of civic improvement and historic preservation. He served on the Kaufman County Historical Commission and as a member of the Forney Historic Preservation League. He was honored as the recipient of the Forney Area Chamber of Commerce’s 1997 “Citizen of the Year” award. He was a member of American Legion post 591 and received a Certificate of Continuous Membership for having belonged to that organization for more than 50 years.
Mick was an integral part of the creation of a local history museum in Forney, and the Spellman Museum was founded in September 2001 with his help.
Coreen Mary Spellman
Artist and Forney native Coreen Mary Spellman (1905-1978) was the sister of museum benefactor Mick Spellman and daughter of Michael and Carrie (Huffines) Spellman. She was talented from an early age and eventually earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in costume design and fine arts from several universities, including Texas State Women’s College in Denton (later Texas Woman’s University). In 1929 she accepted a teaching position at her alma mater in Denton and remained there until her retirement in 1974, though she continued to study abroad during the summer.
She was skilled in many techniques such as etchings and watercolors, but she excelled at and is best known for her lithograph prints, usually of urban scenes and southwestern landscapes but also some scenes of Forney. She had 13 solo exhibitions in Texas and throughout the United States including the Witte Museum in San Antonio and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She was active in the creation of a guild to promote women printmakers and remained a presence in the art world until her death in 1978. Her work is represented in museum and private collections across the country.
See information about the Museum’s Coreen Spellman Collection.