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Vol 14 No. 10 - July 1937

The Jackass Mail Preceded The Pony Express

By Newell Jones

Account of what was known as The Jackass Mail, the forerunner of the pony express and the northern stage lines, also known as the "Great Southern Overland."

The nation first received an over-land, Atlantic-to-Pacific mail service in the fall of 1857, when James E. Birch's San Diego-San Antonio mail began operation. With San Diego and Los Angeles spurs at its western end, the southern mail route ran across San Diego county through Warner's, Vallecito, and Carrizo to Ft. Yuma on the California side of the Colorado river, across the stream and through Tucson, Ariz., to El Paso, Tex., and on to San Antonio, where it connected with rail, stage and steamer lines to the east.

Mentions: Jim Wilcox * Guymon, Okla * James E. Birch's San Diego-San Antonio mail * Gen. Stephen W. Kearny * Lt. Col. Philip S. George Cook's Mormon battalion * Alvin F. Harlow * "Old Waybills," * the Butterfield stages * Vallecito * Dr. and Mrs. Louis Strahlmann * R. W. Lane * James McCoy * County Antrim * Jacumba * S. A. Ames * Dan Tripp hill near Aguanga * Harry Bergman, Aguanga rancher * the Bergman family * Jacob Bergman, Harry Bergman's * Mrs. Carolyne Carter, Monrovia; Mrs. Blanche Littlepage, Ramona; Mrs. Matilda Casner, Anaheim : and James F. Bergman and Mrs. Lillie Beck, Brea * The McCains, Swycaffers and Warnecks * Mrs. Joseph McGowan * Bob McCain is a noted cattleman and lives at Boulevard. George McCain is dead. and Charles McCain lives in San Diego * Joseph Swycaffer and Sam Warnock * James E. Mason, father of the late James E. Mason after whom Mason valley was named and who was the first patentee on the historic Vallecito stage station property 90 miles northeast of San Diego * William Alexander Anderson ("Big Foot") Wallace * R. W. Lane * N. H. Rose * Mr. and Mrs. James Ruler Lassator * Sarah Lassator * August Santleben * Mrs. Louis Strahlmann *

Rattlesnakes Have Many Enemies

By Col. M. L. Crimmins, U. S. A.

Story describing natural enemies and predators of the rattlesnake.

Mentions: Deer * The javelina or Mexican wild, hog * chickens * domestic cat * badger * etc. * H. B. Parks * Dr. Horace Edlin *

Some Of Our Own Texas Folks

By J. Marvin Hunter

Some years ago A. W. Young, of San Antonio, wrote a series of reminiscences linking past difficulties with present day achievement, and in one of his very interesting articles he told of the efficient work of W. G. Bralley, who was an officer in Montague county for a period of years, and also served as police commissioner at Wichita Falls. The record of this man is so outstanding that we give it pretty much as Mr. Young wrote it some thirteen years ago:

Mentions: Montague * Wichita Falls, Texas * Gus Wilson, of McKinney, Texas * Addison Wilson, Sr., who came from Tennessee to Texas in 1849 * A. M. Wilson, his son, * Ozona, Texas * with J. M. Shannon, a ranchman

Old Square Dances Of Parker County

By T. U. Taylor, Native of Parker County

The "calls" and "figures" and "side remarks" are here reproduced as of the late sixties, as danced along the Bear Creeks, and Lower Clear Fork in Parker county, Texas, covering that territory from Cresson to Benbrook, and from Aledo to Mustang Creek. There should be four to six couples for these calls. A couple consisted of a boy and a girl, the girl always on the boy's right. I have danced many of these while Arch Bozzell and Jim Heffington made their old fiddles proclaim to the world the direlections of Cotton-eyed Joe and the beauty of the Buffalo Gals.

Mentions: The "calls" and "figures" and "side remarks" are here reproduced as of the late sixties, as danced along the Bear Creeks, and Lower Clear Fork in Parker county, Texas, covering that territory from Cresson to Benbrook, and from Aledo to Mustang Creek. There should be four to six couples for these calls. A couple consisted of a boy and a girl, the girl always on the boy's right. * Arch Bozzell and Jim Heffington * A—CIRCLE LEFT. HONOR YOUR PARTNER * B—BALANCE ALL * 1. RIGHT AND LEFT- (Regular figure). * CHASE THE GOOSE * BREAK THE SNAKE * WHIRL THE SQUIRREL * DO-SEE-DO DOUBLE SWING, or FIGURE EIGHT * LADIES TO RIGHT * COQ * LAI Call * SWING * COQUETTE * LADY AROUND LADY * GRAND RIGHT AND LEFT * CAGE THE BIRD * ELBOW CLUTCH AND RIGHT ARM CLING.

The Pioneer Settlement Of Acton

From the History of Hood County, by Thos. T. Ewell.

Excellent historical and genealogical account of Acton, a community in Hood county, TX of several square miles, extending to Fall Creek on the east, Long Creek on the north, and down Walnut to the Brazos.

Mentions: Fall Creek * Long Creek * old Buchanan then the county seat of Johnson county * old Union church * Nolan's river * Mr. Wash. Hutchison * Aaron Farris settled a mile below the church * Farris' mill * Mr. Watkins * the Walnut creek place * Capt. W. M. Nunn * Mrs. W. T. Lyle * Mrs. Nunn * Rucker's creek * W. A. Karnes, brother of Mrs. Farris * Peter James * Frederick Karnes * Mrs. Farris and W. A. Karnes * Granbury * Denton county * Among those who settled in the Acton neighborhood early in the fifties were John Morris, James McCoy, th'e Widow Huffstettler, James and Peter Plemons. G. W. and O. P. Hutchison, King Harvick, "Father" Nance, Isaac Vannoy, Newton and William Manley. Wm. Wright, George Smart, J. R. and G. W. Patton. "Father" Nance, the two Manley brothers * Vannov and Robert Patton * Robert Patton settled on Fall creek * the McHensley place * Newton Manley * William Manley * Isaac Vannoy * William Wright * Miss Rebecca * Esquire George Smart * George Patton

A Yacht Voyage To The New World

By Mrs. Houstoun.

Lengthy, detailed and thrilling account of voyage that was made by this intrepid young woman in September, 1843, on the schooner yacht Dolphin from England to the then struggling Republic of Texas.

(Continued from Last Month)

Mentions: Barbados * Bridgetown * Colonel M'Donald * Miss Betsy Austin * . Miss Caroline Lee * Captain Marryat * Caslisle Bay * Morant Point * Jamaica * Port Royal * General Brague * , Cow Bay * Sir Henry Morgan * Everson, the Dutch pirate * Commodore Byrg * Lord Elgin * Spanish Town * Port Henderson * The Hall of Audience * Kingston * the celebrated Blue Mountains

Lorenzo De Zavala, Texas Patriot

By J. M. Woods, San Antonio, Texas.

On the roll of those men of giant intellect, of dauntless courage, of unsullied reputation and unquestioned fealty, who planned for the organization of an independent government in Texas and whose wise and heroic conduct made possible the realization of that dream, stands the Lame of Lorenzo De Zavala—scholar, statesman, patriot and first Vice-President of the Republic. Here is his story.

Mentions: Emily West, a daughter of one of the leading families of New York, and who as his wife was pronounced one of the most beautiful women ever-to have been presented at the Court of St. Cloud * San Juan de Ulloa * Bustamente, Pedraza and Santa Anna * Joel P. Poinsett * Grand Master of the Yorkinos * Grand Scribe of Royal Arch Chapter No. 1 in Mexico City * Mirabeau B. Lamar * Governor Oran M. Roberts * the sculptor, Coppini

The Little Village Of Shelbyville

By James A. Wright

Nestling among the tall graceful pines and broad spreading oaks of Eastern Texas lies the little village of Shelbyville. Far removed from the stir and bustle of the busy world about her, quietly sleeping away the years with a tranquility that reminds one of the travelers' descriptions of the little Judean village of Bethlehem and the peaceful hills upon which the shepherds have been grazing their flocks for four thousand years. But this little village has not always been so quiet. In the old brick court house that once stood in the town square, the voices of the leading lawyers of Texas have pleaded the cause of their clients. More than one murder case that attracted state-wide attention has been tried by some of the greatest jurists that have graced the bench of Texas. Here was enacted the quite stirring events of the Shelby County War between the Regulators and Moderators, which was ended by General Sam Houston declaring martial law. Here was located the famous Huntington School, patronized by hundreds of young men and women from Texas, Louisiana and other states, and conducted by W. C. and Mary S. Huntington prior to the free school's entry. From this school have gone out men and women into all professions and pursuits, pioneer preachers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, and other vocations. This is the story of that town.

Further Mentions: W. C. and Mary S. Huntington * Dr. Joshua Wright was born in Flushing, New York * Dr. W. P. Wright * Dr. Brown's drug store * Stephen H. Darden * John Ireland * Judge O. M. Roberts * Crayfords, Boyds * Dr. Henry B. Collins

The Country Schools Of Fifty Years Ago

By J. Marvin Hunter

In pioneer days, the country schools in Texas were somewhat different from what they are today. In the first place the buildings were different. The average country school house at that time was about as large as a one-room dwelling. I remember the school house at Loyal Valley, in Mason county, was of red sandstone; it is still in use. My father, J. W. Hunter, taught in that old school house in 1879. The school house at Peter's Prairie, also in Mason county, was a rough lumber building; it's place has been taken by a modern stone and concrete building set in a different location. The school house at old Camp San Saba, in McCulloch county, where my father taught school in 1882, was a small rock building on a hill, but it has long since disappeared. At Menardville, where he taught in 1884, and for several terms later, the school house was a two-story unpainted lumber building. It was torn down over thirty-five years ago, and replaced with a stone building. The old rock school house at Fort McKavett, in Menard county, where he taught in 1886-7, is still in use, and is no doubt the oldest school house in continuous use in the State. It was built in 1852, I believe, and has been used for school purposes for eighty-five years without a break. The early schools at Fort McKavett were for the children of the officers and soldiers at that post; it is said that the father of Mrs. Franklin D Roosevelt attended school there when he was a small boy. I understand that a great "home-coming" event is to be arranged soon for all former pupils of the Fort McKavett school, and when it comes off I intend to be there, for I can proudly boast that I am one of those pupils.

Further Mentions: Loyal Valley, in Mason county * Peter's Prairie, also in Mason county * Menardville * The old rock school house at Fort McKavett, in Menard county * The school house at old Camp San Saba, in McCulloch county * Bob Murray * the Squaw Creek school in Gillespie county * the old two-story lumber school house in Menardville * D. W. Maddox * Mrs. Maddox's parents, Colonel and Mrs. Thomas A. Gay * Pioneer Rest Cemetery at Menard * Bill Johnson * Nat Sanders, Charlie Garner, Lucius Glasscock, George Crawford

Uncle Johnny Marlin Of Throckmorton

By John R. Hutto, in Abilene Reporter, Dee. 27, 1936

In 1852, when little John was only three years old, Capt. Bill Marlin, his father, a former Texas ranger, moved with his family from Marlin to the Indian reservation located near the junction of the Clear Fork and Brazos rivers in what is now Young county. He, with the famous trader, Charles Barnard, had a contract with the government to furnish beef for the Indians of the reservation.

This same Bill Marlin, when a mere lad, climbed a large cottonwood tree located near a spring, now included in the city limits of Waco, and displayed a flag of truce which was recognized by the Indians and led to permanent peace with the Waco tribe. Uncle Johnny had the Indians as his only playmates during child-hood. He lived among them until he was 18 years old, spoke the Caddo language, played and hunted with the Indians, used their bows and arrows with much dexterity, and declares that the Indian boys were more agreeable play-mates than the white lads. For much of the time the Indian women were the only neighbors of his mother, Mrs. Rebecca Sutton Marlin. Mr. Marlin insists that most of the trouble with the Indians was caused by unscrupulous whites and bad whiskey. Here is the story of this pioneer settler and his family.

Further Mentions: Camp Cooper in Throckmorton county * Phantom Hill * Bucksnort, now Marlin, Texas * Capt. Bill Marlin * Charles Barnard * Mrs. Rebecca Sutton Marlin * Sue Durgan * Joel Myers * the Carter ranch * Joe, Lottie Durgan * Boggy creek * The Elm creek fight * Thorrt Hamby * the Bragg ranch * Thornt (T. K.) Hamby * Dr. Wilson * Megargel * There was a school at Belknap taught by Miss Mollie Dyer * Rev. Pleas Tackitt * Perry Tackitt of Seymour * Clabe and John Merchant * James A. Drummond of Paris * Mrs. R. Lee Drummond of Navasota, Texas * Miss Almedia Timmons * Mrs. J. F. Lindsey, lives at Anson

J. A. Drummond Recites Adventures

Account of Mr. James A. Drummond who was born in Lafayette county, Missouri, May 10, 1845, but came to Texas in 1875, and settled in Paris in 1883. When James A. Drummond, was a youth he left his home in Missouri on cattle driving and wagon train ox driving trips on the western plains. He relates in this account, notable aspects of tht and other ventures as well as his days in Paris, TX.

Further Mentions: the Alkalye Ranch * Mr. Neville * Fort Phil Kearny, Montana, * Fort Sedgwick * F. M. McCaleb * Dimmitt county * Carrizo Springs

Fate Of The Lost Del Rio Colony

San Antonio Express, March 27, 1937

Sad tale of an entire colony of settlers who mysteriously disappeared while en route from Del Rio to San Patricio, and supposedly both the people and their carts were thrown into the Espantosa Lake. The lake is almost on a line from Del Rio to San Patricio. It is very narrow and deep. It was a place that would suggest to the Indians, if they had killed those people near the lake, to dump their bodies and their carts into the lake, and thus completely cover up any evidence. And they could go on leisurely with no fear of being pursued. But many mysteries attend the details of the event. They are discussed in this article.

Further Mentions: Miss Mary A. Mitchell of Refugio * Dolores * the old Presidio road * A Mrs. Horn and Mrs. Harris

Muzzle Loadings

Mentions: Dr. C. W. Bartlett * Mrs. E. M. Burke * Mr. Louis Lenz * H. Wm. Schon, of Pomeroy, Iowa * Tom McGinnis * C. P. Bearden of Rising Star, Texas * Maury Maverick, of San Antonio

Let's Know Texas And Texans


Mentions: Judge George Clark of Waco * Judge Thomas L. Nugent of Stephenville * C. L. Lege, Sr. * the XIT ranch * Cynthia Ann Parker * John W. Spencer * D. W. Anthony

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