Nov 18 2014
The enterprise took up so much of his time that he never found the leisure then, or in fact, while he lived, which was many long years to put a door to the cabin he built for his good wife and children. When the watermelons ripened, he rigged up a couple of ox wagons, six yokes to the team, and at ten o’clock of a hot day in July appeared on the Main Plaza, and announced what he had for sale. The glad news spread as rapidly as that of approaching Indians would have done; the people of the city came in haste to the feast, all business was (illegible) had as many dollars in his pockets as he had brought watermelons. Owing to the distance and the slow method of transportation he was able to make but a few trips before the fruit became over ripe. But while his trade lasted it was a bonanza to him. In the shutterless cabin he first built, he reared a large family of children, several of whom are now wealthy and highly respected citizens of Wilson County.
In the spring of 1850 Creed Taylor and Martin West moved to the Ecleto. W. D. Mayes, one of the forty-niners whom the gold fever got a grip on and carried overland to California, moved into the houses vacated by them. Mr. Mayes was the father of Mrs. Thomas G. Paschal of San Antonio. Fayette Walker, once the most prominent negro politician in Bexar County if now living, will remember him as “Mawse Willie”. In the same year of 1850 the Trainers and David and John Wheeler made settlements some little distance below the stage stand at the crossing of the Seguin and San Jacinto Road. Others may have come that year also, but if so, their names are not remembered.
In 1851 the deluge began, in the way of newcomers and continued without intermission until the unexampled drought of 1857, when from November of 1856, until August 3 of 1858, cornmeal was a delicacy. Flour brought up from Indianola sold at $12.00 a barrel and sometimes higher. Fortunately, there was beef in abundance and with that and coffee the people could not starve. Among the fifty-oners- that is, those coming in 1851- were G. H. McDaniel, Thomas M. Batte, D. C. Robinson, Thomas J. Peacock, John D. Wyatt, J. J. Hankinson, Dr. G. J. Houston, Ross Houston, J. M. McAlister, T. D. James, W. K. Baylor, W. R. Wiseman, W. D. Skull, J. T. Montgomery, J. F. Tiner, Levi Humphreys, James Ripley, J. A. Burnside and E. F. Potts. Better men and citizens then they never found a home in Texas. Of those coming later than 1851 and making up the white population of the valley at the beginning of the war between the States were Maj. James L. Dial. Henry Yelvington, Lem Perkins, Dorsett Harmon, Maj. R. W. Brahan, Colonel Frazier, Weir, Wickes, Rev. R. M. Currie, Edmund Barker, Elam, Floyd, Gordon. Rev -----Hamilton, Wells, S. W. McClain, James Newton, Collier, C. F. Henderson, Henry Morgan, Jesse Applewhite, Dr, William Sutherland, Rudolph Helman and a brother, Colonel Saunders, Spivey, McKee, Dr. R. Stevenson, W. F. Hughes, Rev. Robert McCoy, A.G. Pickett, Owen Murray, Asa Murray, Dr. Owens, Volrath, J. R. Plummer, T. C. Wyatt, J. G. Kilgore, Barclay, Maddox, J. W. Lilly and Tignal Jones.
Only the names of heads of families have been mentioned. Of the fifty-oners not one is still living; of the wives who came with them only Mrs. J. T. Montgomery and Mrs. W. R. Wiseman yet survive. Of the heads of families that came after 1851, there are three survivors known – Asa Murray, John McDaniel and Floyd; of their wives Mrs. R. M. Currie, Mrs. Floyd and Mrs. Henry Morgan are the only ones known to be yet alive. Among unattached persons – that is widowers, and adult bachelors without family ties in the neighborhood who lived in the valley in 1861, may be mentioned John McDaniel, L. P. Hughes, Eli Park, L.P. Lyons, W. A. Bennett, L. Buchanon, Tom Bannister and Charley Warner. Of them, the only known survivors are John McDaniel and L. P. Hughes, each of whom wears an empty sleeve to show that he was on the firing line in the troublous days of the sixties. Park and Lyons met tragic deaths in Virginia and the others have sought new and far-away pastures.
Mention has already been made of Indian incursions in 1848, 1849, and 1850. Not until 1855, and after the valley was pretty well settled, was there another alarm. A boy named McGee came in July of that year to the house of Pendleton Rector to get a cow and calf that the gentleman had in a pen. Early the next morning the cow and calf was turned out of the pen, Mr. Rector going along to get the boy fairly started. Half a mile above the present town of Lavernia, the boy noticed some mounted men galloping through the chaparral to the right of the road, and asked Mr. Rector who they were.