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Bandera County TXGenWeb
Pioneer History of Bandera County
Seventy - Five Years of Intrepid History
by J.Marvin Hunter
Published in 1922


Times of Change
 
It is frequently said and sometimes believed that our old settlers are inclined to be forgetful of the past. But we do not believe they are even a bit forgetful of those happy days of long ago, the days of their youth, and the customs and manners of those early times. They arc glad now and then to turn off the electric lamp and resort to their first love--the light of their fathers--the long to be remembered tallow candle.

The present day modernism, with all its excitements, does not keep the old pioneers from wandering back to the old stage coach, with its "four-in-hand," the rude picket house that sheltered the family and provided protection from hostile bands; the ease and comfort of the old rawhide bottom chair; the pole bedstead, fringed with its calico curtain, and, not up on china rollers, but always had its place in its own corner, and the sleeper on awakening had the pleasure of looking into the depths of a great fireplace, ornamented with a mantel made from lumber whipsawed from the beautiful cypress, placed high, almost out of reach, and on which the old wooden clock, wound up every day with a crank, with its constant tick almost regulating the rising and setting of the sun. Held in reserve were the andirons, some of polished brass, others black from long continued use; and do not forget the crane swinging in and out with its many pots and kettles, and greatest of all, which every old pioneer refers to with haughty pride, the corn bread taken from the skillet and lid--the aroma of the black coffee pot penetrating every niche of the room. Sitting quietly by is the old red rocker of our grandmothers, and hanging from its back might be seen the "black reticule," and protruding from its folds the stem of a much worn pipe. The baby's cradle, made out of a hollow post oak tree, sawed down and split open, planks nailed in the ends and rockers put on, was within easy reach. The dining table was made out of three-foot post oak boards, and the spinning wheel was the piano in that frontier home.

The old pioneers were not without music. The violin in the hands of some of the men, and the manipulation of the broom straws, could not be surpassed causing the terpsichorean to glide more smoothly over the puncheon floor, where, above all could be heard the words, "Swing your right hand partner half way round and all promenade." These expressions may seem a little odd to this fast moving "two-step" age, but you must remember that the early settler was not surrounded with the advantages of today.

The wooden axle wagon, with its tar bucket, was the mode of conveyance. Calicoes, not silks, were in demand; boots and spurs were indicative of everything that was strong-shoes only for the fair.

Just mention these things to an old timer and you will be quick to see the sparkle come into his eyes dimmed by tike passing years, his form will become erect, the furrows of care on his brow will soften and his voice will become young again, for he is living over the old scenes of his happy youth. The faces of his early associates, the boys and girls of the frontier, will appear to him, the scenes of his childhood in vivid distinctness will be brought into view, and his recollection will reach back across the span of years to the time when these things were. Would you, then, accuse the old pioneer of forgetting? The struggle and progress and the indomnitable pluck of the early settlers of Bandera county will be the priceless heritage of our children to the remotest generation.

"Proud is that person who can trace
His ancestry to patriot sires--
Who, for the birthright of a race,
Lit Freedom's everlasting fires.

The races rise and fall,
The nations come and go;
Time tenderly doth cover all
With violets and snow.

The mortal tide moves on
To some immortal shore,
Past purple peaks of dusk and dawn,
Into the evermore."

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