John Heine celebrated his 92nd birthday this week at his home on the Smithwick Road south of Bertram and spent the day reminiscing with a large group of relatives and friends.
Heine's father, Henry Heine, came to the United States from Germany in 1848 and moved to Cow Creek on Christmas Day, 1852. Burnet County had been organized earlier that year. He was married to Jane Harris and the couple settled to life in the new county.
John Heine has spent all but five of his 92 years in Burnet County. Two events highlight those years, which were spent in Oklahoma. Heine married Dollie Loving and voted for Oklahoma's statehood in the first primary held there in August 1907. He also cherishes memories of the days he spent sitting on split rail benches at the Cow Creek school.
Heine recalled this week the time when there were no fences between his ranch and the Colorado river and very little brush except on the ridges. He believes that the dry years of 1901-1902 resulted in infestations of cedar and other brush that overran the grass lands of the county.
The pioneer Burnet county resident has seen many changes in his lifetime and he blends impressions of today with his memories of Central Texas' early days.