|Note from transcriber:
I have just completed transcribing a newspaper article that appeared in the Marble Falls Messenger dated June 10, 1937. It identifies several residents of the area at that time. I'm enclosing it in my email for the use of any people identified. My great-great grandfather is William Donahue Roper. Best wishes to any who might have relatives mentioned.
1884 - M. F. Postoffice - 1937
As a part toward the perpetuation of the history and traditions of the Marble Falls post office, while the aid of a few remaining pioneers is available, among whom are Robert A. Burnam, whose memory spans these fifty-three years as vividly as if only a fortnight. George C. Roper who was personally connected with the postal service at Marble Falls soon after it was established.
Miss Emma Roper, whose father was the real "Father of Marble Falls" purchased the land and thru his ow enterprise, courage, and hard-work provided necessities for a thriving settlement. He first built a flour and corn mill where flour and meal was ground for all this part of the country, a saw mill was added, which furnished lumber for his own and other houses he built and operated a ferry boat, furnished land for settlement while others deserve credit for building and putting Marble Falls on a permanent footing to William Harvey Roper, belongs the title given. Recollections of these early settlers and a few printed records is the material used in this writing.
The following item was published in the Burnet Bulletin in 1884:
"We are glad a post office has been established at Marble Falls with our friend, W. L. Gaston, the merchant, as master. It will be a great convenience to the people of that thickly settled future Lwell and Carara of America."
Issuance of a commission by the postmaster general dated July 25, 1884 to William W. Gaston marks the establishment of the Marble Falls Post Office. Among it's patrons and instrumental in its establishment were a W. M. Crownover, Joe Hardin, A. C. Kilgore, Mrs. Rufina Hardin, L. W. Lowe, Frank Harrison, Professor J. R Brown, W. H. Roper, J. M. Roper, O. H. P. Culberson, Jack Smith, James Lannaham, and Frank Lee.
The post office was located in a box house used also as a ____ on a large flat rock a little south of the end of the dam on the south side of the river. A mail route came out of Austin to Round Mountain, Shovel Mountain, and Double Horn, then back to Austin. From Shovel Mountain it was carried by A. Struve to Marble Falls to Burnet. Marble Falls was the supply office for Tiger Mills, it was carried by George C. Roper, sometimes on foot, usually on horseback using a saddle bag pouch. Saddle bag pouches are made of leather and shaped so that half of the mail can be carried on each side of the horse. The last one I remember used out of the Marble Falls office was used by Ike Birmingham on the route to Tiger Mill Blow Out and Poe.
Besides being merchant and Postmaster, Mr. Gaston was a preacher and a writer. As a writer, a poem written by him and published in the Burnet Bulletin, fifty-three years ago living in memory of its readers to the present day proves his literary ability. As a preacher he was of the Methodist denomination; he is remembered conducting funeral services, performing wedding ceremonies, and going without pay after working all week to some neighborhood anxious to hear the gospel.
Truly a labor of love.
As a merchant and postmaster, Mr. Gaston was a man of daring leadership and clear vision. He served as postmaster about two years and two months after which he was connected with the postal service at Granite Mountain while the convicts were quarrying the granite for the State Capitol building. Mr. Gaston's name and service will always be associated with the Marble Falls postoffice and his memory honored. To succeed Mr. Gaston on September 21, 1886, John A. Roper was appointed postmaster. Upon taking charge of the office, Mr. Roper moved the office from the store building to the residence of W. H. Roper.
Early in the year 1887 an association known as the Texas Mining and Improvement Company purchased land and laid out the town on the north side of the river. The town was advertised and lots were offered for sale. Hundreds came and many houses were erected, both residential and merchantile buildings. The Roper Hotel was one of these buildings. Postmaster Roper's most noteworthy act while postmaster was changing the site of the office to the north of the river, locating it in the hotel building.
Mr. Roper served as postmaster about two years and seven months. He was always a worthy and useful citizen. His last public work was with the Rural Telephone Co. I here repeat a tribute by G. F. Hunter to the Roper Family.
"A better family, a more honest and neighborly family never lived anywhere at any time within my knowledge. True as steel needle to magnet in all the rugged principles of manhood and womanhood, that they in common with all other true pioneers held as sacred. Oh! Those good old time real men and women."Sacred be the memory of the entire family of Harvey Roper. ( To be Continued).