Diary of Trip to Texas
Kept by A.G. Oliver
-- in company with Altemus Mcguire and Charlie
Source: Audavee Fonseca <AFonseca@service-ins-group.com
from notes of Julia McGuire
BACKGROUND: In the spring of 1861, A.G. Oliver sold his
property in Wisconson and joined some thirty or forty families,
forming a cavalcade of covered wagons, drawn mostly by oxen, and
moved to California. It required six months to make the trip and
considerable hardships were experienced: fighting hostile Indians,
fording swollen streams and providing food for both man and beast.
The families making up this train assembled at Council Bluff,
Iowa, and from there traveled as a unit under the leadership of a
captain selected by the pioneers, and the famous Indian scout, Jim
Leon ("Linn") Oliver was born September 29, 1857. In July
1876, at the age of 19, he came to Texas, just four months after his
father reached Texas and had located a ranch near the old post office
of Strickland in Burnet County.
John Oliver was born in Wisconsin on April 5, 1859. At the
age of 3 years, he moved with his parents to California.
In April 1876, A.G. Oliver came to Texas, in company with
Charlie Palen and Altemus McGuire, in search of a new
home in the then rapidly developing new country. It's hard to
understand why these men would leave so fertile and rapidly growing
area as California, where they were reasonably prosperous, to come to
a then sparsely settled new country, as Texas was at that time,
unless it was the love for adventure, or the dream of becoming a
cattle baron, and rich in the stock business on the free range, as
some were doing at that time.
On April 10, 1876, A.G. Oliver and the McGuires set
out for Texas, traveling on the Union Pacific Railroad to Omaha,
Nebraska. The railroad had only been completed a short time. The
following notes have been copied from A.G. Oliver's diary of his trip
from Petaluma, California to Burnet County, Texas, where he purchased
a tract of land, about 4,000 acres, and engaged in stock raising.
- Monday, April 10 - left Petaluma at 8 a.m.
- Tuesday, April 11 - left Sacramento at 8 a.m.
- Wednesday, April 12 - At Wadsworth - 8:50 a.m.
- Thursday, April 13 - Up the Humbolt somewhere at
Carlin 9:25 a.m.
- Friday, April 14 - At Salt Lake City in the morning
about 9:00 a.m.
- Saturday, April 15 - At Granger 9:00 a.m. - crossed
Green River at 11:00 a.m.
- Sunday, April 16 - At Carbon at 8:00 a.m. on the
- Monday, April 17 - Coming on the headwaters of the
Platt, and followed it the entire day
- Tuesday, April 18 - trundling along Platt River, a
pretty good farming country, wind blows hard, arrived in Omaha
- Wednesday, April 19 - In Omaha all day, leave in the
evening at 4:00 p.m.
- Thursday, April 20 - In Kansas City at 5:00 a.m. and
have to stay til 10:00 p.m. Left for Fort Scott, arrived 3,
stayed till 11:00 and left for Dennison. Changed cars at
Fort Scott Junction.
- Friday, April 21: Arrived at Denison at 2:30 p.m. Hired
a team, took us out about 6 miles, camped on the roadside, slept
on the ground.
- Saturday, April 22: Started west and arrived McCamells
about 3 p.m.
- Sunday, April 23: In Cook County at McCamells,
looking around, wind blowing like Hell.
- Monday, April 24: Started off on foot to hunt up a team
--stayed all night at Gainesville
- Tuesday, April 25: Went down on Spring Creek to see
Jo. Gordon and back to Burress and stayed all night
- Wednesday, April 26: Left Burress for
Gainesville again, from there back to McCamells
- Thursday, April 27: Afternoon warm, in evening thundered and
lightened and rained hard
- Friday, April 28: Laid around and done nothing at
- Saturday, April 29: Helped Camell plant cotton; it
thundered and lightened in the night
- Sunday, April 30: At Camells, fine day
- Monday, May 1: Charley went to Gainesville. Warm
and pleasant in the forenoon, a norther come up in the evening and
cold at night. Ate fruit cake.
- Tuesday, May 2: Clear and cold in the morning and still at
Camells. cold night.
- Wednesday, May 3: Still at Camells. Bot a mule off
Mr. Patten and paid for the mule, saddle and bridle
--$82.50 in gold.
- Thursday, May 4: Still at Camells.
- Friday, May 5: Went down toward the river, went in swimming.
thundered and lightened in the night and rained.
- Saturday, May 6: Left Camells and camped at
- Sunday, May 7: Left Gainesville, passed through
Valley View. Nooned on Spring Creek, camped on
Clear Creek in Denton County.
- Monday, May 8: Left Clear Creek, passed thru
Denton, the county seat of Denton County, nooned on
Hickory Creek, camped on Denton Creek.
- Tuesday, May 9: Passed through Elizabethtown, nooned on
Big Fossil Creek, camped on Trinity at Ft
- Wednesday, May 10: Passed thru Ft Worth; went west over
rough gravelly country. Met seven loads of buffalo hides and five
droves of cattle. Camped on Clear Creek.
- Thursday, May 11: Started west for Weatherford the
county seat of Parker County, and a rough sandy scrub oak
timber, and camped one mile south of Weatherford. In
Forenoon, moved on four miles and camped for the night.
Charley got lost, didn't come in til dark; found a spring
and watched the horses for the first time.l
- Friday, May 12: Moved on in all directions toward
Grandbury, camped on some dry ...
- Saturday, May 13: Moved on across the Brazos, passed on
through Grandbury, camped 5 miles south of the town in
- Sunday, May 14: Moved on toward Stevensville in
Erath County. Camped on hill 2 miles from
Stevensville by a big spring.
- Monday, May 15: Moved on, passed through Stevensville.
McGuire stopped to look at a stone house, some better
country; camped for the night close to Dublin on a prairie.
- Tuesday, May 16: Moved on for Commanche on a rough,
sandy road; camped about 3 o'clock for noon and night by a spring
at the left of the road near a schoolhouse.
- Wednesday, May 17: Moved on--arrived in Commanche about
10 o'clock, camped on Indian Creek for the day and looked
- Thursday, May 18: Stayed in camp; looked around town; shod
mule, etc., in Commanche.
- Friday, May 19: Left Commanche and started south;
nooned on a hill just after crossing a creek; traveled over a very
good country, the Leon River at noon. Moved on and camped
for the night in a little grove on the hill from old man
Tatums. Gold excitement by an old woman.
- Saturday, May 20: Staid in camp and looked around; went up to
Roberts and looked at his place. Went down to Double
Days place. A poor country, rock, gravelly country.
- Sunday, May 21: Left camp--pushed forward for Lampasas.
Went to Little Cow House (Creek) and nooned. Found some
good looking country. Staied all night on Little Cow House.
Went over to Hamilton, the county seat; got caught in a
thunder storm. Wend blew hard and rained like Hell.
- Monday, May 22: Still in camp. Looked up the Big Cow
- Tuesday, May 23: Still in camp, prairie south of camp and
east. Rained and broke us up.
- Wednesday, May 24: Still in camp. Looked at a prairie north of
camp and went to town.
- Thursday, May 25: Left Little Cow House and started
south. Camped in a little valley in Coryell County, by a
new stone house. Passed on Big Cow House, passed old
Langford Store. A pretty valley.
- Friday, May 26: Left camp at new stone house, traveled on
about 5 miles. Stopped under an oak tree for McGuire to
look at a place of 350 acres of land; staid...passed on and camped
on Lampasas River for the night.
- Saturday, May 27: Left Lampasas Creek, traveled over a
rough, rugged road and camped on the east side of Sulphur
- Sunday, May 28: Started on and traveled on the road to
Austin to Gabriel Creek, and camped on east bank.
Rained all night and got wet. A store there.
- Monday, May 29: Still raining and in camp. Rained up til noon.
Hot sun in afternoon, staied all night in same camp on middle fork
of Gabriel River. ...on the west side of River.
- Tuesday, May 30: Left the river, passed on and nooned by a
pond of water, some pretty good country. After dinner passed on
through better land and stopped at Liberty Hill. Staid all
night at W.O. Spencers.
- Wednesday, May 31: Left Spencers and went to the woods
to camp. McGuire and myself went to Austin. Arrived
in Austin about midnight.
- Thursday, June 1: Still in Austin, found Mart
and Hank, took dinner with the boys, and staid at
- Friday, June 2: Still in Austin looking around. (Sold
- Saturday, June 3: In Austin. At 7:30 start on the stage
for Liberty Hill. Wrote a letter to wife for an answer. Hot
riding in the stage.
- Sunday, June 4: At Liberty Hill, cold morning, but
- Monday, June 5th: At Liberty Hill. Left there and
camped on our old camp ground on Gabriel.
- Tuesday, June 6th: Started off south of camp to look for land.
Brot up on the creek below us.
- Wednesday, June 7th: Moved camp, went up creek in forenoon.
Afternoon went up North Gabriel; staid all night at old man
Harrisons and Al Boyce.
- Thursday, June 8th: Left Boyces and traveled south,
looking for land and brot up camp on Russel Gabriel.
- Friday, June 9th: Moved camp, went up on North Gabriel;
camped under an oak tree.
- Saturday, June 10th: Still in camp, nothing done. Mc
trying to buy Boys and Harris.
- Sunday, June 11th: Still in camp; rained all night.
- Monday, June 12th: Mc bought out Harris and boys
and moved camp in the house.
- Tuesday, June 13: Went to Burnet, the county seat of
- Wednesday, June 14: Helped Charley draw in oats.
- Thursday, June 15: Finished stocking and Charley
commenced on millett.
- Friday, June 16: Sick in bed; pretty blue.
- Saturday, June 17: Still in bed, feeling pretty bad.
- Sunday, June 18: Still around, thundered and lightened and
rained hard. Received some papers from Alma.
- Monday, June 19: Still feeling bad.
- Tuesday, June 20: Some better,, shelled a bushel of corn, went
to store, bought some tea, eggs, ink and pen holder.
- Wednesday, June 21: Mc went to Austin; I sat
around the house.
- Thursday, June 22: Around as usual; nothing done. Sent
Tom a letter.
- Friday, June 23: Rode around a little.
- Saturday, June 24: Went to mill with corn.
- Sunday, June 25: As usual, laying around the house.
- Monday, June 26: Looked at some yearlings of
- Tuesday, June 27: Went over to McDonals, bargained for
- Saturday, July 8th: Helped Mc thresh
- Sunday, July 9th: Went to Church
- Monday, July 10: Stacked straw
to Main Page
- December 3rd, 1876 - Left McGuires and went into my own
house on Pool Branch.
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