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George H. Risinger

1905 - 1998

Source: Burnet Bulletin, transcribed by Kay Keele, <jrkkee @, April 2004

The Burnet Bulletin...July 29, 1982


A current popular song laments the passing of the good old days, when money still had value, 'a man still worked, still played', and before the days of the microwave oven. The song asks the question, "Are the good times really over for good?"

For one Burnet resident, the good old days and the good times were not so good.

George Risinger, 77, grew up in the Lake Victor area, and recalled his younger days and stories told by his father.

"The good old days that people talk about were not good. We lived a rough life, and times were hard then," said Risinger. "I wouldn't want to go back. The only thing good about those days was that maybe people had more brotherhood and compassion for each other. They helped each other more. They had to because they didn't have much money. Even when you could buy bacon for 13 cents a pound, you couldn't buy much of it with the wages that were paid.

"My family came to Texas in 1847 and settled in the Round Top area of Fayette County," he said. "My father, William, was born in Illinois in 1844, and my grandfather, Michael, was born in Pennsylvania in 1818. I never knew my grandfather. He died in 1867, and is buried at Round Top.

Risinger said that his father fought for the South in the Civil War, and was taken prisoner at Vicksburg. "Dad's outfit was surrounded by the Union Army, and he was captured July 4, 1863," said Risinger. "He was held until the war was over, and had to sign an oath of allegiance before he was released. My family still has the oath that he signed. After he was released, he had to walk back to Texas. The only money that he had was Confederate, and it wasn't worth much. He told me that he had paid $15 for a pocket knife."

Risinger said that his father was 20 years old when he was released, and made his way back to Houston. "Dad said there wasn't much to Houston then. Just a couple of little stores was all that was there."

"During the two years that Dad had served, there had been no letters from home. There was no communication between him and the family. When dad got home, he turned into the lane to the house about daybreak. His mother saw him coming and started shouting."

Risinger said that his father's first job after the war was hauling cotton from Houston to Mexico. "Dad hauled cotton with an ox team, and walked to Mexico and back. That was about 1300 miles.

Risinger said that his father later married, and farmed in Fayette County until 1883, when he came to Burnet County. "After my father's first wife died, he remarried in 1881. There were 18 children from the two marriages, and I was the last one. Dad was 61 years old when I was born" said Risinger.

"When dad started building the house in Burnet County, it was small, and he added on as needed. Dad used to say that he added a room when a child was born. That house had nine rooms before it was over."

Risinger bought 217 acres next to his father's property in 1951, and lived on it for several years. He farmed and ranched his father's property, and had farmed on the shares for several years prior to buying his own land.

He married his wife, Claudia, in 1931, and they have two daughters, Mrs. Lulu Belle Cowan of Burnet, and Mrs. Annette Peevler of Alief.

Mr. Risinger worked as a ranch hand for 14 years for John Lapham at Center Point, near Kerrville. Mr. Lapham's grandfather had organized the Texaco Oil Company.



The Burnet Bulletin....Wednesday, July 29, 1998


George Haye Risinger, 93, of Burnet died July 13, 1998. He was born June 30, 1905 in Lake Victor, the son of William and Sarah Josephine (Barnett) Risinger. He was a retired farmer and rancher and a member of the Jehovah's Witness.

Survivors include his wife Claudia Berneice (Edwards) Risinger of Burnet; daughters, Annette and husband Garland Peevler of Houston, and Lu Cowan of Burnet; five grandsons and six great-grandchildren.

Services were held July 16 at the Edgar Funeral Home with Melvin Stubblefield and Wallace Olmsted officiating with burial in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Pallbearers were his grandchildren, Gregory Peevler, Mark Peevler, Ryan Cowan, Terrell Cowan, Loren Cowan; and Leroy Schooley. Arrangements by Edgar Funeral Home of Burnet.


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