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Story from 1878
Reminiscence of Tournament Springs

Source: unknown date - Burnet Bulletin
Copy of newspaper article found in miscellaneous papers donated to library
transcribed by JoAnn Myers, May 2014

The following article was submitted by Mrs. John Thompson, and was clipped from an old paper she found.  It will be interesting to some of the older readers:

About the month of August 1878, the young men from Sandy Mountain, Walnut and Pecan met and decided to have an old time tournament.  The place selected for the track to run their horses on and the place for the platform and picnic grounds was at a spring about one mile north of the old Pecan school house, near Pecan creek in the Mart Phillips pasture; the spring has been known since as the Tournament Spring.

The brush was cut away and the poles set up for the rings to be hung upon for the contestants to try to secure as many rings as they could with their long spears while running their horses on the track by the side of the poles.
The men who entered this contest were  G. W. Gibson, Lewis Gibson, Thomps Gibson, Ralph Haynes, Geo. Haynes, John W. Johnson, J. V. Latham, Mart Phillips, and Harry Walker of Pecan; Pierce Smith, Wm. Dunman from Walnut; H. L. Tate, R. L. Tate, J. W. Tate from Sandy Mountain.

They practiced for this contest for some time until some of them could catch most of the rings with their spears while running by them.

So on Sept. 4, 1878, they met to have their final contest.

The contestants wore blue jackets with ribbon sashes over their shoulders and tied on the opposite side in a bow.  They surely did look grand to we "lookers on," with those sashes flying in the air.  The successful contestants were R. L. Tate who won first prize, which was a saddle.  J. W. Tate and Mart Phillips tied on the second prize.  They had to run again and J. W. Tate was the successful contestant; believe the prize was a pair of boots.  J. H. Cherry won third prize, which was cash.

After the contest was over, all marched to the platform where Austin M. Robinson made a speech.  After which all repaired to the table where plenty of barbecued meat and other good eats were served, which had been prepared by "Uncle Dan" Carpenter and his faithful old wife, "Aunt Rachel"  (colored).

After lunch was served, the dancing begun.  The contestants in their uniforms and the young ladies in their prettiest dresses.  It was a gain day for all present.  There were to queens crowned with wreathes of flowers that the onlookers saw, but we are very sure that some of the contestants knew who their queens were within their hearts, as it was not long until they made some of the young ladies queen of their home.

That good old time violinist Arendia Durbin was the one who furnished the music and if one ever heard him play, Ye old time pieces such as "Good Old Lonesome,"   "Paddy Won't You Drink Some," and "Black-eyed Susie" they know how that music sounded down through Pecan Creek bottom.  No doubt but toward the wee small hours of the morning, Ralph Haynes took the violin and gave them a few strokes of "Black Jack Grove," etc. to liven things up a little.

Some of the folks who were there were from

Backbone Valley
John Haynes and family
Miss Emily Crownover
Prof. Hill and wife

Wolf's Crossing
Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Phillips and family

Hoover's Valley
J. C. Tate and family
Lum Harwell

Jeb Brazeal and wife
Bud Brazeal
the Misses Hariret and Helen Crawford
James C Hardin
Mrs. Melissa Hardin
the Misses Annie Cynthia and Effie Hardin

Round Mountain
David Martin
James Galloway
Austin M. Robinson
Miss Sue Marlin
Miss Sue Cunningham
Miss Docie Bird
Marsh Herne and family

guests from Austin
Mr. and Mrs. Ingram
Miss Nellie Ferguson

Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Haynes and daughters Alice and Laura
Miss Belle Dunman
Janie Moore
Wm. Moore
Lethia Smith
Joe Smith, Jr.
Len Holister
Jennie Holister
Henry Peterson and family
Tommy Peterson
Miss Iberia Haynes
Mr. and Mrs. F. Waldrope,

Sandy Mtn.
Mr. and Mrs. Sam Tate and daughters, Misses Ida and Rosa
Mack Tate
Mr. and Mrs. Rafferty Warren Reccord
Mr. Mallard
H. C. H. Koger
Mr. A. C. Tate
Mr. J. M. Foster
Miss Latisha Hays
Mr. and Mrs. Wm Pope

Uncle Jimmy Gibson
Benjamin Phillips
Dr. V. G. Latham and family
Mr. Wm. Strickland and son Pete
Mr. Galup and son John
V. G. Latham Jr.
Mr. W. J. Latham and family
Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Cherry
G. W. A. Latham and family
Misses Nannie Margaret and Ria Latham
Dode Latham
Jim Backucs
Mollie Backucs
the Misses Jessica and Kate Hardin
Miss Mattie Phillips
Mr. John Hardin
Misses Ann and Martha Walker

In the afternoon Mr. Fox Robertson and a Mr. Hubbard came up from Double Horn.  They weresaid to be expert tournament men, but as the contest was over, they did not run.

signed by Old Timer



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