Memoirs of Mattie Lindholm Cox
A FEW THINGS ABOUT LIFE IN FRIO COUNTY (1969)
The long drought that lasted through 1886 moved in about the same time we did, so my dad, in order to feed his family, had to take his mules and go help construct the Aransas Pass Railroad, working near San Antonio. He stayed with that job about two years. Things got so very bad in Frio County that rations were shipped in to those who needed them, which was just about everybody. My mother came to Pearsall to get ours and with team weak and almost no road, she left home at daylight and got back after dark. Now, one could run down there and back in an hour or so, the difference in a wagon and team and automobiles.
Our school was a one room log house. Benches were wide boards laid on stumps set into dirt floor. We did have slates and readers, as wall as "Blue Backed Spellers." School only lasted about three months and it seemed that almost anyone who could read, write and figure a little could have the job of teacher. There seemed to be little competition for the job. At Big Foot, there was a better school, a church and a store. We attended church when we could. People were very friendly. There, I saw my first windmill and my first painted and ceiled residence.
As our droughts do, usually, this one ended in blessed rains and my Dad made good crops in 1887, 1888, and 1889.
FRIO COUNTY SCHOOL LAND
The men had to fight the fires by plowing strips ahead of it, and beating flames with wet towsacks, if there was any water. The fires were terrifying, and severel times men fought all night to save homes. Also, when grass burned off, the land was found to be full of Cat-claw bushes, which had not been seen because of the tall grass. So now, there must grubbing done before plowing. The farmers had little money and no time as it was already planting time - but - it did not rein, so, there was just about nothing planted in 1891. Most of the families (and there were dozens of them) put their scant belongings into their wagons and left.. As I remember, only about six families "hung on". These were the Clausewitz, Malone, Campbell, Whitley, Lindholm, and maybe the Pope families.
Those in charge of land sales sent out word in about 1894, that if settlers would bring in orginal sales papers, they would cancel them and resell land to those who wanted it at $1.00 per acre. But few of those who left could be contacted and as far as I know, none of them came.
Those who stayed rebought what they had and, also, bought more. Rains came, many buyers came and the community grew into one of Frio County's most thriving neighborhoods. There are many good people and good farms and homes there today. I doubt, if any would sell their land today for $100.00 an acre.
In the meantime, cotton farming had been replaced by peanut farming, partly because of boll weevil and partly because of demand for peanuts.
In 1942 Mrs. Cox resigned as postmaster and applied for Goldfinch to be placed on Star Route from Devine. This is still in operation and the people find it quite satisfactory.
TXGenWeb, Frio County - Memoirs of Mattie Lindholm Cox updated on 08/12/2005
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