Collegeport Articles

 November 1936
 


THOUGHTS ON MY WAY BACK
By Harry Austin Clapp

Without any thought of egotism this copy is unavoidably filled with personalities. Those who are disgusted or distressed by the use of the personal pronoun or personalities are advised to read Bachman’s display or Piggly Wiggly or perhaps the classified column. There they will find restful interest.

Reading the Bible I find this:

“And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up; and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”—Acts III:7-8.

And that is what God did to me. He took me by the right hand and lifted me up. Not content he sent to me an angel, she most of you know as the Miserable Wretch. And then he sent that gentle, capable, miracle worker Doctor J. R. Wagner. Came also that godly man, the Reverend Paul Engle of St. Mark’s and with him not only once but each week, the Holy Eucharist. This physician, with the angel and priest and God working over and through them brought me from death’s door so I walk and praise God. For many months I had been on the decline, but the progress was so slow that I was not conscious of it except the decrease in weight from 162 to 124 told the story. May 22nd for the first time I realized by condition. June 16th was my 74th birthday and although ill, I determined to celebrate by taking the Pilgrimage to Christ Church, Matagorda. I was too ill to go but was determined. I enjoyed the fine hospitality of the Morgan Smith home. Took communion with six or seven hundred others and did so remembering I stood on holy ground where for more than one hundred years others had partaken of the same service. I met the Bishops, Priests and Deacons and many old friends, many of whom I will never see again. I enjoyed the barbecue, thanks to the solicitous attention of Mrs. Dr. Hood who kept my plate filled. In the afternoon went with my friend Dick Zieske of the Bellville Times to the ice house and had a bottle of cold beer. On my refusal of a second, Dick said, “no man can stand on one leg.” So I took the second leg and it was also good. Here I met Morgan Smith who told me that his father was at the Battle of San Jacinto and was in the group when Sam Houston received the surrender of Santa Anna. I was thrilled. My good friend Ed Baker usually known as Mrs. Baker’s husband, brought us home. That night I milked my cow for the last time, for the next day I was in bed where I stayed for four months.

About the last of August the crisis came and I was not conscious for eleven hours. When I came out I realized that several were about my bed, but recognized none of them. I wanted to die, prayed to be taken. The passing would have been easy, gentle, pleasant, but the door was closed in my face. God for some reason had something for me to do in the way of service. I know not what but there must be some good reason why I was brought back. I had no fear or terror. I wanted to call it the end of the road and pass away. I began to mend, slowly at first, but each day strength came back.

At least one hundred and fifty people wrote me letters or sent cards and most of them added they prayed for my recovery. Several little children wrote they prayed each night. One prayer I shall always remember. It was by my colored friend Leeanna, and this is what she said: “I prayed my God to give you the strength so as you could walk past my door as I’ve seen you so many times.” What a prayer! God heard it and answered. The Rector of a church in Indiana instituted a series of prayers for my recovery. Yes it is true. God listens and answers prayer. There is no reason for my “Coming back.” Scores of folk came to see me. How kind and gentle they were. How anxious! How they prayed. They brought me fruits, steaks, chickens, vegetables, flowers, but having no appetite, eating no food I was slowly starving in the midst of plenty. I weighed about 115 pounds and was down to a bundle of bones. The angel took care of me, preparing tempting dishes which I spurned, bathing me, giving me the medicines ordered by Dr. Wagner, and slowly I started to normalcy. Few men have gone so near death and returned. I realized that now that I am on the way back.

Convalescent, sitting in a big chair, bolstered with pillows, wrapped in blankets. I gaze out of the open door and see strange sights. Way off in the distance I see a three mast ship with set sails, the latter swinging idly in the breeze; the ship turning with the tide. I imagine the ship is waiting to take me over the sea of life. One day I look, and lo, the sails are furled. The ship still swings with the changing tide, but the Master is no where to be seen. The ship no longer waits for me so I know that I am on the way out. Just three trees with denuded foliage. On two occasions I saw a pillar of fire and the cloud of smoke. Both promise of a lead to recovery. The pillar of fire was to lead and guard me at night and the cloud of smoke by day. Both very real, but I know the pillars of fire was a large beautiful cloud with the setting sun showering it with tints of peal and gold. A beautiful vision and brought me rejoicing for it told me that I had returned from death’s door.

One day while in bed, I heard many blackbirds on the roof. They scampered and played and then the sweet piercing whistle of that bird and from the willow tree came the answer from their fellows. A mockingbird on the fire place chimney turned in its melody in sweet song. I heard my little bantam rooster crow and how lustily was his crow. I saw beautiful daisies nodding their heads to me, the grasses waving in the breeze, pasture flowers in bloom. I heard the rippling of the tide along the sea wall. A dog barks! Children laugh as they passed for school. Life! God over all! My little dog Pard puts his paw on my arm and lays his head on my knees. He loves me and I love him. He never deserts me.

Well, any way I am dressed, walk about the house, out in the yard and have taken three short rides. This is written because I want my readers to know about what I have suffered and the reaction so forgive the personal tone. Out of this long illness has come more tolerance, a kinder feeling for my fellows, have more charity, more faith. Without egotism I feel that I am a better man because I have been so close to God. Perhaps there is some service I may render. I trust this is the reason. Now I am looking forward to two events, Thanksgiving with the home coming of my wonderful daughter, Mary Louise, and then about December 2nd, I am invited to the birthday party honoring Mr. F. Cornelius, of the Juanita Ranch near Midfield. On that day will come the Cornelius klan from all over the State in honor of his 87th birthday. So here is my resolution: “Whatsoever He said unto you, do it!”

Resolution

“I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to a human being, or any word that I can speak for Jesus—let me do it now. Let me not neglect nor defer it; for I shall not pass this way again.”

The Matagorda County Tribune, November 5, 1936
 


Collegeport Home Dem. Club Meets

Collegeport Home Demonstration Club met at the home of Mrs. Dorothy Merck. Six members and one visitor were present.

Officers were elected for the new year. After the business meeting Mrs. Merck served popcorn and enjoyed a pleasant social hour.

Mr. Roy Nelson, Reporter

Daily Tribune, Thursday, November 5, 1936
 


THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSING OF THE LION
By Harry Austin Clapp

The passing of the lion? Aye, the passing of the lion. When Burton D. Hurd passed from the stage of his earthly works, into the great and wonderful over there, it was the passing of a man with the heart and courage of a lion. The works of this remarkable character, from the Sabine to the Rio Grande , will be visible and remembered by generations. Great monuments to his wonderful vision and his ability to execute. Burton D. Hurd needs no monument of stone. His monument will be in the works accomplished, standing so long as there is a Texas coast. Wherever one may wander along this vast coast there one will cross his trail.

I write this copy with sorrow. I am unable to understand why this valuable man should be taken and I should be spared. Burton mixed his paint with sunshine and where he journeyed he traveled with a smile. Many men discussed and analyzed Burton 's plans, visions, ideas. Some were severe in criticism, but none questioned his morals. Burton was "clean as a hound's tooth." Years ago he acquired a conception of what Christianity meant to man's life and he practiced it. According to the light he received from his God he practiced charity, tenderness, good-will and benevolence in contact with his fellows. I never knew a man so eager and willing to overlook and forgive bitter words uttered by men, who no knowing him, did not feel friendly. Many times he told me, that life was entirely too short to spend any time worrying about what might be said of him. As a neighbor he was kind, generous, helpful, willing to aid in any and every way. No better neighbor lived elsewhere. As a citizen he was interested in all civic projects and some of the things we now enjoy results from his unknown and unheralded interest. I have been an intimate and personal friend of this man, for twenty-seven years and what I have written is the result of my own observations. His passing is a great loss to Collegeport, to Matagorda County and to the entire coast country. No man is left to take his place. His smile and his charming personality and his belief in the goodness of his fellow men will be with us so long as memory remains. If Burton had been conscious the last few hours, this is the prayer he might have uttered:

"I rest. My journey done,
I face the West again.
And see the gold of the setting sun,
No longer fell[sic] the pain.
The lights are slowly growing dim--
My ship is going out to sea,
I am slowly slipping o'er the rim,
Into eternity.
But one last prayer, O God,
Thou who knowest best,
Before I am beneath the sod,
Before I am at rest.
Let me have Light
To guide my way
On through the night
Across the bay."
                          --Bickerton.

I pray my God to hold him in His comforting arms and give his soul peace, contentment and well-earned rest. I love this man and he loved me. I enjoyed his respect, confidence and friendship.

Good bye Burton ! I'll be with you soon, so please linger along the shore. The personal history of this man is full of romance. A builder of railways, vast canal and irrigation systems, rice mills and warehouses, settlement of thousands of splendid farm folk on fertile lands, erecting school houses for the education of the children, organizing churches, all that people might have opportunity for finer lives. Burton had little respect for money, except what might be accomplished with it. Born on a farm in Hamilton County , Iowa , his entire life has been closely identified with some phase of agriculture. He seldom was interested in other developments. His last, and the culmination of years of dreaming, planning, studying was the project of building a dam across Matagorda Bay for the purpose of impounding water for the irrigation of many hundreds of acres and the development of an immense truck industry. Plans for this have all been approved and the burden which is not a light one, now rests on the shoulders of his son Vernon King Hurd.

Burton David Hurd was born December 19, 1868 and died November 3rd, in his home in Collegeport. He was the third son of David Elisha and Anna Delight Faye Hurd. I knew his parents well, for they used to live here. They were rugged, splendid folk, the kind that has made America . They helped make Iowa and their progeny is now keeping Iowa . It was said that when Garibaldi, the great Italian liberator died, his heart was embalmed and placed in a casket on which was inscribed "Open this casket and there you will find graven on my heart ' Italy "." If one could see the heart of Burton , one would find graven there Collegeport, and so it is fitting that his resting place should be in local soil, on the west side of the cemetery in sight of the sparkling waters of the bay. The funeral services were held at the bayshore home, with Reverend George Gillespie reading the service. Evidence of the respect and regard the citizens had for this man, was shown by the fact that every home for miles around was represented in whole or in part, except those who were detained by illness, and the faculty attended in a body. Many who were unable to be present sent flowers. The floral offerings were gorgeous and seldom has such profusion of bloom been seen. Hundreds of roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, sprays, wreaths and set pieces, one spray being so large that it actually embraced and covered the casket. Relatives who were present, consisted of Fay Hurd youngest brother, his wife and son, Herbert Hurd, from Galveston, Mrs. Flora Morris and Mrs. Anett O'Leary, sisters of Mrs. Hurd, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Morris, Mrs. Austin Oberwetter, Mrs. John Logan, Mrs. Luke Hawks, Mrs. Merle Groves, Frank Groves and Mr. E. L. Morris, nieces and nephews, all of Houston; Mrs. Abel Pierce, Mrs. Webb, Mrs. Della Braden and W. P. Braden of Blessing; Mr. and Mrs. John Cherry, former superintendent of the local school, and Arthur Liggett, of Bay City; Mrs. and Mrs. B. W. Trull, and Mr. George Harrison, of Palacios; Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Smith, of Gulf; Mrs. Morgan Smith and Mrs. Velma S. Rogers, of Matagorda. Pallbearers were old friends, Messrs. Gustave Franzen, G. W. Corporon, L. E. Liggett, W. V. Batchelder, Eliot Curtis and M. S. Holsworth. Old time friends asked the privilege of preparing the last resting place. In the wet and bitter cold, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Nelson gathered a group who cleared away the wet grass and erected a shelter. All day they labored in the cold storm and when the time grew short more help was sought and more wiling hands asked a part in the arduous task then were needed to work in relays. This noble couple carried out to the workers hot coffee and sandwiches that nothing be left undone to make for their beloved friend a bower of beauty in which to rest. These friends assisted Mr. and Mrs. Roy Nelson, Stanley Wright, Dick and Gaines Corporon, Carl Ackerman, Henry Guyer, Tommy Oliver, Frank Mischa, Orley Brown, James Murry, Clifford Ash, Amos Johnson and Mr. Baggett. As many as thirty-five cars accompanied the remains to the cemetery where the commitment was given by Reverend Geo. Gillespie. Arrangement were in charge of the Brandon-Duffy Funeral Home of Palacios and Matagorda. Many of the facts given were supplied by Mrs. Dena Hurd and I have used them freely. As I have mentioned before, I write this with a heart bowed in sorrow. I feel that I have suffered a great personal loss. I shall miss the almost daily calls of Burton and his always words of good cheer. God rest his soul.

"That's good, read on, "Earth's light was growing dim.
But he--he knew time endeth not for him;
He viewed eternity in wonderment.
Then quietly abided there--content.
He who taught bigness took no narrow room;
He who loved mankind saw no shade of gloom.
"Read on and on" this page is not the last,
Nor is the glory of his years forecast.
The footprints he has made are not effaced,
While time shall last they cannot be erased.
How pitifully weak the small the soul
Compared to him who fought and won his goal!
Prophetic words, "Read on and on and on"
Stronger in Death than Life, He is not gone."--Anon.

 

BURTON DAVID HURD

In the death of Burton David Hurd, who departed this life at his home in Collegeport, Texas, a town of his own founding, last Tuesday, the state, the county and this section have been deprived of one of its most prominent citizens, real estate operator and pioneer of land and settlement promotions, and a man of keen judgment of values, a perception of development and a dreamer of agricultural enterprises, peopled with happy, prosperous and contented people.

It has been said of this fine neighbor, friend and home builder that he never cared a cent for any dollar that could not be used for the betterment of the human family and, yet, in his various promotions throughout the country he spent thousands of them. His aim was always to the highest and his fertile mind constantly active in the behalf of the development of his country.

Burton David Hurd, the third son of David E. and Anna Delight Faye Hurd, was born on the family homestead at William, Hamilton County , Iowa , December 18, 1868 and passed away November 3, 1936 at 1 p.m. after an illness of three months, battling the return of a trouble sustained in an automobile accident several years ago.

At his home in Collegeport, and present at the final summons, were his bereaved wife and son, Vernon King Hurd, Mrs. Vernon King Hurd, Mrs. Annette O'Leary, of Houston, sister of Mr. Hurd. Surviving are, besides his widow, one son, Vernon King Hurd, one grandson, Vernon King Hurd, II, two brothers, Elgin H. Hurd, of Hurdsville, North Dakota, and Fay M. Hurd, of Galveston; two sisters, Mrs. George Boody, Sr., and Mrs. Norabel Culk, of St. Paul, Minnesota, besides several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Hurd, on June 15, 1891, was wedded to Miss Dena D. Soekland, daughter of one of the old families of Stuttgart, Arkansas, to which union was born a daughter, Florence Vera, deceased, and Vernon K., the latter now residing in Collegeport.

The funeral rites were conducted from the home by the Rev. Gillespie, of Palacios, assisted by a group of women with whom Mrs. Hurd had worked in the county for years.

The Collegeport school and business houses were closed, while tributes of love and esteem were evidenced by the bestowal of many wreaths and set pieces of beautiful flowers. Many relatives and friends from Houston , Galveston , Blessing and Palacios attended.

Mr. Hurd worked on his father's farm until he was 16 years of age at which time he gained his parents' consent reluctantly, to sacrifice his Father's gift to his boys of a farm equipped and stocked and go for himself. He worked nights and attended Spaulding Business College in Kansas City , Missouri , and completed the study of law after his marriage.

He came to Bay City before the railroads--driving from Wharton or Eagle Lake . When the railroad entered Bay City he operated his own private car, increasing that to several cars and often a whole special train, bringing 100 people per month for several years; in al more than 25,000, eighty percent of whom purchased land or entered business in the Texas Gulf Coast country.

A more intimate picture of the activities of the man may be gained in perusal of the following from one of Mr. Hurd's briefs of "Land and Agriculture Development," which follows:

Commencing in 1893, drainage districts were organized and developed in some twenty central and northwestern counties of Iowa . Reclaiming an aggregate of 150,000 acres, sold to settlers, brought from older eastern states through an immigration organization built up for the purpose.

This development and immigration attracted the attention of Arthur E. Stillwell and a deal was made with him and the Kansas City Southern Railroad in 1897 to develop and colonize a 42,000 acre tract of land between Beaumont and Port Arthur , Texas . Also to assist in the development of Port Arthur and the sale of town lots to finance the building of the ship channel from Sabine Pass. The first canal for growing rice in Texas , was built in connection with this project.

Following the Port Arthur development, large tracts of land were purchased from ranchmen, developed by the construction of canals for growing rice and sold to

settlers brought from the North, as follow: 8,000 acres at Iowa, La., 10,000 acres at Vinton, La., 8,000 acres at Cow Bayou, 7 miles west of Port Arthur, 5,000 acres of Hildebrands Bayou south west from Beaumont, both in Jefferson County, Texas, 16,000 acres 20 miles west of Houston between the Brazos River and Buffalo Bayou, 15,000 acres east of Eagle Lake, two canals developing 25,000 acres on the east side of the Colorado River in Matagorda County, Texas 56,000 acres on the west side of the Colorado River in the same county, covering the Collegeport district, 16,000 acres west of the Tres Palacios River south from the M.P.R.R. to the head of the bay in Matagorda County, 42,000 acres near Kingsville, Texas owned jointly by the King Estate and the railroad and 20,000 acres for the Texas Land and Cattle Company, north from Midfield in Matagorda and Wharton Counties, Texas.

The development work for the sale of these lands included the construction and operation of ten canal systems for growing rice, road building, drainage, community development, railroad construction and the building of rice mills and warehouses.

 The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, November 12, 1936
 


THOUGHTS ABOUT THE FRUITS OF FORTY ONE YEARS
By Harry Austin Clapp

After writing about such uninteresting and doleful subjects as taxes, red likker, etcetera, it seems time to write about the flowers that bloom on the branches of a forty-one year old tree…

The first few lines down to the string of dots were written more than four months ago, but my illness prevented the finish. I planned a tribute to a woman. A woman who has stuck by her man for forty-one years. Any woman will stay with a mediocre man for that long a time is sure entitled to a crown of glory. And to this woman I hand the crown. For forty-one years July 24th, 1936, she has clung to me, giving a loyalty, a love, a tenderness that is only exceeded by that which we have from God. Always happy, joyous with little as well as with plenty. I never knew her to flinch. She always took the bitter with the sweet , with her face to the west. Whether she slept on the ground beside the trail and at her tortillas and beans, or being served with dainty viands in the best hotels of the five continents, she was the same woman, her soul overflowing with delight, rapture, ecstasy, just the gladsome, blissful joy of life with her chosen man. God sure was good to me when he arranged for my life lines to tangle with those of this wonderful woman. Wonderful? That has been proven by her devotion during my late serious illness. Such sacrifices in her strength and nerves. Today I am enjoying the fruits of the past forty-one years. At peace with the world. Living in my own home. A lovable and lovely wife. God has been good to us both.

During my life four women have had a profound influence over men and I believe that if there is anything good and valuable I my life, the credit is due these four women. I have named one of them. Then comes my mother. Her name was Mary Austin and she was in the ninth generation of the first Austin to land in Boston along about 1635. She was a very sweet and pretty woman, so lovely and loving and she gave her family the superlative in devoted service. Whether I deserved it or not, she idolized me, for I was her man child. I wish I might tell her how I appreciate all her tender care, her loving solicitation, her guarding me from evil. Now after her passing, more than fifty years ago, serious thoughts flit through my mind and I visualize the mother who was the truest, dearest, friend ever in my life. I know that at times I neglected my mother, but she has never been forgotten. Tender sentiments that in younger years were mere buds of promise, now with later years are in full blossom and joy comes from a review of childhood and the privilege of feeling mother’s arms, sensing her beating heart and the night time when kneeling at her feet the “Now I lay me down to sleep,” was repeated, perhaps hesitatingly as mother gave the words. Wonderful sweet days were the days Iived with mother.

Then there came into my life Phoebe Ann Warren Van Ness. She was born on the banks of Lake Champlain one hundred nine years ago. When I married her daughter, she became what is commonly known as my mother-in-law. Detesting that “in-law” ending, I discarded it soon as I found out that she was a wonderful woman and a real mother. That was what she was to me for the many years she lived with me. Left alone in the world with three children and little cash, she kept her family together, educated them, paid her way and developed the strong character which characterized her until death. She was a sweet, delicious, lovable bit of womanhood, with an abiding faith in God, the Bible and the Christians hope and belief in the promise of a finer life over there. The years she lived with me were rich in the daily devotion this mother gave to me. My own mother could not give greater loyalty nor more willing to make sacrifices for my security and happiness, than mother Van Ness. Old timers here remember her well and will bear out the statements I make.

Mother was filled with rich humor. She enjoyed fine jokes and used them herself, but always with dignity. When she passed over, I lost a second fine mother and always since that day she has been missed. All men have one mother, but not every man has been fortunate enough to have enjoyed the devotion of two such wonderful women.

All my life I have wanted a daughter. There is something about a daughter that is not supplied by a son. Just as a woman in a man’s life and home, brings something that no other can supply and then God in his own time gave me the wonderful baby girl who has developed into the substantial character that I proudly exclaim is my dream daughter. She is the fourth in this quad of women who have exercised an influence on my life. In her earliest babyhood, I promised God that never would I commit an act that would cause her to be ashamed of her father and if the question is asked her answer will be “never.” All her young growing and developing years were passed in this community and the people who have witnessed her growth will testify to the truth of this statement.

Strong in her ideal of morals, determined to follow the admonitions and teachings of her parents, she has developed a conscience that always give a warning of the danger line. To us, she is so wonderful, so sweet, so lovable that she is enshrined in a special corner of our hearts, a daily delight. Never has she failed us. Never has she swerved from the ways she has been taught to “Keep The Faith.” As I review the lives of these four women, I must confess that of them all my daughter has been of greater influence in my life than the others. The other three gave me all they had, but his daughter of mine has kept for me the promise I made to the others. Yes, my friends, God has given me a wonderful daughter. And so these are the fruits of forty-one years. I adore my wife and daughter and I revere and hold sacred the memory of my two mothers. I have been a fortunate man and this day as I am “On my way back” from the Valley of the Shadow I walk and leap and praise my God with grateful heart.

I read in the Tribune that on election day the banks and the liquor stores will be closed. It is easy to understand why banks should be closed on that day, for if they remained open, they would have all the people’s money. But the idea of closing liquor stores is repugnant to many of our folk. Stores selling such necessities as booze, white mule, moonshine, red likker, should be open every day. Banks, food stores and other purveyors of things we do not need may close but for goodness sake, allow us to purchase necessities. “Individual rights fall at the wayside when crusades toward Utopia get under way.”

This from Illinois: “Am so sorry about Mr. Clapp’s illness and know you must have had your hands full. We sure miss his column in the Tribune and hope by this time he will be fully recovered and able to get the old Corona out. Mr. C. and I wish to be remembered to the General and hope he will be well soon.” Thanks for the promotion to a General. Never expected to reach such heights. If the following did not bring us happiness I shall guess again: “After reading ‘Thoughts On The Way Back,’ it was quite evident why you were not permitted to “Cross the Bar.” A more beautiful, ringing with sincerity testimony of a Loving Hand was never written to my knowledge. It is impossible to measure its reaching power. Your fine testimony was an inspiration to me to resolve to try harder to “Gather ye Rosebuds while we may,” and I add “Scatter them also.” Such letters are “Fruits of Forty-One Years.” They bring me much happiness and I thank the writer in this feeble manner. This from West Texas: “Tribune received yesterday and we surely did enjoy ‘Thoughts’ very much.” It was spiritual and inspiring and we were so happy to see the name Angel applied to one who so richly deserves it.” What’s in a name? A miserable wretch may be an angel and an angel may be a miserable wretch. Well, anyway, I still am crazy over that gal.

Just to fill out the week came my good friend R. W. Persons, one time our County Agent, and now District Agent for the A. & M. Extension Service. He stayed with us until Sunday afternoon and then on his way. This good man receives from us much love and we were made happy for the few hours we enjoyed with him.

The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, November 19, 1936
 


Collegeport Girls Growing Strawberries

Collegeport 4-H Club girls are getting off on an early start in growing strawberries. Seven of the fourteen girls have already put out plants. Dora Mae Emmert has 57 plants growing. Other members who report strawberry plants out are Otha Lee Harvey, Mava Nee Harvey, Ethel Nelson, Ella Guyer, Dolores Guyer and Maud Lashbrook.

The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, November 26, 1936
 


THOUGHTS ABOUT “HE WHO PULLS WOOL”
By Harry Austin Clapp

[Local information taken from longer article about sheep.]

This from Gulf—“The members of the District YMCA board wish to extend their heartfelt sympathy to you in this time of illness in your family. We trust that your husband may soon recover.”—Mrs. Allen Caldwell, District Secretary. From West Texas comes this message—“Dear Friend and all: I feel that I should write and tell you how truly grateful I was this morning when our home paper came and read “Thoughts.” We are rejoicing with you and yours for your healing. Our home paper is not complete without “Thoughts.” Just some more of the fruit of forty-one years.

Such words sustain me, give me courage and determination to use what small strength God has left me, for rendering service to others.

Just to prove the efficacy of prayer let me relate a true tale. Saturday night a truck drove into the yard about five p. m. and from it jumped two young men and when I asked what they desired, they replied, “We have a radio for you.” And sure enough they did have a beautiful Zenith and in twenty minutes it was installed and we were listening to a beautiful concert. Asking from whence it came, they replied, “A friend ordered us to bring it down and install it.” Because of my fading eyesight I looked forward to many dull evenings this winter, for reading was just not and so we prayed and asked God to send us a radio by the use of which we might have instruction and amusement. Don’t tell me that God does not listen and answer. I know he does. This has been proven by many experiences. God does listen and God does answer in His good time and in His good way. My friends use patience, trust in God’s judgment, keep on praying and remember that “Ask and ye shall receive it” is true this day. What a wonderful thing it is to have such fine friends. Their possession has been abundantly proved during my illness which has lasted five months. I am glad now that God in his mercy allowed me to come back. I have a new incentive in life, a courage of rarer quality and I look upon life with new eyes. This friend who sent the radio may not know what his action did for us, but as the days roll along he will know.

It is 10 a. m. and we have just listened to a service from a Jewish synagogue in Dallas. A wonderful service, beautiful singing, far reaching prayers. I have always liked Jews and among them have had some fine friends. A wonderful people these Jews—fine citizens and good Americans. Don’t tell me that God does not watch over His children and hear their supplications. He does that I know for this gift is a direct reply to earnest prayer. The perfume from the soul of this friend drifts past our dream eyes and our thanks go up as sweet incense before the throne of God.

I am making slow gains. I walk out a short distance each day and will gradually extend my wanderings. I am getting restless and have a desire to explore unknown regions. My legs do not operate very well and this makes walking rather uncertain. Heart appears to function in a fairly normal way. Other gadgets which have caused much trouble and annoyance are assuming normalcy, so it is possible to make a favorable report. Looks like a real coming back. Soon as my wooden leg is operating in good shape, I’ll go to Bay City and “Shop with Toots.”

The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, November 26, 1936
 

 

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