(TX) Interesting little history lesson...


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Drizzt
April 24, 2003, 06:23 PM
Settlers emphasized the importance of schooling

By Bill Fairley
Special to the Star-Telegram

Young Tom Taylor was playing outdoors with one of the Heffington boys when they suddenly looked up and then took off running for the Heffingtons' cabin to find a place to hide.

From a hill top near their homes in the Bear Creek settlement in southeastern Parker County, a band of Indians was watching them.

It was 1860, and the Civil War was about to erupt. While settlers were distracted by tensions involving slaveholding and secession, Plains Indians, primarily Kiowas and Comanches, were raiding farms and ranches, killing adults and often kidnapping small children and stealing horses.

The Bear Creek settlement was a cluster of homesteads near today's Pate Museum of Transportation on U.S. 377, about 8 miles south of where Aledo sits today, and 20 miles southwest of the new town of Fort Worth.

Thomas Ulvan Taylor would survive the Indian raids to become a leading Texas educator.

He was born Jan. 2, 1858, in a one-room log cabin near the fork of North and South Bear Creeks, where his parents, John Henry and Louisa Taylor, had settled in 1855.

The young state of Texas did not provide for public schools, but the settlers were determined for their children to get some education. They picked a site for classes under the leafy protection of a huge live oak near the cabin of the George Washington Pratt family, neighbors of the Taylors.

The settlers asked Stephen Heffington, the best educated person in the community, to be the teacher. In exchange, his neighbors cultivated and harvested his crops.

Few books were available for the nine prospective students, ages 6 to 20, but a handful of reading, writing and arithmetic books were found. For current history and events, Heffington taught from settlers' letters and old newspapers.

Trees were felled from which the settlers sawed benches. Slates and chalk were found among rocks in the creek bed.

School was from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., with an hour for lunch and two short recesses. Two long "holiday breaks" came in the spring and fall planting and harvest seasons so children could work on their parents' land. School continued in the summer and winter, weather permitting.

All male students 12 or older were required to carry a rifle to school in case of an Indian raid. The school was never attacked, but Indians raided the settlement on July 24, 1863. The raiders were driven off before major damage was done, although horses were stolen.

Tom Taylor later wrote that turning 12 and being responsible for taking a rifle to school -- and knowing how to use it -- "was a badge of manhood."

The Civil War ended in April 1865 (edited to correct the year - Gary). Within a few years, the community built a real one-room log schoolhouse two miles down the creek at the confluence of North and South Bear Creeks, near the Tarrant County line. The Taylor and Heffington children had to walk two miles to school.

Each student now had Webster Blue Book Spellers, McGuffey Readers and Ray Arithmetic books.

When Tom Taylor was 9, his father died. An older brother died the next year. To help support the family, Tom went to work as a cowboy for a nearby cattleman named John Durkee. He worked after school, during school vacation days and other times off.

But he profited from his rudimentary education, later graduating as an engineer from Sam Houston Normal School in Huntsville. He became Texas' first registered engineer and later became dean of engineering at the University of Texas.

Tom Taylor died at 83 in 1941.

There is no historical marker on U.S. 377 near the South Bear Creek crossing to mark the location of "The School Under the Live Oak Tree."

Sources: the School Under the Live Oak Tree by Doyle Marshall of Aledo and Interview With Marshall. the Book Is Available at Some Bookstores and at the Tackett Pharmacy in Willow Park or Can Be Ordered by Calling (817) 441-8961.

http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/news/local/5696355.htm

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one-shot-one
April 24, 2003, 08:05 PM
cool!:cool:

El Tejon
April 24, 2003, 08:14 PM
The Civil War ended in 1864? Or did Tejas just see the error of their ways early?:confused:

Yes, education is important. People may not change, but the times sure do. :(

euclid
April 24, 2003, 10:08 PM
Must be some of that revisionist history!;)


Pretty cool story. I just moved to TX so I am trying to figure out why Texans are so damned proud to live in Texas.

Is it an Alamo thing or simply the shear size of the state that gets Texans all riled up?


I am not being sarcastic. I like Texas. I just never lived in a state that expressed so much state pride and I can not figure out why that is exactly.

poof...

ahenry
April 24, 2003, 11:21 PM
I am not being sarcastic. I like Texas. I just never lived in a state that expressed so much state pride and I can not figure out why that is exactly. Its a pride that comes from being the best. :D

Seriously though, I think there are several reason there is rampant pride in Texas. One of them is the things that are justifiably reasons to be proud. At one time we were a Republic, The Alamo, the diversity (and I don’t mean that in a multi-cultural sense, but that we have a wide assortment of heritage to draw on), the size (don’t know if you’ve tried to drive very much, but just try to make the jaunt from Dallas to Corpus or Brownsville, you’ll soon see why a 70mph speed limit is so often broken), our economic strength, the oil industry, The Texas Rangers (and I don’t mean the baseball team), etc. There are other things like this, but maybe you can see what I’m getting at. Additionally, I think there is some pride that comes to those that have long family trees here because of the severe hardships that had to be overcome in order to survive. Have you ever talked to a farmer or a rancher from Texas? Farming and ranching in Texas ain’t like doing it in Kansas or Nebraska or something. It’s never an easy job, but with the weather, heat, bugs, and the heat (I mean to say that twice) its dang near impossible around here. Yet despite all of that, those that settled the state made it one of the strongest economies in the world. The Texas economy would actually be one of the bigger world economies if it was still an independent nation. And speaking of independent, part of the heritage Texans feel translates into an incredibly independent spirit. I’m sure you’ve noticed. On the issue of overcoming hardships to create a strong and vibrant nation then state, the reason Moses Austin and then his son was able to talk Mexico into allowing settlers in Texas is because by and large, nobody in Mexico even wanted to live here anymore. The conditions were too harsh, Texas was just a lot of empty land that nobody wanted to deal with. In fact, the success that the original migrants had in Texas, contributed greatly to the little spat that created the Republic. Mexico decided that maybe Texas was a more valuable place than they originally thought (that isn’t the entire issue mind you, just a large contributing factor). Anyway, I’ve sorta rambled, but maybe I’ve helped explain the issue to some extent?

Blackhawk
April 24, 2003, 11:35 PM
I just moved to TX so I am trying to figure out why Texans are so damned proud to live in Texas.

Is it an Alamo thing or simply the shear size of the state that gets Texans all riled up?


I am not being sarcastic. I like Texas. I just never lived in a state that expressed so much state pride and I can not figure out why that is exactly.
Print out your post. Put it somewhere safe for about 5-10 years. If you haven't figured it out by then, you've probably moved somewhere else. :D

ahadams
April 25, 2003, 12:23 AM
euclid: I spent most of the '80's living in AZ and I finally came to the conclusion that the thing about texans is the water, the air and genetics: IOW everything there makes them like that, and there's not a blessed thing the rest of us can do about it!:rolleyes: :D

westex
April 25, 2003, 12:29 AM
Texas is a state of mind. It'll come. Just relax and go with the flow. Of course if you were born and raised here it's all genetic.:)

Art Eatman
April 25, 2003, 09:29 AM
My father went to UT in the late '20s/early 30s when T.U. Taylor was Dean of the College of Engineering...

Hard times and hard country make for tough people. Many of the early settlers of Texas came out of the Old South after the War of Yankee Agression. These were not only survivors, but they were of that mindset that allows people to leave their homes to seek a better life.

In unsettled Texas, that "better life" wasn't easy--but they survived and did indeed work their tails off and made better lives. When you accomplish that sort of thing, you create your own self-esteem: A lesson that seems to be forgotten in today's softer and weaker world of TV entertainment and air-conditioned shopping malls. But self-esteem and pride within a population creates an atmosphere that says, "We've overcome. We're pretty danged good, and we know it."

There's an old C/W song, "(Take a look at these) Hard Working Hands". Get out into rural areas and look at the hands of farmers and ranchers. It's a different world than that of the paper shufflers who dress cowboy on weekends...

Art

Smoke
April 25, 2003, 10:49 AM
For me its 147 years of family history. My Great Great Granddad settled in Bosque County, Texas in 1856. I'm the 5th generation to ranch the same country.

Its the Alamo, San Jacinto, and the women. Its Chili, TEx-Mex and the Hill Country. Its San Antonio, Dallas and Big Bend. Its the people, the culture and Ziegenbach. Its the size, the diversity of terrain and Dublin Dr. Peppers. Its Blue Bonnets, Road Runners and beat up pickups. Its a Blue Norther, 114 degree summers and East Texas Pine trees.

Its about opening weekend of Dove season in Monahans, a Hill Country roadtrip when the Blue Bonnets are in full bloom, and a cold beer on The Riverwalk. Its about going to Dallas on business and thanking God I don't live there. Its watching high class women in the cities and country girls every where else. Its floating down the Comal with an extra tube for the cooler. Its fishing the East Texas Lakes, hunting the South Texas brush and sitting under the biggest sky full of stars. Its a cool breeze on the back porch and a rocking chair.

Its fierce independence. Straight thinkers and straighter talkers. Ruggedness and honesty. Integrity.

Thats the tip of the iceberg. Texas must be experienced and it can't be done in a 3 day weekend. Move here, buy a place out from town, live the life for a few years. You'll get it unless you're a complete gunsel.

Smoke,

American by birth, Texan by the grace of God.

Carlos Cabeza
April 25, 2003, 12:05 PM
Smoke ............:D God Blessed Texas !

Intune
April 25, 2003, 12:46 PM
If you can't be a Texan, marry one. Abilene is now my home away from home 'cause I actually LOVE my in-laws! Who'd a thunk it? Comparing guns with a neighbor on the front lawn doesn't draw a second glance from passerbys.

P12
April 25, 2003, 01:20 PM
Is it an Alamo thing or simply the shear size of the state that gets Texans all riled up?

We will get riled up about anything.






Want ta make sumpt'n of it?






















:D

Zander
April 25, 2003, 01:28 PM
Many of the early settlers of Texas came out of the Old South after the War of Yankee Agression. -- ArtMany of them came from Tennessee before that. There's a reason we're nicknamed 'The Volunteers'.

Reminds me of a past thought...is there any such thing as an organization which celebrates the Tennessee/Texas connection? Seems a Tenn-Tex Society would have more than a few members. If it doesn't exist, mayhaps we should start one...

Smoke
April 25, 2003, 01:45 PM
Zander -

You are correct on the point of many came here from Tennessee.
My own folks came from there (and Virginia before that)

Now lets see, if we start a "Sons-of-Tennesseeans-that-moved-to-Texas" club.....33% of this part of the state could join.

(The other 33% are Norwegians, 33% Germans, and 1% mutts.)

P.s. We got lots of Zander's here also

ball3006
April 25, 2003, 02:24 PM
but Uncle Sam made sure I lived in other parts of the country. Along with what the others posted you need to bone up on Aggie and Okie jokes. I was born in Bryan and was inadversely affected by Aggies at a young age so I can pick on them. What is the thing about the heat here? I just have to put on gloves when I ride my motorcycle and the temperature is above 110. I get windburned if I don't. I guess I appreciate the summers here as Uncle Sam sent me to the UP of Mich where it is similar to the artic tundra......chris3

GinSlinger
April 25, 2003, 02:30 PM
Having done a quantatative study of the central Texas region from 1830-1870 (fourty pages and still occasionally adding), I will add a few more things. First off, this area of Texas was nearly 50% German/Austrian/Hungarian pre 1850. Those people had come from the lower middle class of Central Europe at a time when there were multiple quashed liberal uprisings in the those countries. Some of them were semi-socialist and were on lists to be immediately arrested. That drive to start a new "Frei Stadt" led them to Texas and they implemented their plans for a open, educated society here. (The settlers of New Braunfels started school before they had even built most of their houses.)

There is a reason why Tejano music sounds like Polka. Political dissidents fled Mexico after Maximillian was overthrown and joined the European settlers in this area.

The "Voulenteers" were mostly impoverished farmers from Tenn, Vir, and Ken who were losing out to the larger plantations and the begining of massive logging in the Appalachians. They cam to literally carve out a new exsistence. The US Army (nor the Mexican) did not provide defence for the settlers such as it did in much of the rest of the Western expansion. Things were tough, and for many of the reasons mentioned in other posts men were justifiably proud for making a living in this harsh land.

Texas was the second Thirteen Colonies. Yet another reason for pride. Throw into that the overthrow of a far superior military at San Jacinto and one begins to feel invincible.

This is already starting to get very long, but the truth is, live here, study a little history, get out of the big cities for a while, and even a transplanted Texan can begin to beam with the pride of a genuine Native.

GinSlinger

Smoke
April 25, 2003, 03:57 PM
Ginslinger,

There is a reason why Tejano music sounds like Polka. Political dissidents fled Mexico after Maximillian was overthrown and joined the European settlers in this area.

As a 15 year returning attendee to Westfest, I always assumed it was a little known part of History.....the Czech-Mexican wars.:D


Thanks for clearing the air.

Art Eatman
April 25, 2003, 06:36 PM
One of the Witherspoon branches of my family tree came out of Tennessee to Waxahachie, and thence by covered wagon to Tascosa in 1880. A mere four-month journey. The "boys" wound up cowboying on the XIT. Great-uncle Vern helped start the town of Hereford...

The Fertsch clan came from Frankfurt in 1839, and there are still a bunch of them around Hallettsville and Westhoff. I'll be going by my great-grandparents' graves this Sunday. We're trying to get the Old Kinkler cemetery--not far out of Hallettsville--designated as a state landmark, since it dates back to the days of the Republic.

Where I'm sitting right now, just south of Cuero, this old ranch has been in the family since the days of the Republic. :)

The roots run deep.

Art

euclid
April 25, 2003, 11:37 PM
Holy cow! This thread reads better than the travel guide promoting Texas tourism! Great info here.

Just so you know, I went to school in New Mexico and worked In Oklahoma for a few years and I heard a lot of Texas bashing while I was living in those two states, especially from the good folk of New Mexico. Being from Michigan I couldn't and still don't understand it. I mean, Michiganians never had any issues with people from, say, Illinois or Indiana so why would states bordering Texas not like Texans? Jealousy perhaps?

Other observations:

This is the only state I have lived in, and I have lived in a number of places, where one can purchase a Texas-shaped sink basin from Lowes or Home Depot...and people actually BUY them!

I have seen the Big Cross and the home of the 72 oz steak in the panhandle.

I drove my car along the Padre Island National Seashore and watched people fishing along the surf to a backdrop of well-lit oil platforms. These platforms are actually kind of pretty at night, I think.

I had a cop pull me over for going 72 in a 70 mph zone and asked my "Why are you is such a hurry, son?" He had the shades, the big hat and and dept issue overalls. Being from Michigan I can only say he looked like that cop from Smokey and the Bandit. I think he saw our out of state plates and wanted to have some fun with us.

Interesting place this, this TEXAS.

poof...

Gopher
April 26, 2003, 12:54 AM
Zander: Please accept our heartfelt thanks from afew Texans who know if it had not been for a bunch of straight shootin folks from Tennessee there wouldn't be a Texas today. If you ever make it down this way the first Shiner Bock is on me.
http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/usflags/tx.gif

Lone Star
April 26, 2003, 06:52 AM
One needn't drink Shiner Bock or Lone Star beers. We have a world class selection in Dallas and presumably, other sizeable cities. Wines, too. Texas is increasingly a cosmopolitan area, yet retains most of the qualities that made the state great.

We have no state income tax, there are wide open spaces, extensive pine forests, a plethora of wildlife, and a generally sound economy.

Heritage aside (and we do value it, greatly) Texas is a very pleasant and practical place to live.

Lone Star

mec
April 26, 2003, 05:17 PM
Great history lesson and interesting thread, Lone Star. My ancestors came from Mississippi up through Galveston and From Chicago down the trace. There is a strong branch of Scots-Irish from Tenn and they have been the most successful in tracing their roots. They still gather in Tennesse for reunions.
Mostly solid mainstreat types with a gunslinger thrown in for good measure:
http://www.sixgunner.com/guests/unclefrank.htm

Art Eatman
April 26, 2003, 08:26 PM
euclid, Texas and Oklahoma have been going at each other since long before I wuz borned. It's just one of those things. Ya gotta be in the Cottonbowl for Boomer Sooners agains Go, 'Horns! to really get a feel for it.

New Mexico? They're just jealous, is all. Texas horses keep winning at Ruidosa. Heck, before Interstates, the only decent pavement in the state ran from the capitol building to the governor's mansion...

:), Art

Dan Morris
April 26, 2003, 09:35 PM
You guys keep reminding me of the benefits and I just may move back home!
Dan

sm
April 27, 2003, 02:47 AM
quote:"Pretty cool story. I just moved to TX so I am trying to figure out why Texans are so damned proud to live in Texas. "

They are so proud they don't live in Arkansas :D

I'm in AR, lots of ribbing b/t our two states. I give my neighbors the respect they deserve. They have focused on education as the original post pointed out. AR threw money on lawsuits and forgot about the students.

Heck -we have been building roads since the Civil War, still not finished, they ones we do finish don't last and need fixin' ;)

Must be a good feeling also to know that WJC did't come from your state.

Don't mess with Texas, has other meanings too. ;)

trooper
April 27, 2003, 04:35 AM
Guys,

this is most interesting. If I ever emigrate this looks like a good place to start ;)

In the meantime I will consider it for vacation... haven't been to the US for 6 years anyway...

Thanks for the informative read.


Regards,

Trooper

Vladimir Berkov
April 27, 2003, 06:36 AM
The US Army (nor the Mexican) did not provide defence for the settlers such as it did in much of the rest of the Western expansion.

Well, I am going to have to take exception to that, considering that I had an ancestor who was a US army soldier stationed in Ft. Davis during the 1850's.

Art Eatman
April 27, 2003, 09:48 AM
trooper, you get around Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Shiner, New Ulm, Hallettsville or Westhoff, you can keep right on talking German. :) Hope you like polka music; FM 92.5 out of Schulenberg alternates Czech polkas with German. :D

Art

trooper
April 27, 2003, 10:25 AM
Yeah, the names sound pretty familiar... Do the old folks really still speak German there?

I dunno about the polka thing though... when I was about 12 yrs old they forced me to take a dancing class in Junior High. I guess I'm sorta traumatized :-)

But seriously, it sounds like a great destination for one of my next vacations.

BTW what does the Texan law say about foreigner renting guns at shooting ranges? There was this thread around about non-citizens in AZ getting into trouble for renting guns.



Regards,

Trooper

vapor22
April 27, 2003, 09:36 PM
Guns are cheaper, ammo is cheaper, beer is cheaper. No state TAXES!

Also we were our own country...

ahenry
April 28, 2003, 11:10 AM
Zander,
Reminds me of a past thought...is there any such thing as an organization which celebrates the Tennessee/Texas connection? Seems a Tenn-Tex Society would have more than a few members. If it doesn't exist, mayhaps we should start one... I dunno, I’d be interested in it though. My ancestors sauntered on over here from Tennessee in 1847 (some left TN before that to go to Alabama and then came here to join the rest a year or so later). Tennessee is a beautiful state with a lot of history and great people. I've always enjoyed my visits to TN, except for your speedlimits. :D

Britt
April 29, 2003, 02:00 PM
This thread has gotten me downright homesick. Wife is military so being in TX is a sometime thing, but it is home and will continue to be. However, there is one attribute of Texas that I haven't seen. Aside from the incredible scenery, history, lack of state income tax, there is the sheer spledor of UT coeds! I could be biased since I married one. BD

Johnny Guest
April 30, 2003, 12:05 PM
My Significant Other and I were doing a drive to DC and Maryland. We had both been through Tennessee previously, and I remarked that everyone we met had been just as friendly as folks at home. She replied, "Well, they ought to be. Tenneseeans are just a buncha Texans who haven't moved yet."

The Tennessee connection to the Lone Star has long been appreciated and is "remembered in song and in story." T for Texas, T for Tennessee. David Crockett and his little group riding into Bexar one chilly February, stopping at the ruined Mission San Antonio de Valero . . . . The valiant Maine Yankees and the New York Irish, with no give in them, dreaded facing a line of both Tennesseans and Hood's or Terry's Texans.

My forebears, mostly from the Carolinas and Georgia, began arriving in the days of the Republic, and straggled in before, during, and after the War for the Liberation of the Southern Confederacy. I can't claim much direct kinship with the Volunteer State, but some of 'em are bound to have traversed it.

Oklahomans and Texans? Animosity? Well, it may look that way sometimes. Kinda like the Irish, and the Scots. If we can't find outsiders to squabble with, we'll fight amongst ourselves.

Re: Intune's post: "A Texas man oughta marry a woman from Oklahoma. No matter how bad things get, she's seen worse."

We could go on and on - - -And have, in other threads.:) Drizzt, thanks for opening your "Interesting little history lesson...."

"Texians are just normal people, stuck 'way out on a limb."

Best,
Johnny

Dave R
April 30, 2003, 05:43 PM
Texans have plenty of reasons to be proud. You would not believe...

First of all, the story of Texan Independence, from Goliad to the Alamo to San Jacinto is just better than any fiction has a right to be. At least the way they taught it to me in Texas elementary school. Texas History was given twice the time of US history, and was more fun than story time.

Harris county is (or was) the rice capital of the USA. Where would we be without large quantities of inexpensive rice?

Cattle. Oil. Technology, now.

Beaches that would do the Carribean proud (Port Isabel, Padre). Big Bend would look at home is Zions/Bryce. The Hill Country. The pine forests. The fishing. The hunting.

I learned to shoot in Texas. I learned to surf in Texas (Art's right, its harder there...)

Good thing Idaho has big trout, sturgeon, and skiing.

Art Eatman
April 30, 2003, 06:01 PM
Trooper, you walk into a range that rents guns to shoot on-site, and I doubt that anything more than the normal ID would be required.

Dunno 'bout federal law now; used to be, a legal alien could buy firearms in the U.S. Anybody in Texas with legal papers can possess firearms, so far as state law is concerned.

Heck, state law allowed felon ex-cons to have a firearm in the home (but only in the home) for self-defense--but the feds pre-empted that...

Art

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