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Hays Free Press
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May 18, 2016     Hays Free Press
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t- Page 4C COMMUNITY Hays Free Press May 18, 2016 Richard Franklin Tankersley enlisted in an all- volunteer company of "minutemen" on May 24, 1858 and spent the next 60 days combing the West Texas countryside for hostiles. While he was making the frontier safe for neighbors and perfect strangers, his wife and six children - alone and unprotected - faced the constant threat of attack from the same Indians. Either the head of the household minimized the danger or never gave his loved ones' predicament a second thought. There can be little doubt, however, that Annie Allen Tankersley was starting to have her own second thoughts about a life-changing decision made ten years earlier. In 1848 she was the 20-year-old daughter of a wealthy Louisiana planter, when she fell in love with the handsome Mississippian who soon became her husband. Five years later, R.E, as Richard Franklin preferred to be known, convinced his obliging bride that the opportunity of a lifetime was waiting for them in Texas. They packed everything worth taking in a couple of covered wagons and headed west with their baby gift and two trusted slaves. The small but determined party crossed the Mississippi River by flatboat and did not stop for more than a night or two until they reached Georgetown. Any hopes Annie may have had of putting down permanent roots in an established This Week in Texas History by Bartee Halle community were dashed by R.E's announcement they were resuming their westward trek. R.E was looking for plenty of elbow room with good grazing, and that was where the Tank- ersleys made their new home. From their crude cabin south of Brown- wood, he "ranched more than two million acres of open range, which included an area that ran from west of Brown- wood to Brady, Chris - toval, For the past four months, half of the time he had been away, Annie and the children had been living in the officer's quarters at Fort Concho at the insistence of a major worried about their welfare. Mertzon, the headwaters of (the) Middle Concho River, Bronte, Robert Lee and Winters" accord- ing to the San Angelo Standard-Times. During R.E's frequent and lengthy absences, Annie Tankersley had no one but herself to depend upon having long since sent the unhappy slaves back to Louisiana. In a 1978 article, the editor emeritus of the San An- gelo newspaper repeated a story often told about her: "When her husband was gone, Mrs. Tankers- ley could be found sitting at dusk with a gun across her knees, ready for any attack." It is thought that R.E first laid eyes on the site of the Tankersleys' next homestead while scout- ing for Indians during the Civil War. Years later, one of the grown children had a vivid memory of the South Concho River in 1864. She could still describe "huge flocks of turkeys, and antelope and deer (that) roamed in herds of thousands. The buf- falo came in herds that in the distance looked like great swarms of flies." In five years, R.F's cattle herd more than doubled to 1,700 three- and four-year- old steers. With several hired hands, he drove the livestock to California where he was confident of getting a fair p'rice in gold for live beef on the hoof. Instead of the expected $18 a head, he received $25 which more than made up for the 700 steers lost on the trail. Fearing $25,000 in gold coins would prove too great a temptation for his employees, R.E paid them off and booked passage on a ship to Galveston. On the last leg of the epic journey, two fellow travelers relieved him of $500, a pittance in light of the fortune hidden in his bulging saddlebags. R.E arrived home with his life and his money only to find his family nowhere in sight. For the past four months, half of the time he had been away, Annie and the children had been living in the officer's quarters at Fort Concho at the insistence of a major worried about their welfare. Not to be upstaged by some meddling hero in a uniform, R.E built a home for Annie and the kids across the river from the fort in the new settlement of Santa Angela - the future San Angelo. Meanwhile, he invested the enormous profit from his California adventure in land and, of course, more cattle. With the largest herd in the region, the next logical step for R.E was to supply Fort Concho, Fort McKavett and Fort Stockton with beef. To keep the hungry soldiers well fed, he constructed and operated his own meat processing plant. After 28 years of marriage, Annie filed for a divorce in 1876. It had been a long time coming, and R.E evidently did not contest the lawsuit or the equitable division of property. R.E remarried within in the year and fathered seven more children in a tiny hamlet not far from San Angelo that he named for himself - Tankersley. That was where he was buried in 1912 following his death at the age of 84. Free at last to pursue her own dreams, Annie showed herself to be quite the businesswoman. She used the money from the divorce settlement to open the Concho House Hotel and kept it going through two fires and a major flood. The former southern belle was 71 years old when she passed away at her San Angelo home in 1902. Bartee's three books and "Best of This Week in Texas History" column collections are auailable for purchase at barteehaile, com. FARM E RS" Debbie Thames Insurance Agency AUTO HOME LIFE BOAT HEALTH 251 N. FM 1626 #2C Buda, TX 78610 Office: (512) 312-1917 Fax: 312-0688 Email: dvthames @ austin.rr.com Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm Your Business & Referrals Are Appreciated Austi', n 748 ' .: i::::: ::i::;::: .~ : :~ ~ i!.: ::: ::: It's About Thyme Continued from Pg. 1C way- overgrown vegetable garden. This is generally a dreaded exercise as the chiggers have made a home there along with their annoying buddies the mosquitos and other mouths with wings. I hate those things and my ankles have itched for the rest of the day from previous excursions there. 'Cowboy up' I told myself as I walked toward the bramble: 'This is for science!' I worked in the grass and weeds for over an hour. Not one bite! Not ONE! The plant is also an ornamental gem with deep green leaves and violet/magenta clusters of berries on the stems. (Jerry has a secret stash of a rare white berry variety he offers to special customers: code word 'google.') It grows to 7' x 7' and requires well drained soil. It also makes a good jelly. (More on that in the future.) Unfortunately it is NOT a mammal repellant and all sorts of furry critters love it; adjust accordingly. Science + Food + Aesthetics = Must Have! Happy gardening everyone! If you have a question for Chris, send it via email to iathyme@yahoo. com. Or mail a postcard to It's About Thyme11726 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748 www. itsaboutthyme.com Check It Out Continued from pg. 1C TEXAS STATE%V|DE CLASSIFIED AI)VERrFISIN(; NI;,T%~'OI/,K EMPLOYMENT REALESTATE Extend your advertising reach with TexSCAN, your Statewide Classified Ad Network. + One reaction people might have is "What? Why are there toys in the libraries?" And that's a good question! The Buda Public Library is working to earn the Family Place LibraryTM certification. This certification shows that we've expanded our children's services and parenting resources. Children in that younger age group are developing their brains and building social and mental skills by playing with these toys and tools. Playing allows young children to try out new vocabulary and practice new situations in a safe environment. It also can help them figure out how the world works. For example, a young child can use the blocks to build a tower. She figures out that if she doesn't build a stable base, the tower falls over, but if she does build a good base, she can make the tower quite tall. That's real-world physics at work. She then learns that if she doesn't let her big brother build too, he'll knock down her tower. There are the real-world social skills coming into play. In addition to the play area, we've also added to our collection of board books and created a Parenting Collection, which contains books, audios, and DVDs for parents to get more information about different aspects of parenting. 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Interested and need more information, Contact Harry Dufrene Email: at 1 800 749-4793 Today! maturehome@hotmail.com or text (440) 606-6371 NOTICE: While most advertisers are reputable, we ~Inlnlut yUUl lnll~ Vl uduvt~ 'Jl ~1 vi~-csa ldv=l [~=~J, Wo uf~Je readars to use caution and when in doubt, contact the Texas Attome_y_ General at 1-800~21-0508 or the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP. The FTC web site is www.ftc.govlbizop Publicize your engagements, weddings, anniversaries, new babies or birthdays to the Hays County community with an ad in the Hays Free Press. $105 ad includes text and photos. Call 512-268-7862 or email tracy@haysfreepress.com. I I I ii IITM