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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
August 20, 2014     Hays Free Press
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August 20, 2014

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Hays Free Press August 20, 2014 COMMUNITY Page 5C + ai . egOVernment wagon forded the Red r on Aug. 20, 1857 and began the long, hard trip across the Lone Star State. What it was like to travel in Texas in those hot and dangerous days before cars, trains, planes and- gasp! - air conditioning? While most voyagers were too busy staying alive to record their impressions for posterii , a member of an 1850's caravan kept an unusually detailed daily log that provides a rare first-hand account. The men-only wagon train under the leadership of Col. lames B. Leach was 53 days out of Memphis, when it rolled into Texas on that summer day a century and a half ago. The job of the construc- tion crew was to improve the road from E1 Paso to Fort Yule, but first they had to get there. Their initial night under the Lone Star stars was spent nine miles south- west of Preston, a Grayson County hamlet dismissed by the anonymous com- mentator as "a place of but little note." (Old Preston, as it is now called, lies in a watery grave under LakeTexoma.) Three days later, they passed through Gainesville, the only town on the itinerary. The next day, the expedition encountered "several antelope, the first we have met with. A few hot headed Nimrods gave chase to them but they might as well have chased the North VVmd." Following the trail blazed in 1849 by Gen. Randolph B. Marcy, Col. Leach and his men saw their first rattlesnake on Aug. 30 and on the 31st finally came face-to-face with honest-to- goodness Indians. The rattler was killed, but the red men, a couple of Caddo and a like number of Delaware, could not have been friendlier and were allowed to live. The next noon, the wagon train reached Fort Belknap on a hill overlooking the Brazes River and a short hop from the future town of Gra- ham. Refreshed by two days of military hospital- ity, the gadabouts aban- doned Marcy's trail for a more southerly course. The long-distance sight- ing of Comanches clearly unnerved the chronicler. Conceding the fact that the Indians on their res- ervation were "at present at peace with the U.S.," 11ds Week in Texas History by Bartee Halle "[Native Americans] at present are at peace with the U.S. But little reliance is placed in the good faith of these savages. Certainly a more villainous and treacherous looking set have not often been seen." -from the journal kept on expedition of Col. James Leach he added ominously, "But little reliance is placed in the good faith of these savages. Certainly a more villain- ous and treach- erous looking set have not often been seen." After four days of com- plaints about "a severe and obstinate case of inflam- the marion of the bow(e) Is and stomach," Col. Leach awoke too sick to travel on Sept. 6. The highlight of the day offwas the discharge of a man "for idleness and insubordina- tion." "He will tomorrow commence his solitary march back to the States," explained the expedition biographer, who forgot Texas was no longer a foreign country. Though still under the weather the next morning, Leach refused to let his illness impede their prog- _ESTATE Buda Bits Continued from pc. 1C The Third Thursday night dance is this week at the Onion Creek Senior Center in Rude. The Dean of Country Band will provide music. The kitchen will be open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and music will start at 6 p.m. The senior center is located at 420 Barton's Crossing, just off FM 2770. OOO A new business has opened in Buda that is just for little ones, Tania van Bree hasopened My Munchkin Music for infants and children up to five years old. Classes will be held at St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church at 723 RR 967. Contact Tania by email at tania@mymunchkin- or give her a call at 512-699- 2071. Birthdaywishes go out to Jim Morgan on Aug. 21; Gene Luna on Aug. 23; Joan Britton and Charles Malone on Aug. 25; Shirley Sears onAug,26. , To Order: Call this Newspaper Jirect, or call Texas Press Servic:~ at 1-800-749-4793 Today! OO0 Passing through Johnson City over the weekend, there were signs around saying "Pray for Rain" along with blue ribbons. We may need to try that around here! ress and gave the order to break camp. He spent the following week flat on his back without once relin- quishing command. The subject of the lon- gest entry in the journal was "a village of prairie dogs" seen on Sept. 11. "The active little denizens of this populous settle- ment were out of sight in an instant. During the daywe passed through a number of these towns and invariably found the little folk living therein retreating at a moments warning to their burrows where they are altogether safe from attack." By the time the wagon train pulled into Fort Chadboume, halfway between modem Abilene and San Angelo, on Sept. 12, Col. Leach was sinking fast. He agreed to stay behind under the care of the post physician and to catch up as soon as he was back on his feet. During the colonel's ab- sence, "an incident rather laughable" occurred. Ev- eryone had turned in for the night, when without warning the sentries test- fired their muskets. "One person, from whom nothing else could have been expected, sought a safe hiding place in the tall bear grass. He was speedily joined by an- other, a great tall strapping booby, who tremblingly asked in a whisper, 'Do you think we shall be safe here? .... At midday on Sept. 18, "Col. Leach rejoined the train much improved in health" and was wel- comed four aftemoons later by the worst storm of the journey. "Wind, rain and hail of great severity overtook us (and) such was the quantity ofwater which fell in the space of one hour that it converted the road into a quagmire. A norther in the meantime came sweeping down upon us, which rendered our situation exceedingly disagreeable." The wagons crossed the Pecos on Sept. 30 and tracked the river down- stream for two days before turning due west toward the Davis Mountains. Fort Davis waS a sight for sore eyes on Oct. 8 after a difficult week in some of the roughest and driest country in Texas. The weeklong trek to the Rio Grande tested the endurance of man and beast, but the leisurely pace of the last leg along the great river let both catch their breath. The Leach wagon train entered El Paso on Oct. 20 com- pleting the "waltz" across Texas in 62 days. The ragged bunch covered 824 miles in 56 travel days for an average of slightly under 15 miles. And this was accom- plished without the loss of a single life in spite of the man-earing reputation of the Lone Star frontier. Bartee Halle welcomes your comments, questions and suggestions at PO. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549 or and invites you to visit his new web site at barteehaile. com. r m' v n v ,din" ae ~ ] s mmmm n m ~ ~ mmm m ~ml ~ ~ m um m ,~ mr ~ m ~ mm ~ ~ - m mr Jmm m e . 1 m IW m" DRIVERS SHORT HAUL and regional trac- TexSCAN Week of tor/trailer jobs: start now! Top pay, paid holi- ust 17, 2014 days, paid vacations, guaranteed hometime, 30-70 ACRES, Southern Val Verde County. and great benefits. CDL-A. 1-877-261-2101 Hunting/recreationalproperty. Goodcover, deer, turkey, javelina, quail. Near Lake Amistad. Starting at $t562/down, $285/ OWN YOUR OWN Medical alert company. PAID CDL Trainingl No experience month, 9%, 20-years. 1-800-876-9720. Be the first and only distributor in your areal needed. Stevens Transport will sponsor Unlimited $ re~rn. 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Congratulations to the 2014 Hays County recipients of the ) I,.= t Jenna Harlan Mlryan Jara Olivia Marzullo Lehman High School Lehman High School Lehman High School , Texas A&M Texas A&M Texas Lutheran Biomedical Science Allied Health Sciences Biology Laura Meza Clara Ramirez Brenda Reyes-Monroy Lehman High School Lehman High School Lehman.High School Texas A&M Texas A&M Texas A&M Psychology Biology Biology I This year's class will join 231 current reci 0ients m more than 30 Texas colleges and universities studying health care. Kocurek Scholars receive up to $7,500 per year for up to eight years, including post-g raduate studies and medical school. Additionally, they are matched with a mentor in the St. David's HealthCare network who hel 0s guide them through college. g0r mdr l foff tiot ggout hol r llip, visit td vid found tlO ,org Shelby Scott San Marcos High School UT Austin Biology .~% .~ " Class of 54 Recipients 21 Different Majors 14 Universities Bamtrop, Ca~dwell, Travls and Willi mson County Recfpfent Rio Esquivel, Alfred A. King Chairman's Award Travis High School, UT Austin, Biology Khiem Hoang, Alfred A. King Chairman's Award Connally High School, UT Austin, Neuroscience I.~y~n Al-Sukhni, Vista Ridge High School, UT Austin, Computer Science I.ouh~ A, ngly,Lake Travis Hig h School, UT Austin, Neuroscience Allesandre Badella, KIPP: Austin Collegiate, Texas Woman's, Nursing Danlelle Badh, Leander High School, Tarleton State, Nursing Franz Belz, Anderson High School, UT Austin, Biomedical Engineering Caroline Beneke, Anderson High School, Baylor, Nursing Adlti Ch~lhe Cedar Ridge High School, UT Austin, Psychology Shiqi Chen, Manor New Tech High School, UT Austin, Chemistry Niang CMg, Travis High School, UT Austin, Nursing Ashley Ciosek, Anderson High School, UT Austin, Biochemistw Wellesley Anna DuBoh, Trinity, Graduate Studies, Hea Ithcare Administration Samuel Elchner, Anderson High School, Southwestern, Kinesiology Alayna Enos, Anderson High School, UT Austin, Biochemistry Alanna Esquivel, Crockett High School, UT Austin, Psychology Bryan E$~ad~, Lanier High School, Texas A&M, Microbiology Daniel Fergu$on, Round Rock High School, Texas Woman's, Nursing Calvin Geng, Vandegrift High School, UT Dallas, Biology Monl~ 6upt~, Connally High School, UT Austin, Biochemistry VIctoria Haas, Georgetown High School, Abilene Christian. Physical Therapy Haden Hudson, Taylor High School, Texas A&M. Biomedical Science Marlsa Hudson, Anderson High School, Rice, Ecology & Evolutionaw Biology Mehraban Kavou$$1, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, UT Dallas, Biology Farla Kazl, Pflugerville High School, UT Austin, Biology Mlchaela Lalrd, Westwood High School, Abilene Christian, Biology Alexander Law, Georgetown High School, Baylor, Pre-Med, Honors Malenle l.eyva, Manor New Tech High School, UT Austin, Biology Ollvlo H, McNeil High School, UT Austin, Pharmacy Blkram]It lubana, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Texas A&M, Biology Raquel l.una, Granger High School, Stephen F. Austin, Biology .lohnnle McElroy, Lake Travis High School, UT Austin, Neuroscience Mlchael Mendoza, Lanier Hig h School, Texas State, Nursing Trenton Montgomery, Bastrop High School, UT Austin, Nursing Jacob Maser, Round Rock High School, UT Austin, Business / Biology Kevln Nguyen, Hendrickson High School, UT Austin, Biochemistry Malthew Nguyen, Hendrickson High School, UT Austin, Biochemistry Natalie Nguyen, Connally High School, UT Austin, Biology Keyana Noorbakhsh, Vandegrift High School, UT Dallas, Biomedical Engineering Lauren Ollver, Georgetown High School, Texas A&M, Biomedical Engineering Brooklynne Palmer, Cedar Park High School, UT Dallas, Biochemistw Jacquellne Perez, Pflugerville High School, UT Dallas, Biochemistry Adam $1avlk, Cedar Creek High School, Rice, Biochemistry / Histow Dlano Ulmer, Cedar Park High School, Texas State, Physical Thera py Samantha Williams, East View High School, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Nursing Prl$cllla Wang, Leander High School, UT Austin, Chemical Engineering Molly Woodburn, Georgetown High School, Trinity, Anthropology