My kids have a store!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Driving cattle up the trail

In the 1870s local ranchers began to gather up herds of cattle to drive north to market, according to a master's thesis by Frank R. Gilliland given to me by my friends Sandy and Jon Wolfmueller.
When we think of the history of this region of Texas we think about cowboys, and it's true great cattle drives originated here. It's also true the period of those cattle drives was brief, only a decade or two, as transporting cattle to market by rail became easier, quicker, and more reliable.
But the legends of those cowboys and the cattle drives they endured continues to be a part of our local culture.
Unlike most of the movies we've seen, most of the cowboys on those cattle drives were young, and most only made the trip once. It was a very difficult journey.
According to Gilliland, "the herds had increased sufficiently by the 1870's for a number of Kerr County ranchers to send cattle 'up the trail.' Some of the largest buyers were Charles Schreiner, Hance Burney, R. H. Burney Sr., Thomas A. Saner, and C. C. Quinlan. Among the herd bosses and cowboys who made frequent trips to Abilene, Dodge City, Wichita, and other Kansas markets were Jones Glenn, Sam Glenn Sr., Jesus and Simon Ayala, John M. Hankins, Seebe Jones, Elick and Jim Crawford, Bill Wharton, Till Driscoll, Zack Light, Doc Burnett, Buck Hamilton, and Bill Caveness."
The cattle drives were essential to the development of Texas, providing capital in a land without much money.
Gilliland quotes a report given at the 1917 reunion of the Old Time Trail Drivers' Association:
"At the close of the Civil War the soldiers came home broke and our state was in deplorable condition.... In 1867 and 1868 some of our most venturesome stockmen took a few small herds of cattle to New Orleans, Baxter Springs and Abilene, Kansas, and other markets. The northern drives proved fairly successful, though they experienced many hardships and dangers going through an uncivilized and partly unexplored country. The news of their success spread like wildfire, and the same men and many others tackled the trail in 1869.
"At that time it was not a question of making money; it was a question of finding a market for their surplus stock at any price. There was very little money in the country and no banks or trust companies to finance the drivers. In the great undertaking some of them drove their own stock and others bought on credit to pay on their return, giving no other security than a list of brands and amounts due...1870 was a banner year at all the markets. Excitement ran high; there was never such activity in the stock business before in Texas. Drivers were scouring the country, contracting for cattle for the next spring delivery, buying horses and employing cowboys and foremen. Many large companies were formed to facilitate the handling of the fast growing business.
"This work generally lasted from April 1st to May 15th. The drivers would receive, road-brand and deliver a herd to their foremen, supply them with cash or letters of credit, give the foremen and hands instructions and say, 'Adios, boys, I will see you in Abilene....' Some of the drivers would go on the trail, others would go by rail or boat to the markets, and lobby around waiting for the herds, sometimes going down the trail several hundred miles to meet their herds, often bringing buyers with them."
I'll share some more about cattle drives next week. Until then, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native knows all the trails in the Lone Star State, then something about a V-8. This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times October 15, 2016.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday Link Pack

Tivy High School Band, around 1957
I notice the band had cellos and upright basses, but no violins and violas.
Kerr County Judge Tom Pollard is the trombonist sitting between two girls.  Smart fellow.
Click on image to enlarge

Here's a gadget straight from science fiction: making phone calls with your finger tips.

If you've ever tried to draw using perspective, you know how tricky it can be.  Next time, how about this simple hack.  Why didn't I think of that?

Don't take other folks' anxiety.  Here's a tip to designers, but it can apply to everyone.

Pop-up books have always fascinated me.  Here's one which is amazing.

My favorite weather app is now available for your desktop.  I think the maps are pretty cool.

A book of essays by Mary Oliver?  Yes, please.

Looks like the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center is hosting a writing and publishing workshop, hosted by a literary agent.  Info is about halfway down the page, so you'll need to scroll down a bit.

Finally, a way to look smart in brain storming meetings.  Definitely gonna try several of these. Apologies for the crude language in the story.

Monday, October 10, 2016

105th Anniversary of Tivy High School Football

1913 Tivy High School football team.
Tivy had its first football team in 1911.
With the homecoming festivities at Kerrville's Tivy High School this week, I was reminded of an article I wrote some time ago, about the very first Tivy football team, and their first season.
In 1911 Professor Alvin Dille, who later was superintendent of the Kerrville Schools, organized the first football team at Tivy.
Jan Wilkinson, a Facebook friend and descendent of Joshua Brown (the founder of Kerrville) emailed me an article from the September 26, 1957 issue of the Kerrville Times, written by E. T. Butt, who was himself a member of an interesting Kerrville family.
"Football came to Tivy in the fall of 1911," the page one article begins. "Prior to this time baseball was the principal sport and when school started in September the boys started baseball and played until the weather became too cold.
"Then the games became varied. A form of Rugby football was played in which sides were chosen and the opponents tried to kick the ball over the goal line of the opposing team. One and Over, which is a form of leap frog, was played a great deal.
"Basketball was also a popular sport and Tivy had top teams both of boys and girls. Games were played with Center Point, Bandera, etc. Of course, the game was a great deal different from the way it is played at present, and a player would not get very far dribbling as they do now. It was mostly a passing game.
"Volleyball was also played, and track came in for its share of the time. In each of these, however, there were no opponents from other schools.
"Then in the spring when it began to get warm, baseball was started again and played until school was out in May. Games were played with teams from other towns near Kerrville.
"In the summer of 1911, Professor Alvin Dille . . . was elected head of the Kerrville Schools. When school started in September, one of the first things he did was call all of the older boys together and to say, 'Boys, we are going to organize a Tivy Football Team. Who wants to try out for the team?'
"Of course, almost all of the boys were interested, although there was not a boy who had played football before and but few of them had even seen a game. There were a very few holdbacks, however, for nearly every boy who wore 'long breeches' tried out and there were about twenty on the first squad."
"Professor Dille taught the boys the fundamentals of the game. The team worked from a straight T formation. Only simple plays were used -- such as end runs, 'line bucks,' and forward passing.
"We had one or two so called trick plays. One was the criss-cross in which the quarterback gave the ball to one end and he gave it to the other end coming from the opposite direction. It was slow, though, and we never gained much with it.
"The Tivy boys had no uniforms, but wore old baseball uniforms or caps, old sweaters, or anything they had. A few of them got hold of old pieces of football equipment," Butt wrote. "I acquired a nose guard somewhere and it was responsible for the only touchdown we scored that season.
"The town team was punting and I broke through the line and the ball hit my nose guard and bounced back over the kicker's head and over their goal line, and Lewis Moore, a Tivy end, fell on it for a touchdown.
"The football field we played on was on the southwest side of the campus from Tivy Street back to where the Auld building is now." The Auld building still stands behind the old Tivy Elementary School campus; I'm guessing the field they used was the big field along College Street.
"The regulars on Tivy's first [football] team were Bob Horne and Lewis Moore, ends; Alex Dietert and Gene Butt, tackles; Claud Denton and Harry Dietert, guards; Eric Beecroft, center; Earl Garrett, quarterback; John Williams, right halfback; Remus Kelly, left halfback; and Tate Hodges, fullback. On the squad were Alois Remschel, Dan Auld, Payne Williamson, Jack Pearson, and others I do not recall."
Thanks, Jan, for sending me the article.
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who's been in Kerrville for more than half of the Tivy football team's history.  This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times October 8, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

A tour of downtown Kerrville as it was before 1920, continued.

As I reported last week, I've been looking for something in my files, which means I've been finding all sorts of other interesting things other than the thing that started the whole search. This seems to be the story of my life right now.
Last week I shared a letter postmarked November 1995 which included a map and a description of Kerrville before 1920, sent to me by the late Anna Belle Council Roland.
Let's continue our tour with Ms. Roland of downtown Kerrville, as it appeared before 1920:
"Close to [Weston's] Saloon was a barber shop with the usual bathtub. It wasn't until bobbed hair became acceptable after World War I that women went into barber shops. It was an invasion into a 'man's world.'"
The Weston Saloon was in the building at the corner of Earl Garrett and Water now housing Francisco's Restaurant. The barber shop she describes was on Water Street, next door.
Next, "in a small building was the First State Bank, organized in 1907.
"Fawcett's Furniture store was about in the middle of the block. [Today it is the home of the Sunrise Antiques Mall.]
"The Dixie Theater was located between Fawcett's and Noll's (the present day River's Edge Gallery). It was a barnlike structure. The movie screen was at the front, the seats were crude wooden benches, and the floor was dirt. This was the only movie we had from about 1920 to 1927.
"On the corner was the H. Noll Stock Company. It was a general merchandise store. It was run by Mr. Noll, his two sons, and his son-in-law. I don't remember when it closed. Later there was a Goodyear store there, and then the Home Center."
At this point the tour doubles back to Earl Garrett Street, starting at the tall stone building now housing Sheftall's Jewelers.
The building, before 1920, was "the Masonic Hall. Until about 1919 the post office was downstairs, and the Masons and Eastern Star met upstairs. This building still stands.
"There were several small occupancies along the street in frame buildings. About three-fourths of the way down the block was a large store built of concrete blocks that housed a saddle and harness shop. They also sold buggies.
"The corner building, a masonry structure, still stands. It was at first a store and later Wheeless [sic] Studio." When I was a boy (in the 1960s), Fuzzy Swayze had a studio in the corner building; today it is a law office. I think the Kerrville Mountain Sun was also in the building for a while, early at the turn of the last century.
On the corner across the street from the Guthrie building, going north on Earl Garrett, was the Mercantile. "On one side they carried piece goods, men's clothing, and shoes. The other side was more of a hardware store with pots and pans, dishes, etc. Also, this was where you bought school supplies and textbooks before the state began to furnish them in 1918. They also carried toys -- here you contacted Santa Claus. They had a good candy case.
"In about the middle of the block was Mrs. Florence Butt's first grocery store. She, too, had a case full of good penny candy."
Mrs. Roland also described the Kerr County Courthouse in her letter:
"A two-story limestone structure very similar to the present Bandera County courthouse. There was also a square building with the jail upstairs and the jailer's family housed downstairs. The present courthouse was built in 1926."
I hope you've enjoyed this pre-1920 tour of old Kerrville. Our little town was very different not too many years ago.
Until next week, all the best.

Joe Herring Jr. is a Kerrville native who is still looking for something in his files.  This column originally appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times September 24, 2016.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saturday Link Pack

Tivy High School choir, 1968
I see several of my Facebook friends in this image

How many names for bodies of water do you know?  This list of 58 terms taught me a few.

Not a cat person, but I live with one.  Funny what happened to an subway station in London.

This kind of makes me want to buy an  old soft drink machine, and place it on Water Street.  We all like a mystery.

Here's a clever way to demonstrate the relative size of different buildings, ships, objects, fictional places.

Who knew?  Both Florence Nightengale and Abraham Lincoln relied on early infographics.

A video about the creation of the title sequence of Stranger Things.  Yep, I'm kind of a font geek.

I'm old enough to remember using most of these methods for graphic design around the print shop.

A video documenting one traveler's upgrade to first class on a flight from JFK to Dubai.  Crazy opulent, and super expensive.



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