EMMA B. SHINDLER.
My subject is a near and, dear one. San Augustine was my child-
hood's home; around its hills and valleys, its placid streams and
hawthorn thickets the sweetest memories cluster. The haws, the
ratans, the grapes, the persimmons, and all the wild berries and
fruits and flowers that had their homes in the environments of the
town were eagerly sought for in my early years with the compan-
ionship of a dearly loved brother, making the memories of those
haunts doubly precious.
In speaking of the early days of San Augustine I heard my
mother say she and her husband were the first persons to drive on
Columbia Street, now the main street; as she came into the town
the street was just being cleared, and the workman made way for
her to pass. That was in '33 or '34. The town, however, was
established in '31, and was growing rapidly.
Of course, my knowledge of the early days of San Augustine
consists of the reminiscences of my father and mother. It was
a very charming place to visit, the society being cultured and
refined and the people wonderfully hospitable. Parties in which
the old and young took part were of frequent occurrence, and the
gentlemen visited in the evenings with their wives. I remember,
myself, those social calls, for they were not out of date till some
time after the Civil War.
San Augustine was the gateway of Texas and for a time boasted
of being the Athens of the State. The three-story University and
two-story College showed the respect paid to education. I have
heard that as many as two hundred pupils have been enrolled at
one time in each school. I know there were handsome homesteads
in early days, for my father's house was built in '37, and his was
of later date than several others. All of them bear the wear and
tear of time's usage remarkably well, showing that our fathers
knew the value of good lumber, and built substantially.
1Read before the Concilium Club, Nacogdoches, May 18, 1899.
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/. Accessed May 5, 2015.