The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

Secular Life in the San Antonio Missions

goods.43 Most of the Indian clothing was made in the missions.
San Jose had a tailor shop,44 which must have been fairly suc-
cessful for Solis found the Indians "decently dressed, each having
two suits, one for work days and another better one for feast
days."45
Indians acted as carpenters, cabinetmakers, masons, and black-
smiths. The craftsmen built the furniture, shoed the stock, sharp-
ened instruments, and did general repair work around the pueblo.
Their equipment was varied. An inventory of tools in the San
Antonio missions included crowbars, axes, iron and steel, buck-
saws, handsaws, English saws, compasses, bits, beam scales, brass
scales, brass frames, shears, chisels, hammers, trowels, bushel meas-
ures, peck measures, bellows, anvils, blacksmith's hammer and
tongs, files, stone picks, and planes."4 The apostolic treasury sup-
plied tools made of iron; Indians and local Spaniards made tools
of wood and other materials."
San Jose had two mills. Although the nature of the sugar mill
is unknown, it was probably the first in Texas. The sugar cane
grown in the mission fields was converted into piloncillo (brown
sugar bars) and syrup or molasses. The padres favored the luxury
of brown sugar as a means to placate, or as they said, "regale"
the natives.48
Today a restored grist mill, probably built around 1768, stands
on the grounds of San Jos&. A ditch carried water from the San
Antonio River about two miles west of the mill. The water turned
a horizontal wheel mounted with millstones and then flowed into
the fields through another deeper ditch. This type of mill is
known as a "Norse Mill" and was used in areas of little water
with a high fall, usually in mountain regions."4
As pottery was made in other Texas missions, San Antonio
431bid., 20, 90; Kress, "Diary of Fray Solfs," Southwestern Historical Quarterly,
XXXV, 50; Morfi (Castafieda, trans.), History of Texas, I, 95; Garrison, Texas, 58.
44Morfi (Castafieda, trans.), History of Texas, I, 95.
45Kress, "Diary of Fray Solis," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXXV, 52.
46Castafieda, Our Catholic Heritage, V, 52-53, 55-
47Dabbs, "Texas Missions in 1785," Preliminary Studies of the Texas Catholic
Historical Society, III, 22.
48Castafieda, Our Catholic Heritage, IV, 12-14.
49Harris, San Josd, 13-17.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed July 11, 2014.