The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961

ife at Winkler
C. C. JEFFRIES
NE of the most deeply ingrained customs of the early
country was to go to the town of Winkler on Saturday
evening. Rural people everywhere have the practice,
more or less, of knocking off work and going to town on Sat-
urday evening, but in few places do they carry it to the length
they did here in the old days. It affected the whole community.
If a man had a little business to attend to, perhaps a plow point
to carry to the shop or some groceries to buy, this would furnish
a good excuse to quit work and go; if not, he had no good
reason, it made little difference, he would go to Winkler any-
how. Often those who were more given to the practice would
have been forehanded and would have come early to knock around
the stores all morning, smoking cheroots, eating salmon and
oysters at dinner-time, and getting otherwise all the day had to
offer. Then about one o'clock the main crowd would begin com-
ing in, and soon the burg would take on the appearance of a
miniature fair. These later arrivals probably had not seen much
of interest during the week, and they would be feeling the need
of air. They would not sit quietly, not long at a time; mostly they
would keep to their feet, getting all the news, and what was
more, letting out what news they themselves had.
These Saturday evenings were a clearing house for the neigh-
borhood. Here was a good place for a person to meet someone
with whom he had business. Here was a good place to make sales
and trades. If a man had an old shotgun he wanted to get rid of,
here was a good place to find a buyer. If one had a new stud horse
he wanted to show off, this was the place to find an appreciative
crowd. If a young fellow craved a game of dominoes, or dollar
pitching, or a trial of strength at lifting a bale of cotton, here was
the place of satisfaction. So, deep-set was the custom that if some
calamity had suddenly broken it up, it would have badly disrupted
the poise of the community. It should be noted, however, that

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed September 30, 2014.