train comes the arts and sciences. May they ever be as they now are the preservers of
goodness and the rulers of men.
Lastly, referring to the development of mind, he alluded to the claims of intellect in its infidelity, as ever tending to cloud the simple faith of the christian.
Thanking the veterans beautiful language for the honor conferred on him, he closed amid the plaudits of the large assemblage.
Then followed some more good music. W. W. Wheat then appeared and said that as his time was out he desired to resign his position as president of the Veterans association, and at the same time suggested that a small contribution from each one would help square accounts.
Following the resignation of Mr. Wheat, Judge Hare made a courteous and pleasant appeal in behalf of the retiring president's suggestion, and headed the list with a liberal contribution from his own pocket.
The dinner hour was then announced, and the crowd retired to shady nooks to follow up the "feast of reason and flow of soul" with a square meal of "yaller-legged" chickens and the customary accompanying substantials.
By noon at least fifteen hundred people were gathered on the grounds, not less than one thousand of whom had gathered around the speakers' stand to listen to the addresses. Gov. Hubbard did not put in an appearance, as formerly announced, but Mr. Beall, of Corsicana, treated them to such an elaborate view of Texas history, such an interesting statistical account of her progress, and so patriotic an allusion to the valor of the heroic pioneers, that the audience did not experience any dissappointment. The effort of Mr. Beall was indeed an agreeable surprise.
AFTER DINNER PROCEEDINGS.
After dinner the crowd was drawn to the stand by the music of the band when Maj. Reynolds took the stand, and in a touching speech, in which was mingled a good deal of the old man's experience, introduced Mrs. Judge Thompson, the oldest lady in attendance, who was to be crowned the "queen of matrons."
Judge W. W. Wheat, the president, then announced that Mrs. Porter would now crown the queen. Mrs. Porter stepping forward, Mrs. Thompson's bonnet being removed, her hair, frosted by many winters, neatly gathered into a club, and bowing her head toward the vast crown, placed the crown of flowers and evergreens upon her head, when the band played "Hail Columbia."
The Old Settlers' association was then called to order by the president for the next year.
Judge Wheat being nominated, said he was not in favor of the third term, and declined.
Horace Lea, Si. Collins and Jack Jennings were nominated. Mr. Lea declined and the name of Si. Collins was withdrawn, when Jack Jennings was elected president by acclamation.
Si. Collins was elected vice-president.
Jesse P. Loving was elected secretary and treasurer.
Sherman was then chosen as the place of meeting in 1882. The time was fixed for Wednesday night before the full moon in August.
On motion, the following were appointed a committee on credentials:
Wm. McKinney, Maj. Reynolds and Capt. Pattie.
Jack Jennings was introduced by the retiring president. When taking the chair he remarked that he felt like the president of the United States.
The following were appointed a committee on programme:
Capt. Jim. Woods, J. R. Jeter, E. J. C. Thompson, M. Y. Brockett, S. Hare, Dick Randolph, Jesse P. Loving.
Capt. T. J. Brown was introduced, and after a short apology, said it gave him pleasure to meet his fellow-citizens and old friends of Grayson and Collin; that the reunion of the fathers was always a source of pleasure, but he did not intend to review the days of the past; that these reunions was a good idea, and that when these fathers were gone the young men would perpetuate the idea. Those who first came were actuated by the love of liberty, and their history is one of hospitality and friendship. This history of men becomes the history of the state. What is Texas to be? With all her resources what is she to be? One view we would present. While the dead are entitled to all honor, yet it is men who have laid aside the sword, have developed our educational interests and brought out the latent energies of this country, who have been the greatest soldiers. Gen Houston's gloru is that after he had laid by the sword, he took the helm of a bankrupt state and aided in making her a great and free country. Aided by the great men around him who had left the dear ones behind them, he and they gave their lives for the good of a lasting peace. When all the clouds had passed and the people worked back to the old country, it was a great and glorious day when the Lone Star was transferred to the galaxy of the general government.
It was the sturdy arm of the yeoman to which we are indebted for our free government.
There have been departures in the Department of Law--the early settler came from countries of common law--countries who knew no exemptions. But these men, actuated by nobler ideas, did protect the Homesteads of the people. The ladies of this country owe more to the law of Texas than those of any other land. The woman is entitled to stand before the law the equal of man. There were those who were not at Goliad, San Jacinto, who are entitled to as much credit as those who fought; certainly this is true of the women of the country. The courage that undergoes privations is as great as any. The crowning to which we have all been witnesses points to one who stands God Mother to 39,000 people--surely the courage that preserve such women deserves the same amount of praises as the sanguined hero.
We have a good and great state and we will love and preserve her greatness.
Jack Jennings was then introduced as the president of the Old Settlers Association, who thanked the members for the honor conferred upon him, and said that the association presented themselves only as veterans who mowed the grass and turned the virgin soil for those who would succeed them. Something they had done, but the advantages of the day were far greater than in his day. They only lived and worked and suffered in the strength of that God, by whose power they lived, and to God they gave the glory.
Woman has stood by each old veteran as helper, and has never forgotten the place God has given her. "Under God's Blessing" is the motto of the "Old raw-hides of Texas." The proudest set of men in the world. Too proud to be mean, too proud to be stingy, too proud to be low; but genial, liberal and hospitable. "We are brethren." When these days are over the sun shall scorch no more; then we shall be received into the celestial courts above.
Mr. B. F. Christian was then introduced, who delivered the farewell address. He said that in the history of his short life he had found no duty harder than to say the word, "good-bye." Two years ago he had begun a history of the country; last year he had continued the history of a country redeemed. This year we had been givven this history in words better than he had to give. At this time, if he could tear down the "middle wall of partition: between the old Texan and the young Texan, he would do more than he could hope. Has the freedom of Texas been of any advantage to the people? Did you hear the speech of to-day? What are the products now? Look at the young ladies and the boys, and what will be the result: If he would take any one subject, he would that of education; and then referred to the location of the university. He thought we ought to go slow in locating at Austin. He thought there was too much red tape in school affairs. He would like to bequeath the old virgin purity to the youth of Texas.
About four o'clock it was announced that the Old Settlers' meeting for 1881 was closed, and visitors began making preparations to start for home. A number of Sherman residents remained on the ground until the soft shades of evening began to fall.
From four to six and a hafl o'clock the Sherman gun club furnished amusement to quite a crowd on the plateu just south of the picnic grounds.
The appeals of the lemonade stand proprietors to drain their tubs of thin gruel at five cents a glass was about the last thing to break the silence that gradually settled over the beautiful grove where old and new friends pledged the hand of friendship during two happy days.
And thus ends the third reunion of the Old Settlers of good and glorious old Grayson. A reunion during which old reminiscences have stirred their hearts afresh. The hand of fraternal love grasped once again. The hardships of pioneer life recounted anew. And may we not hope earnestly that they have derived both pleasure and profit from this generous outpouring of soul and expressions of respect for honest citizenship? They have returned to their homes to bide the unalterable decision of Time, looking forward hopefully to another annual gathering.
May Heaven bless them, and bring old band together many years more, with not a wrinkled face missing of venerable graybeards or silver-haired matrons who led the way in preparing this noble heritage for us all. This is the Courier-Chronicle's highest and greatest wish.
Old Settlers Association (Grayson County, Tex.). Old Settler's Association of Grayson County, Vol. 1.. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth11279/. Accessed June 3, 2015.