Old Settlers' Day.
The Old Settlers' Picnic and the circus came in conflict yesterday and
notwithstanding the prediction of the Old Settlers themselves that the circus would gain
the day, the picnic grounds were crowded, a larger attendance in fact than the previous
day. The Old Settlers' picnic is too highly appreciated, the attractions of and the
interesting manner in which reminiscences of early Texan life are told by silver-haired
men and women, was more than even a circus could disturb.
At the grounds the Germania Band of Dallas, discoursed sweet music to tenters "on the ground." The camp ground they selected is to be the place where all their future meetins should be held.
The first speaker of the morning was Col. J. V. Cockrell. His father has been a pioneer of Missouri, and the Col. says that when a boy he was many a night covered his head with the bed clothes from fright and dread of being scalped before morning.
He has overcome the feeling, however, and does not now indulge himself in that way.
The Col. was listened to with attention. The occasion, and the reunion of yesterday appeared to have put the Col. in a serious mood, for his laugh-provoking anecdotes were either forgotten or completely ignored.
The programme of the morning was not carried out as neither Piner nor Maxey were present.
The time was, however, agreeably passed in listening to speeches from Rev. Holman, Jack Jennings and J. P. Mills.
The Rev. Holman and Jack Jennings could remember away back in the past, when old gray bearded men and silver-haired women were prattling infants; when an old log school-house was considered more of an improvement than a three-story brick would be now.
When the buffalo roamed over our prairies, and the deer stalked through the woods.
When the old steel mills were the only methods of grinding corn; except the log pestle and mortar.
At the conclusion of Mr. Jenning's remarks, the hour for dinner was proclaimed and the Old Settlers soon forgot the pangs and trials of bygone years, of wounds received and tales of sorrow told while feasting on the many good things at the different tables. Yes! a good dinner, and on such an occasion what feelings it can subdue. Certainly venison must be greater than a Caesar, beef is an Alexander in its way, mutton is no doubt a good mediator, and with the assistance of chicken, turkeys and ham and pies, cakes and custard to cover the interstices, could conquer all the vaunted horrors of the heart, and completely triumph over grief. Then, dinner over, mirth and music sounded the dirge of care, while the loud laugh disguised its convulsive throes.
After dinner the organization was perfected for the ensuing year. Henry Richie, of Whitesboro, was nominated and elected by acclamation, President for the ensuing year, and Major L. W. Conner, Vice President.
J. P. Loving was elected Secretary and Treasurer.
Major J. M. Sivills, Marshal.
The next annual meeting will be on Thursday and Friday before the full moon in August 1883, at the same place.
Some favored having only one day, but Uncle Ben Christian couldn't think of it. One day was not long enough to shake hands with the Old Settlers.
The programme of speakers was disarranged by the absence of all who had been advertised to address them in the afternoon.
Calls were made for Silas Hare and Judge McCoy, but they could not be found.
On a call C. N. Buckler put in an appearance. and although not anticipating being
called on, made them a very pretty little talk. The close of which was a desire to never
have the subject of a division of Texas thought of.
Later in the day Col. John C. McCoy, of Dallas, was captured and introduced to the audience by J. P. Loving. The Col. was one of the real old timers, and his primitive traditions did not lack much of reaching way back to Adam's first green breeches. He could remember when a wolf's track was the most friendly looking thing, animate or inanimate, that could be seen for miles around where Sherman now stands, and it looked friendly from a resemblance to a dogs. When the first settlers came money was not known or in fact wanted. One could travel all over the country and not have use for a cent. Travelers would not be permitted to pay for lodgings and meals; in fact, the settlers would rather pay a traveler to stop all night and tell them the news than to not have him stop at all. that was their only vehicle for news in thos days, and star routes were not dtreamed of, much less the trials over their frauds.
Col. McCoy is as well, if not the best preserveered man of his age in the state. Every hair on his head and face is silvered with time, yet his step is as elastic as a youth's. He claims that he will be a boy as long as he lives, and don't propose to get sick, as he never enjoyed bad health. He is the noblest Roman of them all.
The dancing platform was thronged all the evening, some watching the dancers as their delicate feet twinkled round, others let their feet follow their hearts in beating time to the merry tune, while their eyes were restless, and lips parted with eager joy as they heard the sweet signal of "hands across and down the middle."
The Lamar Rifles gave an exhibition drill. Their evolutions were watched with much interest by many. Not being a military critic of course we cannot say whether they were equals or superiors of the Chicks or Crescents. If the spectators were competent judges, however, they were really good. We tried to get an opinion from one gentleman and he thought they were really good, but then remembering that he was a candidate did not know but that he had better qualify it some, as it might influence a vote, can't be too careful you know. The general impression they made and the expressions of all we heard were very favorable.
The death roll has only one name this year--W. C. Davis. Uncle Billy Davis who settled in Grayson county in 1848 in the Peter's colony.
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 December 9, 2013.