a3 D M I 1994lo, _
must have been surprised! They went to live
in Beaumont. Tom was an engineer for
Sternberg Lumber Co. there. Later, they
came to live with us in Harrisburg. We had
gone there to be nearer Father's work.
Father conceived the idea of building
a large flatboat to carry cord wood from difficult
places on Bray's Bayou. Tom helped
him in his undertaking. They built it bottomside
up on the banks of the Bayou. How they
got it into the water I don't know, but I remember
they piled sand on the far side of it
to tip it over, which must have worked.
They named the barge Willie for Eva's baby
son, who was born in Harrisburg.
Like so many of Father's schemes,
the venture was a failure, so Eva and Tom
went to Olive, a small sawmill settlement.
Fred Shepherd had married Jennie. Tom and
Fred's mother, a very fine and well-educated
woman, was living in Florida, and Fred and
Jennie joined her there. They only stayed a
few months. They did not like it and decided
to come to Olive. Their daughter, Maude,
was born there.
It seems to me we must have done a
lot of moving those days as we again went
back to Houston. Tom and Eva rented a farm
near there and tried farming. Father and
Mother bought an acre of land a short distance
from the old fair grounds, it is about
where the Rice Institute is now. We built a
small house as our family had dwindled to
the last two girls. Emma and I loved it. We
had an old horse, Robin, which we were allowed
to ride whenever and however we
wanted to. Such racing and jumping over
logs and ditches!
Sarah and Phillip had gone to
Galveston. They lost their first two children.
Phillip had taken up the trade of a blacksmith
and was doing very well. About that time, I
had a craving desire for more education, so
Mother let me go to Sarah's and try and get
in the high school. I had to study very hard
at home to get in as our schooling had been
very irregular up to that time. However, I
made it, and I am sure I'll never get such a
thrill out of anything as I did when I started
school at Ball High in Galveston. I only
went for a few months as I was needed at
home. I got work at Repadorph's Trunk &
Awning Factory. Eva and Jennie had worked
there before they married and had done very
well. I liked the work too. I made $1 a day,
and was I proud to take every week's pay
home to our brave darling Mother!
We sold that place and moved to
town. We rented a big old home on San
Jacinto St., and Mother started keeping
boarders, always her outlet. Eva was expecting
another baby by this time, and came to
be with Mother. It was another boy named
Frank. He was very frail and for a long time
it was a struggle to keep him alive.
One of our boarders was an Englishman,
Harry Hodges. He worked for the
Wells-Fargo Express Co. He was one of the
messengers and had a run between Houston
and San Antonio. We were married at Christ
Church by Dr. Beckwith, Nov. 14, 1888. I
stayed in Houston until the following summer
when Father and Mother decided to go
to Sarah and Phillip. They had gone to
Portland, Oregon. Phillip, in a very strange
way, had heard from his brothers. They had
been separated since Phillip was a child.
When we moved back to Houston
from the farm, we had a neighbor, Mrs.
Charleston. She was very much interested in
spiritualism. A fad among a great many
people at this time was table-tapping. A
group would sit around a table with their
hands extending and fingers touching to form
a circle. A question would be asked. So
many taps would mean 'yes" and so many
"no." Mrs. Charleston noticed Sarah had unusual
power in a physic way and before any
of us realized it, she was doing unheard of
things such as getting bracelets off her arms
with her wrists firmly tied to the arms of a
chair. Then she started writing.
At that time she had very little
schooling, and none of us had even heard of
Oregon, and the name "Astoria" was out of
the question. To reach Oregon then, one had
to go by boat or stage from San Francisco, a
very long and hard journey.
MAR CH 1994
Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994. San Antonio, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39868/. Accessed May 29, 2015.