Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 42
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TEXIAN STOMPING GROUNDS
raise, I get plum homesick." Her home was part of the area
menaced by high water. During one of the worse floods a rescue
party rowed to her home. They found the water nearly to the
level of the front gallery, where she sat calmly fishing.
Fuel is also free for the cutting, and cedar posts-the cutting
and hauling of them or the burning of them for charcoal-have
furnished for years the only cash income of the Hill people. The
wood-cutter has had in recent years one expense in common
with the city dwellers; that is a car. But this takes a very small
cash outlay, for Model-T Fords still run in the Hills, and many
cars that less hardy drivers would consign to the dump-heap,
do duty for years.
Still, the small expense of keeping a car in operation is a real
problem. One woman said, "I ain't had a new dress in many a
day. I could get a ril prutty dress for a dollar down in Austin,
but seems like ever time I get a dollar saved up the truck breaks
down, and the ole man has to have the money. But I don't mean
to complain. Selling charcoal is his only way of making a livin'."
The boys often make, by trapping, enough money to buy new
clothes. Their first money goes for a wide brimmed felt hat,
an absolute necessity to a Hill boy; proud indeed is the boy who
can purchase one, for then he feels that he is almost a man. A
teacher of a mountain school soon learns not to be overfastidious,
for the boys find trapping skunks a profitable venture, and a
boy's arrival at school is often an unpleasant reminder of his
Higher education isn't considered an essential by the Hill
people, but most of them are loyal to their local schools. Many
of the mountain districts have voted a higher local school tax
than the other country schools, but because of low property value,
the schools are below standard. Until recently the term was
often only five or six months. Many children do not attend
regularly because of bad roads and the great distance from
school. The ages of the children in the first three grades range
from six to sixteen with the median for second grade about
eleven. At present there are ten mountain schools in Travis
county; all but one have eight-month terms, and it has seven
months. Some now receive special state aid, and others have a
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/50/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.