The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 246
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246 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
anyway. The job was completed in a short time, but the steel
in the hatchet proved to be of such poor quality that it was
obvious that the axe (which it resembled now more than it did
a hatchet) would not stand cutting into hard wood. The charges
amounted to only one dollar, and with a short handle about
thirty inches in length the axe proved to be rather attractive.
The axe was single-bladed and weighed about two pounds. Its
cutting edge had been lengthened to about five and one-half
inches, whereas the poll was only two and one-half inches long.
In a short time the owner of the little axe became quite
attached to it, and one day while cutting some small cedar brush
around his house, he found that the axe was admirably adapted
to such work. Cedar wood is soft, and the cedar bush rarely
grows more than four or five inches in diameter. But as the
blacksmith had warned, the metal was too brittle, and after
limited use the blade broke again.
Weiss had become so attached to his prize axe by this time
that he decided, if possible, to have an exact reproduction
made. He secured a new three-pound single-blade axe and took
it to his blacksmith friend. This was an ordinary axe with a
poll approximately four inches long, which tapered out to a
blade of about four and one-half inches. Krueger heated the
new axe and cut off about one and three-quarters of an inch of
the inside edge of the poll, leaving the blade appreciably wider.
Since the axe was now too thick, the blade was hammered out
about another inch. The finished implement weighed about two
pounds, or slightly more, with an over-all length of seven
inches, and a handle of approximately thirty inches. The
shape of the outer edge of the axe was not changed, but the
inner edge was tapered to give the chopper a better chance
of hitting his mark. This had functional value, especially when
the chopper had to make overhead swings-sometimes with
only one hand-in order to trim off limbs before felling the tree.
The new axe proved to be even better than the first one and
is still in Weiss's possession.18 He has used it for over sixteen
years and is so sentimental about it that no amount of money
could persuade him to part with it.
At this time Lee Judd was making frequent trips to the
cedar country as a factory representative for the Hartwell
13The story of how the first cedar axe came into being was told to Gene
Hollon by Henry Weiss, March 4, 1944.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/291/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.