The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926 Page: 53
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rTh7e C(ity of Kent
was originally built, in spite of the Brazos and its annual fits of
temper after spring rains. Elms, black oaks, Spanish oaks, and
hackberries give the frisking squirrels a dignified harborage. The
sycamore leaves rattle a tale among themselves how in the sappling
days of the grove some seventy years back, Englishmen came driv-
ing ox-wagons. There were women with them, women in many
starched petticoats and cashmere shawls, and children, girls with
pantlets reaching to the ankles and bretelled aprons of a stout
calico and nankeen, boys with small jackets and linen trousers
flapping about the shoe-tops. The Englishmen built the first
house by the spring. In this cabin and others like it they
brought out their fine china and their silver dishes cherished care-
fully on the trip over the Atlantic and up by ox-train from Gal-
veston. And it is possible, although not historically authenticated,
that here on Christmas Day in the year of our Lord 1850, they
brewed a Pickwickian draught of "hot elder-berry wine well quali-
fied with brandy and spices" and passed it round and round, as a log
fire roared up the new chimney, toasting old English memories,
ano hoping "better times" for the newly dreamed city just begin-
ning to take shape about them.
Jimes C. Frazier, who was at that time a surveyor under Jacob
de Cordova, and who later became De Cordova's partner, found
these cabin doors open with true English hospitality when he had
occasion to travel up to the new colony. Among the families was
one by the name of Martin. Two of the sons had been clerks in
the Bzak of England, and Martin's daughter had married a jovial
Irishnan whose name was Ballentine. The Martin house was
built vith willow wattled from tree to tree, making a circular
dwellirg. The wattles were covered with mud and there was a
thatcher roof. The Martins had a good tent for summer but now
it was vinter, and there were other families living in dirt dug-
outs so that the wattled willow house was something of a palace.
Such hospitality as these English extended was never surpassed, it
is said, and those were the days when Texas was a hospitable
state. 'he Martins brewed a big silver bowl of punch which was
most acceptable, for the travelers had had their nerves tried severely
that day by Indian alarms. (Tradition has it that much of the
silverware brought from old England now lies buried in forgotten
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926, periodical, 1926; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/m1/61/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.