The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 474
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
gifted child, was four years old when the Barrs reached Austin
in 1857, fourteen when they left in 1866.1 Sixty years later, eight
years after her mother's death, Lillie wrote down her memories
of those years in Texas, and sent the manuscript to the state
archives in Austin, where it remains. It is here published for
the first time, printed without corrections.
Memoirs of Amelia E. Barr
By Her Daughter Lillie Barr Munroe
1857 to 1867
"We are crossing the Colorado, Lady, the dividing line between
the outside world and California," said the Pullman porter to me
as the train slid over the bridge and the sun topped the high hills
and shot long shafts into a silver haze.
He spoke as if the Outside World was all back yard, and Cali-
fornia, Heaven. And I watching the sun rise on California, the
land of romance and dreams, remembered long years back, sitting
on Amelia E. Barr's my mother's knee, and leaning out of the
open window of the stage coach to look into the .[other] Colorado
River, and my round comb falling into its clear depths and settling
on the bottom as we crossed into Austin, or near it, for I think it
was at Jones ford, higher up we crossed, not at the ford nearer
the city of Austin. On that point I am not sure, but that in those
days no railroad bridge spanned the Colorado, and only the stage
coach brought people from the Outside World into Austin, then a
frontier city, I am sure. It boasted one long avenue that ran from
the Capitol the whole length of the city, shaded for quite a part
of the way by stately pecan trees. [E.M.] Smith's Hotel was where
the coach drew up, a two story frame building with wide piazzas
on which men, loosely garbed and wearing sombreros, panama, or
straw hats, sat tilted back on raw hide bottom chairs, the soles of
their boots taking the landscape from the top railing. From later
memories of the men who loafed here, no doubt the same tobacco
chewing crowd watched the stage draw up at Smith's Hotel that
day, and dislodge its occupants, answering the stage driver's salu-
tations with a wave of the hand, or a monosyllable.
Smith's Hotel was the hotel, as Hendrickes [sic] dry goods store
was the store; lower down was [C.] Spaldings, the saloon, then
Tonges Grocery store, in front of which Governor Sam Houston
and men of his fine type, who loved Texas as a young man loves
his first love, sat under the awning. I think the awning was of
wood that reached out over the whole sidewalk. Sam Houston al-
ways wore a wide panama or palmetto hat, his shirt was usually
'See Paul Adams, "Amelia Barr in Texas, 1856-1868," Southwestern Historical
Quarterly, XLIX, 361-373.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/552/: accessed June 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.