Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 2, May, 1992 Page: 104
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
When dinner (lunch) was ready my mother would tell one of the kids to call
Papa. We would yell "Papa, Papa, come to dinner." In the winter time it was a problem
because the shop doors and windows would be closed and then there would be an
argument as to who was going to get Papa. So Leon and myself decided to mount a cow
bell at the shop's rear door and string wire and twine on the fence posts, through the
arbor to the door of the kitchen. When dinner was ready we would pull the cord and
ring the bell to call Papa.
12. The Courthouse
I spent many hours in and around the courthouse. The courthouse block was
surrounded by an ornamental iron fence with gates on three sides with the east side
having two gates at the ends of the circular drive on that side. The drive had what I would
guess was a ligustrum hedge on each side. The courthouse itself was surrounded in a
circle of the same kind of hedge. On the south side there was and still is a water fountain
inside the circular hedge. Most of the black walnut trees were on the north, south, and
west side of the courthouse. On the outside of the iron fence there was a concrete curb
and then a sidewalk of finely crushed gravel about six feet in width. Inside the fence
was a space of about ten feet in which was planted a row of magnolia trees. This space
was kept clean of weeds and grass and had a small concrete curb separating it from the
rest of the yard. The area between the curb and the hedge was usually untended until
the weeds got high and then a man with a horse drawn sickle would mow it. Inside the
hedge area and the courthouse was grass and flower beds, particularly on the north side,
which Mr. [Bernard J.] Henicke, the custodian, tended.
In the fall, Mr. Henicke would rake up the black walnuts into piles. We would
take our little red wagon and haul loads of them and dump them into an old iron wagon
frame. Genevieve, my younger sister, and Leon and me each had a large oak stump, a
hammer, and a pick, and ate walnuts by the hour. We would also pick out a quantity
and my mother would bake a cake with them.
The inside of the courthouse was about the same as it is today. The floors
were covered with battleship linoleum, brown, and the custodian would periodically mop
it with a floor product that had an antiseptic smell which lingered for days.
In the courtroom on the second floor, there was strung fine piano wires from
the four sides of the room. The wires were about six feet wide set closely together and
intermeshed in the center. The wires were for acoustical purposes as there were no
electronic devices in existence then. On Sundays, the courthouse was open and we
would go to the courtroom and speak loud and listen to the sound reverberate. I note
that the wires are no longer installed.
On the west side, steps led to the third floor. There was a storage room and
the clock works. In the storage room there was a large trunk which contained some old
firemen's equipment. We would put on the old hats that had a ducktail in back to keep
sparks and ashes from going down the fireman's back. There were some old coats with
brass buttons and we put them on and pretended we were firemen.
13. World War /
World War I took its toll of young men in Columbus and Colorado County as
it had in most cities and towns everywhere. There were the Liberty Bond drives and the
troop trains through Columbus were vivid evidence that a war was going on.
Purchasers of Liberty Bonds received gold star emblems which were
mounted in a front window alongside of the ice card showing how much ice you wanted
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 2, May, 1992, periodical, May 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151385/m1/36/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.