Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 3, September, 1992 Page: 163
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A Rock Island Reader
Burnham, W. B. Dewees, J. W. E. Wallace, Thomas Burns, Peter and John
Tumlinson. These settlements were augmented in 1831-3 by Wm. G. Hunt, John
Matthews, the Montgomerys, Dillard Cooper and others. At the time this section
was greatly annoyed by a fierce and warlike tribe of Indians called the
Carankaways, who made frequent forays, robbing, plundering, burning and mur-
dering, and the early settlers were compelled to band together for self-protection.
The times were, indeed, fraught with danger, privation and suffering to the
pioneer immigrants to Texas, and many stories of the daring bravery of the
settlers in defense of their homes and loved ones could be collected, had we
But the object of this first ANNIVERSARY EDITION issued by the Rock Island
Land and Colony Co. was not a description of the whole of Colorado county,
(which has been well and ably done heretofore,) but to say something about
THE TOWN OF ROCK ISLAND
and the rich section of country surrounding it, which offer such attractive
inducements to immigrants. The company has secured seventy sections of land
in this vicinity from the I. & G. N. R. R. Co., about one-half of which has been
sold to actual settlers, some of whom have resided here a year, and are well
pleased with the investment, not only because of the productiveness of the soil,
but because of the mild and genial climate, the healthfulness of the location and
the social make-up of the citizenship.
Rock Island is situated 77 miles from Houston, 8 miles from the Colorado
river, 16 miles west of Eagle Lake, 24 miles from Hallettsville and 14 miles from
Columbus, the county seat - the town being on the San Antonio and Aransas
The Rock Island Land and Colony Co. is under the general management of that
affable, active and energetic gentleman, Mr. C. S. Penfield, ably aided by his
courteous, go-ahead and industrious lieutenant, Mr. Charles Peterson, town
manager. These gentlemen will afford every facility to prospectors to look at the
lands adjoining Rock Island and to give them any information concerning them.
The price of the lands are from $7.50 per acre up, and are termed
THE GRAY SHELLED LANDS
of the prairie. These soils are all quite productive, yielding a rich return for the
labors of the husbandman in good seasons, under proper tillage; and in this
connection it may be mentioned that some of he immigrants this year, although
unskilled in the cultivation of cotton - it being their first year in its tillage - made
a half bale per acre, and the season was not altogether favorable. Mr. Tinkler
made an average of four bales to five acres this season.
The embryo city of Rock Island is situated about half a mile from the timber
in the prairie, and the prevailing gulf breezes during the summer, the mildness of
the winters and the pure air of this section conduces the excellent health of the
people. The prairie lands attain the acme of the beautiful, and clothed in the
attractive verdure of spring, present a scene of surpassing grandeur and ecstatic
beauty quite beyond description. These lands have a gentle slope to the south
and southwest, are quite productive, and in time will be divested of cattle and
dotted over with improved farms, and they offer peculiar advantages to the small
farmer, who can buy them upon most accommodating terms. In truck farming
this section offers peculiar advantages, as almost all kinds of vegetables grow to
perfection on these lands; and besides corn, cotton, sugar-cane, hay and oats,
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 3, September, 1992, periodical, September 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151386/m1/35/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.