Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999 Page: 14
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
soldiers left town on March 1. He himself left on March 18. Stevenson remained to sort out
By the time Stevenson arrived, only one freedmen's school was operating in
the county. That school, in Columbus, had more than thirty students, and was taught by a
black woman named Mary Mathews who was educated in Ohio. Soon, Louis A. Beaumont
had opened a school at a small community south of Columbus that had come to be known as
Jones Bend, and N. B. Roach had opened one in Alleyton. In the fall, three more freedmen's
schools opened in the county. By then, Stevenson's efforts were threatened by a rapid and
severe escalation in the number of racially-motivated violent crimes in the county.23
Of course, schools for whites continued to operate. The most important of them,
Colorado College, seems to have closed during the war. It reopened in September 1865.
Again, two ministers were in charge, one of whom was John Jacob Scherer. For the term
which began in January 1866, James J. Loomis returned to the school. But the school's
financial difficulties persisted. It had been mortgaged to the estate of the man who built it,
Gideon Scherer, on August 31, 1861. Scherer's posthumous ownership of the facility at-
tached it even more firmly to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, so firmly that the legisla-
ture, on November 5, 1866, stipulated that henceforth a majority of members of the board
were required to be Lutherans, and that the school and its grounds were exempt from taxa-
tion. Finally, on March 18, 1871, the local Odd Fellows lodge bought the school from the
Another important institution resumed its pre-war course shortly after the war.
Columbus and Colorado County again got a newspaper in April or May 1865. The new
paper, called simply and perhaps provocatively, The South, apparently was established by
James Davis Baker. Very shortly, his younger brother, Benjamin Marshall Baker, who had
surrendered with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House, returned to town. Together,
the two reestablished the Colorado Citizen. The new Citizen, however, did not last long.
When Jim Baker decided to leave Texas for health reasons, apparently in early 1866, the
two brothers sold their newspaper to Fred Barnard, a Columbus attorney. Neither Barnard
nor any of the numerous subsequent owners and editors over the next few years, among
them James Monroe Daniels and Andrew J. Vaughan, were involved with the paper for very
22 Monthly Report of Enon M. Harris, August 3, 1867, Letters of William H. Sinclair, December 8,
1867, January 30, 1868, Letters of Louis W. Stevenson, February 29, 1868, March 20, 1868, Report of Louis W.
Stevenson, April 30, 1868, Report of William H. Sinclair, May 20, 1869, all in Barry A. Crouch Collection (Ms.
41), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus; Houston Daily Times, October 8, 1868.
23 Reports of Louis W. Stevenson, April 30, 1868, May 31, 1868, June 30, 1868, September 30,
1868, all in Barry A. Crouch Collection (Ms. 41), Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus. Jones
Bend, named after William Jefferson Jones, who owned the nearby land, would later develop into Vox Populi.
24 Colorado Citizen, September 7, 1865, May 5, 1866; Colorado College Bond and Mortgage Records,
Book E, p. 590, Book G, p. 436; Gammel, comp., The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, vol. 5, pp. 1479-1480.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999, periodical, January 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151405/m1/14/?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.