Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999 Page: 46
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
Miss Jennie Cunningham, afterward Mrs. Ben
Baker, was his assistant. After teaching a few
weeks she was called to Austin to her mother
who was very ill. Prof. Post came to me to
know where he could find someone to fill her
place. I could not help him, but promised to
see one or two girl friends. That night he asked
me to take the position. I hesitated, but after
thinking it over, I decided to take the place for
the time being. Miss Cunningham wrote me
she would not return but make her home with
her parents, so I kept the position and as far as
I ever knew was satisfactory. After Christmas
Prof. Post and Mrs. Kate Oakes who had a small
school in the Masonic building decided to unite
their schools and open a public school for the
benefit of the patrons. But when our school
opened, much to our surprise a Mrs. Nelson,
head of the negro school here, appeared and
was invited in. I had seen her before and knew
who she was and told Prof. Post. She informed
him she was Superintendent of the Public
Schools in this county and had come to open
and supervise the school, that she could report
it at Austin. Prof. Post having a quick intu-
ition, and much to my surprise, answered that
there would be no public school opened, but
that he and Mrs. Oakes were uniting their
schools but it was a private school. She was
very polite and said she had been misinformed
and left us. What a laugh we had. Prof. said,
"She thought me a Yankee and she could handle
me, but I am not one of her kind of Yankees."
Later on Mr. Post wrote to Col. DeGress, the
State Supervisor, and told him how matters
were, and he was told to open his public school
and he would not be interfered with. So that
was our first public school, 1871. Early the
next year Mr. Post's father died and he was
called home, and Prof. Riley was prevailed on
to take his place. I think that was in April. Mr.
Mahon who had been out of the state for sev-
eral months came home. He had written to me
asking me to not to go into the school this year
as he would be home and he thought we should
be married in the spring. However, I did go
back in the school, and when he came home in
March he insisted that I give up my position
and we be married. I hated to give up my work
but was married on June 4, 1872. About two
weeks after we were married Prof. Riley came
over one night and said Mrs. Oakes not being
well would have to leave the school. That would
leave only three teachers, the two primary teach-
ers and himself. So Monday morning found me
again at my work, and I remained until the end
of the school term. The next May brought to us
a beautiful baby girl. That settled the question
of my teaching school for a while.
It was this year we again had the yel-
low fever here in all its terrors. We lived at the
Cook place near Dr. Bowers. My sister and
little son had just come to visit us. Dr. came
over Saturday evening and announced the yel-
low fever and said we must all be out of town
before sunset the next day. We decided to go
to his half brother's (William Melor) near
Weimar, which was then only a few houses and
was the end of the track, only a few flat cars
going that far. My sister was put on the train
and sent back to Dallas. My mother went up to
Weimar on a flat car sitting in a rocking chair
to make the riding more comfortable. Mr.
Mahon, his two half brothers, I and baby went
in a hired carriage later that day. Mr. Mahon
told his brother before we got out that we were
refugees from yellow fever and that five bod-
ies of victims had passed our back door that
morning on the way to the cemetery. He gave
us a welcome and he said, "Get out. If we take
it we can all die together." He was just a big
hearted, clever man, and we never forgot how
well he treated us on that sad visit. Every
evening Mr. Mahon would go to Weimar and
would hear of one or two of our friends that
had gone. I think it was more than three months
before we could come home.
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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/m1/46/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.