Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000 Page: 26
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
and D. F. Frazell the junior member. The new bank did business as R. L. Foard & Company.
The same year, James Hendley Simpson and James Carlton opened another private bank in
town, James H. Simpson & Company. The Simpson bank was certainly the more success-
ful. On October 11, 1875, Frazell left the Foard bank. In March 1876, the Simpson bank
moved into a concrete building across the street from the courthouse, a sharp contrast to the
small wooden structure occupied by the Foard bank. By the end of 1876, Foard's bank had
There were also notable developments in agriculture. By 1876, many farmers
near Osage and Content, including notably Thomas R. Green and Mordecai Gibson Flournoy,
had abandoned cotton and begun raising sugar cane, producing from it syrup. Northeast of
Columbus, Charles Kesler had taken to making wine. Though Herbemont grapes grew best
in his three-acre vineyard, which he planted in 1866, he also produced considerable quanti-
ties of Concord and Catawba grapes. By the mid 1870s, his wine was sold in Columbus
stores. Two local nurseries, the Pearfield Nursery, which was opened about half way be-
tween Frelsburg and Columbus by Fritz Leyendecker in 1876, and the nursery of Clark
Finney, which was in business less than a mile north of Alleyton by at least 1877, afforded
county residents the easy opportunity to plant their own grapes, as well as pears, peaches,
plums, and ornamental trees and shrubs.33
32 La Grange New Era, August 2, 1872; Colorado Citizen, February 27, 1873, April 2, 1874,
April 9, 1874, April 30, 1874, October 14, 1875, March 9, 1876, March 23, 1876, December 21, 1876.
Though the earliest discovered mention of the Simpson bank is in an advertisement in the April 2, 1874
issue of the Colorado Citizen, William Henry Harrison's History of Banking in Colorado County,
Texas (n. p., 1976) reproduces, on page 16, a Simpson bank letterhead that states that the bank was
established in 1873. A document dated March 26, 1873 on the letterhead of the bank of Frazell &
Autrey is preserved in Leyendecker Family Papers (Ms. 37) Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library,
Columbus. Their firm was in business as early as March 6, 1873, when Charles Wesley Traylor
mortgaged his goods to them. They dissolved their partnership some time after July 2, 1873 but before
1874 (see Colorado County Bond & Mortgage Records, Book I, p. 217; Colorado County District
Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 3037: D. E Frazell v. John W Guynn, et al.).
33 Colorado Citizen, July 29, 1875, November 4, 1875, December 16, 1875, April 27, 1876, July
27, 1876, August 24, 1876, October 19, 1876, December 7, 1876, July 19, 1877, November 8, 1877; Price
List of the Pearfield Nurseries, Pearfield Nurseries File, Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library;
Colorado County Deed Records, Book P, p. 99. Kesler also had some success in growing apples and
pine trees. He lived in the area of the county that now contains numerous pines. The Citizen of July
19, 1877 catalogued the spread of these trees with: "A few days ago I had the pleasure of a visit to Mr.
Charles Kessler and his grapery, five miles North-east of Columbus. Mr. Kessler owns the pinery, and
surrounding his residence is one of the most beautiful pine groves that can be found anywhere. This
is the only pinery in this county or portion of the State, and for the past few years it has rapidly spread
throughout the post-oaks; and if the people would be more careful with fire in the winter and spring,
young pines would soon spring up all over this county, and in a few years would be of great benefit."
Though this might be taken to mean that Kesler planted the trees which grew into the presently
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000, periodical, January 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151408/m1/26/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.