The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000 Page: 10
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Autobiography of Charles V. Compton by Don Raney
purchased farm. Uncle Tom and his big family also made a fine crop. I have been so busy telling about the business end
of our adventure that I have not told of the many happy hours we spent together and the many fine people we met.
And how fortune seemed to smile, when the two farms, lying side by side, were put up for sale at a reasonable price.
Uncle Tom and Aunt Saline liked the house at the top of the slope near a grove of trees that surrounded a fine spring,
their land extending into the San Gabriel River bottom on the north and on the hill to the public road across from our
farm. We liked the newer house and farm, which was some 300 yards south of their house and on the edge of the prairie
that spreads for miles south and west. Both farms had fair improvements, in fact there was an extra small house on each
Dear Brother Young aided us in locating these farms which were about one mile west of his own farm. He advised us to
buy and helped us with the negotiations with the owners. They were soon vacated and the very next day we had supper
in our new homes. Having sold our holdings in Kentucky, and figuratively burning the bridges behind us, we rejoiced
that Texas was our new home. However, we all cherished the dear memories of our old Kentucky friends, our old
homes and our loving relations.
And now, 70 years later, I feel that father, mother, Aunt Saline and Uncle Tom were directed by the Spirit of God to that
very spot. It was a good environment, the opposite in a sense, to that which we left behind. We were mindful that the
process of developing sobriety and character could be carried forward without the interruption that we were facing from
harmful influences. Vividly do I recall the many things that seemed to follow in rapid succession. First, there seemed to
have been a general attitude that resembled a homecoming or family reunion. We had all been transplanted in Texas and
knew that we would take root and grow. Our self satisfaction, happiness, optimism, and our love for our surroundings
all combined to make the picture perfect.
Mother and Aunt Saline began their heavy planning. They were going straight to the big moss trees to gather the soft
mellow folds and just say goodbye to their project of raising geese and picking feathers. We were soon to have a singing
class. We would have the Preacher visit us then
the girls, Mattie and the two Arizonas giggled and said we would have play parties and invite some nice cowboys and
the boys from the Hoxie Ranch. Then we four youngsters would chime in and talk about the coons, possums and
rabbits that were so plentiful that they would almost eat out of our hands. And of five gray hounds that Mr. Wesley
Hatcher owned and claimed that they were among the fastest in Texas. And that the prairie was alive with the swiftest
running mule ear rabbits on earth.
Then Pa and Uncle Tom would break in and tell of the Kentucky boys that would soon be in Texas and how glad they
were that Mr. Young could find a place for the newcomers. Remarkable it is, that fate directed us to the county in Texas
that produced more cotton, forty years later, than any other county in the world. That was in the year 1920 and in the
midst of a citizenry, though nearly 80 years newer than Kentucky, was the equal in culture and dignity to that of any
new county in America. Texas was then just thirty-five years old, or forty-six including the time that it was an
independent Republic. Many of the residences along the San Gabriel River indicated that for many years, families of
culture had been occupants. Georgetown, the county seat of Williamson County and Salado, both about twenty miles
from our location, were educational centers, that had for years been recognized throughout the state as being rated with
Of course, we new comers and the rabbit twisters along the Gabriel called for extraordinary talent and got it. We kids
were taught to sing the multiplication tables and to readily give the capitals of every state in the union. We were taught
the three R's, the games of town ball and annie over, to make speeches and to step high when Professor Wall, the
teacher, coach and athletic director, directed us to step. We got our exercise by walking three miles to school. The
average term was only about three months and it is remarkable that so much was learned in such a short time.
When we compared the effort it took to clear only a few acres of land back in Kentucky to the rich, black improved
Texas soil, we knew we made a wise choice. Work cattle were cheap and the steers used to break the land could be
borrowed and returned to the owner with thanks for converting them to work oxen. It was strange how quickly a wild
steer could be taught to walk under a yoke and then to turn to the right or left at the command of the driver, who
powerful raw hide platted whip. In 1880 we could travel south and southwest for miles and miles and see no farms.
Then, within twenty years, Williamson County was nearly one-half in cultivation. Ranchers, who had for years had free
range for their herds, protested because the land was being fenced by the owners. They began cutting wire fences, which
resulted in laws being passed that made the cutting of wire fences a felony.
The Dallas Journal
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000, periodical, June 2000; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186859/m1/16/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.