The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000 Page: 11
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Autobiography of Charles V. Compton by Don Raney
Perhaps there has been too much space given to the general surroundings and history of conditions rather than to the
individuals who were the actors in this great drama. We soon made the acquaintance of our well-to-do neighbor, Mr.
Hatcher, who owned an adjoining well regulated farm. He was a wise, eccentric character who lived alone. However, in
a part of his house resided an intelligent family of Negroes that bore his name, Hatcher. Some of the children were
white. The mother, Cindy, a mulatto, merely said, "Massa is a fine man." They continued to stay with him after slavery
ended. Any information we wanted, any farming implements we needed, we had only to call on him. Though a very
exacting person, he was a fine neighbor. There was a bachelor of middle age maned Moseley, an affable man, also
living on the Hatcher farm.
Our neighbors to the east, were the Dyches and and the Lowes, who resided on the same farm owned by Mrs. Dyches.
They were good, wide awake native Texans, cooperative and friendly. The youngsters in the Lowe Family consisted of;
Joe, Dave, Laura and Minnie. The Dyches family consisted of; Lucy, William, Ely and Bub.
Mother was anxious to see her brother, G. W. Duck (George Washington Marion Duck), who was sheriff of Atascosa
County south of San Antonio, about 150 miles from Circleville. One fine morning we threw some bedding in our
covered wagon and filled our provision basket and drove away at the speed of five miles per hour, arriving at Austin
that afternoon. My father pointed out to me the dome of the Capitol and made the remark, "You will remember this
when you are an old grey man." It was quite true, for I have never forgotten the sight. We drove through Austin and
viewed the amazing sights, camped near the Colorado River and left early the next morning.
Mother, father, Arizona, Billie and I were getting thrills out of the trip when rain came pouring down in torrents. The
trail was flat and muddy. At first, we enjoyed the novelty, but when the wagon sheet became soaked and it began
leaking, the novelty wore off. It was growing dark and the poor horses were barely moving. It gladdened our hearts to
see a dim light in a cabin. We turned in and were given a warm greeting by the occupants. When we said we would like
to spend the night there, they opened the door and said, "You can see the crowd we have and only two small rooms, but
you must get in out of this rain. There is a little barn a few steps away that will provide a shelter for you." We thanked
him and drove to the barn door, went in and found it almost empty. We took out our bed clothes and food basket, fed the
horses, had our supper and went to bed happy as larks. The rain came down like an avalanche but not a drop leaked
through. There has never been a rain peppering on a roof over my head since that I have not remembered that little barn
and how we thanked God for a roof that protected us from that down pouring rain.
We resumed our journey the following day. To our joy, we soon saw the wonders of San Antonio and the beautiful
park. We arrived at Uncle Marion's
home after dark. We had not written him that we were coming, just drove up and said hello. Uncle Marion lived in a
typical ranch house. He came out on the porch and invited us in. Father asked if we could spend the night, saying that
there were five of us. He said, "Come right in," and his wife and daughters had all given us a friendly welcome as
strangers before they discovered who we were. They were stunned, but happy to learn the Compton family had arrived
for a visit.
We spent nearly a week with the Ducks and wondered how any family could have won the friendship of a community
as they had. Uncle Marion had been the sheriff of Atascosa County for twenty-five years. He had arrested and put in jail
many so-called bad men, yet he had never owned a gun. A well educated Mexican told us that a large majority of the
citizens were uneducated Mexicans. They carried their many problems and differences to Sheriff Duck, who was the
law in Atascosa County. He was very different from Judge Roy Bean, the ignorant ruffian who resided in his booze
joint and announced that he was the law West of the Pecos. In later years, we made many pleasant trips to see the Duck
family and they also visited us and we always rejoiced at the family gatherings. Our return trip was pleasant and
uneventful and we soon resumed our activities on our farm.
A love affair that started between T. B. Gossett (Thomas B.) and Lucy Dyches resulted in the Texan and Kentuckian
joining hands and hearts. A very large family followed and they moved to Taylor, where they educated their children,
and Texas was made richer by many fine lives.
While we lived near the San Gabriel River, many social functions kept us all awake and happy. Pappa Lowe was a free
Singing Teacher, he could get music out of a bunch of dummies. Every Sunday afternoon, boys and girls, men and
women from near and far came out to sing. The fame of our neighborhood singers spread and contests were held
between ours and adjoining communities at the little schoolhouse. Such contests often ended in a tie and all went away
The Dallas Journal 11
The Dallas Journal
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000, periodical, June 2000; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186859/m1/17/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.