The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000 Page: 16
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Autobiography of Charles V. Compton by Don Raney
Many were the puny aches and to this good day, I have sweet, sad memories of the stirring off. Then the tried and true
experts would announce the minute to withdraw the fire, which was followed by the barreling of the most luscious
healthful vitamins the world has known. I put this in writing after constantly using cane molasses syrup for seventy-five
years. There is another paragraph. to this story. There is another paragraph to this story. There was a grand chicken
dinner, and watermelons galore, served during the cooling off period. The barrels, kegs, jugs and what-have-you were
filled and taken home.
On this same day, the announcement was made, "Candy Pull Saturday night at Uncle Tom's." Not only Kentuckians,
but haymakers, cowboys, mammas, papas, girls and boys attended. As soon as everybody was there, each was given his
share of the soft sorghum molasses candy, that had to be kept in motion. Old cowboy Lewis began to stretch his
cherished gift, when Minnie snatched a goodly portion. Seeing he was impoverished, he snatched from Ella a quantity
of her candy. She, in turn, grabbed Joe's and then on and on until streaks of golden candy were flying from one to
another's hand. The champion snatcher would discover he had wealth he could not use or dispose of, so he would get
reckless and give the impoverished ones a break. No words or pictures can portray the excitement and unexpected thrills
of candy snatching parties.
The next big affair was the Fish Fry. Equally popular with both Texans and Kentuckians, they would come from far and
near, early in the morning on Fish Fry Day. The seiners would come with a forty foot seine and would meet at the "old
blue hole." The pole men at each end of the seine would be chosen. Then the men for the lead line, to keep the line on
the bottom, every inch, every moment. Then came the cork liners and a dozen others. A little later the cooks with their
utensils would announce they were ready for business. Then the drag would start. Soon we would hear a yell, "We have
them. Hold the lead line down, move slowly, faster to the left! It's a hog back bottom, be careful!" and on to shallow
water and the gravel bar. Then the real thrills, as the fish would flounder and jump. A big gar, that was a seine wrecker
with his long bill, had to be watched and released without losing too many fish.
Then the tub, filled with silverbacks, was delivered to the cleaners, who then rushed them to the cooks. This same
process was repeated until and abundance of the finny tribe was captured. Then came the feast, followed by a jubilee,
that is, introductions, handshakings, back slappings, singing and courting. A man up a tree could not tell the
Kentuckians and the Texans apart. They all seemed to be just one big joyful family. We all had many happy days to
remember in our later years. This was in the eighties, when our father had purchased our carriage and made his second
trip to Kentucky and brought back the incredible story of having seen electric lights in Cincinnati. The story was
matched by Jake, who had heard of a place where ice was manufactured.
We children attended Mrs. Eckman's School at Circleville. She was a wonderful woman, a splendid teacher, who
prepared Billie and me for the fifth grade at Taylor. I will never forget those school days or the interesting way she
taught us the multiplication table by singing "Five times five is twenty-five, five times six is thirty..."We trudged that
two and one half miles to and from school morning and afternoon. The schoolhouse was near the big cattle trail and the
herds, numbering more than a thousand head, would drift by, their horns striking and clinking continually like swords
clashing. I think of the quaint old two story house at Circleville with its little upstairs windows that were built to give an
outlook to the occupants in the event of an attack during the frontier period. This house still stands but the school house
Williamson County was organized in 1848. It was named after Robert M. Williamson, Jurist, Soldier, and Statesman of
the Republic. Edward R. Anderson was born March 5, 1848, on a farm near Round Rock and was the first male child
born in Williamson County. There were but few settlers in the county in 1848, and they were all located near streams
and woods. It was less than ten years before the county was organized, that Dr. Kenny built a fort and stockade on the
south side of Brushy Creek, near Palm Valley, which is generally accepted as the first settlement in Williamson County.
The present court house was erected in 1878 and D. S. Chesser was County Judge.
Along the San Gabriel, for more than forty miles, were families of the highest type, engaged in farming, ranching and
sheep raising. The principal crops were cotton, corn, oats and wheat. For miles around the black soil was as rich as the
valley of the Nile. It was in this belt that the town of Taylor was laid off. Along the San Gabriel, resided the Cawpers,
Wilcox, McFaddens, Waymens, Steamrns, Eubanks, Smiths, Logans, Youngs, Allisons, Brookshires, Camps and other
The new comers concentrated on raising cotton. We built high side boards for our wagons so they could carry about
1700 pounds, or a bale of seed cotton to the gin. We would run the wagon into the cotton field and the end of the wagon
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000, periodical, June 2000; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186859/m1/22/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.