Sixty years in Texas Page: 32 of 398
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18 SIXTY YEARS IN TEXAS.
out the family, and we secured a little cabin about
12x14 feet on what is now known as the Warner
Place, about fifteen miles north of Dallas, and there
we spent the first winter.
Father had a little money left, and he and Mr.
Simpson decided to go South and buy a few cattle,
but before going they decided to split some rails to
make a cow pen and fence a garden, and James Kennedy,
a lad about sixteen years old, went with my
father and the boys to show them some timber that
no one claimed, and he pointed out to them some
trees that he said would split easy. One of them was
a wild china, and they pitched into it with their new
axes, and finally got it down, and one length cut off,
and then they tried to split it, but lightning never
did split a wild china. They got the wedges all in
up to the head, and were so tired out they sat down
to rest, and looking towards our cabin, they saw a
dense cloud of smoke. Hildreth, the gentleman,
had heard Father and Mr. Simpson saying about
the first thing to do was to clear off a place for a
garden, and Mr. Hildreth thought he would burn
off the grass. It was very dry, and the grass was
tall. He took a clapboard and a few coals, and
touched it off. The wind was blowing a stiff breeze
from the south, and in a few minutes the fire was
going almost as fast as a horse could run. Dense
columns of smoke arose almost sky-high, and the
flames would rise 100 or 150 feet high and bend
over with the driving wind, and catch and go again.
Pandemonium seemed to reign among the varmints
of the prairie and birds of the air, and the sight
was grand and terrible, and Mr. Hildreth, in amazement
and fright, was heard to exclaim, "I believe I
have done just what they have all been saying I
never would do. I have set the world on fire, and
Here’s what’s next.
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Jackson, George. Sixty years in Texas, book, 1908; Dallas, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20205/m1/32/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .