Sixty years in Texas Page: 33 of 398
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SIXTY YEARS IN TEXAS. 19
I believe it will burn up if no preventing Providence."
We had some difficulty in keeping it from
burning our cabin. Father and the boys came to our
rescue, and the cabin was saved. That was the greatest
prairie fire ever seen in North Texas, and if it
stopped this side of Red River we never knew it.
Our first day's experience, a very large garden
spot burned off, with a very little hope of every getting
it fenced. The wedges still in the china tree,
and not a rail made: But the watchword was to
never give up. Father and Mr. Simpson told Mr.
Hildreth that it was a criminal offense to willfully
set the prairie on fire, and a heavy penalty. Mr. Hildreth
after a short time returned to England, and
the last we heard of him he was at home quietly
resting in the bosom of his family.
The wedges were cut out of the china tree and
other species of timber were tried with better success,
and after a great deal of hard work enough
rails were made to make a cow pen, and my father
and Mr. Simpson went to South Texas and bought
thirty cows and calves, giving $3.50 per head, or
$7.00 for a cow and calf. My father bought eighteen
and Mr. Simpson twelve, and the little money that
we had was gone. The winter of 1848 was very severe.
The sleet and snow lay on the ground for
more than three weeks, and it was so bitter cold we
had to turn the cattle adrift, and they scattered to
the four winds, and we nine of us were huddled together
in the little log cabin about 12x14 feet, with
our scanty bedclothing, and the sleet driving
through the roof, and the north wind blowing a
perfect gale. We thought of the agents that had
represented this to be a delightful climate, with no
chilling winds or driving snows, but one continuous
spring and summer, and we were ready to say that
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/m1/33/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .