History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 259
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left a lasting imprint upon the history of his
county and State had not his sloth, negligence
or 'crankiness' made of him one the
filthiest mortals that ever attempted to adorn
an honorable prof ession. A year or so later
two other lawyers who afterward made their
mark in their profession began to make this
point in their circuit, these being James and
Asa M. Willey, the latter District Attorney
of this district at a later day and on the
bench of the Supreme Courtof the State. I
held the office of District Clerk for six years.
During that time there was not a great deal
of legal business transacted at Cameron, nor
indeed much general business.
6" For several years after the town was laid
out and established as the county seat, Port
Sullivan and Nashville were its successful
rivals in trade, some people of the county
going also to Wheelock and Caldwell. The
buying of an article of wearing apparel or
a piece of furniture or a lot of groceries in
more than dollar quantities was such a rare
event with the people then that they could
afford to go thirty or forty miles to make
selections and gett good bargains. The chief
employment of the people was stock-raising,
and farming on small scale. For the first
few years after I settled here immigration
into the county was so heavy that we sold
all we raised in the way of grain to settlers.
A great deal of corn was grown and some
wheat and oats. Cotton did not become one
of the staple products until about the beginning
of the war. The people as a whole
were industrious and sIlf-sustaining, and
they were, with a few exceptions, moral and
"Schools, of course, were not plentiful,
nor were those that we had what they ought
to have been, but we had not then come to
depend so much upon books as now. The
newspaper was not regarded in those days as
a household necessity, nor had the electric telegraph
brought the utmost parts of tlhe earth
to our doors. We were somewhat of a people
unto ourselves, not used to the high living
and high thinking of these times. Our
spiritual needs were administered to by the
itinerant ministry, supplemented by neighlborhood
and family prayer-meetings. We had
occasional seasons of refreshing when there
would be a general upheaval of religious
sentiment and a taking of bearings upon the
parts of the frivolous and unregenerate.
Church buildings were scarce but the settlers'
houses were always open for gatherings of a
religious nature, and when an extraordinary
gathering was promised resort was not unfrequently
had to what the poet has called
' God's first temples. the spreading trees.' I
attended church a number of times in tlhe
courthouse at Cameron, and perhaps should
mention in this connection those able and
earnest divines of the Methodist Church,
the pioneer organization of this county, the
Rev. W. C. Lewis, Pleasant M. Yell and
Josiah W. Whipple, all of whom were early
workers in thle cause of Christianitiy in
Milam county. I cannot say exactly when
they began their labors here, but it was early
in the '40s. The Methodists effected an
organization in this county in 1847, and the
first quarterly meeting was held at Cameron,
that year, Rev. J. W. Whipple, the presiding
elder, being in charge of it.
I have spoken of the early settlement of
the county and its educational and religious
interests by choice. I have been in politics
some, but I am no politician, and I leave it
to others to give, in their recollections, the
political history of the c,)unty and to still
others to speak of its material growth and
HL15TORY OF TEXAS.
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/268/ocr/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .