Heritage, Volume 15, Number 1, Winter 1997 Page: 12
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When planning for development, steps have to be taken to avoid certain resources,
or otherwise mitigate impact to them, in order to aid in their protection.
With cultural features, archaeology is the key to identification and evaluation,
thus enabling solid decision-making in the planning process.
make the sacrifices necessary to ensure its
Cune Gutierrez, whose family raised
cotton along the middle Colorado, described
the hard work that was required to
prepare the land for cultivation.
We couldn't grub all them [cedar] trees
-big old trees -so we just cut 'em from
the top and started farming. The stumps
is still there yet, and that' been a long time
ago... Then all at once, you know, Papa
planted cotton. The first year he done a
little bit of good...It's rocky country; it's
real rough. Sometimes you'd plough,
you'd hear the plow hit something; the
rocks was pretty close, you know. You
had to zigzag with the plow to miss them
While there was certainly similar land
at Turner Farm, there were also the broad,
alluvial flats, or terraces, of the riverbends
that were more suitable to plowing. The
lower terraces were more susceptible to
flooding, however, so priorities had to be
made about where to plant certain crops.
Like most sharecropping operations of the
time, the principal crops were cotton and
corn. The resident farmer worked the land
and harvested the crops and then provided
a given "share" based usually on "thirds"
and "fourths" - one-third of the corn and
one-fourth of the cotton - to the landowner.
In the abundant native pecan bottoms
along the river the nut harvest was
also shared, sometimes on the "halves".
Edna Ruth Gilley Reed, who lived on
with her family,
s1 described how
in the days
came by word of
of over the television,
on one occasion
We had the
planted in corn,
and they dropped
us a note and told
us that the river
was coming down
on a big rise, and
if we had any aniMarlin
former resident of
stands beside the
concrete collar of an
cistern at one of the
house sites. Photo
courtesy of the
mals down in a lower part, to get them
out. Well, we had that corn crop, and it
was ready to gather, and all the neighbors
came in and helped us gather, and we
waded in knee-deep water pulling that
corn. That river came down like the ocean
wave, just a-turning.
Mrs. Reed's recollection of the hasty
harvest provides insight into the pervasive
sense of community that existed at Turner
Farm. At any one time, there were only a
handful of families living on the bend, and
although they operated their respective
farms without outside assistance, they also
knew they could draw on the kindness of
their neighbors if they needed help. Nona
Mae Tatum Gilley remembered how the
Turner Farm residents comprised the majority
of students in the nearby Haynie Flat
school, another symbol, and an important
focal point of community togetherness.
We used to have little outside plays at the
closing of school, and we had a stage built
on the outside of school - a board stage.
We'd have curtains around it. And we
wouldn't have enough characters, you
know, to do our play at the closing of
school, and G .W. and Mildred [Woods]
would always help us.
The earliest recollections of Turner Farm
were provided by James Burton, whose
memory of the area reaches back to a time
when Theodore Roosevelt, William
Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson were
presidents. He remembered not long after
the turn of the century when Turner Farm
had its own cotton gin, which was called
Clover. It was located at the site of the
foreman's house, commonly referred to as
theJohnsonplace. The building that housed
the gin machinery doubled as a blacksmith
shop and was also where residents gathered
to get their mail. Later it served as a central
"rent" barn for the farms. After only a few
years at Turner Farm, the ginning operation
was moved to another location, but
according to Burton, "Wherever that gin
traveled, well, it was Clover." Thus, the
Clover community later developed in an
area near the current local landmarks of
Spicewood and Krause Springs.
After George Turner died in 1903, the
12 HERITAGE *WINTER 1997
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 15, Number 1, Winter 1997, periodical, Winter 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45400/m1/12/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.