Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas) Page: 59
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New Home School in Allen Bend
Kopperi Street Scene-1880's
(Ogden) Moore Caruthers soon after the town
was established in the 1880's. Besides being
i hotel, it was the scene of frequent early
social functions. The original building bur-
ned about 1910. It was rebuilt and leased to
Mr. and Mrs. Will Bradshaw. In 1918, the
S.A. Caruthers family moved into it and
In the early 1900's a bank was established.
Officers in 1939 were J.T. Davis, president;
Basil Bryant, vice president and cashier; J.E.
Claybrook; vice president; R.W. Scruggs,
assistant cashier. The directors were J.T.
David, Basil Bryant, Mrs. T.C. Carlisle, J.E.
Claybrook, R.W. Scruggs, and W.C. Pall-
meyer. The bank closed in 1943 with accounts
being transferred to banks in Meridian and
Since cotton was an important money crop
for early farmers, a gin was built and operated
soon after Kopperl came into existence. The
building still stands though it has not been
used as a gin for many years.
By the 1920's Cecil De Cordova, Walter
Day, Ike Johnson, and George Lain were in
business. By 1939 the following were in
business: Floyd Hill, Grocery; Day Grocery,
Boggs Pharmacy, Day Service Station, Mrs.
Dysart Beauty Shop, Graves Feed Mill, W.L.
Johnson Drug, Buckle Alsup Grocery, Davis
and Scruggs Insurance, Cole Brothers Ga-
rage, W.L. Archer Magnolia Service Station
A phenomenal event occured shortly be-
fore midnight June 14, 1960. The sky was
clear except for one small isolated bundle of
clouds. The clouds began to roll and tumble,
and unusual bolts of lightening were seemin-
gly coming out of the clouds and dancing
across the sky. The clouds seemed to break
up and melt away, raining fire driven by wind
gusts in excess of 75 miles an hour across a
twenty-five mile area. Temperatures of up to
140 degrees, the hottest ever known in Texas,
cooked ears of corn on the stalks, burned
young cotton to the ground, and caused cars
to overheat and break down. People were
frightened as they gasped for breath. Parents
wrapped their crying children in wet towels
and sheets. It was so strange! Outsiders
considered it another "Texas tall tale."
In 1953, after the construction of the
Whitney Dam, a levee was built around
Kopperl to protect residents from possible
flooding. The area became a "fisherman's
paradise." Indian Lodge, Lakeside Village,
Mooneyville, Pop Samples, Steele Creek
Harbor, and Steele Creek Acres are fishing
villages or retirement villages along the west
shore of Whitney Lake. Within Kopperl there
are still the school, the churches, the post
office, a fire department, a bait and tacke
store, a barbecue cafe, an antique store, an
automotive repair shop, the Masonic Lodge,
and many good people.
by Lucille A. Hughes
ALLEN BEND COMMUNITY
Allen Bend is located in the William
Fisher, Sarah Hensley, and Ennis Hardin
Surveys. This land was purchased in 1835 by
Samuel L. Allen, L.T. Allen, J.W. Allen, and
Sarah Allen. A bend in the Brazos River not
far from the mouth of Cedron Creek and
south of the mouth of Steele Creek partially
encircles the areas known as Allen Bend and
One of the first two families to settle in
Bosque County, Albert Barton family, settled
near the mouth of Steele Creek in 1850 and
established a ferry near old Fort Graham. In
the summer of the same year, Barton was
drowned by the capsizing of the ferry boat.
His widow later married Sam Barnes.
One foreman over the Allen farm was Lee
In 1920, the Kempner Brothers from
Galveston bought the Allen ranch. Walter
Greenwood, a Kempner foreman, hired
George Willie Stephenson to come to Bosque
County as foreman of the Allen Ranch.
In May 1921, George Willie and Gussie
Stephenson and two daughters moved to the
ranch which was very run down. There were
about eleven tenant houses for families who
did sharecropping. After several years the
land was changed to only ranching and
raising feed. Only a few families continued to
live there as hired hands.
About a mile and a half from the ranch was
a settlement of black people, all relatives.
The oldest of these was Uncle Charlie
Gatewood and Aunt Mollie, his wife. They
had been slaves before they came to Texas.
Another of these was Aunt Sylvia Lightener
who was a huge Negro woman whose husband
was killed in a cotton gin accident. She was
left with three boys and three girls to raise,
all good people. She owned her land. Sylvia
was well known to the Allen Bend and Fowler
communities, as she helped out where there
was sickness. She had her own remedies,
some from wild herbs and other plants. She
would walk for miles to nurse the sick. The
men of the community worked on the Allen
Ranch. During the Depression, when times
were so hard, Uncle Charlie did odd jobs, like
shell corn for meal and work in gardens. Aunt
Gussie would divide meal, vegetables, eggs,
and milk so they would not be hungry. This
community had its own church, school, and
When the Stephensons first moved to
Allen Bend, there was no mail route. Once a
week someone rode to Steiner to get the mail.
Also, the only telephone in the Bend was that
of the Stephensons, so when neighbors
needed a doctor or for any emergency, they
went there to call.
There were three Whitney doctors who
served the community-Dr. Treat, Dr. W.F.
Faulkner, and Dr. Sidney Faulkner. Gussie
Stephenson helped Dr. Treat as a midwife in
delivering babies. One of these babies was
Joan (Cole) Word who was named for her.
The Kempners had a lot of land cleared to
convert to farming grain for cattle, so they
hired some Mexican families from South
Texas to live and work there. While there the
wife of an elderly man died suddenly. They
had no money to bury her, so George Willie
built a coffin, Gussie lined it and made a
dress, and she was buried on the ranch.
There were four small cemeteries on the
ranch. When the government bought the land
in the early 1950's, for Lake Whitney, these
graves were moved to Kimball Cemetery near
The M.K.T. Railroad ran through the
ranch. About a mile from the ranch house
there was a red boxcar used as a flag station.
This station was called Nela or Nella-back-
ward spelling of Allen. Also, there was a
switch track by which the Kempners built a
loading pen and dipping vat for shipping and
The community had a school named New
Home. Howell Etchison gave it the name
from his wife's sewing machine. The building
had two rooms, so two teachers were hired.
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Bosque County History Book Committee. Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas), book, 1985; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth91038/m1/75/?q=campbell: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library.