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Menard County Texas created January 22, 1858

2014 July 25
by Jan Wilkinson

Menard County and the town of Menard were given the name of a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, member of the Texas Congress, and founder of Galveston, Michel B. Menard (1805-1856) (research shows his middle name to be the family patronymic Brindamour after his grandfather Jean Baptiste Menard called Brindamour, but historians have published it as Branamour or Branaman). Colonel Menard never came to Menard and died in 1856 two years before the State Legislature honored him during the 7th Legislature on January 22, 1858. The county residents attempted to organize the county government June 25, 1866, but when the attempt failed the legislature placed Menard County under the jurisdiction of Mason County. So if I understand correctly, the first deed records of the county are located in Mason. Menard County residents finally elected their own officials in 1871. The county seat was originally named Menardville when the site was laid out in 1858. The town is located on the banks of the San Saba River.

You can read more about the forming of our county at the link at the Portal of Texas History, The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 4:

In the west part of the county was Camp San Saba which was first established on March 14, 1852 and was abandoned in 1859 but regarrisoned in 1868, at that time named Fort McKavett in honor of Captain Henry McKavett of the 8th New York Infantry, who was killed in the Battle of Monterrey, September 21, 1846. The fort was abandoned June 30, 1883. Thankfully in 2014, you can visit in Menard County the Fort McKavett State Historical Site along with the Presidio de San Saba.

Here is an article from newspaper THE MENARD NEWS – Centennial Edition published November 11, 1971, as a Souvenir Keepsake Edition.

First Decade 1871 to 1881

Menard County was created by the 7th Legislature on January 22, 1858. Until that time the area now known as Menard County had been a portion of Bexar County. Official organization of the county was delayed until 1871, following a failure in 1866 of the citizens to gather the necessary votes for a permanent organization. Further attempts at county establishment were delayed until the close of the Civil War. In the meantime, the settlement of Menardville was considered to be the county seat. This small village was very near to the geographic center of the 900 square mile county. The State Legislature proclaimed that the new county be named Menard in honor of Col. Michel Branaman Menard, a man of extraordinary aid in the development of early Texas. He was best-known for laying out and helping to establish the city of Galveston, and for serving in the Texas government. He died in 1856, several years before the organization of Menard County. The fact that the Legislature so-honored him is a great tribute to his enduring courage and noble character.

May 22, 1871 was the date set for the meeting called to further plans for the organization of the infant county. Three justices of the peace were present, presiding justice Captain J. J. Callan, Thomas J. Reese, and William I. Vaughn. The fourth justice, George Paschal, did not attend this meeting. The first two official county appointments were made by the group, Willie Prescott as Clerk and Louis Wilson as Sheriff.

The order for Menardville to be the seat of justice was handed down on May 29, 1871. An ad valorem tax of one-sixth of one percent was affixed with a county road tax of one-sixteenth of one percent. The first road commissioner was William Tipton. The first courthouse was a picket house.

Pioneer life in early Menardville was hard. The settlers worked hard to provide their families with food, with homes, which were usually picket houses with dirt floors and no room to spare, and to protect them from Indian raids which continued until 1875, although the biggest attacks were in the time of 1869-70. These Indians raided every light of the moon, stealing horses and murdering anyone caught in their way. It is claimed that the soldiers at nearby Ft. McKavett in the western part of the county did little to protect the settler. It was necessary for the early pioneers to depend on the Texas Rangers in the area.

There was little opportunity for an active social life in the early days. Social activities included quilting bees, dances, croquet games, and horse racing at the Ranger Station. These events were few and far between, forcing the settlers to enjoy them all the more. One treat was watching the stage as it went through town, with seldom a stop longer than just to toss off the mailbag and grab the out-going bag. Travel was held to the minimum, considering it took four days to travel from Menardville to Austin.

One of the first hotels in the thriving little community was Deckers’ Hotel, where you could get a room and three meals for $1.00 a day. That hotel was located on San Saba Avenue in later-day Menard.

In spite of hardships and Indian perils, there were about 15 or 20 students in the school.

Officials during the first decade of organized government included:

Commissioners of Precinct 1 – J. J. Callan, P. H. Mires, Jno. T. Scott, E. S. Ellis, E. Vanderstucken, Commissioners of Precinct 2 – Thomas J. Keese, O. Striegler, Peter Robertson, Jno. Campbell, Commissioners of Precinct 3 – George Paschal, W. M. Holmes, Wm. Lehne, Jno. Flutsch, and Sam’l Wallich; Commissioners of Precinct 4 – W. J. Vaughan, Isaac Sellers, Jos. M. Jackson, F. M. Kitchens, W. J. Wilkinson and D. P. Key.

Chief Justices – Captain J. J. Callan, P. H. Mires, and Jno. T. Scott.

County Judges – Samuel Wallich and A. B. Wyatt.

Sheriffs and Tax Collectors – Louis Wilson, J. L. Howard, C. P. Nunley, J. W. Cart, W. C. Harter, J. N. Blakeley, J. H. Comstock, and H. W. Merrill.

District and County Clerks – Willie Prescott, John McNeese, Thomas Cunningham, C. M. Hubbell and R. P. Beddrow.

County Treasurers- Jno. Bradford, Richard Robertson, E. S. Ellis, Wm. J. Vaughan, and W. W. Lewis.

Tax Assessors – L. J. Decker and Jos. Layton.

County Attorneys – C. C. Callan, Geo. W. Dexter, J. D. Hill, and Jno. Alex Smith.

Justices of Peace – James Moorhaus and W. W. Lewis.

Postmasters – Lee C. Blake, when post office was established in 1868, John Bradford, Willie Prescott, John McNeese, John T. Scott, Ludwig Decker, and V. D. Stucken.

Col. Michel B. Menard, whose portrait appears in the courthouse, was born in Canada of French parentage in 1805, and came to Texas in 1833, after a number of years previously spent among the Shawnee Indians. He gladly cast his fortune with the struggling Texas colonists to break the yoke of Mexico.

Fitted by inclination and natural endowment, his great industry and capacity enabled him to render conspicuous service to the Texas Patriots in this great cause that had its happy termination in San Jacinto.

This picture is an enlargement from an old daguerreotype of Col. Menard, formerly owned by Col. Thomas F. McKinney of Galveston and Austin, whose close personal friend and business associated he was. The owners of this original, relative of Col. McKinney, have taken pleasure in cooperating with Judge J. M. Matthews so that people of Menard County could have this authentic likeness of one of the most heroic and outstanding characters of early Texas history and in whose honor the County and County seat have been named. Picture by Jordon Co, Austin, Texas.

You can also see another photo of Michel B. Menard, founder of the town and namesake of Menard County at the Galveston County Historical Museum.

You may go to the below link at findagrave and see the headstone and burial place of Col. Menard.

Birth:  Dec. 5, 1805
La Prairie
Quebec, Canada
Death:  Sep. 2, 1856
Galveston County Texas, USA

Indian trader, entrepreneur, and founder of the Galveston City Company; namesake of Menard County, Texas. There is a historical marker honoring Michel B. Menard in Galveston, Galveston County, Texas at the Old Catholic Cemetery.

Michel B. Menard – Galveston, Galveston County, Texas
Directions: Old Catholic Cemetery, 4100 Avenue K (SE part of cemetery)
Marker #: 5167007529
Year Dedicated: 1994
Size, type: Grave Marker
Last reported condition: Good
Michel B. Menard – (December 5, 1805 – September 2, 1856) A native of Canada, Michel B. Menard came to Texas in 1829. He lived in Nacogdoches and Liberty before settling in Galveston in 1833. He was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836, and later represented Galveston in the Congress of the Republic of Texas. As one of the founders of the Galveston City Company he was instrumental in the development of the island. Menard County was created in 1858 and named in his honor.
Decimal degrees:  N 29.293904   W -94.812087
Degrees, minutes: N 29 17.634   W 094 48.725
UTM: Zone 15, Easting 323989, Northing 3241910

More about the sketch of life of Michel B. Menard is found at this link.

A historical report about the uncle of Michel B. Menard, Pierre Menard has the below information.

In the Edward G. Mason’s Early Chicago and Illinois – Chicago, 1890 (Chicago Historical Society’s Collection, vol. IV) it reads: Two of Pierre Ménard’s brothers, Hypolite and Jean François, followed him to Illinois and settled at Kaskaskia. The former was a successful farmer, and the other a famous navigator of the Mississippi. Both led useful and honored lives, lived to an advanced age, and both rest near their brother Pierre in the old cemetery at Kaskaskia. A nephew, also, Michel Ménard, having as well the family patronymic of Brindamour, who was born at LaPrairie, December 5, 1805, made his way to Illinois at the age of eighteen. For several years he was employed by his uncle Pierre in trading with Indians. He obtained great influence among them, and was elected chief of the Shawnees. It is said that he almost succeeded in uniting the tribes of the Northwest into one great nation, of which he would have been king. In 1833, Michel went to Texas, was a member of the convention which declared its independence, and of its congress. A league of land was granted to him, including most of the site of the City of Galveston, which he founded, and where he died in 1856. It is related that the Indians said of him, as of his uncle Pierre, whom in many respects he resembled, “Ménard never deceived us.”

More can be read about Pierre Menard and the letters from Pierre Menard’s parents in Chicago Historical Society’s possession.

1875 Construction of Telegraph Line from San Antonio to Fort McKavett

2014 July 21
by Jan Wilkinson

I just came across a wonderful piece of information about the history of the telegraph here in Texas. Written in the history book in 1922 by J. Marvin Hunter, Pioneer History of Bandera County Seventy-five Years of Intrepid History on page 90, there is a one page story titled Furnished Telegraph Posts.

In 1875 the United States Government constructed a telegraph line from San Antonio to Fort Mason and Fort McKavett, and on to Fort Concho. George Hay and Charles Schmidtke of Bandera took the contract to furnish posts for the line from San Antonio to Fort McKavett, a distance of 175 miles.

They received ninety-eight cents each for the posts delivered along the route. Schmidtke and Hay employed crews of choppers and put them in the cedar brakes of Bandera, Kerr, Gillespie, Mason and Menard counties, paying these hands from twenty-five cents to seventy-five cents per post for cutting them. The firm supplied more than 12,000 posts, twenty feet long and better than two inches at the top. It required more than six months time to cut the poles and place them on the right-of-way, where soldiers with government teams erected them. Mr. Hay says they cleared over $3,000 on the contract, and were not obliged to give bond, as the government often required.

Previous to getting this contract Schmidtke and Hay had purchased a great many cattle on credit, drove them up the trail to Kansas, and lost money on them, and the government contract for posts helped to put them on their feet once more.


Andrew Jackson Harryman

2014 July 17
by Jan Wilkinson

My husband’s grandmother was Laura Forrest Harryman Bradford (1895-1988). Her parents were William Albert Harryman (1858-1944) and Margaret Bell Pate (1860-1955). W. A. Harryman’s father was Andrew Jackson Harryman.

Andrew Jackson Harryman was born 1 Mar 1834 in Cole Camp, Benton County, Missouri to Simpkin Harryman (1794-1853) and Elizabeth Nancy Proctor (1794-1874). Simpkin was the first born child of John Culport Harryman (1772-1853) and Mary Brown (1777-1853). John’s parents were David Harryman (1737-1840) and Maude Adams (1750-1797). Mary’s parents were Edward Brown (1734-1823) and Margaret Durbin (1736-1795) and she was the younger sister of Joshua Brown who is my 4th great grandfather. His grandson was Joshua D. Brown, the first settler of Kerrville. Imagine my surprise to find the link to our families when doing genealogy research.

A. J. was a confederate soldier from 1863 to June 1865 in Captain A. C. Jones’ Company – Col. Santos Benevides, Regiment on the Rio Grande, Co. G, Calvary.

Andrew Jackson married his first wife Malinda Duren (1830-1866) in Benton County, Missouri on 28 Jan 1857. They had four children; the first were twins William Albert Harryman and sister Elizabeth Alminda “Eliza” Harryman born 30 Jan 1858 in Cole Camp, Benton County, Missouri. Their next two children were born in Goliad, Goliad County, Texas. On 6 Feb 1866, in Weesatchee, Goliad County, Texas Malinda died at age 35 years 2 months and 22 days.

On 11 Aug 1867, in Goliad, Goliad County, Texas A. J. married Laura Randall Vance (1839-1880) and they had eight children all born in Goliad. Their third born was a set of twins in 1871, Martha and Mary. On 4 Apr 1880, Laura died in Goliad; possibly during childbirth.

On 3 Oct 1883, A. J. married Louisa Jane Finch (1849-1930) in Goliad. They had two more children, two sons born in El Paso, El Paso County, Texas.

Andrew Jackson Harryman and unidentified family members

Andrew Jackson Harryman; 1834-1914

Andrew Jackson died 21 October 1914 in Runge, Karnes County, Texas and buried in Kenedy, Karnes County, Texas. 

A. J. Harryman burial in Kenedy, Karnes County, Texas.

A. J. Harryman burial in Kenedy, Karnes County, Texas.

Headstone of A. J. Harryman 1834-1914

Headstone of A. J. Harryman 1834-1914

The Harryman generations had a long line of twins. Simpkin Harryman had twin sisters; his son Andrew Jackson Harryman had twin sisters and A. J.’s his first born children were twins. Again his second wife Laura Randall Vance and A. J. had eight children and their fourth born were twin girls.

Below is an early 1900 photo of an event in Bandera County, maybe a church revival or reunion. On the bottom right kneeling is Andrew Jackson Harryman holding a young boy on his lap.

Bandera Texas; unsure date. A. J. Harryman bottom right with child in lap

Notice this is one of the first “Photoshopped” photos with the two men placed onto the photo and a new photo taken and printed. This is a large cardboard backed photo that was folded and damaged.

A. J. Harryman had quite a history.

Menard Man Taught General Custer How to Shoot Deer

2014 June 19

I recently came across this little article written by J. Marvin Hunter in Volume 6 Number 5, page 207, Frontier Times Magazine, February 1929. The heading reads; Published Monthly at Bandera, Texas Devoted to Frontier History, Border History, Border Tragedy and Pioneer Achievement.

When deer hunters flock to Southwest Texas there are related many startling tales of individual prowess with the gun. But an authentic claim that tops all others is advanced by John L. Menges, 78, a resident of Menard.

Menges taught General George A. Custer how to shoot deer and was with the famous Indian fighter when he brought down his first buck, a 12-pointer, while stationed in Texas.

Menges was a freighter, carrying provisions by ox-cart between towns and forts in West Texas. Custer was stationed at Fort Mason and Fort Concho to protect the settlers against Indians. Though a good rifle shot Custer complained that he was unable to kill a deer. Menges undertook to show him and succeeded.

Wild game was plentiful in that day, buffalo and deer, disappearing when cattle was brought in. Menges learned to read while driving an ox cart and killed his first deer at the age of 11. He shot it at 94 paces by moonlight, he says.

To the fact that he was sick the day Custer left this section, Menges attributes the fact that he is alive today. He had been invited to accompany Custer as a scout but was unable to go because of illness. Going into the far West, Custer was killed at the Battle of The Little Big Horn.

Menges’ father was a deserter from the Imperial German Army, who migrated to Texas and settled near where Gonzales now is. Menges has spent his entire life in the Southwest and boasts that he has never been lost. He was born November 30, 1851, at Fredericksburg, Texas.

While he admits that his aim is not as accurate as it was 60 years ago, he still can bring down a deer better than most hunters. He has a special hunting license from the state.

 I found that John Ludalfh Menges was born 30 Nov 1852 in Fredericksburg, Gillespie, Texas and lived in Junction, Kimble, Texas and died 6 Feb 1941 in Odessa, Ector, Texas and raised his family in Junction.  I find this to be quite a story and a way to share some photos of George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876). I did find this blog and reference to the books published by Custer.

 In 1871 General Custer began to contribute articles on frontier life to the “Galaxy,” which were published in book-form under the title “My Life on the Plains” (New York, 1874). He was engaged on a series of “War Memoirs” for the “Galaxy” at the time of his death. He occasionally contributed articles on hunting to “Turf, Field, and Farm” and “Forest and Stream.” His life has been written by Frederick Whittaker (New York, 1878).

1859 ca. United States Military Academy Cadet George Armstrong “Autie” Custer


1859 Feb 17 West Point New York cadet George Armstrong Custer

1862 staff of Brigadier General Andrew Porter with George A. Custer reclining with a dog (hand-colored from

1864 c Virginia, George A. Custer at his headquarters with dog at his feet by Brady & Co.

1864 General Custer and wife Libby photo by Mathew Brady Library of Congress


1865 Aug 8 Alexandria, Louisiana – Brevet Major-General George Armstrong Custer, US Army before leaving for Texas during Reconstruction

1874 George Armstrong Custer and wife Elizabeth Clift Bacon at Fort Abraham Lincoln Dakota Territory

1875c George Custer center with wife to his right and 7th Cavalry officers and wives near Fort Abraham Lincoln (from Facebook True West Magazine)


1875c George Custer was off climbing Harney Peak when his officers gathered for this drinking party during the Black Hills Expedition. Sitting in the front, by one of the guidons, is Fred Grant, son of President Ulysses S. Grant. ( True West Archives)

The fateful day of the Battle of Little Bighorn occurred on June 25, 1876. Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, along with five companies of the 7th Cavalry attacked the village of the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne Indians along the Little Bighorn River in southeastern Montana and all the soldiers were killed.


Does anyone have a copy of the Rise and Fall of the Mission San Saba written in 1905?

2014 March 8

I am trying to find a copy of a brochure written by John W. Hunter that was a souvenir for the Confederate Veterans’ reunion held in July 1905, at Menardville. Unsure how many were printed for this special event. It is filled with local history and would be quite something to read.  Here is more about it in the Texas Historical Association Quarterly.  Let me know if you have one!


Page 226, The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 9, July 1905 – April, 1906

John Warren Hunter and Menardville

2014 March 5
by Jan Wilkinson

I am looking for an original of the below Menardville Public School photo.

Earlier this week I was contacted by two different Menard folks hoping I might have a photo of the 1890 wooden Menardville School. John Warren Hunter was the principal. A lady had contacted them looking for the photo; she had the caption but no photo. This is the same location as the Menard Elementary and Junior High School in 2014.  The Frontier Times magazine article says this wooden building was replaced around 1902 with a rock building.

Here is the photo from the Don Wilkinson Collection and unfortunately the quality is not very good and looks to be from a newspaper article. Below you will see the “newly” found caption. It would be wonderful if we can find an original copy.

Caption for Photograph of Menardville School, 1890 Photograph Missing


Bottom row, left to right: Jimmie Bevans, Bart Bourland, George Wyatt, Bob Crawford, Gus Hunter, Joe Wilson, Jim Mann, Willie Strom, Tom Scruggs, Marvin Hunter, John Wilson, Wecka Mears, Willie Bevans, Dan Murray, Bob Russell, Ransom Moore.

Second row, left to right: Jennie Russell, Maggie Bourland, MaryJane Wilkerson, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Ellen Wyatt, Gillie Somerville, Unknown, Ella Crawford, Annie Lou Mears, Annie Murray, Maggie Johnson, Louvina Somerville, Aunt Lula Maddox, Birdie Scruggs.

Third Row (standing) left to right: Miss Alma Owens, assistant teacher; Cora Hunter, Emma Chisum, Ruth Moore, Annie Strom, Nellie Schuchard, Lovie Hunter, Natha Lewis, unknown, Mel Bradford (?), Alma Gay, Unknown.

Fourth row, (standing), left to right: Charlie Strom, unknown, Walter Mann, Frank Strom, Tom Russell, Clay Mann, Ed Mears, unknown, Nettie Wilson, unknown, unknown, Otto Rau, J. W. Hunter, principal; unknown.

On stairway: Left to right: Max Russell, Judge J. D. Scruggs, unknown.

Signed: Many thanks! M. Wiseman

More information was found on this site:

September 6, 1884, “Professor” John Warren Hunter, from Mason, opened the Menard school. While I’m not sure what this school was named, I found that it was originally located near the courthouse.

October 2, 1884, “The citizens of Menardville have recently subscribed very liberally towards building an addition to the school house, which is at present entirely too small for the number of pupils in attendance. A few more dollars are needed still.”

Menard News and Messenger-
June 18, 1936
First Schools

One of the first schools, as remembered by some of the pioneers of Menard County, was a picket, one-room structure situated west of where the West Texas Utilities Company is now located. George Chew and Professor Nunley were among the first teachers.

A few of the pioneers were taught under the massive burr oak tree which is still standing east of Menard in Sam Willman’s yard.

At a later date, a lumber two-story building was erected on the location now occupied by the present Menard Grammar School. Dances were often held in this building.

August 23, 1884 (4-5)
Menardville Murmurings
Menardville, Menard Co.
Submitted: August 16, 1884

Messrs. E. V D. Stucken, Enoch Ballou and J. D. Scruggs were elected school trustees for this precinct recently.

September 6, 1884 (4-5)
Menardville Murmurings
Submitted on September 1, 1884

Prof. Hunter recently of Mason has arrived and will open his school today. He has flattering prospects for a fine school and comes here highly recommended.

More about J. Marvin Hunter and family.

Publishing icon J. Marvin Hunter left behind words, artifacts for public to savor

– 7/16/2009
EDITOR’S NOTE — This is the 175th of a series of articles marking Kerr County’s 2006 sesquicentennial.

By Irene Van Winkle

West Kerr Current

This photograph shows the family of J. Marvin Hunter and his wife, Susie Rogers, with their young family. Their children are, from left, Myra Jennette “Nettie,” Rachel, Jay Marvin, Jr. and John “Warren.” In his 64-year publishing career, he owned and/or published 16 newspapers, and printed numerous books and other historical publications. His legacy remains in Bandera housed at the Frontier Times Museum.

As publisher, editor and/or owner of 16 newspapers across Texas and beyond, along with authoring many books, and a popular monthly magazine, few rural newspapermen rivaled John “Marvin” Hunter, Sr. (1880-1957) for prolific output.

With a firm belief that better things were to be found over the next hill, Marvin had frequent bouts of wanderlust. He got ink in his blood at his father’s newspaper. Intense curiosity and boundless energy served him well to help small towns toot their horn.

His friends included statesmen, professors, outlaws and lawmen. Marvin finally made Bandera, Texas his home, and left a permanent impression, seen today at the Frontier Times Museum. Many relatives, including Ruth Dewoody Hay and Joy Hickman Short Putnam, maintain his memory and admire all that he left behind.

“Grandpa Hunter was a great promoter. He would come to a town, write stories about it, and would get it believing in itself,” Ruth said.

Besides the 1953 Bandera Centennial special edition, probably his best known publication (and now sought-after) was Frontier Times Magazine, which debuted on Oct. 1, 1923. The magazine followed two earlier efforts, Hunter’s Magazine (co-founded with his father in 1910) and Hunter’s Frontier Magazine (1916). It was filled with tales of the wild and blood-thirsty frontier, often submitted by old-timers, alongside vivid photographs, images and graphics.

In 1955 it was sold, and two years later it was a companion to True West magazine. Under various owners and editors, the magazine reappeared on and off until 1985.

In his 64-year career, Marvin owned and published these papers: The Saturday Gazette and The Mason Spy in Mason, Texas, the Comfort Times, the Bland Herald and Carlsbad Headlight in New Mexico, the Menard County Enterprise, Kimble County Crony, Garden City Gazette, the Melvin Advocate, Harper Herald, Ozona Optimist, the Big Lake Crony, Sonora New Era, Bandera New Era and the Bandera Bulletin.

He wrote at least eight books, and numerous shorter historical publications. In his fascinating autobiography, “Peregrinations of a Pioneer Printer,” the opening paragraph revealed his personality:

“My life has been quite an eventful one, largely because of the fact that I have lived in what might be termed two periods — the pioneer period and the modern period. I was born in Loyal Valley, Texas, the 18th day of March, 1880. I was so small that I do not remember the occasion. My wife says she is surprised that I do not remember it, as I have often spoken of incidents that I remembered which occurred even before I was born.”

He said that back in his Scottish and Irish roots, the Hunter family had intermarried with the Calhouns (first spelled Cohoon, then Colquhoon and Calhoon). In Colonial days, apparently, three Hunter brothers — William, Jesse and James — had come to America before the Revolutionary War. On the Warren side, a General Warren had fallen at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and in his honor, many descendants in Marvin’s family bore the Warren name.

Marvin’s parents, John Warren Hunter and Mary Ann Calhoun, were first cousins. His paternal grandparents were Thomas Hunter and Jane Calhoun, who moved from Tennessee to Alabama. John was born in Rogersville, Ala. in 1846. 10 years later, his father moved to Texas and remarried. The family, which consisted of at least two other sons — Augustus Warren and James — came to Hunt County, and then to Hopkins County near Sulphur Bluff where they were farming when the Civil War broke out.

Marvin said his father did not get along with the new stepmother so he took off on his own by age 15. John hauled cotton and freight with a mule train from North Texas to Brownsville, which had not been blockaded. His brother, James, joined the Confederates and served four years with Forrest’s Cavalry.

Learning his parents had died, in 1868, John rode three weeks on horseback from Sulphur Springs to Troy, Tenn. There, he met Mary Ann who was well-educated, and whose parents objected to the illiterate “wild Texas boy.” They wed anyway and moved to Booneville, Ark. near James.

John farmed on a rented patch of land, while Mary Ann taught, but after the crops failed, their lack of income prompted a new plan. Mary Ann taught John the ornate “Spencerian” handwriting method. He became proficient and engaged 11 students in a nearby community for a 10-day session, at $1 per student.

His classes were so successful, he was asked to teach a second session, and another in his hometown, so he taught one group in the day and another at night. Both of them teaching, Marvin said, “was sufficient to keep the wolf from the cabin door.”

Then, Mary Ann taught John reading and math, and he passed the the district school board examination and was qualified to teach third grade. They stayed in Booneville as the family grew. There were three daughters — Alice Carey, Cora Luby and Lillian Lenoir. Sadly, they lost a girl named Texas at 2 years old.

Yearning for a more “pioneer” life, they relocated to Gillespie County in 1877 with a mere $4 in cash. However, he soon was hired to teach school in Spring Creek, Squaw Creek, Willow City and Loyal Valley. 1879 proved to be a bust for crops, so between school sessions, John hauled bones to Austin for $7 per ton, and then freighted 135 miles from Austin to Mason.

The following March, Marvin was born, named for Methodist Bishop Marvin. Marvin may have inherited his itchy feet from his father, as the family moved again in the fall, this time to Voca in McCulloch County, where John taught. Three years later, they were at Camp San Saba. In 1884, they moved yet again, to Mason. Their home was formerly the Mason News-Item printing office, where little Marvin got his first taste of printers’ ink after upending an ink bucket over his head.

“My good mother had a task getting me separated from that ink,” he wrote.

Soon, though, they were in Menardville (now Menard), and by then another daughter, Mary Lois, had arrived. After being dismissed by two disgruntled trustees a year later, John took the family to Fort McKavett. Here, Marvin witnessed the killing of desperado John Vaden by bartender Ben Daniels. Years later, Daniels was appointed U.S. Marshal in Arizona and New Mexico by President Theodore Roosevelt.

For a time, the family fluctuated between Mason and Menardville. In 1891, John bought the Menardville Record and put Marvin to work, the beginning of his career. A year later, John established the Mason Herald, publishing it for 18 years.

Among his forays in journalism, Marvin served a short stint in the 1890s at the fabled Tombstone (Arizona) Epitaph, but hated it, calling Tombstone “disreputable” and “about the deadest town in the world.”

He first married Hattie Westerman who died shortly after they married in 1901. Two years later, he married Susie Rogers and they had four children: John Warren, Myra Jennette “Nettie,” Rachel, and Jay Marvin, Jr.

Marvin was involved in whatever community he lived. In Melvin, where he bought out the Melvin Rustler, he served as Justice of the Peace and postmaster. He joined fraternal organizations such as the Masons, Oddfellows and Woodmen of the World. But, above all those groups, he said faith in God was his standard.

At age 40, he realized the family needed to settle down, and he purchased the Bandera New Era in 1924. The depression came, and despite a drought, Bandera was spared its worst. Marvin’s observations eerily paralleled the mood of today’s economy:

“The whole country was in turmoil, and for a time it looked as if revolution was imminent. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president of the United States, and while some of the policies he advocated were not sound, the coffers of the government were opened and Roosevelt played Santa Claus to relieve much of the distress. The public is too familiar with the effects of government extravagance and its consequences to require comments at my hands, so I will leave that description to other writers of history.”

Ruth Hay, who came from Dilly, married Marvin’s grandson, Ray Marvin Hay in 1952. They met through Marilyn Hunter, her roommate at Texas State College for Women in Denton. Marilyn was Warren’s daughter, and Ray Marvin’s first cousin. His grandfather on the Hay side was the brother of Marilyn’s grandmother. Ray’s mother was Marvin’s daughter, Nettie. Incidentally, the Hay family had come to the area with the Lyman Wight Mormon Colony in 1854.

“Ray was out of college, and a year older than me,” Ruth said. “He was printing the Bandera Bulletin with his grandfather and his mother.”

After dating for two years, they wed. Ruth worked at the newspaper, too, when their only child, Tom, was little. She recalled that “Grandpa Hunter” typed with only the index and middle fingers of each hand. She also worked at the printing business, and learned to do many things. Then, Ruth began teaching math and physics at Bandera High School, which she continued for 13 years. She later returned to the Bulletin for two years, until the Hunters sold it.

Ray Marvin volunteered as an EMT, in addition to his printing and newspaper businesses, Ruth said, which meant he often slept little. He was also the first mayor of Bandera to serve, but not the first mayor per se.

“Marvin was the first one ever elected,” Ruth said. “The town held an election, and on one ballot, they voted on whether to incorporate the town and who would be mayor. Marvin ran for mayor, and won, but the election to incorporate did not pass.”

Joy, who was born in Lockhart, was married to Bill Short, Rachel’s son, for 35 years, although they later divorced amicably. They met at Sul Ross University, married, and in 1950, moved to Bandera. They had five children — artist Susie, teacher Annette Lee, Les, a contractor, Clare Jill, who works at Bandera Electric Cooperative, and Jake, who’s in finance.

She was the first licensed administrator of Hilltop Village Nursing Home. Joy also is an avid historian, with active memberships in the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Kerr County Genealogical Society. She spends many hours volunteering at the Kerr Regional History Center.

Ruth said that one of Marvin’s best friends was Noah Hamilton Rose.

“They were both born in Loyal Valley, and Noah worked for John in his print shop,” she said. “They were lifelong friends, and Noah became a well-known photographer, who had businesses in San Antonio, California and Del Rio. People in California bought copies of his photographs (of Wild West characters), and often they were used for the movies.”

All of Marvin and Susie’s children learned about the business, and were trained as printers and newspaper workers. Nettie set type and was a reporter at the New Era. Rachel became an expert linotype operator and set all of the type on the weekly paper and the Frontier Times Magazine. In 1928, with his father’s help, Jay Marvin published the London Graphic, 24 years after Marvin first published it.

Son Warren published the reincarnated Harper newspaper for 10 years. He became well-known in his own right as an artist. His first major painting — a herd of Longhorn cattle swimming across the Platte River — hangs at the Frontier Times Museum, and was done when Warren was only 13, according to an interview Marvin had with Bill Reddell in his San Antonio Express column, The Bill Board.

“That boy was determined to become an artist,” Marvin told Reddell. “He had never seen a herd of longhorns nor the Platte. He had the scene described to him and started to work.” His first commissioned work, for which he got $50, was for John A. Miller, who said he’d pay for a good painting of a real Texas Longhorn.

“Old Warren took his easel down by the creek and started to work,” Marvin added. “I’d go get him for supper sometimes. Once I went after him and caught him chasing a cow back and forth along the creek. I hollered at him to cut it out. Runnin’ a cow doesn’t do ‘em any good.”

Warren replied that he was studying the muscles in the animal’s hind quarters. After publishing the Harper Herald his father had founded, Warren sold it and attended Chicago Art Institute. He became established as an artist, opening a studio in San Antonio’s La Villita section. In addition to the historical marker for the museum, Warren’s own was dedicated there last fall.

In 1957, Marvin died in Kerrville after becoming ill while visiting a sister.

The Frontier Times Museum, located on 13th Street, contains a diverse collection of about 40,000 artifacts — everything from a South American child’s shrunken head and 400 bells, to many of Noah’s photographs of outlaws, lawmen and pioneers, reflecting the spirit of the Old West. It is open daily except Sunday, and admission prices are a bargain.

Constructed from an attractive fieldstone, the museum opened on May 20, 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression. Marvin devised ingenious fundraising plans for the initial construction, and for later expansions, tied in with his books and newspaper.

Later, the museum was bought by Foster Doane. After his death, his widow remarried and moved away. Ruth said she “gave it to the community, or people, of Bandera.”

I have a blog post about Noah Rose at this link:

Below is from the July 1937 Frontier Times magazine; The Country Schools of Fifty Years Ago written by J. Marvin Hunter with great information about Menardville and Mr. Hunter.

‘Miss Hannah’ Crafted Learning

2014 March 2

Writing a blog introduces you to many new readers and I am thrilled when they share their treasures. Here is one; this article is about the teacher Hannah Mahoney from a San Angelo Standard Times. This makes a nice addition to the Jakie Landers written history of one of the pioneer schools of Menard County; Palmer School.

Click the article for larger view and easier read.

San Angelo Standard Times article about Hannah Mahoney

San Angelo Standard Times article about Hannah Mahoney

Fifth Annual Reunion for Texas Rangers Held at Menard

2014 February 13

Frontier Times, Vol. 2, No. 1 October, 1924, as written by J. Marvin Hunter

The Texas Ex-Rangers’ Association met at Menard

August 13, 1924 for its fifth annual reunion. The old boys were

royally entertained for the three days, and besides the members of the

Old Guard who were present there from different parts of the state.

A great barbecue was given, at which more than two tons of meat was

barbecued for the last day. It was a great gathering, and old boys of the

frontier greeted comrades they had not seen in half a century. They

swapped reminiscences and experiences with each other, and recalled

many an exciting chase after Indians or outlaws, or recalled battles in

which they participated while in the Ranger service. In the early days it

was the Texas Rangers and the Minute Men who drove the Indians back,

and broke up the gangs of outlaws and other lawless characters that

infested the western and the southwestern portion of the state. In a few

years all the original Texas Rangers will have passed on, but the record of

their heroic achievement will remain as a lasting monument. Officers for

next year are: W. M. Green, Meridian, Major; N. N. Rogers, Post, Captain;

A. T. Richie, Comanche, First Lieutenant; W. H. Roberts, Llano, Second

Lieutenant; Ed H. Wallace, Fort Worth, Adjutant; Miss Ruby Green,

Meridian, Secretary-Treasurer; J. O. Allen, Cookville, Chaplain; C. M.

Grady, Brownwood, Color Bearer; W. Y. Luke, Weatherford, Assistant Color

Bearer. The following members registered at this reunion:

Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Brown Celebrate Golden Wedding Anniversary With Festive Occasion at Country Home

2014 January 28
by Jan Wilkinson

Kerrville Mountain Sun, Kerrville, Texas, November 20, 1941

(Typed exactly as published; without corrections)


Dressed for celebrating 1956 Kerr County Centennial

Dressed for celebrating 1956 Kerr County Centennial

Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Brown celebrated

their golden wedding anniversary

Tuesday in their home on

the Harper Road when their three

children were present for the happy

affair. These are Roy Brown, who

arrived Saturday from his home

in Los Angeles, Calif.; and Mesdames

Dan and Marcus Auld of

this city.

The wedding of Miss Gracie

Stulting, 20, to Potter Brown, 21,

was solemnized November 18, 1891,

in the home of the bride’s parents

in Gonzales, and Reverend Lyons,

a Methodist minister, said the ceremony

in the presence of relatives

and friends. Among the attendants

who are living today are Mrs.

Brown’s three sisters, who live in

Gonzales, and her brother, J. C.

Stulting, of Palacios.

Mr. Brown is a native of Kerrville,

and is the last surviving

child of the late Joshua D. Brown,

about whom the history of Kerrville

and Kerr County have been

woven. The elder Brown was born

in Virginia in 1816, and as a young

man came to Gonzales County. He

was the first white man to have

come to this section, having arrived

here in 1846, one year after the

Battle of San Jacinto, in which he

participated. He came here on a

prospecting trip, and went through

the Turtle Creek section, as well as

along this part of Kerr County

where the cypress trees were found

to be growing.

He returned to San Antonio and

Gonzales and organized a party of

ten men to come to the section to

establish a shingle mill. The cypress

shingles were made by hand

and carted away in ox carts, or

were bartered for other commodities

necessary for livelihood. The

camp was established by the big

spring on the Guadalupe River,

near where Henry Weiss’s home

now stands. In 1850 Mr. Brown

moved with his family to the farm

where Legion hospital now stands,

and here his children were born

and grew to manhood and womanhood.

This land stayed in the family

until it was sold to the War-

Risk Association, when a hospital

for the disabled Texas veterans of

the World War were to be cared

for. Later the American Legion

took over the hospital, which was

supported by the State of Texas,

and soon after that the U. S. Government

took over the plant.

The first colony to be established

here was called Brownsborough,

and kept the name until the organization

of the county in 1856, when

Mr. Brown, who had donated the

land for the county seat, asked that

the town and county be named for

his good friend of many years,

Captain James Kerr, a Kentuckian,

who was manager of DeWitt’s Colony

in Gonzales County, and who

had visited here. Mr. Brown’s

name appears frequently on court

records and real estate transfers,

as the divisions of the original

tracts of land came from him, and

from J. F. Gage, from whom he

had bought 756 acres of land in

two tracts.

A. P. Brown today is perhaps the

most authentic source of early history

of Kerr County, having learned

from his father and mother the

hardships and privations of pioneer

settlers, as well as the glory and

satisfaction which came from carving

a home in the wilderness of the

great State of Texas, and seeing

the same country grow and prosper.

Members of the Joshua Brown

family were intermarried with

other pioneer families, and they

were related to the Goss and Rees

families, also intrepid pioneers

from Gonzales County.

The Brown family have resided

in Kerrville all of the 50 years,

with the exception of a part of the

years 1920-21, when they lived in

California. They have six granddaughters

and two grandsons. One

granddaughter lives in California

and could not be present for the

happy occasion, and two granddaughters,

Misses Mary Louise and

Aydeen Auld, are students in the

Texas State College for Women in


The daughters, Mrs. Dan Auld

and Mrs. Marcus Auld, and their

families held open house Tuesday

evening in the Dan Auld home on

Myrta Street, when baskets of

golden ball chrysanthemums, Talisman

roses, Gladioluses and blue

delphinium were used to arrange

the home for the occasion. The

guests were welcomed informally

by the hosts, their honor guests,

and by Roy Brown.

Golden flowers were used to cen-

ter the tea table, which was laid

with a hand-made cloth, and golden

tapers lighted the beautiful

scene. Misses Joan and Marjane

Auld served the wedding cake,

which rested on a bed of gilded

leaves and roses. The 40 guests

who called were limited to old-

time friends and relatives.

Aulds established prosperity in Real, Kerr counties

2013 November 12
by Jan Wilkinson

HOMESTEAD: Aulds established prosperity in Real, Kerr counties

Family hit marks in oil, hunting

“Daniel Auld spent late years of his life enjoying safaris in Africa.

The life of Alexander Daniel “Dan” Auld Sr. was filled with struggles, triumphs and tragedies, yet his golden years were rewarded with safari hunting experiences in Africa and around the world.

Dan was born Aug. 2, 1896, in Real County to Alexander Kennedy and Susanna Lowrance Gibbens Auld. He was the next to the youngest of eight children. His older siblings were Ida “Dollie,” his half-sister, Maggie, Annie, John, William, Archie and the youngest, Joe Marcus.

Alexander Kennedy Auld came to America from Scotland in 1878.

“Grandpa Auld came to Kerr County as a bachelor, looking for a widow on a ranch. He went out on a Thursday, and came back the next Monday with a wife,” granddaughter Mary Louise Auld Saunders Lehman told Irene Van Winkle with West Kerr Current.

Dan married Gussie May Brown on Oct. 19, 1920. They had four children: Mary Louise, Ayleen Aydeen and twins Alexander Daniel “Jack” Jr. and Joan “Donnie May”

Gussie’s father, Joshua D. Brown (1816-77), was the first white settler of record in Kerr County.

Joshua Brown was born in Madison County, Kentucky in 1816, to Edward and Janey Campbell Brown when she died. Edward married 12 May 1816 Anastasia Worland Brown and had they had six children. They came to Sabine County about 1831. In 1837, Edward married Sara Goss and had another son in 1838. Joshua came to Texas before October 1, 1837 and found his father and step-mother in Sabine County. They all moved to Gonzales in 1841.

Joshua married Eleanor Smith and had one child, Mary Louisa, born in 1847. Eleanor died a year later in Gonzales County.

In 1849, Joshua married Sarah Jane Goss (1833-1892). They had seven children: Eleanor Ann Brown Rees, John William, Mary Ela, James Stevens, Nicholas Jr., Virginia A. Brown Barlemann and Alonzo Potter “A.P.”

A.P. Brown married Grace Ida Stulting. They had three children: Roy, Gussie May Brown Auld, and Jane Helena “Pete” Auld.

“Mother and aunt Pete delivered milk to Pampell’s candy store (in Kerrville). They had an old horse that pulled a wagon. They would stop to unload the milk and then go on to school. That horse didn’t need guiding. He just knew where and when to stop,” Mary Louise said.

Pampell’s made its own candy in those days.

“Aunt Pete worked there. Mr. Pampell was pretty smart. He told her that his policy was that if you worked there; you could eat all the candy you wanted. So she ate a whole bunch on the first day and then got so sick, she never ate anymore,” Mary Louise said.

The Auld Ranch was sprawled across parts of Real and Kerr counties on the Divide, which serves as the watershed for the Frio and Guadalupe rivers.

Grandpa Auld died at an early age after being dragged by a horse when his foot got hung up in the stirrup, Mary Louise said. (In July 1905, Alex fractured his skull when he was hung up on his saddle by his chaps and drug by a steer he had roped).

“They brought him back to the ranch, but the only way they could get him to a doctor in San Antonio was by wagon, and it would have taken them four days. He said ‘No,’ and died at his ranch in Real County,” she said.

“My dad worked on the ranch during the screw worm era in the late 1920s and early 1930s,” Mary Louise remembered. “I’d help bring the goats from the pasture. If you saw the goats running around, that meant they had worms. So, I’d catch them, doctor them and then put them in the ‘wormy trap.’ You had to keep them separate.”

Dan Auld, a World War I veteran and one of the founders of the first Marine Aviation Air Corps, became active in the oil business in 1932.

He was a charter member of the All American Wildcatters.

Dan served as a director of Game Conservation International, was a vice president of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Texas, a charter member of the Texas Order of Saint Hubertus Hunt Club, and was a life member of both the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and the San Antonio Zoological Society, serving as director for the later.

After Gussie Auld died June 6, 1962, Dan married Pat Pate Oct. 24, 1963. They shared a love for hunting big game and went on many safaris all around the world.

Cleopatra “Pat” Pate was born Feb. 1, 1918, to Clarence and Inez Foster Pate in Goose Creek, where her father was production supervisor for Gulf Oil Company.

Pat was known as one of the world’s greatest female hunters.

The government of India honored her for heroism in taking “the man-killer Semmen.”

She held the record for the largest polar bear ever taken by a woman — the second largest recorded polar bear kill.

According to the San Angelo Standard-Times, Dan and Pat Auld rode an elephant in the Himalayas on a wild buffalo hunt. It was the only means of transportation.

Some of her major hunting accomplishments included bagging the wild buffalo in India, a giant polar bear in Alaska, rhino, elephant, leopard and the much sought-after African Bongo Antelope.

Dan Auld died in April, 1980, at 83 years old. Pat Auld Apperson died March 20, 2010, at 92 in Corsicana.”

This article first appeared in the San Angelo Standard Times newspaper on November 2, 2013 at 6:31 p.m., written by Jerry Lackey and updated and corrected by Jan P. Wilkinson, granddaughter of Dan and Gussie Auld.