Catoosa County Historical Newspaper Accounts

The Foard County News and Crowell Index
Crowell, Foard County, Texas, Friday, December 3, 1915
Pioneers of Foard County

J. W. Beverly

[Editor's note -- The following interesting article is the result of a personal interview with Mr. J. W. Beverly at his office in this city Tuesday.]

"I was born in Collin county, Texas, May 2, 1850. My parents, John Beverly and Isabel Russell, located in that county in 1846, before their marriage.

"My wife, Laura Reid, was born in Ringgold, Georgia, April 15, 1856. Her father, R. M. Reid, was 1st Lieut., Company "G" 4th Alabama Inf. A few months after the close of the war, with his wife and child, a meager camping outfit loaded into a rickety wagon, he started to Texas.

"After driving about 40 days they stopped at the home of Capt. McKamy in Dallas county. This good man furnished them shelter in what had formerly been one of his "nigger cabins," and for many favors and accommodations, the McKamy family have always been kindly remembered.

"My father had six brothers in the Confederate army. After the war one of them got home, leaving his right arm buried some where in Louisiana. The other boys were buried on various battlefields.

"It is but natural for my wife and I to have feelings that may be called "intensely southern." However we now know, after these long years that there were many good men who did not wear the "Grey," and fully realize that Abraham Lincoln, Gen. Grant and many other great men of the North always had the kindest of feelings toward the people of teh South.

"We were married July 4, 1877. In October, 1885, Mr. Reid, John Klepper and I came out to Harrold which was then the terminus of the Fort Worth & Denver Railway. The town was wild and wide open, can't tell the number of saloons and gambling houses. But the hard square, places were not the only things we discovered. After strolling around at night we noticed a light in a small building west of the depot and inquiring we learned it was a school house. We went out there and found a Methodist Circuit rider with a small congregation holding prayer-meeting. Next morning Mr. Reid took the train back to Plano, and John and I hired a livery team and started to Margaret. This was Saturday and we camped that night at Antelope Springs in company with eight or ten teamsters, each with three wagons and from eight to ten mules hauling coke and other supplies to the Copper Mines on Canal Creek, on the John C. White survey. Before the Civil War, General Geo. B. McLellan, then a young man in the employ of the United States government, was in this part of the country and discovered what he considered Copper in paying quantitites. After the war, he returned and opened the copper mines, under the name of Grand Belt Copper Company of which he was president. It is said that something like half a million dollars was spent in buildings smelting machinery, etc. In 1888 or 1889 work was abandoned, the machinery removed to Qanah and shipped elsewhere. Why oprations were abandoned the public was never informed.

"Sunday morning we drove to Margaret, stopped a few minutes and then went out two or three miles west; this brought us to where there were no further evidence of settlements or civilization.

"We went back to town and took dinner at the "Western Hotel." J. K. Rambo was owner and proprietor. It was a small one-and-a-half story building on the west side of the Court House square. (Margaret was then the County Seat of Hardeman county.) There was also a small house on the south side of the square called the "Southern Hotel."
in"We noticed two other buildings on the north and learned that one was a dry goods and grocery store and the other a saloon. We were also told that the owner of the saloon had gone out that evening to kill an antelope and that his door was probably locked but it would not be any trouble or offense to raise the window if any one wanted to go in. During the evening we met with John Wesley, who was then County Clerk, W. J. Westmoreland, County Surveyor, John Bland, Sheriff and Tax Collector, Robt. Zeibig and a few others whose names we have forgotten. About 3 o'clock a few people began to gather at the school house about one block west from the square. By inquiry we learned it was Sunday School conducted by the Methodist folks. A verification of the old saying that the saloon and Methodist Circuit Riders have in Texas always been found at the outmost limits of the settlements. This same Sunday evening a good looking pair of young people were on the street, knowing ones said it was the firt time they had appeared together in public. The young lady's name was Miss Lizzie Collins. A few months later her name was Zeibig. That evening we drove back to a place near Antelope Springs. A brisk norther was blowing and the open prairie along Pease River did not appear to be a pleasant place for camping. There was a young man with us from Williamson county named Styles. One of our number drove the team and the other two strolled off from the road to pick up sunflower stalks or anything else that would burn. Just under the hill in the bend of the river we found a dugout in good condition that had once been occupied by some cowboy who was a "line rider." While Styles and I were caring for the team and gathering more fuel Klepper disappeared and a little after dark he came in puffing and blowing with a nice fat chicken. He said he bought it from Mr. Parnham who lived in a dugout near the springs and who was Commissioner of Precinct No. 1. That chicken may not have cost him as much as he represented in our expense bill after we got home but no chicken and dumplings ever tasted better than the mess we had that night for supper. After two more days we were back at Plano where "the same questions were asked and like answers returned" as is usually the case when one visits a new country and returns home.

"At that time, on account of family ties, and friends of my childhood, youth an early manhood with which I was surrounded. I did not really think I would ever live in the Panhandle. But the great amount of almost unoccupied land I had seen between Wichita Falls and Margaret was a vision that occupied my mind almost continually. My little 40 acre farm seemed to be shrinking up, so after four or five weeks I imagined that I did not have more than enough for a good size horse lot. By the last of November, I was gain at Margaret and, in a few days had secured School Section No. 368 where Valmer Bond now lives. I then went home and brought my family out in May following. We had hauled lumber from Harrold and built what was probably the biggest house between Margaret and New Mexico, the dimensions being 16x28 feet.

"I have mentioned the fact that saloons and Methodist Circuit riders were here on our arrival. I want to say that the Baptist folks were also in the field and among the men who did efficient work to suppress and keep out the liquor traffic was old brother "Cr??sse?e?" Crutcher a Baptist preacher.

"During the summer of 1886 some interesting cases were on trial in the Dist. Court Judge J. V. Cockrel, who was later elected to Congress, was presiding. He was indeed a great character, rough and rugged in his personal appearance, and had been a Colonel in the Confederate army and had a badly crippled hand and wrist. Barber shops were not so conveniently located as now I have seen him set in the sheriff's office and shave himself without a looking glass.

"That summer was the dryest and hotest this country has ever known. No ice was on hand. The court house was a small framed building and crawled with men. The Judge laid off his coat and and unbuttoned his collar and finnaly stripped himself until no clothing was visible above his desk, except a thin undershirt. HOwever he was highly intelligent and a good lawyer, kind hearted and true.

"By the time for the general election in 1886 Henry Kenner, the Fergeson boys, P. A. Wells, J. A. Wright and many others from Collin, Dallas and Denton counties had moved in. Almost a new set of county officers were elected. ???? Roberts was elected County Judge, J. M. Doolen County Clerk, J. M. Allee sheriff and Tax Collector, W. T. Dann was reelected as Treasurer."

The editor will add that Mr. Beverly is one of the best citizens in Foard county and has been an active factor in helping develop the county and the town in which he live. He takes an active part in church and lodge work, being a member of the Methodist church and the Masonic lodge. He is pleasant and affable, honest in all his dealings and while naturally quiet and unassuming he has a strong influence with those who know him best and is always found supporting principles which he believes to be right. Verily J. W. Beverly is a useful man, and the Foard County NEWS is pleased to give its readers the foregoing sketch of Mr. Beverly's early life, and some of the incidents he experienced as a Foard county pioneer.

Transcribed by Linda Blum-Barton []

Submitted by Curtis Pierce []

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