Monday, February 2, 2009

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Nine




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn


Deaf Smith Dies

"Thursday, July 22, 1862," HALL wrote "Today I rode my horse "Rat" down the river in company with CLAY STONE to the residence of Dick COLE, where I remained for dinner, and spent a very agreeable time. The remains of Old Deaf SMITH were buried with Masonic Honors. The boys were engaged all day in digging the grave for the old man and with assisting at his burial. Weather hot. Thermometer 99 degrees.

Note this: A recent biography of "The Nine Lives of Death Smith" speaks of "Deaf" Smith as: "a leader in the Battle of San Antonio, and one who was admired by General Burleson, Jim Bowie, and Will Travis. He was later a private spy and scout for Sam Houston." [sic -- the "Deaf" Smith who died in 1862 is not the well-known "Deaf" Smith (1787-1837).]

"Thursday, July 24, 1862" HALL entered this: "Today Charley LUND and I, at the request of Mrs. WRIGLEY, examined the papers belonging to deaf SMITH and among them we found his last will and testament by which he bequeathed everything he had to Mrs. James WRIGLEY. I am engaged in the office." (county tax collector-accessor office) "Captain BOLLING left on the cars for Houston."

The Journal is a powerhouse for information. To get the full enjoyment of all that it contains of interest, you will have to read it for yourself. It is on the shelves of our Houston County Library, and you can see it there. We are indeed grateful to Mrs. BROWNLOW and Robert L. HALL for presenting our Houston County Library such a treasure-house of information found in the Journal.

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Eight




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn


War Items

The pages vividly give the recruiting of the citizens to serve in the Civil War; and other incidences pertaining to the war prove most interesting. HALL writes of Captain TURNER and artillery company, Capt. WRIGLEY, and his company of "Liberty Guards," Capt. Leon SMITH, Capt. John REDMAN, Capt. STOVALL and his company from Jasper County, Capt. STUBBLEFIELD, Capt. James A. SCRUGGS and company from Polk County; Capt. E. B. PICKETT with his cavalry corps, E. L. JONES, a recruiter; and Dr. CORLEY.

There were others mentioned, too, such as Capt. J. T. SMITH, Lt. BARLOW, Mr. BOON, a soldier belonging to Gen. I. WHARTON's headquarters who came out to the Mill with 10 bushels of wheat to be ground; and there was also mention of Capt. Frank HARDIN, John SMITH. HARDEMAN's Brigade "that camped on the Elk Hart for the past six or seven weeks and left for Tennessee Colony in Anderson County" and there was mention of Capt. ROSE and Capt. O'DELE.

Capt. John S. HALL was commander of the company of the 2nd Regiment, First Brigade of Texas Mounted Volunteer Riflemen, the militia commanded by Col. George P. WOOD and this record with the muster roll appears in James Madison HALL's Journal.

The record discloses that the militia, commanded by Col. George P. WOOD was ordered into service the 31st day of August, 1846. The names of commissioned, non-commissioned, musicians and enlistees were named in the Muster Roll as follows:


  • John S. HALL, Captain
  • George ENGLISH, 1st Lieutenant
  • William B. YOUNG, 2nd Lt.
  • James M. HALL, 1st Sgt.
  • Samuel A. BURTON, 2nd Sgt.
  • John A. MONCRIEF, 3rd Sgt.
  • John P. SANDERS, 1st Sgt.
  • Robert DICKSON, 1st Cpt.
  • Thomas HAYS, 2nd Cpt.
  • Joseph BURNAM, 3rd Cpl.
  • George B. LACY, 4th Cpl.

Privates:

  • Thomas A. ADAMS
  • Wm. F. ALLISON
  • Wm. A. BROWN
  • Benj. H. BRACKEN
  • Jefferson G. BROWN
  • Thompson BROWN
  • Presides O. BEALL
  • Henry C. CONNER
  • Alexander F. DANIELS
  • James M. DANIELS
  • Daniel N. DAILEY
  • John ENGLISH
  • Jessee B. EVANS
  • Adolphus H. ELLINGTON
  • Henry R. GREEN
  • William H. GILLISPIE
  • John S. HOWELL
  • Samuel S. HINTON
  • Benjamin H. HODGES
  • William V. HALL
  • John HENRY
  • John A. HARPER
  • Benjamin B. LIKENS
  • John P. LIKENS
  • Joseph C. LOPEZ
  • Joseph A. MILLER
  • William H. MORSE
  • Truman S. NEWMAN
  • Jessie R. PARKER
  • Nathaniel PARKER
  • John A. RHOADES
  • Elinton A. RICE
  • James F. RENEAU
  • George SHORTT
  • James M. TEAGUE
  • Thomas WILLIAMS
  • Samuel WINGATE
  • Robert A. WALKER
  • Erwin WEBB, and
  • Levi WHITE

It has been my pleasure to give our readers a brief review of this Journal. It is actually with regret that I must bring this to a close. But first, there are seven additional items that just must be mentioned to make this, in a manner, complete:

As we turned the pages, we noticed that on "Sunday, June 29th, 1863" HALL wrote "Today the Steamer Ruthven came up from Galveston. Frank HITCHCOCK arrived and brought me a find present.-- we had some fine music ON THE BANDOLINE, the first instrument of this kind that I ever saw!"

"Monday, June 30, 1862:"-- Capt. FRANKLIN returned from Smith's point, on my horse "Rat," he seemed somewhat jaded from his travel. Weather clear and hot. This being the hottest day of the summer.

To be continued . . .

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Seven




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn


INTRODUCING
Through the Journal you will be 'introduced' to many Houston County people of those former days, such as


  • D. M. COLEMAN (Daniel COLEMAN)
  • W. A. STEWART
  • Reuben MATTHEWS
  • Frank STEWART
  • Joe WRIGHT
  • Sam SHARP
  • Mr. TANNER
  • Isaac TANNER
  • Capt. John H. WOOTTERS
  • S. A. MILLER
  • W. F. WALL
  • Bill HICKS
  • Dan DAILEY
  • Madison H. B. BRACKEN
  • James COLLINS
  • John LONG
  • Cousin Sally DILLARD
  • John L. HARVELL
  • Mr. and Mrs. PEACOCK
  • Mr. BROWN
  • Dr. Abner G. KING
  • Joseph KEEN
  • Mrs. L. A. BIRD
  • Mrs. MCDONALD
  • Mrs. LEAVERTON
  • Mr. CUNNINGHAM
  • Charley HALL
  • Wm. B. LACY
  • W. H. BEAZLEY
  • W. A. WILLIAMS
  • Robert GEORGE
  • Col. John M. MURCHISON
  • Dr. HUNSACKER
  • John J. SMITH
  • Silas KEEN
  • Mr. HEPPERLA

also

  • Edward L. JONES
  • William JOHNSON
  • Mr. BEAVERS
  • D. L. BURTON
  • Capt. STUBBLEFIELD
  • Wm. TURNER
  • W. H. HALLMARK
  • Grandma GAYLE
  • W. H. FARISH
  • Sam SHARP and his wife
  • Mary A. SHARP
  • Miss BRASHEARS, sister of Dr. BRASHEARS
  • B. L. TAYLOR
  • Mrs. C. C. NALL
  • Capt. John W. REDMOND
  • Mrs. BALDWIN
  • Henry E. PERKINS
  • Capt. B. L. TAYLOR
  • W. B. STOKES
  • Mr. ZIMMERMAN
  • Robert STEWART
  • Mrs. BEASLEY
  • Mr. ARRINGTON
  • Dr. CORLEY
  • Thomas DAILEY
  • Elisha TUBBS
  • Jesse TUBBS
  • Mr. RENFRO
  • Wm. LEAVERTON
  • Mark HITCHCOCK
  • Joseph A. WRIGHT and his wife
  • Janie HAIL WRIGHT

Others mentioned were

  • Captain Leon SMITH
  • Dr. FATHEREE
  • James WRIGLEY
  • Thomas P. OCHILTREE
  • Mr. BOLLING
  • Capt. John REDMAN
  • John HOWELL
  • Capt. STOVALL with his company from Jasper County, and
  • George GORDON,
    and many, many more.


To be continued . . .

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Six




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn

Worry and Sweat

At this time -- 'we pause for a commercial'!! Well -- NOT REALLY! But, at this time we DO PAUSE to think of how, through the many, many years of destruction that Old Man Trinity River has wrought to SO MANY FARM OWNERS, Land Owners, up and down the Trinity River -- as know that there has been enough worry and sweat, enough to make a fellow 'just lay down and die'! So -- at this time we might just as well, put in a sort of 'commercial' for all Texans who have shared the worries and tribulations of farms -- and business dealings in connection with the overflows of the Trinity River -- and of the Thousands of Texans who have been interested in harnessing the Trinity River to better serve TEXANS as a whole.

The mythical 'Arabella' of The White Heron's who knew of the troubles of mankind, all along the banks of the Trinity River -- troubles caused by heavy rains and floods, comes vividly to mind, even as one reads of the overflows back in the days of James Madison HALL. Businessmen and friends of the Trinity River Authority projects will readily call to mind 'the Voice of Arabella 'calling to' fellow Texans 'to rise and follow' the flock -- of white Heron's' to Anahuac to partake of FISH and then settle down to discuss matters regarding the Trinity River, that the Trinity could BETTER SERVE ALL TEXAS, AND TEXANS. Today -- the harnessing of waters at the Little Elkhart Creek Damsite is but one of the major steps on the projects along the Trinity River. It is going to help, tremendously, for all Texans. But let's get back to the Journal and SEE what was taking place at Elk Hart Creek, just 106 years ago.

"Monday, January 14, 1861", James Madison HALL wrote "Today, it rained torrents, swelling the Elk Hart to the utmost capacity, and putting us in fear that the Mill Levy would 'again' be washed away. Towards evening, however, the wind hauled around to the north and the rain ceased."

And, on "April 7th, 1861 -- HALL entered this: "Today, the steamer Ruthven arrived, and James Wrigley returned home from Galveston. The river rose 7 feet plumb water, and the steamer Col. Stell started for the upper river with a large freight -- --."

"Monday, April 8th, 1861", HALL entered this: "the steamer Alamo passed down ladened with 900 bales of cotton. The river still rising, and in fine boating condition."

"Wednesday, April 11, 1861," HALL wrote this: "The steamer Lucy Guin passed down with little freight. The river is very high, and still rising with every appearance of an overflow."

HALL entered the following on: "Friday, April 19th, 1861 -- "today the river attained the greatest height, coming within about two feet of the warehouse sills, and overflowing a large scope of country below and above the point. But little business doing in the way of selling goods."

And so, reports of the overflow continued, and HALL's accounts of the damage done to the Mill, and to his fields, and to life in general along the river were told in a most interesting manner.


To be continued . . .

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Five




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn

Steamboats Arrive

The chronicling of events transpiring in connection with the various steamboats playing up and down the Trinity (during times that the water was high enough to make it navigable) also makes interesting accounts to read. Hall's Bluff did a thriving business on these days, for instance, take this account which James Madison [HALL] entered in his Journal: February 27th, 1890 -- Today, the steamer Queen passed Hall's Bluff, bound up the river. The steamer Lone Star passed down.

Other steamers plying up and down the Trinity River were named in HALL's Journal. He wrote accounts of the steamers each time they appeared at the Bluff, and whether going up or down the river. Here is a fair example of the names of the steamers --


  • The Mary Hill,
  • the G. H. Bell,
  • the Kate,
  • the Swan,
  • the Lucy Guin,
  • the Alice,
  • the Ruthven,
  • the Alamo,
  • the Sunflower,
  • the Oricaba,
  • the Royal Arch,
  • the Mary Lenard,
  • the T. J. Emery,
  • the government steamer Col. Stell,
  • the Indian No. 2,
    and the sloops
  • Grey Hound, and
  • Luna.

There were, no doubt, others.

Cargo

The cargo varied with each shipment from Galveston up the river. Household articles, store supplies, furniture, matting for carpeting of floors, salt, nails and many various items were brought up the river on steamers. Beef, hides, wood, bales of cotton and other varied supplies were transported down the river.

Old Man River

When torrents of rain descended for several days, and perhaps lengthened into weeks of rain, Ole Man Trinity River would go on a rampage. As it rained, the river would RISE, and, as it rose it would bring destruction, to crops, cattle, horses, the mill that the HALL's owned, and barns and everything in the river's wide path of destruction.

To be continued . . .

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Four




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn

Hunter's Paradise

Hall's Bluff seemingly was a paradise for hunting turkey, squirrels, deer, or for just going fishing for catfish or a long string of sun-perch that would make the best eating, ever. Sometimes, on a special occasion, oysters by the barrel would arrive by the steamers, from Galveston -- and the HALL family really did enjoy a feast, then.

There were accounts in the Journal about the Christmas being prepared either by the little woman or under her own personal supervision, all prepared in its own glorious, marvelous goodness.

There were accounts of the children who sometimes, and quite often, came down with a severe cold, high fever, chills and such, and there were accounts of the doctors visits. Sometimes the distance made it a necessity for the doctor to stay overnight, and sometimes the patient's illness caused the doctor to stay hours at a time too.

There were various accounts of the management of the farm such as planting cotton and corn, the grinding of corn or wheat at the mill, the mill breaking down, and the equipment replaced or repaired, the troubles with farm labor, the business of running the warehouse at the landing wharf, the worries and fears connected with the river overflowing and destroying all the crops planted; the oxen getting out of the rail fence enclosures and being lost for several days on end; the accounts of sending out the hired hands to find and fetch them back, the accounts of the fine horses they had, and of one especially prized horse (this seemed to be the horse Hall called 'Rat') who happened to a tragic accident and 'Rat's' subsequent death . . . all these simple little things taking place, year after year, day by day, and all told in a simple homespun manner that is delightful to read.

As one turns page after page one also gets the feeling that one is actually being introduced to a host of people who played a prominent part in the early life of Houston County, for, it is through these pages that you will meet with many people, some living at Hall's Bluff, some at Crockett, and some who traveled frequently up and down the river for one cause or another.


To be continued . . .

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Three




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn

Hall's Bluff

James Madison HALL and 'the Little Woman' as he called his wife, found happiness and contentment in making a home at Hall's Bluff. First, the land for the house had to be cleared, which took quite a bit of time . . . then, the site for their houses had to be settled upon, and finally, in Time, the house was built and furnished. The furniture, finally arrived, by steamer from Galveston. The Journal records of how the furniture was left out on the banks of the Trinity River, so urgent was the need of the steamer to go up the river and of how fast and furiously 'all the hands had to work' to get all the furniture hauled to the site of the house before the rains descended!! Matting was also brought up, by steamer, for a floor covering. Then, IN TIME, there was a garden plot to be decided upon, then planted and culvitated by the hands, with 'the little woman' in charge of supervision. Then, there were rails to be split and pickets to be made for the yard fence, and for fence to be built on the place (rail fences) and then oxen had to be used for plowing the cleared fields in order that they could plant corn or cotton.

There were many, many trips to be made to Crockett to buy additional supplies for the house or for the farm in general. Occasionally there were trips just to pay the Doctor, and settle accounts when due, or to visit friends in Crockett or, up-country. There were occasional trips further away from home such as to Liberty, overland by horse-back, or, by steamer or to Livingston, Sumpter, Dailey, Coleto, Huntsville, Galveston, or Houston.


To be continued . . .

Review of Hall's Journal - Part Two




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn


Note This

It seems that Joshua J. HALL also kept a diary, which he kept from 1848 to 1854. It is hoped that, in Time, a copy of THIS diary will soon be placed in our Houston County Library, if one is still in existance.

With this introduction of The HALLS -- let's get back to some of the contents found in "A Journal of the Civil War Period" by James Madison HALL.

The Journal, beautifully bound in brown leather, with lettering done in gold, is a masterpiece of information about people who lived in Houston County, at Hall's Bluff, and surrounding counties. To be sure, not ALL of our hometown early settlers will be mentioned, but quite a host of people are mentioned to make the Journal a very desirable one to read. It makes good material to do research in. The pages show authentically copied pages of the originals, these pages having been Zeroxed.


To be continued . . .

Review of Hall's Journal - Part One




The Houston County Courier
Crockett, Texas
Thursday, February 2, 1967

Hall's Journal of 60's
Reviewed For Readers

By H. B. Milburn

In our Houston County Library there is a three hundred and twenty-five page Journal that's going to prove of interest to many descendants of pioneer families living in Houston County. This Journal has just recently been presented TO THE LIBRARY by Mrs. Mahala HALL BROWNLOW of Shreveport, La., and her nephew Robert L. HALL of Anahuac, Texas.

The Journal is of the Civil War period, and was kept by JAMES MADISON HALL when he lived at Hall's Bluff during the years 1860-1866.

Here, we feel that we should give a biographical sketch of James Madison HALL, who kept the Journal -- and to this we turned to our ever highly prized "History of Houston County" written many many years ago by Judge A. A. ALDRICH; and from this, in part, we quote.

"James Madison HALL was the son of Joshua A [James] HALL. He was born February 22nd, probably in Maryland. He came with his father to Houston County as early as July 1st, 1839. He married Cornelia A. BRACKEN, as early as 1851.

"James Madison [HALL] was elected district clerk in Houston County in 1847, and held the office until 1857.

"About 1858 he and his first wife were divorced and he later married his stepsister, a daughter of his stepmother, Mahala HALL, with whom he lived until his death in 1866."

The Journal "covers the entire period of the Civil War from 1861 to 1866. In this he has preserved some valued history of that period."

"James Madison HALL was the son of Joshua H [James] HALL. The records show that JOSHUA J. HALL was here as early as July 1st, 1839; and that he was owner of more than twenty-three thousand acres of land on which he located his home, and on which he lived up to the time of his death. He later married the widow Mahala L. SHARP, the daughter of Elisha ROBERTS, a pioneer citizen of San Augustine County. Soon after reaching Houston County he established a warehouse and business at a point on the bank of the Trinity River, near his home, which, ever since, has been known as Hall's Bluff.

"Hall's Bluff," as Judge A. A. ALDRICH wrote "was quite a business place where cotton was shipped to market on steamboats that plied the river to and from Galveston. The business of hauling cotton to that point, and goods from that point, to Crockett merchants, was a regular trade before the coming of the railroad."


To be continued . . .