The Houston County Courier
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 . . .