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Original two room log cabin on homeplace as it appears today.

A Little Background

I guess that the first thing that I need to do is to give a little
background about myself to give you a little insight into the
circumstances in which I started life. At the time my parents were living on
the old family homeplace which was homesteaded by my great grandfather, Samuel White.

Samuel White was born October 13, 1831 in Indiana and died May 03, 1894 in Nemo,
Somervell County, Texas; burial: Georges Creek Cemetery, Somervell County, Texas.

Sophia Jackson was born December 30, 1840 in Arkansas and died November 16, 1891 in
Nemo, Somervell County, Texas; burial: Georges Creek Cemetery, Somervell County,

They were married October 18, 1855 in Hopkins County, Texas.

They traveled with the Hart family, with Charles Goodnight as their guide, to Johnson
County, Texas where the Hart Family settled on land just east of what is now Rio
Vista and Samuel and Sophia went farther west and settled on what is now Buck Creek,
near the Brazos River. This area was later taken away from Johnson County to form
Somervell County.

Sam and Sophia's first home was a two room log house with a walkway, or 'dog run',
between the rooms. One room was the bedroom and the other was the kitchen/living
area. The space between the rooms made for a cold dash on a winter morning going
from the bedroom to the kitchen for breakfast. This log house is still standing and
is used as storage area today.

Samuel White started ranching and over the years made many cattle drives up the
Chisholm Trail to Kansas City. As his cattle business began to prosper he built a
large story and a half ranch house and later bought out some neighboring homesteads
to increase his land holdings. The ranch house was destroyed by fire in 1967.

In purchasing the other homesteads he acquired at least two other
ranch houses that I know of, which he rented out or let family
members live in over the years. After he passed away, my great
uncle, my grandmothers brother, inherited the place and kept the
practice up.

My dad was an old bachelor until the age of 45, when he finally
married. My grandmother passed away a year before dad married and
my grandfather rented his place out and went to live with some of the
married children and dad moved into one of the houses on the old homestead.

The house was a two story, box type house. For those of you who do
not know what a “box” house is, it consisted of 1 X 12 boxing planks
nailed to the outside of the floor joists and a 2X4 runner at the top.

There was a 1X4 slat nailed over the cracks to keep the wind out. As
there were no 2X4 studs, there was no inside wall, just the single
outside wall.

In the case of a two story house they would use 16 or 18 ft boxing
planks with one runner at the 10 ft level, for the second floor, and
another at the top. The first, or main floor, usually had 10 ft ceilings
and the second floor had a low ceiling. Actually, the roof pitch
was the ceiling, and tho you might not be able to stand up at the
edges without bumping your head on the ceiling, you could walk
down the middle very well. The second floor was used mainly as a
storage area.

The house sat in the middle of the ranch with just a couple of
ruts, which was called a road, cutting across the ranch from
north to south, going by in front of the house. To go to town you
could go out the north road by the main ranch house, which was a
mile from our house, and then another mile out to the highway.

The other way, to the south, was a mile to the backside of the
ranch, through a gate onto another property and another half mile
to a back road, which was dirt, then another two miles to get to
a paved road.

Also, there was no electricity and no running water. This is a
general description of the place I started life out at during
what many people call “The good old days.” Now, in the coming
weeks we will compare life in the “Good old days” with life today.

View of dog run through center of original two room log cabin on homeplace.

The old house where we lived in the early 1940's.


Reccomended Reading
Texas Tales, Jokes & Anticdotes
Johns Poetry Corner
Over The Backfence
Farm Life