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Tuesday, September 15. 2009
My post on September 13, about sighting a cougar outside of Hondo, Texas reminded me of a funny storyÂ relating toÂ Hondo,Â written Lee Wallace, my Great Uncle.
In 1896 Lee, my Mother's favorite Uncle, was a young man, just out of college and heÂ sent a number of letters to potential cities where he might open up a legal practice.Â The response is veryÂ funny!
"Early in 1896, as a young attorney, I was casting about for a new location somewhere in the great southwest.Â Among other inquiries made by letter, one was directed to the Justice Of the Peace At Hondo, Texas, giving some details about myself and asking some.Â I told him I was a young attorney, unmarried, somewhat nervous because of temporary health impairment, asking the price of board, number of local attorneys, number of population of the County, and expressing my preference to board with some quiet family without children, if suitable place could be found."
"The following is copy of reply to my inquiry:"
"Hondo City, Janâ€™y 30th, 1896
Lee Wallace, Esq.
Your letter of inquiry of date Janâ€™y 24th has been duly recâ€™d and contents prayerfully and carefully considered.Â You say you are a young attorney, but neglected to state how young.Â All our attorneys consider themselves young, though there is not one who has passed the half-century post.Â You say you are unmarried.Â Bless you, my boy, come here and we can so soon marry you off.Â Our female population is largely in excess of the male.
You wonâ€™t be unmarried long.Â Come right off.
Board can be had from $25.00 per week to $2.50 per month, according to where you board and how you can chaw hash.
We have no quiet families here.Â Every family is well provided with howling, yelling kids, and besides the head of the family gets home about 10:00 or 11:00 p.m., well tanked up, and the old woman and he have a hell of a time until day.Â But come and marry and establish a quiet family of your own.
There are five regular attorneys here, but about 45 curbstone lawyers, the latter get the business and the former are engaged in hunting lost mines.Â But come here, weâ€™ll marry you off and you can help us in the way of increasing the population and looking dignified.Â The population of this county is about 5000, but this being an election year, it will run up to about 7500.
Hoping to see you soon,
A.Â M. Lamm
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:05 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, June 20. 2009
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
My Great Uncle, Lee Wallace, a lawyer, writer and judge, was quite a â€œsportâ€ and well known throughout our State.Â He was my Motherâ€™s favorite Uncle and some of his exploits are near legendary.
Around the turn of the 20th century, Lee, County Attorney for Kerr County, Texas and another lawyer, decided they would go and visit one of Leeâ€™s friends in Pecos, Texas, probably a hundred and fifty to two hundred mile trip.Â Remember, no interstates and very few cars then and their chosen mode of transportation was a team of horses, pulling their wagon.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Here Lee is shown with his â€œSundayâ€ rig. Â
A car trip from Kerrville to Langtry, even with our modern highways, is not easy today and in the early 1900â€™s, had to be a nightmare.Â To bolster their courage, along with their pistols, they took two cases of whiskey, one for their trip and one for Leeâ€™s friend.Â Wouldnâ€™t you know it, their wagon broke an axle near Rocksprings and their three to four day trip turned into a week.
Finally arriving in Langtry, with the whiskey gone, and no â€œgiftâ€ for Leeâ€™s friend, his friendâ€™s court was in session.Â The bar was closed, and they witnessed the strange brand of justice practiced by, Leeâ€™s friend, Judge Roy Bean!
The complaint was by an Anglo rancher that one of his horses was stolen.Â Judge Bean brought out a Mexican man that was already in jail and said he must have done it.Â The jury found Mexican guilty and Judge Bean sent him back to jail for a longer term or a hanging (Lee never said).Â With the swift sentence, the bar quickly opened and warm greetings were exchanged.
After several days, with Leeâ€™s visit and business completed, he and his fellow traveler loaded up for home.Â To bolster their courage for the grueling trip, Judge Bean presented them with two more cases of whiskey.Â Four days later, minus the whiskey, they arrived safely in Kerrville.
Back then, you had to be careful of the water you drank!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, December 28. 2008
Rereading my Great Uncle, Lee Wallaceâ€™s book, â€œWaif Of The Timesâ€, I came across some of his â€˜thoughtsâ€™ about income taxes and wealth redistribution.Â Leeâ€™s writings spanned a time period of 1900 to 1930 and definitely covered 1913, the year the 16th amendment to our Constitution was passed, eventually giving us the IRS.
Lee was a staunch Democrat and elected official â€“ County Attorney, District Judge and received an appointment by Pres. Roosevelt to become a Federal Judge, but turned it down because of his health.Â It turns out he had successful surgery and lived 22 more years.Â He should have taken up FDR on his offer!
After the Civil War ended, and for the next 100 years, Texas and the entire South was almost 100% Democrat.Â As the liberals and elitists encroached on our society and government, the South and Texas became more conservative and Republican.Â Leeâ€™s thoughts, written almost 100 years ago, echo true to this dayâ€¦
â€œIf you take away from me the things I have earned without my consent you are a robber.Â If you give it or part to another, you make a robber out of him.â€ Â
â€œI hate you for taking my earnings without my consent; I hate the one you give it to for accepting it, and you both hate me for hating you because you know that I know you robbed me.â€
â€œA thief always hates a sheriff, not that the sheriff has done the thief any wrong but because the sheriff is in the business of competing with the thief.â€
Feelings were obviously high against the recently passed income tax.Â I believe we, that pay the taxes, still feel that way in 2008!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Politics at 08:05 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, June 13. 2007
Here's a picture of Lee Wallace (circa 1900) in his buggy. I'm sure the following trip was made with a larger wagon and a team of horses.
Continue reading "Law West Of The Pecos"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, May 20. 2007
This is another story written by my Great Uncle, Lee Wallace. It probably happened in the mid 1920â€™s, shortly after Lee arrived in Kerrville, Texas.
Wilkerson and Wakefield
By Lee Wallace
He made this announcement: â€œMr. Wilkerson,â€ (He had always called him â€œUncle Adamâ€, but this time Charley wanted drama into his talk and conduct). â€œMr. Wilkerson, Iâ€™ve been here ten years almost. I know this ranch and your business from A to Izzard. Nobody knows them or can know them like I do Mr. Wilkerson. Youâ€™ve got to have me, you canâ€™t do without me, Mr. Wilkerson. Instead of $30 and furnished, itâ€™s $50 and furnished from here on, Mr. Wilkerson.â€
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, March 31. 2007
This is another story from the book, "Waif Of Times", written by my Great Uncle, Lee Wallace. He was either the presiding judge or defense attorney in this case. He was know for his oratorical skills and was a self-styled poet, so I favor him being the defense attorney.
Art Sheely was prosecuted on a charge of goat theft. The main witnesses for the State, two trappers running their lines on a cold morning at sunrise, from a high cliff, swore they saw Sheely catch and kill the goat with his knife far down in the canyon below them. That about this time Sheely discovered the witnesses and ran away without the goat and that they immediately reported the matter to the sheriff, who went to the scene, found the dead goat and nearby a bloody open knife. They testified they had seen Sheely a short time before the theft with just such a knife.
At the trial, these two witnesses on cross examination admitted they had lost money as trappers, that they knew there was a standing $500.00 reward offered by the Goat Raisers Association for evidence â€˜sufficient and convictingâ€™ anyone guilty of goat theft, that they knew Sheely lived three miles away, that he was a shiftless, lazy non-working kind of fellow.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 14:18 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, March 7. 2007
I just finished re-reading the stories, for I donâ€™t know how many times, and still found them enjoyable, and they fit well in my â€œHill Country Happeningsâ€. Kerrville, Texas, where many of these stories took place, is one of the many beautiful areas in our Texas Hill Country!
From time to time I plan on posting a story of Leeâ€™s. They were copyrighted in 1946 and published by the author. So, I believe it is fitting to offer a brief bio of Lee Wallace.Lee Wallace was born in Van Zandt County in â€œdeepâ€ East Texas in 1868, a Civil War baby boomer. The 1880 census lists Lee as â€œworking on farmâ€. He was all of 12. His father, Shaw Wallace, was my Maternal Great-Grandfather. Shaw, was a Confederate veteran, born in Northern Ireland in 1819 and died of pneumonia in Ben Wheeler, Texas, in 1906 . Shawâ€™s life and times are another good story.
I met Lee Wallace one time in 1950 when I was 14. Lee had just been diagnosed with stomach cancer and since he was my Momâ€™s favorite Uncle. She wanted to visit him before he became too ill. Lee died July 2, 1953.
He was a lawyer and judge. He attended Sam Houston College in Huntsville, Texas. but did not attend law school. He was twice married but had no children. Lee came to Kerrville in 1896 and he told me he arrived there with â€œa bull whip and a Bibleâ€. A number of years ago, a friend of mine from Kerrville told me that Judge Wallace was â€œa tough old guyâ€. I have been told he was a protÃ©gÃ© of Captain Charles Schreiner, a very prominent resident of Kerr County and Kerrville and that later in his career was appointed a District Judge and served in that position until he retired, due to poor health, in 1936.
Lee was known for his wit and oratorical skill and his most famous quote was â€œI have never forgotten a friend nor forgiven an enemy.â€ In later years he modified this as follows, â€œIt is too much trouble to have an enemy, since you have to work to dislike someone and you have to keep remembering a grudge.â€
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 14:04 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
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