William Wald Glover Interview

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 William Wald Glover Interview
Born 31 July 1846, Dallas County, Texas
Died 13 March 1928, Dallas, Texas
(submitted by M. C. Toyer)

Biographical Note: William Wald Glover was the first recorded birth after Dallas County was formed in 1846. His father, George Washington Glover, came to Texas from Alabama in 1843, with a caravan that included Samuel S and Martilla Bobbitt Stockton. Samuel Stockton died soon after his arrival and George Washington Glover later married the widow Martilla Bobbitt Stockton who inherited the land grant of her deceased husband. He located the claim adjacent to the northwest corner of the claim of James Jackson Beeman in the area now known as Urbandale in the city of Dallas. The W W Glover Cemetery on Military Parkway is on this original claim.
Editorial Note: This interview was published in 1925. The following was copied from a hand written document from the estate of Frances Ida Beeman Cutchin, granddaughter of W W Glover and Julia Lanhan and a great granddaughter of John Beeman and Emily Hunnicutt. It has been transcribed verbatim from that copy, but it is not known if this is the entirety of the interview. Minor clarification of names and abbreviations have been added in parentheses and additional paragraph breaks have been inserted.

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     Mother often told me as a little fellow of the Indians. When she came to Dallas, the Caddo Indians were located down about Caddo Lake and part of the Cherokee tribe were living on land granted them by General Houston in Nacogdoches County. Both tribes passed to the north of Dallas on buffalo hunts, and to the south on bear hunts.
     The Delaware located north of the Red River, ranged as far south as Dallas, and were very friendly. They were armed with rifles and the terror of the Comanche, who had only bows and arrows. The settlers were always glad to have the Delaware near them, since they knew there would be no danger from the Comanche so long as he Delaware were about. Delaware Frank, the Chief of the Delaware was always a welcome guest of the settlers.
     Before long the Cherokee Indians of Texas got to stealing horses and cattle on so extensive a scale, that the settlers rose up against them and ran them out about 1849. After leaving their lands down about Cherokee County they lived for a while on little Elm in Denton County, but finally went to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
     The grant of land they had now lies partly in Cherokee and partly in Henderson and Van Zandt Counties. The town and county of Cherokee were named for the tribe, but there were no Indians in this part of the country in my time, namely from 1850 on.
     The ground was covered with the bones and skulls of buffaloes, but there were no live buffaloes this side of Fort Worth, although now and then a few scattered ones were found as far in as Grand Prairie. Wild horses too, had for the most part, retired west of the Trinity. The settlers had tried to exterminate them because of their bad example. The gentlest plow horse getting among them became in two days the wildest of the bunch.
     Some people made it a business to kill wild horses and boil the oil out of the flesh. Horse oil made the finest soap grease in the world, and it was used extensively by tanners in dressing leather. There were several factories in North Texas in early days for rendering up the fat of wild horses and hunters killed horses for their fat, just as they killed buffalo for their hides.
     The early settlers of the West had no use for cattle as long as the buffaloes remained in the country, but as the buffaloes were killed and driven out they were obliged to substitute cattle. At first cattle died almost as fast as they were brought to Texas. Calves born here generally lived but were feeble and degenerate.
     The Cherokee Indians had a species of small wobbly cattle a large number of which they left on their lands when they so hastily left Cherokee County and it was from there that the settlers got a breed of cattle that throve in this section. There were usually descendants of these cattle all over the country until I was grown.
     The first hogs introduced here consisted of twenty-five or thirty head driven here by my father from Red River early in the 1840's. He turned them loose in the river bottoms above Dallas, as he was totally dependant on meat for food. But the wolves, bear and panthers soon scattered them and he lost them. It was however, no great loss since they were worthless so long as there were plenty of bear.
     From what I remember these hogs were razorbacks, with the speed of greyhounds or jackrabbits. They grew to a great size provided they were permitted to live eight or ten years.
     I have heard it said that the only people in Dallas down to 1846, when the county was organized were John Neely Bryan, J W Smith, Adam Haught, J M Patterson and Colonel John C McCoy and their families. Col McCoy told me when he arrived in 1845, he found John Neely Bryan clad in a buckskin suit with moccasin shoes, the whole suit and man topped by a coonskin cap.
     Col McCoy was beloved of all classes and we children flocked to him as the children of old fell in behind the Pied Piper.
     The inconvenience of having the county seat as far away as Nacogdoches was soon felt by the settlers and they started a movement to remedy things. They mapped off what they considered would be a county of working size and a mass meeting selected John Beeman to present it in the legislature, not knowing how else to proceed.
     But, Mr Beeman was denied a seat in the legislature for the very plain reason that the county he claimed to hale from was not found to be on the map, not to mention that the election at which he was elected seemed to have been held according to no known rules.
     But, Mr Beeman, by the advice of men more experienced than he in such matters, got the representative of Robertson County to introduce a bill providing for the organization of Dallas County. The bill becoming a law, the county was organized by the election of county officers in July 1846.
     The News has already published that the first suit tried in the county was a divorce case and the plaintiff, a woman, immediately was married to the foreman of the jury granting the divorce.
     The pioneers lived in a simple and primitive way. With the exception of growing a little corn and wheat, they did not attempt to farm. There were no mills and the people pounded the corn in mortars, Indian fashion. Later, small steel mills were introduced.
     Local shoemakers made all the footwear of the community. The materials for clothing were woven on handlooms. The women wore linsey-woolsey and the men jeans. A pair of jeans trousers fixed with buckskin was guaranteed to last always,
     They needed nothing from the outside but sugar, coffee, salt and tobacco. When the Civil War came and cut off all importations we had to look out for ourselves. We found rock salt at Grand Saline and a salt spring in Young County. Settlers went to these places and boiled out their own salt.
     For sweetening we made out with wild honey, which was easily found until 1863 or 1864, when African cane was introduced from which we made sorghum and sugar.
     Men did without tobacco for some time but the desire lingered with such force we undertook to grow the weed. What we raised was better than no tobacco at all, but North Texas is not a tobacco growing region. But I still raise my own tobacco and this old cob pipe I am smoking is loaded with the genuine long green.
     We never found a substitute for coffee. We made a coffee colored drink of parched rye and other things, but it was not coffee.
     Land was cheap for a long time. The Grigsby League sold for 25 cents an acre in the early 1850's. In the late 1840's two sections of land just below Bois d'Arc Island were bartered for a sack of salt. In fact land had but little value until the settlers began to cultivate cotton in the 1870's. I know a man who jumped at an offer of $ 5 an acre for his land. He then rented part of the land and pitched a crop of cotton. He was to give one-fourth of the crop to the new owner of the land. The rent he paid the first year amounted to $ 6 an acre.

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Transcribed 14 December 2000, by M C Toyer.
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