Pioneer Farm; Memories of "Aunt Annie"

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Biographical Note: Mrs W H Sims, nee Annie Martilla Glover, was the daughter of William Wald Glover, who 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 their arrival and George Glover later married his widow, Martilla Stockton, who had 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: These are excerpts of an interview published in the Dallas Morning News in 1949. They are part of a hand written document from the estate of Frances Ida Beeman Cutchin; the niece of Mrs Sims, and granddaughter of W W Glover and Julia Lanham, and a great granddaughter of John Beeman and Emily Hunnicutt. The following has been transcribed verbatim from that document, but it is not known if this is the entirety of the interview. Minor clarification of names and abbreviations, and editorial notes have been added in parentheses and additional paragraph breaks have been inserted.

     Dallas had grown up around the section of land where Mrs W M Sims has lived for 66 years and where her father lived for 82 years. Now from the front porch of her cool comfortable brick home located on Wofford Street near the spot where the second oldest house in Dallas County once stood, Mrs Sims can look out over acres of attractive homes.
     Not long ago she looked out over acres of farmland with the skyline of Dallas in the distance. That same land was unbroken prairie back in 1845, when George W(ashington) Glover married Mrs Martilla Stockton and began homesteading the 640 acre Stockton survey.
     The story of that marriage is living history to Mrs Sims, who heard it many times as a girl named Annie Martilla Glover. In those days Dallas was in Nacogdoches County and it was a long way to go to the county seat for a marriage license so George Glover got his in Bonham. Then, concerned lest his marriage the beautiful widow be illegal in a different county, he took his bride-to-be and a minister (Elder Amon McCommas) in a wagon into Fannin County. They were married on the wind-blown prairie.
     For a while the young couple lived in the old Sears cabin in the Munger Place Addition now, and there their first child, William Wald Glover was born on July 31, 1846, just 22 days after the county of Dallas was organized.
     They later moved to their land, the Stockton survey and began homesteading on it. There was a spring beside the first Glover home. It's buried now beneath Parkdale Drive, but, said Mrs Sims, "It still bubbles up through the street itself."
     On the same tract of land, young William Glover, a Civil War Veteran at 18, helped his parents build a new home. His daughter, Mrs Sims, still treasures a board from that house, assembled with pegs.
     Other Glover children scattered, but William remained to farm the family place and earn a reputation as a fine wood worker whose wagons and coffins were objects of beauty. He married, reared two of four children to maturity, saw one daughter (Ida Mae) marry a Beeman (Holland Dye) and another (Annie Martilla) a McCarley (J W).
     The McCarleys lived on Forney Road, still on Glover land, however. When her husband died six years after their marriage, the young widow and her two small sons returned to the old home.
     Life was isolated, but travelers along Wofford, then the old Kaufman Road and the only major thoroughfare through the section, always stopped for a drink at the Glover well, the same well where Sam Houston paused for refreshment earlier while heading north for an Indian conference.
(Editorial Note: This is an aberration of events with a basis in fact: In his Memoirs written in 1886, James Jackson Beeman recounts, "In (July)1843, General Sam Houston, who was at this time President of the Republic of Texas, came out to meet the Indians at Bird's Fort to make a treaty of peace with them, as they were still hostile. He wanted me to go as guide to the Fort, which I did. He had about thirty men with him as a guard, among them was John R. Reagan. Reagan was taken sick at White Rock so was left at my brother John Beeman's. As soon as he was able to travel he went back to his home in East Texas." The Beemans had originally settled on the west side of White Rock Creek in April 1842, building a blockhouse for protection against the Indians. In the fall of 1843, they moved east of White Rock Creek; James to the east of the future Stockton survey and John to the southwest. Samuel and Martilla Stockton arrived in Dallas late in 1843. George and Martilla Glover did not move onto the Stockton survey until after the birth of W W Glover in July 1846. In his Diary, Edward Parkinson, who accompanied Sam Houston, writes, "We camped at White Rock Springs .. about one mile from the White Rock forks on the Trinity.")
     The well still stands adjoining a plastered milk house. It will remain, though the old homestead and barns are gone and only a 90 x 100 foot lot is left of 640 acres. It was that well which prompted one of Mrs Sims young sons to remark, after hauling several buckets of water to the house, "I wish mother had a faucet on the Mississippi."
     Recently the Sims and their neighbors were isolated by high waters surrounding their hill-top homes. It reminded Mrs Sims of the flood of 1908. Then they had no contact with the outside world for days. But it didn't matter much, everything a family needed from milk and butter to meat and vegetables was right there.
     In those days, Scyene was the center of activity more than Dallas. It was there the Glovers went for lodge meetings and church. But they shopped in Dallas at the old Lowenstein store, Titches and Sanger Brothers, going in by horse and buggy or wagon. In Dallas, Annie Martilla Glover, at the age of 8 or thereabouts, visited the first ice cream parlor in the infant city. She eagerly devoured her first dish of the new treat and demanded more of that "cold clabber."
     Sometimes they walked to the streetcar line terminal at Fair Park, a mere three miles. William Wald Glover, an impatient man, often covered the entire six miles to town afoot.
     The first automobile ride was a memorable experience, and Mrs Sims recalls the marvelous sensation of speed, the speechless delight of her two small sons, and the way pedestrians along the way scattered in fright, crawling under fences to escape the strange vehicle. "We kept a horse and buggy longer than most, I guess. But we were always on time. Later, when the boys were grown, and there was a car to go in, we were always late."
     Even after her second marriage 23 years ago, (to W H Sims in 1926) this descendant of pioneers lived a farm life. Her husband tilled the remaining acres of the original section. Then, a little more than a decade ago, (the late 1930's) the city came to them. It brought water lines, sewer lines, gas, electricity and welcome neighbors.
     All that remains of the old days is a six foot muzzle-loader of Civil War days and a couple of old kerosene lamps, wired now for electricity. Even the old red barn is gone. His daughter used to beg William Wald Glover to tear it down, pointing out that it hid the view of Dallas' distant skyline. "You've got feet, haven't you?" this hardy pioneer would reply, "Walk around it when you want to look."

Transcribed 14 December 2000, by M C Toyer.
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