Vanished Glory of
Recalled as Town Century Old
T. A. PRICE
Staff Correspondent of The News.
Texas, March 14. -- Trinity Mills is one mile north of Carrollton,
and Trinity Mills, this year, celebrates its one hundredth birthday.
Only a few houses mark the spot because much of the town moved
to the present Carrollton with the advent of one railway and
establishment of a townsite by the builders, and practically
all who were left, moved when a second rail line made this city
It was Preston Witt who settled
by the river side in 1842, and he was a mighty man. Besides acting
as captain in the Indian wars, he established one of Texas' earliest
grist mills, a mill that grew from horsepower to steam power,
and which, at one time, supplied most of the flour that was used
in North Texas.
Witt was a builder, and, according
to the lore of the old-timers and meager notes in old histories
of this section, he was a sportsman, as well. With his mill,
he ran a still for the manufacture of whisky and a general trading
post. His brothers came to join him in these enterprises as they
grew, and a horse race track was laid out where a visitor driving
to mill with a grind always could get action if he thought he
had a fast horse.
Woods Teemed With Game.
Woods along the Trinity were teeming
with game. Buffalo roamed the prairies. Hanging from the limb
of a big pecan tree in the mill yard one might often see the
butchered carcasses of deer and buffalo and bear. Small game
was the daily meat ration for every family in the whole section.
The abundance of game, the good
water, and the fact that there was available, a well-drained
camping ground, all served to make the Witt mill a popular rendezvous,
and frequently there was such a rush of business, that it was
necessary to wait a week or more for service, but these weeks
never were dull.
When the crude, horse-operated
mill of 1842 became too small to handle the business, Witt sent
to New Orleans to get the equipment for a steam mill and went
into the woods to square out huge oak timbers to house the operations.
The boiler he found at the gulf port was one that had been salvaged
from a wrecked ship, a two-tube affair that had been fabricated
in England by hand, and that boiler still is a landmark that
can be seen from United States Highway 77, just north of this
city. It has been sunk to form the corner post of a fence, and
only about five of its sixteen feet of length appears above ground.
Timbers Still in Use.
- March 15, 1942, The
Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 10, col. 5-6.
The old mill timbers still are
in use as the framework of a barn, and the foundation stones,
many of them bearing the carved or chiseled initials of pioneers,
are still supporting the huge 12 by 12-inch sills.
The Carrollton Chamber of Commerce
now is toying with the idea of a great centennial celebration
later in the year, for which there would be issued a call for
a homecoming of the descendants of pioneers who worked and fought
Indians and played at the rough games of the day on the land
which now is being gouged by steam shovels to furnish ballast
for Texas highways.
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