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Business & Community Journal --- March, 2011

w w w. M y C o u n t y - L i n e . c o m


Volume 4 Issue 46

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The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

Monthly Issue

March ,


In This Issue:


Presidential Papers

of George Washington

Growing Up Small Town by Mike W. Norris

Texas Conservative by Chuck Norris

@Ranger Library

by Diana McCullough

Star Pride

by Ginger Tobin

Good Neighbors

by Clint Coffee NEW FEATURE!

Texas Traveler by Jeff Clark

Reader Submissions by Various

Tumbleweed Smith by Bob Lewis

Love Lessons

by Vicki Stiefer

Treasure Hunters

by Jerry Eckhart NEW FEATURE!

The Breckenridge Wall Local Advertisers

Out of the Box

by Joellen Hodge NEW FEATURE!

Rising Star Bulletin Board Local Advertisers

Out of the Past

by Luther Gohlke NEW FEATURE!

This Week In Texas History by Bartee Haile

From the Backside

by Henry J. Clevicepin

Ruthie’s Page

by Mike & Ruth Norris

Please Visit Our Website

vol.4 Issue 46

President George Washington

First Inaugural Address City of New York, Thursday, April 30, 1789 Fellow Citizens of the Senate and of the consecrate to the liberties and happiness of House of Representatives: the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential Among the vicissitudes incident to life purposes, and may enable every instrument no event could have filled me with greater employed in its administration to execute with anxieties than that of which the notification success the functions allotted to his charge. was transmitted by your order, and received In tendering this homage to the Great Author on the 14th day of the present month. On the of every public and private good, I assure one hand, I was summoned by my Country, myself that it expresses your sentiments not whose voice I can never hear but with less than my own, nor those of my fellowveneration and love, from a retreat which I citizens at large less than either. No people had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, can be bound to acknowledge and adore the in my flattering hopes, with an immutable Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of decision, as the asylum of my declining men more than those of the United States. years--a retreat which was rendered every Every step by which they have advanced to day more necessary as well as more dear to the character of an independent nation seems me by the addition of habit to inclination, and to have been distinguished by some token of frequent interruptions in my health to the of providential agency; and in the important gradual waste committed on it by time. On revolution just accomplished in the system the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of their united government the tranquil of the trust to which the voice of my country deliberations and voluntary consent of so called me, being sufficient to awaken in the many distinct communities from which the wisest and most experienced of her citizens event has resulted can not be compared with a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, the means by which most governments have could not but overwhelm with despondence been established without some return of pious one who (inheriting inferior endowments gratitude, along with an humble anticipation from nature and unpracticed in the duties of of the future blessings which the past seem civil administration) ought to be peculiarly to presage. These reflections, arising out of conscious of his own deficiencies. In this the present crisis, have forced themselves conflict of emotions all I dare aver is that it too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. has been my faithful study to collect my duty You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that from a just appreciation of every circumstance there are none under the influence of which by which it might be affected. All I dare hope the proceedings of a new and free government is that if, in executing this task, I have been can more auspiciously commence. too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate By the article establishing the executive sensibility to this transcendent proof of the department it is made the duty of the President confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have “to recommend to your consideration such thence too little consulted my incapacity measures as he shall judge necessary and as well as disinclination for the weighty expedient.” The circumstances under which and untried cares before me, my error will I now meet you will acquit me from entering be palliated by the motives which mislead into that subject further than to refer to the me, and its consequences be judged by my great constitutional charter under which you country with some share of the partiality in are assembled, and which, in defining your which they originated. powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be Such being the impressions under which more consistent with those circumstances, I have, in obedience to the public summons, and far more congenial with the feelings repaired to the present station, it would which actuate me, to substitute, in place of a be peculiarly improper to omit in this first recommendation of particular measures, the official act my fervent supplications to that tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, Almighty Being who rules over the universe, and the patriotism which adorn the characters who presides in the councils of nations, and selected to devise and adopt them. In these whose providential aids can supply every honorable qualifications I behold the surest human defect, that His benediction may pledges that as on one side no local prejudices

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~ continued on page 7

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

3Growing Up Small Town ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, Mike W. Norris

Gasoline Prices, Cost of Living, Political Stupidity...All On the Rise! Two bits, four bits, six bits to make a car go...all for domestic oil production, stand up and say so! How about that $3.40 per gallon gasoline, folks? Did you know that gasoline prices have been steadily climbing ever since January 2009? I wonder what worldshaping event took place in January 2009 that would have such a steady influence on the price of gasoline in these United States of Obama? Surely it couldn’t just be the Obama administration, could it? There’s absolutely no way it can be so easily attributed to the Obama administration. I mean, you have to remember we had the BP oil spill; that had a huge affect on oil prices. We also had that, umm...hold on. When was the oil spill again? April 20th, 2010 was the date that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caught on fire. Maybe you remember how I commented on that event in the July issue of The County Line last year. But did you know that oil and gasoline prices actually trended down during the first month of that fiasco? “Mike, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about!” I can hear you saying it now. usual...I do have a clue about what I’m talking about. In the last five years, gasoline and crude oil prices peaked around July 2008. What I remember most about that summer is that it was the last Fourth of July weekend that we put the boat in the water on Possum Kingdom and enjoyed the fireworks. (see the video: videos/video/38030926 ) By the end of 2008, gasoline and crude oil prices had dropped to their lowest point in the last five years, from $145.08 a barrel for crude oil on July 11 to $44.60 a barrel on December 31, 2008. How’d that happen??? Then in January 2009, Obama took office as president of these United States of America. And from that moment, gasoline and crude oil prices have reversed course and climbed to their present level. On January 2nd, 2009, crude oil was priced at $46.34 a barrel. On January 8, 2010 crude oil was $82.75 a barrel. January 7th, 2011 crude oil was at $88.03 a barrel. Crude Oil closed above $100 a barrel just this week for the first time since Obama took office. It would be pretty easy to say that oil and gasoline prices are so high because of the fiasco going on in the Middle East. Really?

Then why aren’t we drilling oil again in the Gulf? Just a couple weeks ago, it was announced that the Obama administration had approved the first deepwater drilling permit for a new well to be drilled in the Gulf since the BP oil spill. Almost at the same time, Seahawk Drilling, a Texas-based shallow water drilling operator, filed for bankruptcy citing the federal moratorum on Gulf drilling as the primary cause. Seahawk is the first driller to go under because of the refusal by this president to allow Americans to provide

for our fellow Americans. Meanwhile, the Middle East is erupting in civil war. I don’t know about you, but it would seem to be as clear as day that the price of oil is going to continue to go up as tensions continue to rise in the Middle East. A blind man may not see the writing on the wall, but you don’t need eyesight to see the future here. You need common sense.

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The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

4Texas Conservative ■

County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, Chuck Norris - The Man


Stalin-Style U.S. Public Education I love teachers. I really do. And I’m sure that most are overworked and underpaid. Certainly, no one is getting rich from teaching kids. I applaud the hardworking teachers across this land. But, as has happened in Wisconsin, when teachers unions muscle legislators like the Mafia and Democrats abandon their voting posts because they don’t like projected outcomes, haven’t we abandoned the very foundational principles of our republic? Where were the “be civil” mainstream media police last Friday morning, when union demonstrators screamed at legislators on the floor of the Wisconsin Assembly while they voted? More proof of union dominance and monopoly came out Feb. 22, when Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board released a report that disclosed the top 10 lobbying groups in the state. Look who is at the top of the list: 1. Wisconsin Education Association Council, 7,239 hours, $1,511,272 2. Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, 1,427 hours, $777,430 3. Forest County Potawatomi Community, 1,492 hours, $756,512 4. Altria Client Services Inc., 1,321 hours, $755,733 5. Wisconsin Hospital Association, 5,126 hours, $605,033 6. Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, 1,379 hours, $560,544 7. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, 4,967 hours, $508,023 8. RAI Services Co., 186 hours, $466,253 9. Wisconsin Independent Businesses Inc., 7,939 hours, $458,414 10. Wisconsin Energy Corp., 1,547 hours, $387,222 The Wisconsin Education Association Council leads the pack of lobbyists, spending two times as much and five times the amount of time as its closest lobbying competitor in order to buy, bribe and bamboozle legislators to do as it wants. What also chaps my hide is that a gigantic chunk of the WEAC’s gangster money and time is used to lobby against alternative choices in schools (including charter schools) and against tuition tax credit programs, which aid parents in sending their children to private schools. The fact is that teachers unionsponsored protests spreading the land are not primarily about the teachers or the students. They are about the unions and feds maintaining their Mafia-style rule over education and our kids and preventing people from choosing educational alternatives. Or are we naive enough to believe that Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, is stopping by the White House repeatedly for just tea and crumpets even though he admitted this past week: “I’m at the White House a couple times a week. ... I have conversations every day with someone in the White House or in the administration”? It brings me back to that bully educational manifesto of President Barack Obama’s secretary of education,

Arne Duncan, who explained in an NPR interview, “I’m a big believer in choice and competition, but I think we can do that within the public-school framework.” There’s something that the U.S. government and unions don’t want you to know. And it came out a short time ago in a Heritage Foundation report on education. It conveys the general public’s increasing dissatisfaction with public education and tells of the rising number of people opting for private education. The report explains that during the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions, 44 states introduced school-choice legislation. Forty-four states! And in 2008, choices for private school were enacted into law or expanded in Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. And as of 2009, 14 states and Washington, D.C., offered voucher or education tax credit programs. Despite the growing public preference for private education, however, Congress last year canceled the District of Columbia’s Opportunity Scholarship Program, created in 2004 to offer students from low-income families in the nation’s capital an opportunity to join the school voucher community. The law provided $14 million in scholarships to help pay tuition at private schools of their choosing. But no longer. And why did Congress nix the program, especially when studies had shown that students receiving vouchers since the program’s inception were academically 18.9 months ahead of their peers? (All of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s charter graduates are accepted to colleges.) Why would Congress phase out a program that cost $7,500 per student annually, compared with the $15,000 it costs in Washington’s public schools to educate a child? There’s only one reason Congress canceled the program. It’s the same reason at the heart of the teachers unions’ battle in Wisconsin. It comes down to this: control and educational indoctrination. I wrote in the paperback expansion of my New York Times best-seller “Black Belt Patriotism: How To Reawaken America”: “The reason that government ... (is) cracking down on private instruction has more to do with suppressing alternative education than assuring educational standards. The rationale is quite simple, though rarely if ever stated: control future generations and you control the future. So rather than letting parents be the primary educators of their children -- either directly or by educating their children in the private schools of their choice -- (government wants) to deny parental rights, establish an educational monopoly run by the state, and limit private education options. It is so simple any socialist can understand it. As Joseph Stalin once stated, ‘Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.’” Parents deserve educational choices. Choice is what this country was founded upon. Want to better U.S. public education? Feed the competition!

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To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at COPYRIGHT 2010 CHUCK NORRIS - DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM - Reprinted under license by Mike Norris for The County Line. The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

5@The Ranger Library ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, Diana McCullough

Face-to-Face via Skype!

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. TEACH a man to fish, feed him for a LIFETIME.” You’ve heard this before, I heard it today. The Ranger City Library was one of 105 rural Texas libraries selected for a pilot program that is serving as an example to others, even so far as Alaska. The University of North Texas received a 1.6 million dollar grant that was funded through the generosity of the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust. Robert Priddy is 92 years old, just so you know. One of HIS ideas was to give each rural library $5,000, which sounded pretty good to a LOT of us; however, our workshop presenters did their best to convince us that it was better for us to LEARN new skills than to be handed a nice check. Go figure! Education is priceless, I think we will all admit. Not every invited library accepted this offer, then after the downturn of the Texas economy, some librarians changed their minds! Ranger was one of fourteen rural libraries to attend today’s PEARL Orientation Workshop in Denton, Texas. PEARL stands for Promoting and Enhancing the Advancement of Rural Libraries. Besides myself, the other librarians associated with our library system, Big Country Library System, included Linda Burns (Linda reminds me of my sweet Aunt Wilda Herod) from Cross Plains Public Library, Sue Dossey from Coleman Public Library, Christina Beam from Kimble County Library (Junction), Julie Gray from the Carnegie Library in Ballinger, Brigada Hiser from the Mitchell County Public Library in Colorado City (Brigada brought her husband and adorable baby boy), Linda Jones from the Scurry County Library in Snyder (Linda is in MY group, we share a mentor, Connie Moss), Linda Northam from the Depot Public Library in Throckmorton (Linda is an older woman who can repair engines AND teach senior citizens to farm in Farmville!), and my special friend, Dana Brinkman from the Kent County Library in Jayton (Dana and I took a couple of walks together, shared confidences). The conference started with a Welcome Party in the Cowboy Conference Room at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Denton, Texas. (This hotel is a very nice place to visit, just so you know!) We each had to stand and introduce ourselves, and after I told of several projects I am working on, one librarian commented, “You make me tired!” Well, sometimes I make MYSELF tired! But, as my mother-in-law used to say, “It’s a GOOD tired!”

We met back in the Conference Room at 8:00 this morning and “Webcams” were soon distributed. Can you believe I now have a Skype account? I can’t! I even downloaded the free ap on my iPhone—oh the influence of those around me. I THOUGHT this webcam was going to be for my PATRONS, but unfortunately, it is for my TEACHERS to talk to ME face-to-face. Oh boy. This is a two year project (for the libraries, and three for the University) and it looks like I have a LOT to learn. In case you don’t know, SKYPE is a free software program that allows computer users to communicate visually. Did our presenter say that 70% of ALL effective communication is visual? I think so! The webcam that was given to us is the CAMERA. My youngest son-inlaw talks to his brother, serving in the military in Afghanistan via SKYPE—and I can see the value in THIS kind of “visual” communication—especially when there are children involved! Dana Brinkman, the librarian from Kent County Library, talks to her college-aged daughter every night with SKYPE, and she says that the webcam only cost about $30, so if a PATRON has a need for this, like a family member serving in the military, our library can easily make this investment and surely I can help with the SKYPE account. Maybe! Let me say, right up front, this grant pays for EVERY expense—ALL of my expenses will be paid, including for my substitute. This grant also pays for two years of attending the Texas Library Association conference, and when it’s all done-including a little essay that’s required--our library will be awarded $1,000 to be spent in any way that we choose—and I’m thinking COMPUTERS. Today, sitting in the workshop, trying to absorb SO

MUCH information, I wondered…Is it worth all this effort? Well, I sure hope so! Since I lack the stamina to describe details of the afternoon, which included “Community Outreach Plans”, I’ll just say that the last session ended at 4:30 and traffic was not horrendous, driving the back roads between Decatur, Springtown, and Weatherford. Do you know what’s good about having my husband off from work, recovering from a knee injury? I had a perfect chauffeur! I won’t say he was excited about the prospects of the trip, but it turned out pretty NICE! One more NICE thing, before I close. Jill Page called about an hour ago to tell me that Ranger’s 47 Club met last night, and the funds needed to complete our Libri Foundation Grant have been collected! As you may know, I checked the box for the top dollar amount--$350, which earned us a three-to-one matching grant PLUS $350 EXTRA in children’s Math and Science books—essentially quadrupling our dollars. This grant will purchase about 70 new children’s books for our library, PLUS $350 worth of Math and Science books. Thank you to EVERYONE who donated to this worthwhile cause. The grant’s deadline is Monday—I’d better get busy! According to our presenter in Denton today, we ALL need more time, people, and money. She didn’t mention FAITH. Faith helps! And faith reminds me to be thankful for the progress that Ruthie Norris is achieving. Thank the Lord. I’ll leave you with words from Mark Twain: “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Please take care, and as always…ENJOY READING! Send Comments to:

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

6Star Pride ■

County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, Ginger Tobin Star Pride Projects

Star Pride starts regular meetings again after a winter break on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Twelve members had a lively discussion at 4pm at the Rising Star Library and covered numerous topics. The potted shrubs and plants in the downtown pots are mostly gone and the pots are begging for new shrubs and after Easter, new flowers. Some pots received extra water during the winter and evidently have survived our vicious snowy and wintery weather. New city street signs need to be installed and holes dug for new poles. In regard to the new street signs, which Star Pride has paid for, it will be determined at a future meeting exactly how these will be installed. The


group was told that thirteen new street poles will be needed to complete the project. A post hole digger will also be needed. Perhaps the group can borrow one or rent the needed equipment. Any ideas on the subject will be appreciated. It was announced that our new city administrator, Ron Watson, has begun his employment and Star Pride is eager to welcome him to Rising Star and would like for him to be a Star Pride member. Nancy Bostick gave an update on the Downtown Park; she stated it should be finished by May, as the water line and water meter have been

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

Continued on page 18...

7Presidential Papers ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, George Washington (continued from page 2)

or attachments, no separate views nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests, so, on another, that the foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected

on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

the benefits of an united and effective government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience, a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen and a regard for the public harmony will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question how far the former can be impregnably fortified or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted.

Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain with your judgment to decide how far an exercise of the occasional power delegated by the fifth article of the Constitution is rendered expedient at the present juncture by the nature of objections which have been urged against the system, or by the degree of inquietude which has given birth to them. Instead of undertaking particular recommendations on this subject, in which I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good; for I assure myself that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger

To the foregoing observations I have one to add, which will be most properly addressed to the House of Representatives. It concerns myself, and will therefore be as brief as possible. When I was first honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contemplated my duty required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed; and being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline as inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department, and must accordingly pray

■ Good

that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed may during my continuance in it be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require. Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.

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Neighbors, Clint Coffee CLU ChFC State Farm Insurance® Agent


Wildfires are the most destructive natural disaster on Earth. We’ve all seen the pictures. The wildfires that plague our neighboring states, burning up debris and houses that stand in their path…that lash of orange flame that begins as a spark and ends in a fire out of control. If you live in foothills, grasslands or mountains, you are at risk! Each year thousands of wildfires burn across millions of acres of land, mostly west of the Mississippi River. In 2004, it cost nearly $890 million to fight these fires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). Fires play a vital role in nature, helping revitalize forests and prairies by clearing out underbrush, dead trees and other debris. However, more and more people are moving into areas that were once considered remote, where wildfires now pose greater risk to homes and personal safety. In the past decade, NIFC indicates that annually on average more than

2,600 homes were damaged, more than 100,000 fires were reported and approximately 4 million acres burned. Wildfires are often started by lightning. But more - four out of every five fires - are started by people, according to FEMA. In the past few years, new techniques have been developed to help combat these devastating fires. Controlled or prescribed fires are used in many places to remove the fuel that feeds a fire. Areas close to homes are given extra attention in an effort to keep the fire away from buildings. There are also things homeowners can do to help protect their property, possessions and family: Install fire detection and sprinkler systems inside your home. Use fire resistive building materials outside your home. Create a “defensive space” of at least 30 feet by removing dry grass, brush, dead leaves and downed trees.

Maintain an emergency water supply. Provide ready access to your home and be sure your street name and house number are identifiable. Practice emergency preparedness in case you need to evacuate the area. Be sure your family has a plan of how to escape a fire. If you are caught in a fire, stay low to the ground where the smoke is not so heavy. Never hide during a fire always get out of the house. And once out, do not go back inside. Alert emergency personnel if someone is trapped inside. We can live in forested areas, as long as we understand that there are risks in doing so. If a fire does flare up in your area, remain vigilant to changing conditions and follow instructions from emergency personnel. For more information on this and other safety related matters, please visit

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The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

8Texas Traveler ■

County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, by Jeff Clark, Freelance Writer and Historian Brutal Winsett Springs Murder Chills History of Tranquil Place

Travis Winsett has gone missing. The backroads of Eastland County look like fields of fireflies tonight. Folks drive up and down, spotlights shining inside bar ditches. Flashlights sweep across empty pastures, peer inside silent barns looking for 52-year-old Travis Winsett. It isn’t like him to take off like this. Winsett Springs is located just east of Ranger on Hwy 571. Horse drawn wagons stopped here, the spring’s pipe ending so close to the trail one could almost catch water in cups, never leaving their buckboard seat. Winsett water was cold and pure. Fill your containers. Let your horses drink. John “Milton” Winsett came to Ranger in 1900, planning to continue to Arizona. He ran into Sam Philipps in Ranger, who offered him a job and a room at his Colony Creek spread. Milton later married Philipps’ daughter Lucy, having two kids Veda and Travis during the marriage. Milton was an outdoorsman, learning about a spring Indians once camped around. He found its waters seeping weakly from the ground, as the Indians had “spoiled it,” driving large timbers into its mouth. Winsett bought this land around 1902 and through hard work released the spring waters once again. Winsett Springs helped save Ranger during the 1912 typhoid epidemic and the 1917 oil boom. Stagnant cisterns invited typhoid – treated by lots of water and not eating. Men made livings hauling water from Winsett Springs in wood barrels by mule-drawn wagons during the oil boom. It sold for $1 a barrel. Some thought Texas Rangers might have used the springs as a camp. Caddo and Comanche may have called this place home. Ranger’s 1935 Cooper School kids hiked here, spending the day roasting wieners and marshmallows on a camp fire. Alameda schoolmates visited during their 1940 senior trip. Activity at Winsett Springs had tapered off by 1970, however. Travis Winsett has always been an enigma to locals. He’s described differently, depending on who you ask. Published accounts say he was well-respected. Anecdotal words paint the picture of a loner, a nice man who tipped his hat to school kids driving his mom to town. Travis was arrested by the FBI for draft evasion during WWII. Some said he traveled with pacifists, giving speeches downtown on a portable loud speaker. Strange, as Travis might’ve been exempt from the draft being a farmer. His best friend was a WWII airplane gunner. “His distance came about because he kept to himself,” niece Lucie Olson told me. “He didn’t want to cause any trouble or bother anybody. He was a very quiet, introspective artist/engineer type. Not anti-social at all, but he didn’t go out looking for things to do either. He had plenty with the gardening, farming and animal tending he did on a daily basis.” By 1970, his parents had passed away. Townspeople noted the bachelor rarely spent money. Perhaps, some thought, it was hoarded up in that old Winsett house somewhere. “To me he was a kind, gentle person,” Lucie remembered. “He took flies outside, without killing them. The only thing I ever saw him kill was rattlesnakes. It would have been much easier for him to go along with the draft, but killing violated everything he was about.” Travis had a mechanical mind, once building a device to scare deer away tailored from a windmill and disk hammer. “Eccentric, but


smart,” neighbors said. A nice man. “Travis meant no harm to anyone. He was not un-American. He was a pacifist and if he had been a Quaker or Seventh Day Adventist, he would have been left alone,” Lucie said. “My grandmother had a stroke in 1968, and Travis and my mother cared for her at home until the very last. His patience and care was amazing to me.” Lucie’s mom Veda, Mrs. Hubert Capps always thought of Travis as “her other child”, a touchstone connection that continued into adulthood. She was 11 years his elder. She had written him two letters that June, receiving no answer back. That wasn’t like Travis. Mrs. Capps arrived at the frame Winsett Springs farm house Saturday, June 27, 1970 to see what was up with her brother. The front door was unlocked. His car was in the garage but he was nowhere around. She found the letter she’d written him the previous Sunday, still inside his mailbox. The locals hadn’t missed him, until his sister raised the alarm. The police were called. Sheriff Lefty Sublett, Ranger Police Chief J.W. Vinson, Deputy Sheriff Loy Williams, Ranger Constable Ralph Veal, Eastland Constable Bill Hunter, Game Warden Kenneth Payne, Ranger Justice of the Peace M.D. Underwood, Eastland Justice of the Peace L.W. Dalton and later District Attorney Emory Walton converged on the house. Walking inside, they sensed something wasn’t right. Moving Travis’ recliner chair near the front wall aside, they found dried blood on the hardwood floor. A small round hole was found in the front screen door. A rifle cartridge was located on the ground outside the front fence, below the left gate post some 50 feet away. Mrs. Capps noticed a “Long Tom” shotgun absent from Travis’ bedroom. His arrowhead collection, valuable coins, and other items were also gone.

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

9Texas Traveler ■

County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, Continued...

What the group didn’t find was Travis Winsett. Dozens of officers and volunteers spread out across the Winsett Farm. More hopped in their cars and pickups, searching high and low around the area. Neighbors said they hadn’t seen Travis since the previous Monday evening, right before supper time. Buzzy Rutledge was a high school senior in 1970. That previous Monday, he and his girlfriend noticed a house burning south of town at the Hathcock Farm. He drove to Ranger, hopped in a volunteer fire department truck and rushed to put out the blaze. There was no gas or electricity connected at the homeplace, making the fire’s cause a mystery. The house was totaled, its debris fallen all the way to its foundation. After the Winsett manhunt got under way, that Monday’s mystery fire hit radar screens quickly. When searchers returned to the Hathcock Farm, they were greeted by a horrible smell. An old cistern under the back porch was covered by fallen debris. Flashlights shined down the dark cistern. Floating face up in the black water 22 feet below was the bloated corpse of Travis Winsett. The search for Milton and Lucy’s only son was called off. A killer was on the loose. The fire department arrived, the body hoisted to the surface. One shot to the temple was visible. Justice of the Peace Underwood pronounced Travis dead, his body taken to Ranger’s funeral home. The cistern was searched with a magnet for a weapon and later drained. No clues were found. Constable Veal said, “I can think of a half dozen fellows around here we should talk with to find out where they were last Monday night.” One of the people interviewed remembered seeing someone in town with a new box of old arrowheads. James Henry Bishop was a collector of old artifacts and

antiques. Prior to Travis’ body being found, 32-year-old Bishop was investigated for burglary by Palo Pinto County Deputy Bill Harris. The deputy interviewed Bishop about a home burglary in the town of Palo Pinto. He remembered seeing a rifle in Bishop’s home, but it wasn’t connected with the crime he had been investigating. Bishop was still in the Palo Pinto County Jail concerning that burglary. Eastland County lawmen were in luck. Meanwhile Travis’ body was sent to Abilene’s Hendricks Hospital for autopsy. The suspect appeared before a Palo Pinto County Justice of the Pace and was advised of his rights. Sheriff Sublett and District Attorney Walton then started asking questions. The rifle Harris had seen was bought at Weatherford’s First Monday Trade Days, Bishop told them. He couldn’t remember the seller’s name. Travis Winsett’s murder was news to him, Bishop maintained. The Long Tom, a .22 rifle, arrowheads, several silver half dollars, and other items of interest were found in Bishop’s home. A spent .22 cartridge similar to that found outside Winsett’s gate was found in Bishop’s vehicle. Sublett and Walton questioned Bishop a second time. His story didn’t waiver, other than admitting being near the Winsett place, finding one of the stolen items in a ditch. He acted like he wanted to help, lawmen said. The Hendricks autopsy found that a single shot had entered Travis WInsett’s right temple and remained in his skull. The slug was virtually destroyed. Local ballistics tests wouldn’t be able to tell if the bullet had been shot from the rifle taken from Bishop. Travis’ sister identified some of the items taken from Bishop as being her brother’s. Texas Ranger H.R. Block took possession of the spent slug. It joined the seized .22 rifle, two cartridges and dust samples from the Winsett and Bishop homes at the Dept. of Public Safety lab in Austin. Two days later on July 8, James Henry Bishop was charged with Travis Winsett’s murder. Bail was denied. Bishop was moved Continued on page 13...

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10Reader Submissions

County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46


Goodnight and Loving

Note - The County Line welcomes reader submissions and articles. When sending articles, please provide complete information about the author so that proper credit can be cited. The following article was submitted by a County Line reader with permission to reprint from the original author.

My experience with A.W. Grimes spurred me on to discover other regionally famous Texas Masons. About two years ago I rediscovered the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry. The novel told the story of two men, Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae, and their adventures moving a herd of cattle from South Texas to Montana. An article in the Texas Highways magazine about the real Augustus McCrae led me to Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight. The article can also be found at the website of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving were both Master Masons and members of Phoenix Lodge No. 275 in Weatherford, Texas. In the spring of 1866 Goodnight and Loving organized a drive moving a herd of cattle from Fort Belknap to the Pecos River and up that stream to Fort Sumner in New Mexico. There they sold the cattle at eight cents a pound to feed the Indians at the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation and other reservations around the Fort Sumner area. It was at this time that Goodnight invented the chuck wagon. He purchased a Studebaker freight wagon, modified it by adding a chuck box, and used it to carry provisions for the drive. The two cattlemen also sold beef to the Army and Loving drove the remaining cattle to Colorado and sold them in Denver. Eighteen cowhands worked the drive including an African-American named Bose Ikard. Later I discovered that this African-American was the character Deets in McMurtry’s book. When asked if the characters in his book “Lonesome Dove” were based on Goodnight and Loving, McMurtry always responded that the characters were totally fictional. I will recount the story of Bose Ikard’s death in the next part of the story, and how his burial closely resembled that of Deets in the book. The trail leading to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, and on to Denver, Colorado, became known to cattlemen as the Goodnight-Loving trail and became one of the Southwest’s most heavily used cattle routes. On their third drive, in 1867, the weather was heavy with rain and the drive was hampered by marauding Indians. Oliver Loving and one of the wranglers, called One Armed Bill Wilson, traveled ahead to scout the trail and arrange for contract bidding at Fort

Sumner. In the beginning they traveled only at night and rested during the daylight hours, in hopes of avoiding parties of Indians known to be in the area. Oliver Loving soon became impatient with this and decided to travel during the day. It was this carelessness that provoked an Indian attack, and Loving was wounded in his left wrist and side. Sending Bill Wilson back to the herd for help, Loving fought off the Indians until they left, allowing him to walk out of his hiding place. He was discovered by Mexican traders and taken to Fort Sumner. Charles Goodnight, after finding Bill Wilson, feared that Oliver Loving had been killed by the attacking Indians. Discovering Loving’s hiding place, Goodnight and the other cowhands found hundreds of arrow shafts. Fearing that Loving had been killed or had killed himself, the group was sure that his body had been thrown into a nearby river by the Indians. However, as the herd drew closer to Fort Sumner, Goodnight discovered that Loving had been found alive and was convalescing in town. Charles Goodnight found Oliver Loving ill, but improving, at Fort Sumner. Although the wound in his left side was healing, gangrene developed in his wrist. His arm was amputated, but it did not stop the corruption that had already entered his body. Oliver Loving died of gangrene at Fort Sumner on September 25th, 1867. Before Loving died, Charles Goodnight promised his friend that he would return his body to Weatherford, Texas for burial. Goodnight intended to keep his promise regardless of time, hardship, and difficulty it may bring. After completing the trail drive, Charles Goodnight returned to Fort Sumner for Oliver Loving. He ordered a special casket to be made for Loving’s body, a large box made of pounded flat tin oil cans. Loving was exhumed and his casket placed in the large tin casket. The tin casket

Located in Cisco, Texas North Side I-20 Between Exit 332 and 330 Look for the red airplane tail!!!

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11Reader Submissions


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

was then filled with charcoal to absorb and contain any decaying odor. It is not known how many cowhands accompanied Charles Goodnight on his trip back to Texas. Goodnight delivered Loving’s body to his wife and family. Oliver Loving was reburied in Weatherford, Texas at the Greenwood Cemetery on March 4th, 1868 with full Masonic honors. He was 55 years old when he died. When I visited Oliver Loving’s grave I found, as with A.W. Grimes, a square and compasses carved on his headstone. Next to him was his wife Susan. About fifty yards west of Loving’s grave is the grave of the African American cowboy Bose Ikard. Ikard was the character Deets in the book Lonesome

Dove. He accompanied Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving on several of their cattle drives. After Loving’s death Ikard continued to work for Goodnight and eventually the two became good friends. When Ikard died in 1928 at the age of 85, Goodnight had a special headstone made for him. Goodnight’s sentiments on the headstone are very much like those carved by Woodrow Call for Deets in McMurtry’s book. It told the story of their life on the trail and battles with Comanches. It ends with the words “splendid behavior”. Charles Goodnight married Mary Ann Dyer in 1870 and continued to drive cattle to market. They eventually created a ranch and settled in Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle. Goodnight

founded Goodnight, Texas in the panhandle and helped establish Clarendon, about 20 miles away. Charles Goodnight, his wife Mary Ann (who he called Molly), and several of Mary Ann’s relatives are buried in the Goodnight Cemetery in Goodnight, Texas. Goodnight, Texas consists of Goodnight’s home and a few ranches along the highway. There is no town or even the semblance of a town. There is however, on a gentle plain on the north side of the highway, the Goodnight Cemetery. The graves of Charles Goodnight, his wife Mary Ann, and several of Mary Ann’s relatives are surrounded by a three foot high chain link fence. When I went to visit his grave I was surprised to find about two to three hundred bandanas tied to

the fence opposite his headstone. It was a fitting tribute to a man of the west. I don’t know if Charles Goodnight received a Masonic burial, I doubt that he did. He died at the age of 93 in 1929. The best biography written about him was written by J. Evetts Haley. In it he describes Goodnight at a Cattleman’s Association meeting in San Antonio. When a reporter, after finding him sitting in a hotels foyer told him that he was known as a man of vision, Goodnight is reported to have replied “yeah, one hell of a vision”. Oddly, this was the line Woodrow Call said at the end of the television miniseries “Lonesome Dove”. ~WM Tony Ramirez

Submitted by County Line reader, Carlton Edwards. Reprinted with the author’s permission.

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12Tumbleweed Smith ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, Big Spring

The All-Texas Air Tour

The All-Texas Air Tour started in 1946, when private planes started getting popular. World War Two had just ended and people were looking for diversions. Texas aviators got it started.

Texas and a plant site in Temple and construction of a plant was underway. That was thirty-four years ago.”

“It started in Temple every year on the first day of October,” says Temple Mayor Bill Jones. “One year it would go around the state clockwise, then the next year it would go around counter-clockwise. They would go to thirty-five to forty small and large airports all over the state of Texas. There would be sixty-five to seventy private aircraft from all over the United States that came to Texas for a week in early October.”

The plant Bill manages manufactures food processing equipment for companies like Campbell Soup and Oscar Mayer.

Bill’s dad went on the tour. “That’s how he learned what a great place Texas was. We lived in a northwest suburb of Chicago and one day he came home and said he had bought seven acres of land in Troy,

The air tour was a big deal, especially in small towns. Bill learned to fly and he joined the tour. “We’d go to five or six airports a day. We’d leave early in the morning, fly to a city and have donuts, then fly to another and have cookies, then fly to another for lunch. Then we’d go to a couple more airports in the afternoon. We called it the All-Texas Eat Tour because everywhere we went, people fed us. If we went to Ranger, the Rangerettes would entertain us. Small towns never had anything like this. When we came, they’d just roll out the carpet. The whole town would come out. The high school band would play for the pilots, who would be there only thirty-five or forty minutes. But

when seventy airplanes land at a single strip airport, then line the runway and fly away, it is an amazing sight.” After the war, lots of pilot training bases became airports. Bill said there are more airports in Texas than in any other state except Alaska. “It was easier to get around that way. It’s a big place and we didn’t have the highways we have today. It’s still fun to fly around Texas.” Each tour ended with a banquet at whatever airport could accommodate the pilots, who all shared a deep love of flying and a deep love of Texas. “The last banquet was in the mid eighties and many of the original members drove in because they didn’t fly anymore, but they weren’t going to miss that last opportunity to experience that great fellowship. It was an amazing thing.”

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13Texas Traveler ■

County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46 ■ PRESS

, Continued...

RELEASE, Eastland County


Citizens of Eastland County, yesterday I received by mail a letter signed by the Mayor of Eastland, Mark Pipkin and signed by the Mayor of Cisco, James Maples. This letter is a thinly veiled threat to the public safety of each of us that live outside these two cities. I have been hoping that common sense would prevail within these two cities without getting a “thrown gauntlet.” Apparently, the elected leadership of these two cities desires to stubbornly threaten everyone that lives outside these cities with a refusal to sign a reasonable contract to provide fire suppression.

to the Eastland County Jail. The Austin lab later concluded that the two cartridges were fired from the gun taken from Bishop’s house. An Eastland County grand jury indicted Bishop July 20, 1970. Bail was set at $10,000 by District Judge Earl Conner, though Bishop remained incarcerated. Trial began in 91st District Court, with 12 witnesses called. The defendant admitted he’d shot Winsett, but that it was an accident. A “little voice told him to do it,” reports said he testified. He said he was hunting near the Winsett home that evening. He had pursued a rabbit near the Winsett barn, but didn’t want to shoot that close to the house. Bishop is said to have testified that he didn’t see Travis in the house, but aimed at a window and pulled the trigger in a “childish gesture”. Bishop took off, he said, thinking Travis might come after him. When no one did, he returned to the Winsett place, he said. He found Travis in his chair, like he’d fallen asleep. It became clear to Bishop what had happened, he said. Travis Winsett was dead. Bishop panicked, he said, placing the body inside a blanket, hiding it in a closet. He stole several things to make it look like a burglary, he said. Bishop testified that he came back later, taking the body to the abandoned Hathcock farmhouse. Travis being placed in the cistern was an accident,

he said, but he admitted setting the fire. The jury found Bishop guilty, assessing a 55 year prison term. Prosecutors had not asked for the death penalty. Travis Winsett is buried on a quiet slope beside his parents and grandparents at the Merriman Cemetery outside town. The man convicted in his killing is alive, and out. Many actors in this tragedy have passed away. I still don’t feel like I know Travis Winsett. I didn’t catch a sense of the man, walking around his family’s old farmhouse. Maybe I felt a little of his sadness near the cistern out south of town. I’m not sure what his legacy is, beyond that of victim. Beyond that of a life not fully realized. But that too, doesn’t feel quite correct. Tranquil Winsett Springs continues to run, cold and pure. Special thanks to Will Barrett, Kenneth & Salata Brown, Dorothy Elrod, Ken Falls, Lucie Capps Olson, A. J. Ratliff, Buddy Rogers, Buzzy Rutledge, Buddy Vinson, Roy Weekes (deceased) and the “Case of the Human Target,” by Bill McNeill, Startling Detective magazine, circa October 1, 1970.

For some time now, the elected leaders of the City of Eastland followed by their counterparts for the City of Cisco have refused to sign a fire fighting contract between their respective cities and Eastland County. The part of the contract that the City of Eastland and the City of Cisco find objectionable is a clause concerning next year’s funding wherein the “city/fire department agrees to actively meet with, participate in and successfully negotiate an allocation of funds agreement with the other city/fire department entities contracting with County for fire suppression service...” That’s right folks, Eastland and Cisco refuse to sign a contract because they do not want to meet with, participate in, and successfully negotiate an allocation of funding with the other six fire departments in our county. I thought that it would be a great idea for the people providing fire suppression to have a voice in how the county funding would be allocated. Six departments agreed since they have contracts in place. In September of last year, Eastland County Commissioners Court allowed me to sign the fire fighting contract and send an original to each of the eight departments. Six departments signed and returned the fully executed contracts. These departments are Olden, Ranger, Desdemona, Carbon, Gorman, and Rising Star. The departments with a signed contract are complying with the terms and have received their quarterly payments. The City of Eastland and the City of Cisco refused to sign. Later the cities of Eastland and Cisco sent me

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Continued on Page 17...

14Love Lessons Learned So Far


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, Vicki Stiefer

Strength in Men

Emotional stuff is tough for guys. Have you noticed that? The women seem to get the tough questions from the kids, neighbors, home owners association. The men come out and take care of business once the initial shock is over. Some women take this scenario and bash men claiming they are weak. “Leave it to women…” you will hear them say, “to clean up the mess.” Men are funny creatures. They run the world. Male Presidents and CEO’s across the country make super tough decisions every single day. Those decisions however, are technical ones. They are not emotional ones. If a daughter gets pregnant she has plenty of choices, but what do you think the first reaction from her Dad will be? How about her Mom? Her Dad’s first reaction is probably red hot anger. The Mom absorbs the shock and immediately starts thinking options. They eventually come together and Dad gets involved. Men are technical. They look at how they can fix or make better. When a woman comes home and complains about her bad day, she is looking for sympathy. Her man’s brain immediately starts ticking on how she can fix what went wrong to have a better day the next day. A lot of arguments start from this very situation. Men as fixers are exactly the way they are intended to be. God made a male first and female second. He made the female as a “help mate”. Not to do Adam’s bidding, but to form a united front to solve problems and be one entity. Everyone has a role to play in society. They may play a different one at home, but for the most part women gather the facts and men act on what they have learned. It is so important that you remember that because, a woman giving the wrong information can break a man. She can ruin him. Men get hurt faster and stay hurt longer than women ever will, but what does a man do when his technical brain is faced with an emotional decision? They step up to the plate. How many

widowers out there do you think made an emotional decision? What happens when a woman gets hurt? Maybe she breaks her leg or even has the flu. She’s out of commission so it all falls on the big broad shoulders of the guy. He will freak out, so be ready for it. The emotional part of his brain only works when he’s in a romantic situation, comforting the kids about something, or there is a death. For the most part his brain wheels and cogs are turning to fix and solve and keep going. When you see a man who has to make an emotional decision like pulling the plug or comforting his daughter because she’s now got decisions to make, look past the initial shock on his face. What you will start to see is the quiet strength that lay dormant in him all along. Good men are gentle giants and you would have never thought they would rise to the occasion-but they do. They always do. Strong women really find this surprising at first but then realize he had it all this time. When I look at my husband and the way he handles daily tasks it infuriates me sometimes because he’s not doing things the way I want them done. The minute I get sick or need help with something he morphs into this he-man of sorts that knew what to do all along. If I say I need help honey, he is right there with the solution. He only needs to step back, listen to the problem and then access what needs to be done next.

thing about men and how God created them. Not weak little creatures that would fall without women, but half of a unit that is the strongest emotion on earth! Love and marriage is what unites the 2 and what keeps them holding on. He’s technical and she’s emotional and together they are a powerful force to be reckoned with. At the moment you think he’s not strong enough is when you and he both will realize that he is strong enough and has been so all that time. It’s just a part of him that doesn’t come out as often as it should. It goes along with the stigma that guys can’t cry. We know that’s not true and it’s OK for guys to shed a tear when something affects them. But when society gets a hold of a man’s self esteem it is turned into this big tough mafia guy who stands stalwart with no emotion. Guys need women in their lives so they can express their fixing mentality and women need guys in their lives so they can express their emotional side. Comments, questions, ideas send them to Send Comments to:

It’s the brilliant

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15Treasure Hunters ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, Jerry Eckhart

Treasures Found

Well, here it is March, and the eyes of treasure hunters seem to be fixed on the thermometer and the possible greening of grass. Either of those clues gladden the coin hunter’s heart, for it means that they can now get out and find more treasures. In spite of the past cold weather, some of the hardier searchers have been out looking and finding many things. As reported to me, quite a lot of old silver coins have turned up, along with a bunch of wheat cents. Those are pretty much common finds. Indian head cents and buffalo nickels also are turning up. It amazes me that there are so many places in Eastland and surrounding counties that still have old coins turning up. It wouldn’t surprise me if even older coins, especially Spanish silver did not start turning up. In the past, prior to 1870, there were few US coins in Texas. Because of the scant population, not too many American coins were here. There just weren’t that many that made it down here. As a result, the coins early day Texans used were those from other countries. Spanish, Mexican and European coins were common. Merchants accepted them at face value and they were traded frequently. The other way that merchants conducted trade was through promissory notes. If a customer had no money, he would write a note, promising to pay within a certain time. Those notes were traded back and forth between merchants, the last note holder would resent the note to the

Editor’s note: To see more of Jerry’s treasure finds, visit his Facebook profile. Just search Facebook for “Jerry Eckhart”

person who originally wrote it and expected to receive their pay at the expiration of the note. In regards to the foreign coins used in trade, many of those were lost and are now turning up when treasure hunters unlimber their metal detectors over older sites. I have seen a number found by others and found a few myself. A lot of finders are puzzled when turning up an old foreign coin, and attribute them to a particular country doing exploration work in the U.S. Here in Cisco, there has been one 1860 Mexican 50 peso found. In Eastland a Spanish silver coins, a Mexican/French coin turned up, dated in the early 1800’s. A Roman coin dated around 100 AD, turned up a few weeks ago. This was probably not used in trade, but more than likely was lost from someone’s collection. You never really know just how a coin was lost, but you can count on a lucky treasure hunter turning up things like that on a regular basis. I would estimate that there are more lost coins in the ground right in the middle of your stomping grounds that you would imagine. All that is needed is to get out there and search for them. Along that line, I received word a few days ago about a seriously large cache being found in Comanche County. It seems that someone did their research quite well because they dug a small wooden nail keg which held 6,000 coins of all denominations. I don’t know

what different denominations the coins were, but do know they were, for a short time, on a website called Internet Auctions. You might check that out and see if they are still listed. It is fascinating to hear those stories, but it will be even more fascinating when I make my own big find. If you have ever dreamed of hitting the big one, you know what I mean. I have been treasure hunting for almost 50 years and still haven’t turned one up. I guess that is why we call ourselves treasure hunters rather than treasure finders. I have nearly a thousand of different magazines related to treasure hunting and western history. Lately, I have been going through them, with an eye toward trimming down the stack. A it stands, I have an entire closet filled with them. Since I am so overloaded, if you are interested in a few, give me a call. Nearly every treasure hunter I know is overloaded with research material that they probably never use. Personally, I only plan to save that material which directly pertains to this area. We all have certain catagories we are interested in, and if you plan to do so, redirect your interests to specific topics. You will save yourself a lot of time and trouble. That is it for this month. Keep searching and the next big find might be the one you make. Send Comments to:

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County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46


in Breckenridge!

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●




County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

Angel Food Ministries Ordering Cut-Off Date Saturday March 19th

Go online to Order:

Distribution Saturday March 26th **NOTE** Ranger orders can be made online or at designated locations and can be picked up in Cisco or delivered by Church of God of Prophecy. Call Ilene for more information



RELEASE, Continued...

proposed language that they would agree to and stated that the two cities would sign the contract if the new language was included. This language was written into an amendment which removed the necessity of the fire departments to meet and agree to the allocation of the funding. I sent the amendment to all eight fire departments. Guess, what? The Mayors of Eastland and Cisco signed the amendment, but not the contract. So they still do not have a written contract with the County. Meanwhile, the other six departments have not signed nor sent the amendment back, so they do still plan on meeting and agreeing on the funding allocation. Finally, my response here is in no way to be considered a condemnation of the actual fire departments in the affected cities. I have the highest regard for each of our eight fire departments and every one of their personnel all across Eastland County. I have seen all eight of them respond to

fires, floods, ice storms, and wrecks with professional ability and personal sacrifice. Often, I am standing beside them at some incident so I know that our firefighters are the best. They are trained, equipped, and directed by Fire Chiefs that we should all look up to as leaders. If the elected leaders of the City of Eastland and the City of Cisco will not allow those great firefighters to respond outside of the city, the County will have to contract with someone who will respond to fire suppression. The County can contract with any incorporated volunteer fire department. Last year in a meeting with fire chiefs and others, the chief in one of the two affected cities publicly stated to me that he would resign and turn in his gear if told by the city that he could no longer respond outside his city limits. As a citizen of Eastland County, you have a voice and you need to contact Mayor Pipkin and Mayor Maples to personally let them

know how you feel about this public safety issue. Many of us own property in Eastland or Cisco, but cannot vote there because we do not reside in the city. However, we all certainly contribute to the tax received by these cities through our property taxes and by our sales taxes paid to Eastland and Cisco. In my opinion, what needs to happen now is for the original contracts without the amendment to be signed by the City of Eastland and by the City of Cisco. This action would cause negotiations to begin between all fire departments as to the allocation of next years funding. These signed contracts would give all citizens the rural fire fighting that we need along with the fire suppression funding needed by the fire departments. I encourage you to call these Mayors with your concerns and urge them to sign the contract. Respectfully submitted, Rex Fields Eastland County Judge

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18Out of the Box ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46 , Joellen Hodge

More Stuff My Dogs Have Taught Me Part 3

Important Stuff to Share with Your Children/Puppies… Sometimes, you just don’t like her and she does not like you. So, just back away from each other and lets move on with our lives, before there is too much drama. Having something to do during the day and doing it well, makes you feel worthwhile and satisfied. By letting you believe you are big enough to help today…pretty soon, you will be able to do your part and really be able to help me. As cute as you are right now, and as much as I love you always… understand that I am not going to feed, clothe and house you forever. You need to get a job and a life at the appropriate time. Friends are important. Choose them wisely and enjoy their company. Your reputation will depend upon your choices.

■ Star

Pride, Continued...

installed. The EDC is making arrangements to obtain electricity for the park; and the rocks, plastic, flowers, and concrete benches should be installed very soon. The rocks were donated; and the benches have also been donated by various citizens and businesses. Barbara Medley will contact City Hall about changing out the holiday flags downtown for different flags, which will be MORE suitable for the coming season. Star Pride will have their bake sale on Saturday, May 7, right before Mother’s Day. This is one of Star Pride’s largest fund raisers and community support is essential. All funds raised by Star Pride go directly back into the community of Rising Star, as Star Pride has no paid personnel or overhead. BUY A CAKE FOR YOUR MOTHER’S DAY ACTIVITIES! Star Pride members discussed the fact that the new recycling business in Rising Star could mean the beginning of a real cleanup of the City. Individuals and businesses can drop off metal items, including automobiles, household appliances, and other recyclable items and make money as well as beautifying Rising Star. A committee will investigate the details of recycling and get the information to citizens through articles in the newspaper, THE RISING STAR. This could also be coordinated with the ANNUAL CLEANUP which occurs early in May and is sponsored by the Mayor of Rising Star. Gwen EberharT brought up the subject of the expected fire season and the fact that sometimes the firemen just need a bologna sandwich and some cookies to have the energy required to fight the fires. Although food has been furnished in the past, Gwen is suggesting starting a list of “call donors” who can be called upon at short notice to make sandwiches, etc. available to the Fire Department and to deliver the food to the local fire headquarters where it will be taken where it is needed. Gwen will provide more information on this procedure at the next meeting. Send Comments to:

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20Out of the Past ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46 , Luther & Pat Gohlke

Common Sense Parents

Ever took a dose of castor oil? Ever heard of cod liver oil? Well, I have had experience with both! So has my younger brother Gene. The use of these two medications was common practice in the 1930s and ‘40s. Every Saturday morning as sure as the sun rose and set, my mother had in her mind that our bodies had to be purged, get out the impurities and regulate natural body functions. So here came that dose of castor oil, and before you could spit or gag it out, a slice of orange was pushed into your lips and front teeth. That castor oil could have “gagged a maggot”! A taste I think I have long since forgotten! Then there was that daily dose of cod liver oil, a teaspoon daily, each morning. It also tasted lousy. Both castor oil and cod liver oil had an oily consistency that caused the taste to linger. Looking back on the daily dose of cod liver oil, it was really good for us. Today’s generation 2011 know it as almost a pure blend of omega-3 fatty acids now known to offset the side effects of foods that cause cholesterol problems. My younger brother Duane who was twelve years younger than me escaped the daily and weekly drama of cod liver oil and castor oil.

Our mother could easily have been called in modern day terms of “Dr. Mom”. She was the daughter of a country doctor, who I am sure gave her advice on a number of medical problems. We never went to a doctor when I was a kid. First of all, we were hardly ever sick and secondly our Dr. Mom was always on top of the problem. Cuts and scratches were treated with coal oil (kerosene) soaks. If you did get a cold, Dr. Mom would get out her square piece of one inch thick wool 6” by 8” saturated it with camphorated oil and safety pin it in your pajama top so it would be right over your breast area. She would also put a wad of Vicks salve in each nostril! After this routine, seems like your whole body would decongest. Plus that, a person a block away could smell you. Then finally the hot toddy – whiskey, lemon and sugar. Cold? What cold? Next day you were cured! Ready to be up, ready for work, ready for school whatever the day held.

We never used asphidity bags as well as I remember. Dr. Mom did not believe in such “hocus-pocus”. For stickers or thorns in a foot, dad used his very sharp pocket knife and a tweezers. If no results, then a fatty bacon or “black salve” poultice was applied. I called this story common sense, because I really believe that my parents had that sixth sense of common sense, particularly when it came to health. Our family, I think practiced preventative medicine unknowingly. We bathed daily, brushed our teeth, cleaned our nails and ears, wore clean underwear and socks every day. We drank very few sodas, if any. We ate a general variety of foods, including oat meal, milk, eggs, and chicken all in moderation. We were physically very active – bike riding and other out door activities from pitching washers to fast pitch soft ball. We went bare footed most of the time. We had no central heat or air, just plain old unpolluted out doors. What I have described for you was common for most all people of our generation. Most of us were in the low income bracket. We made use of simple solutions. Kids as stated above were all very active. There was no TV!! Today generations are more sedentary generally speaking when it comes to physical activity. They have never heard of china berry fights, rubber guns, stilts, stick horses, hide and seek, tree climbing, and just plain old fashioned bike riding. Finally, our parents not only encouraged us “to get out of the house”, but to run and play. However, their attitude was work before play. My brothers and I were taught a strong work ethic. We had steady, small pay jobs at a young age. My brothers and I were also taught strong spiritual values. We never missed Bible school and church.

We prayed before each meal and at bedtime. Our parents taught us to read and live by the Book, by their word and by their example. Common sense? Maybe real sense in living life actively; but more importantly as a Christian. Thank you God for Christian parents. Send Comments to:

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

21This Week In Texas History ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

, by Bartee Haile

Civilians Slaughtered on Eve of Mexican War

When Gen. Zachary Taylor received his marching orders for Port Isabel on Mar. 8, 1846, an old friend told him he would be right along with a civilian caravan.

Following the well-worn trail from Tennessee, the Rogers family reached Texas a few days after the Battle of San Jacinto. Patterson Rogers and his wife Elizabeth decided the chaotic conditions were not conducive to raising eight children and withdrew east of the Sabine River to wait for the dust to settle. Like the triumphant Texans, the Rogers never dreamed statehood would be a decade in coming. Yet, as the years slowly passed, they never regarded their stay in Louisiana as anything other than temporary. When Gen. Zachary Taylor landed with his troops on the Texas coast in the summer of 1845, Roswell Denton was not far behind. The civilian sutler or provisioner for the expedition was accompanied by his three elder brothers-in-law – Anderson, Lieun and William Rogers – and the rest of the close-knit clan soon joined them at Corpus Christi. Three weeks after the Stars and Stripes replaced the Lone Star, Gen. Taylor moved into position along the international boundary to meet any Mexican attempt to retake the long lost province. Anderson Rogers remained at Corpus Christi, the port of entry for all supplies, while Roswell Denton and his two other assistants built storehouses at Port Isabel and San Antonio. After putting Lieun Rogers in charge of the Alamo City operation, the sutler rushed to New Orleans to speed up the shipment of munitions. Denton’s parting instructions to Anderson and William were to deliver a supply train to the Second Dragoons at Port Isabel. He specifically told them to avoid the interior, which was growing more dangerous by the day, and to take the safe Padre Island route. Sporadic skirmishes were already occurring along the border, when the brothers departed Corpus Christi on Apr. 25, 1846. Besides their 50 year old father, who insisted on making the trip, the passenger list included a dozen additional men, three women and four small children. The caravan was poorly armed and traveled without military escort. For reasons that were never known, the Rogers brothers ignored their boss’ warning as well as a similar admonition from Gen. Taylor. Instead of heading due south down Padre, they followed the southwesterly course of the Arroyo Colorado into the hazardous mainland.

outnumbered and outgunned, the three Rogers and the majority of their male companions did not want to give up without a fight. But the fate of the defenseless women and children caused them to think twice. Promised civilized treatment by the smiling bandit leader, they dropped their weapons and raised their hands. The men were immediately stripped, lashed together in pairs and herded at gunpoint to a high bluff, where they were forced to kneel. The executioner then grabbed each victim from behind by the hair, yanked back his head and slit his throat. After tossing the bodies two at a time over the precipice, the murderous maniacs butchered the screaming women and children. As the bandits leisurely looted the wagon train, a naked corpse came to life in the shallow Arroyo Colorado. William Rogers crawled out of the water and hid in a hole in the bank until the raiders rode off with their plunder. The youth should have been dead. Even though the assassin had missed his jugular vein, which reduced the flow of blood to a trickle, the knife practically severed his windpipe. Still, he managed to breathe through the gash in his throat. Covering himself from head to toe with mud to protect his skin from the blistering sun, William wandered aimlessly in search of help. He could swallow water and berries only by lying flat on his back. After four days and 40 miles, he stumbled upon an old Mexican, who provided the pitiful gringo with fresh clothes and a place to sleep. A passing patrol took William prisoner and transferred him to a POW camp in Matamoros. Denied medical attention, his festering wound became a breeding ground for screwworms. After a prisoner swap, freed Americans informed Col. David Twiggs that William was still in foreign custody. The outraged officer demanded his release, but the commander of the Matamoros garrison denied any knowledge of the captive. Realizing the Mexicans intended to keep the massacre a secret by refusing to hand over the sole survivor, Twiggs set a deadline for his repatriation. If the enemy did not let him go, the colonel threatened to level Matamoros with his artillery. The Mexicans got the message and quickly turned William Rogers loose. Nursed back to health, he lived to tell the world about the Arroyo Colorado atrocity.

In the vicinity of present-day Harlingen on the first day of May, a band of Rio Grande raiders suddenly encircled the column. Though

Send Comments to:

Bartee Haile lives in Friendswood, TX and is the author of one of the most long established Texas History newspaper columns in the state. Column collections available at or request list from Bartee Haile, P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 7754

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●


23From The Backside ■


County Line Business & Community Journal ~ March, 2011 v4.46 , Henry J. Clevicepin

The Brain Droppings of Henry J. Clevicepin By Henry J. Clevicepin Collaborated by Nellie Frecklebelly and Agnes & Ophilia Fudpucker

HOLY MACKERAL, it’s been cold here in Buzzard’s Roost. That little spell that lasted for several days down in the teens was so cold me and ol Estee K. Bibbles, my mulebarn partner, had to line up Nellie Frecklebelly and both Fudpucker sisters and get on the South side of’em to keep that cold North wind off of us. They’re big ol gals ya know. I wished ol Al Gore had been down here to help break ice on the stock tanks for all of our mules…..he might have a little change of heart about all of that global warming BS he’s always putting on everybody. Now ol Estee K. said he knew it was coming and I ask him, now just how in the cornbread world did you know cold weather was coming ????? Well, Estee K. said he remembered a few years ago setting around the campfire with some of his cowboy buddies and one of them saying “ it’ll be a cold day in hell before America elects a black man as President !!!!” Speaking of global warming, things are heating up all over the world with them idiots over in the Middle East having riots and trying to throw all of them dictators out. And like ol Estee K. said, who is

gonna take over then….another idiot dictator or one of them radical terrorist groups???? Half of them don’t know what they want….they just want to riot about something. Estee K. reminded me about how you tell when the boys over there become men…..they take that towel off of their butt and wrap it around their head. And just look at what it has done to oil prices. Why do we depend on these unstable sapsucker countries to get our oil….why should we pay more for gas & diesel every time them camel ridin idots over there start killing each other and we get scared all the oil is going to get cut off? We got more oil in this country than you can shake a stick at, especially in this new field they found up in Wyoming & the Dakotas. But oh no, our illustrious government and the idiot environmentalist we have over here don’t want us drilling or building refineries over here….they had rather depend on them radical suckers over there. I don’t know about you but I am tired of paying $100 to fill up my old pickup truck. They want us all to drive these little electric tin can cars or ride a mule. Estee K. said he wondered how far one them little electric cars would go if you hooked a gooseneck trailer load

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You can email Henry J at : Send Comments to:

The County Line Business & Community Journal ● P.O. Box 1156 ● Eastland, Texas 76448 ●

We are home from Dallas!!

between the two locations, until because as long as she is on a they reduce her DTI visits even high dose of that medication, she Ruthie’s recent clinic further. Eventually, she will is very susceptable to catching an appointments went exceptionally only have to report to DTI once illness that would be hard for her well...her bloodwork came back a year. to fend off. She’s also been told with good numbers and what few not to be too huggy with folks concerns we had over the last few For the next couple of weeks, and to avoid contact with anyone weeks were all laid to rest. Ruthie has promised to help me showing signs of coughing, get the paper back on track and sneezing or obvious sickness. As I mentioned in a previous on time. She’s doing a little update, Ruthie’s bloodwork had housework this morning since we If you look below you will see started trending in the wrong brought in all our luggage from our latest fund raising effort. We direction and the doctors became Dallas, and later she is going to finally got Ruthie’s t-shirt design concerned that she was rejecting go around and visit a few friends. turned in and shirts are available her transplant kidney. After She is hoping to get a release from now for pre-orders. several days of testing and a Dr. Melton (DTI) soon so she tissue biopsy, they determined can start going back to work and Money raised from the sale of that she was NOT rejecting the spending time with the Goodwill these shirts will be used for travel organ and Ruthie’s spirits lifted! crew and enjoying working back expenses and for purchasing Along with that, she found the with the public. the medications that Ruthie will to start eating and drinking takes as well as any unexpected again and the pain in her throat DTI has told her that she expenses. began to fade rapidly. shouldn’t be back in the public As always, Ruthie and I yet until they have reduced one of The game plan from here on her medications down to a much thank you all for your thoughts out will be to alternate follow- lower dose. The reason for that is and prayers. And we’ll see you up visits between the Dallas soon! Transplant Clinic (DTI) and Follow Ruthie’s Progress online: Ruthie’s regular kidney doctor over in Abilene, Dr. Al Sayyad at the Northside Dialysis Center. Follow Mike, The County Line & Community Announcements: She will have a follow-up visit and bloodwork each week, alternating

Donations may be made to:

Farmers & Merchants Bank

Ruth Norris Benefit Fund 930 East Main Eastland, TX 76448 (254) 629-3282

The County Line - March 2011, v4i46 Speak up, join the discussion, take part! Business & Community Journal --- March, 2011 Volume 4 Issue 46 The Count...

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