Mason County News
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At the Top of Erna Hill
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 • Posted July 9, 2014

The last articles about London drew critics from the wood work as well as those that enjoyed a brief turn back to memories of parents and friends in London. It gives me great pleasure to have the calls to remind me that there is a different twist to the story other then my explanation, but if you will remember, in one of my earlier articles, I printed a hold harmless clause, so fire away. Of course, I am only somewhat joking, don’t fire too close.

Some time ago, I wrote about the huge rise on the Big Saline Creek in 1935 that washed the Carrols away, which is fact. I was corrected by Opel Welch Childress stating that the date was 1934, which is before her birth date as well, but she states that her dad, Vernon Welch, had a brother who rode horse back up from London to warn the Carrols of the flood coming down but they did not heed the warning, so much for dates of events.

About two articles ago, I wrote about the Pete Weaver fortress about 6 miles up the creek from London and it sort of riled J. D. Mc Collum and he gave his version, which I would say was pretty well correct, since he is the great grandson of Pete Weaver. However, I never knew that thing existed until we retired and came back here and was invited to go there on a historical venture about 2o years ago, at which time we were given the background. Apparently, Weavers bought the property from a Robert Anderson who, came there in 1870(Maybe) and built the house and the Weavers bought it in 1890, so says J. D. He further states that the Pete Weavers had 13 children, of which 11 lived to adulthood and he further states that the name of the Big Saline at that time was Iona Creek. I was able to find an Iona College in New York but I do not know if there is any connection.

I received a call from Fran Hoerster, asking about the drug store mentioned in my last article that was run by Bessie and Durwood Lott in the 40’s and 50’s and how they came to own it. She ask if I knew the former owners of the drug store and who they were and I answered yes but did not elaborate so then her question was point blank. Yes, I said the former owners were the parents of Rocky Davenport, who, he and Grace Ray, operated a pharmacy in Mason for years, Mr. and Mrs. Davenport. Their given names escape me as in those days, all those older were Mr. & Mrs. Fran drew a deep breath and said do you know that they were my grandparents. Fran, I thank you for the call and am glad that old memories were revived, as this is mostly what my articles are about, causing painful thoughts as well as those of the good ole days.

Chas. Reichenau called and we had a long conversation, mostly in regard to the spotted leopard that was killed near London. He is of the mind that the so called leopard was actually a jaguar and after our conversation, I remembered that the jaguar was an intruder from Mexico on occasion in the early days. He has a picture of one that was killed in Mills County and his aunt had written a note on it saying “ Killed in 1905 and was the last”. The one, in London, was killed in 1910. Chas. further related a story about his grandpa, Hugo Reichenau, when as boy of 17, was hired along with his brother, to defend the milk cows of a neighbor on the Llano River who had a visit from a jaguar the night before and it seems that the cat only ate the utter off the milk cows, which destroyed the cow. During the watch the next night, the cat returned and it seems that the brother caused the cat to jump the fence and over Hugo, who sell back and shot the cat.

Hugo Reichenau is another story and I reserve a full article about Hugo, as I was fortunate enough to have grown up knowing Hugo and Meta and do have some stories to tell.

Charley further related a story to me about his great grand dad who came to the London area in 1858 with a herd of sheep from Gillespie County and settled in the area that is now referred to as the Reichenau Gap. He remembers that Hugo always told that when the Parks

Family came here, they settled with the Reichenau’s and that Mrs. Parks remained with them while the father and son went to the Little Saline area to build a home for them. The Parks were killed in an Indian raid in 1862 and buried in the Little Saline Cemetery, which is the oldest recorded grave. Charley’s question was who was the woman that is buried in the Parks plot, if the wife remained with his great grand dad? As he studied the marker on the site, he said that it referred to a woman as being buried in the plot. Well, the plot thickens.

Chas. was full of questions in regards to the events of Saline. He asked me if I knew anything about a soldier who went AWOL during WW 2 that died and was buried at Saline. Yes, I knew of this soldier and he was Marvin Hight, my uncle but the claim of AWOL was from the WW 1 in 1918, at which time his parents lived just west of Hugo. My Grandmother, Sarah Spoon Hight, became ill due to over exposure from measles and the pneumonia at the time and she wrote Marvin that she was deathly ill and would like to see him before she passed away. The story was that Marvin did skip out of Camp Bowie and I do not know whether he did, or not, have a pass to leave, but he did attempt to come home and he, unfortunately died in route to see his mother, from pneumonia, as well, so the two did not get to see each other prior to their deaths. I checked on deaths and I found he died in Big Spring and why he came thru Big Spring in route to London, I do not know. Further, for the record, he was awarded the Veterans Grave Marker by the Veterans Administration, which is only awarded to those with honorable service to their country, thanks to Wilton Brown. Case closed.

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