Mason County News
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At the Top of Erna Hill
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 • Posted September 14, 2011

This is the first of what we hope to be a series of monthly articles about the life and times of the Erna/Leon Valley area. Of course, the top of Erna Hill is the vantage point for the SE corner of Menard County and western Mason County and the very tipe of northeast Kimble County. When I was a kid, I could see the whole world from the top, or at least, the world that I knew at about 1935.The Erna Road was first known as a wagon road going west from near Erna and about a half mile south of the present Erna Hill through a cut and continued west by northwest to Elm Creek and on to Menard. When the current Erna Road was laid out in the early 1900s, two families owned the land. Dora Andrews, my grandfather, owned about a mile on the east end and on the south side and on top of Erna Hill, he owned a mile of land on the north side with the Mogford families owning the balance most of the way to what is now FM 1221.Ben Mogford came to the area about 1870 and bought his land and placed two of his older sons on it to keep the sheep and cattle in place while he remained in Fredericksburg. Ben died shortly thereafter so his widow sold the holdings in Gillespie County and moved her family here and built the first permanent home of the native limestone available from the shelf rock near the present home on WPA Road, which was built in 1880, near a flowing spring feeding the Leon Creek.Andrew Cullen Andrews, my great-great grandfather, came to the area in 1874 and bought two sections of land and in 1875 the family moved here from Bell County, Texas, and settled on what is near my old home place in the wye of Erna Road and Highway 377. Dora Andrews bought my home place in 1894 from Seth Mabry and built the second permanent home in the area of native limestone from his property at the top of Erna Hill in 1901. Mr. Napier of Menard was the rock mason and it took two years to build the three room rock home, which is our current home.With Erna as an intersection, a wagon road went north through Musk Hog Draw over to Cockle Burr Draw and on east of Hext toward Brady. A wagon road also took off to the southwest around Leon Point to the Little Saline community and on to London, the big city, about 1900. The land to the south was owned by White & Littlefield, which was not settled, and extended south across the Llano River and east to near Streeter. The area along Bluff Creek south and west of Streeter was Gamel country, all of which was open rugged range. There also was a road leading east, staying north of the rugged Leon Creek area to the south (White country) and around the north side of the Long Mountain cemetery and west for the first Long Mountain School and on to Streeter, where the early post office was located.Through the efforts of Don Daniels, evidence was found of a post office located about a half mile east and just on the north bank of the Leon Creek about a half mile east of the present bridge on Highway 377. This was located on the wagon road and was called Independence. The only recorded time of its existence was the year 1890. Evidence still remains outlining the foundation of the building. Erna never attained post office status.

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