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The Texas Magazine, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 73-74 (January 1911)
BARRY, KERENS AND RICE, NAVARRO COUNTY

By William Leshner

Near Corsicana lies Barry, a small town of 500 people.   Whether Barry and the Barry country are worth consideration is best shown through the fact that it supports two state banks, of which the Barry State Bank is the older.   The lands here are especially productive of that staple, cotton.

Fourteen miles east of Corsicana is Kerens, with a population of 200, whose four gins handle about 8000 bales of cotton annually.   Cotton, corn and ribbon cane are the main products, although there is to be found here all kinds of soil adapted to fruit raising.  East and south are timber lands from which an abundance of hardwood is cut and shipped.   The shipments of stock are also large.

Kerens has two banks, lumber yard, cotton oil mill, tin shop and electric light plant.   Its present need is water works.   The indications for oil wells are excellent here, and it is expected will soon center additional attention on the town.

Rice, a town of 800, lies north of Corsicana, on the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, and is one of the most progressive small towns in Navarro County.   The black lands that surround it are among the richest and most fertile and yield a crop of cotton that keeps the gins busy during the ginning season.   Cotton here makes one-half a bale and upward per acre, and for a town of this size to handle 7000 bales annually shows that its farmers are among those most favored by nature.

In addition to the cotton crop, an abundance of corn is raised here and it goes without saying that the farmers are to be classed among the prosperous.

The class of business houses that the town possesses shows that the merchants are of the substantial kind, whose trade the jobber seeks to cultivate.

There are two banks at Rice, one of which, the Rice Banking Company, occupies a building exclusively.   It is ably managed and has gained the confidence of its patrons by guarding their interests.   The stock of the lumber yard is above the average to be found in towns the size of Rice, and reflects the prosperity of the citizens of town and county.   The three gins are as good as one will find anywhere.   Well water is easily obtained in the country surrounding Rice, which assures the farmer an abundance for his own use and for his stock.   Added to this, the ample rainfall, a rich and fertile soil that yields abundantly and one can not fail to see that this is a country worthy of the attention and consideration of the homeseeker. An electric light plant and water works are at present needed at Rice, and a plant combining both would have the support of the citizens and prove profitable to the investor, for such a town as Rice, with such land to back it up can not fail to grow.   There is also room for a good hotel here, where the traveling public can get accommodations such as it desires.

Notes:


MAURY COUNTY, TN-NEWSPAPERS- Maury Newspaper Excerpts, 26 Oct 1877 ====================================================================

October 26, 1877

LETTER FROM TEXAS

SPRING HILL, TEXAS, OCT. 10TH, 1877

To the Editor of the Herald and Mail:

As I have seen nothing in your paper from our little village for a long time,

I think you can find space in your columns for a few lines from an old Tennessean, who followed GEN. HOOD from the valley of Virginia to the ever memorable battlefield of Franklin, Tenn., where our much loved Cleburne fell on the breast-work, while leading his victorious little band on to victory under the galling fire of an overwhelming force of the enemy.

It was said, then, that Texas was nothing but a den of cut-throats and robbers, but I have been here for six years, and I never saw a more law abiding kind of people anywhere, than I find in Texas. This portion of Texas is almost entirely settled up with Tennesseans, and the majority is from Maury county. Several families take your paper, and are highly pleased when they get it from the office and sit down by their quiet fire-sides and read the news aloud from their old native home to their families, who sit and listen with an attentive ear to hear what has happened near their old homes.

Cotton picking is all the go now. Hands are getting from 80 cent to $1 per day and are hard to get at that. There is a great deal of cotton in the field yet, and will be for a long time - till near Christmas.

Mr. Editor, can you not send us a car load of girls, so that the straggling Tennessee boys can marry and go to work? They have to go so far to see the girls the grass gets away with their crops. Please send some girls out here, if you can and oblige a true friend to Tennessee.

N.A. N.


Paymaster Arrested

Chicago, Oct. 1 - Hays Edstrom, paymaster of the Petroleum iron works of Corsicana, Navarro county, Texas, was arrested here last night charged with the theft of $6,000 in pay envelopes from his employers. When taken into custody Edstrom had but 20 cents in his possession. He claims he squandered the rest of the money in Cincinnati and St. Louis.

Notes:

  • Elyria (OH) Daily Chronicle, 1 October 1901

  • Submitted by Don Brownlee 4/2003


First State Bank Robbery 1911

Placerville (CA) Mountain Democrat, 4 March 1911

Barry, Tex. - Blowing out one side of the building and wrecking the safe, robbers stole between four and five thousand dollars from the First State Bank here. The robbers escaped with a stolen rig, which was found later abandoned at Corsicana.

Notes:


C.W. JESTER FOUND; GOVERNOR'S BROTHER

Sept 3, 1948

Claude W. Jester, 75-year-old half-brother of Gov. Beauford H. Jester of Texas, for whom a state-wide missing person alarm had been sent out yesterday by the police, was found early today at the Capitol Bus Terminal, 245 West Fiftieth Street, according to an incomplete report received at the East fifty-first Street police station.

At the Hotel Roosevelt, where Governor Jester has been staying while attending a meeting of the Interstate Oil Compact Commission, it was said that the Governor's half-brother had gone immediately to the Governor's suite there. Governor Jester left orders with hotel employees, it was said, that his half-brother was not to be disturbed until this morning.
The case was called to the attention of the police Wednesday afternoon when Governor Jester asked for aid in locating his brother.
The Governor had told the police that his brother had left his room at 44 East Sixty-third Street on Aug 7 and had not been seen there since. Detectives learned later that the brother had been on home relief from November, 1946, until last June, when he was dropped for refusing to permit relief authorities to communicate with his family.

Employees at the bus terminal said they had seen the man there for several days, sleeping on benches.

Notes:


TO RETURN CAPTURED FLAG.

New Hampshire Woman Will Make Visit of Sentiment to Texas.

MILFORD, N.H., Dec 1. - Mrs. Mary A. Lull, widow of Col Lull of this town, left for Corsicana, Texas to-day on her errand to deliver to the United Daughters of the Confederacy a flag, the distinuished mark only of which is a lone star, captured in the charge of the Eighth New Hampshire Volunteers on Fort Hudson, La., May 27, 1863.  This is the regiment that Lieut. Col Lull commanded, and he sent the flag home as a souvenir of that great fight.  He later was killed.

Recently Mrs. Lull wrote to the Texas Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy and offered to turn over to them the flag for identification.  The offer was accepted and the invitation to attended a reunion of the Daughters at Corsicana, Dec 4, was extended and accepted.  Mrs. Lull also goes as a representative of Oliver W. Lull Post, No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic, Department of New Hampshire.


FORCES NEGROES TO WORK

"K. K. K." Notice Brings Unwilling Texas Cotton Pickers to the Fields.

CORSICANA, Texas, Sept 5. - A notice signed "K. K. K." posted in the negro section of Blooming Grove, near Corsicana, warning negroes of the community that they must pick cotton, resulted in virtually all the negroes there reporting for duty in the cotton fields this morning.  The negroes have been demanding 75 cents a hundred pounds for picking cotton, it is said.  fifty cents a hundred was the rate prevailing today.

See also: Notice Signed K.K.K. Posted in Blooming Grove


NEGROES MURDERED IN TEXAS

St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 1. The Republican learns from a gentleman just arrived here from Galveston, Texas, that on Friday last, at Corsicana, in that State, the wife of a negro living three miles from town was grossly insulted by a white desperado.  The husband went to Corsicana and made a complaint against the offender before a Justice of the Peace.  In attempting to arrest the desperado, the negro husband and two or three others were shot.  Some 300 negroes then armed themselves with the intention of capturing the white man, who, with five or six companions, took possession of a cabin in the suburbs of the town and barricaded it, determined to resist arrest.  When the informant left the whites were counseling the negroes not to besiege the cabin, as the occupants were well armed and would kill many of the besiegers.  - Sept 2, 1874


NEARLY CUT IN TWO

CORSICANA, TEXAS, Oct. 9. John A. Palmer, a leading citizen and druggist of Blooming Grove, in this county, was fatally cut last night by a knife in the hands of Otto Aunsworth.  Aunsworth came into the drug store and approaches Dr. Palmer for a prescription upon which he could procure some whisky, Blooming Grove being a local option town.  The Doctor refused to give the prescription as the man was already drunk.  Aunsworth cut the doctor almost in two.  Dr. Palmer fell to the floor, and the ruffian made his escape. - Oct 10, 1886


FELL ASLEEP ON THE TRACK

Corsicana, Texas, Oct. 24. - Yesterday morning at about 3 o'clock William Smith, 28 years old, who came here from Virginia was run over by a a freight train on the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, near Angus six miles south of here.  The young man, in the company of a friend, had attended a dance, and started for home.  Both stopped on the track and fell asleep.  David Bonserd, his companion, woke up to find himself thrown into the ditch, and the remains of Smith over 200 yards up the track.  Only small pieces of the body could be found.  They were buried in a small box. - Oct 25, 1885


SUICIDE BY HANGING

Corsicana, Texas, Nov. 1. - Ben Agee, a lad of 18, who has been working on the railroad, committed suicide this evening by hanging.  No cause can be found for the act.  He had been in the house and seemed cheerful a few moments before his mother found him in an outhouse hanging to a beam. - Nov 2, 1886


A BOOK AGENT KILLED

Corsicana, Texas, May 30. - A. G. Hill, a book agent representing a Cincinnati firm, called at the house of Mr. Terri, about 15 miles east of this place, Saturday.  Finding no one at home but Mr. Terri's daughter the book agent entered the house with out invitation and it is said, grossly insulted the young woman.  She ordered him from the house and went immediately to a field and informed her father.  The father got his shotgun, followed the agent, overtaking him at the next farm, and shot him.  He died in a few hours. - May 31, 1887


KILLED HIS WIFE AND HIMSELF

Corsicana, Texas, Nov. 9. - William A. Vallie killed his wife and committed suicide at the Mallory Hotel in this city last night.  Vallie was a railway conductor.  The couple had just retired for the night, when three shots in rapid succession were heard.  the night clerk rushed to the room and found the wife lying across the bed in a dying condition and the husband dead with a smoking British "bulldog" in his hand.  He first shot his wife through the head and then through the neck.  He then shot himself through the head, dying instantly.  There is no cause known for the act, as nothing is known of their history.  The wife is from Kopperl, Texas, and before her marriage to Vallie, which occurred one year ago, was Miss Laura Lewis. - Nov 10, 1890


FOUR LIVES LOST IN A FIRE

Corsicana, Jan 2, - The Avenue Hotel, a wood structure near the Cotton Belt station, was burned last night.  A woman, two men, and a boy were burned to death.  One man and the boy are unknown.  The other man and the woman from a letter found in a valise, are suppost to be Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel from McGregor, Texas.  The bodies are held by the city authorities for identification.  The firemen made fruitless efforts to save the woman and teh men, and barely escaped themselves by leaping from a second story window.  Several cars of freight standing on a side track of the Cotton Belt Road were burned.  The hotel was a total loss.  The building was fully insured.  Loss, $20,000. - Jan 3, 1891


TRAIN ROBBERS SAFE IN JAIL

Arrested on the Voluntary Confession of One of Their Number

FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 9. - Samuel Evans, related to some of the most prominent people of this city, was arrested at Corsicana this morning by Sheriff Weaver of Navarro County, brought here to-night, and is in jail.  Weaver says that Evans came to him this morning and acknowledged being one of the men who robbed the Texas and Pacific train at Mary's Creek Thursday night.

Evans made the confession under promise that he would not be prosecuted.  The other two men whom Evans implicated were arrested to-night a their home near the scene of the robbery. - Dec 10, 1894


SHOT FOR TRYING TO ESCAPE

CORSICANA, Texas, April 12. - Nelson Calhoun, a negro, was arrested last night on suspicion of having assaulted Mrs. Rose Hughes of this city.  He was taken before Mrs. Hughes and identified as her assailant.  The officers started back to the jail, followed by a posse of citizens on horseback.  On the outskirts of the city the negro opened the door of the carriage and tried to escape.  The citizen fired, riddling his body with bullets.  The body was placed on public exhibition at the morgue, and was viewed by hundreds of people. - April 13, 1895 (See also: Nelson Calhoun "Lynched")


SUICIDE OF A BANK PRESIDENT

CORSICANA, Texas, Dec. 24. - J. R. Bright, President of the First National Bank of Corsicana, committed suicide in this private office by shooting himself through the head.  When the news spread a brisk run was made on the bank, but its funds were ample, and the run was short.  No cause is known for the suicide. - Dec 25, 1895


ALL ABOUT A SILVER SPEECH

Dallas, March 4. - Adolph Zadeck, Postmaster at Corsicana, has been brought before Commissioner Burford here charged with illegal distribution of Congressman R. Q. Mill's silver speeches.  Zadeck waived examination, and gave bonds for his appearance.  The evidence on the part of the Government goes to show tat as many as four of the speeches were delivered to one person, and that a Post Office  clerk criticized the speech saying: "It was only fit for waste paper."  In an interview Zadeck denied the charge.  He declares that he has always been particularly careful in the distribution of Congressional speeches, and that the rightful parties came and got the speeches, and afterward left them at a certain store for the purpose of putting up a job on him.  Zadec is a Republican, but his chief clerks are Democrats. - Mar 5, 1886


Representative Hurt in Auto Crash

WASHINGTON, May 28. - Representative Luther A. Johnson, Democrat, of Corsicana, Texas; his wife and 17-year-old daughter, and a niece, Miss Totsy Berry of Mexia, Texas, were cut and bruised in a collision at Frederick, Md., last night of their automobile with a motorcycle carrying two negroes.  The two negroes were thrown over the top of the automobile but were not seriously hurt.  Representative Johnson and the negroes will have a hearing in the Frederick Police Court Thursday. - May 19, 1928


CorsicanaApril 23,  The two men arrested ten days ago as smallpox suspects will be discharged from the pesthouse Monday next.  Their cases proved to be varioloid.  The city is absolutely free from any cases of smallpox.

Fort Worth Gazette - April 24, 1891


Corsicana, Tex., Nov. 30,  H. P. ANDERSON, a laborer with the county bridge gang, was assisting in tearing down an old bridge about twenty two miles from this place a few days ago, and a heavy beam fell on him and catching him in the small of the back, broke three ribs and crushed his chest.  He is resting very well and it is thought he will recover.

(Nov 30, 1894)

 


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