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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
TO RETURN CAPTURED FLAG.
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
FORCES NEGROES TO WORK
"K. K. K." Notice Brings Unwilling Texas Cotton Pickers to the
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.
Notice Signed “K.K.K.” Posted in Blooming Grove
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,
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,
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
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
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
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,
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
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,
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)