Spring Hill Land Transactions
Navarro County, Texas


Spring Hill Community


by Carl Matthews

George Washington Hill had purchased one third league ( 1480 acres ) from William C Hill in 1847.   The property was centered by the Spring Hill Trading Post which was just south of the present Spring Hill Cemetery.  Five years later, September 25, 1852. he sold a portion of the property to his brother-in-law, Robert Harve Matthews, for $500.    It may have been that Dr. Hill retained the property south of Treadwell Branch and sold property to the north.

Robert Harve Matthews, apparently, lost no time making use of the property.  He had built  "R H Matthews Storehouse" by November 29, 1855, the date he sold three acres to R A Younger.  The Younger property was located forty feet north of the Northwest corner of "R H Matthews Storehouse at Spring Hill."  "The Store" was located on what became Broadway when the Spring Hill Plat was filed at the courthouse in Corsicana and, probably on land later owned by Clint Fort.    Matthews sold the three acres to R A Younger for Fifteen Dollars.

Robert A Younger had married Louise Slaughter, a niece of R H Matthews, and a step-daughter of Dr. Hill.  Robert Younger died while serving in the Army of the CSA during the Civil War.

R H Matthews and Francis Slaughter had operated a General Store at Franklin. Slaughter's will provides a detailed account of the credit extended to customers in the early 1840's.   Matthews, no doubt, saw the need for another such establishment and created a new store on the old Indian Trail that led to the rock ledge crossing on Richland Creek. The crossing was useable except in extreme rainy seasons.  This Indian Trail was south of the old bridge road that led to Navarro Mills and the rock crossing remains.    The area around the crossing was, apparently a favorite camping place for Indians in the early days, and for settlers  traveling in wagons in the 1800's.    The east bank was a favorite picnic for area residents in the early part of the 1900's.  Huge trees provided shade in the summer and there
was a swimming hole where the roack ledge formed a dam.

Matthews, a surveyor, drew a plat for a New Spring Hill at some point prior the 1870.   The plat was filed on the fly leaf of Book "U" County Clerks Book at Corsicana, but the date was missing.   The datemay have been as early as 1855 or 1860.   Regardless, town lots were being bought and sold by March 24, 1870 when James M Ferguson sold four lots (3-4-5-10) to J L Dean for $500.   Dr. Dean, apparently lived at Spring Hill until 1882 when he moved to the new town of Dawson.

Lot Three had been deeded to Johnson & Company and was located "168 feet North and 60 degrees East from the Southeast corner of Lot 1."

The Spring Hill plat included town lots and business lots and Farm lots.   Town and business lots were fifty-six feet wide and one hundred twelve feet deep.  Farm lots were larger than the town lots and permitted a cow lot and a large garden area in addition to a house. R H Matthews sold Farm Lots 3 and 4 to Joseph Calvin Matthews on December 24, 1871.   Joseph Calvin and his family were said to have come to Texas in covered wagons in 1869.  Some writers claim that Joseph Calvin Matthews did not arrive at Spring Hill until 1875, but this deed establishes the fact that he was there in 1871.   Joseph Calvin lived there until his death in 1914.

Dr. J L Dean, apparently, was impressed with the future of Spring Hill and on January 10, 1872, purchased Lots 6-7-9 in Block One, and Lots 1-2 in Block Eleven.   The price was $112.50.  R H Matthews was the seller. January 29, 1873 W H Dawson and C B Carter sold R H Matthews "South One Half of Lot 2 Block One" for $1.00 and other valuables.   W H Dawson was, probably, William Henry Dawson, son of Brit Dawson.   Henry had married Susan
Fullerton.    C B Carter is unknown. R H Matthews sold the same "One Half Lot" to J J Stancil  on April 8, 1873 for $300.   J J Stancil sold in Dec 28 1874 to W P Bishop for $300.

W P Bishop & wife, Cora E., sold the "One Half Lot"  PLUS  Lots 2 thru 10 of Block Two to Robert Stockard for $300.

R H Matthews, on the same date, sold Lot 5 Block Ten to J M Polk for "$900. coin."  This lot fronted 56 feet on Commercial Street and went back 112 feet on Mechanic Street.    This lot probably had some improvement to command such a large price.    Polk sold the property back to R H Matthews March 5, 1875 for "$8,000. gold coin."    The deed stated, "together with all and singular the rights, members, hereditaments and appurtenances."     Which, being interpreted, means the Polk had improved the property.

It was on Christmas Day 1873 that R H Matthews was in a charitable mood and sold R B Marsh Lots 2-3-7-8 of Block Ten....for $100.     Marsh may have been a physician and storekeeper.  He made some money and when he moved to Dawson in the 1880's he built a two story home north and across the street from where Miss Kathlene Edwards lived until her death.  The house had a metal roof installed in 1919 which is still in place and the house remains in remarkable condition for its age.

Four days later, December 29, 1873 R H Matthews sold Lot 6 Block Ten to W P Bishop for $25.   The following year, Feb 27, 1874, W P Bishop and his wife, Cora E., sold the property to R B Marsh for $700.  The sale, also, included Lots 1-6 -9-10 in Block Ten. It was on April 26, 1874 that R H Matthews sold fractions of Lots 3-4-5-6 of Block One to J M Johnson.  The deed included clarification that stated, "Lot 3 in Block One fronts 56 feet on Broadway and runs 112 feet.  Fractional lots divided by SE line of Thomas Wright league that runs 60 degrees SW."  Johnson, apparently, constructed his home on the property.   The stones of  his fireplace are in the pasture located 1998 across the road from the Joe Kyle residence.

J R Smith had arrived at Spring Hill and on March 13, 1879 T F Sparks and wife sold him "Lot on which stands a large brick store house, built and formerly occupied by R A Younger...ref. to a deed made by R H Matthews to R A Younger 1860."     The price was $3,500., payable $2550 and three notes of  $333.33 payable in 1879, 1880, 1881.   The devastation of Spring Hill by the creation of Dawson is reflected by the sale of this property by J R Smith to R H Matthews March 1, 1883 for $500.  "40 feet N from NW corner of R H Matthews store house.  The description distinguished it,  "as the lot on which stands a large brick store house built and formerly owned and occupied by R A Younger."

Dr. J L Dean has accumulated seven lots in Spring Hill by December 11, 1882, but Dawson had been created and he would be among the numbers moving to the new town.  He sold Lots 4 thru 10 of Block One to R H Matthews Sr. for $150.     The"Sr" was used to distinguish R H Matthews from his nephew by the same name.

Dec 10, 1895, P B Bennet and wife Anna sold Lots 4& 5 Block Ten to Dr. H L Matthews for $75.  This included a house and well located south of the J M Johnson property.    It was inherited by Carl Matthews and rented until the late 1930s.

Further decline of property values at Spring Hill by 1898 are reflected in the sale of the entire Block One for $135. by Bettie Matthews, widow ofR H Matthews.   The sale was to R C McCurdy. This Block fronted on Broadway and Waco.  The sale was Oct 29, 1898.   Bettie Priddy, age 27, had married R H Matthews age 70.     R H Had died in 1894.

R C McCurdy and his wife, Ida S., sold Lots 1 thru 4 to T C (Theo) Matthews December 6, 1898.  Theo was a son of J C Matthews and a brother of Dr. H L Matthews.    The price was $200. plus $50. note at 10% interest.  Theo operated a country store there until Sept 20, 1906 when he sold the lots to his brother, Walter Matthews for $100. cash, $100. 1907, $100. 1908.

Uncle Walter Matthews began acquiring Spring Hill property in 1900.  Robert Harvey Matthews, a brother of J C Matthews, had died and left Farm Lot #5.      J N Barron and wife Margaret Agnes Matthews; Cab Cunningham and wife, Laura Matthews, and Robert Matthews sold the Farm Lot for $40.

W H Hardy bought 3 4/10 acres from Bettie Matthews Oct 11, 1902.  Reference is made to Block 13.  This may have been an area surveyed off the original town lots.

William Sam Barber had married Lena Doyle Dempsey and had purchase Block Ten at some point.  Sam and Lena  died in 1902 and 1903 and the property went their minor heirs, Zelma and Willie D Barber.  Their older brother, J. Doyle Barber purchased the property for $75. in 1913.   Uncle Walter Mastthews bought it in 1916 for $350.

A 1925 deed involved a purchase of portions Lots 1 thru 8...the West end of  the Marsh lots from the Whitner Estate.   Virgil Matthews paid $25. to Obe Vest & Mollie Whitner; J G Whitner, W H McCulloch and Zellia Whitner; J H & Lizzie Whitner; H H Slater and Lizzie Whitner; E E and Lizzie` Whitner

[Written by Carl W Matthews, POB 454, Roswell GA   30077]


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Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox