Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Staples, Texas

Staples, Texas is an interesting little town. There is a post office, a beauty-barber shop, a General Store (which looked to be boarded up or undergoing renovations - couldn't tell) - but didn't see a convenience or grocery store anywhere. However, I suppose that San Marcos is near enough to Staples for shopping.

The following is copied from Handbook of Texas Online:

In 1871 Civil War veteran Col. John Douglas Staples established a country store in a live oak grove on the George Allen league, 500 yards from Hardeman's cotton gin. On May 19, 1879, a post office was opened there. The place was called Staples Store until 1891, when the post office department dropped "Store" from the designation. The office and its duties were passed about frequently for the first half century of its existence. The postmaster was usually a business owner who was willing to house the postal operation as a part-time duty. Initially, the Staples office was served by rerouting the twice-weekly Luling-San Marcos mail run along the San Marcos River between Prairie Lea and Martindale. In 1884 the only business enterprises were the store, the gin and gristmill, and the school. By 1890 a machinist, a doctor-druggist, a beekeeper, and another general store had been added. The Lowman brothers, Quincy and Roston, established the Staples Water Power Company and began construction of a wooden water tower in April of that year. The population had grown from thirty to forty-five in the preceding six years; by 1892 it had surged to 125, and the town had added a wagonmaker. In 1896 the community had 150 people and its own cemetery. The Staples Telephone Company was established in 1901 in the home of entrepreneur Fred Gabriel. Electric service, as such, was provided by a 1,000-volt dynamo that the Lowman brothers installed at their gin in 1903. The lights were turned off each night at 10:00. In 1913 both a new schoolhouse and a new metal water tower were completed.

The earliest arrivals in the area were served by two churches. The Woodlawn Baptist Church, established in 1875, was two miles southwest of the settlement. There were two Methodist churches: Harris Chapel two miles east and Pleasant Ridge three miles northwest. In 1887 a Baptist church was built next to the schoolhouse in Staples, and in 1902 a Methodist church was erected just up the street. The Baptist church has had an intermittent existence with prolonged periods of inactivity; the Methodist church has been continuously active.
The watershed event in Staples history was the goring of Mrs. Tom Anderson by her Durham milk cow in the spring of 1912. While attempting to separate the cow from its newborn calf, forty-nine-year-old "Granny" Anderson
was completely disemboweled by a swift hook of the cow's horn. Hearing an agonized scream, frantic neighbors rushed to improvise a stretcher by ripping a barn door from its hinges and carrying the gravely injured woman to young Dr. Wilburn Williams' office, where they laid her on the only available surface-the dining room table. After cleaning the gaping wound with tap water from a system that remained unapproved until 1954, he replaced her intestines, sewed her up, and pronounced her as good as dead. Mrs. Anderson carried the scar of this encounter to her grave at the age of 105 in April 1968. She outlived the doctor by more than two decades and remained his most famous case. For that generation and the one following, events in Staples were timed in relation to Granny Anderson's goring.

No comments:

Post a Comment