January, a month of history in Burleson

Clarence:  Those commentaries of yours about what happened in Johnson County each month down the corridor of years has made me appreciate the history of my County.  Some good, some bad but always interesting stuff. What went on in January? I assume there was not much outdoor activity before we had global warming.

John:  It appears that life in January went on as usual in Johnson County in spite of the weather.  Some examples are:

1869:  Sheriff E.M. Heath (also tax collector) and Maj. Cathy set out from Cleburne for Austin to deliver $3,800 tax receipts. A few miles beyond Hillsboro they were overtaken by four masked riders who held them up at gunpoint and took the money. (Chronicle)

1870:  “We notice almost daily crowds of emigrant wagons thronging our public highways, and our public square, who propose settling in Johnson County. They are principally from Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, with intelligence, means and generally working men such as this country has needed for some years.” (Chronicle)    

1873:  The Brazos was frozen over this week solid enough for a horse and cart to cross over. A thing that has not occurred since the winter of 1855. (Chronicle)

1875:  “On the 28th of January, I was in Johnson County, Texas. A man named William Gerard and myself were playing poker for whiskey on the roadside two miles from Cleburne…I won the game and declared the fact, but Gerard insisted and before I could realize what he intended, he whipped out a bowie knife and cut me across the thigh. I drew my pistol and fired three times. When I discovered that he was dead I placed a piece of paper over his breast inscribed: “Killed by J.B. Scoggins.” (Examiner)

1876:  The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was formerly dedicated today by Rev. Dan Malloy. (Byrd)

1883:  “A considerable sensation was created at Cleburne” when Lou Green of the Santa Fe bawdy house at Whitney, married Jim Bell, the son of a respected farmer. No one supposed he contemplated such an idiot act.” (Gazette)
1884:  Johnson County creeks have been frozen most of this week thick enough for ice skating. (Gazette)  

1922:  Burleson school students appreciated the eight month school term. They did not like having to walk 250 feet in the cold and rain to the unheated outdoor toilets. They were “antiseptic cans,” which were inspected daily by the school principal and cleaned semi-monthly. They were later replaced by army style toilets over pits. (Dispatcher)  

1929:  Robert Newton Warren was buried in the Burleson Cemetery. Mr. Warren was a successful farmer and at one time was the president of the Farmers and Merchants State Bank in Burleson. (Dispatcher) Reference Warren Park and Warren Street.

1961:  Mallie Bransom retired after 19 years as Burleson’s night watchman. He was the only law officer in town most of those years and on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
John Duke Smith is a local history buff.  If you have a question for John, he can be contacted at johndukesmith@sbcglobal.net

Burleson Star

327 N.W. Renfro St.
PO Box 909
Burleson, TX 76028-0909

Phone: 817-295-0486
FAX: 817-295-5278