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And now the scene changes - back to the Old Home in Texas. In the summer of 1882 Robert and
his Bro John joined a catlle Company. At this time the cattle men doing this - some on a large scale.
Theirs was composed George Ball, two Agee brothers, Cy Ritchie and the Head Bros. Moved the
cattle to the Indian territory - putting the Head Bros in charge. Others kept in touch with markets, and
soon it was whispered that a crash was coming. Unaware to the Head Bros, the others proposed
selling out to the Head Bros. They took the chance - much against my opinion. Hard winter followed
- loss was heavy, especially with cows that was to bring the increase. There was terrible time Big
companies failed - some men died from being crushed. Our men after paying out thousands of dollars
for the other men of the Co, debts, yes, debts, saw nothing ahead for them. They made an assignment
in the spring of 1885. Leaving us nothing to live on - but they cleared their names. In our home an
invalid wife and four helpless children. In Johns home there was a frail little wife and two children.
They did not give up - both men worked. At the time the Santa Fe R.R. was being built from Ft.
Worth to Oklahoma City. Robert worked on this running a scraper. Old shoes and old clothes did
not crush his ambition - or mine - In 1886 or 1887 Robert bought a small stock of Drugs from Dr.
Spurlock, and during Clevelands administration was made Postmaster - bought us a two room house
on a nice lot. By using the strictest economy we managed to get along. At one time I recall us having
only 50 cts of sugar in the house for six months. At another time there was three months we did not
have a dust of flour in the house. Yes, we tired of corn bread and sorghum molasses.
All went well until an incindiary fire took the drug store - and P. O. on Oct 14th 1892. About 3
O'clock mon. A.M. we heard a cracking noise. Just then the flames broke through in the small
storage room adjoining ours. Mr. Head sprang from the bed - only words he spoke was my God!
everything is burning. He fought bravely, barefooted and only his sleepers on. It was his duty to use
every effort to save the P. O. books. Stepping on glass where he had broken a window so as to gain
entrance. His feet was cut and burned till he had to go on crutches for six weeks. And did I scream
Fire! Fire! Soon there was numbers of men on the scene to help. No fire department - only buckets.
One man said he heard me screaming to his house and he lived over 1/2 mile away. What made it
doubly hard was the insurance had run out on the 10th. Our residence caught fire in numbers of
places. Friends came and took the five children to their home while I fought bravely to save the
home. On Wed. A. M. same week Robert P. rec'd a letter from a dear friend and Banker of
Gainesville (I'll give it in full) saying, Dear Bob, Again I see you have your props knocked from under
you. This time your own fault - by not keeping up your insurance. Remeber tho, if you need help call
on your old friend C. C. Hemming.
I have heard Robert say many times that letter was worth far more than insurance. He borrowed
$700.00 from Mr. Hemming - moved the P. O. to a small store across the street - put shelves in a
- cut a hole and handed out the mail as usual. He saved a little handful of drugs and fixtures from the
fire - to the amt. of $135.00 and $17.00 in cash - and owned $140.00 on our home. Had to recover
the residence. Neighbors and loved ones come to our aid. One would bring butter and milk, another
steaks, another eggs. I never felt so much like a beggar in all my life, and still my heart was full of
gratitude - same as Roberts. I begun taking plain sewing. I'll never forget the first dollar that was
payed to me. We did not give up - soon had clothes for the four children to attend school. Zoe was a
mere babe - less than 1 year.
I have written at length, and as I think , many incidents come to my mind. I hear and have heard
many times people stressing depression. Sometimes I feel like saying - do you really know the hour of
need as I have passed through With all my trials, giving up loved ones, and other, I try to be thankful
that God has spared me to a ripe old age, and Pray daily for strength to carry on to the last hour.
Mother Head (Elenora B. Head)
When I begun to write these few lines it was with the thot in view of leaving them to my children and
Grandchildren. Since then war has broken out - yes raging - homes have been torn asunder - heart
aches - yes. Our oldest Grandson was called into the service. Charles Robert Page serving for over
two years - came home to his dear wife and pretty home - has a good position - doing well. Later
another one was called from the Page home. Dentist, Joe Pascal, being married Dec. 19th 1941 to
Dorothy Park, Leaving the dear wife with her parents, was in the Service 20 mon. out on Pacific -
seeing the hardest of trials. While away a deal little Son Frederick Forest was born on May 12,
1943. Almost an idol in the house. Returning - wish more could have seen the expression on their
faces when they met. Neither had ever seen the other. Was a picture never to be forgotten.
Then there is another Grandson and a devoted wife - was called into the Service and rejected - has a
lovely home in Arcadia, dealing in chickens and doing well.
Transcribed by Norman L. Newton, December, 2007
(Corrections made by correspondece with family
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