Documents of Yore

Historically Speaking



Hello, Atascosa County! I don’t know about you, but to me it seems the seasons are changing again. This change from summer to autumn always has been a favorite transition for me. Maybe it’s the lack of 100-plusdegree weather or the fact that baking season kicks off! Either way, I welcome the weather change.

Last week, I talked about the census and we’ve included some interesting census records of the past for you to see the handwritten forms and documents on our Facebook page. It gives me a tangible sense to see such beautiful penmanship from the past. Then there is the not-so-elegant penmanship. However, to see old handwriting is interesting, regardless of the care that the writer took. The importance of these records is paramount to our growing and everevolving society. Without the census inclusion, ancestry and genealogical research would be near impossible.

I am guilty of holding on to documents. I believe that one day, they will be of use even if at least to marvel at it 20 to 30 years from now or even longer. I was rummaging through a box of old papers given to me by Janet Bartek. I began to look through an edition of The Pleasanton Express from August 13, 1997, celebrating the 32nd Annual Pleasanton Cowboy Homecoming. The paper is yellow-colored and labeled “Section D.” On the front center is a black-and-white photo of Mrs. Mary Goodwin. The main articles on either side of Mrs. Goodwin’s photo read “ Historical review of the Pleasanton schools, dating back to 1858” and “1929 Community Hospital located downtown Poteet.” The part that caught my attention was the bottom of the newspaper section labeled “Brands: Early signatures to a cattleman’s wealth in Atascosa County.” In 1856, The Atascosa County Clerk’s Office began to register the brands that cattlemen and cattlewomen were using on their livestock. In 1874, the original three books were consolidated into a newer book. Four cowboys are listed as registering the first four brands on September 1, 1856. Listed are E.O. Brion, William Lytle, John Q. Adams and David Adams. In all there were 50 brands registered in Atascosa County between September 1 and December 31, 1856.

Y’all be safe and healthy, and keep our history alive!

Until next time.

MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.

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